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Home theater new releases: 'Hunger Games'; 'Kill List' and more

'Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory'; 'The Hunger Games'; 'Kill List'; 'The Raid: Redemption.'

August 11, 2012|By Noel Murray
  • Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games."
Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games." (Murray Close / Lionsgate )

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Docurama, $29.95

Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's documentary was completed before the men known as the "West Memphis Three" were freed from prison after 17 years, and while the filmmakers have added an epilogue about the hasty, unsatisfying resolution to the frustrating murder case, the third installment of this ongoing story still feels out of date for most of its two-hour running time. The case, though, remains fascinating, especially given the new evidence that Berlinger and Sinofsky have unearthed about another possible suspect in the killing and mutilation of three 8-year-old boys. The "Paradise Lost" series is chilling for the way it reveals how we try to fit heinous crimes into a comprehensible narrative, even when that narrative is a lie. The "Purgatory" DVD comes with bonus footage and interviews.

The Hunger Games

Lionsgate, $30.98;Blu-ray, $39.99

Available on VOD beginning Aug. 18

The big-screen version of Suzanne Collins' bestselling young adult novel didn't necessarily need to be any good to make half a billion dollars, but aside from the usual complaints about faithfulness — whether the adaptation is too slavish or too loose — director Gary Ross does a fine job in capturing what so many people love about the book. A lot of the credit is because of his cast, in particular rising star Jennifer Lawrence, who brings an earthy reality to the role of Katniss Everdeen, a teenager who uses her wit and bravery to survive in a future where kids fight to the death for the entertainment of the ruling class. Exciting, imaginative and even a little bit pointed in its class critiques,"The Hunger Games" is a zeitgeist-y blockbuster worthy of its fan base. The DVD and Blu-ray come with extensive featurettes.

Kill List

MPI, $24.98; Blu-ray, $29.98

Writer-director Ben Wheatley's follow-up to his volatile family crime drama"Down Terrace"starts out as the slice-of-life story of a temperamental mercenary (Neil Maskell) who takes on the assignment of assassinating three men, then finds the job taking an unexpectedly occult turn. Wheatley and cowriter Amy Jump build the movie around winding, profane conversations, which helps keep the movie grounded as the story gets more shocking and strange."Kill List"is the kind of film that will have viewers watching through their fingers for most of its terrifying third act, then arguing afterward about what it all means. It's a new cult classic. The DVD and Blu-ray add two commentary tracks and multiple featurettes.

The Raid: Redemption

Sony, $30.99; Blu-ray, $35.99

Available on VOD beginning Aug. 14

Gareth Evans' Indonesian martial arts throwback harks back to '80s action movies and classic Hong Kong thrillers as it tells of a rookie cop (played by the explosive Iko Uwais) who joins his colleagues in a charge into a grimy, gang-controlled Jakarta apartment building. The plot is mostly an afterthought."The Raid"is mainly about bullets, blades and fists in motion, all captured by Evans' frequently gravity-defying camera. The fight choreography is blisteringly quick, designed to make the audience gasp, then cheer. The DVD and Blu-ray tack on an Evans commentary and copious featurettes.

And…

Jaws

Universal, $19.98 Blu-ray, $29.98

Juan of the Dead

E1/Focus, $19.98

The Snowtown Murders

MPI, $24.98

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