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

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