Home Movies/Out on Digital: Sept. 18
■ Day of the Dead
More interesting than the zombies are the human survivors. In the third Living Dead movie by George Romero—the man most responsible for the space occupied in our imagination by zombies—mad science clashes with military madness, and fatalism with determination, as the sane among the survivors struggle to endure. The credit for “Special Makeup EFX” is well deserved in a zombie flick innocent of CGI. The 1985 movie is out on a Blu-ray/DVD set.
■ Shadow Dancer
Andrea Riseborough plays a harried single mother, reluctant terrorist and even more reluctant informer in director James Marsh’s production, set during the tired end game of the IRA’s campaign in Northern Ireland. Clive Owen is the British agent trying to maintain something like fair play in a world suffused with duplicity and rough justice. Shadow Dancer captures the cold-blooded desperation, personal and political, of a struggle at a dead end.
Long before “Downton Abbey” and “Upstairs, Downstairs,” Cavalcade followed an upper class English family and their servants through the early years of the 20th century. Based on Noel Coward’s play, the 1933 movie won three Oscars for its depiction of likable characters whose personal lives are swept along on powerful tides of history. The sinking of the Titanic and World War I are handled on a human scale. Cavalcade is out on a Blu-ray/DVD set.