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by Nigel M Smith
August 14, 2012 10:35 AM
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Why 'The Raid' Tops Indiewire's 6 DVD/Blu-ray Picks This Week

"The Raid: Redemption" Sony Pictures Classics
This week on DVD and Blu-ray: the foreign action film that puts its American counterparts to shame; one of the most gruesome films ever to come out of Australia; Ben Wheatley's critically acclaimed follow up to "Down Terrace"; a Cuban zombie blast; a black-and-white vampire oldie; and a harrowing first person account of the Holocaust.
 

#1. "The Raid: Redemption"

If "The Raid: Redemption" is anything to go by, the Indonesians do action way better than we do (with help from a Welsh director). A hit at the indie box office, where it did solid numbers despite opening the same weekend as "The Hunger Games," "The Raid: Redemption" revolves around an elite task force's attempt to permeate a safe house filled with criminals in the slums of Jakarta. As the battle rages on with Special Forces leader Rama (Iko Uwais) at the helm, the druglord watches from his top-floor lair via a group of monitors.

"Bones break, blood flows and swift, excessively complicated fight choreography puts virtually everything released in North America since 'The Bourne Ultimatum' to instant shame," wrote Eric Kohn in his glowing review. "'The Raid: Redemption' stands out not only because of the speed of its execution but also because of the number of onscreen deaths portrayed with relentless unease. Director Gareth Evans exploits violence for the sake of entertainment along with the best of them, but he never makes it easy to watch. I swear my face hurt coming out of the theater."

Extras: Audio commentary with Evans; 6 behind-the-scenes video blogs; "Behind the Music" featurette; "An Evening with Gareth Evans, Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese" featurette; "An Anatomy of a Scene" featurette; "In Conversation with Gareth Evans and Mike Shinoda" featurette; and "Inside the Score" trailer teaser for Mike Shinoda's first feature score.


 

#2. "Kill List"

"Kill List," Ben Wheatley's follow-up to critically acclaimed debut "Down Terrace," has been generating love from horror aficionados since premiering at last year's SXSW. Bloody Disgusting went so far as to dub it "the best horror film of 2011," while Indiewire's Eric Kohn called the film a "brutally unsettling masterpiece that you need to see twice." One thing's for certain: "Kill List" will rattle your nerves. The film follows Jay (Neil Maskell), an ex-soldier-turned-contract killer who is pressured into a new assignment by his old partner following a disastrous hit job in Kiev. As they set out on their latest series of hits, it soon becomes clear that Jay isn't in the best headspace to handle the job. All the while, strange things begin happening; among those, a number of his hits start humbly thanking Jay for taking their lives. The whole sordid tale builds to a horrifying climax that critics (for the most part) have been kind enough not to reveal.

READ MORE: 'Kill List' Director Ben Wheatley Talks About 'That' Ending and Why the Film's So Personal

Extras: Audio commentary with Wheatley; audio commentary featuring actors Neil Maskell, MyAnna Buring and Michael Smiley; three interview segements with the producers; an the eight-minute featurette "The Making of Kill List."

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1 Comment

  • Corbyn | August 15, 2012 11:36 PMReply

    I saw the previews for The Raid and I have to say it’s very intriguing. It’s a man’s movie; it’s non-stop action and a angry, riveting plot. The fighting sequences in this movie look ridiculous! tried to reserve the movie at my local kiosk but it’s not available because they’ve all been rented. It kind of makes me wonder how many copies are in one machine. So a Dish co-worker suggested trying Blockbuster @ Home which delivers the movies straight to my door. Blockbuster even allowed me to reserve a copy! How awesome is that? It cuts the unneeded trips to the kiosk and saves me some gas too. I’m sure I won’t be disappointed by this movie and I’m looking forward to kicking back and relaxing this weekend. Kill List sounds like it will be an interesting movie. I find that genre mash-ups appeal to me and I’m sure this one won’t be any different. I love movies that keep me guessing, on the edge of my seat, anticipating the next scene. I think I might just have a guy’s movie night and see if we all like it as much as I think we will.