RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Sherlock Holmes and An Education

Plus, more chipmunks, a couple of solid docs, two hit men, and two funny men.

by | March 29, 2010 | Comments

This week on home video, our choices are headlined by Guy Ritchie’s latest film — a Hollywood reimagining of a classic literary hero — and a multiple Oscar-nominated British film starring Peter Sarsgaard and Carey Mulligan. Those are followed up by a kid-friendly sequel, a dark horror-comedy, and a couple of highly touted documentaries to round out the brand new releases. In the classics/re-issues department, we’ve got a special edition of a Disney film, a couple of stylishly different crime thrillers, and a complete collection of a classic comedy duo’s influential television show. There’s some good stuff to be had this week, so check out what’s coming and decide what’ll go on your wish list.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=10010659[/tomatometer]

Sherlock Holmes

Director Guy Ritchie is best known for his highly stylized and intricately plotted British gangster films, and though he has found somewhat mixed success with this formula, the one time he strayed away from it (2002’s Swept Away), he wound up with a dismal 5% Tomatometer. So most weren’t quite sure what to make of it when he was saddled with one of literature’s most recognizable and iconic heroes, Sherlock Holmes. Luckily for Ritchie, most critics were charmed by his take on the classic detective (played with relish by Robert Downey Jr.) and his right-hand man Watson (Jude Law), who work together to thwart an evil conspiracy perpetrated by one Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong). Entrusted with what looks to be the beginning of a Hollywood franchise, Ritchie practiced some restraint with his typically frantic style but included enough little touches to leave his fingerprint on the film, and critics felt this worked to his advantage. At 69% on the Tomatometer, Sherlock Holmes (not to be confused with the Asylum production of the same name) wasn’t a runaway critical success, but it performed well at the box office and worked well enough as a fun crowd-pleaser. This week, you can pick it up on DVD and Blu-Ray.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1209664[/tomatometer]

An Education

Carey Mulligan has become a name to look out for, thanks in large part to her role in last year’s British hit An Education. Not only was the film nominated for both the Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay Oscars, but Mulligan herself garnered widespread acclaim for her role as Jenny Mellor, a high school girl who is swept into a relationship with an older man, creating complications in her personal life. Though its central premise is nothing new, most felt that An Education delivered a mature portrayal of May-December romance and singled out Mulligan for her charming, nuanced performance. In fact, though the Best Actress race ultimately became a showdown between Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock, many critics expressed admiration for the way Mulligan carried her picture, even in the midst of a talented cast that included Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Rosamund Pike, and Emma Thompson. It only opened in limited release stateside, so if you missed it when it hit theaters, now’s your chance to catch up.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1209288[/tomatometer]

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

What can we say? The first Alvin and the Chipmunks movie earned over $200 million at the box office in 2007, despite its 27% Tomatometer rating, so no one should have been surprised when a “squeakquel” made its way to the big screen two years later. Based on a cartoon that most of the film’s target audience has probably never even heard of, the Chipmunks movies are the simplest of children’s entertainment, relying on all-too-familiar plot clichés and the requisite slapstick humor. This time around, the Chipmunks are joined by their female counterparts, the Chipettes, who approach former JETT records excutive Ian Hawke (David Cross) about a record deal after witnessing the success that Alvin, Simon, and Theodore have achieved. Naturally, Alvin and the boys develop crushes on the girls, and they end up working together to put on a school concert. It’s standard stuff, but the little ones seem to like it, so if you need a 90-minute distraction for your kids while you fix the toilet, this might do the trick.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1212604[/tomatometer]

Afghan Star

Its super easy to look down your nose at pop culture but, like anyone who identified as a geek in the 80s can tell you, revenge will be had by the meek. In the case of Afghan Star, the Sundance award winning doc by Havana Marking, pop music is the force that unites over 11 million Afghanis and raises up four particularly talented singers in an American-Idol style singing competition called (you guessed it) Afghan Star. The four contestants, sporting no end of vocal talents, are from varying parts of Afghanistan, each of which experiences unique social and religious restrictions. In 2004, Afghanistan lifted a handful of restrictions on music and Tolo TV, the station that carries the show, swept in to fill a need. The singers do more than just excel in a field, theyre standing up against explicitly repressive forces and all this is public and in game show form. In a place where following your dreams is about more than choosing between guyliner or track suits, watching these singers (between 19 and 25) stand up speaks more loudly than anything they send through the mics. DVD includes a new video featurette by the director and subtitles.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1215969[/tomatometer]

I Sell the Dead

Since “gothic” and “horror” are terms that, on mere principle, invoke excess, why not goof on them? So this comedy, produced by the omnipresent indie demi-urge Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter, The Roost) goes back to the roots of gothy-gory (and now goofy) England to watch Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings and TV’s Lost), awaiting execution for grave robbing, confess the monster-fraught dangers of his field to attending priest and comforter, Ron Perlman (Hellboy and TV’s Beauty and the Beast if you wanna be old school). It’s great casting at the least! See Hellboy absolve a hobbit of his monster related guilt — the humor’s written all over this in chiaroscuro. The Blu-Ray, which should make all those night shoots easy to make out, includes making of and effects featurettes along with audio commentaries by the director and stars and a print graphic novelization of the film.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=10010964[/tomatometer]

The Yes Men Fix the World

Depending on your political leanings and socio-economic outlook, The Yes Men are either a bunch of liberal nerds with too much time on their hands, or a bunch of upstanding citizen-activists with an ingenious game plan. Either way, their exploits are outrageous and often hilarious, and if you’re going to watch a political documentary, why not get a few laughs in as well? To offer some background, the Yes Men are a group of activists who operate copycat websites that mirror those of important corporations and government organizations; as such, they receive numerous invitations to speak and appear at various events, and they accordingly send pseudo-execs to stir things up and attempt to highlight problems inherent within the system through satire. The Yes Men Fix the World is the follow-up doc to 2003’s The Yes Men, in which Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno targeted the World Trade Organization. Now they focus their attention on corporate fatcats as they impersonate execs from Dow Chemical and Exxon, appear on the BBC, and meet with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin in front of a thousand contractors. Certified Fresh at 80%, The Yes Men Fix the World promises to be another hilarious probe into timely issues by a group of bold — and shameless — activists out to change the world.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1029112[/tomatometer]

Alice in Wonderland – 2-Disc Un-Anniversary Edition

Now that Tim Burton has put his stamp on Lewis Carroll’s classic tale with Disney’s blessing, the animation giant has decided to release its 2-disc Special Un-Anniversary Edition of Alice in Wonderland this week on DVD. Possibly the most surreal and puzzling entry in Disney’s illustrious animated canon, Alice in Wonderland is an adaptation of Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, wherein a young girl follows a white rabbit down a hole and to an alternate reality full of colorful and bizarre characters. The new DVD edition will feature extras like a documentary featurette on the making of the film, a deleted scene narrated by the directors of The Princess and the Frog, and the Alice-inspired Mickey Mouse short, Thru the Mirror, among other extras. If you never owned this classic before, this could be a good time to pick it up.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1032434[/tomatometer]

The Killer – Blu-Ray

John Woo might not be a household name quite yet, but those who don’t recognize his name will still surely recognize some of the films he’s directed, like Face/Off and Mission: Impossible II. But before making the jump to Hollywood, Woo had already amassed a cult following based on a few of his Hong Kong films, most notably those starring Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon‘s Chow Yun Fat; of these collaborations, The Killer is probably the most famous and most beloved. The plot revolves around retiring hit man Ah Jong (Chow), who inadvertently blinds a singer during a bloody shootout and decides to take on one more hit so that he can pay for an expensive operation that will restore her eyesight. Woo’s films are known for their highly stylized action sequences, which often feature slow-motion, boatloads of gunfire (from firearms that never need reloading), doves, and Mexican standoffs. Currently rated at 100% on the Tomatometer with 30 reviews, The Killer is available in Blu-Ray for the first time, and though details on the extras are a bit sketchy, it appears the new edition will include interviews with Woo and a look at filming locations in addition to the standard fare.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1134449[/tomatometer]

Collateral – Blu-Ray

Continuing on the theme of troubled hit men, Michael Mann’s (Heat, Public Enemies) Collateral also hits Blu-Ray for the first time this week. This Certified Fresh (86%) thriller stars heavyweight Tom Cruise as the aforementioned hit man, Vincent, and Jamie Foxx as Max, the unlucky L.A. cab driver who picks him up, as the two embark on a tension-filled night during which Max is expected to dispose of five key witnesses in a case against a drug cartel. As the FBI catches on and begins to pursue them, the tables turn and Max finds that Vincent isn’t as expendable as he was intended to be. Michael Mann has a superb knack for crime thrillers, and this film was no different; critics praised Collateral on several aspects, from its strong performances to its production quality to its tense, noir-ish atmosphere — all executed admirably. Now even crisper in Blu-Ray, you can pick this up and catch special features like rehearsal footage of Cruise and Foxx, a 1-minute hidden camera short featuring Cruise posing as a FedEx delivery man, and other standard extras.


The Abbott & Costello Show – The Complete Series Collector’s Edition

Touted as one of the best television shows of all time by the likes of Entertainment Weekly and TIME Magazine, The Abbott and Costello Show was a groundbreaking half-hour sitcom that ran from 1952-1954 and starred the comedy duo in a series of random scenarios. Those unfamiliar with the greater Abbott and Costello catalog might still recognize their most popular routine, known simply as “Who’s on First?”, a witty exchange about a baseball game in which the players’ names (e.g. Who, What, Why, I Don’t Know) become the source of mad confusion, or their films with some of the classic Universal Monsters (Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein). Now, the entire series of the highly influential show is available on DVD and includes extras like a Season One Classic Routine Reel, Lou Costello’s Home Movies, a 1978 TV special, and a short film from 1948, among others — a must-have for classic TV enthusiasts.

Written by Ryan Fujitani and Sara Schieron

Tag Cloud

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