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posted: 2/1/2014 6:00 AM

DVD previews: 'Dallas Buyers Club,' 'About Time'

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  • Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) seeks out alternative AIDS treatments and forms a club to sell them to other patients in the Oscar-nominated "Dallas Buyers Club," coming to DVD.

      Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) seeks out alternative AIDS treatments and forms a club to sell them to other patients in the Oscar-nominated "Dallas Buyers Club," coming to DVD.

 
The Washington Post

Here's a look at DVDs coming out Tuesday, Feb. 4:

"Dallas Buyers Club" (R, 117 minutes, Universal): As Texan Ron Woodroof, a homophobic AIDS patient who turns his diagnosis into a business and learns empathy along the way, Matthew McConaughey delivers an award-winning performance, characterized not just by an astonishing physical transformation but by a wellspring of compassion and fearlessness. "Dallas Buyers Club" could have gone wrong in myriad ways. But director Jean-Marc Valle, working with a lean, lively script by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, neatly avoids excess, letting Woodroof's terrific yarn stand on its own and getting out of the way of his extraordinary actors. Oscar nominations include best actor for McDonaughey, best supporting actor for Jared Leto and best picture. Contains language, strong sexual content, nudity and drug use. Extras include a look inside the film and deleted scenes.

"About Time" (R, 123 minutes, Universal): Writer-director Richard Curtis ("Notting Hill," "Love Actually") throws a series of spanners into the works -- digressions and feints that turn "About Time" into something altogether deeper and more moving than a conventional rom-com. Perhaps more accurately, he has made a fam-com, a meditation on fatherhood, connection, sacrifice and simple, enduring love. Contains language and some sexual content. Extras include commentary with Curtis and cast members Domhnall Gleeson, Bill Nighy, Vanessa Kirby, Lydia Wilson and Tom Hollander; deleted scenes; blooper reel; Ellie Goulding "How Long Will I Love You?" music video. Also, on Blu-ray: featurettes "About Tim and Time Travel," "The Look, Style and Locations" and "The World of Richard Curtis."

"Free Birds" (PG, 91 minutes, Fox): Finally, there's a movie vegetarian parents can enjoy with their impressionable offspring. The animated adventure "Free Birds" follows a couple of modern-day turkeys who travel back in time to the first Thanksgiving and try to alter history, thus saving their brethren for generations to come. "Free Birds" has the colorful palette, zippy action and silly story to keep kids giggling, but also delivers a few winks to parents. Extras, on Blu-ray only, include "Birds Flipping History," two shorts on the animators and "Talking Turkey with composer Dominic Lewis," and "Shake a Tail Feather" music video.

"Escape Plan" (R, 116 minute, Lionsgate): It's nice to know that, as they enter their golden years, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger can still carry an action flick, albeit a flimsy one like "Escape Plan." Still, there is modest pleasure to be had watching the Italian Stallion, at 67, and the 66-year-old Austrian Oak, as Schwarzenegger was known in his bodybuilding days, delivering justice to those who would disrupt their retirement. Just don't get your hopes up. Contains violence and language. Extras include commentary and making-of featurette. Also, on Blu-ray: featurettes and deleted scenes.

Also: "Baggage Claim," "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete," "Romeo and Juliet" (featuring Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth), "A Case of You," "Jules and Jim," "Burton and Taylor" (BBC biopic), "The Little Penguin: Pororo's Racing Adventure" (animated film), "Scorned," "House of Versace," "Pride and Perseverance: The Story of the Negro Leagues" (documentary), "Wings" (animated family film), "Banshee Chapter," "The Divorce," "Care Bears: The Care-a-thon Games," "The Lady Vanishes" (BBC "Masterpiece Mystery!" adaptation, "My Dog the Champion," "Nova: Cold Case JFK" (PBS), "Pit Stop," "Masterpiece: Classic English Literature Collection, Volume 2" (PBS) and "Geronimo Stilton: Intrigue on the Rodent Express and Other Adventures."

Television series: "Family Matters: Fourth Season," "Laverne & Shirley: Seventh Season," "Midsomer Murders, Set 23" (British mystery series), "Joanie Loves Chachi: The Complete Series," "The White Queen," "The Broker's Man, Series 1" (British detective series) and "Lalaloopsy: Friends are Sew Special!"

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