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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Ireland > Vampire > Drama > Child > British TV > Crime > Oil > Gasoline > Fraud > Kidnapping > From The Dark (2014/MPI/Dark Sky Blu-ray)/The Missing (2013/Starz!/Anchor Bay Blu-ray Set)/A Most Violent Year (2014/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Supremacy (2014/Well Go USA Blu-ray)

From The Dark (2014/MPI/Dark Sky Blu-ray)/The Missing (2013/Starz!/Anchor Bay Blu-ray Set)/A Most Violent Year (2014/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Supremacy (2014/Well Go USA Blu-ray)

Picture: B-/B-/B/B- Sound: B-/B/B/B- Extras: C/C/B/C Main Programs: C+/B-/B-/C+

Here's the latest thrillers to know about...

Conor McMahon's From The Dark (2014) is the latest European horror import, this time from Ireland in a cycle of good couples getting lost on a long drive, even if they have GPS tracking on them. This one have an opening with a man accidentally digging up something evil, then comes the young couple to have to deal with whatever the force is. I was impressed the makers got 90 minutes out of this for the low budget they had here, but they do try and make it work, resulting in one of the more watchable such entries of late.... especially in such a glut.

However, despite some good shots and efforts by the actors, this only goes so far. At least it was ambitious.

Extras include a feature length audio commentary track by McMahon, Behind The Scenes featurette and an Original Theatrical Trailer.complicated

The Missing (2013) is a very pleasant surprise of a TV crime mini-series with James Nesbitt (The Hobbit Trilogy, Waking Ned Divine, TV's Touching Evil, TV's Murphy's Law) and Frances O'Connor (Truth About Emanuel, Windtalkers) play a couple vacationing in a small French town during a celebration when their son disappears. They look but do not find him, so did he just walk away, or was he kidnapped? Then things get more complucated in this 8-part series that manages not to wallow in child exploitation, become a cold police procedural and tell its story in a smart way.

Director Tom Shankland helms the whole show, which is a big plus and the supporting cast (including Jason Flemyng) is really good throughout. I liked this up until the last episode, which stretches things out a bit, but I can see why the show is getting such acclaim... it is that good and definitely worth a look and your time, particularly on Blu-ray.

Extras include a Behind The Scenes and two additional Making Of featurettes.

J.C. Chandor's A Most Violent Year (2014) takes place in 1981 New York City, et al, involving a businessman (Oscar Isaac) with questionable dealings in the oil, gasoline & fuel business, trying to build his company as tankers are being hijacked at gunpoint. He has his children and wife (Jessica Chastain) plus a smart lawyer (Albert Brooks in one of his best roles) trying to get him through the situation, but it is a rough road ahead in this decent film by the director of Margin Call and All Is Lost.

No doubt the film crosses into Scorsese/New York School of filmmaking territory, but it has some fine moments and though I did not buy some of it (and it does not do enough with or bring alive enough of the actual craziness that year in the city), it is one of 2014's better films in a year that was more disappointing than it needed to be. This would be solid in any year and David Oyelowo also stars.

Extras include a feature length audio commentary track by Chandor & Producers Neal Dodson & Anna Gerb, Deleted Scenes, 3 in-depth Behind The Scenes featurette and an Original Theatrical Trailer.

Deon Taylor's Supremacy (2014) is a gimmicky drama when a neo-Nazi criminal (Joe Anderson) gets out of a tough prison, only to kidnap an African American family (where Danny Glover and Lela Rochon come in among others) and what could have been a bold, compelling drama becomes a stuck-in-a movie that has much drama, but that is uneven and I did not buy early on. If the screenplay has some other points, they do not work out like the makers think they do.

Derek Luke has a good turn as a cop who is connected to the young lady of the house under siege, but that also is among the many cliches the long 111 minutes offers. Too bad, because with some discipline and concentration, this could have been interesting. The supporting cast is not bad either.

Extras include a Behind The Scenes featurette and Original Theatrical Trailer.

All four productions are digital shoots with the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Dark, 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on Missing and 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on Year and Supremacy having their share of limits and flaws, though Year tends to be more consistent and stand out from the four. Missing has some of the oddest flaws, but tries to have some of the most interesting character.

The lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix on Year is as solid as anything here, with the other three Blu-rays offering DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes. Missing can match it, but Dark and Supremacy tend to have inconsistent soundfields.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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