RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Justin Bieber and Blue Valentine

Plus, a Natalie Portman rom-com, a tribute to Jacques Tati, and a Korean thriller.

This week on home video, there were a lot of rather random Blu-Ray re-releases peppering the market; stuff like V.I. Warshawski, Equilibrium, My Father the Hero, and Another Stakeout. Luckily, there were enough other decent releases that we didn't have to resort to descriptions of a young Katherine Heigl's swimsuit, or Kathleen Turner's aptitude as a private eye. New releases this week include Justin Bieber's own concert/biopic, the Natalie Portman-Ashton Kutcher rom-com that sounds suspiciously similar to an upcoming Mila Kunis-Justin Timberlake rom-com, and a melodrama that earned Michelle Williams an Oscar nod, among others. See below, and hopefully some of these entries will wash the bad taste of last week out of your mouth.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

64%

Sometime in 2008, a young, mop-topped Canadian with a YouTube account was discovered and introduced to recording artist Usher. Soon after, he who might otherwise have been a mere web super-vlogger became a huge pop sensation. That young man, of course, is Justin Bieber, and considering his astonishing rise to fame, it probably wasn't surprising that MTV Films saw an opportunity to chronicle a bit of The Bieb's personal life for the big screen. The end result was, of course, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, a combination documentary/concert film that follows the young phenom over a period of ten days, leading up to a Madison Square Garden concert that sold out in just 22 minutes. And guess what? The film earned a respectable 65% on the Tomatometer! Yes, Bieber has become somewhat of a whipping boy for all kinds of pop culture commentators, but this intimate look at his life impressed critics just enough. You won't be renting this if you're not already a fan, but if you do enjoy the kid's music, you'll probably love it. And you can take this last bit of information for what it's worth, but the official DVD release date for Never Say Never is May 13. That's Friday the 13th, for you lovers of irony out there.

No Strings Attached

49%

Natalie Portman is so hot right now. If her Oscar win for Black Swan wasn't enough to convince you, then consider that she's currently already starring in five films so far in 2011, including the blockbuster that won the weekend box office (Thor). Unfortunately, not all of them have been lavished with praise, and such was the case for No Strings Attached, which stars Portman and Ashton Kutcher as a couple of old friends who decide to try a physical relationship with no emotional attachment. Of course, feelings come into play, and they must learn how to deal with them. Critics didn't think No Strings Attached was a complete failure, mainly due to Portman's charisma and Ivan Reitman's directorial prowess, but they found little else to like. There were enough who enjoyed some of the film's humor, so there's a chance you may, too.

Blue Valentine

87%

Michelle Williams has become something of an indie movie darling, appearing in several smaller films and earning accolades for her deep, affecting performances. After finding critical success in both 2005's Best Picture-winning Brokeback Mountain and 2008's Wendy and Lucy, Williams played opposite Ryan Gosling in last year's romantic melodrama Blue Valentine, for which she earned her first Best Actress Oscar nomination. The story focuses on young couple Dean and Cindy (Gosling and Williams), alternating between scenes depicting the beginning of their relationship and the end of their marriage several years later. Critics found the strikingly realistic portrait of a broken family to be so powerful that it was difficult to watch at times, and attributed the film's gripping effect to brilliant performances from its leads. Blue Valentine is Certified Fresh at 87% on the Tomatometer, and should satisfy fans of both actors and serious drama in general.

The Illusionist (L'illusionniste)

90%

Not to be confused with the 2006 film starring Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti, 2010's animated French film The Illusionist (L'illusionniste) is the latest film from director Sylvain Chomet, best known for his earlier animated film The Triplets of Belleville. The film was actually written by late French auteur Jacques Tati (Mon Oncle, Playtime) back in 1956 as a very personal letter of sorts to his estranged daughter, but it was never produced, and Chomet took it upon himself to complete the work for Tati as an animated film. The story revolves around a struggling magician named Tatishcheff who visits a small Scottish town and performs so well that he convinces a young girl named Alice he's the real deal; Alice then proceeds to follow Tatischeff back to Edinburgh, where the two of them form a bond until Alice is swept off her feet by a young man. Critics found the film, which relies on very little dialogue, to be a breath of fresh air and a moving love letter treated with the utmost care. It's Certified Fresh at 89% and deserves to be seen by both animation connoisseurs and fans of Tati.

I Saw the Devil

80%

South Korea has maintained a stranglehold (no pun intended) on the revenge thriller for several years now, most notably in the form of Park Chan-Wook's "Vengeance Trilogy." Earlier this year, one of the country's more prominent contemporary directors, Kim Ji-Woon (A Tale of Two Sisters, The Good, the Bad, the Weird) offered up his take on the genre with I Saw the Devil, a gritty, gory game of cat-and-mouse between a sadistic criminal (Oldboy's Choi Min-Sik) and the special agent fiancÚ (The Good, the Bad, the Weird's Lee Byung-Hun) of one of his most recent victims. The film is certainly merciless in its raw depiction of violence, which some critics found excessive and likened to torture porn, but it's slickly and stylishly directed, and it raises thought-provoking questions on the nature of morality. It's not a film for everyone, but it's Certified Fresh at 80% on the Tomatometer, and if you're looking for a solid action thriller with real visceral impact, you might want to check this one out.

Something Wild

88%

Years before wowing the Academy with The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, Jonathan Demme directed this strange caper comedy. Jeff Daniels stars as a straight-laced guy who meets a sexy woman named Lulu (Melanie Griffith); soon he's left town with her, posing as her husband at her high school reunion, but trouble soon finds our heroes in the form of Lulu's violent ex-husband. With an outstanding soundtrack that features such new wave faves as New Order, David Byrne, Big Audio Dynamite, and the Feelies, Something Wild was a leftfield mix of wackiness and menace, and earned Demme both a cult audience and a trio of Golden Globe noms. A new director-approved Criterion disc features a new transfer of the movie, plus interviews with Demme.

Home Improvement: 20th Anniversary Complete Collection

In its mid-1990s heyday, Home Improvement was Red State America's answer to Seinfeld; while it lacked the arch sophistication of the "show about nothing," the show's emphasis on blue collar family humor made it a perpetual ratings monster (and turned Tim Allen into a star). If you're a fan, the Home Improvement: 20th Anniversary Complete Collection box set contains just about every stray piece of the show you need ? and it even comes in a handy metal toolbox (not pictured here). In addition to every episode, the set features audio commentaries, bloopers, a reunion special hosted by Allen, and compilations of the funniest gags from the series.

Comments

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

I'm so gonna buy The Illusionist and I should rent Blue Valentine. As for Justin Bieber, well... NEVER!!!

May 10 - 01:35 AM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

Are you Ihatebadmovies or what?

May 10 - 01:38 AM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

Well duh. :D I changed my name a while ago. Had a contest blog to see what people wanted to name me. You should've friend requested me, cause you could have made a suggestion for a name. But Ihatebadmovies is all in the past now. Do you hate the new name or what?

May 10 - 09:05 AM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

I thought you might have changed it cuz somebody else started using Ihatebadmovies in all caps as their screen name.

May 10 - 02:12 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

YES! FINALLY! I GET TO WATCH THE BIEBER ON MY BIG-SCREEN IN TEH THREE DEE OMG !!! 0.0

May 10 - 01:37 AM

Brian P.

Brian Peek

Dammit I lol'd

May 10 - 08:04 AM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

Haha, stop lying Watcher.

May 10 - 09:06 AM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

I'm not lying, I'm the world's biggest Bieber fan - I got posters and fucking CDs and action figures... I even got a wig of his real hair that I stitched together from pieces that I cut off of him while he was sleeping - I put it on when I go out in public. My HTC's 24GB Micro-SD Card is just filled up with Bieber albums and Bieber music videos. I bought a Nintendo 3DS just to watch the Bieber in 3D when I'm on the go and can't stay by the TV. I'm wearing a Bieber T-Shirt and drinking outta my Bieber Tea-Cup right now. I'm such a massive fan that I edited Bieber's face onto Batmans' in The Dark Knight - Every. Single. Frame.

May 10 - 02:49 PM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

lol.

May 10 - 11:26 PM

Richard H.

Richard Han

LOLOL STOP IT

May 10 - 11:57 PM

anDy

Andreas Babs

I will never see the name "The watcher" the same way again. =[

May 11 - 08:38 AM

Eric M.

Eric McInnis

No I'm the biggest Bieber fan in the world. I put his face on Batman, Superman, and Spiderman. I have 2 3DS's to watch two Biebers! In yo' face watcher!!

May 11 - 01:11 PM

Eric M.

Eric McInnis

Justin Beiber 3D is the BEST MOVIE EVER!!!!!!

May 10 - 01:19 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Yes! Other movies shouldn't even be called "movies" any more because it would be an insult to the musical and cinematographic genius that it Never Say Never in 3D.

May 10 - 02:53 PM

Eric M.

Eric McInnis

I mean Citizen Kane and Casablanca suck compared to Twilight and Never say Never 3D. Am I right?

May 11 - 01:07 PM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

Are you Ihatebadmovies or what?

May 10 - 01:38 AM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

Well duh. :D I changed my name a while ago. Had a contest blog to see what people wanted to name me. You should've friend requested me, cause you could have made a suggestion for a name. But Ihatebadmovies is all in the past now. Do you hate the new name or what?

May 10 - 09:05 AM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

I thought you might have changed it cuz somebody else started using Ihatebadmovies in all caps as their screen name.

May 10 - 02:12 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Dana White needs to hire Bieber to fight Anderson Silva at UFC 131. I guarantee you the highest PPV gross in history.

May 10 - 05:43 AM

CFM

'schak Attack

Fuck me. That is the Best Idea that I have ever heard.

May 10 - 08:22 AM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Speaking of 131, what do you think - Lesnar or Santos? I hope Santos wins cos Lesnar is the biggest douche-nozzle that I've ever seen. And how much does it suck that both Maynard & Edgar sustained injuries that forced their fight into August/September? Now instead of a champion fight we get Rampage vs Hamill as the main event. I am disappoint.

May 10 - 02:38 PM

Confounded

Matthew Bertram

Woo! Black Death finally out on Blu-Ray! Can't wait to grab this, I've been looking forward to it since I caught a screening in New York. Very atmospheric, dark, gritty period thriller/horror. It's the type of film that cares enough about the details to give the main 'heroes' bad teeth.

May 10 - 05:59 AM

Swampfox

Pat Marion

Getting Beiber at midnight in Blu-Ray. I get sooooo laid when I show the chicks that movie.

May 10 - 07:27 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Then you get soooo arrested because the girls you just laid must be 15 or under.

May 10 - 08:32 AM

Swampfox

Pat Marion

Worth it...

May 10 - 09:09 AM

Not L.

Not Likely

Pedo

May 10 - 09:18 AM

Brian P.

Brian Peek

If theres grass on the field...play ball

May 10 - 10:33 AM

Brian P.

Brian Peek

jk not a pedo here *awkward silence* hehe

May 10 - 01:06 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

That analogy confuses me... I like legal chicks but I like 'em shaved, so what do I do? How do I play ball?

May 10 - 02:40 PM

Helge B.

Helge Beck

go indoor, you'll be on the safe side in any case!

May 10 - 05:11 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Hey, I just realized that if you switch the letters around in Pedo, you get Dope. I find this fascinating, now I know what all the rappers are REALLY talking about.

May 11 - 12:14 AM

Corr

Alexander Sciury

Nothing this week that I'm going to buy. Might rent The Illusionist. That's about it.

May 10 - 07:49 AM

Brian P.

Brian Peek

Dammit I lol'd

May 10 - 08:04 AM

CFM

'schak Attack

Fuck me. That is the Best Idea that I have ever heard.

May 10 - 08:22 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Then you get soooo arrested because the girls you just laid must be 15 or under.

May 10 - 08:32 AM

Swampfox

Pat Marion

Worth it...

May 10 - 09:09 AM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

Well duh. :D I changed my name a while ago. Had a contest blog to see what people wanted to name me. You should've friend requested me, cause you could have made a suggestion for a name. But Ihatebadmovies is all in the past now. Do you hate the new name or what?

May 10 - 09:05 AM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

I thought you might have changed it cuz somebody else started using Ihatebadmovies in all caps as their screen name.

May 10 - 02:12 PM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

Haha, stop lying Watcher.

May 10 - 09:06 AM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

I'm not lying, I'm the world's biggest Bieber fan - I got posters and fucking CDs and action figures... I even got a wig of his real hair that I stitched together from pieces that I cut off of him while he was sleeping - I put it on when I go out in public. My HTC's 24GB Micro-SD Card is just filled up with Bieber albums and Bieber music videos. I bought a Nintendo 3DS just to watch the Bieber in 3D when I'm on the go and can't stay by the TV. I'm wearing a Bieber T-Shirt and drinking outta my Bieber Tea-Cup right now. I'm such a massive fan that I edited Bieber's face onto Batmans' in The Dark Knight - Every. Single. Frame.

May 10 - 02:49 PM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

lol.

May 10 - 11:26 PM

Richard H.

Richard Han

LOLOL STOP IT

May 10 - 11:57 PM

anDy

Andreas Babs

I will never see the name "The watcher" the same way again. =[

May 11 - 08:38 AM

Eric M.

Eric McInnis

No I'm the biggest Bieber fan in the world. I put his face on Batman, Superman, and Spiderman. I have 2 3DS's to watch two Biebers! In yo' face watcher!!

May 11 - 01:11 PM

Swampfox

Pat Marion

Worth it...

May 10 - 09:09 AM

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