A STRONG LE­GAL DRAMA SET IN IS­RAEL

Los Angeles Times - - SUNDAY CALENDAR - By Noel Mur­ray

Gett: The Trial of Vi­viane Am­salem

Mu­sicBox, $29.95; Blu-ray, $34.95

A sim­ple di­vorce pe­ti­tion pro­vides the foun­da­tion for riv­et­ing le­gal drama in Ronit and Shlomi Elk­a­betz’s work, the third in their oc­ca­sional se­ries about an Is­raeli woman (played by Ronit) trapped in a love­less mar­riage in a con­ser­va­tive re­li­gious com­mu­nity. Set al­most en­tirely in­side the court­room — where the male judges barely ac­knowl­edge what the hero­ine wants —“Gett” is meant in part as a scathing cri­tique of Ortho­dox fam­ily law. But the writ­ing and per­for­mances are at the level of great the­ater, and the set­ting and sit­u­a­tion are un­usual enough to make even or­di­nary mar­i­tal squab­bles seem ex­otic. The DVD and Blu-ray have a be­hind-the-scenes fea­turette and an in­ter­view with Shlomi.

Red Army

Sony Pic­tures Clas­sics, $30.99; Blu-ray, $34.99 Avail­able on VO Don Tues­day

Gabe Pol­sky’s highly en­ter­tain­ing and en­light­en­ing documentary looks at the 1980Win­ter Olympics “Mir­a­cle on Ice” fromthe per­spec­tive of the Soviet hockey team. Pol­sky has in­ter­views with many of the ma­jor play­ers — in­clud­ing the USSR’s star, Slava Feti­sov — who trace the story all the way back to the in­flu­ence of in­no­va­tive coach Ana­toly Tarasov, who taught bal­let and chess along­side hockey. The point of the doc is that the Western per­cep­tion of

life be­hind the Iron Cur­tain has been too lim­ited. Mem­bers of this team worked them­selves to the point of ex­haus­tion and had lim­ited free­dom out­side the rink, but they also formed a kind of brother­hood and ac­com­plished re­mark­able things both be­fore and af­ter they lost to the U.S. in Lake Placid, N.Y. The DVD and Blu­ray come with deleted scenes, bonus in­ter­views and a com­men­tary track by Pol­sky and fel­low doc­u­men­tar­ian Werner Her­zog.

The Duff

Lionsgate, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.99 Avail­able on VO Don Tues­day

There’s some­thing a lit­tle squir­relly about the premise of this teen rom-com about a high-schooler who dis­cov­ers that her class­mates are nice to her only be­cause she’s the “des­ig­nated ugly fat friend” of two more pop­u­lar girls. Di­rec­tor Ari San­del and screen­writer Josh Ca­gan, adapt­ing Kody Keplinger’s YA novel, traf­fic in all the genre clichés, from the con­trived clas­si­fi­ca­tions of dif­fer­ent ado­les­cent so­cial cir­cles to the love-hate re­la­tion­ship that de­vel­ops be­tween the hero­ine and a con­ceited hunk who helps her learn how to be cooler. But Mae Whit­man is charm­ing as “the duff,” and the movie as a whole is so wellinten­tioned that it goes down pretty easy, even with its mixed mes­sage of “be your­self, but also try to clean up a lit­tle.” The DVD and Blu-ray add fea­turettes.

Tim­buktu

Co­hen, $24.98; Blu-ray, $34.98 Avail­able on VO Don Tues­day

French-Mau­ri­ta­nian film­maker Ab­der­rah­mane Sis­sako landed a for­eign­lan­guage film Os­car nom­i­na­tion for this in­ter­na­tional hit, a pow­er­fully al­le­gor­i­cal and po­lit­i­cally charged drama. Set in a mod­est ranch­ing com­mu­nity in the deserts of Mali, the film fol­lows a multi-gen­er­a­tional fam­ily of herders as their lives of hard work and sim­ple plea­sures are up­ended by the loom­ing pres­ence of a fun­da­men­tal­ist Mus­lim mili­tia in a neigh­bor­ing city. “Tim­buktu” can be read as a di­rect crit­i­cism of how re­li­gious fa­nati­cism de­fies hu­man na­ture and cul­tural tra­di­tion, but it’s also a univer­sal story about how Edens don’t last. Sis­sako delves more into the mean­ing of the movie in an in­ter­view in­cluded on the DVD and Blu­ray.

And…

Kings­man: The Se­cret Ser­vice 20th Cen­tury Fox, $29.98; Blu­ray, $39.99 The Last Ship: The Com­plete First Sea­son Warner Bros., $39.98; Blu-ray, $49.99 Project Al­manac Para­mount, $29.99; Blu-ray, $39.99 Avail­able on VO Don Tues­day Rich Hill Pas­sion River, $24.95 Ser­ena Magnolia, $26.98; Blu-ray, $29.98

Mu­sic Box Films

VI­VIANE’S (Ronit Elk­a­betz) ef­fort to get a di­vorce is fo­cus of riv­et­ing “Gett.”

Co­hen Me­dia Group

“TIM­BUKTU,” set in the deserts of Mali, fea­tures Me­hdi A.G. Mo­hamed and Lay­laWalet Mo­hamed.

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