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A Brief History of Time, In Fear, Wicked Blood



A Brief History of Time (G)


Errol Morris' meditative spotlight on the life of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (named after Hawking's seminal 1988 treatise on black holes) is nearly as deep and trance-inducing as space itself. Boasting an expansive Philip Glass score that seems to take the drone of the computerized voice Hawking speaks through and carry it to the next galaxy over, Time doesn't insist on its educational or biographical value. Indeed, Morris' 1992 exploration of Planet Hawking is more a glance at his rocky terrain than an in-depth soil analysis. But it does feature his mother, who's a remarkable storyteller, and several tweed-clad academic colleagues who roast and admire Hawking with equal aplomb. This DVD debut is skimpy on extras and updates, like the fact that Hawking now claims black holes do not exist as previously visualized, but that hardly matters with such a compelling subject. — Justin Strout


In Fear (R)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

The British thriller In Fear is about as scary as taking a drive in the Irish countryside and getting lost. Because that is exactly what goes on here for 85 minutes. Two crazy kids in lust on their way to a music festival find themselves going around in circles while driving the back-roads in search of a bed-and-breakfast. As they find themselves without a GPS, a map or a clue, they also become aware of an unseen force that is continually screwing with them. Despite strong lead performances by Iain De Caestecker and Alice Englert, the movie just drives around aimlessly, and by the time the twist comes along, you'll be snoozing soundly in the backseat with your shoes off, still miles away from Grandma's place. It's a real trial to stay awake through this duo's survivalist banterings as they look to outrun whatever wants them dead. Just wake me when it's over. — Louis Fowler


Wicked Blood (NR)

Entertainment One

Breaking Bad meets Sons of Anarchy, kind of, in this redneck crime-thriller starring, of all people, former Little Miss Sunshine Abigail Breslin in a darling attempt to prove that she can handle mature roles. Don't worry, she can't, but watching her wrestle with it is half the fun of the flick. She's a teen trash-heap (helped none by badly written character development) who loves to play chess with her methed-out uncle. When she's in need of some quick cash, she goes to work for her scary other uncle, running cowboy crack. When Breslin falls for an outlaw biker who also happens to be a rival meth trafficker — of course he is! — a ridiculously dumb variation of what I'm guessing is a Southern-fried Romeo and Juliet plays out, only with more shoot-outs and overdoses and far less gravitas from director Mark Young. Wicked Blood is not a bad movie, just a wicked stupid one. — Louis Fowler

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