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top DVD picks

A subversive visit to Disney World

“Escape From Tomorrow.”

“Escape From Tomorrow.”

We’ll bet you an all-expenses-paid trip to Disney World that “Escape From Tomorrow” (2013) is the only DVD you’ll see this year in which the production’s copyright-clearance lawyer gets featurette time. Rookie filmmaker Randy Moore gained instant notoriety for shooting on location at Disney’s Orlando theme parks, guerrilla-style, to cobble together his surrealist depiction of the Freakiest Place on Earth. (“Draft Day”-type product placement this isn’t.) The film stars Roy Abramsohn (“Weeds”) as a family man whose vacation with his wife (Elena Schuber) and kids devolves into phantasmagoria territory, complete with possessed animatronics, human pixies, and a bonkers princess-turned-cougar. Shot in sun-draining black-and-white and deftly edited, it’s an impressive piece of work on a visual level. Narratively, it isn’t nearly as strong. Credit Moore for not just leaning on clichés: Yeah, yeah, we all know that It’s a Small World is evil, but we hadn’t caught the one about those costumed princesses being courtesans to the fetish set. Abramsohn and Schuber’s work has a lack of polish that’s intermittently distracting. Something glossier might have gone against the film’s subversive principles, of course — but maybe it also could have played like Chevy Chase’s Walley World visit rendered even screwier by an authentic backdrop. Extras: Moore is likably soft-spoken in an interview and commentary, never coming across as self-congratulatory. If anything, you wish he had more to say about the film’s intriguing mid-life meditations. Abramsohn and Schuber supply in-character commentary, with some amusing awkwardness over scenes of him straying. (Cinedigm, $19.97; Best Buy exclusive Blu-ray, $19.97)

“Sophie’s Choice.”

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“Sophie’s Choice.”



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Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline’s unforgettable performances as a haunted Holocaust survivor and her unstable lover are recalled in this Blu-ray debut. The disc features a 45-minute conversation with Streep, Kline, the widows of director Alan J. Pakula and source novelist William Styron, and other insiders. (Peter MacNicol is absent.) The discussion focuses more on details than themes, with the group recalling how Streep’s role nearly went to an eventual Slovakian presidential candidate. Kline remembers Pakula appreciating the screen newcomer’s delight the actor brought to his role: “Had [the character] not been insane, he was joyous. That was the tragic thing.” (Shout! Factory, Blu-ray/DVD combo, $29.93)



To swipe Michael Conrad’s weekly roll-call sign-off as Sergeant Esterhaus: Let’s be careful out there — you might drop this 34-disc whopper and break a toe. Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoll’s groundbreakingly realistic cop drama gets a comprehensive reissue, featuring a host of bonus interviews and a retrospective booklet. Cast members taking a look back include James B. Sikking, Dennis Franz, Bruce Weitz (Belker), and Charles Haid (Renko). Bochco leads a conversation with series writers including Alan Rachins, who dabbled on “Hill Street” before again working for Bochco — in front of the camera — on “L.A. Law.” (Shout! Factory, $199.99)

Tom Russo can be reached at

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