RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: God Bless America and Barbarella

Plus, a Willem Dafoe thriller, a quirky indie bomb, and a Tom Cruise winner.

by | July 3, 2012 | Comments

Choices this week were pretty thin, so we’ve only got a few movies to talk about, including three new releases and two noteworthy reissues. First, we’ve got Bobcat Goldthwait’s latest, a wilderness thriller starring Willem Dafoe, and a failed attempt at a quirky coming-of-age story. Then, we round things out with Blu-rays for an early Tom Cruise vehicle and a sexy cult classic. See below for the full list!

God Bless America


Bobcat Goldthwait, the man once known for his manic energy and unique voice in both films and his stand-up act, has become something of a surprisingly decent filmmaker, as evidenced by the Certified Fresh 89% his last film, World’s Greatest Dad earned. God Bless America, in which a down-on-his-luck man (Joel Murray) takes it upon himself to gun down the worst pop culture offenders, starting with reality tv stars, unfortunately didn’t fare quite as well. While critics felt the film was a bit uneven, they still largely found it a strangely cathartic and darkly funny revenge fantasy, and it currently sits at 67% on the Tomatometer.

The Hunter


Willem Dafoe takes another trek into the wilderness, but with fewer talking foxes. No, this time he plays a hunter named Martin who is sent to Tasmania by a mysterious company to find, track, and bring back biological evidence of a tiger thought to be long extinct. Posing as a scientist, Martin sets up in a remote cabin with a family whose father has gone missing, and the hunt begins. Critics say this is clearly Dafoe’s show, and he commits to the role with aplomb, but they also feel the story lacks a certain dramatic pull when he’s not tramping through the forest and suffers from a few predictable bits. At 68%, The Hunter isn’t quite the character-driven story it could have been, but should still satisfy those looking for a decent thrill.

Jesus Henry Christ


You know that when a film sports a title that winks as hard as Jesus Henry Christ, it’s either got to be an exceedingly clever romp or a misguided failure, and if it’s a quirky, coming-of-age indie comedy, anything short of the former is inevitably deemed the latter. As evidenced by its 22% Tomatometer, JHC was certainly short of the former. The film tells the story of 10-year-old Henry (Jason Spevack), a “petri-dish” baby and rebellious young prodigy who decides to search for his biological father. Critics overall weren’t convinced by the film’s Wes Anderson-lite twee sentimentality, hoping director Dennis Lee would dig deeper into the familial issues at its heart. Unfortunately, even the presence of veterans like Toni Collette and Michael Sheen did little to help its cause.

Born on the Fourth of July – Blu-Ray


Just a couple of weeks ago, our Total Recall focused on Tom Cruise’s best reviewed movies, and Oliver Stone’s Born on the Fourth of July took the #5 spot on a fairly impressive list. To coincide with the upcoming holiday this week and to celebrate its centennial anniversary (and, possibly, to highlight Oliver Stone, whose Savages opens this week), Universal is re-releasing the 1989 film on Blu-ray. Though the new edition doesn’t feature any new extras specific to the film, it does come with two standard 100th Anniversary features: “100 Years of Academy Award Winners” and “100 Years of Universal in the ’80s.” If you missed last year’s release, here’s a second chance to pick up this Oscar-winner.

Barbarella – Blu-Ray


It’s a cheesy, unevenly paced, erotic sci-fi adventure based on a series of French “adult” comics, and it was both a critical and commercial failure upon its original theatrical release. But there’s something to be said about the campy joys of Barbarella, from its dated special effects to its shag carpet sets to its message of free love, as its cult following and current 74% Tomatometer indicate. Memorable not just for its opening sequence (Jane Fonda stripping in zero gravity) and for inspiring the names of at least two famous music acts (Duran Duran and Matmos), Barbarella gets a new Blu-ray release this week, and though there aren’t really any bonus features to speak of, fans may still get a kick out of seeing Jane Fonda ooze sex appeal in high definition.