RT on DVD: Race to Witch Mountain, The Soloist, Delgo

Plus, a John Carpenter classic hits Blu-Ray!

by | August 3, 2009 | Comments

We know it’s shaping up to be quite a disappointing week for DVD, but we
promise at least a little light at the end of the tunnel. If fantasy is your
thing, you’ve got the latest family flick from the artist formerly known as The
Rock (Race to Witch Mountain), an otherworldly animated flop (Delgo),
and Thomas Jane’s strange sci-fi actioner based on a role-playing game (Mutant
). Joe Wright delivers an Oscar would-be (The Soloist,
starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.) while the likes of Sienna Miller,
Peter Sarsgaard, Forest Whitaker, Dakota Fanning and others languish in
poorly-reviewed indie pics (The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Fragments).
Only Blu-ray owners truly have something to celebrate (Big Trouble in Little
on Blu-ray)! Read on for more.

matter how gosh darn charismatic Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is, even his bemused,
enthusiastic performance couldn’t save this Disney kids’ adventure. The biggest
reason for this, of course, is that we didn’t need another Witch Mountain
flick — the 1975 Escape From Witch Mountain is a classic in its own
right, thank you very much — and director Andy Fickman (The Game Plan,
She’s the Man
) attempts to “update” the reboot by borrowing liberally from
EVERY OTHER SCI-FI FILM ever made. The story begins as two alien children (AnnaSophia
Robb and Alexander Ludwig) convince an ex-con taxi driver (Johnson) to help them
find an alien doohickey they need to save their home planet. A handful of
drawn-out chase scenes later, they’ve been joined by Carla Gugino’s lady
scientist and are on the run from not only the sinister US government, but a
Terminator knock off space hunter. DVD extras are sparse,
though the “Which Mountain?” Blu-ray only feature allows Fickman to walk us
through the subtle references to the first Witch Mountain flicks,
demonstrating that he apparently did watch them before deviating so far from
what made them, you know, good?

Next: A very special movie from Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.

The Soloist


first sign of trouble came when The Soloist was pushed from November to
March. Directed by hot Brit helmer Joe Wright (whose last two films,
and Pride & Prejudice, earned multiple award nominations
and one Academy Award), the true story of a schizophrenic classical musician
(Jamie Foxx) and his friendship with a reporter (Robert Downey Jr.) was
originally destined for an Oscar push, so it came as a shock to many when
Paramount’s release date change essentially took it (and its players) out of the
Oscar race altogether. Turns out the move was warranted, according to critics,
who gave the drama less-than-Fresh marks for unfocused, pedestrian direction.
Deleted scenes, a handful of featurettes, and a commentary by Wright
nevertheless supplement the film (watch it on Blu-ray for its impressive
soundscape-like score.)

Next: Get Obsessed with Beyonce Knowles and Ali Larter

— 18%

Fatal Attraction, only with Beyonce Knowles and Ali Larter, and you might
imagine why critics gave the collective thumbs down to Obsessed. Idris
Elba stars as the luckiest man alive — with Beyonce as his wife, and Larter as
his hot office temp — until Larter goes insane with obsessive lust for him. I
mean, does that suck, or what? Predictably (and, worse — PG-13), Obsessed
is the latest DVD release that you can skip with absolute confidence. We
won’t bother you with the bonus feature details, although one is entitled, “Girl
Fight!” so you know they’ve stayed classy.

Next: The last stop for infamous animated bomb, Delgo



know what you’re thinking; how could an independently-produced CG animated film
blending Tolkienesque mythology with Eastern philosophy, featuring the voices of
Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt as anthropomorphized dinosaur man
and a butterfly winged-creature, respectively, ever tank at the box office? We
don’t know either, but somehow, this $40 million flick earned just $511K its
opening weekend. If you choose to take pity on this indie animated adventure
(which also features the voices of Chris Kattan, Val Kilmer, Louis Gossett Jr.,
Anne Bancroft, and Burt Reynolds), at least you’ll have an extensive bonus menu
to watch — behind-the-scenes features, filmmaker commentary, creature guides,
deleted scenes, and more are included.

Next: Short Cuts. Er, I mean, Fragments

— 64%

Australian director Rowan Woods (Little Fish) had a unique outsider spin
to lend to Fragments (originally titled Winged Creatures from the
book on which it’s based), it unfortunately wasn’t evident to critics, who say
that Fragments is very much like many other LA-set dramas about random
strangers “crashing” into each other. Nevertheless, the film’s impressive cast
is not to be slighted; it includes Oscar-winning actors Forest Whitaker and
Jennifer Hudson, Oscar-nominee Jackie Earle Haley, Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce,
Kate Beckinsale, Jeanne Tripplehorn, all of whom critics say give it their all.

Next: Lindsay Lohan goes through some Labor Pains

Labor Pains
— N/A

actual labor pains couldn’t be as excruciating as watching this Lindsay Lohan
vehicle, a light comedy about a woman who keeps her job by lying that she’s
pregnant. Saved from complete direct-to-DVD hell when it debuted (to decent
ratings) on the ABC Family Channel, Labor Pains is not the comeback
project that Lohan really needed; when you find yourself forced to act opposite
Chris Parnell getting projectile vomited on by a miniature dog, it’s time to get
a new agent. We valiantly sat through this poorly-plotted, tedious “comedy” so
you fine folks don’t have to. Please say our efforts were in vain.

Next: The Mutant Chronic-WHAT-les of Thomas Jane and Ron Perlman

Jane and Ron Perlman star in this strange little science fiction adventure about
a ragtag band of soldiers (including Devon Aoki and Hellboy II‘s Anna
Walton) tasked with stopping an army of mutated zombies quickly multiplying
across the earth. Based loosely on the role playing game of the same name,
Mutant Chronicles
has an interesting steampunk-meets-WWI aesthetic, a bleak
future in which international super powers are synonymous with corporations; too
bad, then, that the ambition of its filmmakers far outpace what they’re actually
able to bring to the screen. That said, if watching Tom Jane blast his way
through mobs of blade-armed mutant folk, you might just have a “so bad it’s
good” viewing experience.

Next: The Conchords take Flight again!

and Jemaine are back in the second season of Flight of the Conchords, the
comedy-music-parody show in which two New Zealander buddies embark on a series
of absurd-mundane adventures. In season two, watch as Bret starts a gang,
Jemaine dates — gasp! — an Australian, and the two literally duel over a woman.
If you’re a fan, you’re in luck; plenty of deleted scenes, outtakes, and some
imaginative featurettes accompany the season’s ten episodes.

Next: The latest Michael Chabon adaptation

hard to believe that a film adapted from a Michael Chabon novel could come and
go with such little fanfare, but that’s what this Sundance festival flick did
when it flitted in and out of theaters last spring. Writer-director Rawson
Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball) took heavy liberties with Chabon’s
bestseller, turning the ’80s period character study into a love triangle between
main character Art (Jon Foster), Jane (Sienna Miller, in her self-professed “indie
year”), and Cleveland (Peter Sarsgaard). The coming-of-age clichés abound in
what critics called a charmless, clumsy adaptation that simply missed the mark.

Next: Little China gets in Big Trouble on Blu-Ray

all the rotten offerings in home video this week, we saved the best for last.
That’s right — ol’ Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) has finally made it to Blu-ray!
Watch John Carpenter’s 1986 cult classic Big Trouble in Little China in
glorious HD, in a new edition that not only includes the theatrical cut, but an
extended cut that contains never before seen footage. Also included are nine
deleted scenes, an entertaining commentary track by Russell and Carpenter,
behind the scenes features, trailers, and more. Sure, all of these bonus
features have been released in previous DVD iterations, but if you’re like us,
you can’t wait to watch the misunderstood wizard Lo Pan (James Hong) stir some
s*** up… I mean, all the guy wanted was a green-eyed beauty to be his eternal
wife. And isn’t that all any of us wants in life?

Until next week, happy renting!

Tag Cloud

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