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DVD Shopping Bag: The East Blu-ray

Not the film I expected

By Robert T. Trate     October 08, 2013
Source: Mania.com


The East is out now on Blu-ray
© Fox Searchlight Pictures

When I first saw the trailer for The East I was hooked and hooked for one reason, Brit Marling. Now, before you think what you are thinking, no, it was not because of the way she looks. That doesn’t hurt, but it was after seeing her in Another Earth that I took notice of this actress. The story goes that she arrived in Hollywood and was getting offered the exact same type of role everywhere she went (Blonde in a Horror Movie). These were not the type of roles or movies she wanted to do. So, she started crafting her own films. The first one I saw was Another Earth and now, The East. However, this wasn’t the movie that I thought I was going to see. 

Here is the IMDB plot synopsis: “An operative (Marling) for an elite private intelligence firm finds her priorities changing dramatically after she is tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations”.

What I expected was a spy thriller type of film packed with espionage and intrigue. What I got instead was a thought provoking morality tale between what is wrong and what can be done to set it right. So forgive me, Maniacs, as I went outside our genre to deliver to you a film that is more a drama than anything else. 

Marling works for a private intelligence firm that is looking to infiltrate a group of Eco-Terrorists known as The East. This private firm makes sense, but I thought it strange to go outside the standard rookie undercover FBI agent plot device. Yet, immediately it made more sense. The government doesn’t have time to follow every group. Who would really be after Eco-Terrorists? Well, big business, of course. Marling is the firm’s first choice to locate and infiltrate The East. After a few days of living the counter culture lifestyle, she realizes that she has been following a federal agent. Clearly, she is out of her element. Through a course of events, she inadvertently meets up with a member of The East group. Once there, she encounters a completely different culture and starts to fall into their way of thinking. 

Again, this is really nothing new. Marling’s character, Sarah, lives as they do, eats what they eat, and starts to fall for their charismatic leader, True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgard. Yet, when she is out on her first mission with The East (what they call “Jams”), she sees first hand the victims of The East’s attacks. Where the parallel lies is between what The East is doing and the owners of these business poisoning the environment. What they are doing is exactly the same thing, purposely hurting people. One group does it for money, the other does it for revenge. The lines between what is morally correct and justice get blurred. The conflict is what Sarah plans to do with this unique perspective on the world. 

The East is packed with great performances from both Marling and Skarsgard. What was disappointing was Ellen Page’s Izzy. It is probably safe to say that she is now type cast as the young woman who gets in over her head and thinks with her heart first before using her mind (see Juno and Hard Candy). The big surprise was Toby Kebbell (best forgotten in The Prince of Persia and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the films that is). His tragically flawed “Doc” had more character to him that Page’s Izzy. With a simple uncontrollable hand shake and a piano scene, the camera revealed more than Page’s giant monologue with her father. 

Marling has released another great film that not many people have heard or will we see. It’s great that she broke away from the Hollywood stereotype and has given us films worth both her time and ours. The East is out now on Blu-ray and DVD. 

Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. Fantastic Voyage [Blu-ray]
2. Europa Report [Blu-ray]
3. Super Friends: Legacy of Super Powers - Season 6
4. The Purge (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)
5. Much Ado About Nothing

 

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

Bad Lieutenant Port of Call New Orleans/Trespass Double Feature [Blu-ray]
 
Internal Affairs [Blu-ray]
 
Hello Herman
 
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life [Blu-ray]
 
Man in the Iron Mask [Blu-ray]
 
Missing In Action [Blu-ray]
 
Pierce Brosnan 007 Collection (Goldeneye / The World is Not Enough / Die Another Day) [Blu-ray]
 
Resolution (Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack)
 
Sean Connery 007 Ultimate Edition: Vol. 2 [Blu-ray]
 
Shout at the Devil (Blu-ray/dvd Combo)
 
Speed/Broken Arrow/Entrapment [Blu-ray]
 
ANIME
 
Naruto Shippuden Uncut Set 16
 
Phi-Brain: Season 2 - Collection 2
 
We Without Wings: Season One (Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
 
CARTOONS
 
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (Deluxe Edition) [Blu-ray]
 
Ferngully/The Secret Of NIMH [Blu-ray]
 
Inspector Gadget Megaset
 
Marvel's Avengers Assemble: Assembly Required
 
Super Friends: Legacy of Super Powers - Season 6
 
Transformers Prime: Predacons Rising [Blu-ray]
 
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Billy Rose's Jumbo (BD) [Blu-ray]
 
Stalag 17 [Blu-ray]
 
COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style
 
Airplane II: The Sequel [Blu-ray]
 
The Hangover Part III (Blu-ray+DVD+UltraVi... Combo Pack)
 
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life 30th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)
 
Much Ado About Nothing
 
Criterion Collection
 
I Married a Witch (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
 
HORROR
 
4 Dead Girls: The Soul Taker
 
Adam Chaplin: Violent Avenger
 
After Effect
 
Anna: Scream Queen Killer
 
Butcher Boys
 
Complicity
 
Corruption (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
 
Curse of Chucky
 
The Exorcist: 40th Anniversary [Blu-ray]
 
House On Straw Hill (Blu-ray + DVD Combo)
 
In Hell
 
The Last House on the Left [Blu-ray]
 
Night Train To Terror (Blu-ray + DVD Combo)
 
Nothing Left to Fear
 
Scream Factory All Night Horror Marathon (Whats the Matter with Helen, The Vagrant, The Godsend & The Outing)
 
The Secret of Crickley Hall
 
Shiver
 
Static 3D BD+DVD Combo 3pk [Blu-ray]
 
Ultimate Horror Classics (SD Blu-Ray) (The Ghoul / White Zombie / Sweeney Todd / House on Haunted Hill / Phantom...
 
Zombie Hunter [Blu-ray]
 
SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY
 
After Earth (Two Disc Combo: Blu-ray / DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy)
 
Europa Report [Blu-ray]
 
Fantastic Voyage [Blu-ray]
 
The Purge (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)
 
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea [Blu-ray]

TV LAND
 
American Horror Story: Asylum
 
The Avengers: The Complete Emma Peel Megaset
 
Bones: The Complete Eighth Season
 
Centennial: The Complete Series
 
The Guild: Complete Megaset DVD
 
The Guild: Season Six
 
In the Flesh
 
Psych: The Complete Seventh Season
 
Robot Chicken: Season Six
 
The Six Million Dollar Man: Season Four
 
White Collar: Season Four

BOX SETS
 
Chucky: The Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
 
Star Wars Trilogy Episodes I-III (Blu-ray + DVD)
 
Star Wars Trilogy Episodes IV-VI (Blu-ray + DVD)
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COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 4 of 4
1 
mellowdoux 10/8/2013 10:06:17 AM

 Good call, Mr. Trate.

Another Earth was one of the best films I've seen in recent years, so I shall seek out The East.
 

nohater 10/8/2013 10:29:02 AM

 If you guys are interested in Brit Marling's films, you will want to check out The Sound of My Voice. It's a great psychological drama with sci-fi underpinnings.

mellowdoux 10/8/2013 1:58:29 PM

 Thanks nohater.

I'll czech it out!
 

RobertTrate 10/8/2013 10:26:35 PM

 The Mrs told me the same thing. So I got another one of her's to watch!

1 

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