RT on DVD: 28 Weeks Later, Reign Over Me, and Surf's Up!

Plus, it's heeeere: the 25th anniversary DVD of Poltergeist!

Horror fans are in luck, since a number of new DVD releases this week (28 Weeks Later, Black Sheep) offer critically acclaimed thrills and chills -- and we know how rarely that happens. Thankfully, we've also got new fare for the kiddies (Surf's Up), the indie-minded (Reign Over Me, 12:08 East of Bucharest), and reality TV-loving couch potatoes (Meerkat Manor!).



28 Weeks Later

Tomatometer: 71%

In this sequel to Danny Boyle's breakout hit, 28 Days Later, the Rage Virus has been contained in Britain -- or has it? Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo does a decent job building atmosphere and thrills, even if Weeks falls short of the modern-classic achievement of its predecessor. The disc is loaded with featurettes, including director commentary for the film and two deleted scenes and multiple making-of videos.




 



Reign Over Me

Tomatometer: 63%

Adam Sandler fans who've been tracking the former SNLer's career departures into drama (like the excellent Punch-Drunk Love) should take note of this character-driven piece from writer-director Mike Binder. Charlie (Sandler) and Alan (Don Cheadle) are former friends who reconnect in New York City five years after the 9/11 attacks, in which Charlie lost his family -- a tragedy that has turned him into a shell of his former self. The bonus menu features an unusual treat: a jam session between the two stars.





 

Surf's Up

Tomatometer: 77%

Featuring the vocal talents of Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, and Zooey Deschanel, this animated pic about a talking penguin -- one who lives to surf, not to tap-dance -- scored pretty well with the critics for top notch visuals and charming mockumentary style. The DVD release is packed with behind-the-scenes featurettes, including a nice glimpse into the recording studio, where cast members were encouraged to interact with each other. Sony's also been generous with interactive games for the kiddies and animation instructionals for the nerds, so there really is something for everyone.


 


Black Sheep

Tomatometer: 71%

Seeing as New Zealand's most famous filmmaker (Peter Jackson) started his career with gross-out comic gore (Bad Taste), it's appropriate that his fellow countryman Jonathan King follow suit with this tale of bloodthirsty mutant sheep run amok. (Special effects courtesy of Jackson's WETA Workshop.) With a tagline like "Get ready for the Violence of the Lambs," who can resist?





 


Other Safe Bets

12:08 East of Bucharest
Tomatometer: 97%

16 years after the Romanian Revolution of 1989, a local television station gathers guests to revisit the historic moment when their city hosted a key protest so many years ago. But did it really happen? This overwhelmingly critic-approved import earned the Camera d'Or at Cannes -- worth your time if you don't mind the subtitles.

 

You Kill Me
Tomatometer: 77%

Ben Kingsley stars as an alcoholic hitman sent to dry out in San Francisco by the mafia, where he gets a job at a mortuary and goes to AA meetings. Tea Leoni co-stars, with direction by John Dahl (Rounders).  





Poltergeist: 25th Anniversary Edition
Tomatometer: 84%

Rebuffed for its quarter century anniversary, Tobe Hooper's 1982 suburban horror classic is back looking quite nice thanks to a new anamorphic transfer. That said, Poltergeist fans, beware: besides a single two-part documentary (They Are Here: The Real World of Poltergeist Revealed) featuring paranormal experts and cast and crewmembers, the disc is conspicuously free of bonus features.

Meerkat Manor: Season One
Tomatometer: N/A

Danger, incest, and intrigue -- daytime television's got nothing on a day in the life of a meerkat. The Animal Planet show, narrated stateside by Sean "Samwise Gamgee" Astin, has been tracking the lives and loves of the Whiskers clan in the Kalahari Desert for three seasons.  Season one brings us back to the beginning, when family matriarch Flower ruled her roost with an iron paw, evicting her own daughter Mozart for getting pregnant and leading the Whisker's first turf wars against rival gang the Lazuli.



Don't Say We Didn't Warn You


Evan Almighty
Tomatometer: 24%

This sequel to the Jim Carrey hit was one of the most notorious flops of the year, mostly because an estimated $175 million budget made it the costliest comedy film ever. So if you were one of those "I'll wait for DVD" types, now's your chance to see Steve Carell's turn as a modern-day Noah figure. Or you can wait for cable TV.


Rise: Blood Hunter
Tomatometer: 40%

Lucy Liu stars as a recently undead reporter who vows revenge on the vampires who killed her. With a 121 minute runtime, this one's better off dead last on your rental list -- unless you've already seen the week's more worthy horror releases and are still hungry for gore.


 

Until next week, happy renting!

Comments

DaHypr1

Jim Huete

cool. 28 weeks later was awesome I loved it, and reign over me was fantastic. Im gonna save money so I can purchase those.

Oct 9 - 06:02 PM

IMAmoose24

Eric Schulze

28 weeks later got me. It got me good. Not as good as days, but still got me freaked the hell out. This is coming from a horror hater(unless done well). Probably won't buy it, but maybe rent it to remember what happened.

Oct 9 - 07:53 PM

Special Ed

Ed Van Brunt

I hate it when the characters in a movie have to do stupid things in order for the plot to work. (The kids going to their old house, the Dad sneaking in to see his wife, the U.S. army botching the whole thing, the helicopter pilot not picking up the surviors the first time, the helicopter pilot deciding to pick up the kids in the stadium). Nevertheless, 28 weeks later is pretty good stuff as far as tension and suspense go. Can't wait for the next 28 movie.

Oct 9 - 09:43 PM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato

It's all about Meerkat Manor for me. You can't write highs and lows like the stuff those 'kats go through.

Oct 9 - 09:48 PM

Alex Vo

Alex Vo

Flower power, yo!

Oct 10 - 12:00 AM

Product_of_You

Steven Edwards

Reign Over Me is easily the best movie of the year in my opinon. However I wasn't a very big fan of 28 Weeks Later. I liked Days, but Weeks was really missing characters to care about.

Oct 9 - 11:06 PM

Pilgermann

Michael Warren

Apparently I'm missing out 'cause I didn't enjoy 28 WEEKS LATER. The opening sequence was great and I was pretty pumped but it was all downhill and silly from there. Oh well.

Oct 9 - 11:37 PM

Alex Vo

Alex Vo

Flower power, yo!

Oct 10 - 12:00 AM

Rusty Broomhandle

Jaco Gerber

Heyy, meerkats are cool. Once while driving down to the south coast I came across a scene where one got run over on the highway, and his/her entire troop was gathered around, clearly upset by the event, and they we tugging at him. It looked like they were trying to drag the body off.

I slowed down to drive around them, the guy behind me got annoyed and overtook me in a big huff. Jerk.

Oct 10 - 03:35 AM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato

That's the saddest story I've heard all day.

Oct 10 - 06:49 PM

alsanali

Alsan Ali

The first 10 minutes of 28 Weeks Later were absolutely brilliant. The rest of it reminded me a bit too much of Resident Evil: Apocalypse, which is never a good thing.

Oct 10 - 02:57 PM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato

That's the saddest story I've heard all day.

Oct 10 - 06:49 PM

Rusty Broomhandle

Jaco Gerber

Sorry! :) Unfortunately, wildlife and development don't mix very well. Most wildlife down here is now contained in protected areas like national parks, but there are places that are quite rich with all manner of wee critters that do get exposed to the human cancer.

Ok... I offer a happy tale... My wife and I once came across a pair of children (girls around the age of 10-12) that were trying to kill a little kitten by throwing him onto the highway in front of traffic. We saw this little black thing flying through the air, and landing right on the center line. We pulled over, the kitty (no more than 6 weeks old) scrambled across the road and up a tree. I jumped up and plucked him from the tree, handed him to my wife, and chased the two kids into their neighbourhood. They got away and I never managed to murder either of them, but the kitty has been living with us ever since, and he's the most adorable little guy you'll ever meet.

And that's as far off topic as I'll go today. :)

Oct 11 - 03:49 AM

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