DVD ROUND-UP

Crime discs dis­sected

Crime Scene - - CONTENTS - Tate Tay­lor By KEVIN HAR­LEY

A look at the lat­est movie re­leases, in­clud­ing Noc­tur­nal An­i­mals and Jack Reacher 2.

You ex­pect high style from a film by a fash­ion de­signer, but Tom Ford also brings sub­stance to Noc­tur­nal An­i­mals, adapted from Austin Wright’s novel Tony And Su­san. When strug­gling writer Ed­ward (Jake Gyl­len­haal) sends his novel to his suc­cess­ful but neu­rotic ex, Su­san (Amy Adams), we’re plunged into a deep-noir night­mare of mur­der, re­venge and mar­i­tal-melt­down metaphors. Jig­saw plots like this often emerge dis­jointed or sti­fled from within, so it’s to Ford’s credit that his lay­ered, lushly mounted meta-mys­tery packs its themes tight with sus­pense, feel­ing and ten­sion.

Pulpier plea­sures

drive Jack Reacher: Never Go Back... Tom

Cruise man­grap­ples again with the role of Lee Child’s exmil­i­tary hero. Be­ing Cruise, he also grap­ples with su­pe­ri­ors over a con­spir­acy, helped by the wo­man ( Co­bie

Smul­ders) in his old job and his maybe­daugh­ter (sparky sup­port from Danika Yarosh). Ed Zwick’s se­quel lacks a vil­lain to com­pare with its pre­de­ces­sor’s Werner Her­zog, but it ben­e­fits from a quasi­fam­ily dy­namic, chase-set­ting pac­ing and sev­eral amus­ing vari­ants on Cruise’s de­fault mode of running while wear­ing a grimly dogged ex­pres­sion.

Cruise’s co-lead in Edge Of To­mor­row is the best rea­son to catch mar­riage’n’mur­der mys­tery The Girl On The Train. Given strong sup­port from Ha­ley Ben­nett and Re­becca Fer­gu­son, Emily Blunt stars as Rachel, a win­dow-watch­ing com­muter

en­tan­gled in mur­der en­quiries. The Help’s

per­haps wasn’t the best di­rec­tor to adapt Paula Hawkins’ novel – damn­ing com­par­isons with David Fincher’s slickly scald­ing Gone Girl are un­avoid­able. But Blunt’s em­pa­thetic study of an off-therails al­co­holic makes the trip worth­while.

An­other week, an­other “girl” mys­tery, this time art­house he­roes the Dar­denne

brothers’ so­cial­re­al­ist am­a­teur’tec yarn The Un­known

Girl. Adèle Haenel is note-per­fect as Jenny, a guilt-racked doc­tor in­ves­ti­gat­ing a girl’s mur­der; she didn’t let said girl into her prac­tice af­ter hours, so takes re­spon­si­bil­ity for find­ing her killer. The mys­tery is mid­dling and the plot loose, but the Dar­dennes’ sub­tle in­sights into char­ac­ter and com­mu­nity take up any slack.

Sub­tlety dies hard in Mes­rine di­rec­tor JeanFrançois Richet’s pleas­ingly trashy Blood Fa­ther,

Mel Gib­son’s re­turn to the rag­ing pa­tri­arch front­line. As a trailer-dwelling ex-con pro­tect­ing his es­tranged daugh­ter from gang­bangers, Gib­son at­tacks his come­back like a starv­ing Rot­tweiler un­leashed in an abat­toir. Richet mar­shals the mayhem with mus­cu­lar swag­ger.

For gen­tler fare, warm your hands over a Blu-

ray reis­sue of The Blue Lamp from 1950. Basil Dear­den’s Eal­ing pic rein­vents Dirk Bog­a­rde as a hood­lum who shoots a po­lice­man – not just any cop­per but Jack

Warner’s Ge­orge Dixon (of Dock Green). A man­hunt fol­lows but Dear­den’s drama is more per­sua­sive as a tea-cosy homage to British bob­bies, a feel­good por­trait made yet cosier by the knowl­edge of (spoiler!) Dixon’s re­vival for TV’S Dixon Of Dock Green.

The mink-clad pin­na­cle of re­cent re-re­leases is Cri­te­rion’s reis­sue of 1945’s Mil­dred Pierce, a noir-ish melo­drama of mother love and mur­der. Casablanca di­rec­tor Michael

Cur­tiz and lead Joan Craw­ford whip up a froth of high­style soap from a flash­back-driven tale of moth­er­daugh­ter con­flict, com­plete with smok­ing guns and hot pies.

Fi­nally, any­one still suf­fer­ing from Heisen­berg with­drawal can try Brad Fur­man’s tight-paced, ter­rif­i­cally played thriller The In­fil­tra­tor. Break­ing Bad’s Bryan Cranston makes lay­ered work of Bob Mazur, a fed work­ing un­der­cover against Colom­bian drug car­tels. John Leguizamo

and Diane Kruger pro­vide ter­rific back-up, but Cranston steals it with his por­trait of a good man strug­gling to stay clean (and alive) in a life-or­death sit­u­a­tion.

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