RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Hyde Park on Hudson

Plus... Not much else, actually.

For the second week in a row, we've got some pretty slim choices coming on on home video. So much so that really the only notable new release is an FDR biopic misfire starring Bill Murray. Since there wasn't much else to write about, we're also including two others that at least received Fresh reviews, as well as a couple of new Criterion releases that may be of interest to you cinephiles out there. See below for the full list.

Hyde Park on Hudson

36%

As this week's only prominent new release, Hyde Park on Hudson is kind of a disappointment. Based in part on the private writings of Margaret "Daisy" Suckley, distant cousin to Franklin D. Roosevelt (and suspected mistress of the same), the film stars Bill Murray as the fmous 32nd POTUS and Olivia Williams as his wife Eleanor. The year is 1939, and FDR is hosting King George VI (Samuel West) and Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) at his titular homestead, entertaining a plea for support by the royals on the eve of World War II. If that seems a bit dry and serious for a Bill Murray picture, don't worry; between playful fish-out-of-water gags and whimsical romantic intrigue (between FDR and Daisy, played by Laura Linney), Hyde Park on Hudson featured enough mild high jinks to keep it from seeping into melodrama. That said, critics largely found the film middle-of-the-road; not enough drama to take seriously, and not enough humor to make it an effective comedy. At 38% on the Tomatometer, most say its crime isn't that it's outright bad, but that it doesn't leave much of an impression either way.

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One Life

90%

Those of you who are familiar with the BBC's nature documentaries -- often hosted and narrated by David Attenborough -- know how impressive they are. Back in 2006, Discovery Channel co-produced with the BBC what might be considered the definitive nature series in Planet Earth, and the astounding footage compiled for that series has been repurposed for other shows and, in the case of DisneyNature, films like Earth and African Cats. One Life similarly compiles several bits of previously seen footage into one feature-length glimpse at the strange and beautiful inhabitants of Earth, this time narrated by Daniel Craig. If you've seen Planet Earth and its sister programs, there won't be much new to you here, but at 95% on the Tomatometer, it's unlikely you'll find such dazzling imagery anywhere else.

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In Another Country

81%

South Korea has produced a number of notable auteurs in the past decade or so, and while some -- like Park Chan-wook (Stoker) and Kim Jee-woon (The Last Stand) -- have even transitioned into Hollywood this year, others remain less recognized. One such case is Hong Sang-soo, a Cannes regular whose most recent film, In Another Country has earned largely positive reviews. The film begins with the framing device of a young film student dreaming up three scenarios for a screenplay set in the small town where she and her mother are hiding out from debtors. All three plots star Isabelle Huppert as a French woman named Anne visiting the Korean countryside, and all three play comically with themes of jealousy and infidelity. Critics agree that Huppert plays the part(s) with charm and lighthearted grace, making this film a pleasant and intriguing curiosity, even if it doesn't offer the most profound observations.

Also available this week:

  • Two more from the Criterion Collection: 1954 Oscar-winner Gate of Hell (100%) is newly available on both Blu-ray and DVD, and David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch (69%) is now available in a Blu-ray version.
  • The CGI-laden fantasy martial arts film The Sorcerer and the White Snake (21%), starring Jet Li.
  • Bad Kids Go to Hell (44%), a graphic novel-based horror-comedy sendup of The Breakfast Club, featuring none other than Judd Nelson.

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