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New on Disc: 'The Armstrong Lie' and more …

10 Feb, 2014 By: Mike Clark

The Armstrong Lie

Street 2/11
Sony Pictures, Documentary, B.O. $0.38 million, $30.99 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray, ‘R’ for language.
This portrait of a charismatic sociopath whose charisma is fully captured here is the next thing to a twofer home release in its DVD/Blu-ray incarnations. First, there’s the material we see on screen, which differs substantially from the portrait of Lance Armstrong that director Alex Gibney set out to make and initially did — that is, before the cyclist finally affirmed doping accusations. Then, for those who take the time to listen to the filmmaker’s essential bonus-section commentary, watching Lie (a title choice that finally estranged Gibney from his subject) becomes a different experience. This is because Gibney has to share with us the dilemma he faced once Armstrong’s admission pulled the rug out from under the filmmaker’s completed but now unreleaseable documentary about Armstrong’s comeback attempt to win his eighth Tour de France. Gibney offers a pressure-packed commentary on all aspects of this definitive portrait.
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In the Heat of the Night (Blu-ray)

Fox/MGM, Drama, $19.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant.
I have a warm spot for Night’s place in history, and for the fact that it teamed Sidney Poitier and director Norman Jewison. As mysteries go, the movie really isn’t much, but the characterizations and Haskell Wexler’s cinematography carry the day. The Blu-ray gives a good rendering of how the movie looked in ’67, getting the most of grimy settings shot in artistically limited United Artists DeLuxe Color of the day, which was never much.
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