RT on DVD & Blu-ray: The Vow & Underworld: Awakening

Plus, a bizarre comedy, a gruesome thriller, and a story of urban unrest.

by | May 8, 2012 | Comments

We’re getting hit with a double-whammy this week, as we not only have few home video releases worth talking about, but even among those worth mentioning, the highest-rated new release comes in at a mediocre 46% on the Tomatometer; that distinction belongs to a home invasion thriller headlined by Rebecca DeMornay. The other films we’ve got? The latest Underworld film, the Rachel McAdams/Channing Tatum drama, Tim and Eric’s feature film, and a new Criterion Blu-ray. See below to read more!

The Vow

Rachel McAdams is just about the most likeable actress around these days, and Channing Tatum is doing a lot to convince people he’s not just a pretty, dancing hunk, but neither of them could do much to save The Vow. Based on true events, The Vow stars McAdams and Tatum as Paige and Leo, a young married couple whose relationship is tested when a car accident leaves Paige without any memory of the past few years… including meeting and marrying Leo. Critics felt both McAdams and Tatum did the best they could with what they were given, but a shallow and overly familiar script hampered the film’s chances of being anything memorable.

Underworld: Awakening

After starring in the first two Underworld films, Kate Beckinsale sat out Rise of the Lycans, which was meant to be a prequel to the series. For Awakening, Beckinsale returns to reprise her role as vampire Death Dealer Selene, captured and imprisoned by a human population now fully aware of the existence of vampires and werewolves and hell bent on destroying both. With new allies assisting her, Selene must discover the truth behind the mass extermination of her species. Underworld: Awakening earned about the same critical response the other films in the franchise have gotten, so even at 29% on the Tomatometer, it’s probably just about as good as you would expect it to be.

Mother’s Day

Darenn Lynn Bousman got his start with the first three Saw sequels, and he applies the same terror template to Mother’s Day, an updated remake of the 1980 thriller of the same name. When a botched bank robbery sends three brothers (Patrick Flueger, Warren Kole, Matt O?Leary) back to their mother’s (Rebecca DeMornay) home, they are surprised to find it occupied by new owners in the midst of a birthday celebration. The trio takes the residents and their guests hostage and calls in their mother, every bit as sadistic as they are, to take control of the situation. At 46%, Mother’s Day is mostly a rote home invasion thriller with some graphic violence that earns as high a rating as it does primarily because of DeMornay’s chilling performance.

Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie

The absurdist comedy of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim isn’t for everyone, though they maintain a dedicated cult following for their Adult Swim show. Their brand of anti-humor is difficult to describe, so feel free to peruse a few clips from Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! on YouTube for reference (if that title alone doesn’t say it all…). The story for their first feature-length film is that they’ve been given $1 billion to make a movie, but they end up wasting it all, and before long, Tim and Eric are on the run, looking for a way to pay back the money. Critics say Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie certainly does what it sets out to do, but it may be a little off-putting for anyone not already familiar with their peculiar antics.

La Haine – Criterion Collection Blu-Ray

Mathieu Kassovitz is probably better known for his roles in films like Munich and Amelie than his directorial work, but his second feature film, 1995’s La Haine was a hit at Cannes, winning Kassovitz the prize for Best Director. The story focuses on three friends — one Jew (Vincent Cassel), one African (Hubert Koundé), one Arab (Said Taghmaoui) — who live in one of France’s low-income banlieue districts, following a single day in their lives as they entertain themselves and face various forms of prejudice. A dark and gritty reflection of the lives of France’s disaffected youth, La Haine examines the country’s contemporary immigrant culture with biting commentary. Criterion’s new Blu-Ray of the film drops this week.

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