RT on DVD: Gran Torino, Crossing Over, Nobel Son Exclusive Look

See what's new this week on DVD and Blu-ray!

by | June 8, 2009 | Comments

This week on DVD, celebrate the big screen heroics of two former movie heroes (Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, Harrison Ford in Crossing Over) or watch Clive Owen and Naomi Watts do battle with an evil bank (Tom Tykwer’s The International). If comedy is more your style, you can go low-brow (the cheerleading comedy Fired Up!) or worse: direct to DVD (the bowling comedy Strike! starring Tara Reid). Take a gamble on a twisty, stylized thriller about kidnapping and dysfunctional families (Nobel Son, starring Eliza Dushku and Alan Rickman) or take your chances with a critically panned race drama (Spinning into Butter, starring Sarah Jessica Parker). What’ll it be?

Gran Torino


A crabby old man comes to terms with his racial insensitivities (and comes to blows with a local gang of thugs) in Gran Torino, a film that showed us not only that director-producer Clint Eastwood still has it, but also that even a septuagenarian can be a shotgun-wielding antihero in the 21st century. Eastwood stars as the grizzled war veteran Walt Kowalski, a widower who develops a tenuous friendship with the Hmong family that lives next door while defending them from a local gang. Despite dipping into tongue-in-cheek comedy, this violent melodrama works on the sheer strength of Eastwood’s performance; catch Eastwood relaying his own Gran Torino experience on a Blu-ray-exclusive special feature.

Next: Harrison Ford in Crossing Over

Crossing Over


Speaking of old men, Crossing Over stars Harrison Ford in Wayne Kramer‘s mishmash of a melodramatic tale about people from all walks of life (illegally) seeking the American Dream. As a Los Angeles immigration agent, Ford stumbles across — or, as always in this type of familiar LA tale, crashes into — one illegal immigrant after another, from a desperate deported mother (Alice Braga) to a British musician (Across the Universe‘s Jim Sturgess) and his Australian girlfriend (Alice Eve) who herself is sleeping with an ICE officer in exchange for legal status (Ray Liotta). Then you’ve got the Bangladeshi student (Summer Bishil), the Korean kid (Twilight‘s Justin Chon), an irate Iranian (Cliff Curtis), and Ashley Judd. Critics pummeled the heavy-handed drama, which director Kramer and studio execs notoriously squabbled over; no special features are included in the disc.

Next: Fired Up: raunchy but watchable?

Fired Up!


When two high school jocks decide to chase girls all the way to cheerleader camp one summer, does hilarity ensue? That depends on your tolerance for well meaning-but-flat jokes, as critics decreed that Fired Up! tries hard but ultimately fails to capture anything but raunchy, formulaic comedy. With rated-R gags reworked to fit into a PG-13 rating, Fired Up! might appeal to those who snicker at sex jokes and the name Freedom Jones (which is the apparently made-up person credited with the film’s script); a generous helping of funny bonus features and an audio commentary by director Will Gluck and actors Nicholas D’Agostino and Eric Christian Olsen actually make this a watchable, if juvenile, DVD offering. After all, what do those initials spell?

Next: Clive Owen battles an evil bank in The International

Dancing close to the edge of Freshness, this Clive OwenNaomi Watts thriller is the perfect movie to watch on DVD — you know, the kind of flick that you pass over in theaters and figure you’ll see eventually. Director Tom Tykwer (Run, Lola, Run) injects his signature frenetic energy into the story of an Interpol agent (Owen) and a NYC district attorney (Watts) trying to take down a global financial conglomerate. And in these tough economic times, who can’t relate to fighting back against a villainous bank? While some of the story unfolds rather slowly, one show-stopping set piece shootout in the middle of the Guggenheim museum will leave you breathless. See how they did it in one of a handful of featurettes, which accompany a single deleted scene, filmmaker commentary, and more.

Next: Strike bowls a gutter ball


— N/A

Have you been wondering where Tara Reid, Robert Carradine, and Robyn Lively had disappeared to? We found them all in this direct-to-DVD sports comedy, about a slacker actor who flirts with fame and fortune as a professional bowler, only to destroy his personal relationships in the process. It’s a comedy, see? Unfortunately, we’ve seen this formula before (remember Kingpin?) and with a lower budget and newbie filmmakers at the helm, it doesn’t even come close to striking gold — more like a turkey, but not the good kind.

Next: Sarah Jessica Parker Spinning a clunker

Sarah Jessica Parker toplines this misfire adapted from Rebecca Gilman’s celebrated 1999 play of the same name, but the success of said original play might just be what’s wrong with the film. Director Mark Brokaw seems to cater too much to the play’s stagey plotting, and the result is a stilted, forced meditation on racism and denial. Parker stars as Sarah Daniels, Dean of Students at a liberal Vermont college who takes it upon herself to champion a campus forum to discuss race relations in the mostly white campus community; as tensions rise, the cast of one-dimensional characters take their turn atop the cinematic soapbox in an attempt to confront the ugliness of prejudice head on, though Brokaw’s ineffective direction and a monologue-driven script make for a painful movie watching experience.

Next: An exclusive look at Eliza Dushku in Nobel Son

Nobel Son — 25%

The makers of this indie thriller describe it as having “so many twists it could make David Mamet blush,” to which we ask, would that really be a good thing? Bryan Greenburg (One Tree Hill) stars as Barkley Michaelson, the nerdy PhD student son of a brilliant, if terrible, Nobel Prize-winning scientist (Alan Rickman). When Barkley scores a date with a hot poet named City Hall (Eliza Dushku), it seems like his night’s off to a great start — that is, until he’s kidnapped by Shawn Hatosy, tortured, and held for a ransom that his father refuses to pay. Lots of twists, turns, and cannibalism come into play in the over-stylized thriller, which also features appearances by Danny DeVito, Mary Steenburgen, Ted Danson, Bill Pullman, and Ernie Hudson.

Next: The ’70s will never die as long as you have Woodstock on DVD/Blu-ray!

Hippies old and new should take a look at the 40th Anniversary Director’s Cut of this seminal rock documentary, which captured the three-day 1969 love fest in upstate New York that served as a touchstone for an entire generation. The newly remastered version of director Michael Wadleigh’s film — edited by the likes of Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker — also contains an extra hour of never before seen concert footage and is a must-own for former flower children and fans of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, Jefferson Airplane, and the 20-odd musical performers who took the stage. Blu-ray owners have the added benefit of building interactive playlists that can be shared with other BD viewers.

Until next week, happy renting!

Tag Cloud

TV Land GoT The Walking Dead Britbox HBO Elton John spain Ovation diversity ABC Family Toys political drama transformers psychological thriller series National Geographic spy thriller Masterpiece witnail reboot Amazon Prime Best and Worst Mary poppins Starz travel romance cinemax twilight PaleyFest spinoff facebook Countdown Shondaland 4/20 Year in Review American Society of Cinematographers TBS Disney streaming service ABC teaser cults Trailer Schedule richard e. Grant HBO Max spider-man Food Network screen actors guild indie Discovery Channel medical drama Lucasfilm Nat Geo stand-up comedy science fiction TNT 20th Century Fox game show Grammys Tumblr comic Walt Disney Pictures miniseries composers Martial Arts dramedy First Look nature DC Universe best politics aliens ratings book Funimation Rocky renewed TV shows Tubi sports Premiere Dates directors casting Avengers Family The Witch anime indiana jones 2019 reviews A&E revenge spanish language Turner Classic Movies Marvel A24 BAFTA See It Skip It chucky zero dark thirty versus crossover Tomatazos Set visit zombies Epix Pet Sematary social media foreign Spring TV Summer Film Festival Lionsgate Paramount Network BBC America Disney DC Comics BBC One Calendar cancelled TV series YouTube Red LGBTQ History TCA 2017 Podcast Endgame Captain marvel technology BBC MTV anthology SXSW docudrama Rom-Com free movies Turner Musical Ellie Kemper halloween Sundance Now sag awards comiccon MCU ghosts supernatural streaming serial killer E3 cancelled TV shows Awards Tour elevated horror universal monsters werewolf NBC USA Network Quiz E! thriller screenings Lifetime Christmas movies mutant Hulu zombie dc based on movie nbcuniversal Comedy Central independent award winner Sneak Peek Reality Academy Awards 45 Nickelodeon TruTV Rock 24 frames Comics on TV Hallmark Christmas movies mockumentary Christmas worst BET Extras YouTube NYCC Comic Book DGA vampires Photos Disney+ Disney Plus HBO Go Amazon Studios Marvel Studios television President TCA Awards talk show Red Carpet Reality Competition dceu Sony Pictures justice league hist MSNBC Writers Guild of America Mary Poppins Returns 007 Adult Swim concert Opinion dragons Holidays cancelled television Super Bowl FXX fast and furious The Purge Horror Arrowverse The CW Box Office Netflix PBS space critics theme song Paramount Song of Ice and Fire adaptation Classic Film CNN Emmy Nominations TIFF satire Universal TCM green book cats Emmys Pixar Cannes Country canceled biography RT History Mindy Kaling Television Critics Association Chilling Adventures of Sabrina strong female leads emmy awards Heroines crime drama Certified Fresh news Ghostbusters Sundance Shudder Dark Horse Comics Travel Channel Logo Superheroes DirecTV sitcom LGBT Apple Polls and Games DC streaming service 2020 Hear Us Out 21st Century Fox Infographic movies Brie Larson Mary Tyler Moore parents OWN Music 2017 joker Western Marathons El Rey jamie lee curtis quibi The Arrangement Tarantino sequels Animation toy story Comedy Amazon festivals harry potter IFC cars Drama CMT TLC adventure Election APB cooking Apple TV+ GLAAD YouTube Premium Teen finale Sundance TV X-Men Valentine's Day true crime Watching Series Mudbound criterion Trivia Stephen King Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 2018 Black History Month Television Academy CW Seed stoner Anna Paquin PlayStation discovery Spike singing competition Peacock SDCC ITV Interview Baby Yoda FX VICE Biopics Fox News Lifetime AMC hispanic Showtime rotten video Film Columbia Pictures golden globes Freeform TCA Winter 2020 obituary mission: impossible WGN TV die hard what to watch boxoffice Syfy franchise Star Trek scary movies OneApp Amazon Prime Video TV renewals Trophy Talk Esquire Black Mirror Mystery FX on Hulu police drama Fall TV batman disaster ESPN Superheroe children's TV Disney Plus IFC Films christmas movies asian-american binge cancelled documentaries Hallmark SundanceTV 71st Emmy Awards war Apple TV Plus crime Marvel Television Holiday canceled TV shows rotten movies we love Cosplay Character Guide dark USA slashers Pop TV latino comics historical drama CBS All Access superhero unscripted YA Winners VH1 72 Emmy Awards Vudu Action south america Kids & Family tv talk Disney Channel Awards 2016 doctor who Winter TV classics all-time Acorn TV psycho blaxploitation San Diego Comic-Con VOD Women's History Month child's play Fantasy Star Wars FOX Spectrum Originals Crunchyroll name the review Bravo 2015 RT21 romantic comedy Cartoon Network robots movie hollywood a nightmare on elm street dogs Netflix Christmas movies breaking bad Creative Arts Emmys blockbuster Chernobyl WarnerMedia documentary Sci-Fi Pop Crackle game of thrones First Reviews video on demand comedies films Oscars BET Awards Pirates stop motion Musicals Thanksgiving TCA period drama crime thriller Nominations animated kids sequel Rocketman laika cops New York Comic Con GIFs Binge Guide CBS cartoon Warner Bros. Video Games natural history Pride Month