RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and More

Halle Berry takes a phone call, Ed Harris commands a sub, and Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst fall head over heels for each other, literally.

by | June 25, 2013 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got a wacky comedy about Las Vegas magicians, an abduction thriller, and a star-crossed sci-fi romance. Then, we also have a Cold War submarine movie, a smart historical drama, and a number of Blu-ray “steelbook” rereleases. See below for the full list.



The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

38%

On paper, the idea of casting Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi as partners in a Vegas magic act sounds like a winning proposition. Throw in Jim Carrey as a dark, Criss Angel-like street magician, Alan Arkin as a retired illusionist, and Olivia Wilde as the lovely assistant with a few tricks of her own — as well as a brief supporting turn from the late James Gandolfini — and it boggles the mind how The Incredible Burt Wonderstone ended up with a 37% Tomatometer. Carell plays the titular Burt, who forged a lifelong friendship with another awkward kid when the two of them discovered magic. Now, as Burt and his partner Anton (Buscemi) struggle to keep their stale Vegas act relevant, Burt’s inner diva drives the two friends apart, and he must return to his roots in order to make a triumphant comeback. Burt Wonderstone has a few laughs, but most critics were hoping for something a little sharper than what it had to offer. The premise is rich with potential, but the story opts instead to play it safe, and the end result is disappointingly tame and predictable, considering the talent involved.



The Call

44%

Director Brad Anderson has proven in the past that he’s capable of crafting effective tension and smart thrills, with films like Session 9, The Machinist, and Transsiberian. Critics say his latest film, the Halle Berry-powered The Call, almost gets it right before falling apart. Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) used to field 9-1-1 calls for the LAPD, but after a tragic kidnapping gone wrong, she opted to train others instead. When another abducted teenager (Abigail Breslin) calls from the trunk of a car, Jordan instinctively jumps on the call and soon finds she may be facing someone from her past. Critics say Anderson does a fairly decent job of ratcheting up the tension, but the plot is ultimately so implausible — especially the final act — that it loses much of its steam. At 41% on the Tomatometer, The Call has a few nice touches from a genre veteran, but it may not hold up under scrutiny.



Upside Down

28%

Lately, Jim Sturgess seems to be drawn to ambitious sci-fi projects like last year’s epic Cloud Atlas and, more recently, Upside Down, a story about star-crossed love that takes place on twin planets that exist so close to each other that their inhabitants experience dual gravity. Here, Sturgess plays Adam, an orphan from the poorer “Down” planet who meets and falls in love with Eden (Kirsten Dunst), whose wealthier “Up” planet prohibits interaction with those from Down. When tragedy separates the young couple from each other, Adam spends his time perfecting a product that will equalize gravity between the two planets and potentially reunite him with his lost love. If the physics of it all seems a little difficult to wrap your head around, that’s alright; the film is clearly less interested in how scientifically plausible its concepts are. Unfortunately, critics mostly thought that Upside Down‘s script left quite a bit to be desired as well; at 29% on the Tomatometer, there’s plenty of visual wizardry on display here, but little else in the way of effective drama or characters to provide a compelling reason for the spectacle.



No

93%

Chilean director Pablo Larrain has found great success setting his previous films (Tony Manero, Post Mortem) against the backdrop of his country’s civil unrest during the Augusto Pinochet era. With his latest feature, No, Larrain delves directly into the politics of Pinochet’s rule, setting the story in 1988, just before the end of the dictator’s reign. Gael Garcia Bernal plays Rene, an ad man who’s approached by anti-Pinochet activists to help market their campaign; with government authorities pressuring him and his family, Rene puts together a daring proposal in hopes of ousting the dictator and bringing democracy to Chile. Though it only saw a fairly limited release, No earned glowing reviews from most critics, who called it a smart, surprisingly funny, and poignant film that provides a perspective on democracy not often explored. Don’t let its historical context deter you; Certified Fresh at 92%, No is a thoughtful drama that further cements Pablo Larrain’s credentials as a solid filmmaker.



Phantom

25%

The tagline for Cold War submarine thriller Phantom is “You’ll Never See It Coming,” which is ironically appropriate since hardly anyone watched it, and most of you reading this probably forgot it even existed. Inspired by a true story (aren’t they all?), Phantom stars Ed Harris as Captain Dmitri “Demi” Zubov, commander of a Soviet nuclear sub, who takes on one final top secret mission before retirement. When a shadowy KGB agent (David Duchovny) accompanies his crew and ultimately reveals the nefarious true purpose of the operation, Demi must retake control of the vessel in order to avert an all-out war. Despite a solid cast, which included supporting turns by Lance Henriksen and William Fichtner, Phantom was content to retread familiar themes from other, better films of its ilk (The Hunt for Red October, Crimson Tide, etc). The story lacks the necessary tension and taut narrative to make for an engaging thriller, and so it sits at a mediocre 25% on the Tomatometer.

Also available this week:

  • In the Family (96%), a drama about a gay man who must make peace with his “in-laws” when his partner dies in an accident and the extended family is given custody of his son.
  • The Certified Fresh A Place at the Table (89%), a documentary examining hunger issues in the US.
  • Supporting Characters (86%), an indie comedy about two film editors who find their relationships tested when they’re hired to recut a botched film.
  • Edgar Wright’s recent trio of feature film successes is among this week’s Blu-ray “Steelbook” reissues: Shaun of the Dead (91%), Hot Fuzz (91%), and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (81%).
  • The Criterion Collection releases another important film: French filmmaker Claude Lanzmann’s unflinching Holocaust documentary Shoah (100%), which also includes three additional films by Lanzmann, a few interviews, and other extras.
  • Some of the other notable Blu-ray Steelbook releases out this week include: the Firefly movie Serenity (82%), Brian DePalma’s Scarface (89%), and the Beatles’ Help! (91%).

Tag Cloud

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