Noteworthy DVDs , Blu-rays in 2013

December 27, 2013 

“Amour” (Sony, $30.99 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray). There was much deserved acclaim for this 2012 film of a couple dealing with the effects of aging and illness. Winner of the Oscar for best foreign-language film.

“The Bletchley Circle: Cracking a Killer’s Code” (PBS, $24.99 DVD, $29.99 Blu-ray). This mystery drama set in 1950s England is not only about a crime. It’s about the place of women in post-World War II society, particularly women who had played important roles during the war and were put back in old places afterward. A second season is due in 2014.

“Graham Parker & the Rumour: This Is Live” (Shout!Factory, $21.98 Blu-ray / DVD combo). The singer and band behind “Passion Is No Ordinary Word,” “Local Girls” and “Discovering Japan” reunite for this set of performances, part of which appeared in director Judd Apatow’s “This Is 40.”

“Hava Nagila: The Movie” (Cinedigm, $29.95 DVD. Funny and thoughtful chronicle of the song we all know — and the history behind it. (Olympia’s Temple Beth Hatfiloh recognized this film’s value – it screened this documentary Dec. 25 at the Capitol Theater this year.)

“John Ford: The Columbia Films Collection” (Sony, $49.99). Ford, one of the great American directors, is showcased with five films, including the American DVD debuts of “The Whole Town’s Talking,” “Two Rode Together” and “Gideon’s Day,” and the return to DVD of “The Long Gray Line” and “The Last Hurrah.” Available through the shop on tcm.com.

“Let’s Get Lost” (Cinedigm, $24.95 DVD). Bruce Weber’s documentary about singer-trumpeter Chet Baker was an intriguing look at a life filled with both talent and error. Baker talked to Weber, but the filmmaker went beyond that to interview loved ones and others from Baker’s life for a black-and-white film that was also a colorful chronicle.

“Much Ado About Nothing” (Lionsgate, $19.98 DVD, $24.98 Blu-ray). Joss Whedon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”) gathered some actor friends for a few days and made this black-and-white, modern-dress version of Shakespeare’s play.

“Mud” (Lionsgate, $19.98 DVD, $24.99 Blu-ray). Matthew McConaughey’s recent hot acting streak included this film in which he plays a mysterious man on a mission in Mississippi.

“Not Fade Away” (Paramount, $19.98 DVD, $29.99 Blu-ray), Sopranos mastermind David Chase made his feature-film directing debut with this piece about friends forming a rock band in the 1960s. John Magaro is especially good as a character based on Chase. “Orphan Black: Season One” (BBC $29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray). Tatiana Maslany dazzled critics as she played multiple characters — all clones of one — in this thriller.

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