December 5, 2013

DVD releases

'The Wolverine' is new on the shelf.

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Hugh Jackman in “The Wolverine.”

20th Century Fox

VIDEOPORT PICKS

“DRINKING BUDDIES,” Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson. Relying on improvisation to shape a film isn’t exactly a rare conceit these days, but what IS rare is when it works exceptionally well, and director Joe Swanberg’s (“24 Exposures”) relationship dramedy carries it off better than most in recent memory. Concerning a pair of mismatched couples and their stumbling, haltingly incremental attempts to improve their respective situations, “Buddies” is never less than thoroughly believable, approaching documentary-like realism as the camera observes familiar conversation and all-too-human behavior. And drinking. Lots of drinking. Viewers of a certain age will feel as those they’re watching footage of last night’s bar run, while for others it may have a time-machine effect. In any event, “Buddies” knows what it’s like to be young, confused, and half in the bag. Rated R. Running time: 1:30. Suggested retail price: $26.98; Blu-ray $29.98. 

“GOOD OL’ FREDA,” Documentary. Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be any information left to share about The Beatles, here comes “Good Ol’ Freda,” an affectionate and occasionally eye-opening doc that introduces us to Freda Kelly, their biggest fan and longtime secretary, responsible for such tasks as retrieving locks of hair left behind from the Fab Four’s barber visits to mail to rabid fans. As might be expected, the anecdotes are plentiful and fascinating, but in the end it’s Freda’s unassuming likability that stays with the viewer: a genuinely nice, average person who held a position millions would have killed for. Rated PG. Running time: 1:26. Suggested retail price: $26.98; Blu-ray $29.98.

– Courtesy of Videoport

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