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'Thank You for Your Service,' about the struggles of Iraq War veterans, leads DVD releases this week

Daily News - 1/20/2018

Jan. 20--"Thank You for Your Service" is a drama about Iraq War veterans trying to get reacclimated to life back home.

The film from Jason Hall is partially based on a 2013 non-fiction book by the Washington Post'sDavid Finkel, who tracked the lives of men he had written about when they were in battle.

Hall, who wrote the script, creates three composite soldiers for his story. Miles Teller plays Adam Schumann, a soldier who never feels safe upon coming home. He continues looking for ambushes. The War is still with him in the deaths of some of his comrades.

Like the two others returning from his group -- played by Joe Cole and Beulah Koale -- are caught between being tough in combat and now needing to access their feelings. Meanwhile, there is a disconnect between what they did for a country that now seems too lost in their phones to have noticed. You get the irony from the title, but it's also sincere in its wishes for these young soldiers. In an interesting bit of casting, Amy Schumer plays a war widow.

Yorgos Lanthimos's "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" has a well-worn premise -- and the director doesn't do much original with it. Colin Farrell is a respected heart surgeon named Steven, while his wife, Anna (Nicole Kidman), is an eye doctor. They live in a well-appointed house with their two children.

Steven has struck up a relationship with a young man named Martin (Barry Keoghan from "Dunkirk"), who ends up at his house one night for dinner. Friendship isn't his aim. It turns out that his father had died on Steven's operating table years before. Now he wants his pound of flesh, or more precisely, the life of Steven's wife or one of the children.

A rather weird, not uninteresting, menacing cat-and-mouse game ensues. It's helped by the performances of Kidman who casts an ethereal presence upon the proceedings. Even so, a lot of the story's impact quickly evaporates when it's over.

I once said the BBC America's "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" was the oddest series on television not created by David Lynch. The network used that in a promo -- well, not the David Lynch part.

It didn't help. It was canceled after two seasons, but I stick with my assessment. Created by Max Landis ("American Ultra," "Bright") and adapted from the novels by the late Douglas Adams ("The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"), the series was imperfect but fun and offbeat. Even when the moments seemed to go off the rails a bit, it was usually followed by something delightfully silly.

NEW FILMS

Jigsaw

Geostorm

Thank You for Your Service

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Chasing the Dragon

TELEVISION

Dirk Gently: Season 2

Earth: One Amazing Day

My Entire High School Sinking Into The Sea

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