RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Battleship and Think Like a Man

Plus, another Oscar nominee, an animated winner, and lots of new Universal Blu-rays.

The biggest movies available on home video this week aren't exactly critical darlings, but to balance out the big robots and formulaic romances, we've got a couple of acclaimed indies, a new Criterion, and a ton of 100th anniversary Blu-rays from Universal. See below for the full list!

Battleship

34%

A lot of people cracked jokes when it was announced that Universal would be crafting a big budget action movie based on the popular board game Battleship; as it turns out, those people probably had the right idea. As the game itself lacked any sort of inherent narrative, the film finds its conflict in an alien invasion and (of course) the human effort to repel said invasion. Starring Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson, Rihanna, and Alexander Skarsgard, Battleship was ultimately too loud, too poorly written, and too formulaic to win over many critics, resulting in a 34% Tomatometer. If you're into big, special-effects driven spectacles a la Transformers, this might be for you.

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Think Like a Man

53%

Mainstream romantic comedies have recently been a breeding ground for Rotten reviews, and while Think Like a Man is also technically Rotten, critics say it's not all bad. Based on the relationship advice book by comedian and media personality Steve Harvey, Think Like a Man follows the love lives of four friends whose relationships are all adversely affected when their significant others begin taking the advice of the titular book. With a game cast and some truly funny bits, the film manages to rise above most standard rom-coms, though not quite enough to earn any higher than its 54% Tomatometer. In other words, a relatively tolerable date-night movie.

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The Lucky One

20%

Speaking of clichéd romances, The Lucky One bore all the trappings of a Nicholas Sparks novel without actually being based on one. Zac Efron plays an Iraq war vet who tracks down an anonymous woman (Taylor Schilling) pictured in a photograph he found while overseas, only to (surprise!) fall in love with her before revealing his stalker-ish secret. Critics, unfortunately, didn't really buy it; at 20% on the Tomatometer, The Lucky One is simply too formulaic and too typically melodramatic to appeal to anyone not already familiar with the genre. In other words, if you're looking for a predictable yet weepy romance, feel free to indulge yourself; if not, you might want to find your entertainment elsewhere.

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The Pirates! Band of Misfits

86%

The Aardman Animations company is most famous for their stop-motion work in the Wallace & Gromit series, as well as acclaimed films like Chicken Run and last year's Arthur Christmas. Their latest feature project centers on -- you guessed it -- a misfit band of pirates led by the aptly named Pirate Captain (voiced by Hugh Grant), who embarks on an epic adventure to win the coveted Pirate of the Year award. Thanks to Aardman's typically fantastic animation work, a smart and funny script, and voice work from folks like Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Jeremy Piven, and Salma Hayek, Pirates managed to go Certified Fresh with an 86% Tomatometer. If you're looking for something that'll entertain you as well as the kiddies, this is probably your best bet this week.

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Darling Companion

22%

It's been a while since director Lawrence Kasdan (The Accidental Tourist, The Big Chill) had a hit, so it's a bit unfortunate that his first film in nine years ended up earning the lowest Tomatometer score of his career thus far. Diane Keaton plays Beth, cast aside wife to Joseph (Kevin Kline), who finds a new BFF in the stray dog she rescues from the side of the road. When Joseph loses the dog after their daughter's wedding, Beth organizes a search party to find the pooch. While some critics praised the chemistry between Keaton and Kline, most took issue with the slack pacing, extraneous characters, and muddled messages, resulting in a disappointing 21% Tomatometer score.

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Monsieur Lazhar

97%

Another week, another Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. That's not to say Monsieur Lazhar, the French Canadian import, doesn't deserve the recognition; at a Certified Fresh 97%, it's the highest-rated new release out this week. The story focuses on an elementary school teacher (Mohamed Said Fellag) who replaces another teacher who has committed suicide, even as he's battling his own demons after losing his family to a politically charged tragedy. Making the most of its teacher-student dynamic and benefiting from powerful characterization and strong performances, Monsieur Lazhar is a tender and thoughtful film about grief and the power to overcome it.

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Quadrophenia - Criterion Collection

100%

In 1973, The Who released their second rock opera, a double album titled Quadrophenia, a portrait of the early '60s Mod lifestyle as depicted by a young man named Jimmy Cooper with alternating personalities. In 1979, Franc Roddam translated the album into a big screen narrative feature with the help of Phil Daniels (as Jimmy), Sting, and a young Ray Winstone, among others. Whether you enjoy the band's music or not (and, to be clear, this film is not a musical), most agree that this angst-ridden portrayal of British subculture is a raw and effective document of the times, and it arrives in a Criterion edition this week. Special features include new commentary with Roddam, snippets from news programs of the '60s and '70s, and a handful of new interviews.

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Universal 100th Anniversary Blu-Rays

Since Universal has been releasing a slew of reissues on Blu-ray to celebrate their 100th anniversary, we thought it would be easier simply to list the notable ones in a single entry. This week, you'll be treated to new editions of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Vertigo (you know, the movie recently deemed the greatest film ever by Sight & Sound), Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity, the "early disaster film" Airport, multiple Oscar-winner (including Best Picture) Out of Africa, the Jimmy Stewart imaginary rabbit movie Harvey, Brian De Palma's Scarface, the Michel Gondry/Charlie Kaufman collaboration Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and last but certainly not least, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Whew! If there isn't something in there for you, I don't even know what to say.

Comments

vinsig001

Vincent Signorile

Lots of picks this week for me to review and write reviews about!!

Aug 27 - 06:39 PM

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

Holy God, I would drain my paycheck for that Universal Blu-Ray collection. I won't buy everything of course, those are some great titles there. Other classics not listed above includes Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Inglorious Basterds, Babe, Animal House, The Deer Hunter, Peter Jackson's King Kong, Spartacus, and Jaws. Not enough money just for the stuff I like!

Also, a salute towards Battleship. A movie that dared praising the military but at the same time be brutally critical of the gung-ho attitude so associated with America post 9/11. Not many modern special-effects-laden summer blockbuster would dare suggest the 'heroes' could be the real bad guys and the aliens seems to be better at war-time ethics (interesting inversion of Transformers, where the supposed good guys can act with shocking brutality). It even managed to adapt a boardgame with creativity much like Clue (peg missiles! best use of tsunami buoys in a motion picture!). It's also nice for a film to acknowledge there are other capable military forces in the world as well (do many know that Malaysia and Singapore are guarding one of the most busiest and economically-critical waters in the world?).

Aug 27 - 06:46 PM

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

A positive review of Battleship from one of my friends.

http://www.somethingawful.com/d/current-movie-reviews/battleship-lockout.php

Aug 27 - 06:50 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Hmmm. I appreciate your ability to look at Battleship and find those hidden meanings, but..... Battleship was pretty bad. The characters were cliche and boring. But most importantly, the action was very stale. I could have cared less about any of it. It sucks because I like Berg. I liked The Kingdom and I love The Rundown but he totally gave up developing his own style and he chose to adopt Bay's. Bad choice in my opinion.

Aug 27 - 07:25 PM

Kyle Tolan

Kyle Tolan

Love the Rundown too, but I thought the Kingdom was one of the absolute worst movies I've ever seen. I remember finding it odd that it was in the 50's on the meter. But I only saw it once a few years ago... maybe I was in a bad mood or something but it flat out angered me because of how horrid it was... should I rewatch it?

Aug 28 - 09:22 AM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Don't feel bad you didn't like it. A lot of people didn't like it. I enjoyed the action in it foremost. The final shootout and the fight between Garner and the big terrorist guy are pretty brutal. Bateman was funny. And the acknowledgement that the Saudi's are uber rich, that many terrorists come from there, and that many of them are normal, family loving people trying to get by like everyone else was welcome. It wasn't the perfect movie by any means but I found it somewhat thought provoking and entertaining.

Aug 28 - 10:45 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Ditto with me - love "The Rundown" but couldn't get into "The Kingdom" at all and stopped only half way into it. And agree with Infernal Dude that all three films by Peter Berg shouldn't be compared with one another since they're all so radically different! I'd still like to see Berg coming up with "The Rundown 2"!

Aug 28 - 01:22 PM

Kyle Tolan

Kyle Tolan

I might have come into thinking it was drivel or something because I remember being annoyed by how cartoonish-ly villainous the main "bad guys" seemed. The Rundown seemed to be the last good thing any of the people involved did, so its a high note in my movie collection.

Aug 29 - 12:08 PM

Christopher Kulik

Christopher Kulik

@ Infernal Dude Let me say this: it was ALMOST worth the price of the rental for the one line the scientist says after he freaks out seeing the veteran: "Is he a cyborg?" Otherwise, speaking as someone who served eight years in the Navy, BATTLESHIP was pretty embarrassing, like chicken burrito embarrassing. This should be the last big-budget film Taylor Kitsch will be in thankfully; at least Liam Neeson owned his role near the end of the film...I love how he kept saying "No" to Kitsch's last request.

Aug 30 - 09:39 PM

Jonathan Edward O.

Jon Owens

How much is the universal collection?

Aug 27 - 08:29 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I don't know, I think there's a fairly long list of movie's that portray that point while managing not to be nearly as blindingly stupid in premise and execution as Battleship. District 9, Super 8, V for Vendetta, Green Zone, Munich just to name a few recent ones and War Games and THE summer blockbuster E.T. all did a better job of portraying that point without the mindlessness of Battleship. In fact I think outside of Transformers you can probably find more movie's that portray the military in a negative or flawed light than you can a glowing positive one. At least post Vietnam. Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, First Blood, etc, etc.

Aug 27 - 09:10 PM

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

A positive review of Battleship from one of my friends.

http://www.somethingawful.com/d/current-movie-reviews/battleship-lockout.php

Aug 27 - 06:50 PM

Josh Barr

Josh Barr

Universal is releasing some awesome flicks on blu-ray.

Aug 27 - 07:01 PM

Kurtiss Keefner

Kurtiss Keefner

Quadrophenia and a few of the Universal titles (Scarface, Vertigo) are definitely going to be added to my collection.

I might rent Pirates, but the rest don't really do anything for me.

Aug 27 - 07:19 PM

This comment has been removed.

Mike Smith

Mike Smith

They said "Brian De Palma's Scarface"!!!

SO, THERE!!!

Aug 27 - 08:15 PM

Bradley J.

Bradley J

Pirates was a great film so that one for me this week.

Aug 27 - 07:21 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Hmmm. I appreciate your ability to look at Battleship and find those hidden meanings, but..... Battleship was pretty bad. The characters were cliche and boring. But most importantly, the action was very stale. I could have cared less about any of it. It sucks because I like Berg. I liked The Kingdom and I love The Rundown but he totally gave up developing his own style and he chose to adopt Bay's. Bad choice in my opinion.

Aug 27 - 07:25 PM

Kyle Tolan

Kyle Tolan

Love the Rundown too, but I thought the Kingdom was one of the absolute worst movies I've ever seen. I remember finding it odd that it was in the 50's on the meter. But I only saw it once a few years ago... maybe I was in a bad mood or something but it flat out angered me because of how horrid it was... should I rewatch it?

Aug 28 - 09:22 AM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Don't feel bad you didn't like it. A lot of people didn't like it. I enjoyed the action in it foremost. The final shootout and the fight between Garner and the big terrorist guy are pretty brutal. Bateman was funny. And the acknowledgement that the Saudi's are uber rich, that many terrorists come from there, and that many of them are normal, family loving people trying to get by like everyone else was welcome. It wasn't the perfect movie by any means but I found it somewhat thought provoking and entertaining.

Aug 28 - 10:45 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Ditto with me - love "The Rundown" but couldn't get into "The Kingdom" at all and stopped only half way into it. And agree with Infernal Dude that all three films by Peter Berg shouldn't be compared with one another since they're all so radically different! I'd still like to see Berg coming up with "The Rundown 2"!

Aug 28 - 01:22 PM

Kyle Tolan

Kyle Tolan

I might have come into thinking it was drivel or something because I remember being annoyed by how cartoonish-ly villainous the main "bad guys" seemed. The Rundown seemed to be the last good thing any of the people involved did, so its a high note in my movie collection.

Aug 29 - 12:08 PM

Christopher Kulik

Christopher Kulik

@ Infernal Dude Let me say this: it was ALMOST worth the price of the rental for the one line the scientist says after he freaks out seeing the veteran: "Is he a cyborg?" Otherwise, speaking as someone who served eight years in the Navy, BATTLESHIP was pretty embarrassing, like chicken burrito embarrassing. This should be the last big-budget film Taylor Kitsch will be in thankfully; at least Liam Neeson owned his role near the end of the film...I love how he kept saying "No" to Kitsch's last request.

Aug 30 - 09:39 PM

This comment has been removed.

Mike Smith

Mike Smith

They said "Brian De Palma's Scarface"!!!

SO, THERE!!!

Aug 27 - 08:15 PM

Mike Smith

Mike Smith

They said "Brian De Palma's Scarface"!!!

SO, THERE!!!

Aug 27 - 08:15 PM

Jonathan Edward O.

Jon Owens

How much is the universal collection?

Aug 27 - 08:29 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I don't know, I think there's a fairly long list of movie's that portray that point while managing not to be nearly as blindingly stupid in premise and execution as Battleship. District 9, Super 8, V for Vendetta, Green Zone, Munich just to name a few recent ones and War Games and THE summer blockbuster E.T. all did a better job of portraying that point without the mindlessness of Battleship. In fact I think outside of Transformers you can probably find more movie's that portray the military in a negative or flawed light than you can a glowing positive one. At least post Vietnam. Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, First Blood, etc, etc.

Aug 27 - 09:10 PM

King  S.

King Simba

I still find it kind of funny that Battleship was outgrossed by Think Like A Man. Then again, I've never seen a 200 mil budget film that looked so....bland. At least with Transformers, the robots were a sight to behold. It was obvious Battleship was going to be short on story and characters, but to fail in eye candy as well and it's no wonder you've got the second biggest bomb of the year.

Just reading about premises of The Lucky One made me groan. Yes, I know in romance films there has to be some misunderstanding that causes the two main characters to fight and break up before coming back together, but her getting mad at him for using her picture to find her? I'm sure there are worse reasons for a misunderstanding to occur in a romance film, but I can't think of any right now.

I'm a fan of Aardman animation (not as much as Pixar and Miyazaki, but they're still pretty good), so I plan on checking out The Pirates! Band of Misfits. The universal Blu-Ray anniversary releases are all really interesting as well with the exception of Airport (God, that was one of the worst big blockbusters ever. Not only did it have all the flaws of a typical disaster movie, it was incredibely boring as well. Like Top Gun, it's a film where the best thing about it was the spoof it inspired).

Aug 28 - 12:53 AM

Bram S.

Bram Sterling

I'm glad that the Pirates! Band of Misfits is finally out on DVD.

Aug 28 - 04:53 AM

Bay is .001 Nolan

Bay is .001 Nolan

Yes! Monsieur Lazhar is finally out, the last nominee I haven't watched yet! I am more interested in Best foreign language film nominees than Best Picture because these films are (usually) more deserving and awesome. I will probably rent Pirates! and the rest-- never mind!

Aug 28 - 05:17 AM

sunsaz

Chris Moore

Blah week for new releases except for some potential Blu Ray upgrades from Universal.

BTW, not all of these are coming out on Blu Ray this week, just DVD. The Hitchcock films aren't coming out until September when they put them all in a box set. And I LOVE Double Indemnity, but Amazon says no Blu Ray release is scheduled in the immediate future.

Aug 28 - 05:39 AM

Kyle Tolan

Kyle Tolan

Love the Rundown too, but I thought the Kingdom was one of the absolute worst movies I've ever seen. I remember finding it odd that it was in the 50's on the meter. But I only saw it once a few years ago... maybe I was in a bad mood or something but it flat out angered me because of how horrid it was... should I rewatch it?

Aug 28 - 09:22 AM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Don't feel bad you didn't like it. A lot of people didn't like it. I enjoyed the action in it foremost. The final shootout and the fight between Garner and the big terrorist guy are pretty brutal. Bateman was funny. And the acknowledgement that the Saudi's are uber rich, that many terrorists come from there, and that many of them are normal, family loving people trying to get by like everyone else was welcome. It wasn't the perfect movie by any means but I found it somewhat thought provoking and entertaining.

Aug 28 - 10:45 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Ditto with me - love "The Rundown" but couldn't get into "The Kingdom" at all and stopped only half way into it. And agree with Infernal Dude that all three films by Peter Berg shouldn't be compared with one another since they're all so radically different! I'd still like to see Berg coming up with "The Rundown 2"!

Aug 28 - 01:22 PM

Kyle Tolan

Kyle Tolan

I might have come into thinking it was drivel or something because I remember being annoyed by how cartoonish-ly villainous the main "bad guys" seemed. The Rundown seemed to be the last good thing any of the people involved did, so its a high note in my movie collection.

Aug 29 - 12:08 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Don't feel bad you didn't like it. A lot of people didn't like it. I enjoyed the action in it foremost. The final shootout and the fight between Garner and the big terrorist guy are pretty brutal. Bateman was funny. And the acknowledgement that the Saudi's are uber rich, that many terrorists come from there, and that many of them are normal, family loving people trying to get by like everyone else was welcome. It wasn't the perfect movie by any means but I found it somewhat thought provoking and entertaining.

Aug 28 - 10:45 AM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

Lots of movies this week. But I'll rent The Lucky One (great Nicholas Sparks movie) and Think Like A Man.

Battleship bombed this summer, so I'll pass.

I haven't seen Pirates Band of Misfits yet, but I'll buy it somehow.

Aug 28 - 11:41 AM

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