RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Avengers and a James Bond Collection

Plus, a couple of solid indies, a couple of misfires, and a cult classic.

by | September 25, 2012 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got a couple of things we know a lot of you have been looking forward to. Specifically, Joss Whedon’s ensemble superhero dramedy The Avengers is now available, and every James Bond movie has been put on Blu-ray and in one set for the first time. Oh, and there are some other movies out this week, too. So have a look below and prepare thy wallets.

The Avengers

91%

After years of anticipation and separate movies setting up the backstories for Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Joss Whedon finally brought it all home in The Avengers. The result was a rousing success, pitting the charismatic heroes against intergalactic villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and an army of otherworldly invaders. Witty, action-packed, and careful to maintain its characters’ humanity, The Avengers scored an impressive 92% and earned oodles of cash at the box office. It’s about as good a blockbuster movie as we’ve seen in recent years, and it’s available this week with a couple of making-of featurettes, several deleted scenes, and even a gag reel.

Bond 50 – 22 Film Collection

The release of Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film and third to star Daniel Craig as 007, is just a little more than a month away, and MGM has decided to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic British agent with a comprehensive box set. The Bond 50 collection includes all 22 of the official James Bond movies, from 1962’s Dr. No to 2008’s Quantum of Solace, and even features an open slot for the eventual home release of Skyfall. Most of the bonus features from all the individual releases have been ported over, but there are a couple of new extras, like a featurette that explore the various actors who have portrayed the character and one that takes a look at the signature Bond style, from the cars and music to the women and villains. In addition, nine of the films are made available on Blu-ray for the first time, including beloved favorites like Octopussy, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Goldeneye. Pretty much a must-have for any Bond completist.

Damsels in Distress

75%

Damsels in Distress is less about privileged socialites than Whit Stillman’s other films (Metropolitan, The Last Days of Disco), but it demonstrates that, even after 13 years, he still has a knack for telling stories about young people trying to find their place in the world. Greta Gerwig stars as Violet, leader of a group of college coeds whose aim is to help depressed students; in the meantime, each of the girls has her own relationship problems to navigate. Most critics found Damsels witty, charming, and well-acted, earning it a Certified Fresh 75%; if the story meanders a bit and falls short of his earlier work, it’s saved by some great casting choices and deadpan humor.

The Tall Man

43%

Jessica Biel hasn’t appeared in a Fresh non-documentary film since 2006’s The Illusionist, and unfortunately The Tall Man did nothing to change that. In this mysterious thriller, Biel plays Julia, a nurse in a small Washington mining town plagued by rumors of a supernatural entity known as the Tall Man. When local children begin disappearing — Julia’s son David among them — Julia sets out to unravel the mystery and save her boy. At 45% on the Tomatometer, The Tall Man failed to make a strong impression on critics, who largely felt a creepy, atmospheric, and promising opening half slowly devolved into an unlikely jumbled mess by the end.

The Samaritan

26%

When you average about five to six movies a year for over a decade, you’re bound to star in a few duds. For Samuel L. Jackson, The Samaritan is one of those duds. Oh, you’ve never heard of it? That’s probably because it earned just over $2500, opening in just three theaters for one week. The story here is pretty typical: Foley (Jackson) is an ex-con who gets pulled back into the crime business when all he wants is out. Aside from the familiar story, critics also pointed out that Jackson himself seemed to be rather bored throughout the production, and that the film probably would have worked better as a caper than a noir thriller. At 22%, The Samaritan isn’t doing anyone any favors. Zing!

Goodbye First Love

83%

A joint French and German film directed by French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve, Goodbye First Love is a slice-of-life character exploration about a young girl named Camille who falls in love with Sullivan, a cheerful, free-spirited older boy. When Sullivan leaves on a trip to South America, the pair eventually fall out of touch, and Camille moves on with her life until Sullivan reappears years later to rekindle the romance. Certified Fresh at 80%, Goodbye First Love was praised for its realistic treatment of young romance, and all the powerful but fleeting moments, lingering emotions, and simple pleasures that come with it.

Lone Wolf and Cub: Complete Collection

Some time ago, we wrote about the Blu-ray release of the Japanese samurai classic Shogun Assassin, which is actually a made-for-American-audiences recut of the first two films in the Lone Wolf and Cub series. This week, fans of the original films will get their chance to own the whole shebang on Blu-ray in one set, the Lone Wolf and Cub Complete 6-film Collection. Based on the classic manga of the same name, the series follows a betrayed assassin in feudal Japan who wanders the land with his infant son, taking contracts and encountering formidable opponents. Unfortunately, the set doesn?t include any extras, so you’ll have to be satisfied with the films themselves for now.

Also available this week:

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