New on DVD / Blu-ray 'Llewyn Davis,' 'Furnace' arrive


Akron Beacon Journal

Writing-directing brothers Joel and Ethan Coen have won acclaim and awards for such fine films as "Fargo" and "No Country for Old Men." Their most recent effort, "Inside Llewyn Davis," was largely missed by moviegoers as it was largely confined to the art-house circuit -- but you have a chance to see it today when it comes to DVD and Blu-ray.

Coming from Sony, the film follows its title character -- played by Oscar Isaac -- as he makes a last-ditch effort to salvage his musical career in the early ‘60s folk scene in New York City. It is not a good time for Davis. Formerly half of a duo, he has not done well as a solo act. He’s broke. He sleeps on other people’s couches. He’s a purist even as other folkies are getting more commercial. He sleeps around, including with the wife of a friend. He is talented -- as is clear when the Coens’ linger over a full-length song by Davis -- but his talent is not going to make him a success. Like many Coen characters, he is just too flawed to be what he dreams of.

It’s a harsh, though often funny movie, enhanced not only by Isaac but a supporting cast including John Goodman, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake. And it takes place in a grubby world with none of the romantic gloss sometimes put on the era.

The extra on DVD and Blu-ray is a 40-minute making-of documentary.

Sony is also releasing, as a digital download only, "Another Day / Another Time: Celebrating the Music of ‘Inside Llewyn Davis. ‘" A concert highlighting songs from the film and other period music, it includes Isaac with Jack White, Marcus Mumford, Joan Baez, Patti Smith, the Avett Brothers and others.

Also of note today is "Out of the Furnace." Directed and co-written by Scott Cooper ("Crazy Heart"), it’s a bleak tale of dead-end lives and the conflict between a war veteran (Christian Bale) and a terrifying crime boss (Woody Harrelson). It’s a movie with a lot of obvious notes but the performances by Bale and especially Harrelson are excellent.

Extras on "Out of the Furnace" include a conversation with Cooper, a piece on the film’s music, and the stars talking about what inspired them to become actors.

Down video road

"Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" will be on Blu-ray on April 1 in a combo pack with three different formats: the original theatrical cut, an unrated version and the current "super-sized" re-edit with new jokes. A standard DVD that same date will have the theatrical version. And you can get either the theatrical version or the unrated cut as a digital download on Tuesday.

"August: Osage County" comes to DVD and Blu-ray on April 8, but will be a digital download as of March 28.


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