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On Demand movie highlights

SAFE HOUSE

(HBO on Comcast) Denzel Washington plays one of those misunderstood CIA operatives who’s ‘‘gone rogue.’’ But even before he’s tortured for information, Washington’s pulse never rises. His calm is absurd. Yet it’s exactly what’s needed in a by-the-numbers chase-’em-down and shoot-’em-up movie with lots of intentionally sea-sickening camerawork: confidence. With Ryan Reynolds as the young agent responsible for bringing him in.
(R; runs through Dec. 2)

RANSOM

(Showtime on Comcast) Ron Howard amps up this remake of a traditional rich-kid-kidnapped story with dislocating camerawork, high-impact editing, and a volatile performance from Mel Gibson. There’s also an audacious device: Gibson’s airline owner goes on TV to offer the ransom loot as a bounty on the kidnapper’s head, turning the film onto into a reminder of the power of money. (R; runs through Dec. 11)

CAPE FEAR

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(Cinemax on Comcast) Not one of the great Martin Scorsese films, and not as primally scary as the original, but Scorsese’s virtuosity and Robert De Niro’s vengeful redneck Terminator — he suggests Jerry Lee Lewis turned satanic — will keep you from growing bored. (R; runs through Dec. 13)

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