RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Captain America and Winnie the Pooh

Plus, a dramedy, a little-seen sci-fi hit, a Coppola classic, and a dino trilogy.

by | October 25, 2011 | Comments

This turned out to be one of those good weeks on home video, thanks to a few rather notable releases. Criterion is offering some good ones (minor Antonioni film Identification of a Woman, Island of Lost Souls, and a Blu-ray of Dazed and Confused), and giant monster classic Destroy All Monsters gets the Blu-ray treatment. A decent martial arts epic (Shaolin) hits shelves, as well as a Certified Fresh Finnish dark comedy based on an evil Santa Claus (Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale). Aside from those, however, the ones we’ll be focusing on include one of Marvel’s big summer hits, a reboot of a beloved storybook character, and a British sci-fi hit. Then we’ve got a quiet dramedy, a controversial shock flick, one of Coppola’s classics on Blu-ray, and Spielberg’s big dino trilogy. See below for the full list!



Captain America: The First Avenger

79%

Captain America put the finishing touches on a triumphant summer for Marvel that included hits Thor and X-Men: First Class and successfully bridged the gap to next summer’s much anticipated Avengers movie. Directed by Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Jurassic Park III) and starring a surprisingly heroic Chris Evans in the title role, Captain America plays out the origin story of Steve Rogers, a scrawny but determined military recruit who signs up for a secret super-soldier program, only to be faced by the threat of the evil HYDRA organization and its leader Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), another recipient of the super-soldier treatment. Though many were initially a bit unsure what exactly to expect from the film, critics largely enjoyed it, calling it solidly old-fashioned blockbuster entertainment with pulpy action, a retro vibe, and some fine acting performances. Even if Captain America wasn’t your favorite comic hero, chances are you’ll have a pretty good time with this movie.



Winnie the Pooh

90%

Disney’s return to the Hundred Acre Wood could also, in some sense, be considered a reintroduction of Winnie the Pooh to contemporary audiences. The new film takes its inspiration from three previously told stories written by original author A.A. Milne, one of which has already been made into film. Produced in traditional hand-drawn animation and featuring the talents of Jim Cummings, who has voiced Pooh since the late 1980s, and a cast of other accomplished voice actors, Winnie the Pooh finds the honey-loving bear on a dual mission to retrieve Eeyore’s missing tail and to rescue Christopher Robin from a creature the gang has surmised is called a “Backson.” Critics raved about Pooh, calling it an earnest throwback to the Pooh tales of old, filled with sweet nostalgia and gentle whimsy. Though it’s aimed primarily at the young ones, those who grew up with Milne’s classic tales should also get a little trip down memory lane out of the film, which makes it an enjoyable film for the whole family.



Attack the Block

90%

One of the films that made a lot of noise at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) festival was an indie sci-fi gem from the UK called Attack the Block. Produced by some of the same folks (including director Edgar Wright) who brought audiences Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Attack the Block centers on a gang of street kids living on a council estate (sort of the British equivalent to “the projects”) who take it upon themselves to face off against an invading alien species that has crash landed in their hood. Impeccably stylish and full of wit, the film garnered quite a few accolades from critics who, quite simply, enjoyed the hell out of it and marked first-time director Joe Cornish as one to watch. If Attack the Block‘s themes and pedigree pique your interest, you’ll more than likely find this a worthy pickup or rental.



A Serbian Film

47%

Another indie flick from abroad made some headlines this summer for very different reasons. Simply (and accurately) titled A Serbian Film, the movie explores themes of violence and sexual depravity in ways you may never have seen before on film (unless you’ve been really adventurous on the internet). The story follows a struggling male porn star named Milos who takes on one last gig, a supposed pornographic “art film,” for a fat paycheck and the chance to break away from the industry completely. Once filming begins, however, Milos gradually realizes it’s not quite what he thought, and his life devolves into a hellish and sadistic nightmare for him and his family. A Serbian Film generated much controversy, due to its disturbingly graphic depiction of rape, pedophilia, and necrophilia, earning nationwide bans in countries like Spain, Germany, and Australia, and most critics were hard-pressed to disagree. We’re including it here as a curiosity, primarily because of the media attention it received, but in all honesty, we don’t quite know how we’d feel if we recommended it to anyone outright. Take your chances, but beware; this is most certainly not for the faint of heart.



A Little Help

41%

It’s not uncommon for stars of popular television shows to move on to feature films, and the US version of The Office has certainly aided in elevating the careers of several of its actors. After starring on the sitcom as the clever, lovable Pam Beesly, Jenna Fischer began landing parts in high profile comedies, and with A Little Help, she emerges in her first major starring role. Fischer is somewhat neurotic dental hygienist Laura Pehlke, mother to Dennis (Daniel Yelsky) and wife to philandering Bob (Chris O’Donnell). When Bob suddenly dies, Laura is faced with the task of putting her life back together, both for her and her son. Though that synopsis may not clearly indicate it, A Little Help is a dramedy that focuses on its characters’ quirky coping methods, and though Fischer makes the best of it that she can, critics mostly felt the film was a bit uneven, with a subpar script and some puzzling choices made for its likable lead. With a 45% on the Tomatometer, there’s no guarantee this one will be fully satisfying, unless, maybe, you’re a hardcore fan of Jenna Fischer.



The Conversation – Blu-Ray

97%

Sandwiched between The Godfather and The Godfather, Part Two, The Conversation lacks the ambitious sweep of Francis Ford Coppola’s mob epic, but it’s a masterpiece all the same. Eerie, paranoid, and remarkably prescient, The Conversation is the story of Harry Caul (Gene Hackman), a reclusive sound surveillance expert who’s been hired to eavesdrop on a young couple. Using state-of-the-art recording technology, he’s able to piece together a conversation that seems to have chilling implications — though Harry claims to care nothing about the consequences of his work. A creepy, haunting film, The Conversation now appears on Blu-ray for the first time; special features include interviews and audio commentary from Coppola (as well as an audio track from sound editor Walter Murch, who was nominated for an Oscar), making-of docs, and the original screen tests for stars Harrison Ford and Cindy Williams.



Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy Blu-Ray

92%

Some of you, like this editor, may remember watching Steven Spielberg’s epic fantasy Jurassic Park back in 1993 with a sense of sheer awe. Recalling some of Spielberg’s most memorable work with both special effects and terror (e.g. Jaws), the film, based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name, was a spectacle to behold and a pretty fine story to boot, generating the highest box office total in history (up to that point). The film spawned two sequels that, while admittedly of diminished quality, transported audiences back to the world of CGI dinosaurs and attempted to recreate that sense of wonder with new creatures and settings (San Diego, anyone?). For those who were big fans of the franchise, Universal is releasing all three films on Blu-ray in an Ultimate Trilogy set, which you can purchase either in disc-only format or in a collector’s gift set, which includes a miniature T-Rex figure. There are a ton of great bonuses to be found, including a brand new six-part documentary titled “Return to Jurassic Park,” so it’s a worthwhile pickup for anyone who loved the movies but never got around to picking them up.



Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection

Here’s a nice mess to get yourself into: an exhaustive collection of films from one of Hollywood’s greatest comedy teams. The 10-disc Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection compiles nearly 60 features and shorts from this funniest of odd couples: the svelte, feckless Brit Stan Laurel, and the rotund, bossy American Oliver Hardy, masters of slapstick and witty banter. Unlike many of their brethren in silent comedy, Laurel and Hardy were able to successfully transition to the sound era; their 1933 film, The Music Box, about a pair of hapless piano deliverymen, picked up an Oscar for Best Short. Other favorites like Another Fine Mess, Sons of the Desert, and Way Out West are included here, along with tons of bonus material, like foreign language versions of the films (in which Laurel and Hardy recite the dialogue phonetically!), trailers, an interactive map of the movies’ Los Angeles filming locations, testimonials from the likes of Dick Van Dyke and Jerry Lewis, and a commemorative book.

Tag Cloud

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