RT on DVD

RT on DVD and Blu-Ray: Jack Reacher, Mama, and Upstream Color

Oh, and also, a Nicholas Sparks adaptation.

by | May 7, 2013 | Comments

We’ve got some decent choices on home video this week, including an indie that opened in theaters just a month ago and has earned widespread acclaim. We’ve also got three big genre titles — a Tom Cruise mystery, a Jessica Chastain ghost story, and a Nicholas Sparks adaptation — to help add some variety. See below for the full list.



Jack Reacher

62%

Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie previously worked with Tom Cruise when he helped write the most recent Mission: Impossible film, so it’s not surprising that Jack Reacher has an air of Ethan Hunt about him. Cruise also produced this adaptation of a 2005 novel called One Shot, about a former military detective of sorts named Jack Reacher (Cruise) who becomes entangled in a web of conspiracy when someone from his past is framed for a mass shooting in Pittsburgh. Critics found the film mostly passable as a Tom Cruise vehicle, even if some of the direction and dialogue plays out a bit like a paint-by-numbers thriller. At 61% on the Tomatometer, Jack Reacher might be just good enough to spawn a franchise (it did make a decent amount of money, proving Cruise’s enduring bankability), but it’s still a step or two away from being a truly compelling mystery.



Mama

65%

These days, it’s something of a rare accomplishment when a horror film earns a Fresh score, but that’s not much of a surprise considering a lot of modern horror is more concerned with grossing you out than telling a truly terrifying story. Mama also benefits from the presence of some fine actors, including Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain and Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Two young girls are rescued by their uncle Lucas (Coster-Waldau) from a secluded cabin, where they have spent five years in isolation from society after a family tragedy. Lucas gains custody of them and brings them home, where he lives with his girlfriend Annabel (Chastain), but the couple soon realize something supernatural is following the girls and has invaded their home. Critics were quick to praise the film’s more traditional scares, which they found refreshing, and felt they were strong enough to overcome a slightly befuddling script. At 65%, Mama is one of the more effective ghost stories of late and should provide a few worthy thrills.



Safe Haven

12%

Safe Haven is Lasse Hallström’s (My Life as a Dog, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) second go-round with a Nicholas Sparks novel adaptation (the first one being Dear John), so he must find something compelling about them. Unfortunately, this also happens to be his lowest-rated film. Safe Haven stars Julianne Hough as Katie, a young woman who moves to a small town in North Carolina and raises eyebrows by keeping mostly to herself. When she meets and falls in love with Alex (Josh Duhamel), she is forced to contend with some secrets from her past. This is everything you expect from a Nicholas Sparks adaptation — a fairly predictable bit of sentimental melodrama — except for a third act plot twist that had many critics scratching their heads. At 13% on the Tomatometer, this is probably strictly for the Sparks fan club.



Upstream Color

85%

You may or may not recognize Shane Carruth’s name. If you don’t, that’s perfectly understandable; if you do, it means you probably saw his first film, Primer, and were either so confused by it that it left a lasting impression or so impressed by it that you’ve waited almost a decade for his next film. Upstream Color is that next film, and yes, it’s appropriately mind-boggling, but according to critics, it’s also very good. An abstract narrative about two people in similar circumstances finding each other and learning to navigate new experiences, Upstream Color is a little difficult to summarize in just a few words (watch the trailer below and you’ll see why) — in fact, many of the critics who loved it will insist they can’t quite tell you what it’s “about.” This is a challenging film, but by most accounts a rewarding one for those open to its effect; Certified Fresh at 87%, Upstream Color isn’t going to be for everyone, and it might not make for the most rollicking Friday night, but it’s different, it’s interesting, and it will spark conversation.

Also available this week:

  • Graphic novel-based French animation The Rabbi’s Cat (94%), about an Algerian rabbi’s cat who gains the ability to speak and proceeds to spew social commentary on everything.
  • Indie comedy Starlet (88%), about a slacker girl who gradually befriends her elderly neighbor after a yard sale squabble.
  • The Oranges (32%), a comedy starring Hugh Laurie and Leighton Meester.
  • Notoriously bad CGI film Foodfight!, featuring voice work by Charlie Sheen and Hilary Duff in a Toy Story-esque world where brand name icons come to life in a supermarket at night. (Tossed this one in for kicks.)

Tag Cloud

Pirates HBO political drama Sci-Fi Disney Channel MSNBC Action Freeform MTV 2016 SDCC CNN The Arrangement Rock Tomatazos aliens police drama TCA 2017 NBC politics Election Mindy Kaling Amazon Superheroes transformers X-Men Spring TV Country Comedy 2017 GLAAD A&E First Look cops Character Guide Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Lifetime Best and Worst Mystery Music science fiction based on movie technology Star Wars Esquire ESPN TBS Reality 007 LGBTQ BBC singing competition Emmys Trailer TV Land Cosplay discovery Photos BBC America TNT Super Bowl Kids & Family Rom-Com Teen Syfy Cartoon Network Winter TV NYCC Musical USA Trivia Interview PBS DirecTV PaleyFest travel Animation E3 AMC WGN war TCM Netflix President Masterpiece IFC Sneak Peek Starz Lionsgate Nat Geo Mary Tyler Moore Ellie Kemper Star Trek adventure Tumblr Crackle Adult Swim Rocky E! thriller Horror dramedy Sundance Ghostbusters CMT Fantasy psycho crime The CW Video Games vampires Polls and Games historical drama crime thriller Biopics docudrama Comic Book Calendar Food Network Extras Toys YA comiccon TIFF GIFs Opinion Marvel Writers Guild of America boxoffice Bravo Fall TV Comedy Central period drama American Society of Cinematographers Pop Reality Competition harry potter Showtime History SundanceTV Thanksgiving 24 frames sports Hulu biography VICE GoT Nickelodeon Nominations Drama crime drama Logo CBS All Access CBS social media Certified Fresh supernatural Red Carpet ABC Family Schedule Valentine's Day RT History ITV Awards Holidays El Rey ABC TV OWN Oscars Year in Review FOX Watching Series Premiere Dates Martial Arts Set visit composers Podcast DC Comics FXX BET VH1 APB Musicals cinemax Infographic FX Summer Fox News TCA Marathons Disney 2015 Box Office diversity TLC Grammys Dark Horse Comics Winners serial killer Universal TruTV Countdown cooking sitcom zombie