RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Rum Diary and Take Shelter

Plus, a gag-inducing horror sequel, an American classic, and a Brazillian favorite.

This week on home video, we've got an interesting mish-mash of movies to mention. We'll kick things off with the new "Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson proxy" movie and the psychological thriller featuring a powerhouse Michael Shannon performance. Then, we've got Brazil's top moneymaker (ever!), the second installment (and "full sequence") of a horror movie that'll leave a bad taste in your mouth, and an acclaimed documentary about the inner city. Rounding things out are a low-budget indie comedy and an American war movie classic. See below for the full list!

The Rum Diary

50%

In 2011, 13 years after first portraying a Hunter S. Thompson doppelganger in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Johnny Depp took on two roles that referenced the controversial writer: one by way of an animated chameleon that took its cues from Fear and Loathing's Raoul Duke (Rango), and the other by way of an adaptation of Thompson's semi-autobiographical debut novel, The Rum Diary. While the former was considered a success, the latter, unfortunately, split critics in much the same way that Fear and Loathing did. The Rum Diary follows journalist Paul Kemp (Depp) as he travels to Puerto Rico to write for a local paper. While there, Paul is tasked with writing a favorable story about an American entrepreneur (Aaron Eckhart) intent on exploiting the island for commercial gain, and Paul must contemplate the murky moral nature of the piece. Critics felt that Depp was as committed to the role as ever, and that the film was colorful and amiable enough, but they were also a bit put off by the rambling source material, which made for an unfocused narrative. Fans of both Thompson and Depp may enjoy the flick, but at 50% on the Tomatometer (and with a 45% user rating), there are no guarantees here.

Take Shelter

92%

Every year, there are a handful of films that enter and leave theaters very quietly, then pop up out of nowhere to appear all over critics' year-end lists. Take Shelter premiered last year at Sundance and ran the festival circuit, picking up a handful of awards along the way, before opening in limited release back in September. Though it failed to make enough money to recoup its already modest $5 million budget, critics raved about the film and its central performance by Michael Shannon. Shannon plays Curtis LaForche, an Ohio family man who begins dreaming about an apocalyptic storm. Deciding at first to keep the dreams to himself, Curtis pours all of his energy into building a storm shelter in his back yard; his obsession with the shelter eventually strains all the meaningful relationships in his life. A piece of subtle, nuanced filmmaking, Take Shelter won praise from critics who felt Michael Shannon's performance alone made the film worth seeing, but also called the film itself a perfect blend of drama and dread. It's a slow-burn psychological mindbender that builds tension gradually, so it's not for everyone, but at a Certified Fresh 92% on the Tomatometer, you can be sure you'll be witnessing some top notch filmmaking.

The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence

30%

Tom Six apparently wasn't joking when he sub-titled the first Human Centipede film "First Sequence," because here it is just two years later, and we've got the inevitable sequel on our hands. The first film -- something of an instant cult favorite, even if it made pennies at the box office -- seemed to have fully explored its central premise, so what could Six do to up the ante? This time around, he goes with the meta commentary, focusing on a disturbed, overweight parking garage attendant named Martin Lomax (Laurence R. Harvey) who's obsessed with the first Human Centipede film. Eventually, Martin decides to recreate the experiment therein portrayed, and what ensues is a brutal, graphic depiction of his efforts. Earning just a 31% on the Tomatometer, The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence was so over the top that many critics simply got tired of it and felt the weak attempt at social commentary (violence in the movies begets violence in real life) was undone by its own boundary-pushing. Nevertheless, the film did have its small share of supporters, who thought the improvement in technical skill over the first film at least held some merit.

Elite Squad: The Enemy Within

93%

Unless you've got your eye on South American cinema, you may not have heard of the 2007 action thriller The Elite Squad, but it was a hit in its native Brazil, and last year, its sequel, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within became the biggest box office seller in the country. One of the few movies to be cut from the Best Foreign Film Oscar short list, The Enemy Within picks up the story from the first installment after 13 years have passed, and its central protagonist, military police officer Robert Nascimento (Wagner Moura), has been promoted as head of Rio de Janeiro's branch of BOPE (a special ops battalion). When a prison riot massacre finds him favor with the general public, he's promoted yet again to Sub-Secretary of Intelligence, only to discover that new evil, separate and entirely different from the drug gangs he's put down for years, lurks within the halls of politics. Certified Fresh at 95%, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within isn't one of those "eat your veggies" foreign films; it's a bleak, unflinching look at Brazil's underbelly, told with raw, unstoppable kinetic force.

The Interrupters

100%

The good news: violent crime in our cities has been in decline for more than a decade. The bad news: that's cold comfort to those who live in areas where violence remains prevalent. The Interrupters is the story of a group of brave men and women who are doing something about it; as "violence interrupters," the members of CeaseFire (many of whom are former gang members themselves) attempt to defuse potentially deadly conflicts as they happen. Director Steve James, whose classic Hoop Dreams captured the difficulty of teenage hoopsters with startling intimacy and power, has delivered yet another haunting portrait of life in urban America, and critics tripped over each other to praise The Interrupters, one of the year's best-reviewed documentaries. The DVD release features tons of extra footage and an interview with James.

Tiny Furniture

77%

Wouldn't it be nice if you could graduate from college, move home, decide to shoot a film about graduating college and moving home, cast your real life mother and sister in the film, shoot said film in your mother's real life home, and then have the film shown at festivals to critical acclaim? That's exactly what 24-year-old writer-director-actress Lena Dunham did, and the result was last year's Tiny Furniture. At first glance, the story seems like pretty standard mumblecore fare, with familiar themes of post-grad ennui, awkward romance, and quirky family relationships, but most critics agree that Dunham's keen eye and sharp wit rank her a notch above the usual. As such, the film currently sits at a Certified Fresh 72%, and this week, Criterion is honoring the young filmmaker's SXSW hit by adding it to their collection. The extras include an interview between Nora Ephron and Dunham, Dunham's first feature film (Creative Nonfiction), four of her short films, and more. Only time will tell if Dunham will continue to produce quality work, but for now, consensus seems to be that she's got a potentially bright future ahead of her.

All Quiet on the Western Front Collector's Series Blu-Ray

97%

Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front has been a perennial high school literature selection for decades, and like To Kill a Mockingbird from a couple weeks ago, if you read it, there's a decent chance you probably also watched the film adaptation with your class. We're speaking, of course, about the Oscar-winning (Best Picture and Best Director) 1930 adaptation starring Lew Ayres. For those unfamiliar, All Quiet on the Western Front follows a group of World War I era German soldiers who patriotically sign up for the army and are sent to the front lines, only to discover that, well, war is hell. Known for its epic scope, impressive battle scenes, realistic portrayal of war, and haunting imagery, All Quiet is a bona fide American classic, earning a place in the Library of Congress's National Film Registry. This Collector's Series Blu-ray/DVD combo comes with a booklet that includes memorabilia reproductions, posters, and never before seen photos.

Comments

Sean D.

Sean D

I have heard very good things about 'Take Shelter.' I may rent that one. Anyone else recommend it?

Feb 13 - 05:07 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I recommend at least a rental. It makes a good double feature with "Melancholia", which I was actually disappointed with. Interesting to contrast the subject matter.

Feb 13 - 05:16 PM

Signourey Chunty Chunt C.

Signourey Chunty Chunt C.

I recommend it, but I also recommend hopping around like a bunty. Bunties are beautiful creatures that resemble bunnies, though they have a little less "n" and a bit more "t" in their personalities. If you were to transform into a bunty, it would be alot like watching any of the three Transformers movies, but without the pain and suffering. To see what a bunty looks like, go to time 34:57 in The Tree of Life and examine the top left corner of the screen. I hope this helps you in your decision to rent Take Shelter.

Feb 14 - 04:13 AM

Sean D.

Sean D

M'lady, your argument is air tight.
You have convinced me!

Feb 14 - 08:12 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

So I'm a sucker, right? I flip in the "Tree" DVD and in the upper left corner of 34:57 is an asteroid floating over Saturn. Since this scene is directly prior to the dinosaur-killing asteroid impact scene, it must have some connection to the doomsday aspect of "Take Shelter"?

I'm also a dork. "bunties" - A word used to to describe your bed
Bunty - An attractive white girl
A disgusting, smelly, obese, unhygenic or generally revolting person.
A person who is rude, stubborn, selfish and hypocritical.
Verb. the act of stealing or taking.
A term for well respected individuals who are considered to be very intellegent
To excell at excellence
A bunty is the proper ghetto way of describing a "boost" or a hand, in helping an individual to climb an otherwise insurmountable object, by way of directing both hands towards each other and interlocking/overlapping the fingers so as to create an artificial "step" for the climber's foot.
A very brutal form of murder or killing.
Largely used by spoilt children and slow adults, a bunty is a word for a bidet. It is thought to have origionated somewhere in europe or india, and is in common use on the streets of major cities by a childish looking man, dashing down the street knocking on doors with an incriminating stain on his posterior.
A general internet badass known to worm his way out of slippery situations and make a mockery of the english language.
Most commonly referred to as Poot, a short, round, rather rotund person of the tiny stature. The state of being often results in being punted.
A small obese burgandy monster with buldgy white eyes,a nose like a loose asshole,a big smily mouth,tiny front legs and a tail.
Used as a disparaging term for a mentally retarded person.

Feb 14 - 10:22 AM

Sean D.

Sean D

Sir, I admire your dedication and attention to detail! You provide a valuable service to the RT community! Keep it up! :D

Feb 15 - 06:26 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Thanks should go to Urban Dictionary (typos and all!). And Signourey, I hope you don't take this fun-making the wrong way.

Feb 15 - 09:18 AM

Signourey Chunty Chunt C.

Signourey Chunty Chunt C.

Haha, you're response made my day!

Feb 15 - 11:49 AM

Jessica H.

Jessica Harris

Looking for someone to share your fantasies with?
Welcome to---casualchats.com---the best place to seek casual fun and short-term relationship. Tens of thousands members with verified photos and detailed profiles are active there. Come in and meet the perfect person, e.x.a.c.t.l.y. what you want for yourself. :)

Feb 15 - 07:31 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

23 Years? I know I'm not that old.

A lot of must rentals here. "Take Shelter", "Elite Squad" and "Interrupters" were all grossly overlooked by the Academy. I have a hard time believing "Rum Diaries" is less than amusing. Finally a Criterion release I don't have to buy! And anyone who hasn't caught one of TCM's many showings of "All Quiet" need to check that classic out. I wish someone would prove Tom Six right and punch him in the face.

Feb 13 - 05:15 PM

rt-ryan

Ryan Fujitani

Haha, typo! Why do they put the 1 so close to the 2? Sheesh...

Feb 13 - 05:19 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

The possibility of physical and mental collapse is now very real...

Feb 14 - 10:41 AM

Ramzi Kibbi

Ramzi Kibbi

its not that good i watched with high hopes only to find myself bored for the entire time..... and if u rent wou will understand why

Feb 14 - 06:13 AM

ap sirius

karl anderson

Im waiting for Six' third segment...where he come to all your homes and sews you to his ass till you give him a good tomato meter rating....that would be a great movie....

Feb 14 - 05:32 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

They played "Interrupters" last night on Frontline. Very powerful, empathetic stuff. That means you can probably find it on the PBS website for free, if you want to be cheap about it.

Feb 15 - 09:21 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I recommend at least a rental. It makes a good double feature with "Melancholia", which I was actually disappointed with. Interesting to contrast the subject matter.

Feb 13 - 05:16 PM

Cinema-Maniac

Caesar Mendez

I'm definitely getting Elite Squad and Take Shelter. I'm probably going to rent The Interrupters, everything else is a skip for me.

Feb 13 - 05:17 PM

rt-ryan

Ryan Fujitani

Haha, typo! Why do they put the 1 so close to the 2? Sheesh...

Feb 13 - 05:19 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

The possibility of physical and mental collapse is now very real...

Feb 14 - 10:41 AM

Ethan J.

Ethan Jannes

Fear and Loathing was '98 brother, not '88.

Feb 13 - 05:20 PM

Ken

Kenneth W.

@"Rum Diary" I hear it's mostly just so-so (I guess a "50%" is the definition of so-so), but it is Depp playing a Thompson character again, so inevitably, I'm probably going to give it a look.

@"Human Centipede II" I'll be honest: this movie (I never thought I'd say this) sort of had potential. The main premise was kind of interesting and Laurence Harvey is actually really good in it. So that first half hour works, but after that, it's just a barrage of more "THIS IS CONTROVERISAL, RIGHT?!" stupidity. Eventually, it's just boring.

@"Interrupters" Loved "Hoop Dreams", so I'll probably see this.

Feb 13 - 07:52 PM

David Tanny

David Tanny

I want to check out Elite Squad. Both this new one and the first film. i also want to see Take Shelter.

As for Human Centipede 2, the only reason I found enjoyment with the first film was because of Dieter Laser's performance. He made the film for me. The fact that he's not in this one makes me uninterested in seeing it.

Feb 13 - 08:37 PM

sunsaz

Chris Moore

Renting Take Shelter. Already own Western Front on DVD. Other than that, nothing of note this week.

Feb 13 - 08:44 PM

Bertram Krogh

Bertram Krogh

Take Shelter - fantastic film. Watch it.

Feb 14 - 12:05 AM

Signourey Chunty Chunt C.

Signourey Chunty Chunt C.

I recommend it, but I also recommend hopping around like a bunty. Bunties are beautiful creatures that resemble bunnies, though they have a little less "n" and a bit more "t" in their personalities. If you were to transform into a bunty, it would be alot like watching any of the three Transformers movies, but without the pain and suffering. To see what a bunty looks like, go to time 34:57 in The Tree of Life and examine the top left corner of the screen. I hope this helps you in your decision to rent Take Shelter.

Feb 14 - 04:13 AM

Sean D.

Sean D

M'lady, your argument is air tight.
You have convinced me!

Feb 14 - 08:12 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

So I'm a sucker, right? I flip in the "Tree" DVD and in the upper left corner of 34:57 is an asteroid floating over Saturn. Since this scene is directly prior to the dinosaur-killing asteroid impact scene, it must have some connection to the doomsday aspect of "Take Shelter"?

I'm also a dork. "bunties" - A word used to to describe your bed
Bunty - An attractive white girl
A disgusting, smelly, obese, unhygenic or generally revolting person.
A person who is rude, stubborn, selfish and hypocritical.
Verb. the act of stealing or taking.
A term for well respected individuals who are considered to be very intellegent
To excell at excellence
A bunty is the proper ghetto way of describing a "boost" or a hand, in helping an individual to climb an otherwise insurmountable object, by way of directing both hands towards each other and interlocking/overlapping the fingers so as to create an artificial "step" for the climber's foot.
A very brutal form of murder or killing.
Largely used by spoilt children and slow adults, a bunty is a word for a bidet. It is thought to have origionated somewhere in europe or india, and is in common use on the streets of major cities by a childish looking man, dashing down the street knocking on doors with an incriminating stain on his posterior.
A general internet badass known to worm his way out of slippery situations and make a mockery of the english language.
Most commonly referred to as Poot, a short, round, rather rotund person of the tiny stature. The state of being often results in being punted.
A small obese burgandy monster with buldgy white eyes,a nose like a loose asshole,a big smily mouth,tiny front legs and a tail.
Used as a disparaging term for a mentally retarded person.

Feb 14 - 10:22 AM

Sean D.

Sean D

Sir, I admire your dedication and attention to detail! You provide a valuable service to the RT community! Keep it up! :D

Feb 15 - 06:26 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Thanks should go to Urban Dictionary (typos and all!). And Signourey, I hope you don't take this fun-making the wrong way.

Feb 15 - 09:18 AM

Signourey Chunty Chunt C.

Signourey Chunty Chunt C.

Haha, you're response made my day!

Feb 15 - 11:49 AM

Jessica H.

Jessica Harris

Looking for someone to share your fantasies with?
Welcome to---casualchats.com---the best place to seek casual fun and short-term relationship. Tens of thousands members with verified photos and detailed profiles are active there. Come in and meet the perfect person, e.x.a.c.t.l.y. what you want for yourself. :)

Feb 15 - 07:31 PM

Lammert Verhoeven

Lammert Verhoeven

I've seen Take Shelter. I didn't have high expectations, but it blew me away. Storyline and acting are great. And the ending took me by surprise. If you love movies, you should absolutely check it out! And go see Bullhead in theaters this week, it's the best foreign language film to be nominated for an academy award.

Feb 14 - 05:11 AM

Ramzi Kibbi

Ramzi Kibbi

its not that good i watched with high hopes only to find myself bored for the entire time..... and if u rent wou will understand why

Feb 14 - 06:13 AM

What's Hot On RT

Critics Consensus
Critics Consensus

The Other Woman Short on Laughs

Total Recall
Total Recall

Cameron Diaz's 10 Best Movies

WonderCon
WonderCon

175 cosplay pictures

24 Frames
24 Frames

Experiments Gone Wrong!

Find us on:                 
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile