The Purge (2013)

The Purge

(R) 1h 25 min

Plot Summary: In the future, a wealthy family is held hostage for harboring the target of a murderous syndicate during the Purge, a 12-hour period in which any and all crime is legalized.

Director & Writer: James DeMonaco

Stars: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder

Serious Jest: animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd)animated beer mug 25% (transparent bkgrd) (Must See) From a strictly artistic standpoint, this is not a great movie.  Some of the scenes are hokey, and the character development lacks enough depth to inspire your investment in the protagonists. However,  its plot is pretty unique, the socioeconomic conversations it inspires could go on for days, and, frankly, it’s a pop culture icon (as we discussed in Episode 19 of the podcast, and as further detailed in IMDB’s The Purge trivia page, this film has inspired a few major horror maze/experience productions). Hawke manages to transcend the script with his usual intensity, and it’s pretty different to see Headey in such a morally upright and vulnerable role.

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What Doesn’t Kill You (2008)

(R) 100 mins

Plot Summary: Two childhood friends from South Boston turn to crime as a way to get by, ultimately causing a strain in their personal lives and their friendship.

Cast: Mark RuffaloEthan HawkeAmanda PeetWill LymanBrian GoodmanDonnie WahlbergAngela FeatherstoneEdward LynchBates Wilder

Director: Brian Goodman

Serious Jest:  (Must See)  I started watching this film with no idea what it was about.  I had added it to my Netflix queue a while back, and forgotten why.  Right from the first scene, though, I knew I had found a hidden gem.  According to Wikipedia, the movie premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, and was released on a very small scale in December 2008 due to the collapse of its distributor, Yari Film Group.  It is a straight-forward crime drama, showcasing the struggle of gangsters who want to change their lives.  It is set apart, however, by the fact that it is based on Goodman’s real life until the mid-1990s.  Some guys deal with their demons with telling their story in a meeting…Goodman made a badass movie about his…and Ruffalo, Hawke, and the rest of the cast (including Goodman) played the hell out of their roles.