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RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Danny Boyle's Trance and More

Including a powerful coming-of-age film, a hokey romance, and a bunch of small releases.

by | July 23, 2013 | Comments

There isn’t a whole lot to report on home video this week, but we do have Danny Boyle’s latest feature, a surprising coming-of-age film with a terrific Elle Fanning performance, and a message movie wrapped inside a romantic drama. Then we have a number of smaller films that saw very limited theatrical runs and, of course, a couple of new releases from the Criterion Collection. See below for the full list:



Trance

68%

Danny Boyle’s last couple of films have made him something of an Academy darling; 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire took home a total of eight Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, and 2010’s 127 Hours was nominated for another six. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like his latest follow-up, Trance, will quite measure up. James McAvoy stars as art auctioneer Simon, who helps some nefarious types steal an expensive Goya painting and knocks his noggin in the process. Now unable to remember where he hid the painting, he’s placed into hypnotherapy by his criminal pals, which sends his mind reeling. Trance sports a game cast that includes Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson, as well as Boyle’s trademark directorial flourishes, but critics found the script — penned by Boyle himself — a bit more thinly written than they would have liked. At 69% on the Tomatometer, it’s a trippy, stylish psychological thriller that may appeal to Danny Boyle fans the most.



Ginger & Rosa

78%

Elle Fanning has earned acclaim for her performances in movies like Somewhere and Super 8, but Ginger & Rosa may be her breakout film. In this coming-of-age tale set in Cold War era London, Fanning is Ginger, a teenage girl who spends most of her time with her closest friend Rosa (Alice Englert). As the threat of nuclear war looms before the world, Ginger impresses her father with her activist spirit, but begins to grow apart from Rosa, whose blossoming sexuality leads to more grown-up complications. Supporting roles in Ginger & Rosa were rounded out by the likes of Christina Hendricks, Timothy Spall, Oliver Platt, and Annette Bening, but critics agree that the film really belongs to Elle Fanning, who turns in a superb, nuanced performance. Certified Fresh at 80%, Ginger & Rosa is a thoughtful, wonderfully acted drama about adolescence that even mature viewers can appreciate.



Love and Honor

13%

Looking at the poster for Love and Honor, one would be forgiven for thinking its two primary leads were Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games) and Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies). It’s an honest mistake; they just happen to be more marketable currently than Aimee Teegarden and Austin Stowell. It’s 1969, and recently dumped Dalton Joiner (Stowell) is off fighting in Vietnam. When he’s granted leave for some R&R, he uses the opportunity to go AWOL and fly back to the States with a buddy (Hemsworth) and win back his girl (Teegarden), who’s changed her name and joined the anti-war movement with a new friend of her own (Palmer). Love and Honor has some big ideas on its mind — more than its Nicholas Sparks-esque premise might imply — but critics say its young, beautiful cast has trouble communicating those ideas with any genuine authority. At a mere 13% on the Tomatometer, Love and Honor is a lightweight romance with unconvincing political undertones, set in an overly artificial semblance of the real world.

Also available this week:

  • Graceland (85%), a thriller from the Philippines about a corrupt politician’s limo driver who is ambushed while driving both his and his boss’s daughter home, leading both families down dark paths.
  • South Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk’s Pieta (81%), about a ruthless loan shark enforcer who’s visited by a mysterious woman claiming to be his long lost mother.
  • Kiss of the Damned (63%), a horror thriller about a vampire who falls in love with a screenwriter, thereby endangering her undead community.
  • Welcome to the Punch (50%), starring James McAvoy and Mark Strong in a crime thriller about a detective and the former criminal he’s chased for years getting mixed up together in a larger conspiracy.
  • Vehicle 19 (25%), starring Paul Walker in an action flick about a parolee who mistakenly rents a car with an anti-corruption witness tied up in the trunk.
  • And lastly, the Criterion Collection has another couple of notable releases: Danish director Gabriel Axel’s Oscar-winning Babette’s Feast (95%) is newly available on DVD and Blu-ray, while Ang Lee’s acclaimed adaptation The Ice Storm gets a Blu-ray.

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