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Home entertainment: A dog has its day in the intense 'White God'

White God

Magnolia, $26.98; Blu-ray, $29.98

Available on VOD on Tuesday

The sheer technical bravura of Kornél Mundruczó's Cannes prize winner compensates for some of its dramatic clichés and button-pushing. Zsófia Psotta stars as a teenager whose sour father gets rid of her dog without her permission — although the movie's real hero is that pooch, which joins a wild pack, rises up against its human oppressors and has a series of violent and thrilling adventures around Budapest. Mundruczó shamelessly plays on the audience's sympathy with his depiction of cruel authority figures and abused mutts, but there's no denying that the dogs-in-action scenes are dynamic and well choreographed. When the movie really cranks up in its second half, it's an intense experience. The DVD and Blu-ray add a pair of interviews and a behind-the-scenes featurette focusing on the dog-wrangling.

Indie Focus: Your field guide to only good movies

Home

DreamWorks, $29.98; Blu-ray, $36.99/$48.99

Based on Adam Rex's popular children's novel "The True Meaning Of Smekday," DreamWorks' animated feature is about a young girl named Tip (voiced by Rihanna) who befriends a hapless alien named Oh (Jim Parsons) after his race, the Boov, takes over Earth. Steve Martin voices Captain Smek, the pompous Boov leader, who's surprised that earthlings aren't happier about being conquered. It's amiable enough, with strong performances — especially by Martin — but the changing of the book's memorable title to something more generic is indicative of how this movie plays it safe. "Home" relies on obvious sight gags and sentiment, rarely delivering anything unexpected. The DVD and Blu-ray come loaded with extras, though: games, sing-alongs, deleted scenes, new material and featurettes.

The Water Diviner

Warner Bros., $28.98; Blu-ray, $44.95

Available on VOD on Tuesday

Russell Crowe makes his directorial debut and stars in this mystery-drama about an Australian father who journeys to Turkey in 1919 to find out what happened to his sons in the battle of Gallipoli. Crowe's intentions are good here, to tell a stirring story drawn from a sad chapter of Australian history. But the inflated sense of self-importance makes the film more tedious than it should be. Even as an actor, Crowe's been at his best lately when working in softer tones, not playing up his brooding qualities. And while it's about a heavy subject, it could use a lighter touch. The DVD and Blu-ray tack on a pair of featurettes — one about the making of the film, the other about what happened in Gallipoli.

3 Hearts

Cohen, $24.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

French writer-director Benoît Jacquot's tasteful drama is a modern take on the old-fashioned love triangle, revealing how the hectic pace and technological distractions of 21st century life keep people from getting what they really want. Benoît Poelvoorde plays Marc, a tax advisor who meets the beguilingly melancholy Sylvie (Charlotte Gainsbourg) but fails to make a romantic connection, instead ending up by pure chance with her sister, Sophie (Chiara Mastroianni). Jacquot semi-ironically layers in somber music and ponderous narration to make Marc's hooking up with the wrong woman seem more like a tragedy. But this film is really more of an elaborate explication of how people of privilege are constantly spoiled by choice. The DVD and Blu-ray include an extensive interview with Jacquot.

And…

Comet

IFC, $24.98

Justice League: Gods & Monsters

Warner Bros., $19.98; Blu-ray, $24.98

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