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DVD releases: ‘Muscle Shoals’


Magnolia Pictures


MUSCLE SHOALS The documentary takes its name from the small northern Alabama town with not one but two legendary recording studios. The focus is on music producer Rick Hall and the celebrated crew of backup musicians known as the Swampers. The film can be annoyingly slick and overproduced. Oh well. The music and the musicians are what matter, and they’re often magnificent. Extras: additional scenes and interviews, commentary with Hall and director Greg Camalier. (Magnolia, $26.98; Blu-ray, $29.98)

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR Last year’s winner at Cannes, Abdellatif Kechiche’s epic coming-of-age drama has remarkable performances (by Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux), “scandalous” lesbian sex scenes, raptur-ous cinematography, and a partial blindness to its own voyeuristic tendencies. Extras: trailer. (Criterion Collection, $19.95; Blu-ray, $24.95)

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KING OF THE HILL Steven Soderbergh fashions a rich-looking, tough-minded evocation of a kid growing up fast in a seedy St. Louis hotel during the Depression. Jesse Bradford is extraordinary as the eighth-grader, playing naivete and vulnerability against dawning awareness. Released in 1993, it was adapted from A.E. Hotchner’s memoir. Extras: restored digital transfer, interviews with Soderbergh and Hotchner, video essay on Soderbergh’s approach to narrative, Soderbergh feature “The Underneath.” (Criterion Collection, dual DVD/Blu-ray, $39.95)

NEBRASKA Nominated for six Oscars, including best picture, the latest from Alexander Payne (“The Descendants”) is a desolate, often powerfully moving comedy-drama about fathers, sons, life’s highways and missed off-ramps. Best actor nominee Bruce Dern plays an ornery old coot on a road trip to claim a sweepstakes prize. Will Forte, unexpectedly good, is the grown son trying to get him there. Extras: making-of featurettes (Paramount, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99)

THE CRASH REEL This 2013 documentary about the half-pipe rivalry between Shaun White and Kevin Pearce offers plenty of snowboarding thrills. It also has its share of existential chills, courtesy of Pearce’s recovery from a 2009 training accident. (Phase 4, $16.99; Blu-ray, $16.99)

TESS Roman Polanski’s 1979 adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” resonates with exquisite passion. While faithful to Hardy’s artistic vision, Polanski interposes his own views of tragedy. Nastassia Kinski is brilliant in the lead. Extras: digital restoration, three documentaries about film, 1979 interview with Polanski, trailers. (Criterion Collection, dual DVD/Blu-ray, $39.95)


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