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‘360’ comes around to Blu-ray

Magnolia Pictures

It’s strange that a film thematically preoccupied with stories coming full circle would fail to bring matters to a logical conclusion. But so it goes with “360” (2012), an interconnected-circumstance genre entry (see “Crash,” “Babel”) that virtually bypassed theaters, despite a cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, and Ben Foster. Director Fernando Meirelles (“City of God,” “The Constant Gardener”) and writer Peter Morgan (“The Queen”) put a contemporary spin on Austrian playwright Arthur Schnitzler’s 19th-century play “La Ronde” with their take on the border-skipping ripple effects of lust, intimacy, and infidelity. The chain begins, fittingly, in Vienna, with a Slovakian girl
(Lucia Siposova) whose tentative foray into prostitution touches off some soul-searching by a visiting British businessman (Law). Back in London, we meet a 40-something woman (Weisz) who not coincidentally shares Law’s dissatisfied melancholy. Her indiscretions upset a younger woman (Maria Flor), who’s soon headed back to her family in Brazil. It’s a circuitous trip that brings her into contact with a sad-eyed paternal man (Hopkins, pictured) wearied by personal tragedy, and a crazy-eyed sex offender (Foster) bound for an outplacement program. The familiar cast does polished work, despite material that’s underexplored (and, in Foster’s case, narratively preposterous). The broader international cast is also solid, though, especially Jamel Debbouze (“Chicken With Plums”) as a
Parisian Muslim tormented by infatuation. If every character offered his depth, “360” might have avoided its theatrical distributor’s circular file. (Magnolia, $26.98; Blu-ray, $29.98)

FILM NOIR

SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)

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Billy Wilder’s inside-Hollywood classic makes its Blu-ray debut, and predictably, the emphasis is on the restored hi-def visuals. (“Ready for my close-up,” indeed.) But there’s still plenty of narrative resonance to the film’s depiction of Hollywood dreams, industry phoniness, and the way that waylaid screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden) harbors a cynicism born of both. And when faded silent film icon Norma Desmond (brilliantly cast Gloria Swanson) laments stardom having become all about “talk-talk-talk”? Try tweet-tweet-tweet, and it’s the same difference. Extras: Recycled featurettes; film historian commentary; previously unreleased New Year’s sing-along with Holden’s young-Hollywood crowd. (Paramount, $24.99)

ACTION

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2012)

The rebooted good: Andrew Garfield’s fidgety cool-geek presence as Peter Parker, his convincingly cute chemistry with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and some of the tweaked background details. (Warehouse trappings as webline inspiration — nice.) The not-so-good: featured baddie the Lizard (Rhys Ifans), who’s fine in human form, but like a substandard video game character when he grows scales. Extras: On Blu-ray 3-D, director Marc Webb offers a “3D 101” course, despite knocks the movie’s visuals have taken. An additional 110 minutes of hi-def supplements offer chipper interviews with Garfield, a look at stunt rehearsals, and more. (Sony, $30.99; Blu-ray, $40.99; 3-D, $55.99; available Nov. 9)

Tom Russo can be reached at trusso
2222@gmail.com
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