By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
Alfie Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy on HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” plays the leader of a gang of young white collar criminals who con their way inside the luxurious life of other people’s money in “Plastic,” available Tuesday, Oct. 28 on DVD.
When these small time crooks are caught inadvertently stealing from a sadistic crime boss (Thomas Kretschmann), they’ve got to come up with $2 million. Fast. They figure the only way to get their hands on that much cash quickly is to scheme their way through the most high-stakes heist of their lives.
Ed Speleers, Will Poulter, Sebastian De Souza and Emma Rigby co-star. Inspired by a true story, “Plastic” is directed by Julian Gilbey, from a screenplay he co-wrote with Chris Howard, Sacha Bennett and William Gilbey. Included in the DVD package is a Vudu digital copy.
From the award-winning writer of the British TV series “Cracker” and “The Street,” comes the crime series “Accused,” Series 1 & 2, making its North American DVD debut Oct. 28, from Acorn, an RLJ Entertainment brand. This star-studded anthology series follows a different character in each episode.
As the protagonist awaits their fate in court, the show traces the history of their alleged crime. Murder, arson, and other deadly offenses all have a flash point, when a person loses control over something, or someone, in their life. This acclaimed series turns the classic crime drama on its head and takes a compelling look at the true nature of guilt and innocence.
Each episode reveals the crime through the eyes of the perpetrator, revealing how and why it happened. Some characters are guilty, some are innocent, and others fall somewhere in between. But they’re all ordinary people whose lives have spiraled downward—and they all stand accused.
Written by Jimmy McGovern, BAFTA-winning screenwriter Danny Brocklehurst, and a host of other writers, “Accused” is a study of motive and madness. The series, which originally aired on the BBC with the first season in 2010 and the second season in 2012, stars Sean Bean (“Game of Thrones,” “Legends”), Christopher Eccleston (“Doctor Who”), Peter Capaldi (“Doctor Who”), Olivia Colman (“Broadchurch”), Stephen Graham (“Boardwalk Empire’s” Al Capone), Juliet Stevenson (“Bend it Like Beckham”), Andy Serkis (“The Lord of the Rings”), Naomie Harris (“Skyfall)”, Anna Maxwell Martin (“The Bletchley Circle”), and Thomas Brodie Sangster (“Game of Thrones”).
This DVD 4-disc set includes 10 episodes available on AcornOnline.com. Bonus features include 22 minutes of behind-the-scenes material.
The series won a host of awards, including three International Emmys for best drama series and twice for best actor (for Eccleston and Bean); BAFTAs for best writing, best supporting actress (Colman), best supporting actor (Graham) and best leading actor (Bean), among other awards.
Also available on DVD from Acorn Tuesday is “Vera,” Set 4. Based on the award-winning novels by Ann Cleeves, Vera stars two-time Oscar nominee Brenda Blethyn (“Pride & Prejudice,” “Secrets & Lies”) as a cantankerous but brilliant detective who solves unthinkable crimes in northeast England.
Set 4 includes four all new feature-length mysteries with co-stars David Leon (“Rocknrolla”) and Jon Morrison (“High Times”), and guest stars Charlotte Hope (“Game of Thrones”) and Clare Calbraith (“Downton Abbey”) The fourth series premiered originally aired on ITV and began airing on public television stations in May. “Vera” will return for a fifth season in 2015. All four series are available to stream any time on Acorn TV, the premier British TV streaming service in North America at www.Acorn.TV.
In the series, Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope (Blethyn) has an offbeat manner and frumpy appearance that belies a knack for catching killers. Ably assisted by Detective Sergeant Joe Ashworth (Leon) her colleague, confidant, and surrogate son, Ashworth tries to balance his family responsibilities with the demands of working for a boss who seems to have little else in her life but the job.
Stanhope and Ashworth take on four new cases on their Northumberland beat: the stabbing of a senior citizen aboard a rush-hour train, the brutal murder of a young professional at a beach resort, the shooting of a loner out on the moors, and the drowning of a respected businessman. A photo gallery is included as a bonus feature.
The cult-favorite British mystery series, “Lovejoy,” Series 3, arrives on DVD on Tuesday from Acorn. Ian McShane (“Deadwood”) stars as the titular character, a rascal of an antiques dealer with a heart of gold. McShane is joined by Phyllis Logan (“Downton Abbey”), and an outstanding slate of guest stars in this lighthearted whodunit including Joanna Lumley (“Absolutely Fabulous”), Burt Kwuok (Last of the Summer Wine”), Michael Kitchen (“Foyle’s War”), Michelle Fairely (“Game of Thrones”), Chris Jury (“The Big Game”) and Minnie Driver (“Good Will Hunting”).
Based on the popular books by Jonathan Gash, Lovejoy aired for six series (1986, 1991-1994). Series three was originally broadcast on BBC1 (1992) and on A&E in the U.S. This DVD 4-disc set includes 13 episodes. Series 1, 2 and 3 are also available to stream on Acorn TV, the British TV streaming service in North America at www.Acorn.TV.
Series three finds Lovejoy’s personal and professional worlds colliding like never before. Hoping to achieve solid financial footing at last, he trusts Eric (Chris Jury) with legitimizing their business, a leap of faith that involves a risky motorbike-selling scheme and an ER visit. Meanwhile, the normally astute appraiser has a difficult time focusing on forged paintings when his wandering eye lands on a mysterious and alluring widow (Lumley). But the greatest romance of Lovejoy’s life has always been with Lady Jane Felsham (Logan)—if only she, too, could see it that way.
Available on DVD now is action drama “Autumn Blood,” a story of two young orphans in Australia’s Tirolian Mountains who come under siege by a vicious band of hunters.
Frightened of being separated by child services following the death of their mother, the self-sufficient 16-year-old girl (Sophie Lowe) and her mute 10-year-old brother (Maximilian Harnisch), strive to live off the land in peace. The boy hasn’t spoken a word since seeing his father killed by the mayor (Peter Stormare) some years earlier. None of the characters are referred to by name.
The children’s innocence is shattered, however, when a group of hunters led by the mayor’s son (Gustav Skarsgard) brutalizes and rapes the free-spirited girl. Later, when a well-meaning social services worker (Annica McCrudden) arrives too late to protect the terrorized siblings, the girl and her brother prepare to take a stand against their ruthless attackers.