With Christmas just a day away, the home video industry has taken a hiatus of sorts; there’s only two releases of note this week:
“Insidious: Chapter 2,” the sequel to 2010’s horror-thriller in which a family tried to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further. Here, the haunted Lambert family seeks to uncover the mysterious childhood secret that has left them dangerously connected to the spirit world. They must rely on familiar allies to exile the demons that follow them and unearth the secret before the evil continues its deadly rampage. Extras include two featurettes: “Peripheral Vision: Behind the Scenes” and “Ghostly Transformation” (on how the actors were transformed into ghosts in The Further through make-up effects). The Blu-ray version adds “Haunted Hospital: On Location,” actor “Leigh Whannell’s Insidious Journal,” and webisodes. Directed by James Wan and starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson. From Sony.
Korean action director Ryoo Seung-wan takes on East-meets-West-double-agent intrigue in the breakneck and bloody thriller “The Berlin File” (2013 — South Korea). Exposed during an illegal arms trade gone wrong in Berlin, Jong-seong, a North Korean “ghost” agent (who lives with his North Korean wife, a translator at the North Korean embassy in the German capital) finds himself in the crosshairs of an international manhunt involving South Korean intelligence agents, the North Koreans and the CIA. Everyone wants him dead, especially one tenacious South Korean agent who goes after him with a vengeance and a vicious rival North Korean agent who tracks down Jong-seong and implicates his wife as a double agent. Not knowing who to trust anymore, Jong-seong gets caught between his love of country and his wife. A bit muddled, perfunctory and slow at times, the film will nevertheless please fans of Asian action films with is spectacular action set pieces. Stars Jung-woo Ha, Suk-kyu Han, Seung-beom Ryu and Gianna Jun. Extras include deleted scenes and a behind-the-scenes featurette. From CJ Entertainment.
Merry Christmas One and All!