DVD Round-Up: 'Prometheus,' 'Rock of Ages,' & 'The Raven'
Week of October 9th
Published: 10/07/2012, Last Updated: 10/08/2012 02:00pm
Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (Fox, “R,” $29.98, BD $39.99) was this summer’s big-budget science fiction tentpole. Though it didn’t set any box office records, it did earn $402 million worldwide against a cost of $130 million, and while it had its detractors among the critics, it did manage a solid 73% positive rating from the critics on Rotten Tomatoes. This high-concept “prequel” (of sorts, this is no cookie-cutter franchise film prequel) to Alien features a brilliant cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, and Idris Elba. Even if the plot has some holes in it, and in spite of the fact that the underlying “ancient astronauts” trope is already tedious thanks to overuse in popular literature, Prometheus remains a “must see” for science fiction fans because of the movies often brilliant visuals and inspired performances.
Considerably less successful with both critics and audiences was Rock of Ages (Warner Bros., “PG-13,” $28.98, BD/Combo $35.99), a film version of the Broadway musical about the “big hair” heavy metal bands of the 1980s that managed to earn just a 41% positive rating from the critics on Rotten Tomatoes. The film also made just $51.8 million worldwide against a cost of $85 million despite a cast that includes Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, Malin Akerman, Mary J. Blige, and Alec Baldwin.
Far less successful is The Raven (Fox, “R,” $29.95, BD $39.98), a literary thriller that stars John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe and tries to make sense out of some of the tragic event’s of the poet’s later years by making him a sort of detective searching for a serial murderer who is staging his crimes after events from Poe’s macabre stories and poems. But this uber-gothic mishmash never manages to make the proceedings believable thus undermining its premise.
Those who enjoy quirky, independently-made romantic comedies should consider The Giant Mechanical Man (New Video Group, “PG-13,” DVD only $26.95), which deals with two artistic slackers who find common cause and attempt to form a relationship that they hope will free them from the soul-deadening constraints of modern urban life on the “career path” to success.
TV on DVD
The pace slows down a bit this week though there are still some more releases of the most recent season of popular shows to work through including Bones: Season 7 (Fox, 567 min.,$49.98, BD $69.98), the outrageous FearNet Channel horror series Holliston: Season 1 (Image Ent., 233 min., $24.98, BD $29.98), the independently-produced sitcom It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season Seven (Fox, $39.98, BD $49.98), the semi-improvised FX comedy series about a fantasy football league, The League: Season 3 (Fox, 286 min., $29.98, BD $34.99), and Whitney: Season 1 (Universal, 450 min., $39.98), the NBC sitcom that stars comedian Whitney Cummings in a series based on her life and comedy routines.
The only animated “TV on DVD” releases are the single-disc The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show: Go Snoopy Go (Warner Bros., 120 min., $14.97), and the toddler-targeting The Care Bears: The Original Series Collection(Lionsgate, 923 min., $29.98).
Vintage TV series due out this week are led by Yancy Derringer: The Complete Series (Timeless Media, 850 min., $34.98), which aired on CBS in the late 1950s, The Lucy Show: The Sixth and Final Season (Paramount, 612 min., $39.98), plus sampler releases, each containing 20 episodes for Combat: Fan Favorites (Image, 941 min., $24.98), and Webster: 20 Timeless Episodes (Shout Factory!, 480 min., $12.99).
Also due this week is the Naruto Shippuden Box Set #12 (Viz Media, “16+,” 300 min., $49.95), which collects 12 additional episodes of the popular ninja series, and Heaven’s Memo Pad: The Complete Collection (Sentai Filmworks, “14+,” 325 min., $69.98), which collects the 12-episode series produced by J.C. Staff that aired in Japan in 2011. Based on the light novel series by Hikaru Sugii, Heaven’s Memo Pad is the story of a misfit teen who gets mixed up with a very strange sort of detective/vigilante.
Repriced re-releases include the Maid Sama: Complete Collection (Sentai Filmworks, “14+,” 650 min., $69.98), which had been previously released as two separate collections each with an MSRP of $49.98, and the Gao-Gai-Gar Complete Collection (Media Blasters, “7+,” 1225 min., $49.99).
Classics on Blu-ray
Robert Aldrich isn’t around to supervise the 50th Anniversary Edition of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (Warner Bros., “Not Rated,” BD $34.95), but he would likely be proud of this version, which manages to preserve the subtleties of Ernie Haller’s superb black and white photography. The high-def format is definitely not wasted on black and white movies, especially if the original material that is used to scan is of sufficient quality as it is in this case where the original camera negative was found to be in great condition.
The opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
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