This week’s new DVDs feature truth, justice and the British way.
The screenplay by Nick Schenk and Bill Dubuque is carefully structured to bring father and son together. They put the characters on an emotional and judicial collision course that leaves both men battered and bruised. The pacing is just right so that any changes they experience feel carried by the forgiveness that often comes with the passing of time.
Director/writer David Ayer gives the actors plenty of room to not play soldiers, but also to show the people who exist inside those uniforms. A scene where the tank crew is given a few moments rest in a newly liberated town plays out with a haunting emotional tone that smoothly shifts from the excitement of young love to the bitter realities of war. There’s not as much fighting in the sequence, yet each moment is equally explosive.
The movie shows that war is brutal in the way it strips away the human spirit and leaves the participants reacting with a kind of prehistoric instinct for survival.
This latest season — just rolling out on PBS — finds the Crawley family and members of their staff facing the usual collection of emotional trials. The big difference is they are played out against the Roaring Twenties.
Dame Maggie Smith and Joanne Froggatt top a superb cast that also includes, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery .
The DVD set comes with more than 40 minutes of additional video.
Also new on DVD Jan. 27: