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Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014

Home Movies/Out on Digital: Feb. 6

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Blue Caprice

Dramatizing the 2002 sniper shootings in suburban Washington, D.C., Blue Caprice explores the warped surrogate father-son bond between the killers. Paranoid and bitter, John Allen Muhammad (Isaiah Washington) turns against society with a rash of random murders in public places, committed with the help of teenager Lee Malvo (Tequan Richmond). Muhammad’s rage mutates into a crackbrained revolutionary scheme to bring down “the System.” Blue Caprice (named for the killers’ car) is chilling in its unemphatic banality.

The Prey

Franck (Albert Dupontel) is an escaped criminal on the run from the police while chasing the real bad guy—a child-molesting serial killer who has taken his daughter. The Alfred Hitchcock motif is embedded in a tautly made, high-adrenalin, contemporary French thriller; Franck is an anti-hero sufficiently engrossing for audiences to overlook the impossible chases and bone-busting violence. The heroine, Claire (Alice Taglioni), is a tough, smart detective who begins to suspect the truth.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The 1932 film starring Fredric March is the classic screen adaptation, but this 1920 silent movie (out on Blu-ray) is an interesting historical footnote. John Barrymore (who was a versatile actor in talking pictures) plays Jekyll and Hyde, whose weirdly melodramatic transformation illustrates the idea of the evil in our nature freeing itself from the good. Better still is the bonus material, including a 1911 short that nicely condenses Robert Louis Stevenson’s story into 11 minutes.


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