RT on DVD

RT on DVD: The Hangover, The Proposal, Glee

Plus, Robert Pattinson gets Haunted, and the most acclaimed Australian film of the year

by | November 25, 2009 | Comments


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The Hangover

Four men head to Vegas for a night of fun two days before Doug (Justin Batha) is to tie the knot. With his two best friends (Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms) and slightly odd future brother-in-law (Zach Galifianakis) in tow, they climb to the hotel roof, look over the bright lights of Vegas and toast the night-to-be.

Cut to the next morning. They awake to a trashed hotel room and crippling hangovers. Throw in a tiger, a chicken, an abandoned baby and a missing groom and it quickly becomes apparent that last night was rather huge and the three friends don’t remember one moment of it. Like on old school detective film they have no choice but to unravel the clues to find the groom and undo some of the havoc wreaked the night before.

Every scene reveals another moment of lunacy and the laughs come from the ever mounting pile of ludicrous, debauched vignettes. The more ridiculous the set-up, the funnier it gets. This is very entertaining gross-out humour for grown-ups, and while it veers into the utterly absurd, the mystery of the night before grounds a very clever script.

Director Todd Phillips has a genuine talent for making movies about men living large who are old enough to know better. Like his earlier Old School, The Hangover is surprisingly hilarious.


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The Proposal

This is a romantic comedy that draws most of its success from the charm of its stars, Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. The plot may be unoriginal and some of the comedy a little too slapstick, but the charisma of our heroes is undeniable.

Bullock employs her striking talent for physical comedy in her portrayal of the Boss from Hell, Margaret. Even when playing a despicable character, she manages to remain likeable. Reynolds, however, is a stand-out as her put-upon assistant so desperate to advance his career that he allows himself to be bullied into marrying her to save her from deportation to Canada.

It has the makings of a great screwball comedy and starts well, but falters as it falls into some rather obvious humour. Still, it is an enjoyable enough romp and perfect for date night on the couch.


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Samson and Delilah

This is a deeply confronting Australian film. And yet, despite the gut wrenching plight of the protagonists, it is, at its heart, a love story.

Two teenagers co-exist in a remote community in the middle of the desert. Samson, a petrol-sniffing, wannabe musician loves Delilah; a fact she finds mildly irritating and a distraction from her business of caring for her elderly grandmother and simply surviving.

When her grandmother dies, she is blamed and Samson flees the community with her to escape the harsh punishment from her aunties. In Darwin, the young lovers face hunger, desolation and addiction.

Once you watch this film you will not forget it. It is beautifully shot and has a simplicity to it that allows its themes to bloom. With perhaps little more than a couple of hundred words of dialogue, the words that are spoken carry a powerful significance. There are moments of humour, tenderness and absolute sweetness. There are also moments of incomprehensible futility.

While the picture painted by the plot is bleak, and there are moments when watching this film feels a little bit like being punched in the face, this is in no way a movie about defeat. Quite the opposite. It is a story of love; a story of hope and most importantly, a movie about the resilience of youth.


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Glee: Director’s Cut Pilot Episode

Glee may be sold to us as good, clean fun but beneath that shiny surface there flows a fine vein of subversion. Five high school misfits find themselves by following their dreams and passion to an upbeat soundtrack? Sure, that is one take on the show. Another is that the staff room is a microcosm of a Machiavellian court; the rows of lockers a backdrop for a Darwinesque eradication of the weak. And don’t even get started on the politics behind the chastity club.

This is no High School Musical.

The teaching staff and the students have been developed with equal love and attention. But while the talented kids are fine, it is the teachers who have the most interesting quirks. In fact, two of the most compelling reasons to watch this show are Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) head coach of the cheerleaders and psychotic megalomaniac and Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays), a doe-eyed OCD-sufferer with a deep-seated germ phobia and a bad case of the unrequited loves.

If you have caught the Glee bug, and need a little something to tide you over between episodes, this director’s cut is all you need to get your gleek on!


Also out this week…

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The Haunted Airman

For those of you who just can’t get enough of Robert Pattinson, that chalky-skinned heartthrob, The Haunted Airman offers a new vehicle to explore your lust. Here he plays a wounded RAF pilot who is recovering under the care of a psychiatrist who may or may not be messing with his mind.


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Summer’s Moon

Ashley Greene, the cute-as-a-button clairvoyant vampire Alice from the Twilight series, stars in this grisly horror about a young girl who is stalked by a family of serial killers.


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Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws

Talking puppies and Santa Claus… what’s not to love in the latest Disney confection from the Air Buddies franchise? Sweet and well-intentioned, this movie is like catnip for six year olds.


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Winged Creatures

Based on the novel of the same name, this film (retitled Fragments for its U.S. release) examines our reaction to trauma as the lives of a handful of strangers are changed forever when they are all present for an apparently random shooting in a diner. Directed by Australian, Rowan Woods (The Boys, Little Fish), it has a strong ensemble cast including Dakota Fanning, Forest Whitaker, Guy Pearce, Kate Beckinsale and Jennifer Hudson. It is hard to develop feelings of empathy for the characters as they are all kept a little out of our reach. Still, the complexity of the story structure prevents the movie from dipping too far into melodrama.


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Greta

Teen romance starring Hilary Duff as a rebellious girl sent to her grandparents to straighten out only to fall in love with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Rent it for the Duff fans in your household. They will love it!

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