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posted: 6/21/2014 5:45 AM

DVD previews: '300: Rise of an Empire,' 'Enemy'

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  • Artemisia (Eva Green) takes aim in "300: Rise of an Empire."

    Artemisia (Eva Green) takes aim in "300: Rise of an Empire."

The Washington Post

Here's a look at DVDs coming out Tuesday, June 24:

"300: Rise of an Empire" (R, 102 minutes, Warner): Oddly, for a franchise founded on the bedrock of man flesh and macho posturing, it's the women of "Rise of an Empire" who make the most impact: Lena Headey, as Spartan Queen Gorgo, makes serious, focused use of her lamentably limited time on screen, and Eva Green rips into her ruthless antiheroine, Artemisia, with throaty gusto, not to mention an endless supply of beautifully draped leather and chain mail. (Who knew Persian barges boasted that much closet space?) Contains violence, a sex scene, nudity and language. Extras include featurettes.

"Enemy" (R, 90 minutes, Lionsgate): In a dual role, Jake Gyllenhaal plays Adam, a glum professor disinterested by his ordinary life who discovers a man who appears to be his double. The identical men meet and their lives become bizarrely intertwined. For all the skill with which director Denis Villeneuve creates a forbidding, soupy-colored dystopia (whether in Adam's imagination or downtown Toronto), "Enemy" feels like something we've seen before -- not just from Lynch but David Cronenberg, Stanley Kubrick and any number of contemporary masters of the subconscious at its most fetishistic and unnerving. (To make the Lynchian comparison that much easier, Isabella Rossellini makes a cameo appearance as Adam's mother.) Contains strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language. Extras include a making-of featurette.

"Winter's Tale" (PG-13, 118 minutes, Warner): You don't see a lot of magic in dramas these days, so it would be easy to write off a flying horse (or any other number of fantastical elements) as ridiculous. But much of the sorcery in "Winter's Tale" is stunningly captured, whether it's the face of Irish thug Pearly (Russell Crowe) cracking into pieces when he loses his temper or the way heiress Beverly (Jessica Brown Findlay) sees bright glints of light everywhere. And although there are missteps in the plotting, Akiva Goldsman does good work directing his feature debut, which also features Colin Farrell as Peter, a time-traveling burglar with a romantic's heart. "Winter's Tale" is ambitious, but it's not always a success. Contains violence and sensuality. Extras include featurette. Also, on Blu-ray: "Characters of Good & Evil" featurette, additional scenes.

"Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me" (unrated, 81 minutes, IFC Films): Longtime fans of Elaine Stritch are more likely to love this documentary portrait of the Broadway legend than are those who only know the actress from her guest spots as Jack Donaghy's acerbic mother on "30 Rock." Yet even the uninitiated may find it hard to look away from "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me," which, as the title playfully suggests, conveys not only the octogenarian performer's sardonic fatalism, but also her addiction to attention. Contains language. Extras include a making-of featurette, deleted scenes and interview outtakes.

Also: "Blood Ties," "Repentance," "Some Velvet Morning," "The Attorney" (South Korea), "B.B. King: The Life of Riley," "American Experience: Freedom Summer," "Basketball Girlfriend," "The Chef, the Actor and the Scoundrel," "Fracknation," "A Hard Day's Night" (1964), "Two Lives" (Germany/Norway), "The Black Book" (1949), "Escape From a Nazi Death Camp," "Deadly Revenge," "The Jungle" (Australia), "Classic Drama Collection" (five British costume-drama classics from 1987-1997) and "Wolf Creek 2."

Television series: "Duck Dynasty: Season 5," "Unforgettable: Second Season," "Dora the Explorer: Dora's Magical Sleepover," "The Boondocks: Fourth Season" and an 11-disc complete series, "Masters of Sex: Season One," "Mama's Family: Fourth Season," "Comedy Bang! Bang!: Second Season," "Jack Taylor, Set 2" and "Arne Dahl" (Sweden).

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