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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Home Movies/Out on Digital: July 10

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Haunt

The setup is ’80s horror: the bold house whose newly arrived family experiences strange goings on—the teens see it, not their myopic parents. Dark images flit at the edge of sight; jolting moments of fright; a curse clings to the place like mold… What’s interesting about Haunt is the striking juxtaposition of bad memories with the anxious present, and the horror of an abusive father and his teenage daughter with the metaphysical haunting of ghosts.

Pandora’s Promise

Some environmentalists concluded that given the bad options, nuclear energy was the way forward. And then the poorly designed Fukushima plant imploded after being swept by a tsunami. Robert Stone’s documentary, Pandora’s Promise, rehearses the arguments against nuclear power and hears from activists who braved the ire of their peers by coming out in favor of nukes. They include prestigious figures such as Richard Rhodes, who argue that power companies never developed safer, cleaner nuclear energy.

■ “Barney Miller: The Complete Fifth Season”

“Barney Miller” was a little ahead of its time for multi-cultural casting with its white, black and Asian police squad; in other ways, this ’70s sitcom was of its era, confined within the single set where most episodes unfolded. Of course, the enclosure of the NYPD precinct sets comic boundaries and was integral to the stories. Winning both Emmy and Peabody awards, “Barney Miller” was funny yet often thoughtful in its handling of crime and punishment.