This week on home video, we’ve got Seth Rogen and Zac Efron facing off in a comedy, Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson facing off in a post-apocalyptic road film, and Brenton Thwaites and Laurence Fishburne facing off in a sci-fi thriller. Then we’ve got the requisite smaller releases, a ton of recent TV seasons (and one complete collection of a popular sitcom), and three big horror franchise sets. Read on for details:



With hit projects both as director (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek) and writer (the two recent Muppets movies) under his belt, it might be surprising to learn that Nicholas Stoller’s most successful film to date was Neighbors, a raunchy comedy that opened one week after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and one week before Godzilla. Pitting Seth Rogen against Zac Efron, Neighbors follows a young couple with a newborn baby who find themselves at odds with their new neighbors when a fraternity moves in next door. Most critics found the comedy surprisingly sturdy, if a bit vulgar, and praised its game cast, which included supporting turns from Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Special features on the disc include the requisite gag reel and deleted scenes, alongside a handful of making-of featurettes.

The Rover


Australian director David Michod’s 2010 film Animal Kingdom was a powerhouse debut, so it wasn’t unreasonable to set expectations high for his follow-up, The Rover, which opened in limited release back in June. While the latter wasn’t quite the critical darling its predecessor was, it still managed to impress critics to the tune of 66 percent on the Tomatometer. Utilizing the Australian landscape as a post-apocalyptic backdrop, The Rover stars Guy Pearce as Eric, a lone drifter who gets carjacked by a gang of combative thieves. In search of leads, Eric runs into Rey (Robert Pattinson), the brother of one of the thieves, and the pair set out across the desolate landscape to locate Eric’s car, encountering trouble along the way. Moody and violent, The Rover struck most critics as a stylish exercise in ambiguity, with a relatively thin story held aloft almost entirely by its stars’ compelling performances. Only one bonus feature comes with the disc, and it’s a 45-minute making-of doc.

The Signal


Films that rely on sustained tension in service of a big final payoff are difficult to craft; sometimes, they’re more confusing than they need to be, and sometimes the anticipated twist is underwhelming. Unfortunately, there were enough critics who found both to be true for The Signal that the film mustered only a mediocre 55 percent on the Tomatometer. The story revolves around a trio of MIT students (Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp) driving across the Southwest whose road trip takes a detour when they begin to receive taunting messages from an MIT hacker. Before they are able to confront their nemesis, however, they black out and find themselves trapped in a mysterious research facility, unable to explain what happened. Critics found The Signal ambitious and initially intriguing, but felt it could have used a lot more narrative finesse to deliver its climactic reveals. The film comes with a feature commentary with the director and writers, some deleted, extended, and alternate scenes, and a behind-the-scenes doc.

Also available this week:

  • Lukas Moodysson’s Certified Fresh Swedish import We Are the Best! (97 percent), about a trio of punk-rockin’ teenage girls growing up in 1980s Stockholm.
  • Claude Lanzmann’s documentary The Last of the Unjust (97 percent), which utilizes archived interviews from 1975 to tell the story of Benjamin Murmelstein, who helped thousands of Jews escape capture by the Nazis.
  • Pawel Pawlikowski’s Certified Fresh Ida (95 percent), about a nun who discovers a dark family secret just before she plans to take her vows.
  • The Calling (50 percent), starring Susan Sarandon and Topher Grace in a thriller about a detective in a small Canadian town tracking down a serial killer with a bizarre trademark.
  • Very Good Girls (17 percent), starring Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen in a coming-of-age film about a pair of graduating high schoolers who fall for the same boy.
  • Season three of the Emmy-winning drama Scandal (100 percent), starring Kerry Washington as a high-powered fixer.
  • Season two of Nashville (100 percent), starring Hayden Panettiere and Connie Britton as dueling Country music divas.
  • Season two of Defiance (100 percent), SyFy’s action-drama set on Earth in the distant future.
  • The Certified Fresh first season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (83 percent), starring Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher in a “workplace” comedy set in a police station.
  • The fifth season of Emmy darling Modern Family (83 percent) is out on DVD.
  • Season one of sci-fi series The 100 (72 percent) is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
  • The third season of Comedy Central’s sketch comedy show Key & Peele is available on DVD.
  • We’ve got two new releases from the Criterion Collection this week: Roman Polanski’s 1971 adaptation of MacBeth (84 percent), and Jack Clayton’s 1961 supernatural thriller The Innocents, starring Deborah Kerr in an adaptation of Henry James’s Turn of the Screw.
  • And lastly on this week’s list, we’ve got three horror franchise sets on Blu-ray going on sale. First up is Halloween: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray, which includes all ten films in the series, a collectible booklet, and tons of special features.
  • Next, there’s Saw: The Complete Collection. There isn’t a whole lot of information available on the special features, but the set is only three discs, so there may not be any. That said, it’s selling for $25, which is a great price for seven movies.
  • And last but not least, we have The Exorcist: Complete Anthology. Again, not much info on the bonus features, and sure, the sequels weren’t all that great, but if you’re a collector, this is another good deal at just under $30.
This week at the movies, we’ve got a legendary warrior (Hercules, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Joseph Fiennes), a brainy heroine (Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman), and a curmudgeonly guardian (And So It Goes, starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton). What do the critics have to say?



He was the son of a god. He had bulging biceps. He battled all manner of oversized, multi-headed mythological beast. Hercules was essentially an action hero two millennia before the birth of cinema, and critics say much of the fun of Hercules is in its commitment to swashbuckling escapism — this may not be the brainiest flick on the block, but at least it never feels like a dull classics lecture. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as Herc, who, after completing his fabled labors, assembles a crew of fighters to topple a bloodthirsty megalomaniac. The pundits say Hercules isn’t particularly deep, but it never takes itself too seriously, either, and the result is a surprisingly hearty sword-and-sandal popcorn movie. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Johnson’s best-reviewed films.)



Luc Besson, the director of such cult favorites as Léon: The Professional and The Fifth Element, has never been one for subtlety or nuance. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though critics say his latest, Lucy, works a lot better as a stylishly eccentric thrill-ride than as a heady sci-fi trip. Scarlett Johansson stars as a student who’s kidnapped and forced to act as a drug mule. When she unintentionally consumes the drug, she quickly morphs into a hyper intelligent, telekinetic killing machine. The pundits say Lucy is short on logic and well-developed characters, but it’s slick, briskly-paced, and often quite entertaining.

And So It Goes


Not every summer movie has to be a pulse-pounding explosion-fest, but a little energy is always nice. Unfortunately, critics say the combined talents of director Rob Reiner and stars Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton can’t do much to elevate And So It Goes‘ predictable script and slack pacing. Douglas stars as a misanthropic realtor who is suddenly tasked with caring for a granddaughter he never knew existed. Eventually, our hero takes a shine to the tot — and develops a kinship with his charming neighbor (Keaton). The pundits say And So It Goes feels more like a sitcom than a film, and only the stars’ considerable talents keep it from being a complete waste of time. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of dysfunctional movie families.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

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