RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Captain Phillips, Blue Jasmine, and More

We've also got a well-received comedy debut, a poorly received sequel, and some smaller indies.

by | January 21, 2014 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got a couple of Oscar nominated films headlining the list, so you can get caught up on them before the trophies are handed out. Then we’ve got a grindhouse sequel by Robert Rodriguez, Lake Bell’s writing and directing debut, and a few smaller releases to talk about. Read on for the full list:

Captain Phillips


One of this year’s Oscar nominees for Best Picture (as well as nods in five other categories), Captain Phillips has already racked up a number of awards nominations and made it onto AFI’s annual list of Top Ten Films. Based on the true account of the 2009 hijacking of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama, the film stars Tom Hanks as the titular captain, who endures an intense hostage situation when a small band of armed Somali pirates led by a man named Muse (Barkhad Abdi, who received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nom for his work) storm their way onto the ship and take control. Thanks to outstanding performances, a smartly put together script, and Paul Greengrass’s masterful use of tension, Captain Phillips earned a Certified Fresh 93% on the Tomatometer. Though many feel Hanks was snubbed in the Best Actor category, his turn as the real life hero here only further solidifies his stature as one of Hollywood’s most reliable actors.

Blue Jasmine


Another film causing a stir on the awards circuit, Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine has already earned a Golden Globe for its star, Cate Blanchett, and she’s a favorite to win the Oscar for Best Actress as well. The story centers on a woman named Jasmine (Blanchett) who travels to visit her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins, also Oscar-nominated for Best Supporting Actress) in San Francisco after a string of bad luck in New York. Jasmine’s steady descent into desperation is told partially in flashback, depicting how her relationships with both Ginger and her husband (Alec Baldwin) have crumbled. Though Woody Allen sits behind the camera, Blue Jasmine is largely a vehicle for Cate Blanchett, and she makes the most of her role. The supporting cast, which also includes Andrew Dice Clay (yep, you read that right), Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., Peter Sarsgaard, and more, are solid, and the film sports a Certified Fresh 91%. This isn’t a feelgood story by any means, but it finds Allen and his stars at their finest.

In a World…


Frequent TV star Lake Bell made her feature writing and directing debut last year with In a World…, and by the looks of things, she’s got a bright future behind the camera. Bell stars as Carol Solomon, a vocal coach trying to make a go of it in the voiceover business, where her father Sam (Fred Melamed) happens to be the reigning king. When Carol inadvertently steals a job from Sam’s friend Gustav (Ken Marino), the men realize they may actually have some competition from a female voice. In a World… is nutty but clever and well written, and critics roundly applauded Bell’s work, awarding her a Certified Fresh 92% on the Tomatometer. The film didn’t reach a whole lot of people when it debuted back in August, so if you’re in the mood for a sharp screwball satire full of comedy veterans, this is a good bet.

Machete Kills


Robert Rodriguez’s grindhouse movie-based-on-a-fake trailer, Machete, was an unexpected but welcome dose of shlocky lowbrow thrills; its successor, however, somehow lost everything that made the first film fresh and fun. Danny Trejo returns as the badass ex-Federale in Machete Kills, which finds the antihero recruited by the President of the US (Charlie Sheen, of course) to take down a madman named Marcos Mendez (Demian Bichir) threatening to blow up Washington, D.C. When Machete finally catches up with Mendez, he realizes he is only part of a much bigger plot, one that may have him traveling to space. Machete Kills is insane, as expected, but most critics found the sequel inadequately assembled and lacking the inventiveness to set it apart from its predecessor. At 29% on the Tomatometer, this is probably exactly like you might expect it to be.

Also available this week:

  • Sunlight Jr. (66%), starring Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon in a drama about the hard lives of a convenience store clerk and her disabled boyfriend.
  • Mexican import Instructions Not Included (56%), a comedy about a single father who hoofs it to Los Angeles with his infant daughter to find the girl’s mother and ends up raising her there.
  • Charlie Countryman (29%), starring Shia LaBeouf in a drama about a man who runs afoul of the Romanian underworld when he falls in love with a gangster’s girlfriend on a plane trip.