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Directing Redford? There are no words.

Daniel Daza/Roadside Attractions

In “All Is Lost” (2013), Robert Redford has almost no dialogue as a man sailing alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and facing increasingly dire circumstances. Which is partly why you pick up the DVD: to see what more Redford has to say, if not in direct commentary then at least in interview snippets. You also want to hear from writer-director J.C. Chandor, an indie filmmaker who established himself as a budding visionary with his Mamet-ian financial-crisis feature, “Margin Call.” Chandor reinforces the impression here, showing a keen instinct for communicating his character’s struggle without histrionically ratcheting the tension. Witness the subtly stricken expression on Redford’s face as he realizes midway through the action that his sailboat is finally going down, and all that that means, symbolically and practically. Chandor notes in supplements that he even considered the further minimalist touch of eliminating Redford’s brief opening voice-over, but laughingly admits he was afraid it would have seemed like showing off. The director’s playful, upspeak-inflected commentary hardly strikes the tone of enigmatic intellectualism you might expect, judging by his work. He even makes time to point out some hidden Easter eggs (in a Redford movie!), including the ironic name of the drifting cargo container responsible for Redford’s predicament. And while featurettes give us a look at aquatic effects work – some of which was done at the same Mexican facility used for “Titanic” – Chandor is here to tell you, brightly, that’s Redford doing his own man-overboard stunts. So spare him your “Old Man and the Sea” quips. (Lionsgate, $26.98; Blu-ray, $29.99)

Entertainment One Films
Naomi Watts in “Diana.”


DIANA (2013)

Naomi Watts and director Oliver Hirschbiegel (the IRA drama “Five Minutes of Heaven”) borrow the moment-in-time approach of “The Queen” to examine the life and very public loneliness of Princess Diana. The story spotlights Diana’s post-separation involvement with London heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews), a relationship we’re told was far more meaningful than her time with Dodi Fayed. (“We sort of correct history,” Hirschbiegel says in supplements.) Interesting territory, but even Watts’s studied impression can’t offset regrettably soapy dialogue and a few ill-conceived scenes. Does showing the People’s Princess affectionately scrubbing Khan’s apartment qualify as correcting history? (Entertainment One, $24.98; Blu-ray, $29.98)



No, it isn’t Han and Luke and “Great, kid – don’t get cocky.” But until Harrison Ford gives us an encore in the new “Star Wars” sequel, there’s always this adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s YA bestseller. Wet-eyed Asa Butterfield (“Hugo”) is Ender Wiggin, a military prodigy overseen by a gruff spacefleet colonel (Ford) in Earth’s morally thorny campaign to strike back at distant alien invaders. The performances are sturdy enough, but Ender’s preternatural cool permeates the movie, and by extension, the way we experience it. Extras: commentary by director Gavin Hood (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”); Blu-ray featurettes. (Summit, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.99)

Tom Russo can be reached at