COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS

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Willa Holland in “Tiger Eyes”

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PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Closed Circuit” (R) — After a fictional terrorist attack in London, the trial of the only surviving attacker stirs up a stinky aroma of government conspiracy and corruption. The key piece of evidence for the prosecution is so classified that the defense can’t see it. Only Claudia (Rebecca Hall) — a special court person — can view the top-secret evidence and advise the defense. The defense attorney (Eric Bana) turns out to be an ex-lover.

With all of that plot-twisting, the film would have to be a taut, paranoia-inducing thriller to keep you engaged. Well it’s not, and it doesn’t. The gray-clad leads don’t bring a lot of chemistry to the screen. Every other piece of dialog is devoted to explaining the plot.

“Tiger Eyes” (PG-13) — Davey (Willa Holland) is a 17-year-old girl who’s been dealt a blow. She’s new to the town of Los Alamos, N.M. (birthplace of the atom bomb), her father’s murder still has some loose ends, her mother has withdrawn into grief and her pushy aunt is trying to fill the void. The film follows her journey to make sense of it all — with help from Wolf (Tatanka Means), a mysterious local.

This is the first novel by best-selling author Judy Blume to make it to film. Directed by her son, Lawrence Blume, the film preserves the book’s thoughtful pacing and quiet appreciation of the landscape. The story captures the drama of trying to grow up while dealing with loss.

“The Act of Killing” — During Indonesia’s violent revolution in 1965, Anwar Congo orchestrated the execution of as many as 1 million people. When this documentary finds him, he’s a kindly old grandfather with plenty of money and no guilt about his past. The documentary director offers Congo a great opportunity: He and his friends can star in and direct campy Hollywood-style short films about their exploits in the ’60s. Watch as a mass murderer faces his past crimes — which he says bring him no remorse — and gradually comes to realize what he is.

“Birth of the Living Dead” — Zombies have a cold, rigid grip on mankind’s collective imagination, and George A. Romero’s “The Night of the Living Dead” deserves a lot of the credit for that. It was a cheap flick in black and white (out of fashion for 1968), made in the backwoods and backyards of small-town Pennsylvania. This documentary sits down with the filmmaker, who gets enthusiastic about the production stories like he’s back there with his makeshift crew all over again. The film also explores the social context, connecting the low-budget monster-movie phenomenon with the social tides of the time.

TV RELEASES
“Top of the Lake”
“Archer: The Complete Season Four”
“Duck Dynasty Season 4”
“Copper: Season 2”
“The Following: The Complete First Season”
“Being Human: Complete Third Season”

© 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

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