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posted: 1/25/2014 6:00 AM

DVD previews: 'Last Vegas,' 'Rush'

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  • Kevin Kline, left, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas star as old friends partying in Sin City in "Last Vegas."

      Kevin Kline, left, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas star as old friends partying in Sin City in "Last Vegas."

 
The Washington Post

Here's a look at DVDs coming out Tuesday, Jan. 28:

"Last Vegas" (PG-13, 104 minutes, Sony): This senior citizens version of "The Hangover" is led by a heavyweight ensemble cast including Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas. They demonstrate both the easy chemistry and excitable energy of old friends reconvening after years apart, and they all seem to be having fun. Contains sexual situations and language. Extras include commentary with director Jon Turteltaub and writer Dan Fogelman; a making-of with commentary from the main cast; "Four Legends" look at the ensemble and a glimpse at the character arcs. Also, on Blu-ray: location and supporting cast featurettes and "The Redfoo Party."

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"Rush" (R, 123 minutes, Universal): As much escapist fun as "Rush" is as an adrenaline-juiced car-race movie, it's most interesting as a rare depiction of male vanity, and the role beauty -- so often the sole purview of women on screen -- plays in men's relationships and personal insecurities. Director Ron Howard, cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle and editor Daniel P. Hanley deserve credit for creating a crisp, well-told account that succeeds as a workaday biopic, glamorous period piece and portrayal of sports culture that seems quaintly scruffy today. Contains sexual situations, nudity, language and drug use. Extras include "Ron Howard: A Director's Approach" and, on Blu-ray, a six-part making-of featurette that covers the screenplay with Peter Morgan, casting Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl in the lead roles, filming Formula 1 racing action, 1970s fashion and more.

"The Fifth Estate" (R, 124 minutes, Disney): At its best, this fact-based drama about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange works as a serious showcase for its star, Benedict Cumberbatch, who delivers an eerily on-point portrayal of the enigmatic central character. And, as a primer on the early days of WikiLeaks and its crusade for transparency and governmental and corporate accountability, "The Fifth Estate" provides useful reminders to audiences who may have come to equate the organization with Assange's own overweening ego. But as a piece of filmed entertainment, "The Fifth Estate" shows why things like authorial point of view and visual sensibility are so essential in bringing such stories to life. Unlike "The Social Network," this film doesn't have much of either, and the weakness shows. Contains profanity and violence. Extras include a visual effects short, a featurette on composer Carter Burwell and a look at techniques used to weave together on-screen graphics and the actors' performances.

"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2" (PG, 95 minutes, Sony): Instead of upping the ante, as so many sequels do, "Cloudy 2" merely gets the band back together -- including perky weather girl Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), immature bully Brent (Andy Samberg) and Flint's levelheaded father (James Caan) -- for a repetitive mission that calls to mind multiple beats from the first movie. Extras include commentary with directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn; Cody Simpson "La Da Dee" music video and its making-of; seven featurettes including "Anatomy of a Foodimal;" and "The Sasquash," revealing the places in the film that the Sasquash is hiding. Also, on Blu-ray: deleted scenes and short films. Available in 3-D.

"Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa" (R, 93 minutes, Paramount): Starring Johnny Knoxville, the chief perpetrator of many of the disgusting and/or painful stunts featured in the "Jackass" reality-TV series and its movie spinoffs, "Bad Grandpa" is a loose sequence of hidden-camera pranks centered on the outrageous antics of a fictional octogenarian. Some of them are quite funny, but only to the degree that you are amused by explosive diarrhea and the effects of age and gravity on certain parts of the male anatomy. Contains language, crude sexual humor and nudity. Extras include behind-the-scenes vignettes, deleted scenes and an"Alternate Reactions from Real People" montage.

Also: "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross" (PBS), "African-American Leaders: Past & Present" (five telefilms), "Collision" (Lionsgate), "The Booker" (documentary), "The April Fools" (1969), "The War Between Men and Women" (1972), "Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?" (1971), "A Perfect Man," "Concussion," "I Used to Be Darker," "The Long Day Closes" (1992), "Somali Pirate Takedown: The Real Story" (2009, TV documentary), "Stonados," "Nicholas Sparks Limited Edition DVD Collection" (box set with seven films), "The Agatha Christie Hour: Complete Collection" and "Agatha Christie's The Queen of Crime Collection."

Television series: "Downton Abbey: Season Four," "Treme: The Complete Fourth Season," "Bonnie & Clyde," "Vera, Set 3" and "Steven Spielberg Presents: Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain The Complete Series."

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