RT on DVD

RT on DVD: High School Musical 3 or Midnight Meat Train?

Plus, Quarantine, Body of Lies, Changeling, Religulous, and more.

by | February 16, 2009 | Comments

It’s a good week for mediocre films (Body of Lies, Changeling, Quarantine and Flash of Genius, all walking a fine line between Fresh and Rotten) and an even better one if you’re a Wildcat fan (High School Musical 3: Senior Year)! Horror fans have an enticing two-fer to consider (Quarantine and the better-reviewed Midnight Meat Train), while left-wingers get the political Borat (Bill Maher’s Religulous). See what else is new this week on DVD.

If there’s a tween or teen girl in your family, chances are they’ll be on their best behavior this week in hopes of snagging the third and final chapter of Disney’s High School Musical franchise, which comes to home video in three different piggy bank-draining versions. Should the kids spring for a single-disc’s worth of Troy Bolton, a double-disc DVD, or go all the way to Blu?

We recommend picking up the 2-disc DVD over the single-disc because, let’s face it, if you’re going to buy High School Musical 3, you might as well get more bang for your buck. Where only a single bonus feature appears on the single-disc DVD, more featurettes, bloopers, deleted scenes, and a sing along bolster the 2-disc and enrich the musical tale of PG-rated teen angst (Play basketball or be in the school play? Start college early or go to prom?). It also includes a digital copy of the extended cut of the film. EXTENDED CUT — that means even more Wildcat singing and dancing!!!

Blu-ray buyers get all of the above, plus a few additional featurettes and the wonderment of seeing Vanessa Hudgens’ Neutrogena-sponsored pores in high definition.

Below, check out two exclusive behind-the-scenes clips in which the HSM3 cast learns to waltz and Zac Efron learns the ropes behind the camera. Is a career change in order?

Next: Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies falls short of Fresh

2. Body of Lies — 51%

Despite boasting the combined powers of Leonardo di Caprio, Russell Crowe, Departed screenwriter William Monahan and celebrated director Ridley Scott, Body of Lies was brimming with more promise than it ultimately delivered. Critics were split neatly down the middle on this politically-charged thriller about a CIA agent (Di Caprio) enmeshed in a Jordanian anti-terror plot; even with its solid cast (including scene-stealer Mark Strong as the head of Jordanian intel), Body of Lies couldn’t truly deliver. While the Blu-ray release comes packed with an enviable amount of bonus material (some of which must be played as interruptions to the film, instead of Picture-in-Picture), a commentary track by Scott, Monahan, and original author David Ignatius will do just fine, and appears along with a few featurettes on the standard disc release.

Next: Clint Eastwood’s Changeling


3. Changeling — 61%

One of the lowest-rated films to be nominated for an Academy Award this year (thanks to Angelina Jolie’s Best Actress nomination, plus nods for Cinematography and Art Direction), Changeling should be an intriguing pick up for Oscar prognosticators this week. Directed by Clint Eastwood, Changeling tells the story of a working class mother who loses her child in 1928, only to be told months later by insistent cops that another boy is her son. Conventionally-told but compelling nonetheless, this should be an interesting rental for anyone who missed the film in theaters; in addition to two making-of featurettes on the standard release, the Blu-ray disc contains archival materials of the real-life story upon which Changeling is based, plus a feature that compares the Los Angeles-area period settings to their modern day locations.

Next: Flash of Genius not so genius

4. Flash of Genius — 57%

Period biographical pictures about men struggling on the brink of greatness sometimes do well (A Beautiful Mind, Tucker: The Man and His Dream) and sometimes fall short of the mark. Unfortunately, Marc Abraham’s Flash of Genius — the true story of Robert Kearns (Greg Kinnear), who invented the intermittent windshield wiper in 1967 — is of the latter category, earning middling marks from critics on its way to DVD shelves. If windshield wipers (or Kinnear’s co-star, the awesome Lauren Graham) intrigue you, we recommend a rental, though beware that only a director commentary and deleted scenes accompany the film. Universal is also releasing Flash of Genius day-and-date On Demand.

Next: Dakota Fanning in Hounddog

5. Hounddog — 17%

Even I’m getting tired of referring to Hounddog as “The Dakota Fanning Rape Movie,” so let’s accept the fact of its early and lasting reputation and move on, shall we? Hounddog stars the then- 12-year-old Fanning as a Southern tomboy in the 1950s with a fondness for Elvis; when the controversial event occurs, she finds comfort and redemption in the blues. Deborah Kampmeier’s drama made waves at Sundance, though most reviews were overwhelmingly negative; try and let that stop you from indulging your morbid curiosity.

Next: Simon Pegg loses friends and alienates people

As in The Devil Wears Prada, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People aims to satirize an insider industry with a lead character begrudgingly working their way up the corporate ladder — only this time it’s not Anne Hathaway, it’s British comic actor Simon Pegg, and his work is in entertainment journalism, not fashion. Critics were mostly un-amused by this slap-sticky adaptation of former Vanity Fair contributor Toby Young’s memoirs, citing an irregular tone, too much crudeness, and a mediocre script. However, a feature-length commentary with director Robert D. Weide and star Pegg accompanies the disc, which might be worth a gander thanks to the always-amusing (in real life, anyway) Pegg.

Next: I Served the King of England

Czech New Wave director Jiri Menzel (Closely Watched Trains) returns to form with this World War II-set dramedy about an ambitious waiter whose personal fortunes rise and fall as the country succumbs to the Nazis, then the Communist party, in the mid-20th century. This multiple festival award-winner, based on the novel by Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal, is the week’s standout Certified Fresh release.

Next: Clive Barker’s Midnight Meat Train

When Lionsgate unceremoniously dumped Midnight Meat Train into a very limited theatrical run last summer, horror fans were outraged, and rightly so; the adaptation of a Clive Barker short story was actually Fresh — so why hide it from the movie-going public? This month, Midnight Meat Train finally makes it to DVD, and those eagerly anticipating the Ryuhei Kitamura-directed slasher can take solace in the fact that they can finally see the tale in a DVD-only unrated cut. Bradley Cooper (He’s Just Not That Into You, Wedding Crashers) stars as a shutterbug on the trail of a subway killer (Vinnie Jones); three featurettes accompany the film.

Next: Hollywood remakes Spanish horror with Quarantine

9. Quarantine — 59%

A television reporter (Jennifer Carpenter) and her cameraman (Steve Harris) are the only people able to document the mysterious happenings inside a Los Angeles apartment building in this remake of the Spanish horror film, REC (94%). Atmospheric scares enhance this Blair Witch-styled tale, although critics agreed it fell short of the mark of the original. Director John Erick Dowdle and producer Drew Dowdle, who co-wrote the screenplay, contribute a commentary track, while additional features flesh out the bonus menu.

Next: Bill Maher meets Borat in Religulous

10. Religulous –71%

When director Larry Charles teamed up with Sacha Baron Cohen, the result was Borat. When he joined forces with Bill Maher, the result was Religulous, a comedy-documentary whose main focus is to satirize organized religion, and satirize it hard. A commentary track in which Charles and Maher explain their filmmaking methods and experiences highlights the extras.

Until next week, happy renting!

Tag Cloud

Funimation space new york stop motion unscripted know your critic 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Freeform streamig 71st Emmy Awards WarnerMedia ghosts TCA Awards zombies series Exclusive Video binge The CW Starz sequel YouTube Premium joker PBS superhero TCA Winter 2020 high school Song of Ice and Fire FX on Hulu quibi 72 Emmy Awards AMC 73rd Emmy Awards Teen all-time MGM comiccon 90s Prime Video SDCC Winter TV spanish language screenings 4/20 HFPA 2020 sitcom Image Comics Disney Plus dreamworks cats harry potter OWN miniseries 20th Century Fox 1990s Netflix Turner Classic Movies screen actors guild transformers GLAAD Women's History Month young adult Fall TV Sci-Fi adventure award winner teaser SXSW 2022 Vudu comedies Christmas Tubi SXSW die hard Tags: Comedy Spectrum Originals Disney Channel TLC Brie Larson cancelled television reviews twilight movie wonder woman Countdown foreign pirates of the caribbean FXX 2015 politics Pacific Islander green book rt labs critics edition Ghostbusters summer TV Broadway new star wars movies Dark Horse Comics Hulu justice league Food Network renewed TV shows Bravo DGA royal family football Adult Swim Country elevated horror Film Festival TCA 2017 Sundance TV sopranos Animation spider-verse scene in color series 2018 stoner legend marvel comics TNT Trailer RT History Star Wars cops Crackle Music Esquire Legendary latino discovery aapi documentary Pride Month posters IFC rotten technology Pirates Tomatazos Paramount Pictures TV Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Alien zombie Extras dragons game of thrones See It Skip It Native Warner Bros. TCM cinemax Toys franchise ABC Signature breaking bad Star Trek Creative Arts Emmys CNN nature Avengers vs. Comedy true crime docudrama criterion blaxploitation Disney streaming service Marvel Television Universal Star Wars Celebration DC Comics japanese VH1 facebook Logo summer preview japan satire The Witch Elton John 2019 crime thriller police drama comic book movie OneApp ESPN Spring TV indie Best Director spinoff Box Office mutant USA Anna Paquin Universal Pictures Oscar dramedy name the review HBO Max Rock best Western jamie lee curtis YA Biopics black TV movies remakes spanish Amazon Prime Video Shudder anthology lord of the rings slashers Travel Channel NBC Wes Anderson comic books National Geographic composers leaderboard broadcast Rocketman new zealand Sundance genre Comics on TV Endgame docuseries Sony Pictures rt archives saw Pet Sematary comic Family rotten movies we love Pop TV E3 Interview Mindy Kaling Black Mirror Chernobyl 94th Oscars finale TIFF zero dark thirty Amazon Studios crime drama romantic comedy diversity international Lifetime suspense Schedule Classic Film nbcuniversal doctor who streaming Walt Disney Pictures Marvel Studios South by Southwest Film Festival spider-man CMT Fox Searchlight video on demand scary movies comics Pop YouTube action-comedy king kong Musicals universal monsters crossover political drama Sneak Peek 21st Century Fox festival Red Carpet black comedy worst live action south america Rom-Com hispanic HBO target scene in color Hollywood Foreign Press Association disaster Drama X-Men PaleyFest scene in color film series Infographic spain thriller women cancelled TV shows golden globe awards halloween tv superman Mystery toy story Captain marvel scene in color deadpool king arthur Masterpiece American Society of Cinematographers batman SundanceTV interviews CW Seed Shondaland obituary versus Oscars scary Pixar mockumentary anime Sony period drama Academy Awards halloween BET blockbuster rom-coms Best Picture Photos Disney serial killer FOX Winners Paramount TV One 007 Amazon MTV Marvel Netflix Christmas movies trailers 45 Marathons Emmy Nominations Cannes Apple TV+ comic book movies The Academy Heroines french Comic-Con@Home 2021 TV Land sag awards kong Instagram Live BET Awards blockbusters psycho Hear Us Out Rocky book adaptation ratings Comic Book History Apple GoT E! witnail festivals trophy PlayStation monster movies CBS All Access Fantasy Writers Guild of America NYCC cars Video Games Syfy sports prank Podcast toronto Summer Mudbound Calendar YouTube Red dark Hallmark romance BBC critics crime Nominations mcc New York Comic Con independent worst movies jurassic park President TCA First Reviews mob marvel cinematic universe nfl revenge Best Actress The Purge Mary Poppins Returns theme song 79th Golden Globes Awards what to watch boxoffice olympics scorecard A24 The Arrangement sequels indiana jones Valentine's Day a nightmare on elm street Superheroes ABC Martial Arts 99% Black History Month Musical Year in Review book Super Bowl Crunchyroll Binge Guide archives GIFs Reality canceled A&E 2017 hollywood casting adenture The Walking Dead Ellie Kemper Tarantino Emmys critic resources The Walt Disney Company psychological thriller Tumblr Trophy Talk war dogs Kids & Family science fiction Amazon Prime cancelled Television Academy talk show obi wan Baby Yoda Cosplay laika Showtime Holidays cartoon DC Universe based on movie animated cults boxing Election supernatural chucky social media San Diego Comic-Con ITV TV renewals Nickelodeon classics Acorn TV VICE USA Network hispanic heritage month news hidden camera james bond Reality Competition APB kaiju Mary poppins singing competition IFC Films strong female leads Lionsgate ABC Family christmas movies golden globes 93rd Oscars FX historical drama Set visit godzilla Discovery Channel LGBTQ Awards Tour debate asian-american canceled TV shows Best Actor children's TV travel parents feel good movies Fargo richard e. Grant BBC One live event Polls and Games 2021 television cooking AMC Plus stand-up comedy directors game show LGBT razzies adaptation Stephen King VOD popular HBO Go Lifetime Christmas movies Spike Comedy Central target Geeked Week natural history NBA dceu Tokyo Olympics 24 frames WGN Hallmark Christmas movies Quiz Peacock Premiere Dates Apple TV Plus BAFTA MSNBC First Look werewolf films 2016 Indigenous Paramount Network Trivia DC streaming service basketball art house Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Mary Tyler Moore streaming movies Paramount Plus Turner Fox News italian TBS aliens documentaries Nat Geo Holiday Awards Grammys Best and Worst medical drama Neflix RT21 child's play free movies kids Action hist DirecTV Television Critics Association rt labs IMDb TV Lucasfilm El Rey spy thriller MCU Arrowverse Superheroe robots BBC America tv talk biopic dexter Horror gangster heist movie Sundance Now Disney+ Disney Plus australia ID Character Guide Thanksgiving concert Opinion cancelled TV series video TruTV CBS summer TV preview telelvision Watching Series Certified Fresh Britbox emmy awards biography Ovation fresh fast and furious slasher dc Cartoon Network Epix venice Columbia Pictures Focus Features vampires reboot Film ViacomCBS mission: impossible