RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Dark Knight Rises Completes the Trilogy

Plus, an acclaimed indie, an older romance, and some found-footage horror.

by | December 3, 2012 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got some good new releases and a few reissues worth mentioning. Among them are the final chapter of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, an award-winning indie drama that got a lot of people talking this year, and a couple of Pixar movies available in new sets. See below for the full list!

The Dark Knight Rises

87%

After two critically acclaimed and commercially successful Batman films, it was up to Christopher Nolan to deliver the final chapter in similarly rousing fashion. And while it would have been difficult for anyone to replicate the phenomenal success of 2008’s The Dark Knight, Nolan came pretty close, concluding his trilogy with a tale of redemption that scored a Certified Fresh 87%. Picking up the story eight years after the events of the last film, TDKR finds Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) living as a recluse in his Gotham mansion while the city enjoys a time of peace. When a new enemy emerges and threatens to destroy Gotham, Bruce suits up yet again to meet the challenge and clear Batman’s name. Critics say the film is a satisfying, spectacular finish to the series, both thoughtful and action-packed, even if it doesn’t quite measure up to its immediate predecessor. The film is available this week in a standalone edition or in a complete trilogy package, and includes featurettes on the making of the film, the characters, Wally Pfister’s cinematography, and the history of the Batmobile.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green

36%

Peter Hedges has established a solid career as a screenwriter (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, About a Boy) and helmed a couple of fairly well-received films (Pieces of April, Dan in Real Life), but he’s never quite tackled magical realism before. Judging by The Odd Life of Timothy Green, maybe he should keep it that way. The story here revolves around young couple Jim and Cindy (Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner), who are unable to conceive. After burying a box full of their ideal child?s characteristics in the back yard, a young boy suddenly arrives on their doorstep, claims them as his parents, and exhibits all the traits they collected in the box, leading them to believe they’ve received a miracle. Critics felt that the film’s heart was in the right place, but its story is so thinly written and cloyingly sentimental as to turn off most viewers. If you don’t mind all that — or its 39% Tomatometer — then you might find this a heartwarming little yarn.

Hope Springs

75%

Generally, you don’t see many romantic movies about older couples, and when you do, they’re often either pat or patronizing. Leave it to seasoned vets like Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep, then, to make a movie examining mature relationships that actually works. Hope Springs stars Jones and Streep as Arnold and Kay, a longtime married couple who have hit a rut. Wanting to reconnect with her husband and reintroduce some excitement into their love lives, Kay convinces a reluctant Arnold to fly with her to Great Hope Springs and engage in a week of therapy with a renowned specialist (Steve Carrell). Almost predictably, both Jones and Streep make the most of their roles here, and critics couldn’t get enough of them. Its conclusion probably won’t blow any minds, but Certified Fresh at 73%, Hope Springs has enough thoughtful insights and grown-up laughs to satisfy those looking for a less raucous rom-com.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

86%

Every year, there are a few very small films that tour the festival circuit, gradually (or immediately) building buzz and promising to make waves, come awards season. This year, that film is Beasts of the Southern Wild, a fantasy drama that has already won awards at Cannes and Sundance, among others. A first-time effort for writer/director Benh Zeitlin, his co-writer Lucy Alibar, and star Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts is a Louisiana set tale about a young girl named Hushpuppy (Wallis) who lives with her unhealthy father Wink (Dwight Henry) in a bayou community. The pair endure a storm and subsequent flood before Wink’s health begins to fade, and Hushpuppy sets out to find her mother. Critics were enamored with young Quvenzhane Wallis, and for many, the film’s emotional journey was on par with other quintessentially American coming-of-age tales. Certified Fresh at 86%, the film is available this week for those who want to know what the fuss is all about.

Butter

34%

Whether or not you’ll enjoy Butter is a matter determined, it would seem, by whether or not you live in the Midwest, and even then, it probably doesn’t really matter that much. A thinly veiled slice of American satire, Butter stars Jennifer Garner as the wife of a butter sculpting champ (Modern Family‘s Ty Burrell) who decides to enter the annual competition when her husband is forced to retire. However, she’ll have to face fierce competition from a local stripper (Olivia Wilde) and an adopted girl (Yara Shahidi), all the while balancing her tumultuous private life. Critics agree that the cast is full of talented people, but there’s both a lack of subtlety in the attempted satire and a disquieting air of self-satisfaction that permeates the story; in other words, it’s neither as incisive nor as funny as it could have been, and that’s why it sports a 35% on the Tomatometer.

V/H/S

56%

Anthology films can be tricky endeavors, as it can be difficult to maintain both a consistent theme and a consistent level of quality in a film when several directors are involved. This seems to have been the case for V/H/S, a collection of found-footage horror shorts by people like Joe Swanberg (Nights and Weekends) and Ti West (The House of the Devil), among others. The framing story finds a group of criminals hired to retrieve a videotape from a house occupied only by a corpse in the living room, sitting in front of a collection of televisions and VHS tapes. As different videos are played to determine which is the one the thieves are looking for, audiences are treated to the other bizarre recordings that comprise the rest of the film. At 51%, V/H/S impressed a few critics who felt the film found some interesting ways to play with its format, while others felt the execution was too hit-or-miss. Horror fans may take their chances, but make sure to take some Dramamine.

Silent Night

64%

If you listen to the Rotten Tomatoes Radio Show on Sirius XM, you might have caught Malcolm McDowell telling one of our editors to do something very specific to himself last week. Well, Mr. McDowell was on the show to talk about this movie, a loose remake of the 1984 holiday horror movie Silent Night, Deadly Night. In this update, McDowell plays Sheriff Cooper, a small-town lawman on the lookout for a serial killer stalking his community in a Santa Claus suit. Unfortunately for the sheriff, it’s Christmas Eve, and there are Santas everywhere, so which one is his killer? Silent Night opened last Friday in limited release, but it gets its DVD release tomorrow, and though it only has a handful of reviews so far, at 63%, it’s actually got a much Fresher Tomatometer than the original; a true holiday treat for the kiddies.

Also available this week:

  • Pixar films Finding Nemo and Up are both available in new 5-disc editions this week, complete with assuredly great extras included.
  • The Criterion Collection is also releasing two reissues: Terry Gilliam’s Brazil and Purple Noon, the René Clément-directed 1960 adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley.
  • The brutally violent and adult-themed classic anime film Ninja Scroll is available on Blu-Ray with Japanese commentary subtitled in English.
  • Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can becomes available on Blu-ray, with extras largely found on the previous DVD release.

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