RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Cinderella and Dark Shadows

Plus, a couple of thrillers, another beloved fantasy film, and space Nazis.

by | October 2, 2012 | Comments

This week on home video, Disney releases another one of its timeless classics on Blu-ray, and Tim Burton’s latest collaboration with Johnny Depp and Danny Elfman hits shelves. Beyond that, we’ve got a handful of movies — good and bad — that only a few people saw and Blu-ray reissues of another beloved storybook movie and a moody Wong Kar Wai film. See below for the full list!

Dark Shadows

35%

If you weren’t already familiar with Dark Shadows, the cult TV show that first aired from the late 1960s to early 1971, you probably had less of a desire to see Tim Burton’s big screen adaptation of it. The story follows Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), an 18th Century playboy-turned-vampire — thanks to a witch’s (Eva Green) curse — who is buried alive until he is rudely awakened in 1972. Upon returning to his family manor, he finds it occupied by unruly descendants and sets about righting the family’s fishery. Though the quirky, dark, and campy source material seemed a perfect fit for a Burton-Depp collaboration, most critics felt the film almost completely missed its mark, tonally speaking, and saddled it with a 38% Tomatometer.

People Like Us

53%

Chris Pine’s career hasn’t quite taken off the way some people suspected it might after his successful turn as Captain Kirk in the Star Trek reboot, and People Like Us isn’t likely to make him any more of a household name. Here he plays a smooth-talking salesman named Sam who, upon his father’s death, learns he has an older sister (Elizabeth Banks) he never knew about; as he attempts to reconnect with lost family, Sam must reexamine his own life. Critics liked the fact that the film catered more to adult filmgoers than most modern dramedies have, and conceded that both Pine and Banks were great. Unfortunately, they also found the story too calculated and overly melodramatic, so it just misses the mark of Freshness at 57% on the Tomatometer.

Red Lights

30%

What happens when you score a surprise hit with a relatively low-budget thriller? Rodrigo Cortes, director of the acclaimed 2010 film Buried found out: you get to make another movie, but this time you have a bigger budget, and you can hire people like Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Cillian Murphy, and Elizabeth Olsen to be in it. Red Lights focuses on physics wiz and supernatural debunker Tom Buckley (Murphy), who decides to confront the world’s most renowned psychic (De Niro) against the wishes of his superior (Weaver). As Tom begins his investigation, strange things begin to happen, and of course, all may not be as it seems. Cortes drew comparisons to M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense) with this script, and that can either be a good thing or a bad thing, but overall, critics felt the story was too outlandish and failed to sustain momentum to the end. At 29%, Red Lights can be chalked up as a disappointment for most everyone involved.

Sound of My Voice

76%

If Red Lights was an unsatisfying psychological thriller, Sound of My Voice may be a suitable palate cleanser. Sharing some themes with PT Anderson’s The Master but somewhat rooted in sci-fi notions, Sound of My Voice stars Christopher Denham and Nicole Vicius as Peter and Lorna, investigative journalists whose relationship is tested when they attempt to infiltrate a cult centered around a mysterious woman (Brit Marling) who claims to have come from the future. While several critics felt the film’s climax left a lot of important questions insufficiently answered, most found the film thought-provoking and effectively unsettling, leading to a Certified Fresh 75% on the Tomatometer.

Iron Sky

40%

How’s this for a nutty premise: a secret German space program enacted during the last days of World War II has thrived on the dark side of the moon for decades, and when an American astronaut unwittingly makes contact, the space Nazis decide it’s about time to make their way back to Earth and conquer it. Such is the plot of Iron Sky, a would-be over-the-top action comedy that, according to critics, doesn’t quite live up to the promise of its giddy B-movie trappings. It’s impressively made for the budget it was working with, but Iron Sky isn’t nearly funny enough to work successfully either as ironic satire or silly comedy. At 37%, it’ll provide a few laughs, but likely not as many as one would have hoped.

Cinderella – Blu-Ray

97%

In arguably the biggest re-release news this week, Disney is letting loose another of their beloved fairy tale classics on Blu-ray. This time, it’s Cinderella, the story about an unfortunate young woman who is mistreated by everyone in her stepfamily until her fairy godmother shows up, turns a pumpkin into a carriage, and sends her off to the Prince’s ball, where she charms said prince, leaves a glass slipper behind, and resumes her slave lifestyle until he comes to whisk her away. As with other similar Disney releases, Cinderella is available in a variety of packages, from the 2-disc Diamond Edition to a 6-disc box set that also includes the film’s two direct-to-video sequels. Bonus features include an alternate opening sequence, a Tangled short, and three new featurettes on the inspiration behind the Fairy Godmother, the renovation of Fantasyland, and the design of glass slippers.

The Princess Bride – 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray

97%

Cinderella is a timeless classic for sure, but for a certain generation of moviegoers, Rob Reiner’s storybook rom-com The Princess Bride holds just as dear a place in the heart, if not dearer. A young Cary Elwes plays Westley, a stable boy-turned-pirate thought long dead who resurfaces to save the love of his life (Robin Wright) from a scheming kidnapper and an evil prince. With winning turns from Wallace Shawn, Andre the Giant, Mandy Patinkin, and of course Billy Crystal, The Princess Bride holds an impressive Certified Fresh 96% on the Tomatometer. The 25th Anniversary Blu-ray includes mostly the same features found on the previous two-disc Blu-ray release, but with one new extra called “True Love: The Princess Bride Phenomenon” that explores why the movie has resonated to strongly with audiences.

In the Mood for Love – Criterion Collection Blu-Ray

91%

There are few modern directors who are able to capture the sense of yearning and subdued heartache quite like Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar Wai, and In the Mood for Love might be his most quietly evocative effort to that effect. Essentially a story of unrequited love, In the Mood finds Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung as new neighbors who maintain polite contact at first but soon form a bond when both discover that their spouses are engaged in an affair. As their relationship begins to deepen, they find themselves at odds with the vows they have made to their respective spouses and which their spouses have chosen to ignore. Certified Fresh at 88%, In the Mood for Love arrives on Criterion Blu-ray with a wealth of extras, like deleted scenes, a short film by Wong, archival film festival footage, new interviews, and more.

Also available this week:

  • Joe Dante’s supernatural thriller The Hole, which opened in theaters just last week, is simultaneously available on DVD and Blu-ray this week.
  • John Huston’s 1982 big screen adaptation of the 1977 musical Annie arrives on Blu-ray for the first time.
  • The bizarre Masters of the Universe, loosely based on the popular He-Man cartoons of the 1980s, also arrives on Blu-ray for the first time.

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