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posted: 6/28/2014 5:45 AM

DVD previews: 'The Lunchbox,' 'The Unknown Known'

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  • A Mumbai claims adjuster (Irrfan Khan), right, begins an affair of the heart with a married woman in "The Lunchbox," out on DVD on Tuesday, July 1.

      A Mumbai claims adjuster (Irrfan Khan), right, begins an affair of the heart with a married woman in "The Lunchbox," out on DVD on Tuesday, July 1.

 
The Washington Post

Here's a look at DVDs coming out Tuesday, July 1:

"The Lunchbox" (PG, 104 minutes with subtitles, Sony): In writer-director Ritesh Batra's beguiling romance, a virtual relationship blossoms not through a sexy operating system as in "Her," or email as in "You've Got Mail," but the old-fashioned way, through carefully written notes delivered by hand every day. Even though much of "The Lunchbox" transpires in Ila's kitchen and in Saajan's office, Batra nonetheless plunges the audience into the riotous city life of Mumbai, where we follow Saajan (played by Indian star Irrfan Khan) onto crowded buses and streets to his lonely apartment and where Ila barely ventures forth. What begins as a nagging sense of dissatisfaction eventually reveals the deeper, sorrowful reality of a woman's life in India, as Ila's hopes for her future become increasingly thwarted and constrained. Contains thematic material and smoking. Extras include commentary with Batra.

"The Unknown Known" (PG-13, 103 minutes, Anchor Bay): Through skillful editing and a stirring score by Danny Elfman, "The Unknown Known" invests former U.S. defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld's otherwise banal Washington trajectory with unlikely tension and suspense. What's more, his maddening habit of pseudo-philosophical speculation fits neatly into filmmaker Errol Morris' own ruminative, erudite rhetoric. But if viewers come to "The Unknown Known" hoping for catharsis -- or even just a few answers -- about Rumsfeld's role in planning and executing the invasion of Iraq in 2003, they may find themselves leaving more frustrated than rewarded. Contains some disturbing material and brief nudity. No known extras.

"Like Father, Like Son" (unrated, 121 minutes, in Japanese with subtitles, IFC Films): Two couples, each with 6-year-old sons they cherish, discover that a hospital mix-up switched their babies at birth. Yet this Japanese film is more of a head-scratcher than a tear-jerker. Whether because this mistake has been a problem before -- at least in the somewhat backward hospital where the births took place -- or because of something deep in the personal character or national culture of the people involved, all the parents seem more dazed than wrenched by the news. Eventually, filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-Eda invites us to ponder: Is being a father defined by DNA or by love?

Also: "Vinyl," "The Unbelievers," "Scavenger Killers," "Operation Petticoat" (1959), "Oy Vey! My Son is Gay!," "Once Upon a Time in Vietnam" (Vietnam), "Good Sam" (1948), "B.B. King: The Life of Riley," "Afflicted," "Infliction," "The Final Terror," "No Vacancy," "Anna Karenina" (1977), "The Ranger, The Cook and a Hole in the Sky" (1995), "The Million Dollar Piano" (Elton John concert film) and "Legend of Korra: Book Two, Spirits."

Television series: "The Twilight Zone: Essential Episodes," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Good, the Bad and Casey Jones," "Helix: First Season," "A Young Doctor's Notebook: Season One," "Lovejoy, Series 1," "Hinterland, Series 1" and "Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Series" (1955).

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