In shops: 29 January

As a recent transplant to Los Angeles, the last thing I need to be watching is a movie about dirty bombs going off in all parts of the city as our two lead characters unpack for their new life.  Mary McCormack (aka Kate Harper from ‘The West Wing’) and Rory Cochrane play a young married couple getting ready to start one of their first days in sunny L.A.  The hubby musician stays home to unpack and work on his not-so-budding music career, while the lady of the house drives downtown to work.  It is only moments after she heads out, however, that news hits the radio of explosions all over the city.  Dirty bombs have gone off and all of Los Angeles is instructed to tape up their homes, and keep out the airborne nastiness.  So the hubby is taped up inside the house when the wife comes back hacking away as birds start dropping dead and white powder covers the great outdoors.  Aside from the first few minutes, when there’s some car stuff going on, this movie could really be a play.  It’s just one location, and focuses on the relationship between a husband, his wife, a few stray folks here and there (mostly wearing gas masks), and the terrifying concept of “what if”?  There’s a nice little nugget of a twist at the end, if you make it that far, and the visual effects for such a low-budg movie are very convincing.  Kudos also go to the set-up here: no television, a lost child, scraps of information dribbling out.  For the most part though, it’s a great concept for a film that feels pretty sparse for all that it has going on.