New DVDs this week

Published: Friday, Apr. 12, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 15TICKET

"Hyde Park on the Hudson" (R, 95 minutes, Universal): Choosing Bill Murray to play Franklin D. Roosevelt is 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 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 extra- marital 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 helpmate 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): The 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.


Also:
"We Are Egypt," "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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