New on DVD this week.....
In America, year 2022, the new Founding Fathers have declared a yearly purge day, during which people can murder and maim to their heart’s content. It keeps our natural proclivity for violence to a single day, and provides a solution to overcrowded prisons, go the arguments. On a sunny evening security-system salesman James (Ethan Hawke) returns to his tony gated community before lockdown, where his cul-de-sac neighbour is happily sharpening his machete. But when darkness falls, James, wife Mary (Lena Headey) and their two teens find themselves fighting for their lives from forces without and within. A thriller high on class-consciousness and morality, special feature on the Blu-ray includes a making-of extra.
In a future Earth the climate has shifted, blanketing the world in ice and snow. Most of humankind has perished, except for a handful of colonies in which people live underground. In a world where the common cold can kill people, tough decisions need to be made. Mason (Bill Paxton) is on the trigger-happy side of the debate; tender-hearted Sam (Kevin Zegers) and leader Laurence Fishburne are more compassionate. This tenuous balance is threatened by a breed of feral, cannibalistic survivors who wipe out a neighbouring colony and then set their sights on Sam’s turf. The gore quotient is high (the fake-blood provider gets its own credit, there’s so much of it), red blood the only splash of colour in a snowy, colourless landscape. Special features include green screen process, cast interviews and a behind-the-scenes extra.
The English Teacher
Linda Sinclair (Julianne Moore) is a 45-year-old, small-town English teacher who gives potential suitors passing or failing grades mid-date. Her narrow world opens up in a dramatic way with the appearance of Jason (Michael Angarano), a former student who has been trying to make it as a playwright in New York City. Against the wishes of Jason’s father (Greg Kinnear) — who wants his son to be a lawyer — Linda and the school drama teacher (Nathan Lane) plan to produce Jason’s “transcendent” play at the local high school, at their own expense. At times very funny, elevated by top-notch performances by Moore and Lane, in particular.
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