RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Man on a Ledge and Coriolanus

Plus, a bomb, a brawler, and some Bergman.

by | May 29, 2012 | Comments

On this abbreviated Memorial Day edition of RT on DVD, we’ve got a few decent choices to pick from, beginning with an early year thriller starring Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks. After that, we’ve got a few indies critics really liked, and another poorly reviewed thriller starring Amanda Seyfried. Lastly, Criterion is releasing a pair of Bergman films perfect for the season. See below for the full list!



Man on a Ledge

31%

Sam Worthington seems like a nice enough guy, and he’s certainly got some charisma on screen, but his biggest films continue to be flops (Avatar is a notable exception). The latest is Man on a Ledge, which follows one Nick Cassady (Worthington) as he inches his way onto the ledge of an NYC high-rise, seemingly to attempt suicide. As an NYPD negotiator (Elizabeth Banks) talks him down, it becomes apparent there’s more to the spectacle than meets the eye (no giant robots, unfortunately). At 31%, Man on a Ledge failed to impress critics, who said the film?s somewhat intriguing premise was wasted on inconsistent acting and some preposterous plot points.



Gone

12%

Speaking of likable actors who keep churning out Rotten films, how about that Amanda Seyfried? Her most recent misfire is Gone, a thriller about a young former kidnapping victim Jill (Seyfried) who comes home one night to find that her sister Molly has been kidnapped. Convinced that the person who nabbed Molly is the same one who took her a year ago, Jill sets out to get Molly back, at all costs. Critics were pretty brutal with Gone, giving it an 11% Tomatometer and calling it simultaneously far-fetched and predictable, many agreeing the main problem was with the script. Thrillers need suspense and tension; if audiences can see things coming from a mile away, then all you’ve got left is a bunch of people screaming at each other and trying to run each other over with cars.



We Need to Talk About Kevin

75%

Now that we’ve got the Rotten releases out of the way, let’s focus on the good stuff. First up is We Need to Talk About Kevin, the controversial film about a woman (Tilda Swinton) reflecting on the life of her son Kevin (Ezra Miller) after Kevin has been imprisoned for initiating a horrific school shooting spree. Based on the novel of the same name, We Need to Talk About Kevin impressed critics with its top notch acting — Swinton, in particular, was singled out for her stunning performance — and its masterful blend of drama and domestic horror. It’s a fascinating character study about a dark but timely subject, so be prepared for some heavy themes.



Goon

81%

Every once in a while, we get one of those rare “pleasant surprises,” and back in March, that pleasant surprise was Goon, the indie comedy about a quarrelsome bouncer (Seann William Scott) who impresses one hockey coach so much with his pugilistic prowess that he earns a spot on the team as its enforcer — despite the fact that he’s terrible at hockey and can’t skate worth a lick. Nobody was expecting a movie starring Stifler and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Jay Baruchel) to be great cinema, but much to the delight of all, critics found Goon to be crudely funny, with well-formed characters and a surprising amount of heart. Certified Fresh at 82%, this one might surprise you too.



Coriolanus

92%

After facing off against Harry Potter once and for all as Lord Voldemort, Ralph Fiennes decided it was about time he did some work behind the camera, and what did he choose for his first directorial effort? The risky task of modernizing a Shakespearean adaptation. For this, Fiennes chose Coriolanus, the story of an unpopular ruling Roman general (Fiennes) who is banished from the city after inciting a riot and must join up with his sworn enemy (Gerard Butler) in order to enact his revenge. With a distinguished supporting cast that includes Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave, and Jessica Chastain, Coriolanus impressed critics, who felt the themes explored in the tragedy worked splendidly in a contemporary context. It’s not one of Shakespeare’s better known works, but Fiennes makes it relevant and powerful, and Coriolanus is thus Certified Fresh at 93%.



Summer Interlude / Summer with MonikaCriterion Collection

Swedish legend Ingmar Bergman is one of the greats, known for films that artfully explore themes like death, memory, and faith, and he’s been a staple of the Criterion Collection since it came into existence. This week, Criterion is offering up new editions of two of Bergman’s earlier films, and being that it’s almost June, it’s appropriate that these two films are 1951’s Summer Interlude and 1953’s Summer with Monika. The former centers around a ballerina wistfully recalling a past romance and coming to terms with its tragic end, while the latter is an ill-fated love story about two working-class lovers who meet and steal away for a summer on the beach. Both films would set the tone for later Bergman masterpieces like The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries, and they’re available on Criterion DVD and Blu-Ray for the first time with new bonus features.

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