RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Hobbit, Zero Dark Thirty, and Les Misérables

Plus, Judd Apatow's latest, a foreign romance, a raunchy comedy, and more.

by | March 19, 2013 | Comments

Three of this week’s new releases on home video were recognized by the Academy with Oscar nominations this year, so that’s already a pretty good start. The other three selections include two comedies that earned mixed reactions and one French import featuring some impressive performances, and those are followed by a number of notable rereleases. See below for the full list!

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


After the success of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings adaptations, it was impossible not to approach his interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit with high anticipation. When Jackson announced that The Hobbit — a single volume much shorter than the LOTR saga — would also be stretched into a trilogy, however, some fans expressed a bit of concern, and Jackson’s use of the higher frame rate was also met with mixed reactions. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey chronicles the first portion of the tale of young Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is swept up in a journey alongside thirteen dwarves to recapture their kingdom, which has been usurped by a fearsome dragon named Smaug. With Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen, reprising his role from the Rings series) in tow, their quest leads them into perilous encounters with all sorts of creatures, including Gollum (Andy Serkis), whose fate is intimately tied to Bilbo’s. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was an “event movie,” if ever there was one, and while most critics found it both visually spectacular and evident of Jackson’s earnest affection, some also found that its pace was too deliberate and that it ultimately failed to meet the same standard for majesty and wonder that was set so high in Jackson’s previous trilogy. At 65% on the Tomatometer, this is probably still a trip worth taking.

Zero Dark Thirty


Kathryn Bigelow took home a few Oscars for 2008’s The Hurt Locker, and she’s always had a knack for action flicks (“The FBI’s going to pay me to learn to surf?”), so it’s not entirely surprising that her gritty action/procedural about the search for Osama bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty, garnered five Oscar nods (including Best Picture and Best Actress) of its own. The story follows fledgling CIA operative Maya (Jessica Chastain) over the course of her entire career — which is dedicated to the capture of Osama bin Laden — as she collects intelligence, pursues leads, participates in classified interrogations, and ultimately oversees the mission to raid bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. There was some controversy over the kinds of access that Bigelow and writer Mark Boal (who also wrote The Hurt Locker) were allegedly given to classified records, as well as some grumbling over whether or not the film condoned torture, but the vast majority of critics simply saw a gripping, intelligently crafted film with an eye for detail. Certified Fresh at 93%, it was one of last year’s highest rated wide releases, so if you’re looking for a solid thriller, this one comes highly recommended.

Les Misérables


Victor Hugo’s classic novel of redemption has been adapted several times before on both stage and screen, so it’s tempting to ask, “Is this a story worth revisiting again?” Most critics say yes, as did the Academy when it honored the film with eight Oscar nominations (it won three of them). Anyone who’s taken high school English will be familiar with the tale: Ex-convict Frenchman Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is released from prison in 1815 at the end of a 19-year sentence, and after benefiting from an act of kindness by a local bishop, he vows to live an honest life. Thus begins a sprawling historical narrative that follows several characters in Valjean’s life and culminates in the June Rebellion of France in 1832. Directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), Les Misérables received some attention for its actors singing live on set (some better than others), and though its story was familiar, its accomplished cast (including Best Supporting Actress winner Anne Hathaway) helped to elevate the film.

This Is 40


Judd Apatow’s been wearing his Producer hat more often lately, but he decided to jump back behind the camera again for This Is 40, the “sort-of sequel to Knocked Up,” as its poster so proudly proclaims. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann (Apatow’s wife) reprise their roles from that previous film as upper-middle-class married couple Pete and Debbie, who both celebrate their 40th birthdays. In the week between Debbie’s actual birthday and Pete’s party, audiences bear witness to the conversations, the arguments, the intimate moments, the public meltdowns, and everything in between that the couple experience with each other and their children (played by Maude and Iris Apatow, they of Judd and Leslie’s loins). Unfortunately, there were a lot of critics who just didn’t find This Is 40 to be a winning effort; while many conceded the film successfully made light of some hard truths, most also felt the story was unfocused and muddled, and that it appealed to too specific an audience.

Rust and Bone


We last heard from French filmmaker Jacques Audiard back in 2010, when his acclaimed film A Prophet was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. Though his latest effort, Rust and Bone, failed to make it onto the Oscar list this year, it’s received a number of accolades, particularly for its acting. The film stars Matthias Schoenaerts as unemployed single father and aspiring kickboxer Alain, who moves to Antibes to live with his sister and look for work. After securing a job as a bouncer at a night club, Alain meets Stephanie (Marion Cotillard), a whale trainer at the local marine park who forms a close relationship with Alain when she suffers a tragic accident that results in the amputation of her lower legs. A handful of critics felt Rust and Bone‘s third act could have been a little stronger, but most agreed that both Schoenaerts and Cotillard put in powerful performances here, and that Audiard’s script succeeds in being sensitive without veering into melodrama. Certified Fresh at 81%, it’s an unconventional love story that may move you if you give it a chance.



Much to the chagrin of its producers, Bachelorette was just about to start shooting when Bridesmaids hit theaters back in 2011, thereby snatching up the “female answer to The Hangover” crown. When it finally opened back in September of last year, however, its makers decided to take a chance and release it on Video On Demand a month ahead of time. The story centers around a group of friends who reunite when one of them (Rebel Wilson) announces she’s getting married. What ensues is a series of mishaps as the bridesmaids (Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, and Isla Fisher) accidentally ruin the wedding dress and attempt to fix the situation, all after having insulted the bride and ingested copious amounts of booze and drugs. Critics were relatively split on Bachelorette; some thought it was funny and well-written by Leslye Headland (who also directed), but others felt the film’s leads were a bit too unlikeable to fully earn the sentimental ending. It might be a risk at 55%, but the cast — which includes Adam Scott, James Marsden, and Ann Dowd — may win you over.

Also available this week:

  • Two choices from the Criterion Collection: Terence Malick’s Badlands (98%) and Powell and Pressburger’s The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (95%), now both available on DVD and Blu-ray.
  • The HBO original film The Girl, which explores Alfred Hitchcock’s relationship with Tippi Hedren.
  • The 1981 cult favorite sex comedy Porky’s (30%) on Blu-ray.

Tag Cloud

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