RT on DVD

New on DVD & Blu-Ray: Maleficent, Hercules, and A Most Wanted Man

by | November 4, 2014 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got a little something for everyone, whether you’re looking for some fantastical drama, a bit of sword-and-sandal action, a dash of spy intrigue, or just something to babysit the kids for an hour and a half. Plus, there’s a few smaller releases also worth mentioning, as well as a couple of notable series sets of fan favorite TV shows. Read on for details:



Maleficent

54%

Disney’s Maleficent had a few things going for it: a charismatic, larger-than-life A-lister in the lead role, an intriguing twist on a familiar tale, and a Disney-sized budget for some wild special effects. The only thing it could have used, apparently, was a bit more help in the writer’s room. Angelina Jolie stars as the titular sorceress from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, a fairy once betrayed by the man she loved whose actions are motivated by vengeance. Unfortunately, for every critic who felt it was a novel retelling of the story, there was another who didn’t think there was enough substance to justify the film, despite a winning performance from Jolie and a fair amount of visual spectacle. Maleficent ultimately split critics down the middle, earning a 49 percent Tomatometer score. Bonus features include a handful of short making-of docs and five deleted scenes.



Hercules

58%

As long as we’re talking about fantastical tales, we might as well mention Hercules, Brett Ratner’s (After the Sunset, Tower Heist) take on the tale of the legendary demi-god. Dwayne Johnson (The Tooth Fairy) dons the armor here, aided by a misfit gang of mercenaries and his nephew, Iolaus (Reece Ritchie), whose job it is to spread (embellished) word of Hercules’s exploits. When Hercules is hired to train the armies of Thrace to defend against the attack of an invading warlord, he finds himself in the middle of a complicated power struggle. Johnson is almost always fun to watch, and surrounded by the likes of Ian McShane, John Hurt, and Rufus Sewell, among others, he gave most critics what they were expecting, especially in a Brett Ratner film. At 59 percent on the Tomatomter, Hercules performed about as well as anyone could have predicted. Special features include featurettes on the characters, the weapons, and special effects, as well as some deleted and extended scenes, plus more.



Planes: Fire and Rescue

43%

In case you missed it, Disney’s direct-to-video studio, Disneytoon, made a Cars spinoff called Planes last year and released it in theaters, and though most grown-ups saw it for what it was — a fairly standard money grab intended to capitalize on the immense kid-popularity of the Pixar property — most kids saw it for what it also was, namely, “Ooh, talking planes!” No surprise, then, that we got a sequel this year, though it is somewhat surprising that it was actually better-received than the original (and only four percentage points below Maleficent on the Tomatometer). Dane Cook reprises his role as the voice of Dusty the ambitious cropduster-turned-racing plane, who inadvertently sets an airport on fire and subsequently decides to take on a new career as a firefighter. This isn’t top notch animated entertainment or particularly inventive storytelling, agree most critics, but it’s a pleasantly agreeable enough diversion for the kids, if you’re in the market for that. Extras include a handful of animated shorts, a look at some of the real vehicles that inspired the characters, and a few other items, all kid-friendly.



A Most Wanted Man

87%

Depending on what you think of the franchise, it’s almost a little disappointing that the final two screen appearances of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman — an extremely gifted, versatile Oscar-winner — will come in the form of a supporting role in a blockbuster YA series, even if it is The Hunger Games. Thankfully, he also recently starred in a smaller thriller that arguably made much better use of his talents. In the John le Carré adaptation A Most Wanted Man, Hoffman plays Gunther Bachmann, a German intelligence agent on the trail of a Chechen refugee he suspects is a terrorist with ties to Al Qaeda. Following up on a separate lead, Bachmann teams up with another German official and an American diplomat to infiltrate a local network and analyze the threat. A Most Wanted Man is Certified Fresh at 90 percent on the Tomatometer, with critics calling it a smart, thoughtfully told thriller that builds suspense as it moves along. There are only two bonus features: a standard making-of featurette, and a 9-minute interview with le Carré discussing his personal history in intelligence.

Also available this week:

  • The Dog (94 percent), a Certified Fresh documentary about John Wojtowicz, the man whose fascinating story inspired Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon.
  • The Discoverers (88 percent), starring Griffin Dunne in a road trip comedy about a professor en route to a conference with his kids who takes a detour when he learns his father has gone missing.
  • The One I Love (80 percent), starring Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss in a dramedy about a struggling married couple who retreat to a remote cabin to rekindle their love, only to discover the guest house holds a bizarre, mysterious secret.
  • Frontera (54 percent), starring Ed Harris and Michael Pena in a drama about a Mexican immigrant who is suspected of murdering an Arizona sheriff’s wife.
  • Premature (41 percent), a coming-of-age comedy about a high school senior who discovers he relives the same day over and over again… every time he has an orgasm.
  • Season two of HBO’s The Newsroom (69 percent), starring Jeff Daniels and Emily Mortimer, is available on DVD and Blu-ray, ahead of its season three premiere this weekend.
  • Universal is releasing a Complete Series set of the popular NBC show Quantum Leap, which stars Scott Bakula as a quantum physicist whose consciousness jumps through time, temporarily inhabiting the bodies of different people.
  • Fans of the BBC’s Sherlock might be interested in the Sherlock Limited Edition Gift Set, which includes all three seasons of the series to date on DVD/Blu-ray combo discs, new bonus features, collectible busts of both Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as Watson, and a couple of art cards.

Tag Cloud

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