Director Peter Berg recently told Rotten Tomatoes that a big part of why he wanted to make Mile 22, which is released this Friday, was to work with Indonesian action star Iko Uwais, who rose to international fame in The Raid films. As you might expect, early word is that Uwais – who was discovered by Raid director Gareth Evans while shooting a documentary about silat, a martial art form that originated in the Indonesian Archipelago – steals Mile 22 in a series of epic, vicious, Raid-like close-quarters-combat scenes.

In the lead-up to the new movie’s release, we sat down with Uwais to talk about the movie fight scenes, and martial arts stars, that inspired him. His choices include two Jackie Chan favorites – Wheels on Meals and Armour of God – recent Korean thriller The Yellow Sea, a Zatoichi classic, and Fuyuhiko Nishi’s High-Kick Girl. See Uwais break down why he loves the scenes in the video above. And if you’re looking for more action, check out Mile 22 director Berg’s five favorite action scenes.

Mile 22 opens everywhere on Friday, August 17.

The biggest film available in home video this week comes in the form of Jason Bateman’s directorial debut, but the smaller releases may warrant more attention. These include a Certified Fresh follow-up to an Indonesian action hit, an erotic two-part drama from Lars von Trier, and a documentary on one of the greatest movies never made, among others. Read on for details:



Bad Words

65%

After years of playing the put-upon straight man in everything from Arrested Development to last year’s Identity Thief, Jason Bateman made his directorial debut with Bad Words and cast himself as the primary purveyor of the film’s titular profanities. Guy Trilby (Bateman) is a middle school dropout who discovers a loophole in the rulebook of a national spelling bee and promptly enters, seeking to make a mockery of the competition. What he didn’t count on was the presence of Chaitanya Chopra (Rohan Chand), a 10-year-old fellow speller who endears himself to Guy and soaks up his bad habits. Critics were fairly kind to Bad Words, rewarding Bateman’s first effort behind the camera with a 64% Tomatometer and calling the film funny and gleefully amoral. Special features on the disc include a commentary, some deleted scenes, and a behind-the-scenes featurette.



The Raid 2

82%

Gareth Evans scored a surprise hit with 2012’s The Raid, an inventive Indonesian actioner, so when a sequel was announced, fans were eager to see if the feat could be repeated; as it turned out, The Raid 2 came pretty close. Set just moments after the end of the first film, the sequel picks up with Jakarta cop Rama (Iko Uwais), who is asked to join a task force to expose the corrupt police commissioner. Rama soon discovers that a larger criminal organization is pulling the strings, and he must go undercover as an underworld thug to end the threat to his family. Critics found The Raid 2 a worthy successor to the adrenaline-fueled first installment, with plenty of thrilling sequences and gritty action, though they agreed its hyperviolence might appeal most to genre aficionados. The Blu-ray comes with a handful of making-of featurettes and a deleted scene, among other things.



Nymphomaniac: Volume I and Volume II

76%

There are two points few will argue against when it comes to Danish director Lars von Trier: he is quite demanding of his lead actresses, and he is not one to shy away from controversy. Cue the film provocatively titled Nymphomaniac, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg. The framing device is a chance encounter between an aging bachelor (Stellan Skarsgård) and the woman (Gainsbourg) he finds beaten in an alley; over the course of 240-plus minutes split into two films, the woman recounts her lustful, graphic history of nymphomania to the man as he tends to her wounds. Critics had slightly different things to say about Volume I and Volume II of the film (the former of which is Certified Fresh at 75%), but most agreed that Gainsbourg’s performance and von Trier’s bold, unique vision make the saga worth a watch. Each volume is available for purchases separately, but they’re also being released in a single package, along with interviews with Gainsbourg, Skarsgård, and co-stars Shia LaBeouf and Stacy Martin, and a Q&A with a few of the cast members.



Jodorowsky’s Dune

98%

Once upon a time, Alejandro Jodorowsky — director of cult favorites like The Holy Mountain and El Topo — had his hands on the rights to Frank Herbert’s epic 1965 sci-fi novel Dune. Though the book did eventually make it to the screen (where it unfortunately bombed) in the hands of David Lynch, Jodorowsky’s vision for the film included music by Pink Floyd, art design by H.R. Giger and Jean Giraud (better known as Moebius), and Mick Jagger, Salvador Dalí, and Orson Welles in the cast. Frank Pavich’s documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune explores the inception and ultimate doom of the film that never was, utilizing interviews with Jodorowsky himself, Giraud’s storyboards, and Giger’s character designs to offer an interpretation of what could have been. Critics raved about Jodorowsky’s Dune to the tune of a Certified Fresh 99% on the Tomatometer, calling it both a loving tribute to the filmmaker and a bittersweet examination of the inner workings of Hollywood. The only special features of note are a series of deleted scenes from the film, but this is probably a worthy pickup for any Jodorowsky fans.

Also available this week:

  • Roger Michell’s Certified Fresh Le Week-End (89%), starring Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan in a drama about a long-married couple trying to rekindle their romance in Paris.
  • Maidentrip (81%), a documentary about 14-year-old Dutch sailor Laura Dekker’s quest to be the youngest person to sail around the world alone.
  • Watermark (80%), a documentary exploring the relationship we share with water all around the world.
  • Stage Fright (33%), a musical horror comedy about a mysterious killer who stalks his victims at a performing arts camp.
  • There’s a new Blu-ray release of the 1960 adaptation of H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine (76%), which includes a lengthy retrospective featurette from 1993.
  • And lastly, there’s also a rerelease of the 1967 crime thriller Point Blank (97%), starring Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson, which includes a commentary track with director John Boorman and Steven Soderbergh.

This week on streaming video, we’ve got the adrenaline-fueled sequel to a sleeper action hit, a sci-fi drama with an acclaimed performance from Scarlett Johansson, and a vulgar comedy starring Jason Bateman, all newly available. There are also some choice additions on Netflix, including a zombie epidemic thriller starring Brad Pitt, the latest adaptation of Jane Eyre, and Spike Lee’s remake of the cult South Korean revenge tale Oldboy. Read on for the full list:


The Raid 2
82%

This Indonesian action flick about a cop who goes undercover to finish off the gang members who survived The Raid: Redemption.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu


Under the Skin
84%

Scarlett Johansson stars in this Certified Fresh sci-fi thriller about a predatory alien disguised as a woman.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu


Afflicted
83%

A young man suffers from a sinister condition while on a globetrotting vacation with a friend in this indie horror film.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu


Bad Words
65%

Jason Bateman stars as Guy Trilby, a 40-something who finds a loophole that allows him to enter a national spelling bee. He proceeds to insult his juvenile competitors and appall their parents, while a reporter tries to discover what’s motivating his ruthless campaign.

Available now on: iTunes


World War Z
66%

When mankind is threatened by a global zombie outbreak, it’s up to ex-United Nations operative Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) to scour the planet to find the source of the pandemic.

Available now on: Netflix


Grand Piano
79%

Elijah Wood and John Cusack star in this Certified Fresh thriller about a concert pianist who must deliver a flawless performance to stave off a sniper.

Available now on: Netflix


Oldboy
39%

Josh Brolin stars as a man who’s abducted and confined for 20 years — until he’s mysteriously released, at which point he goes on a mission to enact revenge against his captors.

Available now on: Netflix


Jane Eyre
84%

Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender in a new adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel.

Available now on: Netflix


The Muppet Christmas Carol
75%

As Ebenezer Scrooge, Michael Caine learns an important lesson in yuletide charity from the likes of Kermit, Miss Piggie, and Gonzo.

Available now on: Netflix


The Pirate Fairy
81%

Mae Whitman, Christina Hendricks, Tom Hiddleston, and Lucy Liu lend their vocal talents to this animated adventure from Disney, which finds Tinker Bell on a quest to retrieve some stolen pixie dust.

Available now on: Netflix


The Smurfs 2
14%

This time out, Smurfette is kidnapped by Gargamel’s newly-minted minions called Naughties, and Papa Smurf and the gang team up with human pal Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) to save her.

Available now on: Netflix


Bonnie & Clyde

Emile Hirsh and Holiday Grainer star as the legendary outlaws in A&E’s miniseries, which features supproting turns from Holly Hunter and William Hurt.

Available now on: Netflix

This week at the movies, we’ve got an Ark builder (Noah, starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly); an elite DEA agent (Sabotage, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sam Worthington); a labor leader (Cesar Chavez, starring Michael Peña and John Malkovich); a full-service concierge (The Grand Budapest Hotel, starring Ralph Fiennes and Saoirse Ronan); and a grown-up spelling bee champ (Bad Words, starring Jason Bateman and Kathryn Hahn). What do the critics have to say?



Noah

76%

If you’re going to retell one of the most epic stories in human history, you’ve got to go big. That’s exactly what director Darren Aronofsky did with Noah, and critics say this ambitious adaptation of one of the Old Testament’s most familiar tales is visually majestic and powerfully acted, though the screen is so stuffed that the main narrative occasionally gets sidetracked. Russell Crowe stars as Noah, a devout man who lives in harmony with nature. When Noah has visions of an apocalyptic flood, he builds an Ark and hits the high seas, encountering some fearsome descendants of Cain along the way. The pundits say that while Noah‘s grasp can sometimes exceed its reach, it’s a robust, inventive re-imagining of a timeless legend. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down some of cinema’s most memorable biblical epics.)



Sabotage

22%

Hollywood has turned out plenty of action films about morally ambiguous law enforcement agents, and critics say Sabotage offers little beyond an overabundance of gore to distinguish itself from the pack. After stealing a huge amount of cash during a raid, several members of a DEA unit are mysteriously murdered. It’s up to the team’s leader, John “Breacher” Wharton (Arnold Schwarzenegger), to find out who’s responsible. The pundits say the actors are fine, but Sabotage is predictably plotted and cynically violent. (Check out our video interviews with the cast and crew.)



Cesar Chavez

38%

Even the most extraordinary lives don’t follow a three-act structure, so it’s understandable that filmmakers must cut a few corners when making a biographical film. Unfortunately, critics say Cesar Chavez is an earnest but muted portrait of the influential labor leader that fails to capture its subject’s fire and complexity. The film follows Chavez (Michael Pena) during his extended campaign to secure better earnings and conditions for migrant farm workers in California. The pundits say Cesar Chavez serves as a decent introduction to the man, but mostly it dramatizes his work and achievements without bringing them to vivid life.



The Grand Budapest Hotel

92%

Wes Anderson is undoubtedly one of contemporary cinema’s most distinctive stylists, and critics say he’s got another winner with em>The Grand Budapest Hotel, a madcap, bittersweet period piece with outstanding performances from its illustrious cast. Ralph Fiennes stars as Gustave, a concierge at a swanky European hotel with an eccentric guest list. When Gustave’s rich octogenarian paramour bequeaths him an invaluable painting, he draws the ire of her outraged son; chaotic hilarity ensues. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Grand Budapest Hotel is laugh-out-loud funny, stylistically bold, and poignantly acted — in other words, what we’ve come to expect from Anderson, and more.



Bad Words

65%

Jason Bateman makes his directorial debut with Bad Words, and critics say that while this vulgar black comedy goes a little soft in the final stretch, it’s a fine showcase for the star’s sardonic, misanthropic persona. Bateman stars as Guy Trilby, a 40-something who finds a loophole that allows him to enter a national spelling bee. He proceeds to insult his juvenile competitors and appall their parents, while a reporter tries to discover what’s motivating his ruthless campaign. The pundits say Bad Words is both tasteless and slackly plotted, but it’s irreverent, well-acted, and often outrageously funny. (Check out 24 Frames for a gallery of actors with noteworthy debuts behind the camera.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Raid 2

Update: Congratulations to our winner, Tanner Carter!

The wait is finally over. The sequel to The Raid: Redemption has ARRIVED and is having its world premiere at Sundance 2014! The Raid 2: Berandal, will be screening on Tuesday, January 21st in Park City Utah (theater and time on January 21, 2014 will be made available to winner).

To enter: Follow us on Twitter @RottenTomatoes and tweet the following: RT @rottentomatoes to win tickets to the 1-21 WORLD PREMIERE of The Raid 2 at Sundance! #TomatoPrize pic.twitter.com/fxnK0sKsEo

One winner will be chosen at random at 11PM PT January 20, 2014. You must follow @rottentomatoes on Twitter to win, and further details about ticket pick up will be available to the winner.


Contest rules: Must be present in Park City, Utah at Sundance to win and attend the January 21st premiere.

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