RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Buried and Animal Kingdom

Plus, a couple of Sam Fuller classics, and the re-teaming of Robert De Niro and Edward Norton.

by | January 18, 2011 | Comments

This week, we’ve got a wide variety of choices, mostly fresh from the theaters. First up, we’ve got the winner of the AU Golden Tomato award, a slick little crime thriller that should please most. Then we’ve also got a highly rated thriller starring Ryan Reynolds, a heist flick with a big cast, a prison showdown between Edward Norton and Robert De Niro, another “is it real or fake” mockumentary about a teen losing his virginity, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s directorial debut, and a documentary omnibus film based on a popular nonfiction book. Then, to top it all off, we’ve got brand spanking new Criterion Collection editions for a couple of classics by Samuel Fuller. So dig in and see if anything tickles your fancy.


[tomatometer]MovieId=770818882[/tomatometer]

Animal Kingdom

If you’re a regular visitor to RT, then you’re possibly already aware of this small Australian film that captured the attention of critics all over the world. One of the ten best-reviewed limited release films of 2010, as well as the top film from Australia, Animal Kingdom is a crime drama that paints a portrait of Melbourne’s seedy underbelly. The story focuses on Joshua “J” Cody (James Frecheville), young nephew in the Cody crime family, and his initiation into the “family business.” J becomes the subject of investigation by a police officer named Nathan Leckie (Guy Pearce), who attempts to lure J against his family. Critics felt that the cast all performed superbly, and with a well-written script and a steady, kinetic pace, the Certified Fresh Animal Kingdom (96% on the Tomatometer) proves that Australia’s cinema is not to be ignored. If you’re into gritty crime dramas, this is definitely worth checking out.


[tomatometer]MovieId=770819772[/tomatometer]

Buried

2010 saw the release of a handful of one-location thrillers, like Devil (an elevator) and Frozen (a stalled ski lift), but possibly the best-reviewed one of them all was a little-seen indie thriller that took place primarily inside a coffin. Ryan Reynolds stars as a man who wakes up to find himself buried alive with nothing to help his situation but a lighter and a cell phone. With air dwindling, he must quickly figure out why he’s been buried and who did it. Films like this depend heavily on the acting chops of their stars, and critics say that Reynolds holds the movie together terrifically, helping to create a gripping drama from a premise that could easily have lost its novelty quickly. At 85% on the Tomatometer, Buried is Certified Fresh, so don’t let its minimalist setting fool you; this is a thriller worth checking out.


[tomatometer]MovieId=770803979[/tomatometer]

Takers

It’s difficult these days to make a heist movie stand out from its predecessors, being that so many plot twists and turns have been explored in the genre. Unfortunately, despite featuring a cast that includes everyone from Matt Dillon, Zoe Saldana, and Idris Elba to recording artists Chris Brown and T.I., Takers ultimately falls prey to conventional heist movie clichés and poor characterization, leaving little for the viewer to indulge in aside from a few explosive set pieces. Dillon and Jay Hernandez play detectives Jack Welles and Eddie Hatcher, who are hot on the trail of a gang of organized bank robbers led by Gordon Crozier (Elba). When an old crewmate (T.I.) thought to be in prison is released, he talks the gang into one more heist, and plenty of double crosses ensue. Takers only rang true to the critics to the tune of a 29% Tomatometer, but the other constant with heist movies is that, even if they are derivative, they’re usually still a bit fun to watch, so you might save this one for a rainy night.


[tomatometer]MovieId=770871631[/tomatometer]

Stone

The prospect of seeing Edward Norton and Robert De Niro square off with each other just doesn’t have the appeal that it did a decade ago. Back then, De Niro was coming off of performances in Casino, Heat, and Ronin, and Norton was hitting his stride in films like Rounders, American History X, Fight Club. So it wasn’t a surprise when 2001’s The Score, featuring both actors, was a hit. Fast forward to 2010, when Stone saw De Niro as a retiring correctional officer named Jack Mabry who takes one last case, namely that of Gerald “Stone” Creeson (Norton). In an effort to secure an early parole, Stone manipulates Mabry with mind games and instructs his own wife, Lucetta (Milla Jovovich), to seduce Mabry as part of the deal. Critics are largely split on Stone, but most agree that its premise is a tad farfetched and, despite a solid cast, veers wildly into strange territory. Not exactly a crowdpleaser, but if you’re a fan of either actor, you may still enjoy it.


[tomatometer]MovieId=770767771[/tomatometer]

Freakonomics

In 2005, a non-fiction book took the country by storm, examining several sociological phenomena from the perspective of economics, or, as pointed out by authors Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, the study of incentives. Four years and four million copies later, a number of critically acclaimed documentary filmmakers, from Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) to Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me) to Seth Gordon (King of Kong), were brought together to illustrate on film the principles featured in the book. While the results were both thought provoking and often humorous, critics felt that viewers might be better served by reading the book, which offered the same sorts of stories, but with greater insight and more detail. Nevertheless, the film still earned a decent 66% Tomatometer, so for those who just want the crash course, this should do just fine.


[tomatometer]MovieId=771204351[/tomatometer]

The Virginity Hit

Directors Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland succeeded in writing one documentary-style film last year, The Last Exorcism, and that one did pretty well for itself, both critically and commercially. This wasn’t the case, unfortunately, for the film the duo directed, namely The Virginity Hit, the chronicle of one teenager’s quest to lose his virginity, as told via handheld home video cameras and cell phones. Though it’s unclear how much of the story was staged for the production, and how much of it was genuine (much like another similar film, Catfish), Matt (the teen in question) and his buddies occupy the screen like real life versions of characters from a Judd Apatow movie. Unfortunately, critics were not impressed by what they saw, calling the film shallow, uninteresting, and crass, despite a few funny moments. Maybe worth a look for the supremely curious, but probably not something that’s got widespread appeal.


[tomatometer]MovieId=770814193[/tomatometer]

Jack Goes Boating

Philip Seymour Hoffman has had his share of success in front of the camera, and he’s also an accomplished theater director, so the next natural step for him was to direct a film, and that brings us to Jack Goes Boating, Hoffman’s directorial debut and a film adaptation of a play of the same name. Hoffman plays the titular Jack, a limo driver with a penchant for Reggae music, who’s introduced to Connie (Amy Ryan) through Jack’s friend Clyde (John Ortiz) and his wife Lucy (Daphne Rubin-Vega). As Jack and Connie grow closer, Clyde and Lucy simultaneously begin falling apart, and both couples must learn how to come to terms with these new developments. Hoffman played Jack in the original stage production, and the script for Jack Goes Boating was adapted by the writer of the original play, so there is some authenticity to the picture, and critics appreciated the honest characterization, giving the film a respectable 67% Tomatometer score. There is a little bit lost in translation from stage to screen, but it’s a well-acted romantic dramedy that should be perfect for some.


[tomatometer]MovieId=20272[/tomatometer]

Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss – Criterion Collection

Samuel Fuller has never been a stranger to controversy, the most well-known case of which probably revolves around the production of his anti-racism themed 1981 film White Dog, which, ironically, was suppressed by Paramount Pictures for fear that the film would mistakenly be considered racist. But even as far back as the 1960s, Fuller was making excellent films about unpopular subjects, and two of them get the refreshed Criterion Collection treatment this week: 1963’s Shock Corridor and 1964’s The Naked Kiss. The former centers on a journalist who checks himself into a mental hospital in order to investigate a murder, but ends up slowly going insane himself; the latter is a satire of suburbia that sees a prostitute moving to a prim new town to start her life over, only to discover that it harbors its own dirty little secrets. Both films are offered in DVD and Blu-Ray formats, with Criterion’s typically outstanding special features, including archived TV interviews, a documentary on Fuller himself, and illustrations and essays.

Tag Cloud

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