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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for February 8th, 2011

Wow. It's a bad week for DVD / Blu-ray releases. While there are a number of first run releases, none of them exactly shout Pick of the Week. The best bet as far as first run releases goes is Paranormal Activity 2, but the screener hasn't arrived yet. Same goes for Thelma & Louise, which is making its Blu-ray debut this week. So in the end I went with Doctor Who: Story 63: The Mutants as the pick of the week. Great story, powerful message, and lots of extras.

Beauty & the Briefcase - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Hilary Duff stars as a writer chronicling her experiences with office place romance in this TV movie. Is it worth checking out? Maybe even picking up? Won't know till the screener arrives.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Amarcord: Criterion Collection, Barb Wire, Beauty and the Briefcase, Five Corners, Flipper, For Colored Girls, I Spit on Your Grave, I Spit on Your Grave (1978), It's Kind of a Funny Story, Legends of the Fall, Life as We Know It, Middle Men, My Soul to Take, Ong Bak 3, Paranormal Activity 2, A Private Function, Repo Chick, A River Runs Through It, The River Wild, Still Walking: Criterion Collection, Tamara Drewe, Thelma & Louise, Uncle Buck, Waist Deep, Wild Target, and You Again
Quite a number of Blu-ray releases this week, but nothing one would consider top shelf. In fact, according to Amazon.com I Spit on Your Grave is the top selling Blu-ray and it made less than $100,000 at the box office. Granted, its target audience is the same demographic that is most likely to buy from an online retailer like Amazon.com, so this would skew the numbers, but it's still not good news for overall sales.

Care Bears to the Rescue Movie - Buy from Amazon
The Care Bears have been around for decades now, but does their latest release live up to the previous incarnations? Check out our review to find out.

Columbo: Mystery Movie Collection 1991-1993 - Buy from Amazon
Peter Falk first starred as Columbo in 1968 and played the police detective in a TV series / TV movies for 35 years. In fact, he is arguably the single best-known TV detective of all time. The latest TV release has six movies on three discs that aired over a two-year period. Not all of them are top notch, but enough are that it's worth picking up for fans of the show.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 18th of January.

Death Race 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy Combo Pack
A prequel, to a remake, of a really awesome movie. But will the awesomeness of Death Race 2000 be too diluted by this point? Check out our review for my opinion.

Doctor Who - Buy from Amazon: Story 63: The Mutants and The Movie
The Mutants is a powerful story with an important anti-racist message and is, simply put, a must have for fans of the franchise. The Movie was an attempt to re-launch the franchise in the mid-1990s and while it is wasn't able to find an audience in the United States, it was a big hit in the U.K. It's not as powerful as The Mutants, but it is also worth picking up, and that's before you get into the huge amount of extras on either DVD. Audio commentary tracks, archival footage, documentaries, etc. A must have for sure.

For Colored Girls - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film missed expectations with critics and at the box office, but I won't know if it is significantly weaker than the average Tyler Perry film till after the screener arrives.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 25th of January.

Glee: Season Two, Volume One - Buy from Amazon
When it comes to TV on DVD releases like this, the question you have to ask is not, is this a good show, as its fans are very dedicated. The question is, is it worth buying or should you wait for the full season set? Read our review to find out.

The Guardian: Season Three - Buy from Amazon
The Guardian struggled to reach its potential during its first two seasons, but was it able to go out on a high note? Check out our review for my opinion.

The Girl - Buy from Amazon
A Swedish film about a ten-year old girl left alone at home during the summer of 1981. The film earned excellent reviews and a number of Film Festival awards, but its short theatrical release here was barely noticeable. That's too bad, because it deserves to be seen by more.

I Spit on Your Grave - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A rape revenge film, which is a sub-genre of the exploitation film, which is a sub-genre of Grindhouse films. A lot of critics said this remake was technically better than the original, but most critics still felt it was unnecessary grim. Also coming out this week was the 1978 original on DVD and Blu-ray.

It's Kind of a Funny Story - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Keir Gilchrist stars as Craig, a teenager committed to a psychiatric hospital after a breakdown. There he meets and becomes friends with fellow patients like Zach Galifianakis and Emma Roberts. This film has an amazing cast, but its reviews were only mixed, while it struggled in semi-limited release. It should perform better on the home market, but with extras that are on the light side, it's likely only worth a rental.

Last Play at Shea - Buy from Amazon
A documentary / concert film about the historic Shea Stadium, and the career of Billy Joel, who played the final concert at the venue. Will it entertain fans of his or fans of The Mets, or will you need to be a fan of both for this film to be worth checking out? Read out review for my opinion.

Life as We Know It - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film matched expectations at the box office and with critics. That is to say, it was nothing more than a midlevel hit, while most critics disliked it. Even compared to the usually formulaic romantic comedy, it's a little hard to take. The only extras on the DVD are some deleted scenes, while the Blu-ray also has a trio of short featurettes. Even if you like this cast, that's not enough to lift it past a rental.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 25th of January.

Matlock: Season Six - Buy from Amazon
This is the last season Matlock aired on NBC before moving to ABC. Was the show running out of steam at this point? Or was it a mistake for NBC to let it go? Read our review for my opinion.

Middle Men - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The story of the birth of internet porn. The film wasn't able to make the leap from select cities to wide release, maybe it will find an audience on the home market. Won't know if it deserves to till after the screener arrives.

My Soul to Take - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Written and directed by Wes Craven, but that only makes the reviews so much harder to take. The film earned some of the worst reviews for any wide release of 2010, so no matter how much of a fan you are of Nightmare on Elm Street or Scream or his other amazing films, this one is best avoided.

Nick Jr Favorites: Sisters & Brothers - Buy from Amazon
The latest mixed release from Nick Jr. Has a family theme, but is it as good of a deal as most similar releases? Read our review to find out.

Ong Bak 3 - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Collector's Edition DVD, or Collector's Edtion Blu-ray
The first Ong Bak wowed critics, but the second film was a disappointment. Did the third film recover? Won't know till the screener arrives.

Paranormal Activity 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Still waiting on the screener for this film. Hopefully it will arrive shortly, because I received a bundle of late DVDs / Blu-rays yesterday and I don't want to get too far behind.

Project Runway: The Complete Eighth Season - Buy from Amazon
A very popular Reality TV series, and while I'm not a fan of the genre, or of fashion, I will admit this is a good show, especially if you are a fan of both.

Repo Chick - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Written and directed by Alex Cox, who previously wrote and directed Repo Man. This is an unofficial sequel and it has Cult potential, but it is certainly not made for mainstream success. If you are interested, I would recommend starting with a rental.

The Romantics - Buy from Amazon
When The Romantics opened in limited release, it took top spot on the per theater chart. But the next weekend it collapsed in a way you don't normally see, and it disappeared completely after just its third week of release. Perhaps when the screener arrives I'll be able to explain why this happened.

The Super Hero Squad Show: Quest For The Infinity Sword Volume Three - Buy from Amazon
A Marvel cartoon aimed at kids, and chemically altered college students. I reviewed volume two and found it quite enjoyable and I'm looking forward to reviewing the third volume, which is late.

Tamara Drewe - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Gemma Arterton stars as the titular Tamara Drewe, who left her small town and... blossomed, and has now returned. The film earned 65% positive reviews which is great for a romantic comedy, but not so good for a limited release. Now that it has been released on the home market, it should find another life. Add in extras that include an audio commentary track and a making featurette, and it is worth picking up. The Blu-ray is a little pricey compared to the DVD and it is right on the border between being worth the upgrade or not. It depends on if you've given up on DVD.

Thelma & Louise - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Just a quick note that the screener did arrive, but it arrived late. I'll get to it ASAP.

Wild Target - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Despite a cast that includes many recognizable faces, this film never found an audience during its limited release run. Will it perform better on the home market? Or will it likely be ignored there as well? Check out our review for my opinion.

You Again - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Even compared to the average September release last year, You Again's box office numbers were weak. Does it deserve to find a second life on the home market, or is it best ignored? Check out our review to find out.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2011-02-08

Movies 
 Amarcord
 Barb Wire
 Death Race 2
 Five Corners
 Flipper
 For Colored Girls
 I Spit on Your Grave
 It's Kind of a Funny Story
 Legends of the Fall
 Life as We Know It
 Middle Men
 My Soul to Take
 Ong Bak 3
 Paranormal Activity 2
 A Private Function
 A River Runs Through It
 The River Wild
 The Romantics
 Still Walking
 Tamara Drewe
 Thelma & Louise
 Uncle Buck
 Waist Deep
 Wild Target
 You Again