RT on DVD: Knowing, Push, The Unborn Unleashed

Plus, rapper-director Sticky Fingaz's mind-blowing debut trailer, Reno 911 and more!

by | July 6, 2009 | Comments

It’s a genre lover’s feast this week on DVD, but don’t say we didn’t warn you about those pesky rotten Tomatometers. First up? Alex Proyas’s latest science fiction thriller, starring Nicolas Cage in a doomsday scenario (Knowing). Also new is a would-be franchise about super-powered humans on the lam from shady government types (Push, starring Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning). David S. Goyer tries his hand at an original story, resulting in silly, PG-13 horror (The Unborn), while one of our favorite ’90s rappers gives directing a shot (A Day in The Life, filmed entirely in rhyme!). If all else fails, look backward to a handful of older titles getting a shiny new polish (Beau Geste, The Deep on Blu-ray). Dig in!



Unless you’re an avowed Alex Proyas fan, his latest science fiction thriller, Knowing, is likely to underwhelm. (But who knows? Roger Ebert, one of the lone critics to champion Proyas’s Dark City, found Knowing to be “frightening, suspenseful, [and] intelligent.”) Most critics agreed that Knowing — about a professor (Nicolas Cage) who discovers that a series of numerical codes have predicted major disasters for decades, with more to come — is simultaneously absurd and overly serious, although its CG-enhanced set pieces are a wonder to behold. Silly or no, those spectacular subway and plane crash scenes will, morbidly, look great on Blu-ray; glean insights from Proyas himself in a commentary track and behind-the-scenes featurettes on the making of the film.

Next: Dakota Fanning, superhero? Push hits DVD



Hearken back to February of this year, and you might remember a little sci-fi actioner called Push, a Hong Kong-set superhero tale of sorts about a ragtag band of super-powered young people (Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, and Camilla Belle) on the run from a shadowy organization called The Division (led by Djimon Hounsou). After a mild box office performance, Push seems unlikely to spawn its intended film sequels (the last in a set of comic book prequels were published upon release), so look on it as a sort of failed experiment in science fiction franchise-making; where did it go wrong? Director Paul McGuigan‘s (Lucky Number Slevin) hyperkinetic direction? The convoluted plot? The audience’s impatience for the over-tread ground of average Joes discovering super powers and fighting off shady government types? Truth be told, McGuigan gives the material a distinct stylistic flair; listen to his musings on production on a commentary track, joined by stars Evans and Fanning.

Next: David S. Goyer’s original horror concept: The Unborn

The Unborn


As David Goyer warns in his latest film, The Unborn, beware the dybbuk! Wait, you ask, what’s a dybbuk? Well, it’s a demon. A Jewish demon that possesses humans. Like, to gain access in to the human world. So, yeah, The Unborn is about a Jewish demon. Goyer, best known for adapting beloved comic book properties into major motion pictures (The Crow: City of Angels, Blade, Batman Begins) hit upon the concept for The Unborn by combining otherwise unrelated historical, scientific, and mystical ideas — the Jewish dybbuk, Nazi experimentation, genetic twin phenomena, and of course, creepy kids and hot girls –resulting in this silly PG-13 genre exercise. Odette Yustman stars as Casey, a coed who fears a demon is trying to possess her; Gary Oldman, Idris Elba, Cam Gigandet and Meagan Good try to help her, with varying degrees of success.

Next: Reno 911! Sixth Season hits DVD!

The inept deputies of the Reno Sheriff’s Department carry on after tragic Season 5 losses from their ranks in Season Six, which picks up with a memorial to fallen Officers Garcia (Carlos Alazraqui), Johnson (Wendi McLendon-Covey), and Kimball (Mary Birdsong). In true Reno 911! fashion, more escapades ensue as the Reno cops, led by Lt. Dangle (Thomas Lennon), welcome new officers and encounter guest stars old and new (Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, the Human Giant comedy troupe). Get all 15 episodes uncensored along with outtakes, deleted scenes, and commentary tracks.

Next: Universal releases four classic films, including Ali Baba and Beau Geste

This week, Universal releases four new reissues from their Universal Backlot Series, which has become a great way to reacquaint yourself with (or, discover for the first time) some classic catalog titles. In 1936’s The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (Tomatometer N/A), an Appalachian family feud gets in the way of romance — and industrialization — as Henry Fonda and Fred MacMurray vie for the same woman. The Western genre takes on a wistful sheen in 1962’s Lonely are the Brave (89%), which stars Kirk Douglas as a cowboy living off the grid, pursued by a sheriff (Walter Matthau) in a film scripted by Dalton Trumbo. Shot in “glorious” Technicolor, the 1944 spectacle film Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (N/A) is a sumptuous, if camp, adventure starring the exotic screen star Maria Montez. Finally, check out Beau Geste (100%), the 1939 classic about a trio of French Legionnaire brothers harboring a secret, starring Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, and Robert Preston.

Next: Leelee Sobieski, Steve Zahn, and Danny Glover are strangers on a Night Train

Night Train — N/A

Pandora’s Box meets Murder on the Orient Express in Night Train, a direct-to-DVD thriller about greed and murder among strangers who find a mysterious box in the possession of a dead man on an overnight train. Danny Glover stars as the conflicted conductor, who along with Leelee Sobieski and her Joyride co-star Steve Zahn, wrestles with his conscience over the jeweled contents of the wooden puzzle box. (shades of Hellraiser, anyone?) Making-of features accompany the film.

Next: Jacqueline Bisset in The Deep, in High Definition!

A scuba-diving couple (Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bisset) discovers a sunken ship full of treasure — and valuable drugs — in this 1977 underwater thriller from director Peter Yates (Breaking Away, Bullitt). Based on Peter Benchley’s novel of the same name, The Deep suffered from comparisons to Benchley’s other deep sea tale — a little story called Jaws — but features a watchable cast (including Robert Shaw, Louis Gossett, Jr. , and Eli Wallach) and blazed the trail for an entire genre of underwater, treasure-hunting films. (Into the Blue? Not very original.) A handful of additional scenes and a lengthy making-of feature make this a fair release for retro film aficionados.

Next: Rapper-turned-actor makes his star-studded directorial debut!

You might remember him best from the 1993 hit single “Slam,” courtesy of his rap group Onyx, but hip-hop-artist-turned-actor Sticky Fingaz (AKA Kirk Jones) has been involved in film and television almost as long. This week, Mr. Fingaz makes his directorial debut with A Day in the Life, a crime saga in which every line — yes, even those spoken by the narrator in this ought-to-be-red band trailer — are rhymed. As in, rapped! Given the impressive cast listing, seemingly comprised of everyone Sticky Fingaz knows in showbiz (including Omar Epps, Mekhi Phifer, Bokeem Woodbine, Faizon Love, Michael Rapaport, Kurupt, Treach, and fellow Onyx musician Fredro Starr), we were a little disappointed by the production values and silly, gratuitous violence on view in the aforementioned trailer. Then again, Fingaz gets points for having the guts to add some realism to the classic movie cliché of the runaway stroller (watch at the 2:32 mark)!

Until next week, happy renting!

Tag Cloud

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