RT on DVD

New on DVD & Blu-Ray: John Wick, Dracula Untold, Ouija, and More

by | February 2, 2015 | Comments

The biggest home video release this week is a surprisingly satisfying action flick starring Keanu Reeves, but outside of that, most of the big releases received pretty poor reviews. That said, the smaller films on this week’s list are the real highlights, with three acclaimed Certified Fresh picks and another trio of highly rated films. Read on for details:



John Wick

86%

John Wick is about as pure a revenge flick as you’re going to get, and critics were quite pleased with that. The story is simple: Keanu Reeves plays the titular former mob hitman, who’s mourning the death of his wife when the son of a local kingpin breaks into his home, kills his new puppy, and steals his car. This is the last straw for Wick, and he unleashes a most brutal temper tantrum upon anyone foolish enough to stand between him and the puppy-killing car thief. Directed by longtime stuntmen Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, John Wick is a stylish flurry of point blank shots to the face and brooding Keanu Reeves grimaces, and for most critics, the combination was a match made in heaven. Toss in a bit of the much talked-about “world-building” and a colorful cast of side characters, and you have the makings of an action franchise. At 83 percent on the Tomatometer, John Wick surprised a lot of folks and even took home the Golden Tomato Award in the Action/Adventure category.



Dracula Untold

24%

Though ostensibly not part of Universal’s plan to reboot all of their classic monsters in a shared universe (kind of like The Avengers of horror), Dracula Untold doesn’t bode well for the studio’s future efforts in the genre. Untold purports to tell the “origin story” of the famous literary bloodsucker, in which Vlad the Impaler (Luke Evans), the prince of Transylvania, enters into a blood pact with a vampire to receive the power necessary to turn back a Turkish invasion and save his son. Critics didn’t buy it, for the most part; while the visuals were sometimes impressive, they also tended toward bad video game imagery, and the narrative lacked both the edge and the necessary dramatic heft to justify its epic scope. At 22 percent on the Tomatometer, Dracula Untold is a poor attempt to put a fresh spin on a familiar tale.



Ouija

6%

As long as you’ve got a working knowledge of horror movie mechanics, a decent cinematographer, and a few million dollars to spare, you stand a chance at making a tidy profit, regardless of what the critics say. At least, that was the case for last year’s Ouija, which was produced for about $5 million and earned a mere 7 percent on the Tomatometer but went on to gross over $95 million at the box office. This PG-13 tale of terror revolves around a group of young friends who use a Ouija board to make contact with a malicious spirit; as the participants of the original séance begin dropping one by one, the remaining survivors struggle to identify the spectre and figure out a way to defeat it. Critics found the film egregiously derivative of better movies, filled with telegraphed jump scares and bland storytelling, even if it did sport a nice professional sheen. This is probably the kind of fluff that teen horror novices might eagerly devour and quickly forget, but more discerning adults will find little in the way of a real scare here.



The Best of Me

10%

Don’t look now, but they’ve gone and made another Nicholas Sparks adaptation, and following recent tradition, it did not perform well with critics. At all. This would-be tearjerker stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan as star-crossed teenage lovers Dawson and Amanda, who are reunited after 20 years apart when a mutual friend passes away. Between flashbacks to their past relationship, the pair rekindle their romance, only to discover it’s not so easy to shake off the past and move forward. By now, most folks know where they stand with Sparks’s weepy formula, and critics agree that if you’re a fan, you’re in for more of the same, and you’ll likely be pretty satisfied with the final product. If you’re anyone else, though, you probably already know you’re going to avoid this like a snotty handkerchief, so the 8 percent Tomatometer score is somewhat irrelevant.

Also available this week:

  • Nas: Time Is Illmatic (100 percent), a documentary about the prolific and influential hip-hop artist and the creation of his seminal debut album.
  • Starred Up (99 percent), starring Jack O’Connell and Ben Mendelsohn in a Certified Fresh drama about a violent 19-year-old inmate who is transferred to the same prison as his estranged father.
  • The Overnighters (98 percent), a Certified Fresh documentary focusing on the rush to find jobs during the North Dakota oil boom and the hardships experienced by prospective workers there.
  • Dear White People (92 percent), a Certified Fresh satire of race politics about a mixed-race writer and radio show host at a mostly white university who causes a stir when she becomes the head of the all black house on campus.
  • The Retrieval (34 percent), a Civil War-set drama about a 13-year-old boy working with white bounty hunters who unexpectedly finds himself on the run with a runaway slave after he’s been sent to lure him back to the South.
  • ABCs of Death 2 (75 percent), the follow-up omnibus film featuring 26 horror segments — one for each letter of the alphabet — helmed by 26 different directors.

Tag Cloud

Nominations streaming The Arrangement blaxploitation south america Brie Larson Pop Pride Month Heroines Arrowverse toy story crime thriller cartoon Marvel Studios Extras Comedy OneApp Lifetime Polls and Games RT21 Summer Universal book Tumblr BBC America Acorn TV Mary Poppins Returns zombie MCU robots reboot 2020 teaser The Purge elevated horror Showtime Esquire Podcast sag awards The Walking Dead TIFF Sneak Peek YouTube CBS All Access The Witch Pet Sematary boxoffice Spectrum Originals Lucasfilm technology Thanksgiving 24 frames tv talk quibi Certified Fresh Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt DC streaming service Amazon Prime facebook politics Animation christmas movies First Reviews Mary Tyler Moore rotten movies we love USA serial killer RT History comics See It Skip It biography IFC Films Comedy Central nature Television Academy movies political drama disaster Family Discovery Channel hist Awards Tour Toys Holiday Character Guide Song of Ice and Fire 20th Century Fox Columbia Pictures SundanceTV kids werewolf Disney streaming service Writers Guild of America El Rey based on movie Film historical drama Walt Disney Pictures stand-up comedy cancelled TV series Syfy cooking cars singing competition binge thriller Box Office 2015 X-Men A24 Fall TV justice league Grammys canceled Calendar WarnerMedia DirecTV Oscars mockumentary TCA 2017 National Geographic Amazon Prime Video BBC A&E Disney Interview Marathons Christmas DC Universe police drama game of thrones spinoff Winter TV mutant Warner Bros. TCA Awards Food Network romance dragons series First Look Year in Review war Amazon Studios screen actors guild Hulu Women's History Month TLC CMT NBC adventure Sony Pictures social media Chilling Adventures of Sabrina blockbuster DC Comics GoT what to watch Masterpiece romantic comedy Disney+ Disney Plus indie Cannes breaking bad HBO TCM composers Superheroes Trailer Country revenge Trivia directors Shondaland cinemax spanish language natural history 2019 Disney Channel Comic Book richard e. Grant Drama PBS casting Netflix psycho crossover E3 Ovation Logo USA Network 2017 dceu latino Tomatazos Rocketman HBO Max SXSW Shudder APB sequel Valentine's Day Emmys CW Seed Endgame cancelled ESPN Schedule Crunchyroll screenings slashers Avengers TV Pixar LGBT ghosts name the review Nickelodeon Classic Film independent adaptation Marvel foreign Lifetime Christmas movies ABC E! Photos 45 crime Apple TV+ crime drama ratings animated zombies 21st Century Fox Paramount Network theme song Mindy Kaling OWN History 2018 spain TV renewals dogs Star Wars Mystery Amazon Academy Awards diversity Mudbound documentary Superheroe YA Reality Competition Sundance TV Quiz SDCC green book Stephen King Kids & Family versus Super Bowl IFC Emmy Nominations vampires Sundance finale Tubi Opinion dc TruTV Pirates Starz Hallmark Chernobyl true crime Black Mirror Star Trek ITV TCA Winter 2020 doctor who Anna Paquin American Society of Cinematographers President CNN Marvel Television YouTube Red Rocky unscripted GLAAD Epix television TBS cancelled television TV Land FOX children's TV anthology Infographic FX Netflix Christmas movies Mary poppins YouTube Premium sports Ghostbusters cults discovery VH1 Trophy Talk spy thriller sitcom free movies Election Adult Swim comic Paramount game show witnail Nat Geo space Premiere Dates Film Festival Rom-Com Disney Plus Holidays aliens MTV Lionsgate Baby Yoda cancelled TV shows Sundance Now Spike Best and Worst Peacock AMC DGA Sci-Fi strong female leads hispanic MSNBC BET comiccon Britbox CBS Spring TV 2016 Musicals Winners San Diego Comic-Con science fiction Martial Arts cats Set visit ABC Family zero dark thirty medical drama docudrama Teen The CW movie miniseries Captain marvel Western Biopics PaleyFest period drama dramedy Apple TV Plus Freeform Bravo VICE Rock Turner cops video golden globes batman Cartoon Network Dark Horse Comics spider-man psychological thriller jamie lee curtis WGN Binge Guide halloween joker NYCC Musical Vudu 007 TNT Video Games Crackle 71st Emmy Awards Ellie Kemper festivals Fantasy Reality New York Comic Con Fox News Apple Comics on TV GIFs canceled TV shows Watching Series travel anime Action Countdown Elton John Music supernatural LGBTQ Creative Arts Emmys Horror Red Carpet Turner Classic Movies Cosplay FXX transformers Hallmark Christmas movies renewed TV shows award winner Tarantino harry potter talk show