New on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Expendables 3, The Giver, and The November Man

Plus, Madea does Christmas, Daniel Radcliffe does rom-com, and Criterion re-releases an Antonioni classic.

by | November 25, 2014 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got a blockbuster action sequel, another dystopian young adult novel adaptation, and a would-be first installment in a spy franchise starring Pierce Brosnan (no, not that franchise). Then, we’ve got a few smaller films, including a rom-com with Daniel Radcliffe and a couple of holiday comedies, as well as two choices from the Criterion Collection. Read on for details:

The Expendables 3


Both the first and second Expendables were quite profitable, and according to critics, the second one even improved upon the first. The Expendables 3 didn’t make as much money or impress as many people, though. This time around, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) recruits a younger crew to apprehend an Expendables founder-turned-arms dealer (Mel Gibson), but when they’re captured during the operation, he must enlist the services of the disbanded veteran Expendables to free them. Harrison Ford, Kelsey Grammer, and Antonio Banderas join Kellan Lutz and a few other athletic young stars, but critics found this installment least exciting of all, especially considering all the talent involved. The announced Expendables 4 and 5 will give them a couple more chances to get it right, though, and failing that, there’s always the female-driven Expendabelles.

The Giver


Despite the fact that The Giver was based on a popular, award-winning dystopian young adult novel, helmed by a veteran director (Phillip Noyce), and populated by no less than two celebrated Academy Award-winning actors (Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges), the film underperformed quite dramatically. The story revolves around a seemingly utopian community devoid of emotion and all knowledge of the past, save for one individual — the Receiver of Memory — whose responsibility it is to help his society avoid repeating historical mistakes. When a young man is chosen as the next Receiver, he decides everyone should have the same knowledge. While critics gave The Giver credit for its visual flourishes and for exploring its source material’s thought-provoking ideas, most also felt it merely touched on those ideas and, furthermore, left any compelling drama by the wayside.

The November Man


If only every aging leading man could find the late-career success that Liam Neeson has earned in the action genre? Pierce Brosnan steps into somewhat familiar shoes as ex-CIA agent Peter Devereaux, a retired operative pulled back into action for “one last mission,” complete with a femme fatale (Olga Kurylenko, a former Bond girl herself), only to discover there is a mole in the agency who wants him dead. Based on a novel by Bill Granger, The November Man seemed to have been aimed at beginning another spy thriller franchise, but critics mostly grew weary of the film’s reliance on shopworn genre clichés, which earned it a paltry 34 percent on the Tomatometer. That said, a sequel is coming, whether we want it or not.

Also available this week:

  • What If (69 percent), starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in a romantic comedy about med school dropout who makes an instant connection with an animator, and the two begin to fall for each other.
  • Almost a year after its theatrical release, we get Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas (19 percent), wherein the feisty matriarch accompanies a friend on a surprise visit to her daughter in a rural town.
  • A Merry Friggin’ Christmas (18 percent), starring Robin Williams (in one of his final film roles) and Joel McHale in a holiday road comedy about an estranged father and son who set out to retrieve the son’s forgotten Christmas gifts.
  • And lastly, two choices from the Criterion Collection: a new Blu-ray of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1960 masterpiece L’Avventura (97 percent); and Les Blank: Always for Pleasure, a collection of the documentary filmmaker’s eclectic filmography that contains 14 films and 8 short films.

Tag Cloud

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