RT on DVD: Defiance, Entourage and Heroes

Plus, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas as the Holocaust and Hollywood come together... again

by | September 2, 2009 | Comments

video ezy advert

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas


The past year has seen a rash of films dealing with the Holocaust. This week alone there are two releasing on DVD, while Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds continues to rampage at the cinemas. Of them all, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas has proved to be one of the more contentious.

For some audiences and reviewers this is a moving and affecting story about a dark period in modern history as seen through the eyes of a child. For others, it is an insulting, sanitised and trivialised account of remembered horrors. The internationally best-selling novel of the same name, on which it is based, has faced similar attacks.

The movie tells the story of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of a concentration camp commandant, who befriends a young Jewish boy; a prisoner in his father’s camp. The friendship that builds between the two boys through the camp’s fence, and Bruno’s gradual understanding of his father’s day job, form a kind of parable.

For much of this film, there is a prevailing innocence. However, the subject manner and the slap-in-the-face ending earns this film a well-deserved M rating, meaning it may not be for the everyone.

Consensus: A touching and haunting family film that deals with the Holocaust in an arresting and unusual manner, and packs a brutal final punch of a twist.



The true story on which this movie is based is an inspiration. It tells of the Bielski brothers who flee to the forest to escape the Nazis only to become leaders and protectors to over a thousand Jewish refugees. They defend and shelter the lost and helpless against both Nazi sweeps and the bitter winter that descends upon the Belarus Forest.

Sadly, director Edward Zwick didn’t think his audience would understand how great a feat this was, so decided to slam home every single plot point and speech with an inspirational sledgehammer.

Beneath the dogmatic direction, however, lurk some very powerful performances. Most notably Daniel Craig as Tuvia Bielski, the brother who wants to keep everyone alive by lying low in the forest and waiting out the war and his brother Zus, played by Liev Schreiber who would rather go all Inglourious Basterds on the Nazis’ ass and fight back with the Russian resistance. The struggle between these two men is one of the film’s great strengths.

The other great strength is that it is true; a fact that is brought home at the end when we are shown photos of the individuals who inspired this dramatisation.

Defiance is heavy-going and violent and the ongoing conflict between survival and revenge is hard work. However, the story of human strength and the extent to which people can adapt to almost immeasurable hardships is a good one.

And if you are still hopped up from Tarantino’s ultimate Nazi revenge flick, this will tide you over until Inglourious Basterds is available on DVD.

Consensus: Professionally made but artistically uninspired, Ed Zwick’s story of Jews surviving WWII in the Belarus forest lacks the emotional punch of the actual history

Entourage: Season 5

HBO is responsible for producing some of the highest quality television series of recent years, but none quite as cool as Entourage. .

It is loosely based on the early career of executive producer Mark Wahlberg and his experiences as an up-and-coming movie star in LA. Wahlberg is the inspiration for character Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), a young movie star who has brought his brother and closest childhood friends with him for his Hollywood ride.

Chase’s manager and best friend, Eric ‘E’ Murphy (Kevin Connolly) is said to be an amalgam of the show’s other executive producer, Eric Weinstein and Wahlberg’s real life manager, Stephen Levinson. Vincent’s brother and chef, Johnny ‘Drama’ Chase (Kevin Dillon) is based on Johnny ‘Drama’ Alves, Wahlberg’s real-life cousin and ‘Turtle’ (Jerry Ferrara) is modelled on Wahlberg’s original assistant Donnie ‘Donkey’ Carroll.

For many fans of the show, this writer included, the real star is foul-mouthed, tough-as-nails with a heart-of-gold agent, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven). Ari Gold is a characterisation of Wahlberg’s agent, Ari Emanuel.

For most of the show’s run, Vincent and his boys have led a charmed existence. The move from New Jersey to California has been smooth. The cars and girls are hot and life is sweet. Season 5, however, sees a few cracks appearing in their perfect lives, as Vincent’s career, and wallet, hits a roadblock. Vince’s passion project from the previous season, Medellin, has bombed and the work isn’t flowing as it once did. Also, his relationship with E is under strain. It isn’t all bad, however, as Drama’s career is on the rise and Turtle finds himself falling for a high-profile actress.

Heroes: Season 3

They saved the cheerleader and saved the world but these ordinary people who woke up one day with extraordinary abilities are still fighting for their lives.

Watching Heroes is like seeing your favourite childhood comic come to life. It has the aesthetic vibrancy and colour of a graphic novel, combined with super-hero adventure.

Season 2 of Heroes was affected by the writers’ strike, meaning that it ended rather abruptly after only 11 episodes but Season 3 presents a full-length 25 episode season. Whereas Seasons 1 and 2 focused on the heroes, and their fight against the evil Sylar, Season 3 is all about the bad-guys. Villains are aplenty this time around and the pace is definitely faster than the slow-build second series.

One of the great successes of Heroes is the casting. Sendhil Ramamurthy as scientist Mohinder Suresh, Hayden Panettiere as the rejuvenating cheerleader, Milo Ventimiglia as Peter Petrellie, the man with innumerable super powers, and Masi Oka as the adorable, time and space bending Hiro Nakamura, are each charismatic and believable in this distinctly unbelievable show. A standout, however, is Zachary Quinto as Sylar, an evil watchmaker with one hell of a chip on his shoulder.

For those of you who skipped this show because you are not a sci-fi fan, or you tuned out when they started messing around with the television time-slot, this is a well-written, entertaining, award-winning television series and definitely worth the rental.

Tag Cloud

comic book movies ITV satire young adult TV Land obituary international BAFTA Turner 4/20 Legendary razzies toronto Mudbound hollywood new york crime drama 2017 99% Broadway facebook American Society of Cinematographers popular finale spanish language Fall TV name the review Spectrum Originals Sundance TV Amazon Prime Video canceled TV shows new zealand Cartoon Network ID Fox Searchlight PlayStation discovery biography Black History Month hist Disney Plus psychological thriller transformers fast and furious mutant trailers Music Rock dramedy parents Holiday blockbusters political drama MCU Cosplay OneApp comiccon ViacomCBS prank italian BET video on demand emmy awards worst movies gangster GLAAD indie screenings Britbox See It Skip It TLC Neflix TNT 45 deadpool Logo LGBT Comedy movies Disney Channel adenture canceled Country singing competition Kids & Family travel game show king kong documentary RT History Avengers harry potter sag awards romantic comedy king arthur sitcom Warner Bros. japanese technology robots reviews Travel Channel Premiere Dates Women's History Month scorecard halloween New York Comic Con 2016 DC Universe TCA Winter 2020 screen actors guild television Martial Arts high school Netflix cancelled nature true crime Spike biopic FXX 2015 royal family kong rt labs critics edition Election Polls and Games politics Action Marathons concert Rocketman dragons Comics on TV comic book movie Sci-Fi marvel comics CMT HBO Go Mary Poppins Returns Certified Fresh 90s werewolf Hallmark ratings mockumentary Mystery AMC Sony Pictures a nightmare on elm street Disney natural history zombie Sundance Food Network APB spanish comics docudrama cinemax doctor who dogs DirecTV Elton John PBS stoner posters Amazon Studios Dark Horse Comics Podcast universal monsters films rom-coms Exclusive Video Toys worst Trivia A24 Drama cats Red Carpet Funimation based on movie The Purge Family Comic-Con@Home 2021 mission: impossible Captain marvel TV movies sequel nfl Peacock Rom-Com wonder woman Reality sequels 71st Emmy Awards Opinion Interview Lionsgate Academy Awards FX on Hulu aapi Musical adaptation spain animated monster movies news 2018 versus Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt strong female leads Anna Paquin Arrowverse Starz rt labs BBC spy thriller richard e. Grant slashers Reality Competition critic resources vs. stand-up comedy black spinoff YouTube Red Trailer Stephen King green book Emmy Nominations Extras Western free movies Countdown Vudu Teen Tarantino BET Awards reboot romance Star Trek festivals Syfy SundanceTV art house Nominations book adaptation FX know your critic cars dc lord of the rings Writers Guild of America dreamworks Masterpiece supernatural WarnerMedia black comedy teaser cancelled TV series women franchise talk show Video Games BBC America A&E Nickelodeon cartoon E! El Rey Holidays diversity cops rotten spider-man chucky Superheroes golden globes jamie lee curtis binge vampires RT21 Ghostbusters blockbuster 2020 elevated horror fresh Comic Book Brie Larson book TCA casting Character Guide comedies quibi MSNBC 21st Century Fox Fox News live action ghosts olympics hispanic heritage month The Arrangement Year in Review Mindy Kaling medical drama sports The Walt Disney Company debate 007 ABC Signature Sneak Peek TV renewals Esquire heist movie Best and Worst The Witch The Academy documentaries latino hispanic AMC Plus australia sopranos godzilla Acorn TV Shudder Valentine's Day war Turner Classic Movies USA james bond The Walking Dead science fiction YouTube Comedy Central series Disney+ Disney Plus superman crime CNN joker Musicals BBC One pirates of the caribbean space comic books boxing Awards Tour Schedule Animation Hulu video cooking Television Critics Association Black Mirror Lifetime Christmas movies Image Comics period drama Tubi spider-verse justice league IMDb TV rotten movies we love christmas movies Box Office aliens streaming batman saw Set visit Universal First Reviews Marvel Studios laika Freeform toy story Marvel NBC Ovation Mary poppins suspense Lifetime TIFF Crackle football E3 Pride Month new star wars movies OWN best indiana jones Discovery Channel X-Men Tomatazos SDCC golden globe awards TCA Awards criterion streaming movies Awards Amazon Prime Cannes GIFs Adult Swim basketball Song of Ice and Fire halloween tv witnail Trophy Talk unscripted History critics Heroines kids GoT Bravo kaiju Spring TV police drama Columbia Pictures dexter Instagram Live Television Academy TV One Infographic Alien blaxploitation Pop Paramount USA Network 2021 Superheroe Mary Tyler Moore Watching Series feel good target telelvision die hard docuseries Lucasfilm cancelled television NYCC HBO Max independent stop motion HBO Quiz DC Comics Thanksgiving social media NBA nbcuniversal 2019 tv talk anthology DC streaming service WGN Sundance Now legend TCM boxoffice foreign Paramount Plus Apple TV+ Hear Us Out japan IFC Christmas revenge archives classics 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards FOX Star Wars miniseries Apple composers VOD Baby Yoda Marvel Television CBS game of thrones DGA scary movies CW Seed Disney streaming service Photos asian-american Universal Pictures Epix dceu venice zombies Winter TV Ellie Kemper Endgame psycho ESPN 1990s ABC Family TruTV rt archives Horror Biopics 24 frames Crunchyroll San Diego Comic-Con slasher cancelled TV shows Pacific Islander 73rd Emmy Awards Hallmark Christmas movies Pet Sematary action-comedy Netflix Christmas movies Classic Film crime thriller Pop TV Pirates Paramount Network Chernobyl hidden camera Shondaland Pixar Wes Anderson VH1 LGBTQ PaleyFest superhero MTV Grammys Emmys YouTube Premium National Geographic Showtime SXSW Chilling Adventures of Sabrina serial killer child's play Walt Disney Pictures President remakes comic scene in color Tumblr VICE dark jurassic park scary 72 Emmy Awards theme song Rocky The CW Calendar south america what to watch adventure Fantasy Oscars TV french Binge Guide ABC renewed TV shows award winner directors YA 93rd Oscars children's TV Winners Amazon mob TCA 2017 historical drama Super Bowl Nat Geo CBS All Access festival Summer movie First Look anime IFC Films Creative Arts Emmys cults zero dark thirty Film Festival Apple TV Plus TBS all-time genre marvel cinematic universe disaster breaking bad Film Tokyo Olympics live event twilight mcc thriller 20th Century Fox crossover