DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED [Blu-ray]
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The British thriller The Disappearance of Alice Creed is a taut exercise in psychological manipulation, driven by three forceful performances, most notably actress Gemma Arteton (Clash of the Titans) as the titular abductee. On the surface, Disappearance seems to be cut from familiar cloth: ex-cons Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes) and Martin Compston plot out and then execute the kidnapping of Arteton, the daughter of a wealthy businessman, for a sizable ransom. But as the minutes tick by in their dreary holding cell of a flat, relationships develop in unexpected ways, as do shifts in allegiances and motivations. To reveal these seismic changes would be to unleash spoilers of epic proportions, but suffice it to say that few will have expected the film's frenzied conclusion. Directed by first-timer J Blakeson with an eye towards pacing and atmosphere, The Disappearance of Alice Creed should please fans of adult suspense pictures with its smart scripting (by Blakeson) and fearless turns by its cast, especially Arteton in a role that requires her to play, by turns, victim and perpetrator; the DVD includes commentary by Blakeson, who discusses his influences (among them, Alien, interestingly enough), as well as two extended scenes with commentary and a collection of comic outtakes. A five-minute storyboard comparison, which shows preproduction sketches of the opening alongside the finished product, and the stateside trailer round out the extras. --Paul Gaita
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PARENTAL GUIDE: F-bombs, nudity (Gemma Arterton) plus some male nudity. Sexual themes.
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Extremely tense, beautifully shot, generally well (if not quite brilliantly) acted, this is a clever and effective
exercise on making an exciting film on a tiny budget. Read more