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The Purge - Blu-ray Review

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The Purge - Blu-ray Review

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3 stars

“Blessed be the New Founders! Blessed be the new America!”

The Tea Party, born out of frustration from having their conservative voices and agenda ignored, finally have a movie they can offer as proof that no one is listening or at least those listening just don’t get their message.  The Purge with its pro-violence, pro-family, pro-gun stance offers up a somewhat snake-like criticism of a government – ran by large corporations – that allows a one day only, 12-hour purge of any amount of violence thought possible.

That’s right, according to writer/director James DeMonaco’s movie, one day a year the police force simply shuts down and lets all hell break loose in the streets.  Less government means more freedom, you see.  It’s completely up to the individual to protect his or her family from attack.  No one will stand in your way.  The government encouraging gun ownership and violence?  Sounds like a Tea Party orgy to me.

Usually, the targets are the homeless; the druggies; the undesirable elements in society.  Every loyal American is encouraged to participate.  The more the merrier, after all.  And, if you are carrying then, chances are, no one is going to mess with you.  It’s hard to believe the Tea Party would have an issue with this idea of defending yourself against the masses who threaten.   But, of course, they do.

The Purge is an extremely violent film with an extremely anti-violent message and the Tea Party members are quick to recognize their politics being shoved in their collective face.  Starring Ethan Hawke as a family man who sells security systems to the rich because the poor can’t afford them, the film opens on the eve of the purge and systematically details how the night goes wrong for his family who support the night because it is the patriotic thing to do.

A certain suspension of belief has to be involved in order to accept the fact that some kind of NRA-type agency has taken over the country.  Wait.  No, it doesn’t.  This is America.  We love our guns like we love our cars.  While much of the movie’s events are open to interpretation, there’s too much in it to see it as anything but a criticism of America as the Good Samaritan.  Little wonder then, that it was essentially eviscerated critically.

While the film’s plot – involving the unexpected sanctuary of actor Edwin Hodge after running through a gated community begging for help – is relatively predictable, there is enough gusto in its guts to be entirely watchable, if not a wee bit startling.  There are flaws in the storyline – holes you could drive a Mack truck through – but when actress Lena Headey takes the reigns and demands a “cease fire” you can’t help but see the logic running through the film’s veins.

How did we get here?  Go to France.  Go to Canada.  I bet you anything that their nightly news looks a lot more different than ours.  No violence.  No anger.  No frustration.  And this is where The Purge gets a lot of its terror from: a future of this sort isn’t that far out of the realm of possibility.  In many ways, we are already there.

Trayvon Martin anyone?

{2jtab: Film Details}

The Purge - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: R for strong disturbing violence and some language.
Runtime:
85 mins
Director
: James DeMonaco
Writer: James DeMonaco
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder
Genre
: Horror | Thriller
Tagline:
Survive the night.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Decriminalised Murder. An outlet for American Rage."
Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 7, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 8, 2013

Synopsis: If on one night every year, you could commit any crime without facing consequences, what would you do? In The Purge, a speculative thriller that follows one family over the course of a single night, four people will be tested to see how far they will go to protect themselves when the vicious outside world breaks into their home.

In an America wracked by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity—including murder—becomes legal. The police can't be called. Hospitals suspend help. It's one night when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment. On this night plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, one family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger comes knocking.

When an intruder breaks into James Sandin’s (Ethan Hawke) gated community during the yearly lockdown, he begins a sequence of events that threatens to tear a family apart. Now, it is up to James, his wife, Mary (Lena Headey), and their kids to make it through the night without turning into the monsters from whom they hide.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

The Purge - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
3 stars

3 stars



Blu-ray Experience
3 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - October 8, 2013
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, Spanish; French
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: DTS 5.1; Spanish: DTS 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Region-free

Universal’s The Purge is presented in a 1080p AVC transfer that accurately shows a wide variety of flesh tones and lighting schemes.  The level of detail is high enough that the viewer can easily see the makeup on the actors in the early daytime scenes.  Black levels are solid for the shots where the camera is really looking outside at night or into darkness.  Many shots are actually of the home’s security monitors, where the detail and black levels are appropriately reduced.  An immersive English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is provided and adequate enough for the disc.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Buyers get one sole supplemental item.  Composed of quick comments from the cast and the director about their thoughts on the movie, the behind-the-scenes featurette explains how the idea for the one night of violence allowed by the government came from a moment of road rage.  The cast members discuss their roles and the morality involved in the choices their characters make.

  • Surviving The Night: The Making of The Purge (9 min)

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