New Releases: Guerrilla moviemaking at Disney parks in ‘Escape From Tomorrow’

Escape From Tomorrow

Available on VOD beginning Oct. 11

A sensation when it debuted at Sundance this year, writer-director Randy Moore’s film stars Roy Abramsohn as a stressed-out family man who endures a harrowing, surreal day at an amusement park, where he keeps seeing shadowy figures and discreet decadence. The big hook is that Moore shot most of it guerrilla style, taking his cameras, cast and crew into the actual Disneyland and Walt Disney World, posing as a tourist. Frankly, the backstory is better than the film itself, which is repetitious and more than a little heavyhanded in its critique of Disney’s power and omnipresence. That said, the use of actual locations does give this movie a real charge — as does the striking black-and-white imagery, which is enhanced by trippy computer effects.

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Europa Report

Magnolia, $26.98; Blu-ray, $29.98

Another example of the innovative, intelligent sci-fi films that have become blessedly frequent in recent years, director Sebastián Cordero’s half-mockumentary/half-found-footage work reconstructs a doomed space mission using “news reports,” “interviews” and “on-ship surveillance recordings.” The result feels a little drier than the typical interstellar thriller, but “Europa Report” also achieves a rare verisimilitude with its documentary re-creations. Even though it features recognizable actors (including Sharlto Copley, Michael Nyqvist and Embeth Davidtz), it looks like a real mission, which only adds to the drama when things start to go very wrong. The DVD and Blu-ray add deleted scenes and a featurette about the film’s special effects.

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The Hangover Part III

Warner Bros., $28.98; Blu-ray, $35.99

Available on VOD beginning Oct. 8

The good news is that this is better than the exhausting “Part II,” which merely repeated the plot of the first film in a new location. The bad news is that the third film is still pretty dire. The bad-luck buddies played by Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis return to Las Vegas (after a detour through Mexico) and get embroiled in a caper plot involving their old nemesis Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong). This is more or less just a loud, violent, generic action movie, with few laughs and little rooting interest in any of the principals, who have long since ceased to be sympathetic and have become merely grotesque. The outtakes, extended scenes and tongue-in-cheek featurettes on the DVD and Blu-ray are just as tiresome.

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The Purge

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

Available on VOD beginning Oct. 8


Sci-fi and horror films don’t always have to be good to become big hits; sometimes they can just be interesting. Writer-director James DeMonaco’s low-budget thriller predicts a future America where all of the nation’s major problems are solved thanks to a government-sanctioned 12-hour annual nationwide crime spree. Ethan Hawke is very good as a well-to-do family man who sells security systems, and when the hero’s own home is threatened during “the purge,” the movie raises provocative questions about whom society protects and who gets hung out to dry. The DVD and Blu-ray tack on a featurette that explores this idea further.

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After Earth

Sony, $30.99; Blu-ray, $35.99

Available on VOD beginning Oct. 8

American Horror Story: Asylum

20th Century Fox, $49.98; Blu-ray, $59.99


Stuck in Love

Millennium, $28.99; Blu-ray, $29.99

Available on VOD beginning Oct. 8


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