FDR drama, Cary Grant collection out on DVD
"Hyde Park on Hudson"
Bill Murray gives one of his best performances of his career as Franklin D. Roosevelt in this film. It offers a view of the president outside the White House, one that focuses on the complicated relationships with the women in his life as well as a pivotal visit to America by the king and queen of England.
The film is narrated by Margaret "Daisy" Suckley (Laura Linney), a distant cousin who became FDR's personal assistant and one of his mistresses. Their relationship unfolds as the president prepares for the 1939 visit from King George VI (Samuel West) and his wife, Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman), who are trying to gain support from the U.S. before World War II. It's a milestone visit, the first for a British monarch. Roosevelt invites the king and queen to spend the weekend with him at Springwood, in Hyde Park, N.Y. Also around are the president's domineering mother (Elizabeth Wilson) and his charming and independent wife, Eleanor (Olivia Williams).
The film shows how FDR hid his disabilities from the public and it showcases the president's charm and wit. The cinematography captures even the smallest details in this entertaining, well-acted film.
"Cary Grant Film Collection"
Cary Grant was a screen legend, named by the American Film Institute as the second greatest male star of all time -- behind only Humphrey Bogart.
This new DVD collection includes six of his 75 films: "An Affair to Remember," "Born to be Bad," "I Was a Male War Bride," "Kiss Them for Me," "Monkey Business" and "People Will Talk."
"Howdy Kids: A Saturday Afternoon Western Roundup"
For those who grew up in the 1950s, the television shows at the time evoke a certain nostalgia. This three-disc set includes 24 complete episodes of some favorites. Among them are "The Lone Ranger," "The Rifleman," "The Roy Rogers Show," "The Cisco Kid," "Sky King," "Fury," "The Adventures of Kit Carson," "Red Ryder" and more.
With baseball season starting again comes this excellent documentary, focusing on the pitch that few batters can hit. Acclaimed filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg give us a lesson about the men who throw the pitch, along with how it works. They followed two pitchers in 2011 and also interviewed retired pitchers who threw the knuckleball such as Wilbur Wood, Jim Bouton, Charlie Hough, Tom Candiotti and Hall of Famer Phil Niekro. You do not have to be a fan of baseball to appreciate and enjoy this well-made documentary.
Available next week
• "A Monster in Paris"
• "A Whisper to a Roar"
• "Disneynature: Wings of Life"
• "Django Unchained"
• "Ethel Kennedy"
• "Small Apartments"
• "PBS's Women Who Make America"