RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Great Gatsby, Pain & Gain, and More

Also, Mira Nair's latest film, an Oscar-nominated adventure, and a couple of indies.

This week on home video, our list is headlined by Baz Luhrmann's extravagant adaptation of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel and Michael Bay's action comedy. Then, Mira Nair offers up an ambitious post-9/11 tale, and we get an acclaimed historical adventure from Norway, followed by a couple of indie dramas that flew under the radar and a few notable reissues. Read on for the full list:

The Great Gatsby

49%

Baz Luhrmann's films are known for their lavish style and high production value, so on some level, it seemed appropriate that he would take on the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald adaptation The Great Gatsby, what with its period detail and sumptuous high society shindigs. Unfortunately, lots of folks thought Luhrmann focused a bit too much on the visuals, and not enough on the source material. Narrated by Tobey Maguire's Nick Carraway, Gatsby recounts his experiences with the titular figure, a mysterious and wealthy businessman (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) who pines for Nick's cousin, Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan), and whose reckless passions ultimately lead to tragedy. The film split critics nearly right down the middle, with most agreeing that Luhrmann's intentions were ambitious and that his trademark style was on display gloriously, but also that he may have missed the point of the source material. At 49% on the Tomatometer, The Great Gatsby is certainly pretty to look at, but it may not pack the same punch as Fitzgerald's words.

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Pain & Gain

50%

You know that guy who directs all the explosive, mega-blockbuster Transformers movies? He decided to do a little "based-on-true-events" crime comedy about a bunch of bodybuilders in Florida who come up with the bright idea to kidnap a rich guy and extort money out of him. The trio of gym rats who band together to commit the crime sport a few foibles of their own, and they're not the sharpest guys around, so things inevitably go south for them in a hurry. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, and Anthony Mackie as the scheming personal trainers and rounded out by a supporting cast that includes Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris, Ken Jeong, Rebel Wilson, Rob Corddry, and more, Pain & Gain surprised a handful of critics who found it to be Michael Bay's most thoughtful work yet. Of course, that isn't a particularly high bar to surpass, and most who saw the film also admitted its few intriguing satirical jabs are rendered moot by an inevitable descent into violence and typical action tropes. At 46%, Pain & Gain has its moments, but in the end, Bay just can't help himself.

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Kon Tiki

84%

While we're talking about true stories, here's one that's a little bit older and perhaps more familiar: Back in 1947, Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl embarked on an expedition from South America to the Polynesian Islands in order to prove that ancient peoples were capable of making the same trip and populating those islands in prehistoric times. Heyerdahl named the raft he built -- strictly from materials that would have been available centuries ago -- "Kon Tiki." Pal Sverre Valheim stars as the famous explorer in this Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee, which charts the perilous journey Heyerdahl made on the balsawood raft with just five other men. Though it follows the basic blueprint of other films like it, Kon Tiki impressed critics to the tune of a Certified Fresh 83%, offering the kind of old-fashioned epic adventure we don't see a whole lot of any more, and doing it with verve and excitement.

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist

54%

Accomplished director Mira Nair's last big film, the 2009 biopic Amelia, landed with a bit of a thud, but she's mined much more thought-provoking territory before, and with The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Nair tackled some heady social issues. Based on the 2007 novel of the same name, the film tells the story of a Paskistani-American college professor (Riz Ahmed) whose seemingly perfect life unravels amid racial profiling and cultural schisms following the tragedies of 9/11. Nair is no slouch, and Fundamentalist showcases her technical prowess and unflinching ambition, but critics felt the film was too heavy-handed to deliver its delicate message effectively. At 54% on the Tomatometer, it features some solid acting and proficient cinematography, but some may find its execution too severe to empathize with it.

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Also available this week:

  • Ramin Bahrani's At Any Price (51%), starring Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron in a drama about a farmer and his son whose livelihoods are threatened when their farming operation comes under investigation.
  • The English Teacher (44%), starring Julianne Moore and Michael Angarano in a comedy about a hich school teacher who helps a former student produce one of his plays.
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (92%), the 1977 Disney film that's essentially a collection of some of the most well known Winnie the Pooh shorts, adapted directly from A.A. Milne's classic stories, is available in a new Blu-ray.
  • Larry Cohen's 1982 cult horror film Q - The Winged Serpent (62%) arrives on Blu-ray.
  • And lastly, from the Criterion Collection: an Eclicpse collection of five of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's early films, and Enrst Lubitsch's 1942 screwball WWII satire To Be or Not To Be (97%), featuring Carole Lombard in her final screen appearance.

Comments

Vincent

Dickah Sperman

LAME MOVIES THIS WEEK, BRO! Anyone else thinks Leonardo Dicaprio has a weird face?

Aug 26 - 04:40 PM

Vincent

Dickah Sperman

Also, Q-The Winged Serpent was decent at best.

Aug 26 - 04:51 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Haha. No it's not. It's a cult film because it's hilariously bad. The MST3000 episode is also a classic.

Aug 27 - 05:12 PM

Vincent

Dickah Sperman

I guess Quetzalcoatl doesn't interest simple minded fucks.

Aug 29 - 04:22 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

You could always read a book, twitchy.

Sep 2 - 11:26 AM

Blake Garlick

Blake Garlick

And what I have learned has blown my mind.My friends sister has been making 78$ a day.Shocking but true.See more at.== > w瓀瓀.B璦瓂񬅟.?璷璵

Aug 30 - 04:33 AM

Julee Jee

Julee Jee

Gavin. if you think Diana`s blurb is amazing... I just got a top of the range Lancia since I been earnin $6742 this - five weeks past and-also, ten-grand lass month. with-out any doubt it's the most comfortable job Ive ever done. I started this six months/ago and almost straight away began to make minimum $72 p/h. official statement ------> WEP6.COM

Aug 31 - 06:26 AM

Vincent

Dickah Sperman

Also, Q-The Winged Serpent was decent at best.

Aug 26 - 04:51 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Haha. No it's not. It's a cult film because it's hilariously bad. The MST3000 episode is also a classic.

Aug 27 - 05:12 PM

Vincent

Dickah Sperman

I guess Quetzalcoatl doesn't interest simple minded fucks.

Aug 29 - 04:22 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

You could always read a book, twitchy.

Sep 2 - 11:26 AM

Willem DaPerson

Willem DaPerson

Wow, Pain and Gain is only just coming out where I live.

Aug 26 - 06:37 PM

Vincent

Dickah Sperman

I didn't know you lived under a rock...

Aug 27 - 02:20 AM

Willem DaPerson

Willem DaPerson

Nope, just Ireland...

Aug 27 - 06:23 AM

Ethan Copage

Ethan Copage

I you hear you buddy!

Aug 27 - 08:41 AM

Vincent

Dickah Sperman

Ireland is a great place to live.

Aug 27 - 12:45 PM

Willem DaPerson

Willem DaPerson

I know very well that my home country is a great place to live...

Aug 27 - 05:37 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Considering the overall rating, you're not missing very much anyway!

Aug 27 - 03:48 PM

Willem DaPerson

Willem DaPerson

I usually avoid movies like Pain and Gain like the plague, but it looks, I dunno, kinda funny. The Rock has miles of charisma, and Mark Wahlberg is pretty likable, so I might just see it.

Aug 27 - 05:36 PM

Vits

Vicente Torres

I won't see GATSBY until I see an older version to compare. But if it's like ROMEO + JULIET (where I found the moderninaztion pointless) or MOULIN ROUGE I may not like it.

I think Michael Bay DOES have a talent for comedy. The Earth scenes in ARMAGEDDON entertained me more than the space scenes. And say what you want about the TRANSFORMERS movies, but they do have some good comic relief (except for certain racist twins). So I may like PAIN & GAIN.

Aug 26 - 06:39 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I dunno, there's nothing exciting to see how wealthy people live and still can have the same problems as the rest of us!

Aug 27 - 03:49 PM

Typhon

Typhon Q

Gatsby was a source of some unexpected eye candy for me. It was a fine movie until the third act, which got a little rushed.

Aug 26 - 09:02 PM

Adam White

Adam White

Gatsby WAS indeed eye candy! A great way to spend a couple of hours!!!

Aug 26 - 10:02 PM

Jon Cox

Jon Cox

I saw 'Gastby' in the theater, it's the best version so far

nothing for me this week though

Aug 26 - 09:54 PM

Adam White

Adam White

As to Baz Luhrmann's spectacular film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's magnificent The Great Gatsby, the film is an outstanding work of art, adapting well the literary masterpiece to the incredible complexities of the silver screen. Accordingly, the mixed reviews are from mixed up critics. 4.5 of 5 stars!!!

Aug 26 - 09:58 PM

Adam White

Adam White

Gatsby WAS indeed eye candy! A great way to spend a couple of hours!!!

Aug 26 - 10:02 PM

L

L .

Kon Tiki seems interesting. How am I just hearing about it now?

Aug 27 - 01:49 AM

Vincent

Dickah Sperman

I didn't know you lived under a rock...

Aug 27 - 02:20 AM

Willem DaPerson

Willem DaPerson

Nope, just Ireland...

Aug 27 - 06:23 AM

Ethan Copage

Ethan Copage

I you hear you buddy!

Aug 27 - 08:41 AM

Vincent

Dickah Sperman

Ireland is a great place to live.

Aug 27 - 12:45 PM

Willem DaPerson

Willem DaPerson

I know very well that my home country is a great place to live...

Aug 27 - 05:37 PM

Willem DaPerson

Willem DaPerson

Nope, just Ireland...

Aug 27 - 06:23 AM

Ethan Copage

Ethan Copage

I you hear you buddy!

Aug 27 - 08:41 AM

Vincent

Dickah Sperman

Ireland is a great place to live.

Aug 27 - 12:45 PM

Willem DaPerson

Willem DaPerson

I know very well that my home country is a great place to live...

Aug 27 - 05:37 PM

Ethan Copage

Ethan Copage

I you hear you buddy!

Aug 27 - 08:41 AM

Vincent

Dickah Sperman

Ireland is a great place to live.

Aug 27 - 12:45 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Considering the overall rating, you're not missing very much anyway!

Aug 27 - 03:48 PM

Willem DaPerson

Willem DaPerson

I usually avoid movies like Pain and Gain like the plague, but it looks, I dunno, kinda funny. The Rock has miles of charisma, and Mark Wahlberg is pretty likable, so I might just see it.

Aug 27 - 05:36 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I dunno, there's nothing exciting to see how wealthy people live and still can have the same problems as the rest of us!

Aug 27 - 03:49 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Haha. No it's not. It's a cult film because it's hilariously bad. The MST3000 episode is also a classic.

Aug 27 - 05:12 PM

Vincent

Dickah Sperman

I guess Quetzalcoatl doesn't interest simple minded fucks.

Aug 29 - 04:22 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

You could always read a book, twitchy.

Sep 2 - 11:26 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Kon-Tiki" is one to see. I'll have to check out the Fassbinder collection, as I've only seen a handful of his films. Carole Lombard was the sexiest comedianne of her day.

Aug 27 - 05:18 PM

Willem DaPerson

Willem DaPerson

I usually avoid movies like Pain and Gain like the plague, but it looks, I dunno, kinda funny. The Rock has miles of charisma, and Mark Wahlberg is pretty likable, so I might just see it.

Aug 27 - 05:36 PM

Willem DaPerson

Willem DaPerson

I know very well that my home country is a great place to live...

Aug 27 - 05:37 PM

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