RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The World's End, We're the Millers, and More

Also hitting stores: Planes, 2 Guns, Paranoia, and The To Do List

by | November 19, 2013 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got a number of notable new releases, but they’re sort of hit or miss. The biggest titles we have are Edgar Wright’s latest comedy, a Disney Toon animation, and a Jason Sudeikis/Jennifer Aniston comedy, as well as a tech thriller, a Mark Wahlberg/Denzel Washington actioner, and an indie coming-of-age comedy. Then, of course, we’ve got a number of smaller movies and reissued films, so read on for the full list:

The World’s End

89%

Following up on the success of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Edgar Wright gave us the final installment of his “Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy” with The World’s End. While the former two served as wry, clever send-ups of zombie films and cheesy action flicks, respectively, The World’s End offered up Wright’s take on the alien invasion movie. The film reunited Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, along with Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, and Eddie Marsan, as a group of five estranged, middle-aged college buddies who travel back to their hometown in order to complete an epic pub crawl they failed to finish in their youth. While traveling from bar to bar and downing lagers, they discover the town has been quietly taken over by alien robots in human form, and they must put aside old differences in order to survive. While it didn’t quite garner the same kind of acclaim lavished upon its predecessors, The World’s End still earned a Certified Fresh 89% on the Tomatometer, with critics calling it probably the most heartfelt film of the series with enough madcap energy and fine comedic acting to live up to expectations.

Planes

25%

Folks couldn’t be blamed for thinking the Disney Toon animation Planes was a Pixar film; it essentially adopts the same conceit as Cars (anthropomorphized objects of transportation) and boasts similarly slick visuals. Unfortunately, Planes fell far below typical Pixar standards, at least when it came to the reviews. Dane Cook voices Dusty Crophopper, a plucky crop duster (of course) who really just wants to race. He gains entrance into the Wings Across the World race against much more experienced planes and overcomes various obstacles to prove greatness lies within him, making some new friends in the process. Planes has everything you’d expect from a CGI kid flick these days — wacky voices, bright colors, a feelgood story — but it’s all so familiar and uninspired that only the youngest viewers will get any entertainment from it. At 27%, this will babysit your kids for an hour and a half, but that’s about it.

We’re the Millers

49%

Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston have both had somewhat spotty big screen careers, but they’re both likeable, and they’ve proven they can have some fun with their roles. We’re the Millers split critics down the middle, unfortunately, but it did make a decent amount of money. Sudeikis stars as David, a small-time marijuana dealer who’s robbed in his apartment and subsequently ordered by his supplier (Ed Helms) to smuggle a new stash back to Denver from Mexico. In order to minimize suspicion, he convinces his stripper neighbor (Aniston), an awkward teen (Will Poulter), and a tough-girl runaway (Emma Roberts) to pose as his family, and a tense, awkward road trip ensues. While critics acknowledged some potential in the premise of the story, many of them felt that it was lazily put together and that its humor was too uneven to be consistently funny. That said, at 47% on the Tomatometer, We’re the Millers might just have enough laughs to make you chuckle for a couple of hours.

2 Guns

65%

Mark Wahlberg and Baltasar Kormákur previously worked together on the action film Contraband, so if you saw that movie, you should already have some idea what their latest collaboration, 2 Guns, is like. Wahlberg is “Stig” Stigman, an undercover Naval intelligence officer teamed up with Denzel Washington’s Bobby Trench, himself an undercover DEA agent. Neither of them knows the other’s true identity, but the pair are drawn into a vast money laundering conspiracy perpetrated by the CIA and a Mexican drug lord. As the hit squads close in on Trench and Stig, they must work together to survive. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, 2 guns is violent and, despite its various twists and double-crosses, relatively formulaic, but if you’re a fan of either Washington or Wahlberg, you’ll enjoy the easy chemistry between the two stars. At 64% on the Tomatometer, it’s a fairly decent thriller that benefits from charismatic performances.

Paranoia

7%

Robert Luketic had a sizable hit on his hands with 2001’s Legally Blonde, but everything he’s done since then has been met mostly with jeers; Paranoia, unfortunately, fails to break that trend. Liam Hemsworth stars as Adam Cassidy, a young inventor who’s fired from a tech company run by Nicholas Wyatt (Gary Oldman), then blackmailed into becoming Wyatt’s corporate spy at the company run by Wyatt’s former mentor, Jock Goddard (Harrison Ford). Now a pawn in a high-stakes tug of war between two powerful CEOs, Adam looks for a way out that won’t land him in jail. With a supporting cast that included Embeth Davidtz, Amber Heard, Richard Dreyfuss, Josh Holloway, and more, Paranoia should have easily secured higher than a mere 4% on the Tomatometer, but critics found fault with the writing, which was predictable, full of clichés, and devoid of thrills.

The To Do List

56%

Aubrey Plaza’s made a name for herself playing the cynical April Ludgate on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, and she earned heaps of praise for her first big screen starring role in last year’s Safety Not Guaranteed. Plaza takes center stage again in The To Do List, writer-director Maggie Carey’s feature debut about an uptight, awkward high school senior named Brandy (Plaza) who decides to learn everything she can about sex after she almost goes all the way with a college boy. To this end, Brandy compiles a checklist of sexual acts she intends to explore before the summer is over, which causes friction between her and her friends. Critics were disappointed that Carey chose to play it safe, despite the film’s bold premise and R rating, but they also found her direction to be relatively solid, and Aubrey Plaza’s deadpan delivery helped keep the film from slipping deep into Rotten territory. At 52%, The To Do List isn’t the best or funniest coming-of-age sex comedy, but it’s got some charm and some laughs.

Also available this week:

  • Hannah Arendt (86%), a biopic of the German-Jewish political theorist who covered the 1961 trial of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann for The New Yorker.
  • Chilean import Crystal Fairy (82%), starring Michael Cera and Gaby Hoffman in a road trip comedy about a young American in search of a rare hallucinogenic cactus in Chile.
  • Claude Miller’s final film, Thérèse (52%), starring Audrey Tautou in an adaptation of François Mauriac’s 1927 novel about a woman who becomes restless in her life of convenience and luxury.
  • Violet & Daisy (22%), starring Saoirse Ronan and Alexis Bledel in an action drama about a pair of teenage assassins in New York City.
  • A rerelease of Doctor Who, Story 29: The Tenth Planet, the 1966 film starring William Hartnell as the Doctor, with a new DVD transfer.
  • The third season of HBO’s Treme (100%) is available.
  • The first season of the Netflix original series Lilyhammer (83%) is also available.
  • And lastly, Criterion brings us a Blu-ray of Yasujiro Ozu’s 1953 masterpiece Tokyo Story (100%), which is already available on DVD.

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