RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: 127 Hours and Love and Other Drugs

Plus, an action flick, a music doc, and another Disney classic.

by | March 1, 2011 | Comments

In the wake of the Oscars last night, our top two entries for this week’s column feature the co-hosts of the festivities, James Franco and Anne Hathaway. Unfortunately, while Franco’s film was a multiple Academy Award nominee (including a Best Actor nod for Franco himself), Hathaway’s film… Well, let’s just say her film didn’t impress critics as much. After that, we’ve got the latest actioner headlined by Dwayne Johnson, a music doc about one of LA’s prominent clubs, a musical featuring Cher and Christina Aguilera, and a certain Disney classic about an orphaned deer. See below to check out this week’s new releases!

127 Hours

93%

This timely release comes on the heels of the Oscars, where the film was nominated for six awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Picture, and a Best Actor nod for its star (and co-host of the evening’s festivities) James Franco. Directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire), 127 Hours tells the remarkable real life story of outdoorsman Aron Ralston, who embarked on a canyoneering trip in Utah in 2003. While he was passing through a narrow passage, a boulder broke free and trapped him within the canyon, pinning his right arm against the rock wall and beginning a five-day struggle to survive. 127 Hours was a hit with critics, who called it equally gut-wrenching and inspirational and praised Franco’s performance in particular. It didn?t come home with any Oscars on Sunday, but it did receive a Certified Fresh 93% Tomatometer, so if you missed it when it was in theaters, here’s your second chance. Be forewarned, though: there are some scenes that are not for the faint of heart.

Love and Other Drugs

49%

And here we have the latest film from the other co-host of the Oscars, Anne Hathaway; this one, however, wasn’t nominated for any of the awards. Starring alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, a smooth-talking pharmaceutical salesman (and womanizer) named Jamie, Hathaway plays Maggie Murdock, a woman with early onset Parkinson’s disease who proves to be a wit-for-wit match for Jamie. The two begin a casual, sex-based relationship, but eventually they fall in love and must deal with the consequences. Directed by Ed Zwick (Glory, The Last Samurai), Love and Other Drugs failed to impress critics very much, earning just a 49% Tomatometer. The film suffered from a lack of narrative focus, and despite striking many as a refreshingly adult romance, the lack of balance between its plot elements ultimately was its undoing. If you’re fan of the stars, or just a fan of seeing them without their clothes on, this’ll be perfect for you.

Faster

42%

Dwayne Johnson seems to have been focused on family films and comedies as of late, with roles in The Tooth Fairy, Get Smart, and The Other Guys. In fact, he hasn’t been in a proper action movie since 2005’s Doom. So, in some ways, it was refreshing to see him step back into his tough guy shoes for Faster, a revenge flick about a recently released ex-con (Johnson) who must dodge both the police and a hitman while he seeks retribution for those responsible for the death of his brother. Unfortunately, critics felt that the film’s leaps in logic were a bit much to bear, and the story was riddled with too many subplots that distract from the issue at hand. As such, it’s got a 45% Tomatometer score, and it may satisfy those looking for some cheap action thrills, but it probably won’t do much more than that.

Troubadours

64%

Troubadours is a rock doc that definitely does not go to 11. Instead, it’s a celebratory look at a key moment in American pop ? specifically, the mellow, introspective singer/songwriter movement that coalesced around the famed L.A. club the Troubadour. James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Carole King, Jackson Browne and a bunch of other mellow rock luminaries are on hand to offer fond anecdotes about the time and the scene; if critics had a nit to pick with Troubadours, it’s that this amiable talking-heads portrait doesn’t go much deeper than surface level. However, fans of the music will be in heaven, and the DVD set comes with a bonus CD with cuts from Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Tom Waits, and 2011 Oscar winner Randy Newman, among others.

Burlesque

37%

On paper, Burlesque must have looked like high-camp heaven. Cher and Christina Aguilera star class up a plot that’s older than dirt: a small-town girl goes to the big city, falls under the wing of an old showbiz pro, and becomes a star. Unfortunately, critics savaged the film, calling it a cliché-ridden mess lacking the kind of showstopping musical numbers needed to overcome the predictability of the plot. Still, if you’re in the mood for some old-school razzle dazzle, you could probably do worse, since they don’t make movies like Burlesque anymore, for good or ill. The DVD features a bunch of making-of featurettes, director’s commentary, a blooper reel, an alternate opening, and videos of the movies musical sequences.

Bambi – Two-Disc Diamond Edition

91%

Generations of children have been traumatized by Bambi. Now, with a sparkling new Bambi Blu-Ray, you and your family can experience the most horrifying mommy shooting in movie history — in high definition! Seriously, though, Bambi is yet another jewel in Disney’s crown, a beautiful, charming, and at times achingly sad perennial that continues to amaze nearly 70 years after its original release. Briskly paced, with plenty of adorable characters, Bambi may fall a notch or two below Snow White or Fantasia in the Mouse House cannon, but it’s a remarkable entertainment nonetheless. The Blu-Ray is chock full of goodies as well, including a making-of doc, deleted scenes, a look at some Disney artwork from the vault, a short film of Uncle Walt explaining the filming techniques, and a Silly Symphony animated short from 1937.

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