RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Road, Stagecoach, and Spartacus

Plus, another iconic western, an internet sensation, and crime-solving kids.

by | May 25, 2010 | Comments

It’s a new week of releases on home video, and we here at Rotten Tomatoes regret to inform you that the selection of new releases is again rather dismal. With that in mind, we bring you an abbreviated list highlighting the two brand new releases and a handful of reissues we think some of you might find appealing. Leading off the pack is the latest Cormac McCarthy novel to find its way to the big screen, as well as the latest Nicholas Sparks novel to do the same; we’ll let you guess which of those is Certified Fresh and which is Rotten. Then, we’ve got a couple of classic westerns, an internet sensation that won an emmy, a comedy from some of NBC’s newest stars, and one of Stanley Kubrick’s early masterpieces. Read on for the full list!


The Road

The novels of Cormac McCarthy have recently become prime Hollywood fodder, particularly after the Coen brothers’ adaptation of No Country for Old Men took home four of the biggest awards of the 2007 Academy Awards. Following on the heels of No Country‘s success, The Road, a post-apocalyptic drama about a father and son wandering the American landscape and struggling to survive. Directed by John Hillcoat (The Proposition) and starring Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Road managed to earn a Certified Fresh 75% Tomatometer from critics, despite a handful criticisms that the film was altogether too bleak. You can pick it up on DVD or Blu-Ray this week.


Dear John

Channing Tatum has acted a few notable movies, but unlike his Dear John co-star Amanda Seyfried, he has yet to find his breakout role. Unfortunately for both, Dear John failed to be a positive career milestone for either, and for Seyfried in particular, it’s the lowest Tomatometer-rated film she’s done. Even with the directorial heft of Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules, Chocolat) and the acting chops of recent Best Actor nominee Richard Jenkins, this adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name about a US soldier who finds the strength to persevere in the letters he receives from his girlfriend back home failed to impress critics. Citing its overly clichéd plot, reviewers only saw fit to award Dear John with a 29% Tomatometer. Still, it’s available on DVD and Blu-Ray this week for Sparks fans and those looking for a simple tearjerker.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

If you’re a fan of Joss Whedon, you’re probably already familiar with this little web-mini-series-that-could. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog began as a way for “Whedon and Friends” to circumvent the Hollywood writer’s strike of 2008 and produce something inexpensive but interesting, and it wound up winning a series of awards, including a Primtime Emmy. Broadway vet Neil Patrick Harris hams it up as Dr. Horrible himself, an aspiring supervillain who’s in love with a girl he met at the laundromat, and Nathan Fillion (from Whedon’s own Firefly series) shows up as Dr. Horrible’s superhero nemesis, Captain Hammer. But if you’ve already watched or downloaded the entire 42-minute program, why get the DVD? Try these extras on for size: an audio commentary with Whedon, Harris, Fillion and the other creators; a musical commentary featuring its cast and crew singing songs about each other and the writer’s strike; a making-of featurette; and 10 fanmade videos created as applications to the Evil League of Evil. You can pick it up on DVD or Blu-Ray this week.


Spartacus 50th Anniversary Edition – Blu-Ray

Few movies can rally the troops like 1960’s Spartacus. A high pedigree production, the film wouldn’t exist were it not for the star power and drive of Kirk Douglas who, up to that point, hadn’t had as massive a platform as this for his ideas or his talents. Stanley Kubrick directs and the great Dalton Trumbo, just out of his period from the days of the Blacklist (he was one of the original Hollywood ten), loads this epic struggle of liberty and servitude with things the censors couldn’t figure out how to argue. See the scene with newly enslaved lover-boy Tony Curtis in which Curtis oils down Sir Lawrence Oliver (the heavy) and is asked, “Slave. Do you like snails or do you like cockles.” (Imagine hand gestures for that one and the message comes pretty clear.) This 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray comes with a manifesto’s length of extras: interviews with heavy-hitter stars Jean Simmons and Peter Ustinov (always has a lot to offer), behind-the-scenes footage, vintage newsreels, costume art (HOT!), production stills (scandalous!), poster art, and Saul Bass storyboards. In the end, though, the extras are just icing for the film’s epic results. This writer’s never met a man who doesn’t tear up at the announcement: “I am Spartacus.” (I get chills even typing it.)


Mystery Team

If you’ve been watching the recent NBC lineup of hit shows, which includes 30 Rock and The Office, then you’re already familiar with many of the actors involved with Mystery Team, a comedy about three high school friends who once ran a kid detective agency and who attempt to solve a double homicide to recapture the glory of their youth. Mystery Team was brought to the screen by the members of Derrick Comedy, a sketch comedy group that amassed a large following via online channels. Some of the cast members you might recognize in this are Donald Glover (of NBC’s Community), Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), and Ellie Kemper (The Office), as well as other NBC sitcom regulars. Fans of Derrick Comedy will likely get a kick out of the movie, and it’ll be available this week.


Django – Blu-Ray

A contemporary of Sergio Leone, Sergio Corbucci left his own stamp on the “Spaghetti Western” with 1966’s Django, which arrived just on the heels of Leone’s Dollars Trilogy. Starring Franco Nero as the titular antihero, Django focuses on a wandering gunslinger (Nero) with a grudge who aligns himself with a gang of Mexican revolutionaries against the colonel who murdered his wife. At the time of its release, it was considered one of the most violent films ever made, and countries like Sweden simply banned it. However, the film was so popular that it spawned a reported 100 unofficial sequels, none of which have much to do with Corbucci’s film. In addition, Django has inspired countless references over the decades in several mediums, the most recent of which might be Japanese cult director Takashi Miike’s 2007 film Sukiyaki Western Django, which borrows a lot from the original. This week, Django is available in Blu-Ray for the first time, and it comes with some intriguing extras, like cast interviews and a 1968 documentary about Spaghetti Westerns.


Stagecoach – Criterion Collection

Though Westerns were quite popular during cinema’s Silent Film era, when sound entered the picture (no pun intended), Westerns fell by the wayside, relegated to B-movie status. Then, in 1939, the stars aligned just right, and veteran director John Ford paired up with a young John Wayne for his first Western with sound, the first proper Western since the silent era, and the first of many successful Ford-Wayne collaborations to come. Stagecoach was a success even back in its day; it’s still considered by many to be the greatest of its genre, and even those who disagree still count it among the most influential films ever made. Not only did it set the bar for Westerns as we now know them, it also launched the career of John Wayne and paved the way of some of Ford’s other masterpieces. This week, Criterion has adopted Stagecoach into its collection, adding a TON of impressive special features like Bucking Broadway, a Ford silent feature; a 1968 interview with Ford; a video homage to legendary stuntman Yakima Canutt; a 1949 radio dramatization of Stagecoach featuring the original cast; and more! You can pick it up on DVD or Blu-Ray this week.

Written by Ryan Fujitani and Sara Maria Vizcarrondo

Tag Cloud

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