RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Don Jon and CBGB

Plus, a middling horror comedy, and not much else.

by | December 30, 2013 | Comments

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s well-received directorial debut highlights another thin week for home video releases — unsurprising, considering it’s the week after Christmas and most folks are done spending money on gifts for now. The other notable items this week are a dud of a rock biopic and a ho-hum horror comedy. Read on for details.

Don Jon


Joseph Gordon-Levitt is so hot right now. We’re all familiar with his impressive acting chops, but the young star made his directorial debut back in September with a fresh but unusual take on the romantic comedy. JGL stars in Don Jon as the titular lothario, an old-fashioned womanizer who loves to pump iron and watch porn. When Jon meets a beautiful girl (Scarlett Johansson) whose own love of rom-coms has instilled an entirely different set of romantic hang-ups, the pair attempt to navigate a real relationship without succumbing to the false expectations they’ve built for themselves. Critics were pretty impressed with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial prowess, which also allowed Johansson to shine in her role. Certified Fresh at 81%, Don Jon is a solid behind-the-camera debut for its young star and a keenly observed comedy about modern relationships.



How does a club whose name advertises country, bluegrass, and blues end up becoming one of the most celebrated music venues for punk and new wave? According to critics, you may not want to look to Randall Miller’s film CBGB for answers. Frequent Miller collaborator Alan Rickman plays eccentric CBGB founder Hilly Kristal, while a number of actors (including Harry Potter alum Rupert Grint as Cheetah Chrome) offer their best impressions of Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop, David Byrne, and the like. The film centers primarily on Kristal, both as the founder of the legendary club and a mythic, somewhat inscrutable figure. Unfortunately, critics say the film plays it a little too safe, and it substitutes hip costumes and a period-perfect aesthetic for any sort of narrative momentum. At 8% on the Tomatometer, CBGB looks the part, but that’s about it.

Also available this week:

  • Hell Baby (34%), starring Rob Corddry and Leslie Bibb in a horror comedy about an expectant couple who move into a haunted new house.