RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Fighter and Hereafter

Also, another acclaimed documentary, a winning indie, and a couple of new Criterions.

by | March 15, 2011 | Comments

This week on home video, we’re limited in our selection, but we’ve managed somehow to narrow it down to some really excellent choices. While Clint Eastwood’s latest and the Jason Bateman-Jennifer Aniston rom-com didn’t fare so well on the Tomatometer, the rest of the films featured this week have all gotten high praise from the critics. So delve into the list, and hopefully you’ll be willing to try out a movie or two you might have otherwise.

The Fighter


It would be easy to say that all boxing movies are alike; they’re typically underdog stories about pugilists who have endured hard lives or tragic setbacks, only to return bigger, better, stronger, more resilient, and more determined than before. In that sense, The Fighter doesn’t deviate much from the formula. What sets this Oscar-nominated flick apart is the performances, two of which (Christian Bale and Melissa Leo in powerful supporting roles) indeed picked up Academy Awards. Directed by David O. Russell (Three Kings), The Fighter chronicles the early years of professional boxer-to-be “Irish” Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), focusing on his relationship with his troubled brother Dicky (Bale). With the cast filled out by such outstanding talent as Amy Adams and Mellisa Leo, the film is a solidly entertaining sports drama thanks largely to its stars. If you didn’t get a chance to see this when it was in theaters, you can pick it up this week and see what all the hubbub was about in the comfort of your own home.



After a pretty impressive string of seven straight Fresh films, including Best Picture winner Million Dollar Baby and Certified Fresh hits like Mystic River and Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood’s hot streak came to an end with Hereafter. Starring Matt Damon, Cecile de France, and Bryce Dallas Howard, the film focuses on three unrelated people who each have unique experiences with death; a gifted psychic (Damon) trying to forget his past, a young boy grieving for the loss of his twin brother, and a woman (France) who has a near-death experience during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunamis (which makes this release timely in the freakiest of ways). So what was the problem? Critics felt that, despite an intriguing premise, Hereafter failed to be as compelling as it could have been, and its drama too often veered into oversentimentality. Still, considering what happened in Japan over the weekend, this may be the meditation on the afterlife that many may be craving this week.

The Switch


Even if Jennifer Aniston can’t seem to find proper footing on the big screen, landing roles in one stinker after another, she’s at least pretty likable as a star, and the same is true for Jason Bateman. Unfortunately, critics say that’s all The Switch has going for it: the charms of its two leading actors. Based on a short story, the film centers on best friends Kassie (Aniston) and Wally (Bateman) ; when Kassie decides it’s time to have a baby ? through artificial insemination ? Wally, who’s always had a crush on Kassie, gets drunk and replaces her sperm sample with some of his own specimen. Seven years later, the couple must deal with the consequences. Critics thought that The Switch had an interesting, if potentially crude, premise, and that both Aniston and Bateman gave it their all. Unfortunately, the film’s trite script and reliance on rom-com clichés prevent it from becoming anything great. We can be thankful, at least, that they didn’t go with the original title (taken from the title of the short story): The Baster. To quote Cate Blanchett at the Oscars, “That’s gross.”

Waste Land


Last week, home video shelves were freshly stocked with two of the most highly acclaimed documentaries of 2010, one of which actually won the Best Documentary Oscar. This week, discriminating doc-lovers get another winner in Waste Land, one of the Best Documentary runners up. Directed by Lucy Walker (Countdown to Zero, Blindsight), Waste Land follows artist Vik Muniz from Brooklyn back home to Brazil, where he creates art with the local “catadores” ? people who sift through garbage in Rio de Janeiro’s landfill looking for recyclable materials. The film holds an impressive, Certified Fresh 100% on RT with 62 reviews, and critics say its transformation into an uplifting portrait of the power of art makes it more than worth the time. If you’re into powerful, humanistic documenataries, Waste Land will likely move you and make you think; it’s a solid film that, by all accounts, deserves it’s Oscar nod, and it’s available this week on home video.

No One Knows About Persian Cats


Every week here in RT on DVD, we try to shed light on at least one lesser known release for all of you conscientious movie lovers out there who might want something other than the blockbusters, fanboy favorites, and high profile pet projects. This week, that movie is an Iranian film somewhat appropriately called No One Knows About Persian Cats, a story about the country’s underground rock music scene. After two young musicians (Ashkan Kooshanejad and Negar Shaghaghi, real life members of Iranian band Take It Easy Hospital) are released from prison and forbidden from performing in Iran, the pair form a band and begin scouring Tehran for other musicians to join them, ultimately planning an escape from the country and its oppressive policies against them. Praising the film to the tune of a Certified Fresh 95% Tomatometer score, critics felt that it successfully incorporated humor and a fresh perspective on a serious, sometimes touchy subject, resulting in an exhilarating, powerful tribute to Iran’s underground musicians. And in a strange case of life imitating art, the story parallels that of its two stars, who have had to relocate to London since the film was released, and have not been allowed to return since.

Au Revoir Les Enfants – Criterion Collection Blu-Ray


One of the great Louis Malle’s last masterpieces, the Oscar-nominated Au Revoir, Les Enfants is a haunting tale of innocence lost, based upon one of the director’s childhood memories. Set in 1943 in Vichy-era France, Au Revoir is the story of Julien and Jean, two boys at a Catholic boarding school, who bond over their status as outcasts. But Jean has a secret: he’s Jewish, and has been granted asylum by a kindly old priest. Soon, the outside world intrudes upon the school, and the Gestapo comes looking for Jews ? leading to an achingly sad act of unconscious betrayal. (It’s especially ironic, given the film’s somber tone, that Quentin Tarantino’s mispronunciation of the title was slyly appropriated into the moniker of his first feature, the raucous Reservoir Dogs.) A spiffy new Criterion blu-ray features interviews with Malle, featurettes, and The Immigrant, a 1917 Charlie Chaplin short that’s featured in the film.

Yi Yi – Criterion Collection Blu-Ray


Unless you paid a lot of attention to the film festival circuit in 2000, or you tend to gobble up foreign movies like potato chips, there’s a pretty good chance you missed this gem from late Taiwanese director Edward Yang. Told from the perspective of three characters within the story, Yi Yi centers around one middle-class family in Taipei, utilizing the families trials and triumphs as an epic exploration of life itself. The film clocks in at just a hair under three hours, so it’s a long ride, but one that’s worth taking, according to its multiple international awards and the critics who awarded it a Certified Fresh 96%. This week, Criterion is releasing a brand new Blu-Ray edition of the film, which includes commentary with Yang and critic Tony Rayns, as well as an interview with Rayns about Yang himself and the New Taiwan Cinema movement.

Tag Cloud

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