SAW IV (Extreme Edition) (Cert 18, 95 mins, Lions Gate Home Entertainment UK Ltd, Horror/Thriller, also available to buy DVD £19.99/limited edition DVD £29.99/Blu-ray £29.99/Saw Quadrilogy DVD box set £39.99)
Starring: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Athena Karkanis, Lyriq Bent, Donnie Wahlberg, Betsy Russell.
DETECTIVE Hoffman (Mandylor) oversees the post-mortem of evil and twisted Jigsaw (Bell) and takes charge of evidence retrieved from the dead man. The grizzled cop also spearheads the hunt for the murderer of Kerry (Meyer), one of the detectives who apprehended Jigsaw.
Observed by two tenacious FBI profilers, agents Peter Strahm (Patterson) and Lindsay Perez (Karkanis), Hoffman begins to piece together evidence to reveal Jigsaw's twisted genius.
The cops face one final game of life and death when SWAT Commander Rigg (Bent), a friend of Kerry and her missing partner Detective Eric Mathews (Wahlberg), is abducted from his home and thrust into a maze of Jigsaw's fiendish traps. The clock is ticking...
Saw IV criss-crosses narrative threads from previous instalments, re-introducing at least one familiar face and embellishing the complex back-story of Jigsaw, a doting husband who foolishly hoped to save unfortunate souls by establishing a drugs clinic.
Scriptwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan try to paint their demonic killer as a victim but four films of gruesome survival games seems like overkill to justify one man's grief.
Hyperactive editing renders a couple of elaborate death sequences an incomprehensible blur, and characters are sketched in such flimsy detail that their grisly demise doesn't curry any sympathy.
The actors oblige with the loudest, most bloodcurdling screams they can muster to conceal the yawns of viewers that have seen it all before.
The DVD comes in a standard single-disc version or a limited edition version with a motorised collectible sleeve and sound chip plus an exclusive Saw comic book. The Saw Quadrilogy DVD box set, comprising all four films in moulded Billy The Clown packaging, is also available.
DVD Extras: Director, actor, executive producers and producer commentaries, Darren's Video Diary, The Traps Of Saw IV featurette, The Props Of Saw IV featurette, X-Japan IV music video, deleted scene (Police Station); Blu-ray: Director, actor, executive producers and producer commentaries, Darren's Video Diary, The Traps Of Saw IV featurette, The Props Of Saw IV featurette, X-Japan IV music video, deleted scene (Police Station), Molog – the world's first interactive Blu-Ray disc movie blog.
RENDITION (Cert 15, 117 mins, Entertainment In Video, Thriller)
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Omar Metwally, Peter Sarsgaard, Alan Arkin, Igal Naor, Zineb Oukach, Moa Khouas.
IN THE wake of a terrorist bombing, Egyptian-born chemical engineer Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Metwally) is detained during his flight from Cape Town to Washington DC.
Under the guise of “extraordinary rendition”, he is spirited abroad to a prison facility overseen by Abasi Fawal (Naor). CIA analyst Douglas Freeman (Gyllenhaal) observes the subsequent 'interrogation' and is horrified by Abasi's techniques, voicing his concerns to the CIA's head of terrorism, Corrinne Whitman (Streep), to no avail.
Meanwhile, Anwar's pregnant wife Isabella (Witherspoon) tries to locate her missing husband, using her connection to Alan Smith (Sarsgaard), aide to a well-connected senator (Arkin).
DVD Extras: none stated.Rating: *** none stated.