RT on DVD: The Brave One, Assassination of Jesse James Fire Onto DVD

A selection of star turns in this week's releases.

by | February 4, 2008 | Comments

It’s a week of bravura performances among new releases, so pick your favorite headliner and go: Jodie Foster going vigilante (The Brave One), Casey Affleck turning traitor (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), or Cate Blanchett reigning supreme (Elizabeth: The Golden Age).

The Brave One

Tomatometer: 43%

Vigilante justice has a petite new heroine in Jodie Foster, who stars in and executive produced The Brave One. The victim of a random act of violence, nighttime radio host Erica Bain (Foster) survives but loses her fiancé (Lost‘s Naveen Andrews); arming herself with a gun, she finds her bloodlust increasing as she becomes the city’s mysterious dark angel while a cop (Terrence Howard) begins to piece together the puzzle. But despite a Golden Globes-nominated performance by Foster, critics were split; whether you’ll enjoy it may depend on your preference for exploitation films or intellectual character studies.


The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Tomatometer: 75%

Turning in his second stellar performance of the year (after starring in brother Ben Affleck‘s Gone Baby Gone) is Casey Affleck, who plays titular gunman Robert Ford to Brad Pitt‘s outlaw Jesse James in Andrew Dominik‘s poetic Western. The true story of James’ death is fascinating in itself — James, famous for leading a gang of bank robbers with his brother Frank, was shot in the back by a member of his own inner circle. Dominik’s adaptation of Ron Hansen’s novel applies a dual focus to both Jesse James and his killer, “Bob” Ford, allowing the film to become not only a historical retelling but a meditation on self-destruction and celebrity. If you love the visual daring of Terrence Malick, and wonder what the heck happened to Britney Spears, this should make for an intriguing time.


Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Tomatometer: 34%

Proving that critics can overwhelmingly scold a film but the Academy of Motion Picture and Sciences will still deem it Oscar-worthy, Shekhar Kapur‘s follow-up to 1998’s Elizabeth finds the Virgin Queen (double-Oscar nominee Cate Blanchett) on the brink of war with Spain and dealing with her own forbidden attraction to the roguish Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen). Viewers hungry for the film’s sumptuous production design and costumes will enjoy a bonus menu of behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, and Kapur’s feature-length commentary.


Across the Universe

Tomatometer: 53%

The music catalog of the Fab Four has been used before to illustrate a storyline — we’ll forgive Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees their abuse of the Beatles’ songbook in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band — but writer-director Julie Taymor makes magnificently poppy use of it in this splashy, epic musical. Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess star as young lovers who along with their friends get swept along with pivotal events of the 1960s (race riots, bohemia, Vietnam) via song, every number inventively designed to borrow meaning from the lyrics of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

2 Days in Paris

Tomatometer: 87%

Julie Delpy stars in her writing and directing debut about a dysfunctional couple (Delpy and Adam Goldberg) at the tail end of a vacation, and possibly their relationship, spending the titular time in the City of Love. Critics found the comedy of relationship errors sharply observed and charming; also of interest on the DVD release is a 16-minute interview with Delpy, who not only wrote and directed the film, but served as composer and producer.

Fierce People

Tomatometer: 23%

Teenager Finn (Anton Yelchin) would rather spend his summer studying the “fierce people” of South America with his anthropologist father, but must accompany his mother (Diane Lane) to live among the country club set with her former client (Donald Sutherland), based on the novel by Dirk Wittenborn.


Tomatometer: 24%

Rosario Dawson plays a co-ed rape victim who overcomes her subsequent social and psychological withdrawal to seek revenge upon her attacker; despite Dawson’s noble performance, critics can’t forgive the story its artful pretension or its degrading conclusion.

The Ten Commandments

Tomatometer: 16%

This week’s pick of CG offerings is also the number one choice for camp value: an all-new cartoon version of The Ten Commandments, featuring Christian Slater as Moses! Unfortunately (rather, even more unfortunately) the familiar tale of Red Sea-parting and tablets from God is poorly animated…giving voice actors Slater, Alfred Molina (Rameses), Elliott Gould (God) and Ben Kingsley (Narrator) an even harder sell.

‘Til next week, happy renting!

Tag Cloud

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