RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Sherlock Holmes and An Education

Plus, more chipmunks, a couple of solid docs, two hit men, and two funny men.

by | March 29, 2010 | Comments

This week on home video, our choices are headlined by Guy Ritchie’s latest film — a Hollywood reimagining of a classic literary hero — and a multiple Oscar-nominated British film starring Peter Sarsgaard and Carey Mulligan. Those are followed up by a kid-friendly sequel, a dark horror-comedy, and a couple of highly touted documentaries to round out the brand new releases. In the classics/re-issues department, we’ve got a special edition of a Disney film, a couple of stylishly different crime thrillers, and a complete collection of a classic comedy duo’s influential television show. There’s some good stuff to be had this week, so check out what’s coming and decide what’ll go on your wish list.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=10010659[/tomatometer]

Sherlock Holmes

Director Guy Ritchie is best known for his highly stylized and intricately plotted British gangster films, and though he has found somewhat mixed success with this formula, the one time he strayed away from it (2002’s Swept Away), he wound up with a dismal 5% Tomatometer. So most weren’t quite sure what to make of it when he was saddled with one of literature’s most recognizable and iconic heroes, Sherlock Holmes. Luckily for Ritchie, most critics were charmed by his take on the classic detective (played with relish by Robert Downey Jr.) and his right-hand man Watson (Jude Law), who work together to thwart an evil conspiracy perpetrated by one Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong). Entrusted with what looks to be the beginning of a Hollywood franchise, Ritchie practiced some restraint with his typically frantic style but included enough little touches to leave his fingerprint on the film, and critics felt this worked to his advantage. At 69% on the Tomatometer, Sherlock Holmes (not to be confused with the Asylum production of the same name) wasn’t a runaway critical success, but it performed well at the box office and worked well enough as a fun crowd-pleaser. This week, you can pick it up on DVD and Blu-Ray.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1209664[/tomatometer]

An Education

Carey Mulligan has become a name to look out for, thanks in large part to her role in last year’s British hit An Education. Not only was the film nominated for both the Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay Oscars, but Mulligan herself garnered widespread acclaim for her role as Jenny Mellor, a high school girl who is swept into a relationship with an older man, creating complications in her personal life. Though its central premise is nothing new, most felt that An Education delivered a mature portrayal of May-December romance and singled out Mulligan for her charming, nuanced performance. In fact, though the Best Actress race ultimately became a showdown between Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock, many critics expressed admiration for the way Mulligan carried her picture, even in the midst of a talented cast that included Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Rosamund Pike, and Emma Thompson. It only opened in limited release stateside, so if you missed it when it hit theaters, now’s your chance to catch up.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1209288[/tomatometer]

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

What can we say? The first Alvin and the Chipmunks movie earned over $200 million at the box office in 2007, despite its 27% Tomatometer rating, so no one should have been surprised when a “squeakquel” made its way to the big screen two years later. Based on a cartoon that most of the film’s target audience has probably never even heard of, the Chipmunks movies are the simplest of children’s entertainment, relying on all-too-familiar plot clichés and the requisite slapstick humor. This time around, the Chipmunks are joined by their female counterparts, the Chipettes, who approach former JETT records excutive Ian Hawke (David Cross) about a record deal after witnessing the success that Alvin, Simon, and Theodore have achieved. Naturally, Alvin and the boys develop crushes on the girls, and they end up working together to put on a school concert. It’s standard stuff, but the little ones seem to like it, so if you need a 90-minute distraction for your kids while you fix the toilet, this might do the trick.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1212604[/tomatometer]

Afghan Star

Its super easy to look down your nose at pop culture but, like anyone who identified as a geek in the 80s can tell you, revenge will be had by the meek. In the case of Afghan Star, the Sundance award winning doc by Havana Marking, pop music is the force that unites over 11 million Afghanis and raises up four particularly talented singers in an American-Idol style singing competition called (you guessed it) Afghan Star. The four contestants, sporting no end of vocal talents, are from varying parts of Afghanistan, each of which experiences unique social and religious restrictions. In 2004, Afghanistan lifted a handful of restrictions on music and Tolo TV, the station that carries the show, swept in to fill a need. The singers do more than just excel in a field, theyre standing up against explicitly repressive forces and all this is public and in game show form. In a place where following your dreams is about more than choosing between guyliner or track suits, watching these singers (between 19 and 25) stand up speaks more loudly than anything they send through the mics. DVD includes a new video featurette by the director and subtitles.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1215969[/tomatometer]

I Sell the Dead

Since “gothic” and “horror” are terms that, on mere principle, invoke excess, why not goof on them? So this comedy, produced by the omnipresent indie demi-urge Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter, The Roost) goes back to the roots of gothy-gory (and now goofy) England to watch Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings and TV’s Lost), awaiting execution for grave robbing, confess the monster-fraught dangers of his field to attending priest and comforter, Ron Perlman (Hellboy and TV’s Beauty and the Beast if you wanna be old school). It’s great casting at the least! See Hellboy absolve a hobbit of his monster related guilt — the humor’s written all over this in chiaroscuro. The Blu-Ray, which should make all those night shoots easy to make out, includes making of and effects featurettes along with audio commentaries by the director and stars and a print graphic novelization of the film.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=10010964[/tomatometer]

The Yes Men Fix the World

Depending on your political leanings and socio-economic outlook, The Yes Men are either a bunch of liberal nerds with too much time on their hands, or a bunch of upstanding citizen-activists with an ingenious game plan. Either way, their exploits are outrageous and often hilarious, and if you’re going to watch a political documentary, why not get a few laughs in as well? To offer some background, the Yes Men are a group of activists who operate copycat websites that mirror those of important corporations and government organizations; as such, they receive numerous invitations to speak and appear at various events, and they accordingly send pseudo-execs to stir things up and attempt to highlight problems inherent within the system through satire. The Yes Men Fix the World is the follow-up doc to 2003’s The Yes Men, in which Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno targeted the World Trade Organization. Now they focus their attention on corporate fatcats as they impersonate execs from Dow Chemical and Exxon, appear on the BBC, and meet with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin in front of a thousand contractors. Certified Fresh at 80%, The Yes Men Fix the World promises to be another hilarious probe into timely issues by a group of bold — and shameless — activists out to change the world.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1029112[/tomatometer]

Alice in Wonderland – 2-Disc Un-Anniversary Edition

Now that Tim Burton has put his stamp on Lewis Carroll’s classic tale with Disney’s blessing, the animation giant has decided to release its 2-disc Special Un-Anniversary Edition of Alice in Wonderland this week on DVD. Possibly the most surreal and puzzling entry in Disney’s illustrious animated canon, Alice in Wonderland is an adaptation of Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, wherein a young girl follows a white rabbit down a hole and to an alternate reality full of colorful and bizarre characters. The new DVD edition will feature extras like a documentary featurette on the making of the film, a deleted scene narrated by the directors of The Princess and the Frog, and the Alice-inspired Mickey Mouse short, Thru the Mirror, among other extras. If you never owned this classic before, this could be a good time to pick it up.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1032434[/tomatometer]

The Killer – Blu-Ray

John Woo might not be a household name quite yet, but those who don’t recognize his name will still surely recognize some of the films he’s directed, like Face/Off and Mission: Impossible II. But before making the jump to Hollywood, Woo had already amassed a cult following based on a few of his Hong Kong films, most notably those starring Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon‘s Chow Yun Fat; of these collaborations, The Killer is probably the most famous and most beloved. The plot revolves around retiring hit man Ah Jong (Chow), who inadvertently blinds a singer during a bloody shootout and decides to take on one more hit so that he can pay for an expensive operation that will restore her eyesight. Woo’s films are known for their highly stylized action sequences, which often feature slow-motion, boatloads of gunfire (from firearms that never need reloading), doves, and Mexican standoffs. Currently rated at 100% on the Tomatometer with 30 reviews, The Killer is available in Blu-Ray for the first time, and though details on the extras are a bit sketchy, it appears the new edition will include interviews with Woo and a look at filming locations in addition to the standard fare.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1134449[/tomatometer]

Collateral – Blu-Ray

Continuing on the theme of troubled hit men, Michael Mann’s (Heat, Public Enemies) Collateral also hits Blu-Ray for the first time this week. This Certified Fresh (86%) thriller stars heavyweight Tom Cruise as the aforementioned hit man, Vincent, and Jamie Foxx as Max, the unlucky L.A. cab driver who picks him up, as the two embark on a tension-filled night during which Max is expected to dispose of five key witnesses in a case against a drug cartel. As the FBI catches on and begins to pursue them, the tables turn and Max finds that Vincent isn’t as expendable as he was intended to be. Michael Mann has a superb knack for crime thrillers, and this film was no different; critics praised Collateral on several aspects, from its strong performances to its production quality to its tense, noir-ish atmosphere — all executed admirably. Now even crisper in Blu-Ray, you can pick this up and catch special features like rehearsal footage of Cruise and Foxx, a 1-minute hidden camera short featuring Cruise posing as a FedEx delivery man, and other standard extras.


The Abbott & Costello Show – The Complete Series Collector’s Edition

Touted as one of the best television shows of all time by the likes of Entertainment Weekly and TIME Magazine, The Abbott and Costello Show was a groundbreaking half-hour sitcom that ran from 1952-1954 and starred the comedy duo in a series of random scenarios. Those unfamiliar with the greater Abbott and Costello catalog might still recognize their most popular routine, known simply as “Who’s on First?”, a witty exchange about a baseball game in which the players’ names (e.g. Who, What, Why, I Don’t Know) become the source of mad confusion, or their films with some of the classic Universal Monsters (Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein). Now, the entire series of the highly influential show is available on DVD and includes extras like a Season One Classic Routine Reel, Lou Costello’s Home Movies, a 1978 TV special, and a short film from 1948, among others — a must-have for classic TV enthusiasts.

Written by Ryan Fujitani and Sara Schieron

Tag Cloud

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