RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Puss in Boots and J. Edgar

Plus, an acclaimed psychodrama, a silly heist flick, and a classic courtroom drama.

by | February 22, 2012 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got a number of new releases that will probably be of interest to the discriminating movie watcher. Among those we won’t be mentioning in the article are the Certified Fresh doc about pioneering band Fishbone called Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, the poorly reviewed Channing Tatum/Al Pacino crime thriller The Son of No One, and the inspirational (but formulaic) sports drama The Mighty Macs. Aside from those, however, we still have a solid selection, ranging from an entertaining animated film to a Clint Eastwood-directed biopic, from an acclaimed drama with a powerhouse performance to a heist comedy starring Eddie Murphy in prime form. See below for the full list!

Puss in Boots


Based on the downward trajectory of the Shrek franchise, particularly over its final two installments, one wouldn’t have expected much from a spinoff film starring one of the peripheral characters. Puss in Boots, therefore, was a pleasant surprise for a lot of people. Starring Antonio Banderas as the voice of the titular feline, Puss is sort of a prequel to the Shrek films, following the adventures of its swashbuckling star as he teams up with Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) and Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) to take on Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris) for their magical beans. Bubbling with wry wit, visual sparkle, and effervescent charm, Puss in Boots helped restore some luster to the Shrek universe by earning a Certified Fresh 83%. You won’t see anything especially new or thought-provoking here, but you’ll probably have a pretty good time nonetheless.

Tower Heist


Eddie Murphy’s made a lot of Rotten films in the past couple of decades, and it’s officially old hat to wax nostalgic about the glory days of Beverly Hills Cop and Coming to America. And while it would have been easy to dismiss Tower Heist as a probable bomb due to its outlandish premise, seemingly mismatched cast, and critically unimpressive director (Brett Ratner), well, it turned out to be another of 2011’s pleasant surprises, thanks in large part to Murphy himself. The story centers on a group of luxury apartment employees who lose their pensions in a Ponzi scheme to a businessman (played by Alan Alda) and decide to take back what’s theirs by ripping him off in an elaborate, well, tower heist. Aided by a star-studded cast that included Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Tea Leoni, Casey Affleck, and Gabourey Sidibe, Tower Heist represented a return to form for Eddie Murphy, who was frequently singled out by critics. At 68% on the Tomatometer, it’s a fun little popcorn movie that’ll probably do a decent job of keeping you entertained on a Saturday night.

J. Edgar


Here’s a film that had all the makings of an award-winner, if not a modern classic: an acclaimed director (Clint Eastwood), an award-winning screenwriter (Dustin Lance Black), an all-star cast (Leonardo DiCaprio, Judi Dench, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts) and a compelling subject (the life of controversial FBI head J. Edgar Hoover). Somehow, though, the final product managed to be less than the sum of its parts, and J. Edgar earned a mere 44% on the Tomatometer. So what was the problem? According to the critics, there were a few. While the actors all offered up top notch performances (especially DiCaprio, as the titular icon himself), most agreed that poor lighting and subpar makeup took away from the aesthetics of the film, while a confusing narrative and humdrum storytelling diminished any impact it might have otherwise had. As far as biopics go, you’ll certainly learn a little bit about Mr. Hoover from J. Edgar, but because the story fails to explore some of the more interesting aspects of his character from any significant angle, you may find it all a little mundane and uninspiring.

Martha Marcy May Marlene


Guess what, everyone? The younger sister of the Olsen twins can act, and she’s really good! That seemed to be one of the big takeaways from last year’s Martha Marcy May Marlene, which has already won several awards from critics societies and is currently nominated for four Indie Spirit awards. But Elizabeth Olsen wasn’t the only one making an impressive first impression; the haunting psychodrama about a young woman who escapes a cult and attempts to piece her life back together in the aftermath is also the debut of writer-director Sean Durkin. Cutting seamlessly between the past and present, Durkin brings the viewer into his heroine’s crippling paranoia, which grows increasingly worse until it becomes unclear what reality is and what her mind has fabricated. Certified Fresh at 90%, Martha Marcy May Marlene is an effective thriller that creeps up on you and stays with you for days.

London Boulevard


William Monahan is best known as the screenwriter for a few big movies, including Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven and Body of Lies, and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, for which Monahan won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. For London Boulevard, Monahan not only adapted the Ken Bruen novel of the same name, but also made his directorial debut, and unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly an auspicious one. The film stars Colin Farrell as Mitchell, an ex-con trying to go straight who is hired by a reclusive starlet (Keira Knightley) to be her bodyguard; when they cross paths with a notorious mob boss (Ray Winstone), Mitchell is sucked back into the London underworld against his will. Unfortunately, while critics felt the film was adequately stylish and chock full of meaty dialogue, most also felt that there were far too many subplots to follow (and follow up on) and that the emphasis on style detracted from the film’s overall quality. At 33%, you’ll probably only get a kick out of London Boulevard if you like the stars, or if you’re looking for tips on how to speak Cockney.

The Way


The Way is sort of the epitome of a passion project. Named for the Camino de Santiago, or Way of St. James, a traditional Spanish pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the film was initially inspired by the travels of director Emilio Estevez’s father and son (Martin Sheen and Taylor Estevez, respectively) when they undertook the journey themselves. When Estevez decided he wanted to make a film about the Camino de Santiago, he wrote a part specifically for his father, then shot the entire thing on location with a small crew over 40 days and 200 miles. And what did he get for it? A Certified Fresh 80% on the Tomatometer. In the film, Martin Sheen plays a grieving father whose son lost his life while on the titular pilgrimage; he initially travels to Spain merely to retrieve the body, but decides to embark on the journey himself, meeting others on the trek who are all searching for some meaning themselves. While some critics felt the film meandered a bit and teetered on oversentimentality, most felt it was a noble effort by Estevez, beautifully shot and powerfully introspective at its best.

World on a Wire – Criterion Collection

The last word in modern cinematic prolificacy, Rainer Werner Fassbinder cranked out more than 40 features in his 15 year career, juggling genres with starling assurance. The newly-rediscovered sci-fi head trip World on a Wire, which originally aired as a miniseries on German television, may not be the best place to start if you’re new to Fassbinder’s oeuvre (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul is probably your safest bet), but this spellbinding tale of a computer that simulates an artificial world covers some of the same mind/body territory explored in Avatar, Solaris, and Blade Runner. World on a Wire is a potent brew of melodrama, dark farce, and big ideas, all shot against a backdrop of industrial sleekness where it’s impossible to tell who is real and who is computer-generated. The Criterion disc features a new digital transfer of the movie, plus a making-of featurette.

Anatomy of a Murder – Criterion Collection


It might seem tame by today’s standards, but Anatomy of a Murder caused quite the stir upon its release in 1958. With its coarse, sexually-explicit language, Otto Preminger’s searing drama kicked dirt in the face of Hollywood’s production code. Viewed today, Anatomy of a Murder may seem about as racy as a typical episode of CSI, but it still has the power to unsettle, and it remains one of the most influential of all courtroom procedurals. James Stewart stars as a small-town Michigan lawyer who must defend Frederick Manion, an unlikeable army lieutenant (Ben Gazzara, in his breakout role) accused of murdering a bartender. In his defense, Manion claims the bartender raped his wife Laura (Lee Remick). What follows is a twisty, stylistically bold thriller in which the truth is constantly in question. Plus, it’s got a smoking hot score by Duke Ellington and a terrific title sequence and iconic poster from the innovative graphic designer Saul Bass. The Criterion disc features a sparkling new transfer of the film, plus behind-the-scenes footage and stills, and featurettes on Ellington and Bass.

Tag Cloud

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