RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Grey, Chronicle, and Albert Nobbs

Plus, a couple of unpopular releases, a couple of underseen indies, and a new Criterion.

After a couple of pretty thin weeks on home video, we've got a good number of new releases this week, and a few of them are actually pretty decent. First off, if you're looking for hi-def re-releases of older films, the choices are many, but random: Bernardo Bertolucci's 1900, Jon Voight thriller The Odessa File, New York Stories, and the original 1973 version of Walking Tall, for example. But we've got some good choices this week, including Liam Neeson's angsty survival thriller, a superpowered found-footage film, an Oscar-nominated period piece, and Woody Harrelson's latest effort with Oren Moverman. Sure, we've got a couple of stinkers too, but the new Criterion should help make up for that. See below for the full list!

The Grey

79%

While several of Liam Neeson's most recent films have been critical misfires or downright flops, The Grey proves he's still capable of captivating an audience. Here, he leads a group of plane crash survivors as they attempt to navigate their way through the snowy Alaskan wilderness, facing both the elements and a pack of hungry wolves. With an equal focus on thrills and existential philosophy, The Grey managed to surprise critics and become one of those rare Certified Fresh hits released during the early part of the calendar year.

Mode: HLS Link

One for the Money

2%

Katherine Heigl continues her post-Knocked Up string of Rotten films with One for the Money, her lowest-rated film since the Judd Apatow hit. Based on the bestselling novel of the same name, One for the Money stars Heigl as Stephanie Plum, an out of work debtor who signs up to be bail bonds recovery agent, only to discover her biggest task is bringing in the man who dumped her in high school. With the similarly themed The Bounty Hunter having hit theaters just two years prior, Money didn't fool anyone, and critics slapped it with a damning 2% Tomatometer.

Mode: HLS Link

Chronicle

85%

The initial reaction to Chronicle was, "Another found-footage movie?" but those who were lulled in by the superpowers angle were pleasantly surprised. The story revolves around three teens who are saddled with unnatural abilities after they make a curious discovery; as their powers grow stronger, their darker sides begin to emerge. Despite its gimmicky handheld format, most critics felt that Chronicle transcended its genre with all the elements of a solid movie: smart writing, a brisk pace, and engaging performances from its mostly unknown cast.

Mode: HLS Link

The Devil Inside

6%

If ever there were an argument against the recent found-footage trend, The Devil Inside would be it. While the genre certainly allows for heightened realism, it only works if the acting is noteworthy, the writing is clever, and the director demonstrates firm control over the hand-held camera gimmickry. The Devil Inside, about a young woman who visits her institutionalized mother to determine whether she's insane or, in fact, actually demon-possessed, exhibits none of those characteristics, earning a well-deserved (according to most) 7% Tomatometer. And if that weren't enough, reports indicate that its abrupt ending is also one of the most inane in recent memory.

Mode: HLS Link

Albert Nobbs

55%

A passion project for Glenn Close that she spent 15 years bringing to the screen, Albert Nobbs was met with lukewarm reviews but received Oscar nods for both Best Actress (Close) and Best Supporting Actress (Janet McTeer). Reprising the role she first played on stage in 1982, Close stars as the titular character, a woman who has spent decades assuming a male identity in order to secure employment at a hotel. After meeting a fellow employee engaged in a similar ruse (McTeer), Nobbs decides to pursue domestic ties with a maid (Mia Wasikowska), who has troubles of her own. While some critics found the film thought-provoking and poignant, others felt it didn't dig deep enough into the issues it presented, resulting in a 55% Tomatometer score. At the very least, though, most agree that the performances are top notch.

Mode: HLS Link

Rampart

74%

Woody Harrelson has enjoyed a bit of a career resurgence in recent years, thanks to films like No Country for Old Men, Transsiberian, Zombieland, and The Messenger. Last year, he joined up again with The Messenger director Oren Moverman for another Certified Fresh film, this time about a hard-nosed cop in LA's notorious Rampart Precinct who must face the consequences of his renegade ways as the details of a large scale corruption scandal hit the news. While critics agreed that Harrelson's character, Dave Brown, is far from sympathetic, Harrelson's performance keeps viewers locked in, making this worth a watch for him alone.

Mode: HLS Link

Norwegian Wood

74%

The literature of Japanese novelis Haruki Murakami is often dreamlike and surreal, focusing on themes of loneliness and isolation, so it's fitting that the film adaptation of one of his most popular works, Norwegian Wood, is appropriately moody. Helmed by acclaimed French-Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung (The Scent of Green Papaya), Norwegian Wood tells the story of Toru Watanabe, a young student in 1960s Tokyo who falls in love with his classmate Kizuki's girlfriend, Naoko, after Kizuki suddenly commits suicide. Suffering from the death, Naoko checks herself into a sanatorium, and that's when Toru meets Midori, the polar opposite of Naoko, and begins to form a bond with her as well. Certified Fresh at 73%, Norwegian Wood lingered just a bit too long at times for some critics, but most found the melancholy mood infectious, making for a visually stunning and ultimately powerful meditation on youthful love and loss.

Mode: HLS Link

Being John Malkovich - Criterion Collection

93%

Director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman announced their arrival on the feature film scene with a giant bang, establishing their knack for clever, inventive, and visually creative storytelling. Being John Malkovich stars John Cusack as Craig Schwartz, a down-and-out puppeteer who accidentally discovers a portal into the mind of actor John Malkovich; as his co-worker (Catherine Keener) and wife (Cameron Diaz) become involved, complicated sexual politics ensue, leading to a bizarre and quietly chilling finale. This week, Criterion releases their edition of Being John Malkovich, complete with brand new extras like commentary featuring Jonze and Michel Gondry, interviews with Malkovich and Jonze, a behind-the-scenes doc, and the full versions of the two films that appear within the film. Great pickup for fans of the film and all those involved in its making.

Mode: HLS Link

Comments

Sean D.

Sean D

The Grey was awesome. I was really impressed at how deep it was.
I hear audiences really didn't like Rampart. I might rent it.
A Being John Malkovich Criterion is guaranteed to be pure awesome.

May 14 - 04:25 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Dude I don't know if you were watching the same film as me, but 'The Grey' sucked giant donkey balls. The film was pointless, slow trudging, boring and ended horribly.

May 15 - 11:10 AM

Sean D.

Sean D

I thought the ending was great, he's about to go down swinging and it's not necessarily a happy ending. Plus, there was plenty of wolf smackdown.

May 16 - 05:05 PM

Jimmy G.

Jimmy Gee

I liked the ending. It wasn't convenient. It let the viewer consider whether or not they would embrace hope (that Liam somehow fought off his demons against the odds) or was defeated. Such is life when we encounter similar obstacles to the ones that Neeson and the others were dealing with: Death, depression, addictions, regret, etc. So it could be said that the film ended on a hopeful note. There is much more to the film than what's on the surface--credit the director, writer, and Liam for that. The bleakness of it all was almost overwhelming--it had a consistent tone that kept with the emotions of the main character. It WAS deep--there were deep thoughts pondered, but not explained (which again would have been too neat...life is messy).
True, the wolves were not completely realistic, and maybe that's one fault...but I want my monsters to be scary. Oh well...too me it was a minor gripe. Actually, the wolves didn't even have to be in the movie and it still would have been decent. IT was just icing on the cake. (Surviving a plane crash and the hostile elements would have been enough)
Even the title, The Grey, speaks to the hard questions of life, and how there are often no black and white answers.

May 17 - 08:54 AM

Jacob Gomez

Jacob Gomez

I agree,maybe its just that I've recently been obsessed with survival & everything related to it The Grey was visually beautiful,Liam Neeson was solid,but the cliche' deaths of the characters, whom the movie actually made u care about for a moment,was dissapointing
..& not to sound like a snob,but if you really look at movies,& the way people act in them(comedies,action flicks,even drama's,etc),you'll see that its just like a book,it can be close to reality,but never quite get there. Humans are smarter than that,wolves are tough & use tactics,but a good size group like that could've survived doin it LIKE THE MOTHERFUCKING SPARTANS,shit,huddle up,DO SOMETHING,not die like a bitch...Liam died like a warrior tho

May 18 - 09:44 PM

Francesca Deandre

Francesca Deandre

my neighbor's aunt makes $60/hour on the laptop. She has been out of a job for nine months but last month her payment was $17642 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this web site http://LazyCash9.Com

May 20 - 03:33 PM

JC Martel

JC Martel

They Grey was one of the best this year. Morons will be morons.

May 15 - 07:25 PM

Jacob Gomez

Jacob Gomez

see that's true for the majority of people sure,most would love it because its solid eye-candy,but realism is what it lacked(even as realistic as it was...to a point),didn't give enough credit to the human endurance,& really did make the wolves a little "jaws" like,completely unfightable.
I know we lack some of the physical dominance in nature,but we make up for it with a thinking mind,PEOPLE,don't act that fucking stupid,if they were a little smarter & worked together,maybe they might've survived

May 18 - 09:54 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

The Grey infuriated me. Sure, it had a little bit of depth and story BUT WOLVES AREN'T THAT BIG AND DO NOT ACT LIKE THAT GODDAMMIT! Honestly, I don't know why that bothered me so much since I really don't care that much about animals in general, but it did.
-But Alex, the wolves are really a metaphor for blablablashutup

Chronicle was awesome, I really enjoyed its aesthetic and it was refreshing to see superheroes on the big screen not tied in to any existing properties.

Rampart was interesting as well, a very unique movie with unconventional pacing. I can't say I loved it but I'm glad I watched it.

Might pick up BJM cos that movie is fucking amazing.

May 14 - 04:42 PM

Leo Logan

Leo Logan

One for the Money is indeed bad as what everyone says it is. I hope they put up an official consensus for it since it's out this week.

May 14 - 04:50 PM

HERESSSSSSJOHNNY

HERESSSSSS JOHNNY

I thought The Grey kinda sucked, felt like it too itself way to seriously. Chronicle was all right, even though I don't plan on watching it again.

May 14 - 05:06 PM

Ken

Kenneth W.

"Rampart" and "Chronicle" are promising.

@"One For the Money"...every little thing about this announce itself triumphantly: 'this is going to suck'. You look at the poster, and you know it's going to suck. You see the preview, and you know it's going to suck. So such a dismal score like that makes sense.

@"The Devil Inside" Eh, whatever. Not really as bad as you've heard. In fact, that's just it. Everything about it is mediocre, except for maybe the ending, which is only different in that it sets a new record for lazy, painfully half-assed filmmaking.

Malkovich on Criterion? Hello!

May 14 - 05:10 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Great week for some rentals. I still haven't seen "Grey", "Chronicle" or "Rampart", and "Norwegian Wood" looks pretty good too. "Being John Malkovich" is an easy buy, not just because the guaranteed quality from the beautiful people at Criterion, but because it's one of the greatest films of the last thirty years.

May 14 - 05:14 PM

Jimmy G.

Jimmy Gee

Janson--please see the Grey and give us your thoughts.

May 17 - 08:56 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'm the one to settle this? I guess I'll have to watch it soon, before I get spoiled by these spoilers.

May 17 - 04:40 PM

Ken Wolfson

Ken Wolfson

The Grey is the best movie I've seen all year

May 14 - 05:53 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Points for cinematography, beyond that this was an awful, tedious movie.

May 15 - 11:15 AM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

I haven't seen The Grey yet, but I'll rent it on Amazon Instant Video on my PS3.

Chronicle is much more monster-like fond footages including Cloverfield and Super 8, but it was a great movie. I was so shocked almost at the end of the movie, but you gotta get it. I might buy it this week.

Being John Malkovich was a true classic, but I'll rent it instead of a Criterion edition.

Both Two For the Money and The Devil Inside are brain dead. Pass.

May 14 - 08:41 PM

thechienfiction

Thechienfiction yes

Chronicle is a great film. Will definetely look it up.

May 14 - 09:04 PM

Epic Barney Funk

Barney Funk

I think I can handle Chronicle only one time and as far as the others go I think I will pass for right now.

May 15 - 05:26 AM

sunsaz

Chris Moore

The Grey and Chronicle might be rentals for me. Other than that, no other priorities this week.

May 15 - 05:38 AM

Jimmy G.

Jimmy Gee

Enjoyed the Grey quite a bit. Wasn't faultless by any means, but good enough to be one of the best I've seen this year. Even though it was a bit realistic, I love the idea of survival in the frozen tundra with murderous wolves stalking you at every step. (If Twilight had some creatures half as menacing as these wolves, maybe it would have...oh, never mind. It still would have sucked). And Liam is just the man. Simply put, its the way films like this should be made. To me, you were invested in the characters.
I liked Chronicle, too. It was a fun flick. Different enough to be interesting, and I thought the found footage format was an okay format for it.
I've wanted to check out Rampart for a while and now will have the chance. Do I need to even say it? I will skip "One for the money", which seems to be a perfect title for the Heigl sledge. Albert Nobbs looks boring, and Devil Inside has way too much negative blowback to be worth sitting down for, in my opinion.

May 15 - 06:39 AM

Jimmy G.

Jimmy Gee

*unrealistic

May 15 - 08:43 AM

Amy Millerful

Amy Millerful

The Grey Sucked, worst ending ever. Come on freaking wolves

May 15 - 07:04 AM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

The Grey is a great film. Did you see the movie and how come you don't like it?

May 15 - 03:14 PM

Cole Ruster

Cole Ruster

The Grey was excellent. It is very Hemmingway, in a sense that the wolves are so unnaturally large and unreal, representing much more than mere animals. Same way the sea and the sharks in the Old Man and the Sea seemed other worldly in Hemmingway's classic tale of man vs nature. Checking out Chronicle tonight.

May 15 - 07:40 AM

Sean D.

Sean D

Points to you for bringing up Hemingway. Well-played, sir.

May 16 - 05:06 PM

Jimmy G.

Jimmy Gee

*unrealistic

May 15 - 08:43 AM

What's Hot On RT

Box Office Wrapup
Box Office Wrapup

Captain America Triumphs Again

WonderCon
WonderCon

175 cosplay pictures

Highlights
Highlights

Picture gallery of stoners in film

<em>If I Stay</em>
If I Stay

Chloe Moretz goes out-of-body

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