RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Final Destination 5 and Apollo 18

Plus, a few other choices during this post-Christmas lull.

by | December 27, 2011 | Comments

It’s shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the home video choices this week are rather slim; most studios try to make sure they have all of their best stuff ready to go before Christmas, naturally. With that in mind, we bring you an abbreviated edition of RT on DVD, focusing on just five new releases that are hitting shelves. For those of you who are also avid television-watchers, some items of interest we won’t be covering include Season 2 of the animated series Archer, the first seasons of two Showtime dramas The Borgias and Shameless, and the first season of IFC sitcom The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, which stars Arrested Development alumni David Cross and Will Arnett. That said, we will be covering two horror movies, a raunchy comedy, a Romanian film, and a fascinating documentary. See below for the full list!

Final Destination 5

62%

If you were a tad bit surprised at the release of yet another Final Destination film, we can’t blame you, considering the last installment was titled The Final Destination. Then again, the horror genre is notorious for reviving franchises thought to be dead and buried. No, the real surprise here? That Final Destination 5 actually managed to get the best reviews of any the franchise’s films. This time around, a bunch of coworkers are saved from a collapsing bridge when one of them has an eerie premonition, and Death (note the capital D) slowly hunts them down, one by one. At 60%, FD5 is the only film of the series to earn a Fresh rating, and those who liked it say that, while it’s still mostly for established fans, the flashes of dark humor and creative death sequences make it more enjoyable overall. In other words, perfect for new year’s celebrations.

Apollo 18

23%

On paper, Apollo 18 sounds pretty awesome: it’s purportedly found footage of an ill-fated lunar mission in which a pair of astronauts discover a deadly secret. So what went wrong? Well, critics found Apollo 18 to be — gasp! — kinda boring; despite some eerily suspenseful images, the movie takes way too long to achieve liftoff. Apollo 18 is the only surviving footage of NASA’s final moon mission — a mission that went so horribly wrong that the U.S. Government has denied its existence ever since. But what did those intrepid explorers find on earth’s only satellite? If you’re curious, check out the new Apollo 18 Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy set, which also includes deleted scens and audio commentary from director Gonzalo López-Gallego.

A Good Old Fashioned Orgy

35%

Saturday Night Live mainstay Jason Sudeikis has been busy this year, starring in three ensemble comedies; unfortunately, A Good Old Fashioned Orgy is the worst of them (albeit by a small margin). The story revolves around a group of 30-something friends, who typically spend their weekends partying at the home of their buddy Eric (Sudeikis). When Eric’s parents decide to sell off the house, the gang decides to throw one last bash, i.e. the titular orgy. Unfortunately, critics say the film fails to live up to the promise of its outrageous title, with lazy writing, indifferent acting, and just a handful of laughs. At 31%, you’re probably better off looking for raunchy kicks elsewhere.

Tuesday, After Christmas

74%

We promise: it’s mere coincidence that Tuesday, After Christmas will be releasing on Tuesday, after Christmas. The Romanian film is, as noted by its promotional materials, the latest to come from an emerging cinematic movement in the country that has already brought us 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (95% Tomatometer) and The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (93% Tomatometer). While Tuesday doesn’t quite measure up to those two, critics say the film, about a family dealing with the repercussions of the husband’s infidelity, is nevertheless a subtly and superbly acted, with help from a smart script. At 74%, Tuesday, After Christmas may not blow your mind, but it’s a solid domestic drama for those looking to brood a little this holiday season.

Buck

90%

Remember that Robert Redford movie The Horse Whisperer? Yep, that was loosely based on a real guy, and the remarkable documentary Buck tells his story. Unsurprisingly, it turns out that Buck Brannaman’s life never followed a script — director Cindy Meehl demonstrates that Buck’s remarkable patience and wisdom was incredibly hard fought. The man who trains horses like nobody else was the victim of child abuse for many years, but Buck endured, and testimonials to his gentle teaching methods — including high praise from Redford himself — help to make Buck, Certified Fresh at 87%, an inspiring documentary.

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