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Home movies

by Karen Martin | January 14, 2022 at 1:31 a.m.

"The Djinn" (R, 1 hour, 22 minutes, Blu-ray, DVD) None too original, but plenty suspenseful, this horror thriller concerns mute Dylan (Ezra Dewey), who finds a book of spells in the closet when he is left home in their new apartment by his father (Rob Brownstein) while he's away working a night shift. Blaming himself for the recent death of his mother, Dylan summons a djinn (a spirit of lower rank than angels that is able to appear in human and animal forms and to possess humans to grant one wish) which comes at a hefty cost. With Tevy Poe, Donald Pitts, John Erickson; co-written and co-directed by David Charbonier and Justin Powell.

"The Spine of Night" (not rated, 1 hour, 33 minutes, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video) For those who are fans of Ralph Bakshi and are into grown-up ultra-violent dark-magic fantasy rotoscope animation, this SXSW favorite depicts an ambitious young man who steals forbidden knowledge from a sacred plant and unleashes ages of suffering onto mankind. (Not again!) With the voices of Richard E. Grant, Lucy Lawless, Patton Oswalt; co-directed by Philip Gelatt and Morgan Galen King.

"Dawn Raid" (not rated, 1 hour, 38 minutes, On Demand) Oscar Kightley's lively beat-driven and highly entertaining documentary tells the up-and-down story of New Zealand music label Dawn Raid Entertainment and its two founders, Andy Murnane and Danny Leaosavai'i (aka Brotha D), and the musical legacy they created for U.S. and New Zealand hip-hop artists. With Savage, Mareko, Adeaze and Aaradhna, along with archival footage of Akon, Wu-Tang Clan and other hip-hop legends.

The film gets its name from a period 20 years earlier when the government initiated dawn raids that targeted Polynesian communities in South Auckland, searching for foriegners who had overstayed their visas. In the years following, as resentment grew in those communities, a generation of artists grew up searching for an outlet.

"Taxi Driver" (R, 1 hour, 54 minutes, Netflix) This violent, unsettling 1976 classic drama concerns a mentally unstable veteran (Robert De Niro, delivering an unforgettable performance) who works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action. With Cybill Shepherd, Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle; written by Paul Schrader and directed by Martin Scorsese.

"Bergman Island" (R, 1 hour, 52 minutes, Hulu) A forgettable but entertaining rumination on creativity in which American filmmakers Chris (Vicky Krieps) and Tony (Tim Roth) take up residence at Faro island for the summer where Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman lived and shot his most celebrated pieces; it's where they hope to find inspiration for their forthcoming films. With Mia Wasikowska, Joel Spira; directed by Mia Hansen-Love.

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