RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Prometheus and Rock of Ages

Also, a subpar murder mystery, a couple of Hitchcock movies, and a Spielberg classic.

by | October 9, 2012 | Comments

We know, we know; a lot of you were looking forward to a lot more than what you were given in Prometheus. Well, if you want to rewatch it and rehash it with your friends, it’s finally out on video this week. But while Prometheus was one of the most anticipated, most talked-about movies of the year so far, there are some other items of note, like a rock musical, a couple of Hitchcock movies on Blu-ray, and a magical film by Steven Spielberg. Click through for the full list!

Prometheus

73%

Sci-fi fans rejoiced when Ridley Scott announced he’d be returning to the genre with a kinda-sorta prequel to the Alien franchise, and even when he stated Prometheus wasn’t directly related to his earlier masterpiece, anticipation still remained high. The final product, which follows a space crew on a fact-finding mission with dire implications for humanity, didn’t resonate as strongly with audiences as one might have expected, but delivered stunning visuals and top notch performances from its cast, including Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, and Idris Elba. Critics felt the film left a few too many of its big-idea questions unanswered, but found the rest of the film compelling enough to grant it a Certified Fresh 73% on the Tomatometer.

Rock of Ages

43%

It’s a little unfair to expect a whole lot from a big screen adaptation of a jukebox stage musical built around rock hits from the 1980s; it feels rather like a kitschy attempt to capture the fleeting glory of that decade’s recent hipster cred, padded out with big names like Paul Giamatti and Alec Baldwin. But, oh, that Tom Cruise! His performance alone was reportedly almost worth the price of admission. The story here is a relatively straightforward romance between small-town girl Sherrie (Footloose‘s Julianne Hough) and barback Drew (Diego Boneta), who both dream of stardom, but to hear most people tell it, the moment Tom Cruise (as rock god Stacee Jaxx) steps on screen, it’s his show. At 41%, Rock of Ages is just a little stale and a little too long to justify its jump from Broadway to Hollywood, but you might get a kick out of watching Cruise strut his stuff.

The Raven

22%

John Cusack has seldom appeared particularly happy, so it was only a little bit of a stretch for him to play the legendarily macabre Edgar Allan Poe in The Raven, a relatively underwhelming murder mystery that opened earlier this year. The setting is 19th century Maryland, where a series of grisly murders are found to have been committed in ways described in Poe’s literary works. Hoping to get an edge on the killer, Detective Emmett Fields (Luke Evans) enlists the help of the author himself, whose own beloved (Alice Eve) becomes a target. Critics found the film too formulaic, its characters insufficiently fleshed out, and its plot devoid of the clever twists and turns one might expect from a story about Edgar Allan Poe, leaving it with a disappointing 22% Tomatometer.

Strangers on a Train – Blu-Ray

98%

With the Alfred Hitchcock biopic set to open next month, Warner Bros. is releasing two of his popular classics on Blu-ray; the first one we’ll discuss here is Strangers on a Train, one of the legendary director’s perhaps more accessible films. Beleaguered tennis star Guy Haines (Farley Granger) meets mysterious stranger Bruno Anthony(Robert Walker) — who suggests each murder someone for the other — during a train ride; when Bruno assumes Guy has agreed to this dark pact, it results in the death of Guy’s wife and a slew of problems for Guy himself. The Blu-ray comes with a number of featurettes and an impressive commentary, as well as the “Preview Version” of the film that Hitchcock modified into the final cut.

Dial M for Murder – Blu-Ray

89%

The second Hitchcock film being released this week is a wee bit of an oddity. Based on Frederick Knott’s successful play, Dial M for Murder features a limited setting (the play took place on a single set) and, at the behest of the studio, was shot in 3-D. Like Strangers on a Train, Dial M revolves around a tennis star (Ray Milland) with an unfaithful wife (Grace Kelly), who he then blackmails an old acquaintance (Anthony Dawson) to murder. Things do not go according to plan, of course, and the panicked husband must deal with the consequences. This Blu-ray release only contains a theatrical trailer and a previously released 21-minute background featurette with people like Peter Bogdanovich and M. Night Shyamalan talking about the film, but just in case you were really curious, you can watch it in 3D as well.

E.T the Extra-Terrestrial – Anniversary Edition Blu-Ray

99%

A sci-fi family film that would help define an entire generation’s childhood, as well as influence all “friendly alien” movies that would follow it, Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial opened 30 years ago in June of 1982. Universal is celebrating this anniversary by releasing the film on Blu-ray for the first time, so that all of you who grew up loving the film can now show it to your own little ones in crisp, shiny high definition. Though many of the bonus features have been ported over from previous releases, there are a couple of new items of note: “The E.T. Journals” is about an hour’s worth of vintage on-set footage, providing a rare glimpse at the filmmaking process, and “Steven Spielberg and E.T.” is a recently recorded interview with the director. This is one of those films fans have been waiting for on Blu-ray, and it’s finally here.

Also available this week:

  • The campy psychological thriller What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, is available in a new Blu-ray this week.
  • The Director’s Cut of the 1986 Little Shop of Horrors remake arrives on Blu-ray.
  • The indie dramedy The Giant Mechanical Man, starring Pam Beas– excuse me, starring Jenna Fischer, also arrives on Blu-ray this week.
  • The original 1984 version of Red Dawn is available on Blu-ray for the first time.

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