DVD reviews

“The Well-Diggers’s Daughter”
Kino Lorber
“The Well-Diggers’s Daughter”

THE WELL-DIGGER’S DAUGHTER Daniel Auteuil directed, stars in, and adapted this amiable remake of the 1940 Marcel Pagnol film. As the daughter, Patricia, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey is even lovelier than the rural Provence setting. Auteuil sure does munch on the scenery, though, and the plot is even more shameless than Auteuil’s overacting. Kad Merad is winning in the thankless role of Patricia’s oafish/affable suitor. (Kino Lorber: $29.95; Blu-ray, $34.95)

RED HOOK SUMMER The movie business just keeps getting weirder and weirder. This latest feature from Spike Lee didn’t get a Boston theatrical release. It works best at its most poetic, struggling hard to get the flavors, rhythms, music, and emotions of a neighborhood and a society the movie industry has no interest in depicting with any realism. Otherwise, it’s a holy mess. One way to look at it is as a berserk Tyler Perry movie. Another is just the latest letdown from a filmmaker who seems to have lost his way. Extras: director’s commentary, music video, behind-the-scenes featurette. (Image Entertainment, $27.97; Blu-ray, $29.97, already available)

SOKUROV: EARLY MASTERPIECES The visionary director Alexander Sokurov is best known for “Russian Ark,” whose single shot takes in 90 minutes and 300 years of Russian history. The three films in this box set are “Whispering Pages” (1994), “Stone” (1992), and “Save and Protect,” a version of “Madame Bovary” (1990). Extras: four documentaries and a short directed by Sokurov. (Cinema Guild, $64.95, already available)


GREGG ALLMAN — I’M NO ANGEL: LIVE ON STAGE This 1988 Nashville concert with the legendary singer and keyboard player features such numbers as the title song, “Slip Away,” Muddy Waters’s “One Way Out,” and Blind Willie McTell’s “Statesboro Blues” (the latter two he famously recorded live with the Allman Brothers Band). (Cherry Red, $16.95)

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MYRNA LOY AND WILLIAM POWELL COLLECTION The “Thin Man” movies made Loy and Powell a classic screen couple, but their pluperfect partnership extended beyond the detective series. This five-disc set features “Manhattan Melodrama,” “Evelyn Prentice” (both 1934), “Double Wedding” (1937), “I Love You Again” (1940), and “Love Crazy” (1941). Extras: period shorts, cartoons, radio interviews. (Warner Home Video, $49.92, already available)

SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION The other movie based on a Ken Kesey novel. In fact, Kesey preferred this 1970 adaptation to the far better known one of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Henry Fonda and Paul Newman (who directed) are father and son in an Oregon logging family. Lee Remick, Richard Jaeckel, and Michael Sarrazin also star. (Shout! Factory, Blu-ray, $19.97, already available)