RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Spring Breakers, The Host, and More

An Oscar-nominated doc, a middling dramedy, Tyler Perry's latest, and a gem from New Zealand round out the list.

by | July 9, 2013 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got a Harmony Korine film starring James Franco, a Stephenie Meyer adaptation, and a Tina Fey/Paul Rudd dramedy. Then there’s also a crime thriller and an Oscar-nominated doc, not to mention a couple of noteworthy rereleases. See below for the full list.

Spring Breakers

67%

James Franco’s racked up enough A-list cred to venture into much more experimental territory, so it wasn’t surprising to see he’d hooked up with the eccentric and decidedly non-mainstream Harmony Korine for a film about a handful of bikini-clad Spring Breakers who get mixed up in a turf war between dangerous Florida gangsters. In a casting move that garnered some attention, Disney sweethearts Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens (along with Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine) play mischievous coeds who engage in petty crime and hook up with rapper Alien (Franco) en route to a fatal showdown at a rival drug dealer’s mansion. Spring Breakers is certainly a bit more accessible, relatively speaking, than Harmony Korine’s previous efforts; it’s made the most money of any of his films, and at 65% on the Tomatometer, it’s also his best-reviewed work. It’s not without some problems, but critics say it’s an effective combination of cult sensibilities and social commentary, with a particularly notable performance from James Franco.

The Host

10%

The Twilight Saga was a huge success for author Stephanie Meyer, and though the film adaptations weren’t critically acclaimed, they made quite a chunk of change themselves. Would Meyer’s next effort, The Host, find a similarly enthusiastic audience? Apparently not; critics found the body snatcher-esque sci-fi thriller even less impressive than the Twilight films, and it made only a fraction of the box office take. It’s the post-apocalyptic future, and a parasitic alien race has taken over much of humanity. A human girl named Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) is implanted with a soul called “Wanderer,” but she seems resistant to the procedure, and as she learns to gain control of her body, she must decide how far she’s willing to go to protect her loved ones. At 9% on the Tomatometer, The Host suffers from a clunky, dramatically inert script that sporadically dips into unintentional hilarity, and unless you’re a Stephenie Meyer fanatic, there isn’t a good chance you’ll get much out of this.

Admission

39%

Tina Fey and Paul Rudd are two very funny, very likable actors and their comic credentials are second to none, but give them a clumsy, contrived script, and there’s only so much even they can do. Based on the novel of the same name by Jean Hanff Korelitz, Admission stars Fey as Portia, an admissions officer for Princeton University who reconnects with old friend John (Rudd) when she makes a recruiting visit to the kooky alternative school where he teaches. As Princeton’s Dean of Admissions prepares to retire and Portia angles for his job, she must also deal with romantic entanglements and an eccentric student she may or may not be related to. Director Paul Weitz’s record has been spotty lately, and Admission is unfortunately one of the blemishes; critics say Fey and Rudd are as charming as ever, but the story is so hackneyed that it mutes its stars talents.

Dead Man Down

41%

Though he scored a major hit when he helmed the original 2009 Swedish adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Danish director Niels Arden Oplev declined to take on the sequels and only returned to the big screen earlier this year for his American debut, reteaming with Dragon Tattoo star Noomi Rapace for Dead Man Down. Colin Farrell stars as Victor, a man out for revenge against criminal kingpin Alphonse (Terrence Howard), who murdered his wife and child. After Victor earns Alphonse’s trust, he hatches an elaborate plan with the help of a troubled neighbor (Rapace) that will pit Alphonse against another mob boss and give Victor the opportunity to settle the score. Despite a strong cast that included Dominic Cooper, Isabelle Huppert, and F. Murray Abraham, among others, Dead Man Down‘s slow pacing and outlandish plot contrivances ultimately brought the film down to a 37% Tomatometer score. It’s not the worst of the worst, but it probably won’t be very satisfying either.

The Gatekeepers

94%

Leave it to the one documentary in this week’s lineup to be the surefire pleaser. Israeli director Dror Moreh’s riveting profile examines the role and impact of Israel’s Shin Bet, otherwise known as the ISA (Israel Security Agency), the country’s internal security and intelligence service. Moreh interviews six former ISA heads with shockingly candid results, offering their perspectives on the involvement of the agency in matters of national import since the Six-Day War in 1967, and rounds out the film with archival footage and some computer animation. Nominated for Best Documentary Feature earlier this year at the Oscars, The Gatekeepers is Certified Fresh at 93%, with critics calling it a stark but brutally honest documentary, a rare and unprecedented perspective on Israel’s national policy that is both fascinating and eye-opening.

Also available this week:

  • Certified Fresh New Zealand coming-of-age dramedy Boy (88%), about a boy (of course) who loves Michael Jackson and fantasizes about what his estranged father was like.
  • Criterion is releasing Kenji Mizoguchi’s 1952 drama The Life of Oharu (100%), co-starring Toshiro Mifune in a story about a prostitute in feudal Japan who reflects upon her fall from grace, on DVD and Blu-ray.
  • Tyler Perry’s Temptation (16%), a drama about a restless woman coming to grips with her marital infidelity.

Tag Cloud

social media what to watch Sundance Now Sony Pictures biopic Fox Searchlight Sci-Fi disaster reboot Comedy vampires crime NYCC cults rom-coms scorecard debate lord of the rings romance international marvel cinematic universe blockbusters new york indie new star wars movies 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards target Fargo scary italian ViacomCBS Winners Academy Awards Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt MCU Holidays royal family Countdown spy thriller theme song christmas movies Schedule scene in color series DC Universe spinoff Captain marvel Apple TV+ Marvel Television medical drama Martial Arts Awards interviews The Arrangement spanish documentaries casting animated TCA Winter 2020 Walt Disney Pictures laika Bravo Christmas TCM monster movies Country genre hidden camera award winner razzies young adult WGN australia Pet Sematary Avengers venice VOD pirates of the caribbean DC streaming service Universal Anna Paquin OneApp IMDb TV transformers Comic Book Star Trek Spring TV Arrowverse natural history children's TV all-time golden globe awards summer TV preview sequel 007 El Rey rt labs VH1 SXSW 2022 docudrama dexter Watching Series Extras Red Carpet technology legend Hear Us Out green book Black Mirror dragons superhero Pirates football sequels Television Critics Association political drama crime drama The CW Set visit Alien President Trivia TruTV PlayStation south america SundanceTV mockumentary comic books godzilla Tumblr Winter TV scene in color film series dark spider-man TLC Funimation National Geographic 99% Acorn TV comiccon video on demand dramedy historical drama adaptation Polls and Games Lucasfilm free movies Mary Poppins Returns unscripted SXSW Pride Month fresh jurassic park 21st Century Fox Disney Plus The Walking Dead Election Quiz Star Wars 2020 Freeform Teen Disney+ Disney Plus 2016 saw Shudder AMC satire DirecTV Showtime CBS Infographic Amazon Masterpiece Reality Pop TV Chernobyl Endgame halloween tv rt labs critics edition sports indiana jones Rom-Com FX on Hulu 2019 4/20 discovery cancelled toy story Hallmark Christmas movies 2018 black comedy television mcc E3 worst movies versus comics Television Academy BBC 24 frames YouTube Fantasy wonder woman live action Lifetime stoner Family Crunchyroll supernatural Sony A24 game of thrones stop motion binge WarnerMedia TNT TV renewals 94th Oscars art house IFC Films NBA latino Amazon Prime PaleyFest Film Festival Photos blaxploitation TCA 2017 composers Rocketman leaderboard Tags: Comedy movie Women's History Month breaking bad action-comedy Baby Yoda Image Comics Premiere Dates Mary poppins trailers USA Network TCA RT21 Creative Arts Emmys 93rd Oscars video BET 2021 BET Awards mission: impossible Columbia Pictures Music high school ABC Family Wes Anderson Paramount Plus 72 Emmy Awards mutant Musical know your critic cooking period drama Sneak Peek heist movie Mindy Kaling new zealand king kong Native cars scene in color cinemax docuseries sitcom Oscars 2017 prank boxoffice live event Box Office Grammys MSNBC singing competition Calendar Paramount Network witnail broadcast Summer OWN Star Wars Celebration Sundance TV Epix Thanksgiving crime thriller posters Ovation Super Bowl trophy Marvel Netflix Christmas movies Trailer Podcast die hard scary movies Disney Channel NBC Certified Fresh Trophy Talk fast and furious CW Seed Marvel Studios YA American Society of Cinematographers cancelled TV shows Paramount Peacock nbcuniversal marvel comics festivals Awards Tour Instagram Live Starz 2015 diversity Comedy Central Pacific Islander aapi YouTube Red superman BAFTA critic resources comic book movie adenture Writers Guild of America Elton John Comic-Con@Home 2021 Dark Horse Comics Adult Swim Comics on TV feel good Hallmark Brie Larson FX miniseries First Reviews book adaptation classics obituary BBC America anthology Vudu stand-up comedy Apple Disney New York Comic Con LGBT GIFs Superheroe Best Actress Classic Film news FXX zombies zero dark thirty GLAAD cancelled television werewolf Emmys ABC Signature screenings DC Comics Paramount Pictures X-Men french crossover women SDCC The Purge Year in Review Best Director Musicals See It Skip It Neflix cancelled TV series rotten slasher doctor who HBO Max Sundance james bond Marathons Reality Competition remakes ITV APB IFC Geeked Week First Look nature CNN Turner vs. Pixar Mystery HFPA ID psycho Esquire best toronto CBS All Access Lifetime Christmas movies talk show screen actors guild YouTube Premium cops asian-american DGA films Fox News Song of Ice and Fire Food Network Western documentary boxing Interview chucky book nfl Pop universal monsters emmy awards based on movie Animation Hulu kong game show reviews Tubi richard e. Grant Ghostbusters Syfy Legendary Amazon Studios TIFF Turner Classic Movies Tokyo Olympics Warner Bros. Tomatazos adventure Rocky E! parents TV Land science fiction comic zombie Kids & Family Action Amazon Prime Video TV movies 79th Golden Globes Awards Toys Rock Shondaland teaser Netflix archives streaming suspense Valentine's Day Travel Channel critics Hollywood Foreign Press Association Indigenous finale telelvision tv talk deadpool obi wan Nominations blockbuster sopranos thriller comic book movies twilight Nickelodeon sag awards spider-verse Superheroes Best and Worst Binge Guide Tarantino Apple TV Plus streaming movies golden globes Ellie Kemper gangster independent worst robots movies Cosplay Character Guide Opinion elevated horror MTV spanish language ghosts japan The Walt Disney Company series 71st Emmy Awards ratings HBO streamig Britbox space japanese anime TCA Awards target scene in color basketball The Witch Focus Features summer TV The Academy Crackle Cartoon Network Universal Pictures hist Nat Geo 90s Video Games dc halloween ESPN directors PBS jamie lee curtis Best Picture LGBTQ 1990s strong female leads olympics 73rd Emmy Awards TBS aliens Black History Month revenge ABC Broadway cats Cannes Disney streaming service quibi slashers History Spectrum Originals Oscar joker Exclusive Video true crime psychological thriller 20th Century Fox king arthur Spike politics spain Logo kids summer preview Lionsgate police drama batman Best Actor AMC Plus MGM RT History serial killer concert justice league rotten movies we love Emmy Nominations cartoon biography name the review VICE facebook Drama BBC One harry potter Horror canceled TV shows rt archives travel foreign canceled hispanic heritage month Biopics Prime Video kaiju popular Fall TV comedies a nightmare on elm street black dceu child's play criterion franchise CMT Film A&E Mudbound FOX Discovery Channel hispanic TV renewed TV shows dreamworks mob Stephen King Chilling Adventures of Sabrina South by Southwest Film Festival war Holiday USA 45 romantic comedy Heroines dogs San Diego Comic-Con Mary Tyler Moore GoT festival hollywood HBO Go TV One