RT on DVD: Fast & Furious, Dragonball: Evolution, Battlestar Galactica

Plus, Polanski gets the Criterion treatment.

by | July 27, 2009 | Comments

If you missed last weekend’s Comic-Con (see RT’s full coverage
here), you’re
in luck; it’s a particularly geeky week for DVD. Kicking things off are Fox’s
live-action adaptation of one of Japan’s best loved mangas (the disappointing
adventure Dragonball: Evolution), the fourth in a franchise for car lovers (Fast
& Furious
, starring Vin Diesel and Paul Walker), and DC’s latest animated
feature (Green Lantern: First Flight). But what could be nerdier than this
week’s new TV series on DVD? Pick from Battlestar Galactica Season 4.5,
Battlestar Galactica The Complete Series, Dr. Who, Torchwood, and Joss Whedon’s
Dollhouse Season One! Read on.

the previous three franchise films were too fast, too furious, then the fourth
flick about gear heads and racers is what we like to call “faster and more
furious to an even greater degree.” Of course, it’s also about brooding bromance,
as we find former buds Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Connor (Paul
Walker) together again for the first time since 2001’s The Fast and The Furious.
Reunited under tragic circumstances, Dom and Brian must work together undercover
to infiltrate the inner circle of a drug runner; naturally, we get car chases,
explosions, and hot eye candy galore.  DVD extras make for a great time if
you’re into autos, as you’ll find plenty of features reveal the making of the
film and the many import and muscle cars that appear — as well as the
Diesel-directed short film Los Bandeleros, which shows the gang’s adventures in
the Dominican Republic leading up to the fourth film. Yes, a prequel to the
prequel; Fast and Furious 4.5?

Next: Anime comes to life in Dragonball: Evolution

in its development, 20th Century Fox’s Hollywood adaptation of the
long-running Dragonball manga/anime property got lost in translation. The
result, a big-budget fantasy adventure that cherry-picked characters and story
lines and homogenized most of its cast (led by Justin Chatwin as Goku and Emmy
Rossum as Bulma), was too unfaithful to its source for fans, and too confusing
for newcomers. Add to that some awful creature make-up that had poor Buffy alum
James Marsters growling under green make-up and prosthetics as the evil,
misunderstood Piccolo, and you’ve got one big Asian fusion mess. Special
features include deleted scenes, stunt and behind-the-scenes featurettes, and
interactive games.

Next: Get close with Zoe Bell, Angel of Death

you’re familiar with the works of Quentin Tarantino, then you’re probably
already a fan of stuntwoman-turned-actress Zoe Bell, a woman so awesome that
Tarantino wrote an entire role for her in his Grindhouse flick, Death Proof.
(Remember the game of Ship’s Mast? That was her.) This week, Bell gets her first
starring role in Angel of Death, a web miniseries now being released as a
feature-length DVD. Like a female Jason Bourne, Bell plays an assassin who loses
her memory (a knife to the head’ll do that for you) and sets out to destroy her
former employers; Bell’s co-stars include Xena buddy Lucy Lawless (for
whom she stunt doubled), Ted Raimi, and Doug Jones.

Next: Supersized Japanese monsters get real in Big Man Japan

Big Man Japan


hard to describe Big Man Japan, but here goes: a middle-aged divorcé
(writer-actor-director Hitoshi Matsumoto) in contemporary Tokyo lives alone with
few joys in life, thanks to his day job as Japan’s national hero, which requires
him to morph into a supersized building-smasher to battle the giant kaiju
creatures that come to wreak havoc, Godzilla-style, on the country. But hard
times have befallen the superhero niche; Dai-Nipponjin (translated: Big Man
Japan) finds himself subject to the fairweather adoration of the public, who
watch his battles on television, and even his publicist has taken to selling ad
space on his enormous body. With public interest waning and his confidence
shaken, what’s Dai-Nipponjin to do? Shot documentary style, this satire is a
Japanophile’s delight; a making-of featurette and deleted scenes are included.

Next: Raise the Green Lantern

wonder this year’s Comic-Con was overrun with nerds in Green Lantern tees! The
latest feature-length animated DC film, Green Lantern was such a hit last
weekend in San Diego, programmers added a second screening for fans. First
tells the origin story of Hal Jordan (voiced by Law & Order‘s Christopher Meloni), an earthling who unexpectedly receives the Green Lantern ring and must
then prove his worth to the intergalactic Lantern Corps while battling a
sinister frenemy named Sinestro (Victor Garbo). Con reviews pegged this
anime-tinged feature as a bit light on back story, but you fans already know
what’s up; why not get to the brutal action and space opera dramatics? Among the
disc’s extras, find a sneak peek at the next DC Animated flick, Batman/Superman:
Public Enemies

Next: Bart Got a Room (and a DVD release)

Bart Got a Room
— 71%

the real star of Bart Got a Room might just be William H. Macy’s glorious jewfro
(pictured above), critics enjoyed this sweet high school comedy about a band
nerd (Steven Kaplan) torn between wooing his hot carpool crush (Ashley Benson)
and taking the girl next door (Alia Shawkat) to prom. First time director Brian
Hecker based this American Pie-like tale on his own dateless teen years — an
experience that lends Bart  an air of authenticity, albeit a
cringe-inducing authenticity.

Next: An Affair that’s hard to remember?

Mol and Cameron Bright star in this poorly received piece of historical fiction
about a teenage boy (Bright, soon to be seen in The Twilight Saga: New Moon) in
1963 Washington, D.C., whose crush on a hot neighbor (Mol) leads unexpectedly to
a conspiracy plot to assassinate President Kennedy. Clichés muddle the plot,
which attempts to mash together a coming-of-age tale and a political thriller,
with mixed results. Fans of Mol, however, will enjoy the actresses’ steamy (and
scantily clad) scenes.

Next: Sci-fi TV DVDs galore!

TV nerds, take note: your pocketbooks are going to get a lot lighter this week.
We’ll begin with the piece de resistance: the 20-disc, four-season Battlestar
: The Complete Series box set. Packed in a BSG cube (with an 8″ Cylon
Centurion figure included), this set ain’t cheap ($349.99 list price) but
contains just about every BSG-related item known to man, including the
Miniseries and an unrated and extended version of the Razor telefilm. A
newly-filmed introduction by creator Ron Moore kicks off each section, leading
over 70 hours of bonus content. You can literally spend almost three days
straight watching the extra features alone, people!

The Battlestar complete set is being released in
conjunction with Season 4.5, which is also available separately. If you already
own the previous seasons, picking up S4.5 on its own will be a far more
affordable way to complete your collection. Deleted scenes, tons of featurettes,
and cast and crew commentaries supplement the four-disc set.

As if that weren’t enough to sate your geek thirst
this week, put these TV on DVD titles on your shopping list: Dr. Who: Planet
of the Dead
, extending a select episode of celebrated doc David Tennant;
Torchwood: Children of Earth, a five-part miniseries spun off from Dr. Who;
and Dollhouse Season 1, Joss Whedon’s latest creation starring Eliza Dushku.

Next: Criterion attracts serious movie watchers with Repulsion

Polanski’s English-language debut starred a young Catherine Deneuve as Carol, a
schizophrenic woman whose paranoia turns to madness over the course of the film.
Polanski heightens the tension with horror movie tricks, playing up Carol’s
psychologically-fabricated hallucinations to great effect. Presented on Blu-ray
by Criterion, Repulsion has been digitally restored and includes a 1994
commentary with Deneuve and Polanski, an archival set feature, a 16-page booklet
with critical essay, and more.

Next: Get close and personal with this Torso

— N/A

it gives you any indication of what this film contains, Eli Roth once told RT
that Torso was one of his favorite horror movies. The 1973 Italian giallo
film is  favorite among exploitation cinema watchers, although its plot is
relatively simple: when murders start happening on a college campus, four co-eds
flee to the countryside, unaware that the killer has followed them! British
actress Suzy Kendall (recognizable from the giallo classic The Bird with the
Crystal Plumage
) stars.

Until next week, happy renting!

Tag Cloud

elevated horror Stephen King PBS Kids & Family Best and Worst Mary Tyler Moore Spring TV OWN TCA 2017 mockumentary true crime screen actors guild foreign WarnerMedia YouTube Red E3 LGBT technology Discovery Channel 2015 Interview Biopics streaming Toys nature sag awards batman 2019 canceled cancelled Fall TV Action Crunchyroll Sundance Thanksgiving Reality Competition political drama Countdown ESPN psychological thriller composers TNT Pixar Star Wars Nickelodeon comics series 45 festivals ABC Family Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt SDCC richard e. Grant USA Sneak Peek Warner Bros. Adult Swim dramedy The Purge Shudder CBS Schedule Masterpiece Drama theme song boxoffice spanish language GIFs TCA Winter 2020 award winner Animation biography Trivia Disney+ Disney Plus hist zero dark thirty TV Land independent dceu Star Trek Apple TV Plus Showtime 2016 Classic Film 2020 Disney PaleyFest Paramount serial killer reboot Heroines crime cinemax anime stand-up comedy CNN game of thrones Hulu dc Spectrum Originals television Holidays Amazon Prime Video Avengers Photos indie OneApp blockbuster Mary Poppins Returns Box Office Marathons The Arrangement renewed TV shows Hallmark Christmas movies Quiz aliens TLC RT21 Amazon Prime Columbia Pictures Lifetime Opinion Summer AMC rotten movies we love Universal Reality Winter TV Holiday travel Trophy Talk DC Comics vampires cancelled TV series Ellie Kemper diversity canceled TV shows Year in Review latino ITV DGA screenings National Geographic GoT 2017 Cannes Trailer anthology Extras spider-man Infographic Western CW Seed spy thriller 007 werewolf adaptation Mary poppins natural history Academy Awards Mystery TIFF The Witch unscripted Disney Plus 24 frames Netflix Fantasy Marvel Television MTV Cartoon Network talk show Crackle Video Games Family halloween blaxploitation Hallmark versus X-Men Set visit cancelled TV shows cancelled television robots Musicals APB toy story docudrama USA Network Horror spinoff Film name the review VICE Premiere Dates ratings Rocketman Apple TV+ DirecTV facebook Marvel Studios 71st Emmy Awards Amazon binge Superheroes MCU Arrowverse green book Superheroe transformers HBO Max Rom-Com comiccon crime drama Lucasfilm Turner Britbox harry potter sports President Paramount Network BBC America Rock romantic comedy Ghostbusters NBC Country south america Anna Paquin psycho San Diego Comic-Con quibi police drama Spike sitcom Vudu christmas movies The Walking Dead hispanic E! Turner Classic Movies science fiction Christmas joker space Nominations Emmy Nominations Freeform Winners Election Comic Book Food Network GLAAD See It Skip It WGN movies Disney streaming service Shondaland YouTube zombie cartoon video cults Lifetime Christmas movies YouTube Premium Nat Geo Television Academy Dark Horse Comics mutant Podcast witnail directors Comedy Epix ABC slashers Awards children's TV TCA Pop Writers Guild of America Red Carpet based on movie tv talk game show animated Valentine's Day Polls and Games Song of Ice and Fire 21st Century Fox politics dragons Pirates SXSW thriller LGBTQ Certified Fresh TBS Walt Disney Pictures Pet Sematary A&E FXX historical drama History Disney Channel Teen Grammys Apple Rocky The CW Tomatazos revenge ghosts book HBO cooking what to watch Acorn TV Lionsgate Starz comic BET Black Mirror cars finale FX El Rey Sundance TV Endgame TV Chernobyl TV renewals MSNBC jamie lee curtis singing competition IFC Films Binge Guide First Reviews doctor who IFC period drama free movies Calendar Fox News spain golden globes Ovation SundanceTV medical drama disaster crime thriller Emmys Women's History Month New York Comic Con A24 cats Sci-Fi Musical Creative Arts Emmys justice league adventure Pride Month CMT social media Oscars Brie Larson FOX TCM Elton John Tubi Logo NYCC teaser Watching Series Awards Tour VH1 cops sequel strong female leads BBC Music Chilling Adventures of Sabrina romance Peacock TruTV Tumblr CBS All Access Comedy Central Mudbound Syfy casting Character Guide Esquire Captain marvel American Society of Cinematographers 20th Century Fox Bravo DC Universe crossover breaking bad Super Bowl Sony Pictures First Look Netflix Christmas movies Sundance Now miniseries Cosplay zombies discovery Tarantino YA kids Film Festival Comics on TV RT History Martial Arts war Marvel Baby Yoda 2018 supernatural DC streaming service Mindy Kaling