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

87%

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

12%

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

72 Emmy Awards Action disaster Sundance Holiday period drama TCA Awards directors Star Trek Mindy Kaling San Diego Comic-Con 20th Century Fox Baby Yoda 71st Emmy Awards IFC CBS All Access CW Seed green book Animation versus Sundance TV Horror indiana jones USA Network Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt slashers name the review space National Geographic Dark Horse Comics Awards Tour batman werewolf Comedy Trivia YouTube The Arrangement Discovery Channel screen actors guild Sony Pictures south america DC Comics Lifetime PaleyFest discovery criterion DC streaming service cancelled Super Bowl foreign BET Television Critics Association Winners Certified Fresh Reality Tumblr romantic comedy NBC Endgame spy thriller child's play Brie Larson Oscars Netflix hispanic YouTube Red TV Hulu AMC GLAAD Marvel Studios revenge supernatural Freeform TCM 24 frames The Walking Dead 007 IFC Films Awards animated DGA NYCC video toy story Pirates DC Universe A24 travel Britbox Disney streaming service harry potter talk show Summer boxoffice GIFs finale Logo golden globes Pop 2019 theme song Trailer movie Nat Geo Amazon Prime Video Shudder Mudbound crime thriller SundanceTV President Syfy Television Academy cooking sitcom Travel Channel streaming spanish language police drama parents Country VH1 spain crossover Apple TV+ reboot Sci-Fi Emmy Nominations SXSW HBO Max television Spike Mary poppins BAFTA Trophy Talk Creative Arts Emmys Quiz VICE LGBT BBC FX on Hulu Nickelodeon laika A&E blockbuster TV renewals Pride Month E! Paramount Network Box Office films historical drama twilight Marvel worst Film aliens Binge Guide hollywood documentary Infographic Biopics Comedy Central screenings Disney Channel best ITV Character Guide universal monsters romance a nightmare on elm street natural history OWN YouTube Premium Christmas sequels Teen hist all-time Spring TV what to watch Walt Disney Pictures cats Pixar History movies Columbia Pictures Drama blaxploitation game show Fall TV Sneak Peek TBS renewed TV shows Writers Guild of America 21st Century Fox Funimation singing competition TV Land Amazon Prime Red Carpet Hear Us Out free movies TCA 2017 Marathons unscripted asian-american CNN Women's History Month Superheroe crime VOD CBS APB politics Crunchyroll Fantasy Set visit quibi psychological thriller superhero SDCC Nominations FXX classics TIFF 2015 Sundance Now American Society of Cinematographers ghosts dramedy zombies TCA Winter 2020 2016 satire YA Black Mirror breaking bad Marvel Television doctor who Calendar miniseries Interview Family HBO Go Musical stoner Turner Year in Review ABC E3 fast and furious Ovation Valentine's Day Peacock comic Grammys Cannes New York Comic Con TNT 2017 kids Tarantino Apple WarnerMedia BET Awards strong female leads Netflix Christmas movies news Premiere Dates Ghostbusters Avengers Food Network witnail sports Rocketman Disney Rocky joker Tubi Election BBC One political drama adventure Toys Disney+ Disney Plus binge transformers vampires cults mockumentary MTV Star Wars Polls and Games robots Martial Arts serial killer Shondaland Amazon documentaries Reality Competition Ellie Kemper dceu Watching Series Bravo Hallmark Comic Book The Purge Pet Sematary Cartoon Network die hard sag awards justice league Rom-Com dc nbcuniversal dogs science fiction Masterpiece X-Men Tomatazos PlayStation RT History dark Academy Awards Lionsgate Classic Film cancelled TV shows Warner Bros. Black History Month indie franchise ratings Captain marvel TCA OneApp WGN Acorn TV docudrama Photos Schedule mutant 2018 psycho video on demand Chernobyl Musicals Fox News USA christmas movies First Reviews LGBTQ Mystery The CW spinoff Thanksgiving thriller CMT cars Amazon Studios Superheroes Film Festival Song of Ice and Fire Extras critics based on movie cartoon Crackle First Look emmy awards Countdown Disney Plus mission: impossible award winner canceled TV shows scary movies richard e. Grant medical drama TLC teaser Comics on TV Cosplay Epix Spectrum Originals cancelled television Paramount tv talk rotten obituary 4/20 Apple TV Plus ABC Family book comedies sequel See It Skip It jamie lee curtis composers children's TV halloween Mary Poppins Returns RT21 El Rey crime drama Opinion cinemax spider-man comiccon The Witch Heroines Lucasfilm Showtime nature cops concert Mary Tyler Moore latino casting MSNBC MCU Stephen King rotten movies we love independent Anna Paquin ESPN Best and Worst social media Arrowverse HBO Adult Swim BBC America reviews GoT Emmys stand-up comedy Video Games canceled 2020 cancelled TV series war chucky 45 zombie Chilling Adventures of Sabrina stop motion Vudu Podcast anthology Elton John game of thrones comics anime FX biography Holidays Music FOX adaptation Pop TV Universal Turner Classic Movies dragons Hallmark Christmas movies PBS true crime Lifetime Christmas movies Rock elevated horror facebook technology festivals Starz zero dark thirty TruTV Western DirecTV Esquire series Winter TV Kids & Family diversity