RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Losers and Runaways Are Coming Home

Also, a couple of new Criterion editions from an esteemed duo, a buddy cop comedy, and a foreign thriller.

by | July 20, 2010 | Comments

This week on home video, there were a lot of straight-to-DVD releases. So many, in fact, that you’d have to wade through a sea of them to find anything really notable to mention here. As such, we’re limiting our choices to the newest releases that also saw theater time, as well as two brand new Criterion editions from a legendary filmmaking duo (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger). Strap yourselves in for this short ride and see if there’s anything this week that might make it into your library.


The Runaways

As much a triumph of marketing as a notch in the headstone of Glam Rock, The Runaways were a girlband of indecent and hardcore proportions. Shepherded by Kim Fowley, a manager people love to call “svengali-like,” they rocked this “jailbait” aesthetic for all it was worth, and transformed the idea of girl-power into a marketable, sexable, underaged product. For that reason, among others, the story hadn’t received screen treatment sooner. Debut director Floria Sigismondi takes this subject personally and brings the stories of Cherie Currie (lead singer and writer of the biography upon which the film is based), Joan Jett, and manager Fowley into a uniquely nostalgic tale. Stars Dakota Fanning (as Currie) and Kristen Stewart (as Jett) supply as much good-girl-gone-wrong as possible and the impossibly talented Michael Shannon (Shotgun Stories, Revolutionary Road brings the skank. DVD extras include a commentary track with Joan Jett (the real one!), and stars Fanning and Stewart.


The Losers

Near the beginning of this summer, audiences were treated to a loud, explosive action movie about a band of rogue Special Forces soldiers who were forsaken by the government and whose mission it became to track down and confront the villain who set them up. Wait, hold on… It appears that there were actually TWO movies out this summer with this plot, so let’s clarify a bit here: we’re talking about The Losers, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen), Zoe Saldana (Star Trek, Avatar), Chris Evans (The Fantastic Four), and Idris Elba (RocknRolla) — not exactly star-studded, but not a terrible cast, either. The film was helmed by Sylvain White, who’s only other directorial credits have been I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer and Stomp the Yard, so obviously something like The Losers was right up his alley… In all seriousness, though, critics didn’t think the film was all bad, citing its humor and strong performances as key strengths, even despite its unrelenting violence and over-the-top action clichés. It’s not going to win any Oscars, but if you’re looking for a popcorn-popping romp, this’ll probably liven up your evening.


Cop Out

Kevin Smith burst upon the indie movie scene in 1994 with the cult hit Clerks and followed up the next year with the similarly themed Mallrats. Folks began to take notice, and Smith treated them to the likes of 1997’s Chasing Amy and 1999’s Dogma, exploring heady issues like friendship, loyalty, sexuality, and religion (with a poop monster thrown in for good measure, of course). So it makes a lot of sense that this indie darling, known for his knack for witty banter and complex rant-filled dialogue, would hit the big screen hard with… a super silly buddy cop comedy starring Bruce “Yippie-Ki-Yay-Motherf***er” Willis and Tracy “Somebody-Gon-Get-Pregnant” Morgan. Smith has had bombs (Jersey Girl, anyone?) before, to be sure, but Cop Out is his worst-rated effort by far, and it may be the most convincing argument against him taking on a project somewhat outside his wheelhouse, so to speak. Despite its experienced cast, which includes Seann William Scott, Adam Brody, Rashida Jones, and regular Smith collaborator Jason Lee, the film never manages to excel beyond its action-comedy clichés and dismal pacing, which earned it no higher than a 19% on the Tomatometer. If watching John McClane get kicked in the nethers by a child is your kind of fun, though, pick this one up and have yourself a ball.



Bong-Joon Ho made his name in the States with The Host, a comical family melodrama about a people-stealing monster and the family that it (literally) eats alive. Bong’s horror was plenty pointed but always skated towards the absurd-which made for as many belly laughs as shocked screams-and played easily to an international audience. Mother is sly and just as scary as The Host but with in-jokes and inversions that set you (and keep you) on edge. Did I mention it’s funny? There’s a part when the son (played by Korean action star Bin Won) tries to kick the side view mirror off a car and falls down. It’s hilarious…if you know he’s an action star; most Americans don’t. Mother‘s protagonist, Hye-Ja Kim (who has no name other than “Mother” in the film) made her acting career playing idealized mothers on Korean TV. Here, she’s an overbearing worrywart who’s certain she’s responsible for her son’s “slowness” and, when he’s accused of murdering a local girl, stops at nothing to prove his innocence — or makes him innocent by eliminating evidence. The film does an incredible job managing the comic and the monstrous, and what’s family if not a stage for horror that could kill you (if you don’t laugh at it)? The DVD includes multiple interview featurettes with actors and crew, including the star, the cinematographer, the composer and the DP, along with a 90 minute making-of.


Black Narcissus – Criterion Collection

Cinephiles are in for a double bill from movie heaven this week, as Criterion unveils its brand new DVD and Blu-ray editions of two Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger classics that capture the filmmaking team at the peak of their Technicolor form. Adapted from Rumer Godden’s novel, 1947’s Black Narcissus tells the story of a group of Anglican nuns — led by Deborah Kerr’s Sister Clodagh — who establish a convent in the remote Himalayas to set up a school. Forbidden desires are conjured, however, with the arrival of the swarthy British liaison Mr. Dean (David Farrar), leading to much repressed swooning and one epic nun flight atop a precarious mountain. Fans of old-school filmmaking technique will relish Powell and Pressburger’s use of matte paintings and miniatures — the Himalayan ranges were in fact exquisitely constructed models — that give the movie a look unlike anything you’d see today (and which CGI could never quite replicate). The hyper-real backdrops and Technicolor saturation help heighten the story’s melodrama, while Kerr gives a superb performance as Sister Superior. “Powell’s equally extravagant visual style transforms it into a landscape of the mind,” noted the Chicago Reader’s Dave Kehr, “grand and terrible in its thorough abstraction.” The restored Criterion edition has an audio commentary and three documentaries, plus extensive liner notes.


The Red Shoes – Criterion Collection

When Martin Scorsese labels a film one of his all-time favorites, it’s time to sit up and take notice. The director was personally involved in overseeing the restoration of Powell and Pressburger’s The Red Shoes for its 2009 showing at Cannes, and the love that has gone into the retouching of the film is palpable. Arguably Powell and Pressburger’s — if not post-war cinema’s — high water mark, The Red Shoes is loosely adapted from the Hans Christian Andersen story, which serves as the basis for the ballet being performed in the film. Fledgling dancer Vicki (Moira Shearer) is taken under the wing of arch choreographer Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook, magnificently camp), but she must choose between her destiny to dance the ballet or fall in love — the latter scorned by Lermontov, to whom the dance is everything. Put simply, The Red Shoes is a masterpiece: it’s both dramatic and whimsical, moving and completely surreal. The film’s centerpiece, a 20-odd-minute ballet turned dreamscape, is something to behold; in its movement you can see half a century of cinematic inspiration. As the Independent’s Anthony Quinn put it: “It has a quicksilver grace and variation of mood unlike anything else you’ve seen.” This edition, featuring the restored print, is introduced by Scorsese and features a gallery of his collection from the film, plus audio commentary, documentaries and liner notes.

Written by Luke Goodsell, Sara Vizcarrondo, and Ryan Fujitani

Tag Cloud

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