The Forever Purge

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Universal;
Horror;
Box Office $44.54 million;
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray, $44.98 UHD BD;
Rated ‘R’ for strong/bloody violence, and language throughout.
Stars Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta, Cassidy Freeman, Leven Rambin, Josh Lucas, Will Patton.

The fifth entry in the “Purge” franchise, The Forever Purge is the kind of horror movie that results when filmmakers who don’t seem to understand economics want to shove in a message about economics.

But that’s pretty par for the course for this franchise, which depicts a dystopian future in which a fascist American government makes all crime legal for one night a year in order for the population to cleanse itself of aggression.

The Forever Purge picks up following the events of 2016’s The Purge: Election Year, a politically naïve film about a challenger to the system running for president. By the end of it, she wins and the Purge is ostensibly outlawed. So, as the beginning of this film explains, eight years later the country votes the fascists back into power and they reinstate the Purge, which off the bat is a pretty clunky way to continue the storyline of the franchise.

That’s because the plot of The Forever Purge doesn’t take place during Purge night as the other films do, but in the aftermath of a Purge, as an underground movement of disgruntled citizens decides the Purge should be permanent. So it could just as easily stemmed from the attempt to ban the Purge from the last film. But that’s not the approach employed by screenwriter (and series creator) James DeMonaco.

So the film begins with a pair of migrants fleeing the Mexican cartels and settling as laborers in Texas. One of them ends up working for a rancher (Josh Lucas) who is depicted as slightly racist. After Purge night comes and goes, the Purger movement rises up, killing anyone they perceive as un-American, or who they just don’t like. One of them is a white ranch-hand whose dissatisfaction with his lot in life leads him to equate being paid a salary and a bonus to slave labor for some reason, so he tries to take over the ranch, leading to a bloody confrontation that ends with the rancher family and the migrants heading south to seek refuge in Mexico, evading racist purge groups along the way.

The attempts at social commentary by trying to put a twist on current political issues seems clever on the surface, but the allegory doesn’t hold up to actual real-world scrutiny. It’s ultimately just an excuse for some relatively effective sequences of action violence anyway. But the premise is wearing real thin at this point.

The Blu-ray offers a few skimpy extras, with an eight-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, a two-minute featurette about the Purger costumes, the film’s trailer, a mundane minute-and-a-half deleted scene, and storyboards for an expanded opening sequence.

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Warner Releasing ‘Swamp Thing’ DC Universe Series Digitally Dec. 2, on Disc Feb. 11

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Swamp Thing: The Complete Series for digital download Dec. 2, and on Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 11.

The short-lived series ran for 10 episodes on the DC Universe streaming service in the middle of 2019.

Based on the DC Comics characters created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, “Swamp Thing” follows Dr. Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed) as she investigates a deadly swamp-born virus in Louisiana and encounters Swamp Thing (Derek Mears), an elemental supernatural force who seeks to return balance to the natural world.

The cast also includes Virginia Madsen, Andy Bean, Henderson Wade, Maria Sten, Jeryl Prescott, Jennifer Beals and Will Patton.

The Blu-ray edition will include a digital copy.

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‘Halloween’ to Stalk Digital Dec. 28, Disc Jan. 15 From Universal

Halloween, the latest sequel to the horror franchise, will come out on digital (including Movies Anywhere) Dec. 28 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Jan. 15 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film earned $158.8 million in theaters.

The film takes place four decades after Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, reprising her role in the 1978 John Carpenter classic) narrowly escaped the masked Michael Myers’ brutal killing spree. She now lives in a heavily guarded home on the edge of Haddonfield, where she’s spent decades preparing for Michael’s potential return. After being locked up in an institution, Myers manages to escape when a bus transfer goes terribly wrong, leading to chaos in the same town he preyed on decades earlier. Laurie now faces a terrifying showdown when the deranged killer returns for her and her family — but this time, she’s ready for him.

The film also stars Judy Greer (Ant-Man and The WaspJurassic World), Andi Matichak (“Underground”), Will Patton (Armageddon, The Punisher) and Virginia Gardner (Project Almanac, “Runaways”).

Bonus features on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital include deleted and extended scenes and the featurettes “Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween,” “The Original Scream Queen,” “The Sound of Fear,” “Journey of the Mask” and “The Legacy of Halloween.”

The film will be available on 4K Ultra HD in a combo pack which includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and digital. The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the same bonus features as the Blu-ray version, all in 4K resolution.