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Originally published Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 5:30 AM

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‘56 Up,’ ‘Venus and Serena,’ ‘Tai Chi Zero’

New DVD releases for Tuesday, July 2, include several documentaries (“56 Up,” “Venus and Serena” and “The House I Live In”) and the martial-arts flick “Tai Chi Zero.”

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New DVDs

Real lives take center stage with Tuesday’s releases. Star ratings are by Seattle Times movie reviewers, freelancers or wire services. For full reviews, search the movie title at Release dates are subject to change.

4 stars“56 Up” (not rated): The latest installment in Michael Apted’s documentary series — which began when its 14 participants were an unruly gaggle of 7-year-olds and checks in with them every seven years — finds the gang well settled in middle age. One participant compares the project with a bad book “that you nonetheless feel obligated to finish.” Writes Seattle Times movie critic Moira Macdonald: “Would that all books could be as compelling as this series, which finds something deeply moving in the stories of ordinary lives.”

3.5 stars“Venus and Serena” (PG-13): A veil is lifted on the tight-knit Williams clan as the tennis champions largely tell their own story.

2.5 stars“Least Among Saints” (R): Writer/director Martin Papazian plays a Middle East war veteran who befriends a newly orphaned 10-year-old and struggles to build a future for both of them.

2.5 stars“Tai Chi Hero” (PG-13): Stephen Fung’s Chinese-language action epic follows a young man (Jayden Yuan) who, seeking to hone his kung-fu skills, treks to a remote village wanting to learn a closely guarded style of the martial art — except that the villagers want no part of him. Duck!

“The House I Live In” (not rated; for mature audiences): Eugene Jarecki’s documentary is a personal and political look at the war on drugs and its thousands of casualties, including those serving hard time for minor offenses. (No star rating provided.)


“Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings”

“Last Resort: The Complete Series”

“The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis: The Complete Series”

Compiled by Lori Taki Uno:

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