COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS


Elizabeth Olsen in “Silent House”


PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Silent House” (R) — What could be a more boring, safe, non-terrorizing experience than cleaning out an old lake house? How about a lake house that hasn’t been used in years, and has had every possible entry and exit nailed shut? This remake of a low-budget flick from Argentina puts Sarah (the ascending Elizabeth Olsen) in just such a creaky old home, trapped, in the dark, all alone except for the shadowy figures lurking just out of sight.

The whole movie is in real-time, seemingly done in a single shot that follows Sarah. No convenient intermissions, no scene transitions or alternate locations, just the audience trapped along with the victim. Those aching for terror and suspense can rent a room down at Silent House, where you can’t scream or the bad people will find you.

“The Deep Blue Sea” (R) — This tragic and romantic film tells the story of Hester (Rachel Weisz), a woman trapped in a loveless marriage and powerless to stop her passionate romance with another man. All beautifully shot in the rich tones of post-war London, the movie hands Weisz a serious role, and she hands back a serious performance.

Hester’s husband is a stuffy, wealthy old judge who supplies her with a life in the upper-crust, and not much else. Hester’s other man is Freddie (Tom Hiddleston, Loki from “The Avengers”), a veteran pilot from the war now looking for work. You may not like Hester, but you will feel something for her as she swims in a sea of passion and conflict.

“Jiro Dreams of Sushi” (PG) — You don’t have to be a fan of sushi to get the appeal of this unique documentary. Jiro Ono is revered as the best sushi chef in the world, and a national treasure to the Japanese. He also works in a tiny restaurant in a subway station where people make reservations months in advance to see the master at work. The film is an engaging portrait of a modern ascetic, somebody who’s dedicated to a singular craft. It also shows the complicated relationship between the 85-year-old Jiro and his oldest son, Yoshikazu, who is expected to fill his father’s shoes one day.

“My Way” (R) — This war epic from Korea follows two young men from their rivalry as marathon runners to the battlefields of Mongolia and all the way to beaches of Normandy. One is a native-born Korean, the other is part of the Japanese occupation. When World War II swallows them both, they seem bound together as they go from soldiers, to prisoners to conscripts.

TV RELEASES
“Masterpiece Mystery: Inspector Lewis Series 5”
“Star Trek: The Next Generation” — Season One [Blu-ray]
“Boss: Season 1”
“Touched By an Angel: The Fifth Season”
“Michael Wood’s Story of England”

© 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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