RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Archer, Closed Circuit, and More

Some worthy smaller titles and TV series round out this week's list.

With the holiday season officially behind us, the home video releases are starting to pick up again. Not a whole lot, mind you, considering the best-reviewed stuff this week is, again, mostly limited to TV and the smaller theatrical releases, but it won't be long before the awards contenders start showing up in this column. Speaking of which, we want to note that we previously wrote about The Act of Killing back in the beginning of December, when it was originally scheduled to hit shelves, and it turns out it was actually pushed back to this week; we apologize for the mistake. With all that said, here are this week's selections:

Closed Circuit

42%

This thriller opened back in late August but failed to make much noise at the box office; critics weren't particularly enthused about it either. Directed by John Crowley (whose well-received 2007 film Boy A was Andrew Garfield's big screen debut), Closed Circuit stars Rebecca Hall and Eric Bana as ex-lovers who are reunited when they're separately hired to defend a suspected terrorist in a high profile trial. As classified details are uncovered, however, the pair begin to unravel a conspiracy that could endanger their lives. The film boasts an accomplished cast that includes Jim Broadbent, Ciaran Hinds, and Julia Stiles in supporting roles, but most critics found the conspiracy angle a bit predictable and the overall narrative a bit lacking in believability. At 40% on the Tomatometer, Closed Circuit is a mediocre legal thriller that never quite accomplishes what it's going for.

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Runner Runner

9%

As long as we're talking about subpar thrillers populated by otherwise impressive actors, we might as well mention Runner Runner, director Brad Furman's disappointing follow-up to surprise hit The Lincoln Lawyer. Justin Timberlake plays Richie Furst, a Princeton student with a penchant for online gambling who loses big and travels to Costa Rica to confront Ivan Block (Ben Affleck), the gambling mogul he believes has fleeced him. Instead, Ivan takes Richie under his wing, which draws the attention of an FBI agent who wants to put Ivan away for good. Critics largely conceded Runner Runner had the seed of a decent plot, but they also overwhelmingly agreed the film wasted its potential on a lifeless, poorly crafted script. At a mere 9% on the Tomatometer, this is one you can probably skip unless you're really bored.

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Thanks for Sharing

49%

If Steve McQueen's Shame was too serious for you, maybe Thanks for Sharing is more your bag. It wasn't for about half the critics who saw it, but hey, everybody's different. The film follows three couples dealing in different ways with sexual addiction and stars folks like Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Patrick Fugit, Josh Gad, Joely Richardson, and, in a role that impressed quite a few folks, Alecia Moore, better known as pop artist Pink. Critics generally liked the performances here; they also felt that the material was treated a bit too superficially, and that it couldn't quite decide on a balanced tone. Thanks for Sharing sits at 49% on the Tomatometer, so it's not entirely terrible; a little underwhelming might be more accurate.

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Archer - Season 4

94%

Those who remember the early days of Adult Swim and Home Movies are already well familiar with the voice of H. Jon Benjamin. These days, he pulls double duty as both the voice of frumpy patriarch Bob Belcher on Bob's Burgers and that of cocksure super-agent Sterling Archer on FX's Archer. This week, the fourth season of Archer goes on sale, complete with the first episode that finds Archer, having lost his memory, flipping patties at Bob's Burgers while his wife and three kids mill about the restaurant. Over the past few years, the show has found its footing and a dedicated fanbase, and the fourth season currently rates a 93% on the Tomatometer, so it's a pretty solid buy for anyone who's a fan.

Top of the Lake

93%

Jane Campion has focused primarily on film over the past couple of decades, but she's had success on television as well, most recently with her 2013 miniseries Top of the Lake. A joint production of BBC Worldwide and the Sundance Channel, the six-part series is set in New Zealand and stars Elisabeth Moss as a detective charged with investigating the disappearance of a pregnant 12-year-old girl. With a supporting cast that includes David Wenham, Holly Hunter, and Peter Mullan, to name a few, Top of the Lake received near universal acclaim from critics, who praised the acting and strong, atmospheric storytelling. Certified Fresh at 93%, it's a relatively short but riveting trip worth taking.

Also available this week:

  • Birth of the Living Dead (95%), a documentary about George Romero and the societal impact of his debut, Night of the Living Dead.
  • Inequality for All (92%), a Certified Fresh documentary exploring the widening income gap in America that's equal parts witty and informative.
  • We Are What We Are (87%), a Certified Fresh mystery/thriller about the dark secrets behind a strict, small-town patriarchal family.
  • Big Ass Spider! (78%), a sci-fi comedy about two Los Angelenos who attempt to stop a giant rampaging spider.
  • Tiger Eyes (66%), the big screen adaptation of the Judy Blume novel of the same name about a girl coming of age in a new town after the sudden death of her father.
  • Linsanity (65%), a documentary chronicling Asian-American NBA star Jeremy Lin's path to success, beginning with his early life.
  • Season 2 of Copper (100%), the BBC America television series about an Irish detective working the Five Points neighborhood in 1860s New York.
  • The first season of The Following (65%), starring Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy in a series about FBI agents tracking down a serial killer and his cultish followers.
  • Season 3 of the North American remake of Being Human, a TV series about three Boston roommates who happen to be a ghost, a werewolf, and a vampire.

Comments

Vincent

^FUCK THIS GUY

*snark*
First.

Jan 6 - 04:39 PM

I fight for the users

Ian Fastert

Wow, awful week.

Jan 6 - 05:02 PM

Catbus

* Catbus!

Archer saved the day.

Jan 6 - 05:54 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Phrasing! no wait, hmmmm?That's how you get Ants?

Jan 6 - 06:29 PM

Anthony D'Elia

Anthony D'Elia

I swear I had something for this...

Jan 7 - 08:00 PM

Catbus

* Catbus!

Blob Marley.

Jan 7 - 09:21 PM

Catbus

* Catbus!

Archer saved the day.

Jan 6 - 05:54 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Phrasing! no wait, hmmmm?That's how you get Ants?

Jan 6 - 06:29 PM

Anthony D'Elia

Anthony D'Elia

I swear I had something for this...

Jan 7 - 08:00 PM

Catbus

* Catbus!

Blob Marley.

Jan 7 - 09:21 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Hey Runner Runner at 9%. Ben Afleck is a lead character in that. What? a 9% Well clearly it's wrong because he is Suuuuch an Ammmaaaaazing Actor! OH and so is Justin Timberberlake OH this critics Just DONT give either of these guys a chance!

Jan 6 - 06:29 PM

This comment has been removed.

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Mediocre director, limited actor.

Jan 6 - 08:23 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I thinkThe Town is Grossly overrated. My eye's did not see the amazing profound movie everyone else said they saw. I saw a poor rip off of val kilmer from Heat and John Hamm struggling to keep a weak premise together. Also Ben Aflecck flailing around uselessly in one of the most eye vomit inducing Romances of that Year.

Jan 7 - 06:28 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Similarly, I thought Ed Harris MADE Gone Baby Gone, and I should also point out that Casey is the more talented Affleck.

Jan 7 - 07:28 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Not either Affleck's or Phoenix's finest hour, but I still thought it was funnier than Argo, at least. Still, I meant as an actor, Casey is the talented one.

Jan 8 - 05:46 AM

Vincent

^FUCK THIS GUY

Director's only good film was the Lincoln Lawyer.

Jan 6 - 08:30 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

and Maconahay was Fantastic In the LIncoln Lawyer. Affleck can't save a film. Case closed.

Jan 7 - 06:26 PM

Vits

Vicente Torres

Actually, Timberlake's character is the lead.

Jan 7 - 07:38 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Phrasing! no wait, hmmmm?That's how you get Ants?

Jan 6 - 06:29 PM

Anthony D'Elia

Anthony D'Elia

I swear I had something for this...

Jan 7 - 08:00 PM

Catbus

* Catbus!

Blob Marley.

Jan 7 - 09:21 PM

Vits

Vicente Torres

I've seen over 2,000 movies in my life, and RUNNER RUNNER currently ranks #65/80 in my All-Time Worst list.

Critics say THANKS FOR SHARING treats its subject superficially? I'm not surprised. There are still many people who think sex addiction is a joke. I'll still check it out to judge for myself. CLOSED CIRCUIT looks boring.

Jan 6 - 06:39 PM

This comment has been removed.

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Mediocre director, limited actor.

Jan 6 - 08:23 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I thinkThe Town is Grossly overrated. My eye's did not see the amazing profound movie everyone else said they saw. I saw a poor rip off of val kilmer from Heat and John Hamm struggling to keep a weak premise together. Also Ben Aflecck flailing around uselessly in one of the most eye vomit inducing Romances of that Year.

Jan 7 - 06:28 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Similarly, I thought Ed Harris MADE Gone Baby Gone, and I should also point out that Casey is the more talented Affleck.

Jan 7 - 07:28 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Not either Affleck's or Phoenix's finest hour, but I still thought it was funnier than Argo, at least. Still, I meant as an actor, Casey is the talented one.

Jan 8 - 05:46 AM

Vincent

^FUCK THIS GUY

Director's only good film was the Lincoln Lawyer.

Jan 6 - 08:30 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

and Maconahay was Fantastic In the LIncoln Lawyer. Affleck can't save a film. Case closed.

Jan 7 - 06:26 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Saw Top of the Lake on Sundance, and it's very good. I'm looking forward to We Are What We Are and the Romero doc, and, whynot?, gimmie some big ass spider. On another note, will the lovely Gemma Arterton ever get a chance to be in a decent film? Oh, right, Byzantium. See that one instead.

Also, what the hell happed to Adult Swim? Back in 2001-2006 they had some of the best TV in all of cable. Then they forgot about animating stuff. And being funny. "I get it - it's funny because it's not" - Nathan Explosion. So now FX reaps the Sealab talent, and good for them.

Jan 6 - 08:22 PM

Infernal D.

Infernal Dude 2.0

Children's Hospital has grown on me.

Jan 7 - 12:31 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I was just missing Sealab The other day.

Jan 7 - 06:29 PM

Hugo Emanuel Melo

Hugo Emanuel Melo

Janson Jinnistan I've read alot of complaints regarding Top Of The Lake that claimed the series were unrealistic due to the fact that all men are portraited as evil and deviant or hinted as such(except for the main character's romantic interest)and every woman was depicted as sentimental and sensitive. Can you confirm that? If that is true, I am skipping on this, I dislike blatatly biased films or series that hammer a point over our heads in a unrealistic ways. I know alot of men are complete douches and that there is still a great deal of inequality between genres but not ALL men are evil or women fair and pure. BTW I know you to be a great fan of "The Assassination of Jesse James..." (as am I). I watched "12 Years A Slave" yesterday (a brilliant, monumental and important piece of cinema, one of the best movies I've seen in a while) and noticed that it's main musical theme had a considerable likeness to a couple of pieces from TAOJJBTCRF", most notably "A Song For Bob" and "Counting The Stars". As I listened to it's theme I could almost hear "Jesse James"'s narrator's voice over in my head. Did the theme stroke you as similar as well or am I just nuts?

Jan 9 - 03:38 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

1) Regarding TOTL - I honestly didn't notice, but I admit I wasn't looking for subtextual sexual politics. I suppose you could make the same complaint about Silence of the Lambs too. If you're really concerned, I'd probably skip it, because you don't want a 7 hour commitment for something you're not sure about. The best I can tell you is that not ALL the women in the show are so innocent.

2) I've noticed similar sounding soundtracks like these, and I think this kind of folk realism (using instruments and arrangements that are accurate to the period) is just part of the vogue of the moment. I thought of comparisons to Jonny Greenwood's recent music for PT Anderson's films as well. The best part of the score to 12 Years a Slave is that I dind't notice it much. That's positive because I'm not the biggest Hans Zimmer fan, so I'm glad it wasn't in my face as he tends to be.

Jan 9 - 10:06 AM

Hugo Emanuel Melo

Hugo Emanuel Melo

You make a good point, however from what I could gather TOTL appears to focus on alot more characters than "Silence Of The lambs" did. There were maybe three or four male characters in SOTL that were given some focus, hardly enough to consider it's sexual politics subtext very significant or extendable to a more general population.
The Folsky nature of the OST is not really what I meant, as it makes sense that a movie's soundtrack is reminescent of it's period's music. But Hans Zimmer's composition in question shares more simlarities with the songs I mentioned than the instruments it uses. The time signatures, tone and, I believe, the musical notes are very very similar. Coincidently I also quite dislike Zimmer's compositions and it bothers me a bit that he would lean a little too much on the aforementioned Warren Ellis and Nick Cave composition, espeacially considering that both movies were produced by Brad Pitt. It's almost as if Zimmer went home to listen to Pitt's previously produced period piece's OST and tried to duplicate it rather than create a major musical theme for 12 years a slave.

Jan 10 - 04:10 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Mediocre director, limited actor.

Jan 6 - 08:23 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I thinkThe Town is Grossly overrated. My eye's did not see the amazing profound movie everyone else said they saw. I saw a poor rip off of val kilmer from Heat and John Hamm struggling to keep a weak premise together. Also Ben Aflecck flailing around uselessly in one of the most eye vomit inducing Romances of that Year.

Jan 7 - 06:28 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Similarly, I thought Ed Harris MADE Gone Baby Gone, and I should also point out that Casey is the more talented Affleck.

Jan 7 - 07:28 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Not either Affleck's or Phoenix's finest hour, but I still thought it was funnier than Argo, at least. Still, I meant as an actor, Casey is the talented one.

Jan 8 - 05:46 AM

Vincent

^FUCK THIS GUY

Director's only good film was the Lincoln Lawyer.

Jan 6 - 08:30 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

and Maconahay was Fantastic In the LIncoln Lawyer. Affleck can't save a film. Case closed.

Jan 7 - 06:26 PM

Jon Cox

Jon Cox

really want to watch 'Big Ass Spider' online first before buying it
cant believe it's actually good

Jan 6 - 09:21 PM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

Blah. January sucks. I can't wait for the Archer: Season 5 premiere next week. But I might get Season 4. Everything else is just plain crap.

Jan 7 - 12:24 AM

Infernal D.

Infernal Dude 2.0

Children's Hospital has grown on me.

Jan 7 - 12:31 AM

Vits

Vicente Torres

Actually, Timberlake's character is the lead.

Jan 7 - 07:38 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

and Maconahay was Fantastic In the LIncoln Lawyer. Affleck can't save a film. Case closed.

Jan 7 - 06:26 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I thinkThe Town is Grossly overrated. My eye's did not see the amazing profound movie everyone else said they saw. I saw a poor rip off of val kilmer from Heat and John Hamm struggling to keep a weak premise together. Also Ben Aflecck flailing around uselessly in one of the most eye vomit inducing Romances of that Year.

Jan 7 - 06:28 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I was just missing Sealab The other day.

Jan 7 - 06:29 PM

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