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This Week on DVD & Blu-ray (07-23-13)

July 24, 2013



This week boasts new films by Oscar-winning directors Francis Ford Coppola and Danny Boyle, both thrillers that received mixed reviews from critics and begin with the letter “T”. Coppola’s film is “Twixt” a horror/thriller from 2011 that is essentially a ghost story which finds a writer on a book tour in a small town who gets pulled into a murder mystery involving a young girl. It has my curiosity for the director and the cast (Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern and Elle Fanning), but it’s also only an hour and a half. Boyle’s “Trance” is a modern noir thriller starring James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel. McAvoy plays an art auctioneer who becomes mixed up with a group of criminals (Cassell) and a hypnotherapist (Dawson) in order to recover a lost painting.  I haven’t seen either yet but I’m interested, regardless of their reception, I’m always interested to see where these filmmakers go next.

One of the most compelling films I saw recently was a German thriller called “The Silence” which came out in Europe in 2010 but had a short theatrical run earlier this year. It was plugged in the States as something similar to AMC’s “The Killing” and that’s not too far off as it does indeed involve “a killing” and has a certain slow-burn to it. Directed Barab bo Odar has crafted an uncomfortably compelling character study that looks at the aftermath of the murder of a young girl in a small German town back in the mid 80s – how the event impacted the child’s mother, the investigative officers and (in an unusual angle) the killers who were never caught. If it sounds like something you might be interested in (even if it isn’t), I highly recommend checking it out.

It feels like thriller week as yet another one rises above the short list. That would be “Graceland” which received considerable buzz at Sundance this year. It’s about a Filipino family man who chauffeurs a corrupt politician, who is thrust into an unthinkable situation when he’s ambushed while driving his employer’s daughter and his own daughter from school one afternoon. The poor chauffeur has to then navigate his way through a tangled web of deceit and betrayal in order to ensure the safety of his daughter.

Finally, there’s the crime thiller “Welcome to the Punch”, another McAvoy film, which pits the actor against Mark Strong. Strong plays former criminal Jacob Sternwood, who is forced out of retirement, returning to London from his Icelandic hideaway when his son is involved in a heist gone sour. This gives McAvoy’s detective Max Lewinsky one last chance to catch the man he’s been after for years. As they face off, they start to uncover a deeper conspiracy they both need to solve in order to survive. It’s a pretty solid thriller that rests on the talented leads and their equally skilled co-stars, Andrea Roseborough (“Oblivion”) and Peter Mullan, but other than that, the story here isn’t all that compelling.

That’s it for this week. Enjoy the Rundown….



  • The 300 Spartans (Blu-ray)
  • Babette’s Feast (Criterion Collection) (1987) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Detention of the Dead (DVD)
  • Duck Dodgers: Deep Space Duck – Season Two (DVD)
  • Graceland (DVD/Blu-ray)
    House Party: Tonight’s the Night (DVD)
  • How The States Got Their Shapes: Season 2 (DVD)
  • The Ice Storm (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
  • The Jack Benny Program: The Lost Episodes (DVD)
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXVII (DVD)
  • New World (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Pieta (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Robotech: 2-Movie Collection (The Shadow Chronicles / Love Live Alive) (DVD)
  • The Silence (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Super Friends: A Dangerous Fate – Season 5 (DVD)
  • Superjail!: Season Three (DVD)
  • Trance (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Twixt (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Welcome to the Punch (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Vanishing Waves (DVD)






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