RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and More

Halle Berry takes a phone call, Ed Harris commands a sub, and Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst fall head over heels for each other, literally.

This week on home video, we've got a wacky comedy about Las Vegas magicians, an abduction thriller, and a star-crossed sci-fi romance. Then, we also have a Cold War submarine movie, a smart historical drama, and a number of Blu-ray "steelbook" rereleases. See below for the full list.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

36%

On paper, the idea of casting Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi as partners in a Vegas magic act sounds like a winning proposition. Throw in Jim Carrey as a dark, Criss Angel-like street magician, Alan Arkin as a retired illusionist, and Olivia Wilde as the lovely assistant with a few tricks of her own -- as well as a brief supporting turn from the late James Gandolfini -- and it boggles the mind how The Incredible Burt Wonderstone ended up with a 37% Tomatometer. Carell plays the titular Burt, who forged a lifelong friendship with another awkward kid when the two of them discovered magic. Now, as Burt and his partner Anton (Buscemi) struggle to keep their stale Vegas act relevant, Burt's inner diva drives the two friends apart, and he must return to his roots in order to make a triumphant comeback. Burt Wonderstone has a few laughs, but most critics were hoping for something a little sharper than what it had to offer. The premise is rich with potential, but the story opts instead to play it safe, and the end result is disappointingly tame and predictable, considering the talent involved.

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The Call

43%

Director Brad Anderson has proven in the past that he's capable of crafting effective tension and smart thrills, with films like Session 9, The Machinist, and Transsiberian. Critics say his latest film, the Halle Berry-powered The Call, almost gets it right before falling apart. Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) used to field 9-1-1 calls for the LAPD, but after a tragic kidnapping gone wrong, she opted to train others instead. When another abducted teenager (Abigail Breslin) calls from the trunk of a car, Jordan instinctively jumps on the call and soon finds she may be facing someone from her past. Critics say Anderson does a fairly decent job of ratcheting up the tension, but the plot is ultimately so implausible -- especially the final act -- that it loses much of its steam. At 41% on the Tomatometer, The Call has a few nice touches from a genre veteran, but it may not hold up under scrutiny.

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Upside Down

27%

Lately, Jim Sturgess seems to be drawn to ambitious sci-fi projects like last year's epic Cloud Atlas and, more recently, Upside Down, a story about star-crossed love that takes place on twin planets that exist so close to each other that their inhabitants experience dual gravity. Here, Sturgess plays Adam, an orphan from the poorer "Down" planet who meets and falls in love with Eden (Kirsten Dunst), whose wealthier "Up" planet prohibits interaction with those from Down. When tragedy separates the young couple from each other, Adam spends his time perfecting a product that will equalize gravity between the two planets and potentially reunite him with his lost love. If the physics of it all seems a little difficult to wrap your head around, that's alright; the film is clearly less interested in how scientifically plausible its concepts are. Unfortunately, critics mostly thought that Upside Down's script left quite a bit to be desired as well; at 29% on the Tomatometer, there's plenty of visual wizardry on display here, but little else in the way of effective drama or characters to provide a compelling reason for the spectacle.

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No

93%

Chilean director Pablo Larrain has found great success setting his previous films (Tony Manero, Post Mortem) against the backdrop of his country's civil unrest during the Augusto Pinochet era. With his latest feature, No, Larrain delves directly into the politics of Pinochet's rule, setting the story in 1988, just before the end of the dictator's reign. Gael Garcia Bernal plays Rene, an ad man who's approached by anti-Pinochet activists to help market their campaign; with government authorities pressuring him and his family, Rene puts together a daring proposal in hopes of ousting the dictator and bringing democracy to Chile. Though it only saw a fairly limited release, No earned glowing reviews from most critics, who called it a smart, surprisingly funny, and poignant film that provides a perspective on democracy not often explored. Don't let its historical context deter you; Certified Fresh at 92%, No is a thoughtful drama that further cements Pablo Larrain's credentials as a solid filmmaker.

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Phantom

25%

The tagline for Cold War submarine thriller Phantom is "You'll Never See It Coming," which is ironically appropriate since hardly anyone watched it, and most of you reading this probably forgot it even existed. Inspired by a true story (aren't they all?), Phantom stars Ed Harris as Captain Dmitri "Demi" Zubov, commander of a Soviet nuclear sub, who takes on one final top secret mission before retirement. When a shadowy KGB agent (David Duchovny) accompanies his crew and ultimately reveals the nefarious true purpose of the operation, Demi must retake control of the vessel in order to avert an all-out war. Despite a solid cast, which included supporting turns by Lance Henriksen and William Fichtner, Phantom was content to retread familiar themes from other, better films of its ilk (The Hunt for Red October, Crimson Tide, etc). The story lacks the necessary tension and taut narrative to make for an engaging thriller, and so it sits at a mediocre 25% on the Tomatometer.

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Also available this week:

  • In the Family (96%), a drama about a gay man who must make peace with his "in-laws" when his partner dies in an accident and the extended family is given custody of his son.
  • The Certified Fresh A Place at the Table (89%), a documentary examining hunger issues in the US.
  • Supporting Characters (86%), an indie comedy about two film editors who find their relationships tested when they're hired to recut a botched film.
  • Edgar Wright's recent trio of feature film successes is among this week's Blu-ray "Steelbook" reissues: Shaun of the Dead (91%), Hot Fuzz (91%), and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (81%).
  • The Criterion Collection releases another important film: French filmmaker Claude Lanzmann's unflinching Holocaust documentary Shoah (100%), which also includes three additional films by Lanzmann, a few interviews, and other extras.
  • Some of the other notable Blu-ray Steelbook releases out this week include: the Firefly movie Serenity (82%), Brian DePalma's Scarface (89%), and the Beatles' Help! (91%).

Comments

vinsig0011

vincent Signorile

Looking forward to renting "Burt Wonderstone" even though it wasn't well received by critics the trailers entertained me
Saw "The Call" in theaters and was surprised i found myself on the edge of my seat the whole movie.

Jun 24 - 05:05 PM

Nellie  D.

Nellie Dolly

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Jun 27 - 12:36 PM

greg b.

greg baltzer

I loved the trailer for Burt Wonderstone and wanted to see it, and I usually hate comedies. I watched an hour of it, didn't laugh once, and then turned it off. I couldn't make it through the last 30 mins. Spare yourself the money and don't rent it...it's garbage.

Jun 28 - 07:40 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"No" is the obvious winner of the week, and the obvious answer to the others.

I think I'll stick with Tony Wonder from "Arrested Development" (...now I'm over here!)

Thank goodness my library will soon withstand gunfire.

Jun 24 - 05:33 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

@ Upside Down, if two planets were close enough where one planet was causing gravitational pull on the other, they would collide.

Jun 24 - 06:59 PM

Typhon

Typhon Q

I also like how they can tie weights to themselves to switch gravitational fields.

Jun 24 - 09:21 PM

Typhon

Typhon Q

Yet another uninspired week...

Jun 24 - 09:20 PM

Typhon

Typhon Q

I also like how they can tie weights to themselves to switch gravitational fields.

Jun 24 - 09:21 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

How does a movie with Jim Carrey and Steve's Carrell and Buscemi end up unfunny? Is Olivia Wilde the new kiss of death for movies? I can't remember her ever being in a good one. Can anybody think of an example that clearly disproves that theory? I've got Cowboys and Aliens, Alpha Dog, The Change-Up, Tron: Legacy, In Time, Year One and Burt Wonderstone already accounted for. That's an Ashton Kutcher level of fail to still have a career. Guess it pays to be pretty.

Jun 24 - 10:04 PM

OG Cutler

Cutler's 5th Account

Maybe the film isn't funny. Not the first time. Movie 43 had talent, but ended up shitty.

Jun 24 - 11:19 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I have been thinking this for a while. Seems like if Wilde pops up, it is going to bomb critically and financially. To add to your list: Year One, The Next Three Days, Deadfall, Butter, People Like Us, and The Words. At least Kutcher had That '70s Show and Punk'd.

Jun 25 - 11:21 PM

Common Anomaly

Common Anomaly

Check out Kutcher in "The Butterfly Effect" to see a good movie & surprise, he can actually act.

Jun 26 - 08:50 AM

OG Cutler

Cutler's 5th Account

Can't blame this all on her. It is her agent's fault for putting her in bad movies.

Jun 26 - 09:25 AM

King  S.

King Simba

To be fair, Tron Legacy was actually a hit, grossing over 400 mil worldwide, but yeah Olivia Wilde's track record is pretty terrible.

It's not impossible to turn it around though. I mean look what Channing Tatum managed to do to his career in a mere year.

Jun 26 - 02:23 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I agree, Wilde doesn't seem to have any luck with movies with the critics in general but the thing is how many critics do you know that have blamed her for a movie's problems when it has a lot to do with director, producer and screenwriter/ storyteller because I know they're more rotten directors than notable ones! Wilde's roles are kind of secondary behind some other big name actor and does not have the same kind of power as Leo DiCaprio, Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt, or Tom Cruise who can sometimes chose who they want to work with! And she is still watchable otherwise you wouldn't have acknowledged her on screen presence in the first place!

Jun 26 - 02:55 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

That's just it Dave, I kinda wonder if she'd still be given these opportunities if she didn't look like Olivia Wilde. She's not garnering major roles and the minor roles she's getting are in movies that fail financially, critically or both, so why keep casting her? May be time to move on to the next big thing is all I'm saying and hopefully the Kutch's next role in that Steve Jobs movie will kill his career so we don't have to be subjected to him anymore.

Jun 26 - 04:22 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Studios continue to keep casting Wilde is because she can act better than most, and because she is cheap and affordable unlike other screen actresses who demand huge pay raises! It's hard to find a good actress these days that will succumb to reasonable rates! Wilde can't be compared to Kutcher because their acting styles are totally different! Kutcher made his big break from the 70's show and since then he's been doing nothing but comedy shows, Wilde on the other hand has only been on movies as far as I know so theirs absolutely no comparison whatsoever!

I neither hate them nor like them both, but I do know that I've been seeing more of Wilde's than Kutchers because he really been on anything I'd been interested in seeing! Wasn't one of Kutcher's big movies was "Dude, Where's My Car" which is a movie I have but haven't seen yet!

Jun 26 - 06:30 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

*cheap* - *reasonable rates* She's the HoJo of skinny starlets.

Jun 26 - 06:33 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Perhaps, I should've said "affordable" because contracts are involved!

Jun 27 - 12:15 PM

Jon Cox

Jon Cox

nothing again for me this week
but in 2 weeks 'Spring Breakers'! :)

Jun 24 - 10:38 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Richard Matheson died. I'm a huge fan of this man's work and a lot of all your favorite directors and actors also have been inspired by this dude so if your not sure who he is look him up and you'll be shocked at what stories your familiar with and what actors and directors and writers were inspired by this amazing Man.

Pretty bummed and I didn't want to wait for Rotten Tomatoes to post an official "Richard Matheson" is dead post came up to rant about how much I loved this guy's stories.

Jun 24 - 10:46 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Tribute is here: http://vine.rottentomatoes.com/vine/showthread.php?t=2288946

Jun 25 - 10:20 AM

OG Cutler

Cutler's 5th Account

Maybe the film isn't funny. Not the first time. Movie 43 had talent, but ended up shitty.

Jun 24 - 11:19 PM

Vits

Vicente Torres

I'm one of the maybe 5 Chileans who did NOT like NO for reasons that have nothing to do with politics. That being said, I feel it's my duty to recommend it anyway. Specially because it's the first Chilean Oscar nominee.

BURT WONDERSTONE stars 2 of my heroes (Carell and Carrey), so I do think it's worth it.

Jun 25 - 09:38 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Curious to hear, if you're willing.

Jun 25 - 10:21 AM

Vits

Vicente Torres

http://vits-ingthemovies.blogspot.com/2013/02/no.html

Jun 25 - 12:37 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

OK. I'm curious if you were alive during the Pinochet era. Not to say your criticism isn't valid - I'll have to see it to tell. But it still intrigues me.

Jun 26 - 06:35 PM

Vits

Vicente Torres

Sigh. You're not the first one to use "that card". However A) Movies have to be seen as objectively as possible. That's why I (a left-wing person) still didn't like it. B) My dad WAS alive at the time, and he also disliked the movie. C) If living the historical event that a movie portrays matters that much, then a lot of period pieces don't deserve the Oscar because almost nobody was alive back then.

Jun 26 - 07:23 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I didn't mean it as a disqualification. That would be like questioning me - an American - and my review for not having the first hand experience either. The reason why I was curious was because of your aversion to the real footage, as if by being already familiar with it took you out of the film. Now I HAVE to see the film just to get to the bottom...

Jun 26 - 09:18 PM

Vits

Vicente Torres

I didn't like HOW they used the footage. Having the actors sit and just react to it is lazy.

Jun 27 - 04:21 PM

zinc alloy

zinc alloy

Big fan of Bernal....however 'NO' was quite a bore but still a history lesson.....

Jun 26 - 10:29 AM

Vits

Vicente Torres

If that's the case, there are other ways to learn about the NO campaign.

Jun 26 - 07:24 PM

greg b.

greg baltzer

Burt Wonderstone was a bore. I turned it off after an hour....complete garbage.

Jun 28 - 07:43 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Tribute is here: http://vine.rottentomatoes.com/vine/showthread.php?t=2288946

Jun 25 - 10:20 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Curious to hear, if you're willing.

Jun 25 - 10:21 AM

Vits

Vicente Torres

http://vits-ingthemovies.blogspot.com/2013/02/no.html

Jun 25 - 12:37 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

OK. I'm curious if you were alive during the Pinochet era. Not to say your criticism isn't valid - I'll have to see it to tell. But it still intrigues me.

Jun 26 - 06:35 PM

Vits

Vicente Torres

Sigh. You're not the first one to use "that card". However A) Movies have to be seen as objectively as possible. That's why I (a left-wing person) still didn't like it. B) My dad WAS alive at the time, and he also disliked the movie. C) If living the historical event that a movie portrays matters that much, then a lot of period pieces don't deserve the Oscar because almost nobody was alive back then.

Jun 26 - 07:23 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I didn't mean it as a disqualification. That would be like questioning me - an American - and my review for not having the first hand experience either. The reason why I was curious was because of your aversion to the real footage, as if by being already familiar with it took you out of the film. Now I HAVE to see the film just to get to the bottom...

Jun 26 - 09:18 PM

Vits

Vicente Torres

I didn't like HOW they used the footage. Having the actors sit and just react to it is lazy.

Jun 27 - 04:21 PM

Luck  Dragon

Luck Dragon

Would like to see one of Gandolfini's last performances, but can't bring myself to watch Burt Wonderstone. I would've been interested in The Call, but I believe I already saw the entire movie in the trailer.

Jun 25 - 11:32 AM

Vits

Vicente Torres

http://vits-ingthemovies.blogspot.com/2013/02/no.html

Jun 25 - 12:37 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

OK. I'm curious if you were alive during the Pinochet era. Not to say your criticism isn't valid - I'll have to see it to tell. But it still intrigues me.

Jun 26 - 06:35 PM

Vits

Vicente Torres

Sigh. You're not the first one to use "that card". However A) Movies have to be seen as objectively as possible. That's why I (a left-wing person) still didn't like it. B) My dad WAS alive at the time, and he also disliked the movie. C) If living the historical event that a movie portrays matters that much, then a lot of period pieces don't deserve the Oscar because almost nobody was alive back then.

Jun 26 - 07:23 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I didn't mean it as a disqualification. That would be like questioning me - an American - and my review for not having the first hand experience either. The reason why I was curious was because of your aversion to the real footage, as if by being already familiar with it took you out of the film. Now I HAVE to see the film just to get to the bottom...

Jun 26 - 09:18 PM

Vits

Vicente Torres

I didn't like HOW they used the footage. Having the actors sit and just react to it is lazy.

Jun 27 - 04:21 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I have been thinking this for a while. Seems like if Wilde pops up, it is going to bomb critically and financially. To add to your list: Year One, The Next Three Days, Deadfall, Butter, People Like Us, and The Words. At least Kutcher had That '70s Show and Punk'd.

Jun 25 - 11:21 PM

Common Anomaly

Common Anomaly

Check out Kutcher in "The Butterfly Effect" to see a good movie & surprise, he can actually act.

Jun 26 - 08:50 AM

OG Cutler

Cutler's 5th Account

Can't blame this all on her. It is her agent's fault for putting her in bad movies.

Jun 26 - 09:25 AM

King  S.

King Simba

To be fair, Tron Legacy was actually a hit, grossing over 400 mil worldwide, but yeah Olivia Wilde's track record is pretty terrible.

It's not impossible to turn it around though. I mean look what Channing Tatum managed to do to his career in a mere year.

Jun 26 - 02:23 PM

Common Anomaly

Common Anomaly

Check out Kutcher in "The Butterfly Effect" to see a good movie & surprise, he can actually act.

Jun 26 - 08:50 AM

OG Cutler

Cutler's 5th Account

Can't blame this all on her. It is her agent's fault for putting her in bad movies.

Jun 26 - 09:25 AM

zinc alloy

zinc alloy

Big fan of Bernal....however 'NO' was quite a bore but still a history lesson.....

Jun 26 - 10:29 AM

Vits

Vicente Torres

If that's the case, there are other ways to learn about the NO campaign.

Jun 26 - 07:24 PM

King  S.

King Simba

To be fair, Tron Legacy was actually a hit, grossing over 400 mil worldwide, but yeah Olivia Wilde's track record is pretty terrible.

It's not impossible to turn it around though. I mean look what Channing Tatum managed to do to his career in a mere year.

Jun 26 - 02:23 PM

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