RT on DVD: Knowing, Push, The Unborn Unleashed

Plus, rapper-director Sticky Fingaz's mind-blowing debut trailer, Reno 911 and more!

by | July 6, 2009 | Comments

It’s a genre lover’s feast this week on DVD, but don’t say we didn’t warn you about those pesky rotten Tomatometers. First up? Alex Proyas’s latest science fiction thriller, starring Nicolas Cage in a doomsday scenario (Knowing). Also new is a would-be franchise about super-powered humans on the lam from shady government types (Push, starring Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning). David S. Goyer tries his hand at an original story, resulting in silly, PG-13 horror (The Unborn), while one of our favorite ’90s rappers gives directing a shot (A Day in The Life, filmed entirely in rhyme!). If all else fails, look backward to a handful of older titles getting a shiny new polish (Beau Geste, The Deep on Blu-ray). Dig in!



Unless you’re an avowed Alex Proyas fan, his latest science fiction thriller, Knowing, is likely to underwhelm. (But who knows? Roger Ebert, one of the lone critics to champion Proyas’s Dark City, found Knowing to be “frightening, suspenseful, [and] intelligent.”) Most critics agreed that Knowing — about a professor (Nicolas Cage) who discovers that a series of numerical codes have predicted major disasters for decades, with more to come — is simultaneously absurd and overly serious, although its CG-enhanced set pieces are a wonder to behold. Silly or no, those spectacular subway and plane crash scenes will, morbidly, look great on Blu-ray; glean insights from Proyas himself in a commentary track and behind-the-scenes featurettes on the making of the film.

Next: Dakota Fanning, superhero? Push hits DVD



Hearken back to February of this year, and you might remember a little sci-fi actioner called Push, a Hong Kong-set superhero tale of sorts about a ragtag band of super-powered young people (Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, and Camilla Belle) on the run from a shadowy organization called The Division (led by Djimon Hounsou). After a mild box office performance, Push seems unlikely to spawn its intended film sequels (the last in a set of comic book prequels were published upon release), so look on it as a sort of failed experiment in science fiction franchise-making; where did it go wrong? Director Paul McGuigan‘s (Lucky Number Slevin) hyperkinetic direction? The convoluted plot? The audience’s impatience for the over-tread ground of average Joes discovering super powers and fighting off shady government types? Truth be told, McGuigan gives the material a distinct stylistic flair; listen to his musings on production on a commentary track, joined by stars Evans and Fanning.

Next: David S. Goyer’s original horror concept: The Unborn

The Unborn


As David Goyer warns in his latest film, The Unborn, beware the dybbuk! Wait, you ask, what’s a dybbuk? Well, it’s a demon. A Jewish demon that possesses humans. Like, to gain access in to the human world. So, yeah, The Unborn is about a Jewish demon. Goyer, best known for adapting beloved comic book properties into major motion pictures (The Crow: City of Angels, Blade, Batman Begins) hit upon the concept for The Unborn by combining otherwise unrelated historical, scientific, and mystical ideas — the Jewish dybbuk, Nazi experimentation, genetic twin phenomena, and of course, creepy kids and hot girls –resulting in this silly PG-13 genre exercise. Odette Yustman stars as Casey, a coed who fears a demon is trying to possess her; Gary Oldman, Idris Elba, Cam Gigandet and Meagan Good try to help her, with varying degrees of success.

Next: Reno 911! Sixth Season hits DVD!

The inept deputies of the Reno Sheriff’s Department carry on after tragic Season 5 losses from their ranks in Season Six, which picks up with a memorial to fallen Officers Garcia (Carlos Alazraqui), Johnson (Wendi McLendon-Covey), and Kimball (Mary Birdsong). In true Reno 911! fashion, more escapades ensue as the Reno cops, led by Lt. Dangle (Thomas Lennon), welcome new officers and encounter guest stars old and new (Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, the Human Giant comedy troupe). Get all 15 episodes uncensored along with outtakes, deleted scenes, and commentary tracks.

Next: Universal releases four classic films, including Ali Baba and Beau Geste

This week, Universal releases four new reissues from their Universal Backlot Series, which has become a great way to reacquaint yourself with (or, discover for the first time) some classic catalog titles. In 1936’s The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (Tomatometer N/A), an Appalachian family feud gets in the way of romance — and industrialization — as Henry Fonda and Fred MacMurray vie for the same woman. The Western genre takes on a wistful sheen in 1962’s Lonely are the Brave (89%), which stars Kirk Douglas as a cowboy living off the grid, pursued by a sheriff (Walter Matthau) in a film scripted by Dalton Trumbo. Shot in “glorious” Technicolor, the 1944 spectacle film Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (N/A) is a sumptuous, if camp, adventure starring the exotic screen star Maria Montez. Finally, check out Beau Geste (100%), the 1939 classic about a trio of French Legionnaire brothers harboring a secret, starring Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, and Robert Preston.

Next: Leelee Sobieski, Steve Zahn, and Danny Glover are strangers on a Night Train

Night Train — N/A

Pandora’s Box meets Murder on the Orient Express in Night Train, a direct-to-DVD thriller about greed and murder among strangers who find a mysterious box in the possession of a dead man on an overnight train. Danny Glover stars as the conflicted conductor, who along with Leelee Sobieski and her Joyride co-star Steve Zahn, wrestles with his conscience over the jeweled contents of the wooden puzzle box. (shades of Hellraiser, anyone?) Making-of features accompany the film.

Next: Jacqueline Bisset in The Deep, in High Definition!

A scuba-diving couple (Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bisset) discovers a sunken ship full of treasure — and valuable drugs — in this 1977 underwater thriller from director Peter Yates (Breaking Away, Bullitt). Based on Peter Benchley’s novel of the same name, The Deep suffered from comparisons to Benchley’s other deep sea tale — a little story called Jaws — but features a watchable cast (including Robert Shaw, Louis Gossett, Jr. , and Eli Wallach) and blazed the trail for an entire genre of underwater, treasure-hunting films. (Into the Blue? Not very original.) A handful of additional scenes and a lengthy making-of feature make this a fair release for retro film aficionados.

Next: Rapper-turned-actor makes his star-studded directorial debut!

You might remember him best from the 1993 hit single “Slam,” courtesy of his rap group Onyx, but hip-hop-artist-turned-actor Sticky Fingaz (AKA Kirk Jones) has been involved in film and television almost as long. This week, Mr. Fingaz makes his directorial debut with A Day in the Life, a crime saga in which every line — yes, even those spoken by the narrator in this ought-to-be-red band trailer — are rhymed. As in, rapped! Given the impressive cast listing, seemingly comprised of everyone Sticky Fingaz knows in showbiz (including Omar Epps, Mekhi Phifer, Bokeem Woodbine, Faizon Love, Michael Rapaport, Kurupt, Treach, and fellow Onyx musician Fredro Starr), we were a little disappointed by the production values and silly, gratuitous violence on view in the aforementioned trailer. Then again, Fingaz gets points for having the guts to add some realism to the classic movie cliché of the runaway stroller (watch at the 2:32 mark)!

Until next week, happy renting!

Tag Cloud

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