This Week In Home Entertainment: The Purge, After Earth, The Hangover Part III And More
The Purge Blu-ray Combo Pack
The Purge is the most recent horror installation from the producer of Paranormal Activity and Sinister, and this one has the most ridiculous premise by far. It’s one thing to believe in ghosts and dreadful deities, but it’s another to believe in a world where crime is at the minimum because every year for 12 hours the government gives its citizens a pass and makes every sort of crime legal.
During that half day every year, rape is legal, murder is legal, break-ins are legal and all number of other crimes are more than possible, they are likely. For the upper class members of society, the goal, then, is safety. James (Ethan Hawke) and Mary Sandin (Lena Headey) are among this societal elite, thanks to James’ ability to sell high-tech security systems to his wealthy pals and acquaintances. We meet them just before the yearly purge, when the couple and their children are preparing to hunker down for the night.
While The Purge could provide a workable blueprint for an interesting story, its problems are numerous. The movie's biggest issue is that the motivations of all of its characters make little sense. Part of this may be that we don’t get enough build-up with the main characters. So when Hawke’s son (Max Burkholder) opens a door in the middle of the purge, letting in a stranger, there’s no real rhyme or reason behind his decision-making process. When neighbors turn on one another and cute college aged girls decide murder is gleeful, there's no lead-in to really explain why people can justify being a part of the purge. The film tries to tie in its basic premise with a lot of social issues in the U.S. today, but it really should have attempted ideas that are a little smaller in scale.
The Purge only really works well during the few moments when it is actually a home invasion story. Watching Hawke and the more timid Headey wander around and try to defend their home from intruders is intriguing and finally gives audiences the ability to really identify with the family. Additionally, the home invasion portion of the film offers a much quicker pace than the lead-in, and that portion of the film is extremely watchable. It’s just unfortunate that a lot of the film is spent on threatening speeches and some weird dogma.
You can order The Purge over at Amazon.
Best Special Feature: “Surviving the Night: The Making of The Purge is the only extra on the disc. I wouldn’t call it awesome, but since it’s the only extra, we’ll talk about it in this section. Apparently, the idea for the script came from writer and director James DeMonaco’s wife. He was having a bad case of road rage one day, and his wife stated something along the lines of it being nice if people could have “one a year.” DeMonaco thought that was a pretty dark statement, but it led into the script for the film.
When Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s The Purge Blu-ray is popped in, there are several trailers at the beginning of the disc. However, the set is super nice, offering a button at the bottom of the screen that allows buyers to directly connect with menu page, skipping the previews. I actually enjoy watching the trailers the first time I pop in a disc, but that button is really nice for repeat views.
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