RT on DVD

RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Silver Linings Playbook and The Guilt Trip

Plus, a dud of a thriller, a dark comedy, and plenty more.

by | April 30, 2013 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got one of the big award-winners of last year, followed by a few not so acclaimed films, including a road trip comedy, a noir-ish thriller, and a dark farce. Then we’ve got a couple of smaller films and a slew of Blu-ray reissues. See below for the full list.



Silver Linings Playbook

92%

Though Silver Linings Playbook only took home one of its eight potential Academy Awards, it received nominations for all of the most prestigious categories, including all four for acting — the first to do so in over 30 years. David O. Russell (The Fighter) helmed the film, which stars Bradley Cooper as an emotionally unstable high school teacher recently released from a mental health facility and Jennifer Lawrence (who took home the Best Actress Oscar) as the equally volatile acquaintance who establishes a connection with him and shows him there’s more to life than pining for his estranged wife. It’s an unconventional romance with a sharp tongue, and Russell extracts witty and poignant performances from his talented cast. Certified Fresh at 92%, Silver Linings Playbook comes highly recommended by critics and audiences alike.



The Guilt Trip

38%

Partially inspired by a road trip that screenwriter Dan Fogelman took with his own mother, The Guilt Trip stars Seth Rogen as an aspiring inventor Andy and Barbra Streisand as his widowed mother Joyce, whom he invites to accompany him as he drives from New Jersey to San Francisco. Andy’s making the trip to pitch a new cleaning fluid, but he’s also secretly planning to reunite Joyce with an old flame; tensions rise en route, of course, leading to presumably funny situations. Unfortunately, critics didn’t find said situations particularly funny, leading to a mediocre 37% Tomatometer score. The problems don’t lie with Rogen or Streisand, who have decent chemistry, but with the lifeless script and lack of laughs. If you’re in need of some mother-son bonding, feel free to give The Guilt Trip a shot, but don’t expect too much.



Broken City

28%

Mark Wahlberg can be a little hit-or-miss, and Russell Crowe still seems to be looking for a proper return to the glory days of his Gladiator era, but bringing them together doesn’t appear to have done them any favors. In Broken City, Wahlberg is ex-NYPD officer-turned-private eye Billy Taggart, who repays a favor from the sitting mayor (Russell Crowe) by agreeing to track the mayor’s wife Cathleen (Catherine Zeta-Jones), suspected of having an affair. As Taggart closes in on Cathleen, he unwittingly finds himself in the middle of a murder conspiracy that will force him to choose between a life in disgrace or no life at all. Despite its capable cast (which includes Jeffrey Wright, Barry Pepper, and Kyle Chandler), Broken City failed to impress the critics, who found the script overly formulaic and poorly written. At 30% on the Tomatometer, it’s not the noir it thinks it is.



The Details

46%

One of those small releases you’re typically surprised to discover even existed, The Details sports a recognizable cast in an indie comedy that’s equal parts dark humor and existential angst. Tobey Maguire plays suburban husband Jeff Lang, who, amid troubles with his wife Nealy (Elizabeth Banks), becomes obsessed with exterminating a family of raccoons terrorizing his property. This obsession sets off a chain of events, each twist more extreme and absurd than the last, that begins to tear Jeff and Nealy’s lives apart, taking some (not so) innocent bystanders along with them. Consensus here is that The Details isn’t quite sure which tone it wants to emphasize, and as a result it fails to pull off either the comic or the tragic particularly effectively. The acting, however, is strong — Ray Liotta, Laura Linney, Kerry Washington, and Dennis Haysbert co-star — and there are some laughs to be had, so at 43%, this might be worth a rental.

Also available this week:

  • William Wyler‘s Funny Girl (92%), starring an Oscar-winning Barbra Streisand in a musical biopic of the influential entertainer Fanny Brice, on Blu-ray.
  • Strictly Ballroom (95%), Baz Luhrmann’s directorial debut about a rebellious ballroom dancer, on Blu-ray.
  • The Revisionaries (91%), a doc about ideological warfare in the US educational system, on DVD.
  • Not Fade Away (69%), a coming-of-age story set in the 1960s and infused with music.
  • 1951 murder mystery The Enforcer (86%), starring Humphrey Bogart, on Blu-ray.
  • Fritz Lang‘s Cloak and Dagger (75%), starring Gary Cooper in a post-war espionage tale, on Blu-ray.

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