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posted: 3/8/2014 5:45 AM

DVD previews: 'Book Thief,' 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

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  • Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) finds a home with Hans Hubermann (Geoffrey Rush) in Germany during World War II in "The Book Thief."

      Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) finds a home with Hans Hubermann (Geoffrey Rush) in Germany during World War II in "The Book Thief."

 
The Washington Post

Here's a look at DVDs coming out Tuesday, March 11:

"The Book Thief" (PG-13, 131 minutes, in English and some German with subtitles, Fox): "The Book Thief" has its moments of brilliance, thanks in large part to an adept cast, led by Geoffrey Rush and newcomer Sophie Nélisse. But the movie about a girl adopted by a German couple during World War II also crystallizes the perils of book adaptations. The movie tries heartily to contain writer Markus Zusak's myriad plot points, but the result is a rushed conclusion, which tempers the intended tear-jerking climax. Contains violence. Extras include deleted scenes. Also, on Blu-ray: "A Hidden Truth: Bringing the Book Thief to Life" featurette.

"Inside Llewyn Davis" (R, 104 minutes, Sony): As "Inside Llewyn Davis" opens, the title character, a folk singer in Greenwich Village, holds a Gaslight Cafe audience spellbound. The year is 1961, when the Village folk scene was on the verge of transforming into a tourist destination and musicians could turn into "careerists." The adamantly uncommercial Llewyn is having none of it. As embodied by Oscar Isaac in a poignant, mesmerizing breakout performance, Llewyn emerges as an improbably sympathetic anti-hero. Written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, the film is a tender departure from their established house style of cool, ironic distance. Contains language. Extras include a making-of documentary, featuring the Coen brothers, Isaac, co-stars Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake and John Goodman, and musicians/composers T Bone Burnett, Marcus Mumford and Chris Thile.

"Broken Circle Breakdown" (unrated, 111 minutes, in Flemish and English with subtitles, Tribeca Film/Cinedigm): Bluegrass musicians Didier (Johan Heldenbergh) and Elise (Veerle Baetens) harmonize magnificently onstage and off in this Oscar foreign film nominee. They have the kind of ardent relationship that might make other couples jealous. But the Flemish drama doesn't deal just with the fortunes of love at first sight; it examines in aching detail the limitations of a seemingly perfect relationship when tragedy strikes. Contains language, nudity, sexual situations and mature themes. Extras include an interview with director Felix van Groeningen.

"Out of the Furnace" (R, 116 minutes, Fox): The unforgiving back roads and rusted-out mill towns of Appalachia provide the bleak backdrop and emotional landscape of this well-acted, beautifully filmed yet depressing chronicle of revenge and thwarted dreams in postindustrial America. Anchored by compelling performances from Christian Bale and Casey Affleck, "Out of the Furnace" may have taken its title and setting from Thomas Bell's 1941 novel about the immigrant community in Braddock, Pa. But director Scott Cooper, with co-writer Brad Inglesby, sets his story squarely in the recent past, when Bale's character, Russell Baze, works in a steel mill on the brink of closing while his brother, Rodney (Affleck), prepares for yet another tour in Iraq. Contains violence, language and drug content. Blu-ray extras include four featurettes.

Also: "Homefront," "Enemies Closer," "The Outsider," "Geography Club," "Puncture Wounds," "The Time Being," "A Cross to Bear," "Beyond Outrage," "Mademoiselle C," "Abner the Invisible Dog," "The Armistice," "George Washington," "JFK: The Smoking Gun," "100 Years of Wrigley Field," "Against the Wild," "Commitment," "Eric Clapton: The 1970s Review," "End of the World" and "Noah's Ark."

Television series: "Siberia: Season One," "Big History," "Rogue: First Season," "The Science of Measurement," "Bubble Guppies: Animals Everywhere!," "The Flintstone Kids: Rockin' in Bedrock" (1986-88), "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutagen Mayhem," "Angelina Ballerina: Spring Fling," "Talks About Nothing," "Transformers Armada: The Complete Series," "Drawing With Mark: Something Fishy/A Day at the Aquarium" and "Drawing With Mark: Good to Grow/Life on the Farm."

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