RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Magic Mike and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Plus, another Madea movie, a couple of indie romances, and a collection of classic horror flicks.

by | October 23, 2012 | Comments

This week on home video, we get Steven Soderbergh’s male stripper drama, some supernatural revisionist American history, and Tyler Perry’s latest Madea comedy. On top of that, there’s also the apocalyptic road trip rom-com, an understated relationship drama, and a couple of classics reissued. See below for the full list!

Magic Mike


Steven Soderbergh is one of the hardest working directors in Hollywood, and Channing Tatum has seen his star rise rapidly in the past few years; put them together in a movie tailor made to make the most of Tatum’s — ahem — assets, and you get a Certified Fresh winner. In a partially autobiographical role, Tatum plays the title character in Magic Mike, the story of a male stripper who shepherds a younger dancer (Alex Pettyfer) in the ways of partying and seduction. Critics found the film smartly written and engagingly directed, but also took special care to note this — along with 21 Jump Street — as Tatum’s arrival as a true star. At 79%, this should make for a squealing good time for you (regardless of gender) and any lady friends you might entertain.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter


Its title promises great fun to be had at the cineplex, but Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter failed to impress most who saw it. Written by the same man who penned the popular novel (as well as the similarly themed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) that inspired the movie and directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted), AL:VH stars Benjamin Walker as the Great Emancipator, who encounters a vampire as a child, trains to fight them, and eventually moonlights as a vampire hunter (of course) whilst advancing his political career. Unfortunately, critics felt that the film often took itself more seriously than its silly title and premise warranted, resulting in an uneven story unable to live up to its potential. In other words, schlockfest connoisseurs beware: product may not deliver as advertised.

Madea’s Witness Protection


Speaking of schlock, Tyler Perry’s latest film is also out this week, and though Madea’s Witness Protection earned the second-highest grosses of Perry’s directorial career, it’s also the second lowest-rated film to feature his burly matriarch, Madea. Faced with death threats from the mob after he exposes a Ponzi scheme at his firm, George Needleman (Eugene Levy) enters the witness protection program, through which he’s placed into the loving arms of — who else? — Tyler Perry in drag. Most critics were quick to call Witness Protection lazy, even by Perry’s standards, with tired humor and a script that simply drags when Madea isn’t on screen. At 21% on the Tomatometer, this will probably only appeal to Perry’s most ardent fans, but most seem to think he’s capable of better than this.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World


Steve Carell has made a relatively well-received transition from TV to the big screen, trading on his immense likability, and critics say that’s one of the saving graces of Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, an overall charming comedy that’s unfortunately plagued by some tonal issues and a disappointing conclusion. Carell plays Dodge, an insurance salesman who takes to the road with his heartbroken neighbor (Keira Knightley) to find his high school sweetheart upon learning an asteroid will wipe out all life on Earth in three weeks’ time. Feelings were mixed on Seeking a Friend, some calling it a tender and sharp, while others felt the story’s individual threads could have converged in a more artful manner. At 55%, this is a road comedy that may alternately touch you and leave you unsatisfied.

Take This Waltz


Sarah Polley earned rave reviews for her first directorial effort, 2006’s Away from Her (Certified Fresh at 94%), and though she doesn’t hit as high a mark with Take This Waltz, she’s now officially a director to watch. Michelle Williams plays Margot, a freelance writer who meets neighbor Daniel (Luke Kirby), with whom she shares an intense chemistry. Margot, however, is married to Lou (Seth Rogen), and initially suppresses her feelings for Daniel until they begin to take their toll on her marriage. Though Take This Waltz‘s themes are familiar, critics say Polley (who also wrote the script) succeeds beautifully in avoiding cliché and capturing the subtle, nuanced nature of love, both new and old. Certified Fresh at 78%, it’s one of the more thoughtful relationship dramas around.

Blade Runner – 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition


Feel free to commence with the jokes about how many different versions of Blade Runner are available. For better or worse, this week will see the release of a 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition set, which essentially includes all of the content from the 25th Anniversary set (remember that snazzy briefcase?): “The Final Cut” plus three more versions of the film, the feature-length making-of doc “Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner,” the deleted scenes and featurettes, and the workprint version; what’s new this time around is a miniature concept spinner car, an action lenticular, and a 72-page production book with sketches, poster art, and photos. If you don’t care for all the goodies, you can always pick up the Blu-ray digibook, too.

Universal Monsters – The Essential Collection (Coffin Box)

A couple of weeks ago, Universal released pretty much all of their classic creature features on Blu-ray and in one set. This week, the same 8-disc collection, including their most iconic horror films from the 1930s to the 1950s, is available in a nifty new coffin-shaped box. Which movies, specifically? How about deluxe Special Editions of: Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Wolf Man (1941), The Phantom of the Opera (1943), and The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)? The set comes with an exclusive 44-page booklet and a theatrical poster for each film, while each of the titles includes the extras found on their individual Blu-ray releases. Not a bad pickup, just in time for Halloween.

Also available this week:

  • The Invisible War, Kirby Dick’s (This Film Is Not Yet Rated) Certified Fresh (at 100%) doc about sexual abuse in the US military, is available this week.
  • John Schlesinger’s 1971 relationship drama Sunday Bloody Sunday gets the Criterion Collection treatment.
  • Kino International will be releasing Stanley Kubrick’s feature debut Fear and Desire on Blu-ray for the first time.
  • The trapped-in-a-sauna thriller 247 F arrives on home video.

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