New on DVD & Blu-Ray: 300: Rise of an Empire, Enemy, and More

by | June 23, 2014 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got the stylized sequel to a historical action film, a doppleganger thriller, and a magic-filled misfire from Akiva Goldsman. Then, we’ve got a couple of acclaimed television series and a bunch of smaller films and TV shows. Read on for details:

300: Rise of an Empire


Though Gerard Butler has moved on to protecting the White House and flirting with soccer moms, the 300 franchise continues with Rise of an Empire, based on the yet unreleased Frank Miller graphic novel Xerxes. Penned by 300 director Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad, RoaE is a more broadly scoped narrative that chronicles the efforts of Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) to unite his forces against the Persian god-king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his naval commander Artemisia (Eva Green). Though the film sported the same visual flourish of its predecessor and benefitted from Eva Green’s presence, most critics found it numbingly violent and less interesting. The Blu-ray comes with about 81 minutes of special features, including a series of behind-the-scenes featurettes, a comparison between the film’s events and their historical counterparts, and a look at ancient Greek naval strategy.



In a year full of doppelganger stories (The Double, Coherence, and Orphan Black, which just finished its second season), Enemy was one of the early successes, reuniting Prisoners star Jake Gyllenhaal with its director, Denis Villenueve. Gyllenhaal pulls double duty here as both Adam Bell, a morose college professor, and Anthony Claire, the actor Adam becomes dangerously obsessed with when he spots him in a movie and realizes they are physically identical. Critics were impressed enough by the performances, as well Villenueve’s directorial choices, to rate this thriller Certified Fresh at 74%. The film dips ever so slightly into the surreal, and as its one bonus feature — a making-of featurette — confirms, you may not have everything figured out by the end, but it further establishes Denis Villenueve as a forceful presence in the psychological thriller genre.

Winter’s Tale


Longtime screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, I, Robot) made his directorial debut earlier this year with Winter’s Tale, an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Mark Helprin. At the center of this Tale is Peter Lake (Colin Farrell), a turn-of-the-20th-century New York orphan who runs afoul of the powerful local gangster (Russell Crowe) who took him under his wing and, while on the run, falls in love with a terminally ill girl. There’s more to it than that, but a story that takes place in 1916 and 2014, with plenty of magic and mystical creatures, can’t be adequately summed up in a sentence. Besides, critics didn’t like the film very much; citing a nonsensical plot, bland characters, and a failure to capture its source material’s charms, they savaged the film with a 13% Tomatometer. If you decide to pick this one up, it’ll come with a couple of making-of bonuses and some deleted scenes.

Masters of Sex – Season One

Showtime’s acclaimed drama returns for its second season on July 13, and if you’ve got some spare time between now and then, you can pick up season one when it hits shelves tomorrow and binge away. The series stars Michael Sheen as the titular Dr. William Masters and Lizzy Caplan as his assistant extraordinaire Virginia Johnson, who together conducted the kind of research on sexuality back in the 1950s and 1960s that reassured all of us that we weren’t the only ones who enjoyed doing that one thing in bed. You know, that one thing. You can pick up the entire first season on Blu-ray this week, and it comes with the requisite audio commentary (pilot episode), a profile of both Sheen and Caplan playing their characters, a short doc exploring the discoveries Masters and Johnson brought to light, and an interview with Thomas Maier, who wrote the book from which the series was adapted.

Also available this week:

  • Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me (98%), a Certified Fresh documentary on the octogenarian Broadway and television star.
  • What Richard Did (94%), a drama about an Irish teen whose life changes when he violently attacks another boy over a girl.
  • Rob the Mob (83%), starring Michael Pitt and Andy Garcia in a drama about a young petty criminal who becomes obsessed with an ongoing trial that could bring down John Gotti.
  • UK import The Wedding Video (71%), starring Robert Webb and Lucy Punch in a found-footage style mockumentary comedy about a best man recording the catastrophic events leading up to his buddy’s wedding.
  • Blood Ties (49%), starring Clive Owen and Billy Crudup in a period crime thriller about an ex-con who returns to his life of crime, and his younger police officer brother who must choose between family and duty.
  • Australian horror import Wolf Creek 2 (48%), in which serial killer Mick Taylor stalks another poor outback tourist.
  • Season one of FX’s Certified Fresh police drama The Bridge (90%), which follows a Mexican detective (Demian Bichir) and an American detective (Diane Kruger) who work together to track down a killer who has committed crimes on both sides of the border.
  • Season one of Lifetime’s Witches of East End (70%), a supernatural drama about a pair of young witches learning the tricks of the trade from their mother.
  • And finally, one selection from the Criterion Collection: Richard Lester’s 1964 comedy A Hard Day’s Night (99%) starring the Beatles in their first film, which opened at the height of Beatlemania.

Tag Cloud

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