DVD Zone

A great night with any of these new releases

A towering performance from Viggo Mortensen is the standout feature of Good – a World War II drama about a professor torn between his career and a Jewish friend. This ambitious adaptation of the Cecil Philip Taylor play attempts to examine how many apparently “good” Germans were drawn into anti-Semitism.

Mortensen wrestles with his conscience and his weaknesses with convincing effect but around him the screenplay rather flags, resulting in a sensitive but rather dull reflection on a dark time.

Last House on the Left is a Dennis Iliadis remake of the Wes Craven seventies horror. Four criminals brutally attack and rape a pair of young girls before taking refuge in a nearby house which, sure enough, turns out to be inhabited by the parents of one of the victims.

The scene is set then for suitably gory vengeance to be sought. As you might have detected in recent months, this gruesome fare isn’t entirely my cup of tea — particularly the kind of harrowing and unnecessary rape scenes we see here.

But overall this, in fairness, is executed very well and might well be that rarest of beasts – a remake that improves upon the original.

In District 13 – Ultimatum, David Belle and Cyril Raffaelli return to the lawless streets of the original movie in an attempt to diffuse the gang warfare among five different ethnic neighbourhoods. There’s generous helpings of corruption, drug trafficking and secret service chicanery in this nicely-paced thriller, though the sequel doesn’t emulate the dizzying action sequences and tighter plot of the original.

Hell Ride is a homage to sixties’ biker movies that follows a trio of gang members on a revenge mission across the Arizona desert. There are turns from Vinnie Jones. Dennis Hopper and David Carradine in this stylised, tongue in cheek affair that’s heavy on post-modern, knowing references and light on plot or entertainment. On yer bike!

Gamezone

Heroes Over Europe, PS3

World War II combat simulation with an arcade feel. Play four different pilots in a series of dog-fighting missions. Unfortunately, neither graphics nor playability do the game justice and there’s really not enough variety to keep you interested long-term.

Spyborgs, Wii

All-action combat fare as you punch, kick and shoot your way through a series of enemies anxious to invade the Spyborgs' HQ. Well-presented graphically, tasks are varied and it’s an easy title to pick up and play. Marks off for limited enemies and an uninspired storyline.

Zombie Apocalypse, Xbox 360

The dead have risen en masse and it’s your job to shoot ‘em well and truly back under the ground. Hugely addictive shooter with great selection of enemies and weapons. For the ultimate experience go online for co-op mode and get some assistance in dealing with the undead.

 

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