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DVD reviews: 'Trance' and 'The Silence'

| Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 7:58 p.m.
James McAvoy stares down the opposition in Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle's mind-bending new film 'Trance.'

“Trance” (2013, R, 101 min., $22.98) Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle's “Trance” is a mind-bending thriller that will have many viewers recalling the different layers presented in the 2010 Christopher Nolan flick “Inception.” Boyle's storyline doesn't work around dreams, though, instead choosing hypnosis. The screenplay has an auction house worker named Simon (James McAvoy) working with a criminal named Franck (Vincent Cassel) to heist a piece of art that's worth millions. Simon goes off the plan on the day of the robbery, and Franck is forced to knock him out. As a result, the artwork is lost. A beautiful hypnotist (Rosario Dawson) is brought in to retrieve the location of the art from Simon's brain, but, as it turns out, she's no stranger to this group. This isn't Boyle's best, but it's a fun film that requires more than one viewing to catch the whole neo noir story. It's a movie that will force viewers to think, and that's never a bad thing. The extras available on Blu-ray are good, and the disc includes a few making-of featurettes, a short film, deleted scenes and some assorted Boyle background information. Standard DVD packages also hold two making-of featurettes. 3 Stars.

“The Silence” (2010, NR, 118 min., $29.95) Few thrillers offer as many silent chills as filmmaker Baran bo Odar's “The Silence,” an import from Germany that will undoubtedly be remade by some American film company in the next few years. Adapted from a book of the same name by Jan Costin Wagner, the picture takes us into the middle of a terrifying scene in which a man has just killed a young girl. With nothing to go on, the cops never find the killer. The investigation heats up again 23 years later, when a young girl is killed in the same eerie manner. The police tie the two crimes together, but still have plenty of holes to fill in the investigation. That is until a few clues lead them to a suspect with a guilty conscience. Is it the right guy, though? “The Silence” is a methodical thriller, moving at a slow pace to offer up some incredibly tense situations. It lacks the flash of most, but it really gets the job done, offering viewers a look at the crime from both sides. Extras are about the same on standard DVD and Blu-ray. Two additional films from Odar, interviews with the cast and crew and a handful of TV spots are available. 3 Stars.

“Twixt” (2011, R, 88 min., $22.98) Francis Ford Coppola, the filmmaker behind “The Godfather” franchise, returns to the director's chair for this picture about a writer on a book tour who uncovers a grisly murder. As he looks further into the killing, he's confronted by nightmares. Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern and Elle Fanning star.

“Ginger & Rosa” (2012, PG-13, 90 min., $19.98) Elle Fanning and Alice Englert turn in noteworthy performances in a drama written and directed by Sally Potter. The coming-of-age picture tracks two teen friends forced to deal with the sexual revolution and the threat of nuclear war throughout the 1960s. Annette Benning and Oliver Platt also star.

“Welcome to the Punch” (2013, R, 99 min., $24.98) When a master criminal (Mark Strong) is forced to come out of hiding, it gives a detective (James McAvoy) with a grudge a second opportunity to put that criminal behind bars.

“New World” (2013, NR, 134 min., $24.98) Hoon-Jung Park wrote and directed this hard-hitting look at the violent Korean underground. The picture picks up after the death of a top mob boss forces the police to pounce on the criminal organization. The cops have an undercover agent posing as a gang member, but the bad guys are getting suspicious.

“Love and Honor” (2013, PG-13, 100 min., $24.98) Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, this romantic drama tells the tale of a young soldier who's dumped by his hometown sweetheart. Instead of moving on, the soldier returns to town to try to win her back. Austin Stowall, Liam Hemsworth, Aimee Teegarden and Teresa Palmer star.

“Starbuck” (2011, R, 109 min., $24,98) A 42-year-old man looks to take control of his life in this original comedy written and directed by Ken Scott. First order of business is dealing with a past in which the habitual sperm donor discovers that he's the biological father of 533 children. Now, 142 of them want to know his identity. Patrick Huard is in the lead role.

“The Wedding Chapel” (2013, NR, 103 min., $14.93) A painter looking to get away from her problems returns home to spend some time with her mom. While there, Sara (Emmanuelle Vaugier) gets wrapped up in an effort to conserve a local church. The process gives her a whole new outlook on life. Mark Deklin and Shelley Long star in supporting roles.

“Detention of the Dead” (2012, NR, 87 min., $19.98) Described as “Zombieland” meets “ The Breakfast Club,” Alex Craig Mann's horror comedy follows a group of teens trying to survive school after their classmates are all turned into zombies. The students put aside their differences to fight off an army of the undead once they get out of detention.

“Eve of Destruction” (2013, NR, 173 min., $19.97) Treat Williams, Steven Weber and Christina Cox have key roles in this miniseries that originally aired on ReelzChannel earlier this year. Two scientists looking for a new power source have their attempts sabotaged by eco-terrorists, and it leads to an electrifying disaster that could destroy the world.

“Venus and Serena” (2012, PG-13, 99 min., $26.98)

“Smart Cookies” (2012, NR, 119 min., $14.93)

“Nicky Deuce” (2012, NR, 67 min., $14.93)

TV ON DVD

“Superjail! Season 3” (animated series, one disc, 10 episodes, $19.97)

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season 3” (animated series, four discs, 47 episodes, $19.93)

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