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posted: 4/6/2013 5:58 AM

DVD previews: 'Hyde Park on the Hudson'

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  • Daisy (Laura Linney) accompanies her cousin President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Bill Murray) on a drive in the historical drama "Hyde Park on the Hudson."

    Daisy (Laura Linney) accompanies her cousin President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Bill Murray) on a drive in the historical drama "Hyde Park on the Hudson."

The Washington Post

Coming April 9

"Hyde Park on the Hudson" (R, 95 minutes, Universal): Choosing Bill Murray to play Franklin D. Roosevelt makes an inspired choice, his combination of natural appeal and oddly recessive diffidence melding flawlessly with FDR's own hidden depths. What's more, the political capital Murray has earned with audiences over the years turns out to be crucial in this alternately charming and unsettling story, which transpires over a pivotal summer weekend in 1939, when Britain's King George VI visited Roosevelt's Hudson Valley estate in order to gain the U.S. president's support in the coming war. That also was a time, the movie suggests, when Roosevelt was pursuing one of a number of extramarital affairs, in this case with a distant cousin named Daisy Suckley (Laura Linney). Suckley narrates the film, which begins with her being unexpectedly summoned to take tea with the 32nd president. The problem with the film isn't its suggestion of FDR's dark side; that complexity, and Murray's spot-on portrayal of a man juggling myriad pressures and demands, marks one of the film's greatest strengths. It's that Daisy rarely comes into her own as more than the pliant emotional helpmeet to the Great Man. Contains brief sexuality. Extras: commentary with director Roger Michell and producer Kevin Loader, "A Look Inside Hyde Park on Hudson" and "First Days" featurettes.

"Into the Cold" (unrated, minutes, Shelter Island): Documentary follows two world renowned explorers as they trek 400 miles on foot to the North Pole. Facing harsh temperatures to minus 50 degrees, the film is a bone-chilling story of true bravery, incredible courage and unrelenting determination as Sebastian Copeland and Keith Heger retrace and commemorate the centennial of Robert E. Peary's successful April 1909 expedition. The expedition was also done to raise awareness about global warming, in which treks like this will not be possible within the next 10 to 20 years as the Arctic landscape is changing. Extras: Formats: DVD. Extras: "Antarctica: The Global Warning" trailer. (Shelter Island).

"We Are Egypt: The Story Behind the Revolution" (unrated, minutes, The Disinformation Company): Months before 2011's momentous uprising in Egypt, many talked of a revolution -- but no one knew when that day would come. Going behind the headlines, this story -- filmed in the 14 months leading up to the revolution -- highlights the years of mounting resentment against the ruling regime. Director Lillie Paquette -- deeply embedded inside the turmoil -- followed key opposition figures and young democracy activists as they struggled against extraordinary odds and at great personal risk to remove an uncompromising U.S.-backed authoritarian regime determined to stay in power. Extras: Featurettes: "Memories of Egypt: 1952 Revolution" with Omar Sharif, "Shaab Misr -- The People of Egypt," "Egyptian Democracy Activists," "Inside NDP Headquarters," "Noam Chomsky on U.S. Foreign Policy in Egypt," more. (The Disinformation Company).

Also: "Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War," "Crush," "The Cary Grant Film Collection" (six-film set), "Love Free or Die," "Naked Lunch" (1991, The Criterion Collection), "Paranormal Movie," "Gate of Hell" (Japan, 1953 Oscar winner for best foreign-language film, The Criterion Collection), "Goodnight for Justice: Queen of Hearts" (Hallmark movie), "The Sorcerer and the White Snake" (2011, Hong Kong), "Woochi The Demon Slayer" (2009, South Korea), "The Four" (China), "Down the Shore," "Greatest Western Heroes" (12-disc set), "Lincoln Chronicles," "Best of Walden!" and "Best of Latino Laugh Festival."

Television series: "Boss: Season Two," "Merlin: The Complete Fifth Series" (BBC), "Family Ties: The Sixth Season" (1987-88), "Rainforest Rescue" ("Wild Kratts" series, PBS), "Thomas & Friends: Railway Mischief."

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