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posted: 8/23/2014 6:00 AM

DVD previews: 'Belle,' 'Blended'

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  • Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is caught between two worlds in "Belle."

    Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is caught between two worlds in "Belle."

The Washington Post

Here's a look at DVDs coming out Tuesday, Aug. 26:

"Belle" (PG, 104 minutes, Fox): Set in 1769, "Belle" announces its intentions straightaway with a heartfelt reunion between an English admiral and his biracial daughter, followed by an exceedingly tearful separation. But even the melodrama can't put a damper on the remarkable history behind this true story. Gugu Mbatha-Raw gives a superb performance as Dido, a young woman in a state of limbo: too highborn to mingle with commoners and too dark-skinned to eat dinner with her own family. "Belle" has all the requisites of a period drama -- a strings-heavy soundtrack, lavish costumes and passionate declarations of love -- plus a good deal more. Contains thematic elements, language and smoking. Extras include a making-of short and other featurettes.

"Blended"(PG-13, 117 minutes, Warner): Sixteen years since Adam Sandler starred opposite Drew Barrymore in "The Wedding Singer" and a decade since they did it again in "50 First Dates," the pair have grown up, even if the comedy hasn't. They play Jim and Lauren, two single parents who go on a disastrous blind date (Hooters?!). Basically, Jim is a schlubby Mr. Darcy, antagonizing Lauren only to potentially win her over later, when the two, each with their children, coincidentally end up on the same African safari vacation intended for blended families. Contains sexual situations and language. Extras: "Adam and Drew: Back Together Again," a featurette, an on-location short and deleted scenes. Also, on Blu-ray: additional featurettes.

"The Double" (R, 93 minutes, Magnolia Home Entertainment): Loosely inspired by Fyodor Dostoevsky's 1846 novella about a shy clerk and his manipulative double, the film is part absurdist comedy and part tragedy, part love story and part existential allegory. In the lead role, Jesse Eisenberg delivers a mesmerizing dual performance as the timid Simon James and his spitting image, the coolly self-confident James Simon. A nebbish nobody toiling in a cubicle farm, Simon pines for pretty co-worker Hannah (Mia Wasikowska). When a new hire shows up who looks exactly like Simon -- minus the paralyzing insecurity and with a sexy swagger that catches Hannah's eye -- life for Simon starts spinning out of control. Contains language. dialogue. Extras include a making-of featurette.

Also: "Circle the Wagen," "Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas" (France/Germany), "The Normal Heart," "The Stream," "Jackpot" (Norway), "Earth: The Sequel," "A Promise" (France), "Live Nude Girls," "Adventure Planet," "Closed Circuit Extreme" (Italy), "The Siege of Leningrad," "Young and Beautiful" (France), "Lucky in Love," "My Gal Sunday," "Same Same But Different" (Germany), "Quicksand" (1950), "Aftermath," "All That Jazz" (1979), "Fear in the Night" (1947), "75 Years of WWII," "I've Always Loved You" (1946), "The Forbidden Girl" (Germany), "Queen Margot: 20th Anniversary Director's Cut," "Fuhrer Cult and Megalomania." "Triad" (Hong Kong), "A River of Skulls," "Cat Run 2," "Revelation Trail," "President Wolfman," "Blood Glacier," "The Possession of Michael King," "Jersey Shore Massacre" and "Medieval Lives."

Television series: "The Walking Dead: Fourth Season," "Portlandia Season 4," "Criminal Minds: Ninth Season," "Elementary: Second Season," "Revenge: Third Season," "Sons of Anarchy: Season Six," "Masterpiece: Breathless," "The Musketeers," "Twilight Zone 80's: The Complete Series," "Welcome Back, Kotter: Complete Series," "Blandings, Series 2," "Heartland: Fourth Season," "Murder in Suburbia Complete Collection," "Now and Again: The DVD Collection" and "Cesare Mori: The Complete Series."

Web series: "Deadbeat" and "Haven: Fourth Season."

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