RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Three Stooges and Singin' in the Rain

Plus, a couple of prison thrillers, a few comedies, and some indie classics.

After a couple of really disappointing weeks, we've got a handful of nice choices again. Of course, they're peppered among a few more critical disappointments, but hey, we're still miles ahead of the last two RT on DVD lists. Without further ado, let's get right to it!

The Three Stooges

51%

A new film reviving the comedic trio of Larry, Moe, and Curly was far from necessary, but being that much of the Farrelly brothers' (Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary) comedy contains an element of slapstick, it wasn't surprising. For what it's worth, the film didn't elicit nearly the amount of bile that most expected it would from critics, earning a mediocre (but not particularly terrible) 51% on the Tomatometer. TV stars Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos, and Will Sasso play the stooges with surprisingly effective flair in a story about the trio attempting to save the orphanage where they were raised and landing a successful reality television gig. Not the best comedy to emerge this year, but -- to everyone's surprise -- not the worst either.

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Friends With Kids

67%

Adam Scott (currently best known for his role on NBC's Parks and Recreation) and writer/director Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein) are best friends Jason and Julie who, feeling the pressures of age and social norms, decide to have a child together. Can a platonic friendship survive the realities of childbearing and child rearing? The story of Friends with Kids doesn't tread any new territory, but it benefits from a talented cast (including Bridesmaids alumni Kristen Wiig, Chris O?Dowd, Jon Hamm, and Maya Rudolph) and some quirky ideas about parenting and romance. At 68%, it's not as refreshing as it might have hoped to be, but it's a decent rom-com with some good gags and a touch of heart.

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Casa de mi padre

43%

Will Ferrell stars in a send-up of telenovelas about a Mexican farmer who becomes embroiled in a drug war involving his younger brother when he attempts to help save his father's ranch. Oh, and he speaks phonetic Spanish for the film's duration. Most critics agreed that while Casa de mi padre was fairly amusing as a two-minute trailer, the joke wears a bit thin over an 80-minute runtime. A certain affection for the genre it's parodying is evident, but the writing isn't quite strong enough and the laughs don't come often enough; as such, it sits at 44% on the Tomatometer and will probably best be remembered as an interesting but mostly forgettable entry on Ferrell's resume.

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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

67%

Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom has been working since the 1970s, and he's earned two Oscar nominations (for 1985's My Life as a Dog and 1999's The Cider House Rules), but he's nowhere near a household name, mainly because he sticks to small, indie fare like last year's Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. This latest entry stars Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt in a story about a fishery expert with Asperger's syndrome (McGregor) who is called upon to help introduce, well, salmon fishing in Yemen. He soon forms a romantic bond with the sheikh's consultant (Blunt) he's asked to work with, and their faith is tested as they attempt an impossible feat. At 68% on the Tomatometer, Salmon Fishing is a quieter comedy, but a charming romance with some strong performances.

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Lockout

38%

Guy Pearce is a solid actor, as he's proven time and again, but even he can only do so much with a script that lacks depth and originality. Written by Luc Besson (director of The Professional and The Fifth Element), Lockout is a futuristic sci-fi thriller starring Pearce as former CIA Agent Snow, who is falsely imprisoned at a maximum security penitentiary; when the president's daughter (Maggie Grace) is taken hostage by rioting convicts, it's up to Agent Snow to come to the rescue. Critics found Lockout ultimately too derivative of the various sci-fi thrillers from which it borrows, and at 37%, it'll probably only please those looking for a cheap and easy time killer.

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Get the Gringo

81%

Speaking of prison thrillers, here we have one that earned mostly positive reviews. Mel Gibson has suffered from very public personal drama as of late, but in The Gringo, he recalls some of his grittier characters from the past to deliver a tough and slyly witty performance. Gibson is the titular character, aka Jack Sanders, who is sent to a Mexican prison for stealing. Once there, Jack adapts to his new surroundings, and after befriending a boy who has something a crime boss also needs, he sets out to save the boy and break free. Directed and co-written by Adrian Grunberg, who worked under Gibson on Apocalypto, Get the Gringo sits at a healthy 79% on the Tomatometer, due in large part to a striking performance from Gibson and some bloody, cheeky thrills.

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The Turin Horse

88%

For current filmgoers, the works of Bela Tarr can seem less like movies and more like endurance tests. His spare, austere aesthetic is bold and uncompromising: Tarr's shots can last for minutes at a time, and his camera moves at a stately pace, following haunted, exhausted people as they eat, work, and sometimes just sit in silence. (For some, Tarr's greatest sin will be that he insists on shooting in black and white.) But if you give yourself over to his films -- in particular, his latest and possibly last movie, The Turin Horse -- you're in for a hypnotic, evocative experience. It's weighty, to be sure, but beautifully composed, sometimes darkly funny, and unlike anything else in contemporary cinema. The Turin Horse Blu-ray features an early Tarr short, 1978's Hotel Magnezit, plus an audio commentary from critic Jonathan Rosenbaum and a discussion with the filmmaker at a 2007 screening.

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Down By Law - Criterion Collection Blu-Ray

88%

Jim Jarmusch is best known for his understated (and underseen) indie classics of the 1980s and 1990s, films like Stranger than Paradise, Mystery Train, and Dead Man. One of his most beloved films is 1986's Down By Law, the unconventional jailbreak movie/character-driven caper in which Tom Waits, John Lurie, and Roberto Benigni (who mostly speaks Italian throughout the film) find themselves on the run together; the reluctant partners are at odds at first, but an unlikely friendship develops between the three as they each find their way. This is Criterion's first Blu-ray of the film, and it includes most of the extras from the 2002 DVD release, as well as new production Polaroids, location stills, and some commentary from Jarmusch on dubbing and Tom Waits' video for It's All Right With Me.

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Mean Streets - Blu-Ray

98%

It isn't talked about as often as, say, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, or even Goodfellas, but Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets (1973) is no less a stunning film. A young Harvey Keitel plays ambitious Charlie, who hopes to impress his Mafioso uncle enough to run a restaurant, while an even younger Robert De Niro plays Charlie's best friend, Johnny Boy, a good-for-nothing punk with a violent streak who owes a lot of people a lot of money. Together, Keitel and De Niro make an electrifying combination as Scorsese explores themes of urban sin and guilt, marking a breakthrough film for both the director and his stars. The first Blu-ray of the film to be released in the US, Mean Streets hits shelves this week.

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Singin' in the Rain - 60th Anniversary Collector's Edition Blu-Ray

100%

To say that Singin' in the Rain is one of the best movie musicals of all time doesn't quite do it justice. To be sure, it's a great movie, as its 100 percent Tomatometer will attest. But it's also really fun -- it's got some of the most incredible choreography that you'll see outside a Hong Kong action flick, and its songs (which include "Make 'em Laugh," "All I Do Is Dream of You," "Good Morning," and the title tune) are infectious and exhilarating. Like The Artist, Singin' is about cinema's transition from silence to sound, and as such, it's a bright, shiny love letter to the movies. It also contains what's arguably the great Gene Kelly's finest performance. The Singin' in the Rain 60th Anniversary Collector's Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo contains more than four hours of bonus material, including commentaries from cast and crew members, making-of documentaries, outtakes, a 48-page book with rare photos, and even an umbrella.

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Comments

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Once again, Criterion to the rescue with the Jarmusch's great "Down By Law" with a great cast of Waits, Benigni and Lurie the Lounge Lizard. I don't think "Mean Streets" is an upgrade on my DVD, but if you haven't seen it, you must be a mook.

Everything else is so dismal. I'll have to see "Turin House" as it's the arthouse favorite, everyone telling me how wonderfully depressing it is! It's sad when Will Ferrell and Mel Gibson is starting to look like a pretty compelling enchilada double feature. "HOOORAYY!!!" Honestly, I'll probably sucker-down on "Lockout" and "Three Stooges" and hate myself.

Jul 16 - 06:25 PM

Christopher Kulik

Christopher Kulik

As a long-time Stooge fan, I must admit the movie wasn't that bad. Best of all are the three actors who play the Stooges, they were incredible; it really depends on your tolerance for slapstick. There were some scenes where the pain factor was quite high, but overall I was still left with that uncomfortable feeling of why the movie was even made. It will be worth it for the leads, trust me.

On Aug. 6 I have reserved a double feature: MARGARET and AMERICAN REUNION; I'm sure the former will be much more rewarding than the latter, but I might as well try a final slice even though it may be mostly fecal in taste and texture.

Jul 16 - 07:53 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'm worried about Moe (Greek guy) more than anything. He just doesn't seem to have that "simmering" meaness that Moe needs. At worst, I'll catch it on a movie channel eventually.

Jul 16 - 08:04 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

When I saw that Criterion was going to release Rosemary's Baby in October, I became giddy like a school girl.

I admit, outside of Coffee and Cigarettes (love the Bill Murray/RZA/GZA bit), I have not seen much Jim Jarmusch.

And if I owned a Blu-Ray player, I'd be all over Mean Streets.

Jul 16 - 08:05 PM

Linda B.

Linda Burke

I didn't know about Rosemary's Baby being released. That is super exciting!!! :)

Jul 16 - 08:31 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Can I recommend Polanski's "Repulsion"? I think it's actually a little creepier, and is also on Criterion.

Jul 17 - 12:30 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Some of the Jarmusch films I would recommend are "Mystery Train", "Dead Man", "Ghost Dog". "Night on Earth" has a hilarious Benigni segment. Murray is very good in the otherwise mediocre "Broken Flowers". I really liked "Limits of Control", but many people didn't. Buyer beware.

Jul 17 - 12:34 PM

Christopher Kulik

Christopher Kulik

Nice shout on REPULSION, dude! For sixteen years, that was the scariest movie I've ever seen...on my initial viewing, I very nearly lost complete control of my bodily functions and that final shot I was, literally, frozen in fear (thanks to not just Polanski's direction but my interpretation as to what really happened to her). I do consider it superior to ROSEMARY'S BABY, although it's a lot more raw and arthouse in comparison, thus limiting audience appeal. Still, multiple viewings have made me love it all the more, and I'm glad that Criterion finally gave it new life on DVD and Blu-ray, overcoming all the rights hurdles and putting an end to third-rate distributors releasing it with shitty prints.

Oh, and what movie has trumped REPLUSION has the scariest movie I've ever seen? THE CHINA SYNDROME, which I watched for the first time only a week after Fukushima.

Jul 17 - 09:22 PM

Matt Jordan

Matt Jordan

I'm still not seeing all the fuss over Down by Law, I've watched it twice and I'm still not seeing what is so great about it. Personally it put me to sleep. I'll give you Waits. But Benigni? horrible actor, i know he is still huge in Italy but i am still bitter over his Oscar win over Edward Norton in 99. Can anyone seriously tell me what Benigni did in Life was better than what Norton did in American History X? Or Ian McKellen in Gods and Monsters...while we are on the subject.

Jul 17 - 10:41 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Neither one of them was better than Tom Hanks in "Private Ryan", but this has no effect on my appreciation of "Down By Law". Jarmusch can be an aquired taste, but there are many people who don't "get" his films.

Jul 17 - 12:26 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Some great choices here... I'm absolutely not a fan of Bela Tarr, I find his work incredibly boring and impossible to sit through. That said, I respect what he does, and so I am still happy for the BD release of Turin Horse - hopefully someone will be able to derive true pleasure from the remaster.

Mean Streets is awesome and Gringo was fun while it lasted. Absolutely don't care about singing in rain-storms. I'm much more of a reading-a-book-by-a-fireplace kinda guy.

Jul 16 - 06:31 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

I am guessing you don't like Pina Coladas either?

Jul 16 - 07:54 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

Nor getting caught in the rain.

Jul 17 - 03:44 PM

Christopher Kulik

Christopher Kulik

As a long-time Stooge fan, I must admit the movie wasn't that bad. Best of all are the three actors who play the Stooges, they were incredible; it really depends on your tolerance for slapstick. There were some scenes where the pain factor was quite high, but overall I was still left with that uncomfortable feeling of why the movie was even made. It will be worth it for the leads, trust me.

On Aug. 6 I have reserved a double feature: MARGARET and AMERICAN REUNION; I'm sure the former will be much more rewarding than the latter, but I might as well try a final slice even though it may be mostly fecal in taste and texture.

Jul 16 - 07:53 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'm worried about Moe (Greek guy) more than anything. He just doesn't seem to have that "simmering" meaness that Moe needs. At worst, I'll catch it on a movie channel eventually.

Jul 16 - 08:04 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

I am guessing you don't like Pina Coladas either?

Jul 16 - 07:54 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

Nor getting caught in the rain.

Jul 17 - 03:44 PM

Sputnik99

sputnik 99

I am also a long-time Stooges fan, and although the original guys are a lot better, the new movie really hit the spot. Was it necessary? No, but how many movies really ever are? I loved the new Stooges movie, and will be first in line to buy it tomorrow!

Jul 16 - 08:02 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'm worried about Moe (Greek guy) more than anything. He just doesn't seem to have that "simmering" meaness that Moe needs. At worst, I'll catch it on a movie channel eventually.

Jul 16 - 08:04 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

When I saw that Criterion was going to release Rosemary's Baby in October, I became giddy like a school girl.

I admit, outside of Coffee and Cigarettes (love the Bill Murray/RZA/GZA bit), I have not seen much Jim Jarmusch.

And if I owned a Blu-Ray player, I'd be all over Mean Streets.

Jul 16 - 08:05 PM

Linda B.

Linda Burke

I didn't know about Rosemary's Baby being released. That is super exciting!!! :)

Jul 16 - 08:31 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Can I recommend Polanski's "Repulsion"? I think it's actually a little creepier, and is also on Criterion.

Jul 17 - 12:30 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Some of the Jarmusch films I would recommend are "Mystery Train", "Dead Man", "Ghost Dog". "Night on Earth" has a hilarious Benigni segment. Murray is very good in the otherwise mediocre "Broken Flowers". I really liked "Limits of Control", but many people didn't. Buyer beware.

Jul 17 - 12:34 PM

Christopher Kulik

Christopher Kulik

Nice shout on REPULSION, dude! For sixteen years, that was the scariest movie I've ever seen...on my initial viewing, I very nearly lost complete control of my bodily functions and that final shot I was, literally, frozen in fear (thanks to not just Polanski's direction but my interpretation as to what really happened to her). I do consider it superior to ROSEMARY'S BABY, although it's a lot more raw and arthouse in comparison, thus limiting audience appeal. Still, multiple viewings have made me love it all the more, and I'm glad that Criterion finally gave it new life on DVD and Blu-ray, overcoming all the rights hurdles and putting an end to third-rate distributors releasing it with shitty prints.

Oh, and what movie has trumped REPLUSION has the scariest movie I've ever seen? THE CHINA SYNDROME, which I watched for the first time only a week after Fukushima.

Jul 17 - 09:22 PM

Linda B.

Linda Burke

I didn't know about Rosemary's Baby being released. That is super exciting!!! :)

Jul 16 - 08:31 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Can I recommend Polanski's "Repulsion"? I think it's actually a little creepier, and is also on Criterion.

Jul 17 - 12:30 PM

marinerbc m.

marinerbc marinerbc

Some great choices here... I'm absolutely not a fan of Bela Tarr, I find his work incredibly boring and impossible to sit through. [img]http://www.demama.info/g.gif[/img]

Jul 17 - 02:01 AM

James Mcroy

James Mcroy

What about the intruders starring clive owen

Jul 17 - 02:09 AM

Epic Barney Funk

Barney Funk

I gotta see me some Three Stooges. People say it is not bad so I will check that out and maybe Lockout. It looks kinda interesting.

Jul 17 - 05:03 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Don't pay any money to see Lockout; it is horrible. Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace save the movie from being bottom of the barrel due to committed performances, but the script, action, special effects, and pretty much everything else in the movie is subpar. The motorcycle chase near the beginning is particuarly awful.

Jul 18 - 12:52 AM

Matt Jordan

Matt Jordan

I'm still not seeing all the fuss over Down by Law, I've watched it twice and I'm still not seeing what is so great about it. Personally it put me to sleep. I'll give you Waits. But Benigni? horrible actor, i know he is still huge in Italy but i am still bitter over his Oscar win over Edward Norton in 99. Can anyone seriously tell me what Benigni did in Life was better than what Norton did in American History X? Or Ian McKellen in Gods and Monsters...while we are on the subject.

Jul 17 - 10:41 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Neither one of them was better than Tom Hanks in "Private Ryan", but this has no effect on my appreciation of "Down By Law". Jarmusch can be an aquired taste, but there are many people who don't "get" his films.

Jul 17 - 12:26 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Neither one of them was better than Tom Hanks in "Private Ryan", but this has no effect on my appreciation of "Down By Law". Jarmusch can be an aquired taste, but there are many people who don't "get" his films.

Jul 17 - 12:26 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Can I recommend Polanski's "Repulsion"? I think it's actually a little creepier, and is also on Criterion.

Jul 17 - 12:30 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Some of the Jarmusch films I would recommend are "Mystery Train", "Dead Man", "Ghost Dog". "Night on Earth" has a hilarious Benigni segment. Murray is very good in the otherwise mediocre "Broken Flowers". I really liked "Limits of Control", but many people didn't. Buyer beware.

Jul 17 - 12:34 PM

Christopher Kulik

Christopher Kulik

Nice shout on REPULSION, dude! For sixteen years, that was the scariest movie I've ever seen...on my initial viewing, I very nearly lost complete control of my bodily functions and that final shot I was, literally, frozen in fear (thanks to not just Polanski's direction but my interpretation as to what really happened to her). I do consider it superior to ROSEMARY'S BABY, although it's a lot more raw and arthouse in comparison, thus limiting audience appeal. Still, multiple viewings have made me love it all the more, and I'm glad that Criterion finally gave it new life on DVD and Blu-ray, overcoming all the rights hurdles and putting an end to third-rate distributors releasing it with shitty prints.

Oh, and what movie has trumped REPLUSION has the scariest movie I've ever seen? THE CHINA SYNDROME, which I watched for the first time only a week after Fukushima.

Jul 17 - 09:22 PM

McBeth C.

McBeth Crowe

Singin' in the Rain? RAPIST!! RAPIST!! RAAAAAPPPIIIISSSSST!

Jul 17 - 01:03 PM

Austin Devine

Austin Devine

U REMEBER THAT SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO

Jul 17 - 07:52 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

Nor getting caught in the rain.

Jul 17 - 03:44 PM

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