RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Fast and Furious 6, Despicable Me 2, Doctor Who, and More

Plus, Keanu Reeves' directorial debut, an award-winning Danish drama, and a couple of big anniversary reissues.

by | December 10, 2013 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got Paul Walker’s immensely popular blockbuster swan song, a worthy animated sequel, and a very special episode of an international hit TV series. Then, we’ve also got a gripping Danish drama, Keanu Reeves’ pet project kung fu flick, and a number of other small releases, followed by a couple of anniversary reissues and some more notable selections from the Criterion Collection. Read on for the full list:

Fast & Furious 6

71%

As most of you likely already know, Paul Walker died tragically just over a week ago, which makes this a particularly bittersweet release. Say what you will about Walker’s general acting prowess, but as most fans of the Fast and Furious franchise will tell you, he was a major part of the series’ success, and he will be missed. No subsequent installment may ever feel the same again, but for now, we have the home release of Fast & Furious 6, which reunites Walker’s Brian O’Conner with Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto and the rest of the gang for another action-packed adventure. Brian and Dom are content to be out of the crime business, having retired off the spoils of Fast Five, but when Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) shows up with a recent photo of the presumed-dead Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), they’re coaxed into helping take down a former British Special Forces soldier attempting to commandeer a secret weapon for personal profit. Critics mostly felt Fast & Furious 6 successfully built upon the winning formula of its predecessor, utilizing humor and its street-racing origins as the basis for a big action blockbuster. If you’re looking for an explosive adventure, or just a farewell to Paul Walker, this is the movie for you.

Despicable Me 2

75%

Gru (Steve Carell) and his minions — who play a decidedly larger role — return for this sequel to the 2010 hit from Illumination Entertainment and Universal. Gru has given up supervillainy and settled into his fatherly duties watching over Margo, Edith, and Agnes, but the Anti-Villain League comes calling when a powerful chemical weapon is stolen. With the help of an AVL agent (Kristen Wiig), Gru opens up a bakery (aka undercover sting operation) in the local mall, where a supervillain from the past may be operating incognito. Despicable Me 2 didn’t earn quite the same high acclaim the first installment did, but it came pretty close at a Certified Fresh 75% on the Tomatometer, with critics calling it a funny, visually engaging family movie and one of the most satisfying animated sequels to date.

Man of Tai Chi

71%

After toiling for five years on the script, Keanu Reeves marked his directorial debut with this martial arts flick, giving him the opportunity to make a more immediate impact on the film. The story follows a man named Tiger Chen (which happens to be his real name), a courier by profession who is also the last student of the Ling Kong Tai Chi style. When his master’s temple is scheduled for demolition after it’s found to be violating safety regulations, Tiger decides to accept an opportunity to “work” for a wealthy but shady security mogul (Reeves); soon, Tiger finds himself fighting in a series of gradually more brutal underground matches, losing his humanity with each victory. Critics appreciated Man of Tai Chi‘s old school martial arts sensibilities, rewarding it with a solid 71% on the Tomatometer and calling it a decent first outing for Reeves. If you’re looking for a few visceral thrills and a Faustian storyline in the form of a kung fu flick, this is for you.

The Hunt

92%

Mads Mikkelsen plays creepy about as well as anyone possibly could, as he demonstrated so well in Casino Royale and the new NBC drama Hannibal, but in Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt, it sort of works against his character. Mikkelsen plays Lucas, a kindergarten teacher in a small Danish town who is falsely accused by his best friend’s daughter of sexually inappropriate conduct. The local community immediately ostracizes Lucas as a sexual predator, and as his personal life unravels, he quietly fights alone for vindication. Critics called The Hunt a gripping, well- written, thought-provoking drama centered around a powerful performance from Mikkelsen — which won him Best Actor honors earlier last year at Cannes — and for its efforts, it earned a Certified Fresh 95% on the Tomatometer.

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special: The Day of the Doctor

100%

The eagerly anticipated Christmas Day airing of Doctor Who‘s 800th individual episode (side note: Wow!), “The Time of the Doctor,” which will mark the end of Matt Smith’s time as the Eleventh Doctor, concludes a sort of unofficial trilogy of episodes that began with “The Name of the Doctor” back in May and continued with the series’ 50th Anniversary Special, “The Day of the Doctor,” which aired on November 21 simultaneously in 94 countries and released concurrently in a handful of theaters. Those of you who are hardcore Whovians can now own that 50th Anniversary Special on Blu-ray, and it will come with a few bonus features, including the 7-minute mini episode “The Night of the Doctor.” We don’t want to give anything away for those who haven’t seen it, but suffice it to say there’s a little something for past and present Whovians, as well as a glimpse into the future which should come full circle in the upcoming Christmas special.

Also available this week:

  • Ken Loach’s The Angels’ Share (89%), about a young Scottish layabout who finds new hope for life at a whiskey distillery after his son is born.
  • Sightseers (85%), a dark comedy about a man who takes his sheltered girlfriend on a road trip through the British Isles and slowly loses control.
  • Berberian Sound Studio (83%), a psychological thriller about a sound technician working on a horror film whose difficult work takes a toll on his psyche.
  • Touchy Feely (34%), a comedy about a brother and sister who come to grips with simultaneous sudden transformations in their lives.
  • Billy Bob Thornton’s Jayne Mansfield’s Car (33%), a dramedy about long distant relatives coming together for the funeral of the family matriarch.
  • Adore (33%), starring Naomi Watts and Robin Wright in a drama about two women who begin affairs with each other’s sons.
  • Battle of the Year (4%), a dance movie about a group of b-boys trying to win an international competition.
  • A 50th Anniversary edition of Mary Poppins (98%) is available on DVD and Blu-ray this week, featuring over four hours of bonus content.
  • A 25th Anniversary Blu-ray of classic ’80s comedy Big arrives as well, with many of the same features as the previous Blu-ray, but including one of three Zoltar fortune teller cards and collectible sound chip packaging.
  • Volume 8 of Matt Groening’s Futurama is available, collecting the 13 episodes that make up the second half of its final season (7), which aired earlier this year.
  • And of course, two more choices from the Criterion Collection: Grey Gardens (89%) is available on Blu-ray for the first time, and Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project launches its first volume, collecting six rarely screened films from around the world as part of an effort to preserve them.