RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Lincoln and Killing Them Softly

by | March 26, 2013 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got an Oscar winner and another Oscar nominee, a comedy flop, a couple of dark comedies, and a bit of the old ultraviolence. Plus, there are a few notable reissues from the Criterion Collection and on Blu-ray. See below for the full list!



Lincoln

89%

Leave it to Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis to make a commercially viable film out of a relatively talky historical drama about Abraham Lincoln’s efforts to get the Thirteenth Amendment passed by congress. Oh sure, it was critically lauded and all that, but its $261 million box office total is arguably more impressive, considering the subject matter. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the cast was rounded out by Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, and Hal Holbrook, with a little Joseph Gordon-Levitt tossed in the mix, all of whom helped to bring the script to vibrant life. Aside from the numerous other honors it took home this awards season, at this year’s Oscars Lincoln nabbed twelve nominations including almost all of the “important” categories, though it only took home two of them: Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis (kind of a shoo-in) and Best Production Design. Certified Fresh at 89%, it’s probably one of the most surprisingly entertaining history lessons you’ll ever get, and DDL’s performance alone is probably worth the watch.



Killing Them Softly

73%

As the story goes, Brad Pitt wanted to work with Australian director Andrew Dominik ever since he saw Dominik’s 2000 debut, Chopper, and he got his wish after he specifically sought out Dominik and the two collaborated on the moody western The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, a critical success. They paired up again last year for Killing Them Softly, a darkly funny adaptation of the George V. Higgins novel Cogan’s Trade, and results were similarly impressive. After a couple of petty crooks (Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn) hold up an illegal poker game full of bad-guy types, the local crime bosses bring in a seasoned hitman (Pitt) to sniff them out and snuff them out. Set against the backdrop of the 2008 financial crisis, Killing Them Softly has a little more on its mind than beatings and bullets, though, and critics found it a powerfully effective allegory for unchecked capitalism. It’s bleak, visceral, and sometimes bloody, but Certified Fresh at 76%, it might hit the spot if you enjoyed Pitt and Dominik’s previous work together.



Parental Guidance

17%

Parental Guidance opened last Christmas against Oscar contenders Django Unchained and Les Misérables, presumably to serve as family-friendly counterprogramming. Critics, unfortunately, were largely disappointed in the film, and now we wait for Billy Crystal to redeem himself in Monsters University. Here, he and Bette Midler star as Artie and Diane, an older couple who agree to babysit their grandkids when their daughter and her husband must leave for a business trip; hilarity in the form of generational humor presumably ensues, as Artie and Diane find their old school parenting techniques differ vastly from those of their daughter. Parental Guidance is sweet enough, as comedies of this nature typically are, but it’s so safe, fluffy, and predictable that it’s uninteresting and bland. At 19% on the Tomatometer, it might make you chuckle and say “aww” a few times, but you’ll probably also forget about it as soon as the credits roll.



The Collection

38%

2009’s The Collector began as a Saw prequel before its makers ditched that idea and decided to go with a separate story, so that gives you some idea what the franchise is like. “Franchise?” you may ask. Why, yes, because now we have a sequel in the form of The Collection, in which “The Collector” kidnaps a young woman named Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick) and spirits her away to an abandoned hotel rigged with booby traps. Desperate to save his daughter, Elena’s father hires a previous survivor to help guide a rescue team through the perilous maze of the hotel; people die, gruesomely. Now, there weren’t many critics who endorsed The Collection, but a lot of them did concede that if you’re a fan of the gory “torture porn” genre, this might be your bag. For the rest of us who are squeamish, probably best to keep away.



A Royal Affair

90%

A Royal Affair was Denmark’s entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category at this year’s Oscars, which saw no shortage of period dramas, and though it ultimately lost to Amour, it earned some impressive reviews of its own. Set in the 18th century court of Danish king Christian VII (played by Mikkel Følsgaard), the film recounts the story of Johann Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen), the king’s personal physician, who helps restore the mentally ill king’s health but harbors a secret affair with the queen, Caroline Matilda (Alicia Vikander). If you’re looking for sumptuous costumes, lavish sets, and proper sexual intrigue of the aristocratic sort, critics say that, Certified Fresh at 89% on the Tomatometer, A Royal Affair will have what you want.



The Comedy

47%

Anyone who’s seen an episode of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! has sensed a sort of dark subtext underlying the absurdist anti-humor, and it seems this energy was harnessed for The Comedy, which stars Tim and Eric‘s Tim Heidecker. Swanson (Heidecker) is an aging, apathetic layabout Brooklynite who spends his time in pointless activities with his hipster friends. He’s about to inherit his father’s estate, but he doesn’t particularly care, and he instead begins to push the boundaries of acceptable behavior until they bend to his will or break across his face. It seems pretty clear that The Comedy‘s title is meant to be ironic, though there is some deadpan humor to be found. At 44% on the Tomatometer, the film entertained some critics but disappointed, disgusted, or bored just a few more.

Also available this week:

  • Two choices from the Criterion Collection: Charlie Chaplin’s Monsieur Verdoux (97%) and Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped (100%), both arriving on DVD and Blu-ray.
  • Presumably in anticipation of the upcoming 3D IMAX rerelease of Jurassic Park (90%), that film and its two sequels — The Lost World (52%) and Jurassic Park III (50%) — are all being reissued on Blu-ray this week.
  • A 20th Anniversary Blu-ray Edition of The Sandlot (61%), though it’s unclear what bonus features this new version will contain.
  • Since we featured Westworld here a couple of weeks ago, we thought it only fair to mention the new Blu-ray for its lesser 1976 sequel, Futureworld (33%) on Blu-ray.

Tag Cloud

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