Milan’s Box Office Picks and New on DVD

Now Playing:

“The Purge” – An intriguing premise cobbled by so-so execution. Strip away the high-concept veneer and it’s basically another reprise of Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 cult classic, “Straw Dogs.” As the imperiled couple at the center of the drama, Ethan Hawke and Lena (“Game of Thrones”)Headey are better than the thinly developed script. (C+)

New on DVD:

“Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” – Jeremy Renner (who deserves better) and Gemma Arterton play grown-up versions of the fairy tale siblings in this overblown and underwhelming CGI splatter-fest. There’s a germ of a

good idea here, but the clunky execution is fatally lacking in both style and wit. No wonder it sat on the shelf for nearly two years. (C-)

“Oz: The Great and Powerful” – Disappointing “Wizard of Oz” prequel from “Spider-Man” director Sam Raimi that, by virtue of some egregious miscasting (particularly the odious Michelle Williams and a wan James Franco), isn’t nearly the magical experience it could have been. Visually, it’s a dazzler. But as a compelling storybook adventure? Not so much. (C+)

“Snitch” – “Inspired by true events” (whatever that means), this Dwayne Johnson vehicle suffices as a passable time-killer. Just don’t expect to remember it the next day. The movie’s saving grace is a typically

classy supporting performance by Susan Sarandon as the hard-nosed federal prosecutor working with Johnson’s blue-collar lug to help get his wimpy 18-year-old son released from prison. What Oscar winner Sarandon is doing in a fairly standard-issue “Rock” actioner is a mystery only her agent could solve. (C+)

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