DVD previews: 'All is Lost,' 'Best Man Holiday'
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Here's a look at DVDs coming out Tuesday, Feb. 11:
"All is Lost" (PG-13, 107 minutes, Lionsgate): A harrowing man-at-sea adventure features Robert Redford as an isolated and adrift sailor in the midst of an indifferent, wantonly cruel universe. But writer-director J.C. Chandor distills that idea to its visually purest form, in a one-man study of revealing character through action, showing not telling and taking filmgoers on a physical and existential voyage. The beating heart at the center of Chandor's daunting exercise is Redford, who plays his nameless adventurer in a nearly wordless performance with the wary determination a generation came to know and adore throughout the 1970s. Contains language. Extras include commentary with Chandor and producers Neal Dodson and Anna Gerb; "Big Film, Small Film" featurette; four making-of vignettes; a "Preparing for the Storm" featurette, special-effects reel, time-lapse footage and a unique pre-shooting clip in which a director of photography, Peter Zuccarini, takes on the Redford role and Chandor "plays" the wind and sea.
"Best Man Holiday" (R, 122 minutes, Universal): As with 1999's "The Best Man," it's the actors who bring warmth, humanity and compulsive watchability to every moment of "The Best Man Holiday." You don't watch "The Best Man Holiday" to deconstruct its flaws. You watch for its myriad, adamantly un-cerebral pleasures. You watch to see Morris Chestnut take that shirt off. You watch to giggle at Terrence Howard, then are unexpectedly moved during a frank encounter when he talks about money with one of his friends. And you watch to take in the quietly regal Monica Calhoun. Contains language, sexual content and nudity. Extras include gag reel and making-of featurette. Also, on Blu-ray: alternate ending; deleted and extended scenes with commentary by writer/director/producer Malcolm D. Lee; and a short on filming the girl fight scene.
"Ender's Game" (PG-13, 114 minutes, Lionsgate): There's a moral heft to "Ender's Game" that lends ballast to the science-fiction adventure about futuristic military-academy cadets. Based on the popular and award-winning 1985 novel by Orson Scott Card, the film doesn't need added suspense, bigger action or a better dramatic twist; it's got all of those, in more than serviceable amounts. But it benefits greatly by being about something -- the morality of war and its methods -- in a way that most movies of this type are not. Contains violence. Extras include commentary, deleted and extended scenes. Also, on Blu-ray: an eight-part making-of featurette.
"Blue is the Warmest Color" (NC-17, 179 minutes, in French with subtitles; The Criterion Collection): Adele Exarchopoulos is so convincing as a young woman in the throes of longing, love, lust and devastating rejection that, in the film's shattering final sequences, filmgoers will sense that they're not watching a movie as much as witnessing the most private moments of someone's life, from its headiest highs to its most crushing, depressive lows. Contains explicit sexual content. Extras include a booklet featuring an essay by critic B. Ruby Rich.
Also: "The Counselor," "Wadjda," "Austenland," "2 Jacks," "Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer," "Diana," "The Armstrong Lie," "Grace Unplugged," "How I Live Now," "Afternoon Delight," "Reaching for the Moon," "And Then There Was You," "Semi Colin," "Anna Nicole," "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth," "Jewtopia," "The Discovery of Eilleen Twain," "On the Job," (Philippines), "SEAL Patrol," "Spinning Plates," "Killing Kennedy," "The Adventurer: The Curse of The Midas Box," "Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon," "Hindenburg: The Last Flight," "Chicago: Diamond Edition," "Brewster Leads The Way" and "Max & Ruby: Everybunny Loves Spring!"
Television series: "Sherlock: Season Three," "Dallas: Second Season," "Newhart: Second Season," "Swamp People: Season 4," "Doctor Who: The Moonbase," "The Americans Season 1," "Hetty Wainthropp Investigates: The Complete Collection" and "Regular Show: Mordecai and Margaret Pack."
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