RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Ides of March Has Arrived

Plus, a couple of the worst films of 2011 and a Luis Bunuel classic.

This week on home video, we've got an interesting mix of really good and really bad (oh, so bad). But before we get to those, let's mention some of the other items coming out this week that we won't be mentioning: The Robin Williams classic Good Morning, Vietnam is getting a 25th Anniversary Blu-ray, Criterion releases a new Blu-ray of Steven Soderbergh's Traffic, and the recent Journey to the Center of the Earth gets the hi-def 3D treatment... you know, for the kiddies. As far as new stuff, there's the George Clooney directed political drama starring Ryan Gosling, the new Christian film from the makers of Fireproof, two of the moldiest movies to come out in 2011, and a retro coming-of-age tale. Finally, Criterion is also introducing its new transfer of a Luis Bunuel classic featuring one of Catherine Deneuve's most iconic roles. See below for the full list!

The Ides of March

85%

Now that awards season is fully under way, 2011 is shaping up to be a pretty good year for George Clooney. He's already picked up a couple of awards for his work in The Descendants (which has garnered its own fair share of accolades), but his latest directorial effort, The Ides of March, was nominated for four Golden Globes, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. The star-studded cast includes Ryan Gosling (that fourth Golden Globe nom went to him for Best Actor) as an idealistic campaign manager who becomes increasingly jaded by politics, Philip Seymour Hoffman as his wily boss, Paul Giamatti as a competitor trying to woo Gosling away from his candidate, Marisa Tomei as a persistent reporter hungry for a scoop, and, of course, Clooney himself as the seemingly perfect presidential candidate who has a few secrets of his own. With talent like that and a timely story, the film was almost destined to do well, and it indeed managed a Certified Fresh 85% on the Tomatometer. Even if you're not so much into politics, it's still an expertly acted, smartly written drama.

Courageous

30%

Independent Christian dramas have been the subject of some ridicule, primarily because they're often low budget affairs that wear their messages on their sleeves and feature sometimes questionable acting. According to critics, Courageous manages at least to exhibit competent filmmaking, even if, as with previous films of its kind, it caters a little too heavily to a very specific demographic to be openly enjoyable for all. Set against the backdrop of the drug trade in Georgia, Courageous follows four deputies -- all fathers -- who are urged by their sheriff to spend more time with their families. When tragedy befalls one of the deputies, all four of them make a formal pact to change their lives and honor God in all that they do. The primary complaint coming from most critics had nothing to do with the message of the film itself; rather, they found Courageous to be a bit melodramatic and heavy-handed, choosing to gloss over complex issues with broad platitudes. If you're a believer, you may find yourself nodding in approval at the film, but at 35%, don't expect Courageous to do much more than spoonfeed you what you already know it's going to say.

Abduction

4%

Let's be fair here: some inspirational cinema may be a bit obtuse and unsophisticated, but there are plenty of worse films that don't preach any particular spiritual message. Case in point: Abduction, which stars Twilight heartthrob Taylor Lautner as Nathan Harper, a teen who, while researching for a school project on missing children, discovers that his true identity has been kept hidden from him all his life. As Nathan uncovers more about his past, he and his friend Karen (Lily Collins) are plunged into the dangerous world of his biological father, a former CIA agent embroiled in an espionage war. Apart from Lautner, who has yet to establish himself as an actor of some range, the cast is surprisingly solid: Alfred Molina, Sigourney Weaver, Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello, and even the original Dragon Tattoo star, Michael Nyqvist are all on board here. We say "surprisingly" because, despite this pedigree, Abduction only managed to eke out a 4% on the Tomatometer, making it one of the worst-reviewed films of the year, with critics calling it soulless and incompetent. Things could have been worse though, and speaking of which...

Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star

0%

If you haven't heard of Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, then you are one of three things: 1) only a sporadic reader of RT, 2) extremely fortunate, or 3) both. Considering it only made about $2.5 million in box office receipts and left theaters after two weeks, it's an understandable oversight. Produced by Adam Sandler's Happy Madison studio, the film stars comic Nick Swardson as the titular Bucky, a man-child who discovers his uptight parents were once famous porn stars. With this newfound knowledge, Bucky decides to follow in his parents' footsteps and sets his sights on Hollywood, where his small genitalia make him a popular gimmick. There's more to the story, but it's really not worth getting into. At a whopping 0% on the Tomatometer, this aggressively unfunny and severely misguided comedy is the worst-reviewed movie of the year and winner of the Moldy Tomato; do what you will with that information.

Dirty Girl

27%

Though it may not seem obviously so, coming-of-age films are difficult to pull off, because the balance one must maintain in order to offer just the right amount of sentimentality -- without crossing over into schmaltz -- is a tricky feat to master. In Dirty Girl, first-time writer/director Abe Sylvia makes things even harder for himself by setting the film in the nostalgic 1980s and promising a subversive edginess in his titular protagonist, a promiscuous high schooler named Danielle (Juno Temple) who embarks on a cross-country road trip with an unlikely partner in crime: a closeted bisexual classmate named Clarke (Jeremy Dozier). According to most critics, unfortunately, Sylvia fails to bring it all together and make it work; they found Dirty Girl tame and uneven, never quite bringing the Dirty and then trying to tie it all up in a sentimental bow that's wholly unearned. Despite an experienced cast that includes William H. Macy and Mary Steenburgen, Dirty Girl sits at 25% on the Tomatometer.

Belle de jour - Criterion Collection

95%

Celebrated Spanish-born surrealist director Luis Bunuel made a career out of exploring the various ways in which fantasy and reality intertwine, from his early work like film school staple Un chien andalou all the way up to his final film, That Obscure Object of Desire. 1967's Belle de jour is one of the better known examples of his aesthetic, featuring a smoldering Catherine Deneuve in one of her most iconic roles. Here, Deneuve plays Severine, a wealthy Parisian housewife who, bored of her sexless marriage, entertains lurid fantasies and ultimately begins to visit and offer her services at a nearby brothel under the titular pseudonym. When she becomes involved with a gangster named Marcel (Pierre Clementi) and attempts to quit the brothel, jealousies lead to an explosive confrontation with rather ambiguous results; fusing daydreams with reality throughout the film, Bunuel leaves the end open for interpretation. This week, Criterion releases their brand new edition of Belle de jour, which comes packed with extras like a video examination of sexual politics, a new interview with screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere, and an excerpt from a television interview with Carriere and Deneuve.

Comments

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Wow, outside of Ides and Criterion this is possibly the weakest week ever. Not only do we get Abduction which any other week would be the runaway winner for worst. We also get Bucky Larson. I'm not ashamed to admit I really like quite a few Sandler movies, this is not one of them. A goose egg? Really? That much crap takes a concerted effort.

Jan 17 - 05:54 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Agree

Jan 17 - 06:28 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Agree

Jan 17 - 06:28 PM

rocky k.

rocky kumar

Nothing special here this weekend! and taylor you suck buddy.I mean the kid can't even act.

Jan 17 - 06:29 PM

David Tanny

David Tanny

I'll check out Ides of March, but beyond that, terrible week for new releases. You got Abduction AND Bucky Larson! Scary.

Jan 17 - 06:47 PM

sunsaz

Chris Moore

Man, what a blah week. Outside of renting March, nothing of note to find out of this trash pile*.

*not counting Belle de Jour, but I've already seen it.

Jan 17 - 07:38 PM

redrooster0

Charlie Voelker

I don't know why, but I really didn't like Ides. It was a major let down for me.

Jan 17 - 07:41 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'll finally see "Ides", and will continue to carry the torch for the Criterion conspiracy to keep us all broke. How bad can the Juno Temple film be? We'll see.

Jan 17 - 07:47 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Damn! I was going to watch "Courageous", but...I'm out of lube.

Jan 18 - 03:13 PM

Cold P.

Cold Pillow

Yeah Criterion takes all of my money...

Jan 19 - 01:57 PM

Ken

Kenneth W.

Not a very good-looking week, is it? Although, "Ides of March" sounds good.

@"Bucky Larson". You know what? I'm glad they made this. I've always wondered what would it be like if "Boogie Nights" had a brain-damaged second cousin. I mean, just look at it. The poster is literally all you need to know. A guy with his pants down. That's it. That's the movie's idea of funny. If I didn't know it was a movie about porn, I'd assume it was a really creepy kid's movie.

Jan 17 - 08:03 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

Exactly, when you're looking up in your Genre at the likes of David Spade you know you're in a rough spot. I think those guys watched Orgazmo and thought you don't have to be Trey Parker or Matt Stone to pull something like this off and well, you see where that thinking got them.

Jan 18 - 05:13 AM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

Exactly, when you're looking up in your Genre at the likes of David Spade you know you're in a rough spot. I think those guys watched Orgazmo and thought you don't have to be Trey Parker or Matt Stone to pull something like this off and well, you see where that thinking got them.

Jan 18 - 05:13 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

CRITERION IS INDISPENSABLE!

I remember buying my first Criterion Laserdisc . . . KING KONG CAV at Tower Records on 9th and South Street's TOWER RECORDS back home in Philadelphia, PA! (That Tower Records is NOW a three story CVS Pharmacy)

. . . HEY, When is Colin Hanks' TOWER RECORDS "biography" coming out.
I miss Tower Records dearly.
---

IDES OF MARCH is STILL PLAYING at the theater on Green Street here in Ithaca!

since I'm still hyper-vigilant: IDES OF MARCH was anti-black and anti-Semitic (i.e. featured blacks and Jews in a negative light).

The Black Governor is portrayed as being some-kind of flunky and the reporter Horowitz (a Jewish name and portrayed by Marisa Tomei) is a back-stabbing, obfuscating New Media Journalist.

Ideas of March is a political movie and a movie about American politics will inadvertently be racist and anti-Semitic because the American Politics is the most Anti-Semitic and Racist Institution in perhaps the entire world.

the only blacks appearing in True Colors (with James Spader and John Cuzack) are the blacks playing basketball . . . (oh well, what can you do? . . . you can FIGHT THE POWER!)
----
for my Black brothers and sisters
(don't let "the other man" kill your spirit!)
FIGHT THE POWER!!!!!

1989 the number another summer, get down Sound of the funky drummer
Music hittin? your heart, 'cause I know you got soul Brothers and sisters

Listen if you?re missin? y?all Swingin? while I?m singin? Givin? whatcha gettin? Knowin? what I know and
While the black bands sweatin? And the rhythm rhymes rollin? Got to give us what we want Gotta give us what we need Our freedom of speech is freedom or death

We've got to fight the powers that be

Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you say Fight the power

Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you say Fight the power

Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you say Fight the power
We've got to fight the powers that be

As the rhythm designed to bounce What counts is that the rhymes designed to fill your mind

Now that you?ve realized the prides arrived We got to pump the stuff to make us tough

From the heart, it?s a start, a work of art To revolutionize, make a change, nothin?s strange People, people, we are the same No, we?re not the same, 'cause we don?t know the game

What we need is awareness, we can?t get careless You say what is this? My beloved, let's get down to business Mental self defensive fitness

Yo, bum rush the show You gotta go for what you know To make everybody see

In order to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you Fight the power
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you Fight the power
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you Fight the power
Lemme hear you say Fight the power We've got to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you Lemme hear you say Fight the power
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you say Fight the power
Lemme hear you Fight the power Lemme hear you say Fight the power

We've got to fight the powers that be
Elvis was a hero to most But he never meant shit to me you see Straight up racist that sucker was Simple and plain

Mother fuck him and John Wayne 'Cause I?m black and I?m proud I?m ready and hyped plus I?m amped Most of my heroes don?t appear on no stamps

a look back you look and find Nothing but rednecks for four hundred years if you check Don?t worry be happy was a number one jam Damn, if I say it you can slap me right here

Let's get this party started right Right on, c?mon, what we got to say Power to the people, no delay Make everybody see in order to fight the powers that be
Fight the power Fight the power Fight the power Fight the power We've got to fight the powers that be

Jan 18 - 12:26 PM

That Random Albino Kid

Dominic Dold

public enemies... nice touch

Jan 18 - 05:58 PM

Cold P.

Cold Pillow

Longest post ever?

Jan 19 - 01:52 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Damn! I was going to watch "Courageous", but...I'm out of lube.

Jan 18 - 03:13 PM

That Random Albino Kid

Dominic Dold

Bucky Larson ftw! captivating performances and an intruiging, clever storyline make this definite oscar bait! BUY IT!

Jan 18 - 05:57 PM

Cold P.

Cold Pillow

You can really feel the artist's pain...

Jan 19 - 01:53 PM

That Random Albino Kid

Dominic Dold

public enemies... nice touch

Jan 18 - 05:58 PM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

Well The Ides of March didn't win Best Picture at the Globes last Sunday, but I'll be buying the movie. Clooney and Gosling are great and I can't wait till award season.

I will be watching every Taylor Lautner movie unless these douchebags doesn't make a positive review about Abduction. It's not a bad movie. Assholes.

Dirty Girl = maybe I'll rent it.

Bucky Larson = Pass. One of the worst and totally crappiest inappropriate movies of the year.

Jan 18 - 06:13 PM

Cold P.

Cold Pillow

Abduction sucks.

Jan 19 - 01:54 PM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

The only thing that sucks about is YOU!

Jan 20 - 07:58 PM

Cold P.

Cold Pillow

Longest post ever?

Jan 19 - 01:52 PM

Cold P.

Cold Pillow

You can really feel the artist's pain...

Jan 19 - 01:53 PM

Cold P.

Cold Pillow

Abduction sucks.

Jan 19 - 01:54 PM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

The only thing that sucks about is YOU!

Jan 20 - 07:58 PM

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