COUCH THEATER —  DVD PREVIEWS

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Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan in “Le Week-End”

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PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Le Week-End” (R) —  Is there anything a jaunt to Paris can’t fix? How about the mold on a resentful marriage that’s been growing for almost 30 years? Nick (Jim Broadbent) and Meg (Lindsay Duncan) are a sweet older English couple revisiting Paris, the site of their honeymoon years ago. They have quiet moments, tender moments, and a lot of bickering in some very nice restaurants.

The film is not the cutest or most lighthearted look at long-term marriage, but you end up connecting to the folks on screen. Broadbent and Duncan have the chemistry that makes you believe there really is 30 years of emotional clutter between them. Jeff Goldblum steals the show as the comic relief with multiple dimensions.

“Bad Words” (R) —  An unrelenting jerk forces his way into a spelling bee circuit, inflicting his crudeness on innocent children and their families. Guy Trillby (Jason Bateman —  also the director) is unabashedly profane, sexist, racist, mean and also kind of funny. Thanks to a loophole, he’s entered in a spelling bee where he competes grade-school children while an oddball journalist (Katherine Hahn) looks on in wonder. A boy becomes fascinated by the miscreant, whose barbarism doesn’t bother him.

This is Jason Bateman’s first time directing, and he’s given himself quite a role. Bateman has the whole nice-guy charm about him, but here he really embraces the Inner Jackass. If you can’t handle a character whose primary behavior is cursing in front of children, then you can skip this one.

“Maidentrip” (NR) —  At age 14, Laura Dekker set out to be the youngest person to sail around the world alone. She documented the trip with a handheld camera, which supplies much of the footage for this feature-length documentary about her trip and growing up at sea. The film largely focuses on the trip itself, the growth that Laura went through, and the independence and introspection that it built. The documentary also spends some time with the struggles that started before she even shoved off —  the family issues that led her to take on such a trip, and how Dutch authorities were not keen to let a teenager go into the open ocean alone.

“The Raid 2” (R) —  In 2012, “The Raid: Redemption” delivered a flying elbow smash to the martial-arts genre. A Jakarta cop took on a high-rise building full of vicious goons in an all-out brawl for survival. This sequel follows our same hero (Iko Uwais, Indonesia’s rising star of beat’em ups) as he goes undercover with a brutal crime ring. The movie has more plot points than its predecessor, but doesn’t cut back on the expertly executed violence.

TV RELEASES
“The Big Valley: Season 3”
“Prisoners of War: Season 1”
“PBS D-Day 360”
“Doctor Who: Series Three —  Part Two”
“Workaholics: Season 4”

© 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

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