RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Battle: Los Angeles and Red Riding Hood

Plus, a Farrelly brothers comedy, a mob story, and a couple of Criterions.

by | June 14, 2011 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got quite a few new releases, even if they weren’t the most critically acclaimed. The biggest new release is probably one of the most disappointing of the bunch: a gritty sci-fi war movie set in the City of Angels that didn’t quite live up to its promise. Then we’ve also got Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke’s take on “Little Red Riding Hood,” the latest goofball comedy from the Farrellys, an American mob story, and a unique angle on a legendary Chinese folk hero. Then, of course, we’ve also got a couple of Criterion reissues for good measure. Check out what’s new below, and if you were hoping to see Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son on here, well, we’re sorry to disappoint you.

Battle: Los Angeles


Before Battle: Los Angeles opened in theaters, there was a little bit of a brouhaha among the people behind the scenes, as the guys who did the special effects for the film also did the effects for another similar alien invasion film that would open months before Battle: LA (namely, Skyline). Ultimately, the conflict was moot, because Battle:LA ended up doing over $200 million in worldwide box office receipts. The film centers around a surprise invasion by multiple UFOs that summarily dispose of the world’s greatest cities. Eventually, Los Angeles becomes the site of a pivotal battle (natch) between human and alien forces, and the story hones in on one Marine platoon’s efforts to curb the invasion. Though some segments of the moviegoing population were looking to Battle: LA to be another Distric 9-esque surprise hit, critics largely found the film unnecessarily long and riddled with war movie clichés, so much so that they only saw fit to award it a 35% on the Tomatometer. If aliens and explosions are your thing, then have at it, but by most accounts, that’s really all there is to the movie.

Red Riding Hood


You know that classic fairy tale about the girl who travels to visit her grandmother and finds a wolf in her place? Well, imagine if someone rewrote the story to include a young love triangle, transform the Big Bad Wolf into a werewolf, and introduce a werewolf hunter to bring down said werewolf. Then imagine someone decided to turn that into a movie and hired Catherine Twilight Hardwicke to direct it. Guess what? You’ve just conjured up Red Riding Hood, which — surprise, surprise — earned an appalling 11% Tomatometer from the critics. To be fair, most agreed that young up-and-comer Amanda Seyfried is lovely in the title role, and the visual appeal is certainly there, but Seyfried’s love interests aren’t as strong, Gary Oldman is underutilized, and the script is so full of cliché that it’s painful. The idea certainly seemed like a moneymaker: take a fantastical, familiar story with a female as the central protagonist, give it the Hot Topic treatment, and throw in a bit of the Twilight formula. Sounds like a pretty solid tween recipe, wouldn’t you think? If the box office numbers are anything to go by, no, not really.

Hall Pass


The filmography of the Farrelly brothers is somewhat hit-or-miss, ranging from big flops like Osmosis Jones to critically and commercially successful efforts like There’s Something About Mary, as well as fan favorites like Dumb and Dumber. Unfortunately, their latest farce, Hall Pass, failed to impress many viewers. Combining veteran talent (Owen Wilson, Christina Applegate, Richard Jenkins) with rising stars (Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer), the plot revolves around a couple of BFFs whose shockingly “understanding” wives allow them a weeklong “hall pass” to do pretty much whatever they want, with no consequences, as a way to help revitalize their marriages. It’s a far-fetched premise, but not an altogether impossible one, and critics were actually a bit surprised by the film’s ultimate message, which boils down to a defense of traditional domestic values. That said, very few critics actually found the film very funny, and that’s precisely why anyone would want to see a Farrelly brothers movie in the first place. In other words, there isn’t a strong possibility you’ll get many good times out of Hall Pass unless you’re a hardcore Farrelly fan, but you never know; Kingpin only earned a 51%, and personally, I thought that movie was hilarious.

Kill the Irishman


We’ve seen a number of interesting takes on the traditional gangster/organized crime film in recent years, what with titles like Mesrine, Gomorrah, A Prophet, and Animal Kingdom, and a lot of them have done fairly well, critically. The latest attempt to bring an intriguing real-life crime story to the screen is Kill the Irishman, which opened in March of this year. Unfortunately, critics weern’t as excited about the film, which depicts the late-’70s struggle in Cleveland, Ohio between the Italian mafia and the titular Irish mobster, Danny Greene (Ray Stevenson). Beginning with Greene’s rise to power, the plot chronicles his break from mafia ties and his survival through several assassination attempts, which earned him a reputation of invincibility. Overall, consensus is that the cast, which includes Vincent D’Onofrio, Christopher Walken, and Val Kilmer, are all game here, and director Jonathan Hensleigh has a stylish eye, but the script rehashes a lot of what we’ve seen in similar films and paints Danny Greene in almost too sympathetic a light. It’s just shy of Fresh at 59% on the Tomatometer, so it could very well be worth checking out; you’ll have to decide for yourself when it hits shelves this week.

Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen


Fans of martial arts films, particularly those coming out of Hong Kong, will probably already be familiar with not only the fictional character of Chen Zhen, famously portrayed by Bruce Lee in Fist of Fury and Jet Li in Fist of Legend, but also action star Donnie Yen, who has lately been showing up in some of the best modern fight flicks from Asia. Legend of the Fist marries the two, as Yen takes on the role of the fictional Chinese hero after the events of the two aforementioned films, a rather unique angle on the character. Set in the 1920s, the film chronicles Chen Zhen’s exploits fighting alongside the Allied forces in World War I and exacting post-war justice back in Shanghai as a masked vigilante. Legend of the Fist‘s bold attempt to meld martial arts, spy intrigue, and even some superhero-like themes didn’t entirely impress critics, who found the film stylish but hollow, with gaping lulls between the action set pieces. Still, for those willing to sit through some laborious exposition and familiar themes of Chinese national pride, there’s still some high-flying action to be enjoyed.

The Makioka Sisters – Criterion Collection


The late, great Kon Ichikawa’s filmography is fascinatingly tough to classify. He may be best known in this country for his 1965 documentary Tokyo Olympiad, the gentle (and deeply Buddhist) war drama The Burmese Harp, and the haunting, occasionally gruesome scorched earth masterpiece Fires on the Plain. However, the director was making important work well after his 1950s-1960s heyday, as evidenced by 1983’s The Makioka Sisters. Set in the pre-World War II era, the film follows four sisters — two married, two single — who have taken over their family’s kimono manufacturing business. This delicate melodrama is a remarkable portrait of both family dynamics and cultural change at a critical point in Japan’s history; a spiffy new Criterion disc features a new transfer of the film, improved subtitles, and the original theatrical trailer.

Insignificance – Criterion Collection


Nicolas Roeg made some of most stylistically bold movies of the 1970s ? his resume includes Walkabout, Performance, Don’t Look Now, and The Man Who Fell to Earth. His work can also be deeply unsettling. Thankfully, 1985’s Insignificance finds Roeg in an unusually playful mood — set in a hotel in 1954, the film follows four people who look like Marilyn Monroe, Joseph McCarthy, Joe DiMaggio and Albert Einstein and explores the cultural landscape of the early days of the Cold War. This strange, funny movie is now out on a Criterion Director Approved Special Edition, featuring a new interview with Roeg and a making-of featurette.

Tag Cloud

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