RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Wolf of Wall Street, Delivery Man, and More

An Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film and a handful of smaller movies complete the list.

by | March 25, 2014 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got a couple of Oscar nominees (only one of which, unfortunately, took home a trophy) and a sweet but predictable comedy starring Vince Vaughn. Then we’ve got the latest seasons of Californication and Veep, as well as a handful of smaller films, including a couple of actioners starring old school stars. Read on for the full list:

The Wolf of Wall Street

79%

Back in the late 1980s and 1990s, a charismatic, ambitious, and ultimately greedy young man named Jordan Belfort made gobs and gobs of money as a stockbroker before he went to jail and served 22 months for fraud. Somewhat timely in its subject matter, Martin Scorsese’s latest film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Belfort, chronicling every sleazy aspect of Belfort’s rags-to-riches story in glorious, uproarious detail. Though it courted some controversy and drew some criticism for its assorted debaucherous depictions of sex, drug use, and animal-related shenanigans, most critics found room to praise DiCaprio and Jonah Hill in particular for a couple of brazen performances, and both of them earned Oscar nods (DiCaprio for Best Actor, Hill for Best Supporting Actor) for their efforts. Wolf earned three more nominations — for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay — and though it didn’t take home any hardware on Oscar night, it’s Certified Fresh at 77%, and critics say it’s yet another winning collaboration between Scorsese and DiCaprio.

The Great Beauty

91%

The second of the Criterion Collection’s contemporary home video releases this year comes in the form of the Italian winner of this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, The Great Beauty. Paolo Sorrentino’s thoughtful, sensuous film has drawn comparisons to the work of Federico Fellini, which is understandable: its central figure, successful one-time novelist Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo), is a charming fixture in Rome’s social scene who, on the night of his 65th birthday, finds himself wandering the city streets and reflecting on his life. The result is a timeless portrait of Rome and its nightlife, framed by gorgeous cinematography and backed by an evocative score. Though critics concede The Great Beauty‘s strengths lie in its lush, stylish images rather than its narrative, most found the visuals so striking that they overcame any thematic shortcomings, and the film sits at a Certified Fresh 91% on the Tomatometer. The Criterion DVD/Blu-ray combo includes interviews with Sorrentino, Servillo, and co-writer Umberto Contarello, as well as some deleted scenes.

Delivery Man

40%

Vince Vaughn’s a pretty likable guy, and he often uses that to his advantage, playing characters we might otherwise find annoying in real life but for the fact that he’s just so charming. In Delivery Man, a remake of Canadian film Starbuck, Vaughn plays David Wozniak, a delivery man (of course) for his family’s butcher shop who discovers he’s fathered 533 children via sperm donations he made in college, and that 142 of them have filed a lawsuit demanding his identity be revealed. Unfortunately for Vaughn, his relatable everyman persona only went so far in Delivery Man, as critics couldn’t help but compare the film to its source material and found a bit too predictable and schmaltzy to measure up. At 39% on the Tomatometer, it isn’t a big winner by any means, but if you’re just looking for something super sweet and you don’t mind a bit of telegraphed comedy, this might make a good rental.

Also available this week:

  • The Punk Singer (83%), a documentary about Kathleen Hanna, the lead singer of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre who became a feminist icon.
  • Odd Thomas (34%), starring Anton Yelchin in a Dean Koontz novel adaptation about a fry cook who can see dead people and leaps into action to thwart an apocalyptic evil who’s arrived in his small town.
  • The Truth About Emanuel (28%), starring Jessica Biel and Alfred Molina in a thriller about a woman who becomes obsessed with her new neighbor, who looks just like her dead mother.
  • Welcome to the Jungle (25%), starring Jean-Claude Van Damme in an action comedy about a corporate retreat in the wilderness gone awry.
  • Walking with Dinosaurs (25%), a CGI film based on the BBC Earth series of the same name, featuring dinosaurs of the Late Cretaceous period.
  • Season two of HBO’s Veep (83%), starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus in a comedy about the trials of a put-upon female vice president and her eccentric staff.
  • Season six of Showtime’s Californication, starring David Duchovny as a lecherous, alcoholic novelist trying to navigate his various relationships.
  • And in addition to The Great Beauty, the Criterion Collection is also releasing new DVD/Blu-ray combo packs of Ingmar Bergman’s Persona (92%) and the 1925 Harold Lloyd film The Freshman (88%).

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