RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Red 2, Breaking Bad, and More

Also hitting stores: Jobs, Getaway, The Canyons, and Zatoichi.

by | November 26, 2013 | Comments

Another relatively thin week for new releases on home video, with the exception of one outstanding television series. We’ve got a middling actioner, a lazy biopic, a terrible B movie, a bizarre melodramatic thriller, and Breaking Bad (thank you for saving, the week, Walter White). There are also some notable smaller films and reissues, so bear with us:

Red 2

44%

It’s always fun to watch aging, well-respected “serious” actors cut loose and engage in a bit of baddassery from time to time, as we were reminded when 2012’s Red achieved both critical and commercial success. As is often the case, however, its sequel, Red 2, cost more money to make, made less money at the box office, and failed to match the acclaim of the first film. Bruce Willis returns as Frank Moses, who’s just trying to live a normal life with his now-girlfriend Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker). Unfortunately, his old pal Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) shows up with a warning that folks are still after them, and soon enough, another game of cat and mouse ensues. Critics weren’t quite so charmed with Red 2, which they felt lacked the same sense of goofy fun of its predecessor, even if the cast still seemed like they were having a good time. At 41% on the Tomatometer, this might feel a bit familiar, but you might enjoy watching Helen Mirren blow stuff up again.

Jobs

28%

We’re still waiting on Sony Pictures’ Steve Jobs movie — which will be written by Aaron Sorkin and based on the biography by former Time Managing Edtior Walter Isaacson — but for now, we’ve got Jobs, the independently produced biopic starring Ashton Kutcher. The film begins with Jobs (Kutcher) introducing the first iPod in 2001, then flashes back to reveal his years at Reed College and subsequent exploits with Apple Computer, chronicling the inception of the company and Jobs’ involvement both in and outside of it. Jobs received a mere 26% on the Tomatometer, as most critics were disappointed by its lack of insight; while the actors are fine, the narrative follows a banal downfall-and-redemption arc, over sentimentalizing its subject and missing out on an opportunity to delve deeper into a fascinating man’s life.

Getaway

3%

As we noted elsewhere earlier this year, Ethan Hawke was the star of both this summer’s highest-rated film and its lowest-rated film. The Getaway, unfortunately, is the latter, and it’s not just the lowest-rated film of the summer, it’s one of the worst-reviewed of the year. Hawke is former racecar driver Brent Magna, who is forced to follow a mysterious man’s dangerous instructions when his wife is kidnapped. Speeding through the city with little idea what the man wants, Brent eventually teams up with a young hacker (Selena Gomez) to save his wife. Getaway seemed to be striving for B movie thrills, but critics found the relentless action uninspired and poorly edited, and there was little else in the way of character development or coherent storytelling to keep the film together. At 3% on the Tomatometer, you’re probably better off watching one of Hawke’s other films.

The Canyons

21%

The Canyons is more of a novelty than anything else, something you might see out of morbid curiosity. Working from a script written by Bret Easton Ellis, Paul Schrader directs Lindsay Lohan and noted porn actor James Deen in a seedy melodrama about a young movie producer named Christian (Deen) who discovers his girlfriend (Lohan) is having an affair with the lead in his film. Christian, of course, can’t hold it together, and the couple travel down a dark, twisted path leading to violence and tragedy. Critics found the film misanthropic (who would have guessed?) and poorly crafted, despite the best efforts of a Lindsay Lohan clearly desperate to put her career back together. At 22%, this low-budget indie will probably leave a sour taste in your mouth, but it might serve as a fascinating window into the psyches of those involved.

Breaking Bad: The Complete Series

Is Breaking Bad the greatest television series of all time? There’s been some debate about that since the show ended earlier this year, but there are enough folks out there talking about it to make a strong case. What’s clear is that it’s certainly one of the best in recent memory, and this week, the entire series becomes available to own. The Complete Series Blu-ray includes every episode (of course), as well as over 55 hours of special features, a two-hour documentary, a Los Pollos Hermanos apron, and more, and it’s all packaged in a nifty replica money barrel. In other words, it’s kind of a must-have for superfans, and it’s an amazing gift idea for anyone who hasn’t yet discovered the awesomeness of the show. You can pick it up for your best friend or your chemistry teacher tomorrow.

Also available this week:

  • Red Obsession (100%), a global documentary profile of the wine industry, narrated by Russell Crowe.
  • Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (94%), a documentary about the band that chronicles its commercial failure and subsequent acclaim.
  • Wolf Children (90%), a Japanese animated film about a young woman who falls in love with a wolf-man and, upon his death, moves to the country to raise their two children.
  • Criterion is releasing a massive 25-film set of the classic Zatoichi films, following the adventures of the blind samurai.

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