Home video enthusiasts, prepare yourself for what may be the best week ever! This week you’ll have to choose between Academy Award flicks Rachel Getting Married (Best Actress Nominee, Anne Hathaway) and Milk (Best Actor, Sean Penn), plus a few films that should have been honored at this year’s Oscars (Happy-Go-Lucky, Let the Right One In). Next, consider a Certified Fresh comedy (Role Models), a Charlie Kaufman original (Synecdoche, New York), and a pair of period pics (Cadillac Records, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas). We won’t judge if you give Jason Statham’s latest a spin (Transporter 3), but we do insist that Blu-ray viewers pay attention to a few key re-mastered releases (Pinocchio 70th Anniversary Edition, The Batman Anthology). Dig in to RT on DVD for more!

Rachel Getting Married — 87%


Anne Hathaway put those Princess Diaries days behind her with an excellent (and Oscar-nominated) performance as Kym, a recovering drug addict who powers her way through her sister’s wedding like a locomotive in Jonathan Demme‘s Rachel Getting Married. Director Demme, best known for making films like The Silence of the Lambs (and in recent years, the acclaimed documentaries Neil Young: Heart of Gold and Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains), lends the proceedings the feel of a verité film, his viewer another guest at the weekend nuptials; the script from Jenny Lumet (Sidney’s daughter) stings and warms in equal measure.

One notable DVD featurette examines the film’s eclectic soundtrack, which includes songs from Robyn Hitchcock (who performs on-screen during the wedding), and TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adembimpe (who in a key role, plays Rachel’s fiancé). Deleted scenes, a cast and crew Q&A, and two commentary tracks highlight the remainder of the bonus menu. Watch an exclusive clip below.

Next: Watch Sean Penn’s Oscar-winning performance in Milk

Milk — 93%

Two weeks ago on Oscar night, a pair of acceptance speeches reminded us that sometimes movies are about more than just entertainment. Both Sean Penn (who won the Academy Award for Best Actor) and Dustin Lance Black (who won for Best Original Screenplay) honored slain San Francisco politician and gay rights advocate Harvey Milk, whose life and work became the basis for Gus Van Sant’s moving biopic, Milk. Penn, no stranger to politics, and Black, a Mormon-raised gay writer who thanked Milk for helping him overcome his own struggles, are just two reasons to pick up the triumphant, bittersweet period drama this week. (Need another reason? It’s among the best-reviewed films of 2008.)

Bonus features include deleted scenes and three featurettes on the real-life Harvey Milk and the intersection of Hollywood and gay rights.

Next: The best movie you didn’t see in 2008, Let the Right One In

A piece of future advice for 2010: don’t get caught buying a ticket to the American remake of Let the Right One In without having seen the original. This Swedish vampire tale, adapted by writer John Ajvide Lindqvist from his own novel and directed by Tomas Alfredson, is a quiet miracle of a film that, in this writer’s opinion, deserved a shot at the Foreign Oscar race (it went un-nominated by its home country). Part fang horror, part coming-of-age romance, Let the Right One In tells the story of young, bullied Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) and his new neighbor, Eli (Lina Leandersson), a girl who appears to be Oskar’s age but in fact is a blood-drinking vampire who must keep her secret from the public eye; when her older human caretaker leaves (was he once, like Oskar, young and in love with Eli?) the pair turn to one another for help and companionship, captured poetically by Alfredson. It’s one of the most beautiful — and dark, and darkly humorous — films of last year, and a much-needed jumpstart to a genre that’s become reliant on mediocrity and gore.

Deleted scenes and a making-of documentary comprise a disappointingly light special features menu, but if sales do well don’t be surprised to get a commentary track on an eventual double dip.

Next: Catch Sally Hawkins’ infectious cheer in Happy-Go-Lucky!

Should British actress Sally Hawkins have earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of a supremely cheerful school teacher in Mike Leigh‘s Happy-Go-Lucky? We say yes, but judge for yourself this week as the intimate, infectious film makes its way to home video. Through a series of real-life trials that might test the patience of any normal person, the effervescent Poppy (Hawkins, who workshopped the role with Leigh) maintains a smile no matter how rough life gets — to the consternation of her grumpy driving instructor, Scott (a hilariously on-edge Eddie Marsan), and perhaps, also to viewers. Only a few extra features are to be found here, including a commentary track by director Leigh, although one behind-the-scenes featurette in particular provides insight into the creation of the film and of the Poppy character, whose bliss is anything but ignorant.

Next: Raunchy laughs with Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott in Role Models

Role Models — 76%

Director David Wain has had a hit-or-miss career with his comedies (I blame that Stella sense of humor) but his latest flick, Role Models, is a solid combination of crass humor, strong characterizations, and dorkiness of the RPG-playing kind. Which is to say, I was sold. The Certified Fresh comedy — a rarity these days, unless your name is Judd Apatow — follows energy drink-selling buddies Danny and Wheeler (Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott) sentenced to mentor a pair of troubled kids as community service: sword-wielding LARP devotee (that’s Live Action Role Playing game to you non-nerds), Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, AKA Superbad‘s McLovin’) and foul-mouthed troublemaker Ronnie (Bobb’e J. Thompson, who steals the show).

The DVD includes both the theatrical cut and an uncut version that runs three minutes longer, as well as a host of featurettes/deleted scenes/alternate takes. Look for Knocked Up OB-GYN Ken Jeong in a scene-stealing role as the king of Augie’s role-playing realm.

Next: Charlie Kaufman’s challenging Synecdoche, New York

If you’re a fan of Charlie Kaufman, chances are you’re enamored of the signature complexities of his screenplays for films like Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Well, if you like those Kaufman flicks, just try to wrap your mind around his latest, which also marks his directorial debut. Synecdoche, New York tells the story of a struggling playwright (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who decides to mount his life’s greatest work — an autobiographical play with no ending — in a giant warehouse, casting actors to play himself and his loved ones until the whole thing takes on a meta-quality that will have you scratching your head well past the end credits. It’s impressive stuff, if fairly impenetrable; as Roger Ebert advises, see it twice. Four DVD featurettes, including a Blogger’s Roundtable discussion of the film with Glenn Kenny, Walter Chaw, Andrew Grant, Karina Longworth, and Chris Beaubien, should help you filter Kaufman’s opus.

Next: Transporter 3 the worst of the franchise, but hey — it’s Jason Statham!

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who actually want to see Transporter 3, and those who wouldn’t do it for a million bucks. (There’s also my kind — people who had to see it and wish they didn’t.) While the first Transporter (53%) is a straight-up pleasure, and the second (51%) is more of a guilty one, this third flick — directed by Olivier Megaton, who named himself after Hiroshima — is a slim imitation of a Transporter movie, and features the worst actress of the entire franchise (newcomer Natalya Rudakova, who was apparently discovered by Luc Besson on the street). But if you like the idea of watching Jason Statham fight baddies using a dress shirt as a weapon (all the while getting increasingly unclothed), then Transporter 3 might not feel like a complete waste of time.

Next: Beyonce, Mos Def sing the blues in Cadillac Records

If soul music is your bag, then Cadillac Records should be worth a rental; the biographical tale of Chess Records, the studio that brought musicians like Etta James (Beyonce Knowles) and Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright) to the masses in the 1960s, earned decent enough reviews but critics agreed the light drama coasted on the strength of its music. Adrien Brody stars as Leonard Chess, the R&B-loving businessman who made it all happen; Beyonce, Wright, and Mos Def (as Chuck Berry) hit all the right notes in performing their own songs. Featurettes, deleted scenes, and a commentary by director Darnell Martin supplement the disc.

Next: Holocaust dramatics in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

A German boy befriends a Jewish prisoner and begins to question the Nazi way of life in this Holocaust drama, which drew mixed reviews from critics. While some thought it among the best films of the year, others criticized its execution and the decision to turn an event as horrific as the Holocaust into a parable. Deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, and a commentary track by writer/director Mark Herman and author John Boyne, who wrote the original book of the same name.

Next: Pinocchio celebrates his 70th birthday on Blu-ray

Pinocchio: 70th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray — 100%

It’s hard to believe that Disney’s classic adventure Pinocchio is already celebrating its 70th birthday, but what’s even more incredible is how good a job the Mouse House has done with this Blu-ray release; every single scene is a dazzling work of art. Disney’s remastering process has burnished the film with an amazing clarity and richness, so much so that watching Pinocchio again this way is like watching it for the first time. You’ll be swept away by the painterly details that the Blu-ray cut reveals — the way something as simple as an ocean wave laps against another in the background, or how the camera turns to follow Pinocchio walk up and down a street despite the medium’s two-dimensional constraints.

Fans of the wooden hero (or of Disney animation history in general) should employ either the new pop up trivia track or the “Cine-Explore” track featuring film critic Leonard Maltin, animator Eric Goldberg, and J.B. Kaufman. In addition to behind-the-scenes documentary features that cover all things Pinocchio, Disney has included deleted scenes (told via storyboards), production galleries, archival trailers from every one of Pinocchio‘s theatrical releases, games, alternate viewing options (including the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio), and, as with Disney’s Blu-ray titles, a standard DVD of the film. Wish upon a star for this stellar (and limited edition!) Blu-ray release.

Next: Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology on Blu-ray

It’s that Bat-time, people: time to sit down with all four pre-Nolan Batman flicks and revisit the franchise before the franchise, from Batman (69%) to Batman Returns (77%) to Batman Forever (44%) to Batman & Robin (12%)! Warner Bros. is releasing all four films to DVD and Blu-ray (each in their own 2-disc Special Edition), and though the set does not include either Batman Begins (84%) or The Dark Knight (94%) (or the camp-tastic 1966 version), keep in mind that a double and triple dip is inevitable. That said, if you’re a Batman completist and love the high def format, you’ll find that these remastered flicks look and sound good even one to two decades after initial release. Just watch out for those Blu-ray-enhanced codpieces.

A host of commentary tracks, deleted scenes, featurettes, and even a four-film spanning “Shadows of the Bat” documentary come within the box set, though there are no added materials beyond what has already appeared in the anthology on standard DVD.

Until next week, happy renting!

Tag Cloud

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