RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Midnight in Paris and Warrior

Plus, an inspirational kid flick, a timely financial drama, a couple of thrillers, and a Japanese oddity.

by | December 19, 2011 | Comments

This week in home video, a number of notable new releases are hitting store shelves. First up, we’ve got a couple of films that have already generated a bit of awards buzz: Woody Allen’s latest (Midnight in Paris) and an MMA drama (Warrior). Then, we’ve got a Certified Fresh inspirational kid flick, a couple of thrillers, a timely financial drama, a British coming of age tale, a dark comedy, and a movie from Japan that sort of defies categorization. Check out the full list below!

Midnight in Paris

93%

Even at this late stage of his career, Woody Allen is capable of wringing a few surprises out of his trademark formula, and Midnight in Paris is a treat for Allen’s fans and romantics alike, a comedy about wish fulfillment that’s magical and touching. Owen Wilson stars as an aspiring novelist who, on a trip to Paris with his fiancée, is transported back to the city’s Jazz Age, sharing drinks with Salvador Dali, getting advice from Ernest Hemingway, and finding romance with a beautiful scenester (Marion Cotillard). But is our hero’s idealized 1920s Paris all that it’s cracked up to be? And is his fantasy incompatible with the real world? Wilson is one of the best Woody Allen surrogates ever, with his boundless enthusiasm for the dreamy Paris of yesteryear, and the critics were mostly charmed by the movie’s sweetness.

Warrior

84%

The sport of Mixed Martial Arts has come a long way since the early 1990s, when it established more global, mainstream exposure. Now, its fighters make millions, fans who once ordered boxing matches on Pay Per View are huddling around their televisions for UFC events, and critically acclaimed films about the sport are being made. Case in point: this year’s Warrior, starring Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, and Nick Nolte. The story centers on estranged brothers Tommy and Brendan (Hardy and Edgerton, respectively), who, unbeknownst to each other, both enter as competitors in an important MMA tournament with noble intentions. Tommy enlists the help of his formerly abusive father (Nolte), and as the brothers work their way through the ranks, it becomes apparent that they are destined to fight each other. Despite relying on familiar clichés of the genre, Warrior has managed to transcend its own limitations with gripping action, heart, and powerful acting (Nick Nolte has already generated some awards season buzz for his performance), and it currently holds a Certified Fresh 83% on the Tomatometer.

Dolphin Tale

82%

Inspirational stories aimed at a younger demographic and featuring exceptional animals are far from original, but every once in a while, one will come along that somehow manages to capture a genuine winning spirit. Dolphin Tale, based on true events, is one such movie. The film centers on Winter, a rescued dolphin whose tail is deformed by a crab trap, and the humans — including Morgan Freeman as a prosthetics specialist — whose pioneering efforts and moral support help her to overcome her physical challenges. Critics found Dolphin Tale to be an earnest, sweet, and well-told story enjoyable enough for kids and parents alike, thanks in part to the decision to dial down the schmaltz, and it currently sits at a Certified Fresh 84%. Probably a safe bet if you’re looking for something uplifting for the kids that won’t bore you to tears in the process.

Colombiana

27%

A handful of French filmmaker Luc Besson’s most famous films betray his penchant for femmes fatale, titles like La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element, The Messenger, and, to an extent, Leon: The Professional. With Colombiana, which Besson wrote and produced, he returns to the genre with the help of director Olivier Megaton, and critics say the result is uneven. Zoe Saldana plays a Colombian woman whose family was murdered by mobsters when she was young. Now, as a grown woman and a ruthless assassin, she sets out on a path for revenge. If the plot sounds familiar, it’s probably because the premise is sort of a staple of the revenge thriller, and though Saldana gives the performance her all, critics say there just isn’t enough to set Colombiana apart. At 28% on the Tomatometer, the movie not only fails to make an impression, but also suffers from erratic and sloppy filmmaking; it’ll probably leave you unsatisfied, but if you’ve liked any of Besson’s and Megaton’s recent work, you may still find something to enjoy here.

Straw Dogs

43%

Director Sam Peckinpah was a noted Hollywood maverick for his tendency to court controversy with films punctuated by explicit violence, and his 1971 film Straw Dogs is arguably the most famous of the bunch. Earlier this year, Rod Lurie wrote, produced, and directed a remake of Straw Dogs with James Marsden and Kate Bosworth in the lead roles of the victimized couple, and critics were none too impressed by his efforts. Marsden and Bosworth are David and Amy Sumner, a young married couple who decide to return to Amy’s Southern hometown after her father’s death to help prepare the family home for sale. In doing so, they enlist the help of Amy’s ex-boyfriend in fixing up the home, and lingering tensions build until David and Amy find themselves in a deadly confrontation with the locals. For what it’s worth, critics did feel that the remake succeeded in streamlining the original script a bit, but without the deft hand of Peckinpah at the helm, the film makes the mistake of celebrating its violence, rather than examining it. As such, Straw Dogs netted just a 42% Tomatometer score, and only those with a hankering for a bit of the old ultraviolence will find this a pleasing affair.

Margin Call

87%

Margin Call hit theaters just as Occupy Wall Street was gaining traction, and its timing couldn’t have been better. Set in a fictional investment bank (cough, Lehman Brothers), it’s the tale of a long night for the bank’s employees, who have come to realize that there may not be a firm — or much of an economy, for that matter — when the sun rises. It’s a meaty showcase for such top-notch thespians like Kevin Spacey, Zachary Quinto, Demi Moore, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci, Simon Baker, and Penn Badgley, each of who give nuance and humanity to their ne-percenter characters. It’s also a strong debut for director J.C. Chandor, who crafts a sleek corporate thriller that milks suspense and pathos out of a bunch of people in suits talking about stuff like mortgage backed securities and marked volatility.

Toast

62%

It’s romantic to imagine that people with exceptional talents also have exceptional stories to tell about those talents. In the case of English food journalist Nigel Slater, it’s somewhat true. Based on Slater’s autobiographical novel of the same name, Toast recounts the writer’s childhood growing up with an asthmatic mother who was such a poor cook that the only dish she ever mastered was, well, toast. When her illness finally gets the best of her, young Nigel and his father welcome a new addition to the family in the form of a housekeeper named Mrs. Potter (Helena Bonham Carter), who soon wins over Nigel’s father and engages Nigel himself in a sort of ongoing culinary rivalry. Toast was just a tad too saccharine for many critics, but it earned a 60% on the Tomatometer, just enough for those who liked it to praise its breezy humor, visual touches, and judicious use of Helena Bonham Carter’s talents. It’s an unusual coming of age story, but its charms may just work for some.

Burke and Hare

32%

Say you had to pick a director to helm a black comedy about 19th-century Scottish serial killers; John Landis would be a reasonable choice. But the Landis you’re dreaming of (with images of An American Werewolf in London dancing in your head) and the Landis of today (who hasn’t had a movie in theaters since 1998) are two very different people. So here lies Burke and Hare, a story of two friends (Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis) who sell their murder victims for scientific dissection, and a non-firing comeback special for Landis. Critics and audiences on either side of the pond rejected the film, considering it too uneven and unpleasant even for a movie about slicing bodies up. But as a document that captures an odd moment in Landis’s already odd career, and a moment in time when you could get both Simon Pegg (soon to be getting more roles now that Mission: Impossible is out) and Andy Serkis (already guaranteed immortalization from fanboys who think the Academy doesn’t give enough attention to guys playing walking, talking animals) in the same room, this movie is a compelling failure.

Love Exposure

91%

Standard movie runtime has been universally accepted at 90 to 120 minutes. Expand beyond that and you better give up the goods — robots, or war, or time travel, or stories of unrequited transdimensional love triangles. But a 237 minute movie about the art of upskirt photography? Now that’s bold. Such is the case with Love Exposure, a 2008 film by Sion Sono that has charming topics like lust, religion, and coming of age in a world where being a panty shot photographer is a normal thing. The film has had a long run of success at festivals (and Sono continues to make critically acclaimed films of high emotions), but its odd topic and story have kept it from reaching any audience in America — until now.

Tag Cloud

Song of Ice and Fire TBS interviews cops Star Trek obituary Super Bowl Fargo Comedy Marvel indiana jones SXSW 2022 21st Century Fox 20th Century Fox ID Lifetime Christmas movies period drama Animation spy thriller Mudbound Paramount Network 007 Drama strong female leads king arthur summer TV marvel comics Best Actress Certified Fresh latino ABC discovery christmas movies zombie doctor who NYCC dreamworks Best Actor comic book movie First Look The Walking Dead versus foreign Rock Photos werewolf unscripted Musicals Hollywood Foreign Press Association DGA Amazon Prime gangster Best and Worst cancelled TV shows American Society of Cinematographers Year in Review spanish cults PBS Bravo Thanksgiving TV halloween National Geographic Christmas Lionsgate Box Office WGN Video Games dceu green book Film Festival Writers Guild of America Ellie Kemper Winners debate twilight CBS All Access BBC America Black Mirror trailers Instagram Live kaiju mockumentary rt labs Masterpiece docuseries anime Premiere Dates king kong New York Comic Con cinemax canceled TV shows Logo Food Network elevated horror adventure Awards Comedy Central films marvel cinematic universe reboot cooking 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards dark 71st Emmy Awards Women's History Month genre Universal Pictures Wes Anderson Spring TV Apple TV+ deadpool Spectrum Originals talk show die hard Captain marvel blockbuster YouTube Red MTV 45 Emmys supernatural heist movie spanish language rotten movies we love Rom-Com renewed TV shows scary movies 79th Golden Globes Awards nfl Pirates dogs Schedule comiccon Pop Disney Plus Trailer black dramedy 2015 OneApp 2019 Western wonder woman posters E3 criterion lord of the rings thriller spinoff NBA biography Prime Video worst Grammys Hear Us Out toronto Oscar Amazon Studios blockbusters rt labs critics edition Cannes archives new york asian-american APB scorecard jamie lee curtis Reality 72 Emmy Awards best Sundance superman hispanic heritage month 90s SDCC cats crime drama adenture dexter Emmy Nominations high school 99% hispanic joker Academy Awards zero dark thirty fresh USA Network satire adaptation Watching Series harry potter historical drama razzies crime thriller cancelled TV series Trivia Discovery Channel italian X-Men name the review game of thrones nature slasher finale HFPA trophy 2018 political drama Rocky Summer comedies Endgame universal monsters Sony BET anthology ESPN AMC Plus pirates of the caribbean History Kids & Family hist Disney streaming service vs. Walt Disney Pictures Martial Arts movie A24 The Witch Television Academy PlayStation 4/20 comic book movies Fox News Trophy Talk CW Seed Superheroes Rocketman romance based on movie E! rt archives The CW Creative Arts Emmys batman Travel Channel reviews blaxploitation Pixar saw ghosts worst movies Baby Yoda singing competition Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ViacomCBS Holiday suspense streaming women RT21 FOX Calendar theme song Turner Focus Features social media TLC target scene in color facebook franchise vampires romantic comedy spider-man sitcom USA witnail japanese transformers diversity live action CBS Action Superheroe 2020 psychological thriller Mary poppins independent Indigenous summer preview screen actors guild mutant Crackle Peacock Horror hidden camera Neflix HBO ITV Native Lucasfilm popular Legendary nbcuniversal boxoffice justice league technology olympics TV Land award winner TCA sequels know your critic scene in color film series sopranos Comic-Con@Home 2021 Amazon Prime Video a nightmare on elm street GoT police drama Fall TV IFC Films politics classics child's play cars Vudu Television Critics Association Esquire TruTV LGBT HBO Go new star wars movies The Walt Disney Company Valentine's Day Arrowverse indie crime Disney+ Disney Plus travel Showtime 1990s venice war Tubi Cosplay video on demand Brie Larson telelvision sag awards Mindy Kaling jurassic park BET Awards VOD kong series Apple Hallmark VICE Marvel Studios Nat Geo Chernobyl Tokyo Olympics TV movies mob Marathons Holidays cancelled broadcast all-time FX art house football Music game show Podcast TCA Winter 2020 Lifetime binge CNN Infographic RT History Election royal family A&E cancelled television dc SundanceTV The Academy First Reviews Dark Horse Comics Nickelodeon Countdown Universal BBC LGBTQ Adult Swim crossover scary 73rd Emmy Awards NBC Best Picture hollywood Alien Geeked Week Tumblr book adaptation Amazon Disney Channel feel good Hulu Spike superhero Freeform Fox Searchlight basketball Anna Paquin DC Comics tv talk 2021 ABC Family legend 2017 remakes Opinion Netflix Christmas movies Musical YA 94th Oscars Mary Poppins Returns HBO Max teaser VH1 Teen godzilla cartoon Crunchyroll aapi revenge sports Sundance TV documentary Heroines Family Image Comics Columbia Pictures Sneak Peek TNT animated disaster Funimation live event SXSW leaderboard San Diego Comic-Con book DC streaming service DirecTV YouTube Shudder news 2016 Comic Book toy story El Rey YouTube Premium South by Southwest Film Festival Paramount Plus stoner children's TV robots stand-up comedy serial killer MSNBC 93rd Oscars Acorn TV spider-verse french medical drama Ovation Nominations IMDb TV Winter TV Ghostbusters aliens target Warner Bros. action-comedy Polls and Games obi wan stop motion OWN ratings richard e. Grant golden globe awards black comedy TV renewals MCU rotten laika Pride Month south america ABC Signature WarnerMedia space Marvel Television Best Director Paramount Pictures Awards Tour streaming movies comic books true crime streamig natural history Binge Guide movies Black History Month free movies comic Comics on TV comics breaking bad Shondaland Netflix Disney Mary Tyler Moore DC Universe composers Extras video The Arrangement festival Quiz President Paramount Star Wars Celebration miniseries Star Wars emmy awards Oscars Avengers golden globes Pet Sematary parents FX on Hulu documentaries spain chucky new zealand boxing MGM docudrama Tags: Comedy CMT australia festivals concert Syfy young adult Britbox BAFTA The Purge Set visit Tomatazos dragons Character Guide kids TCA 2017 Sci-Fi Epix sequel monster movies mcc AMC critic resources Interview TCA Awards FXX Reality Competition science fiction Broadway casting scene in color series prank fast and furious TCM Hallmark Christmas movies biopic Tarantino TIFF 24 frames Chilling Adventures of Sabrina GIFs quibi Cartoon Network Apple TV Plus Stephen King scene in color BBC One Exclusive Video television canceled japan Classic Film Biopics slashers Film critics Mystery summer TV preview Starz Toys GLAAD Sundance Now psycho zombies Country Fantasy directors PaleyFest IFC mission: impossible james bond Elton John Pop TV See It Skip It TV One halloween tv Sony Pictures international rom-coms Pacific Islander Turner Classic Movies Red Carpet what to watch screenings