RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Vampires and Vikings and Sorcerers, Oh My!

Plus, a spy action-comedy and a timely long distance romance.

by | November 30, 2010 | Comments

This week, we’ve got oodles of mystical, magical mayhem on offer in the home video department. The latest in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga hits the market, alongside a very badly reviewed spoof. Then there’s a viking actioner set during the Crusades, and two films from Disney that sort of overlap each other in story, one being a classic animated short and the other being a modern, live-action interpretation of the same. Lastly, we’ve also got a new rom-com starring Justin Long and Drew Barrymore and an action-comedy with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Most of these hover somewhere in middle-of-the-road territory, but there’s some genre fun to be had, so check out the choices and pick accordingly.


[tomatometer]MovieId=770805388[/tomatometer]

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Let’s start off by saying this: if you aren’t a fan of The Twilight Saga, based on the poplar tween fiction by Stephenie Meyer, then kindly skip to the rest of the entries below. This selection is clearly not for you, because if you aren’t a fan, then you either don’t care whatsoever about the films, or you actively hate them. There just isn’t much reason to believe you’ve “never heard of them,” because they have been everywhere for the past few years. This week, we get the home video release of the third and most recent installment of the series, Eclipse, in which Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) finds herself in the middle of the ages-old feud between vampires and werewolves, and she’s got suitors in both camps (Robert Pattinson as vampire Edward Cullen, and Taylor Lautner as werewolf Jacob Black). Who will she choose, and what will the repercussions be? Directed by David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night), Eclipse received the best reviews of the series so far, though it notched just a 51% on the Tomatometer. It’ll be passable entertainment for any who know what they’re getting into, but the fact that you’d have to sit through the first two to get the underlying story sort of precludes any non-Twilighters from giving this a shot.


[tomatometer]MovieId=770796548[/tomatometer]

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010)

Disney has already taken a crack at telling the story of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the 1797 German poem by Goethe, in its animated extravaganza Fantasia. This year, however, the studio decided to release a live action interpretation of it with help from Jay Baruchel, Nicolas Cage, Alfred Molina, and Monica Bellucci, among others. In this modernized tale, Cage plays Balthazar, a former apprentice to the great wizard Merlin, who is engaged in an ageless struggle against evil sorcerers who seek to free from prison the other apprentices who betrayed and murdered Merlin. At the same time, Balthazar is constantly searching for the one who will become Merlin’s successor, and in the year 2010, he quite fortuitously unites with Dave Stutler (Baruchel), a physics student who turns out to be the chosen one. Backed by producer Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Jon Turteltaub, the team that made the National Treasure movies possible, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is your typical special effects-driven, star-studded Summer popcorn flick, and it never really strives to be any more than that. If you keep that in mind, the 42% Tomatometer may not be such a big deal to you.


[tomatometer]MovieId=770820013[/tomatometer]

Knight and Day

Tom Cruise may not have quite the star power he once did, and Cameron Diaz has always been a little hit-or-miss with mainstream audiences, but the two can still sell a few tickets. During a year absolutely filled to the brim with over-the-top action flicks, Cruise and Diaz starred in a spy thriller/comedy about an everywoman named June (Diaz) who gets swept up into some international intrigue by spy-on-the-run Roy Miller (Cruise). Not knowing who to trust, but embracing the mystery, June joins Roy as he attempts to outwit and outrun FBI agents at every turn, and hilarity presumably ensues. Knight and Day didn’t do gangbusters at the box office, but it still brought in a solid $76 million and earned a 53% Tomatometer rating based almost solely on the chemistry between its two stars and the brisk pace of the movie. If you’re not looking for much more than a globetrotting escapist genre flick graced by beautiful people, then you might get a decent rental out of this one.


[tomatometer]MovieId=770808364[/tomatometer]

Going the Distance

He’s got his share of detractors, but Justin Long tends to play pretty likable characters, and for her part, Drew Barrymore has been one of Hollywood’s biggest child-actor success stories, emerging from a drug- and alcohol-addled adolescence to become one of America’s sweethearts. So one would think the pairing of the two in a romantic comedy would be a perfect fit. Indeed, critics felt that the duo’s collective charisma onscreen in Going the Distance, about a new couple who attempt to maintain a long distance relationship, was relatively effective, and the subject matter of the film felt timely, but also that the film overall fell a little flat, particularly when the two leads weren’t shining individually in scenes that had them apart. With just a 52% on the Tomatometer, this isn’t one of Long’s or Barrymore’s Fresher efforts, but there is something to be said about a movie that tackles a topic relevant to the current generation of 30-somethings, and the charm of its stars may be enough to carry the story for you.


[tomatometer]MovieId=771201458[/tomatometer]

Vampires Suck

The art of spoofing vampire movie conventions is hardly a new one; Bela Lugosi played his iconic Dracula role for laughs in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, and such noteworthy filmmakers as Roman Polanski, Mel Brooks, and Andy Warhol have tried their hands at lampooning those immortal bloodsuckers with mixed results. It probably goes without saying that Vampires Suck, the latest spoof from critical whipping boys Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, marks a new low in the sub-genre. Sending up the self-serious Twilight movies shouldn’t be too hard, but the critics found nary a laugh in Suck, a parade of lame pop-culture references that nonetheless marks something of an advance for Friedberg and Seltzer – their last three movies each scored two percent on the Tomatometer, whereas Suck notched a relatively robust four. The DVD and blu-ray editions compile a number of outtakes and a gag reel.


[tomatometer]MovieId=770810534[/tomatometer]

Valhalla Rising

Nope, it’s not another Norwegian black metal documentary. Valhalla Rising is a rough, gloomy action flick about One Eye (Casino Royale‘s Mads Mikkelsen), a mute Norse warrior who lays waste to everything in his path, a man whose only relationship is with a young boy who brings him sustenance. He’s recruited by Christians to take part in the Crusades, and embarks on an ill-fated and hellish journey which results in brutish violence. The critics were largely impressed with Valhalla Rising‘s brooding, dreamlike evocation of Medieval times, as well as its deviation from any trace of period clichés. The DVD includes a making-of documentary and commentary from director Nicolas Winding Refn.


[tomatometer]MovieId=22473[/tomatometer]

Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 DVD/Blu-Ray Set

Back in 1940, Walt Disney Productions premiered its third feature-length animated film in the form of Fantasia, an omnibus film featuring eight animated shorts set to famous classical music and separated by live-action introductions. One of Disney’s most famous cartoon sequences, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (also reimagined in another of this week’s home video releases) came from this offering, which also included the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky, The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky, and Night on Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky. Then, sixty years later in 2000, the studio released a sequel titled (appropriately) Fantasia 2000, which followed the same formula as the first and included animated pieces set to classics like Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, with a special reappearance of the original Sorcerer’s Apprentice. This week, both are being released in a four-disc package that includes not only the two films, but also a slew of extras that include a feature-length documentary on the relationship between Disney and Salvador Dali, newly discovered production notes on Fantasia, a look at the Disney Family Museum, an interactive art gallery, and more. Plus, you get both films on Blu-Ray and DVD; definitely worth a pickup for anyone interested in animation or classic Disney.

Written by Ryan Fujitani and Tim Ryan

Tag Cloud

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