Family Weekend

discs central park

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Central Park Five The term “crime of the century” is an overused one, and one of the more infamous examples of its application came in 1989 when a white, female jogger in NYC’s Central Park was sexually assaulted and left for dead. The culprits were identified as five black teens who were tried and convicted both in the courtroom and the court of public opinion. The boys were sentenced and served out their time, but they were relieved and the world were surprised in 2002 when the real culprit confessed. PBS golden boy Ken Burns co-directs this sad, shocking and infuriating doc that explores the case from the perspective of both the boys and the truth. Over eager police and prosecutors combined with a racially divided public led to a terrible miscarriage of justice. The film acknowledges that the blame lay equally with the authorities, the press and at times, the boys’ parents too. The NYC of more than twenty years ago seems almost unrecognizable to the city of today, but the facts speak for themselves. If only there had been someone to listen back in 1989. [DVD extras: Featurettes]

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Family Weekend Movie A Clockwork Orange

Remember House Arrest? Of course you do. Everyone does. Kevin Pollack and Jamie Lee Curtis made an excellent comic couple, especially after getting kidnapped by their children. That sort of thing makes an impression. There are definitely shades of that movie in Family Weekend, although it doesn’t look like the method catches on with the rest of the neighborhood children here. The film stars Kristin Chenoweth and Matthew Modine as crappy parents, and even if it has a similar blueprint (they get kidnapped by their children), the tone absolutely feels different. At least from the trailer. The script comes from Matt K. Turner, whose only other credit (for story on a home invasion thriller called The Truth) might be telling here. Guy is really into taking hostages. At least in Family Weekend, there’s a pint-sized homage to A Clockwork Orange. Call me easy, but that’s enough to sell it. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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