It’s a light week for home video entertainment, but never fear — RT on DVD is here! We’ll kick things off with the biggest title of the week: Frank Miller’s The Spirit, which had fans drooling with anticipation…until the stylized comic strip adaptation hit theaters. Better reviewed, but nonetheless controversial in its own right, is Kate Winslet’s The Reader, which nabbed the British actress her first Academy Award but also drew the ire of critics thanks to its sensitive subject material. Horror fans will get a pleasant surprise with an indie creature feature (Splinter), while ’80s enthusiasts should embrace a new eight-DVD set that combines the star power of Whoopi Goldberg, Drew Barrymore, and Jon Cryer (The Lost Collection). Fans of director Michel Gondry should check out his latest compilation of music videos and short films (Michel Gondry 2: More Videos). Finally, see if an overlooked science fiction flick holds up in High Def (The 13th Floor on Blu-ray).

The Spirit — 14%

Frank Miller‘s first solo effort as a director (after co-directing Sin City with Robert Rodriguez) had fans both curious and hopeful, since the adaptation of the 1940s-era comic strip would mesh the celebrated style of Miller’s mentor, Will Eisner, with his own. Unfortunately for everyone involved, Miller’s treatment of the crime fighter known as The Spirit was widely panned by critics, who blasted its unintelligible plotting and ridiculous dialogue. That’s too bad, since The Spirit — like Sin City and 300 before it — is a daring effort, setting a cast of real-life players against largely computer-generated environments to create a unique world, half-real and half-imagined; sadly, it’s a brave choice that couldn’t quite balance a hammy, atonal script. Give it a chance this week on DVD (or in glorious High Def on Blu-ray), if only to witness Miller’s stylistic flair caress each and every one of his femme fatales (including Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes, Paz Vega, Sarah Paulson, and Jaime King). Below, watch an exclusive excerpt from the DVD feature “Miller on Miller,” in which Frank Miller explains his attraction to black and white animation and noir storytelling.

Next: Kate Winslet in The Reader

The Reader — 61%

“It’s not a Holocaust movie,” argues director Stephen Daldry, who all but invited controversy with this drama about a German woman named Hanna Schmitz hiding her past as a Nazi prison guard. Hence, critics were split on whether or not the tale, told from the perspective of Hanna’s former lover, Michael Berg (Ralph Fiennes), was told in poor taste. Rife with literary references — Hanna asks her then-15 year old lover to read aloud to her between lovemaking sessions — The Reader is adapted from Bernhard Schlink’s semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. While the film does curry some sympathy for the culpable Schmitz (thanks in large part to Kate Winslet‘s Oscar-winning performance), the bigger questions are posed to Fiennes’ character, who represents a generation of Germans still dealing with post-war guilt. Deleted scenes and making-of featurettes accompany the DVD, along with segments with director Daldry and actor David Kross, Kate Winslet, and up-and-coming composer Nico Muhly.

Next: Michel Gondry is back with More Videos

If you already own director Michel Gondry‘s Director’s Label compilation of music videos and shorts, then you’re going to want to add this new volume to your DVD collection. Like that previous release, Michel Gondry 2: More Videos assembles an assortment of delightful short films and music videos, all of them Gondrian to the core (read: handcrafted, fresh visuals from Hollywood’s most offbeat and crafty filmmaker). Included in this go-around are music videos for Bjork (“Declare Independence”), Paul McCartney (“Dance Tonight”), Michael Andrews featuring Gary Jules (“Mad World”), Stereogram (“Walkie Talkie Man”), The White Stripes (“The Denial Twist”), Beck (“Cellphone’s Dead”) and more, including his “Knives Out” video for Radiohead, which the band notoriously hated and never used.

The single-disc release also includes a handful of shorts, including Gondry’s infamous Rubik’s Cube video (in which he solves the mindbender with his feet), a response video entitled “Jack Black Beats Michel Gondry With His Rubik’s Cube,” and “How To Blow Up A Helicopter (Ayako’s Story),” featuring actress Ayako Fujitani (who starred in Gondry’s segment of the film Tokyo! and who happens to also be the daughter of Steven Seagal). Find Michel Gondry 2: More Videos available at his official site, beginning April 14.

Next: Spiky horrors in Splinter

“Sharply-directed” and “amusing” aren’t the words one might expect from low-budget horror these days, but the critics agree that Splinter, which debuted on HDNet and in limited release last October, delivers. The plot: a couple and their carjackers become trapped in an abandoned gas station by a parasite that turns animals (and people) into porcupine-like flesh eaters. Director Toby Wilkins paces his creature feature well, drawing comparisons to such classic monster flicks as The Thing and Tremors; hear all about how Wilkins pulled it off in two audio commentaries (one with him and the cast, the other with him and his crew), making-of featurettes, and more.

Next: Science, tragedy, and Meryl Streep in Dark Matter

Dark Matter — 38%

The crossroads between genius and insanity have been addressed before in films like A Beautiful Mind, but in Dark Matter, that theme takes a, well, darker turn. Helmed by Chinese opera director Chen Shi-zheng, the drama — based loosely on a 1991 campus tragedy at the University of Iowa — follows brilliant Chinese doctoral student Liu Xing (Ye Liu), who comes to America to study physics and pursue the American Dream. But when his dissertation on dark matter, the unseen elements of the universe, contradicts the theories of his advisor (Aidan Quinn), Xing loses everything, and is set on a path toward a violent mental breakdown. Critics praised Dark Matter for its sensitive portrayal of the American immigrant experience, but bemoaned the inert journey it takes to get to its shocking conclusion. Meryl Streep co-stars.

Next: HBO’s The House of Saddam

BBC and HBO Films teamed up to produce this four-hour mini-series about the rise and fall of Saddam Hussein, the notorious Iraqi dictator who was executed in 2006. Spread over two discs, The House of Saddam chronicles the 27-year reign of Iraq’s fifth President (Munich‘s Yigal Naor) in spectacularly terrifying fashion; part soap opera, part historical document, the series has drawn comparisons to The Sopranos in part because it not only weaves together Hussein’s personal and political lives, but peels back the layers on members of his inner circle.

Next: Pillow Talk 50th Anniversary Edition

Bring home this romantic comedy classic about the epic battle of the sexes between an independent Manhattan gal (Doris Day) and a songwriting playboy who lives in her building (Rock Hudson). Nominated for five Oscars (it won for Best Screenplay), Pillow Talk marked the beginning of a fruitful on-screen partnership between singer-turned-studio starlet Day and Hudson, who would go on to star together in the lesser known rom-coms Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers. The 50th Anniversary edition, however, leaves something to be desired, as it includes only three bonus features (commentary by film historians, a feature on the Day-Hudson partnership, and one on the success of the 1959 film) and trailers.

Next: Turn back to the ’80s with The Lost Collection

The Lost Collection: My Best Friend Is A Vampire, Slaughter High, Irreconcilable Differences, The Night Before, Homer & Eddie, Morgan Stewart’s Coming Home, Hiding Out, Repossessed!

When it comes to nostalgia for the ’80s, perhaps some things are better left in the past… Not! Lionsgate certainly doesn’t think so, as they’re releasing eight films under the banner “The Lost Collection,” which run the gamut from horror to high school comedies to, yes, the saddest comedy of the entire decade: Irreconcilable Differences. Within the set you’ll also find the teen slasher Slaughter High, the Leslie Nielsen spoof Repossessed! (which co-stars Linda Blair in a parody of her Exorcist role), and the Keanu Reeves vehicle The Night Before, which plays like an ’80s version of Dude, Where’s My Car? Also included in the Lost Collection are the Robert Sean Leonard bloodsucker comedy, My Best Friend is a Vampire, and the unforgettable buddy pic Homer & Eddie, in which James Belushi endures a road trip with BFF Whoopi Goldberg! We can’t quite decide what’s worse, between that match up and the inclusion of not one, but two Jon Cryer flicks (the back to school yukfest Hiding Out and Morgan Stewart’s Coming Home). Naturally, each film comes with its own “I Love the ’80s”-style pop up trivia.

Next: The Thirteenth Floor hits Blu-ray

The Thirteenth Floor Blu-ray — 29%

By the time The 13th Floor debuted in the summer of 1999, Hollywood was jam-packed with science-fiction films about virtual reality and technology (see Dark City, eXistenZ, and the mother of them all, The Matrix). Now that it’s gotten some distance from those comparisons, The 13th Floor might finally get a fair shake on Blu-ray. The time-jumping story of virtual reality tech Douglas Hall (Craig Bierko) begins in the 1990s and travels (via simulation game) to 1937 Los Angeles, where Hall learns that an artificially-created character within the game has figured out the truth — and may be killing other people. Gretchen Mol co-stars in this existential thriller, which looks sumptuous on Blu-Ray but lacks substantial bonus features.

Until next week, happy renting!

IGN FilmForce snagged some solid scoopage by learning the names of several actors attached to Michael Bay‘s "Transformers" adaptation. We learned last week that Shia LaBeouf was signed up, but now comes a parade of names, including Jon Voight, Bernie Mac, John Turturro, and Michael Clarke Duncan.

From IGNFF: "IGN has confirmed through multiple sources that Oscar winner Jon Voight is in talks to reunite with his ‘Pearl Harbor‘ director, Michael Bay, as "Keller." A casting notice online describes Keller as the U.S. Secretary of State. Voight and LaBeouf previously starred together in ‘Holes.’

LaBeouf and Voight in "Holes"

Another Bay veteran, ‘Armageddon‘s Michael Clarke Duncan, is closing in on the role of "Figueroa." This character is described in a casting notice posted at Sneak Peek TV as being "Dominican by way of the Louisiana Bayou. Chief Warrant officer in the Army. Spirited fellow who loves to sing. Close team member of Lennox."

Duncan in Bay’s 2005 Sci-Fi Actioner "The Island"

And who is Lennox? Sources indicated that ‘Vegas‘ star Josh Duhamel has a lock on the role of the young military commander."

There are even more names in the mix, so click here to get the full report from the FilmForce.

Tag Cloud

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