RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Snow White and the Huntsman

Plus, a pregnancy comedy, an historical uprising, a throwback sci-fi flick, and more.

by | September 11, 2012 | Comments

We’re coming off a pretty dismal box office weekend, as you may or may not know, and it’s kind of indicative of this time of year in general. This means it trickles down to the home video releases, so while we do have at least one blockbuster hitting shelves, most of our releases were either barely seen or poorly reviewed; in some cases, both. See below for the full list!

Snow White and the Huntsman


Snow White and the Huntsman had a little something for everyone: Kristen Stewart (Twilight) got tween girls into the theater, Chris Hemsworth (Thor) brought the comic fans on board, and Charlize Theron added Oscar heft to the marquee. If that weren’t enough, the film was even peppered with performances by Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Eddie Izzard, and Bob Hoskins, among others. The story, as you probably already know, is a twisted take on the classic fairy tale, in which the evil queen (Theron) sends a huntsman (Hemsworth) to slay Snow White (Stewart), only to have the tables turned when the huntsman joins forces with Snow to bring war to the queen. Unfortunately, critics felt the movie could have been just a tad more cohesive; pacing problems, uneven acting, and a muddled script led to a middling 48% Tomatometer score. Not a downright terrible score, but if you waited until now to see it, you probably made the right choice.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting


If Garry Marshall decided to branch out into the burgeoning genre of movies-based-on-self-help-books, it would probably look something like What to Expect When You’re Expecting, an ensemble rom-com full of beautiful people living interconnected lives and based on the popular pregnancy tome of the same name. Unfortunately, like Marshall’s holiday-themed comedies, What to Expect failed to resonate much with critics, who criticized the movie’s overreliance on familiar genre clichés and felt that first-time director Kirk Jones had some trouble achieving a cohesive balance between the five alternating storylines. There are plenty of likable stars here, but consensus is that their talents might have been better used elsewhere.

For Greater Glory


Dean Wright isn’t a stranger to spectacle, having transitioned into the director’s chair after serving as visual effects supervisor on films like the first two installments of the Chronicles of Narnia series and the last two installments of the Lord of the Rings series. Here, he tackles the little known populist uprising in Mexico known as the Cristero War (1926-1929), during which the Mexican president attempted to weaken the power of the Roman Catholic Church, oppressing the country’s faithful in the process, until peaceful protests erupted into full rebellion. Unfortunately, despite its good intentions, critics wanted more character development and a less watered down dramatization of events, and For Greater Glory ended up with a disappointing 18% Tomatometer despite a cast that included Peter O’Toole, Oscar Isaac, and Andy Garcia, among others.

Girl in Progress


Effective satire is subtle and therefore more difficult to achieve than most realize; Girl in Progress makes some earnest and well-meaning attempts at subverting the coming-of-age genre, primarily through some meta moments, but overall it misses the mark. Eva Mendes plays emotionally immature mom Grace, whose daughter Ansiedad (Cierra Ramirez) is inspired by her English teacher and her mother’s behavior to skip conventional adolescence and head straight for adulthood. Lessons are learned, and eventually mother and daughter reconcile, but critics say the journey is too abrupt in its tonal shifts and, despite its eye-winking, fails to break away from the norm.

Lola Versus


Indie it-girl Greta Gerwig (Greenberg) might have broken into the mainstream if 2011’s Arthur had been better received, but it seems we’re destined to see her mature in smaller films. Her latest is Lola Versus, a comedy in which a recently single late-20s woman attempts to piece together where she’s going in life by experiencing as many new things (and people) as possible. It’s just too bad that the film is full of unpleasant characters and a little too familiar in its plotting to resonate much, even if Gerwig herself is as charming as ever in her first major leading role. At 35%, Lola Versus is a misfire that could have been much better.

Beyond the Black Rainbow


Beyond the Black Rainbow might be for sci-fi what The House of the Devil was for horror: an eerily authentic genre film that nails the atmosphere and visuals of its era — in this case, the 1980s. The difference here is that the latter was Certified Fresh, while this film managed only a 42% Tomatometer score. The problem, according to critics, is somewhat illustrated by its ambiguous premise: A scientist (Michael Rogers) conducts mindbending experiments on a female patient (Eva Allan), until she escapes her cell under his watchful eye. While director Panos Cosmatos was generally praised for the film’s aesthetics, most who saw Beyond found its storytelling sluggish and its messages wholly inscrutable; it’s interesting, but not necessarily entertaining.

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