RT on DVD: High School Musical 3 or Midnight Meat Train?

Plus, Quarantine, Body of Lies, Changeling, Religulous, and more.

by | February 16, 2009 | Comments

It’s a good week for mediocre films (Body of Lies, Changeling, Quarantine and Flash of Genius, all walking a fine line between Fresh and Rotten) and an even better one if you’re a Wildcat fan (High School Musical 3: Senior Year)! Horror fans have an enticing two-fer to consider (Quarantine and the better-reviewed Midnight Meat Train), while left-wingers get the political Borat (Bill Maher’s Religulous). See what else is new this week on DVD.

If there’s a tween or teen girl in your family, chances are they’ll be on their best behavior this week in hopes of snagging the third and final chapter of Disney’s High School Musical franchise, which comes to home video in three different piggy bank-draining versions. Should the kids spring for a single-disc’s worth of Troy Bolton, a double-disc DVD, or go all the way to Blu?

We recommend picking up the 2-disc DVD over the single-disc because, let’s face it, if you’re going to buy High School Musical 3, you might as well get more bang for your buck. Where only a single bonus feature appears on the single-disc DVD, more featurettes, bloopers, deleted scenes, and a sing along bolster the 2-disc and enrich the musical tale of PG-rated teen angst (Play basketball or be in the school play? Start college early or go to prom?). It also includes a digital copy of the extended cut of the film. EXTENDED CUT — that means even more Wildcat singing and dancing!!!

Blu-ray buyers get all of the above, plus a few additional featurettes and the wonderment of seeing Vanessa Hudgens’ Neutrogena-sponsored pores in high definition.

Below, check out two exclusive behind-the-scenes clips in which the HSM3 cast learns to waltz and Zac Efron learns the ropes behind the camera. Is a career change in order?

Next: Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies falls short of Fresh

2. Body of Lies — 51%

Despite boasting the combined powers of Leonardo di Caprio, Russell Crowe, Departed screenwriter William Monahan and celebrated director Ridley Scott, Body of Lies was brimming with more promise than it ultimately delivered. Critics were split neatly down the middle on this politically-charged thriller about a CIA agent (Di Caprio) enmeshed in a Jordanian anti-terror plot; even with its solid cast (including scene-stealer Mark Strong as the head of Jordanian intel), Body of Lies couldn’t truly deliver. While the Blu-ray release comes packed with an enviable amount of bonus material (some of which must be played as interruptions to the film, instead of Picture-in-Picture), a commentary track by Scott, Monahan, and original author David Ignatius will do just fine, and appears along with a few featurettes on the standard disc release.

Next: Clint Eastwood’s Changeling

3. Changeling — 61%

One of the lowest-rated films to be nominated for an Academy Award this year (thanks to Angelina Jolie’s Best Actress nomination, plus nods for Cinematography and Art Direction), Changeling should be an intriguing pick up for Oscar prognosticators this week. Directed by Clint Eastwood, Changeling tells the story of a working class mother who loses her child in 1928, only to be told months later by insistent cops that another boy is her son. Conventionally-told but compelling nonetheless, this should be an interesting rental for anyone who missed the film in theaters; in addition to two making-of featurettes on the standard release, the Blu-ray disc contains archival materials of the real-life story upon which Changeling is based, plus a feature that compares the Los Angeles-area period settings to their modern day locations.

Next: Flash of Genius not so genius

4. Flash of Genius — 57%

Period biographical pictures about men struggling on the brink of greatness sometimes do well (A Beautiful Mind, Tucker: The Man and His Dream) and sometimes fall short of the mark. Unfortunately, Marc Abraham’s Flash of Genius — the true story of Robert Kearns (Greg Kinnear), who invented the intermittent windshield wiper in 1967 — is of the latter category, earning middling marks from critics on its way to DVD shelves. If windshield wipers (or Kinnear’s co-star, the awesome Lauren Graham) intrigue you, we recommend a rental, though beware that only a director commentary and deleted scenes accompany the film. Universal is also releasing Flash of Genius day-and-date On Demand.

Next: Dakota Fanning in Hounddog

5. Hounddog — 17%

Even I’m getting tired of referring to Hounddog as “The Dakota Fanning Rape Movie,” so let’s accept the fact of its early and lasting reputation and move on, shall we? Hounddog stars the then- 12-year-old Fanning as a Southern tomboy in the 1950s with a fondness for Elvis; when the controversial event occurs, she finds comfort and redemption in the blues. Deborah Kampmeier’s drama made waves at Sundance, though most reviews were overwhelmingly negative; try and let that stop you from indulging your morbid curiosity.

Next: Simon Pegg loses friends and alienates people

As in The Devil Wears Prada, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People aims to satirize an insider industry with a lead character begrudgingly working their way up the corporate ladder — only this time it’s not Anne Hathaway, it’s British comic actor Simon Pegg, and his work is in entertainment journalism, not fashion. Critics were mostly un-amused by this slap-sticky adaptation of former Vanity Fair contributor Toby Young’s memoirs, citing an irregular tone, too much crudeness, and a mediocre script. However, a feature-length commentary with director Robert D. Weide and star Pegg accompanies the disc, which might be worth a gander thanks to the always-amusing (in real life, anyway) Pegg.

Next: I Served the King of England

Czech New Wave director Jiri Menzel (Closely Watched Trains) returns to form with this World War II-set dramedy about an ambitious waiter whose personal fortunes rise and fall as the country succumbs to the Nazis, then the Communist party, in the mid-20th century. This multiple festival award-winner, based on the novel by Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal, is the week’s standout Certified Fresh release.

Next: Clive Barker’s Midnight Meat Train

When Lionsgate unceremoniously dumped Midnight Meat Train into a very limited theatrical run last summer, horror fans were outraged, and rightly so; the adaptation of a Clive Barker short story was actually Fresh — so why hide it from the movie-going public? This month, Midnight Meat Train finally makes it to DVD, and those eagerly anticipating the Ryuhei Kitamura-directed slasher can take solace in the fact that they can finally see the tale in a DVD-only unrated cut. Bradley Cooper (He’s Just Not That Into You, Wedding Crashers) stars as a shutterbug on the trail of a subway killer (Vinnie Jones); three featurettes accompany the film.

Next: Hollywood remakes Spanish horror with Quarantine

9. Quarantine — 59%

A television reporter (Jennifer Carpenter) and her cameraman (Steve Harris) are the only people able to document the mysterious happenings inside a Los Angeles apartment building in this remake of the Spanish horror film, REC (94%). Atmospheric scares enhance this Blair Witch-styled tale, although critics agreed it fell short of the mark of the original. Director John Erick Dowdle and producer Drew Dowdle, who co-wrote the screenplay, contribute a commentary track, while additional features flesh out the bonus menu.

Next: Bill Maher meets Borat in Religulous

10. Religulous –71%

When director Larry Charles teamed up with Sacha Baron Cohen, the result was Borat. When he joined forces with Bill Maher, the result was Religulous, a comedy-documentary whose main focus is to satirize organized religion, and satirize it hard. A commentary track in which Charles and Maher explain their filmmaking methods and experiences highlights the extras.

Until next week, happy renting!

Tag Cloud

cancelled TV series TIFF Musicals christmas movies chucky royal family criterion deadpool Rock pirates of the caribbean legend action-comedy Britbox true crime Rom-Com TV renewals History TCA Winter 2020 spy thriller 90s latino Super Bowl batman USA rom-coms 73rd Emmy Awards Ellie Kemper PlayStation Syfy game of thrones Discovery Channel Extras Sundance movies The Academy FOX Tumblr SXSW Tarantino Television Academy Ghostbusters razzies TruTV worst NBC Disney+ Disney Plus book Sneak Peek concert BET biography ABC Family NYCC comic book movies TV directors Country fresh Best and Worst dc DGA Exclusive Video streaming movies Grammys Oscars target Fox News technology dark posters Tomatazos docuseries reboot australia VICE dogs USA Network Calendar Polls and Games Superheroes historical drama Rocky disaster 24 frames feel good Christmas Crackle blockbuster psychological thriller Trophy Talk Mindy Kaling Video Games dramedy CW Seed adaptation AMC Columbia Pictures GoT Teen television prank spider-man Shondaland Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Ovation Sony Pictures New York Comic Con Black History Month best Lucasfilm Election adenture movie Turner Classic Movies 2016 blaxploitation FX TCA 2017 Red Carpet Peacock sequels hispanic heritage month Walt Disney Pictures Tokyo Olympics Food Network marvel comics Paramount Plus Opinion Netflix 71st Emmy Awards HBO cancelled television MSNBC screenings MTV cancelled rt labs critics edition Sundance Now Emmy Nominations halloween blockbusters lord of the rings children's TV Song of Ice and Fire Film Festival scorecard Box Office Animation Quiz Brie Larson Marvel Television TV Land Amazon Prime sag awards high school Masterpiece gangster Comedy PBS die hard new star wars movies mission: impossible 45 versus obituary king kong Pixar Universal Disney documentaries Spring TV First Look ratings BBC America Lifetime comics Hear Us Out Turner LGBT sequel women Image Comics CBS Pet Sematary rotten olympics American Society of Cinematographers archives anime Black Mirror harry potter Reality biopic Mary Poppins Returns crime thriller Hallmark Christmas movies Podcast mockumentary festival game show Nominations The Arrangement talk show Certified Fresh nfl unscripted canceled First Reviews LGBTQ Photos animated Marvel Family 2019 Superheroe Sundance TV Heroines Watching Series San Diego Comic-Con laika OneApp tv talk 21st Century Fox quibi Marathons Film 2020 Nat Geo RT21 2021 ghosts RT History Netflix Christmas movies politics adventure DirecTV Dark Horse Comics child's play romance El Rey Mary Tyler Moore Music DC streaming service green book VH1 Stephen King BBC Anna Paquin Western dexter remakes based on movie classics Classic Film Fox Searchlight 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Summer Pop mcc indiana jones IFC Films nature BET Awards A24 zombies Fall TV boxoffice Bravo Schedule Fantasy series know your critic singing competition CMT Pacific Islander CBS All Access aliens Academy Awards Disney Plus Star Wars toronto trailers aapi saw Apple TV+ Starz halloween tv spanish language elevated horror sports GLAAD CNN miniseries Warner Bros. BAFTA YA Cannes TLC Spike parents kong festivals critic resources Paramount Network 93rd Oscars cops natural history hist rt labs james bond cats Paramount Reality Competition football Showtime Adult Swim diversity award winner Comic Book satire revenge golden globes The Purge new zealand The Walking Dead casting 1990s Comics on TV space Hallmark spinoff Pirates theme song doctor who Amazon Studios stoner APB SDCC critics FX on Hulu Acorn TV Awards Tour Kids & Family Emmys Countdown comiccon Holidays PaleyFest Amazon toy story marvel cinematic universe comic book movie canceled TV shows teaser Trailer Toys all-time political drama Apple TV Plus TBS See It Skip It Interview Action FXX Trivia franchise Amazon Prime Video indie docudrama Nickelodeon king arthur 20th Century Fox south america superman Crunchyroll what to watch X-Men Disney Channel godzilla Character Guide crossover Premiere Dates psycho basketball Binge Guide President Disney streaming service binge Television Critics Association films TCA Awards Shudder jurassic park Logo japan Avengers Musical new york Spectrum Originals spain universal monsters strong female leads Pride Month WGN renewed TV shows discovery TV One monster movies Star Trek IFC Pop TV popular live action heist movie 2018 news YouTube international Awards Alien twilight justice league Cosplay Arrowverse BBC One vampires Elton John kids stop motion comic books telelvision emmy awards slashers comedies The Walt Disney Company YouTube Premium Writers Guild of America 72 Emmy Awards japanese Baby Yoda zombie superhero fast and furious Travel Channel OWN worst movies cooking Women's History Month independent ABC Signature period drama Set visit Tubi hidden camera medical drama reviews scary movies social media Biopics scene in color Funimation robots zero dark thirty facebook transformers jamie lee curtis 2015 cancelled TV shows National Geographic rotten movies we love kaiju E! free movies cults ID Vudu TNT dceu Epix DC Universe wonder woman HBO Max asian-american young adult werewolf Horror DC Comics Sci-Fi Comic-Con@Home 2021 ABC Thanksgiving ITV book adaptation ViacomCBS Broadway Rocketman hollywood Apple Marvel Studios comic Captain marvel name the review YouTube Red Freeform Mary poppins 99% police drama The CW sitcom Winners cartoon Year in Review rt archives video Lifetime Christmas movies richard e. Grant cinemax Legendary italian The Witch TV movies cars Comedy Central 2017 war video on demand WarnerMedia venice screen actors guild foreign TCM Creative Arts Emmys boxing Endgame black composers Valentine's Day nbcuniversal golden globe awards Winter TV Holiday Mudbound slasher Wes Anderson crime anthology science fiction thriller finale witnail french Drama crime drama Cartoon Network ESPN dragons documentary 007 NBA a nightmare on elm street travel VOD romantic comedy Hulu Infographic spanish Mystery TCA debate joker breaking bad stand-up comedy serial killer suspense Chilling Adventures of Sabrina SundanceTV Esquire MCU supernatural GIFs Chernobyl E3 Lionsgate Martial Arts mutant HBO Go streaming hispanic 4/20 A&E