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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for December 18th, 2012

It's the last week before Christmas, which means it is the last chance for last minute gifts. There are a number of first-run releases coming out this week, some of which are not coming out till Friday, or even next Monday. There are also quite a few limited releases and TV on DVD releases hitting the home market this week. However, none of these were big hits and very few earned strong praise from critics. That doesn't mean there are none that are worth picking up. In fact, we have a trio of contenders for Pick of the Week. Shameless: The Complete Second Season on DVD or Blu-ray; Pitch Perfect on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack; and Arbitrage on DVD or Blu-ray. It was a close call, but in the end I went with Arbitrage. Also coming out this week is Rush: 2012 - CD and Blu-ray in a Deluxe Edition or Super Deluxe Edition, which is a clear winner of Puck of the Week.

10 Years - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film has a great cast for a limited release, but the reviews were merely good, while its box office numbers were weak. Worth checking out if you like High School reunion films, but a rental will likely be enough.

Arbitrage - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Richard Gere leads the cast and gives an Award Worthy performance as a billionaire hedge fund manager whose life is about to come crumbling down. The overall reviews were excellent and the extras are solid for a limited release (audio commentary track, deleted scenes, featurettes). Easily worth picking up and a clear contender for Pick of the Week.

Army Wives: Season Six, Volume Two - Buy from Amazon
I've liked this show for five years, but season six brought a lot of changes. Can the show survive the changes? Or is it in decline? Read our review to find out.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Deathship, Hans Christian Andersen, Rihanna: Loud Tour Live, Shakugan no Shana: Season 2, Part 1, Shakugan no Shana: Season Two, Part 2, Sometimes a Great Notion, Steins;Gate: Complete Series, Part Two, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time, Tenchi Muyo!: Movie Collection, and Tenchi Muyo!: OVA Series
There are not a lot of prime secondary Blu-ray releases. Most of the ones on this list are Anime, which is still a niche market here.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Resident Evil: Retribution
Only one 3D release this week. It is a first-run release, but it was only a midlevel hit at the box office, so it likely won't be a major seller on the home market.

Californication: The Fifth Season - Buy from Amazon
I've never been a fan of this show, but it appears that even those that have liked the previous seasons are starting to grow tired of Hank Moody's antics.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Still waiting for the screener for this film. I don't expect it will be any better than the previous films; I'm only expecting it to be good for a kids movie. Also coming out this week is a franchise box set, but it is DVD only.

A Gifted Man: The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
Patrick Wilson was one of many movie stars that made the transition to TV last season. Most of the shows struggled to find an audience and were canceled. This was one of them. It's not a bad show, but wasn't able to stand out in the crowd and never found an audience.

The Good Doctor - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film had louder than average buzz for a limited release, but its reviews were only good and not great, while it bombed at the box office. The only extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray are a couple of featurettes. Worth a rental, but that's it.

Heres Lucy: Season 6 - Buy from Amazon
The last season of the third hit sitcom starring Lucille Ball. It's worth picking up if you are a fan of the show in particular, or of the actress in general.

House of Lies: Season One - Buy from Amazon
Don Cheadle plays a management consultant in this show, which debuted on Showtime last season. Is it worth checking out? Or does it share too many of the same flaws as similar Showtime shows? Check out our review for my opinion.

Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet - Buy from Amazon
An inspirational documentary about Jason Becker, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease at age 19. He was told he would never make music again and would be dead before he hit 25. He had other plans. Great reviews and solid extras (extended interviews and featurettes) make this an easy purchase.

Killer Joe - Buy from Amazon: R-Rated DVD, Unrated DVD, or Unrated Blu-ray
This film doesn't hit the home market till Friday and I'm hoping to get a screener before then. The film has earned great reviews and some Awards Season buzz, so I'm looking forward to it.

Liberal Arts - DVD or Blu-ray
Written and directed by Josh Radnor. The film earned good reviews, but not great reviews, while it struggled at the box office. This explains why there are not a lot of extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray (featurettes and deleted scenes). Overall, it is worth a rental, but probably not more.

The Life & Times of Tim: The Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon
This is the third and final season of this animated show. It earned good reviews, but struggled to find an audience on HBO and this past April it was officially given the axe. At least fans can complete their collection this week as they mourn the demise of the show.

Pitch Perfect - DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
An ensemble comedy starring, among others, Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, and Rebel Wilson. I wasn't expecting a lot from the film. It looked like it would be a good film, but it would have a limited target audience. Fortunately it beat expectations and became a solid hit, especially compared to its production budget. Those that helped support it in theaters are rewarded with a ton of extras on the DVD and Blu-ray (two audio commentary tracks, deleted / extended / alternate scenes, making of featurette, etc.). It is easily worth picking up and a contender for Pick of the Week.

Premium Rush - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Good cast, great reviews, terrible release date. Sadly, it was the last factor that seems to have the most effect as it really struggled at the box office. Unfortunately, this seems to have played a role in the amount of extras, as the DVD and Blu-ray only have a couple of featurettes. It is still worth picking up, but if it had a full slate of extras, it would have been a Pick of the Week contender.

Quincy, M.E.: Season Four - Buy from Amazon
Jack Klugman stars as the titular Quincy, a medical examiner who helps solve crimes. This is one of my favorite police procedural TV shows of all time, although it has been a while since I've seen it.

Red Hook Summer - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The latest Spike Lee movie had good buzz going in, but the reviews didn't match the buzz. It started out well at the box office, but collapsed as soon as it tried to expand. Extras are not bad for a limited release with an audio commentary track, behind-the-scenes featurette, etc. Worth checking out if you are a fan of Spike Lee, perhaps even worth purchasing.

Resident Evil: Retribution - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack
At this point, even fans of the franchise are growing tired of these films. Bad reviews led to the worst ticket sales in the franchise, at least domestically. (It was a massive hit internationally and there will almost assuredly be another sequel.) There are a lot of extras on the DVD and Blu-ray, so if you did like the movie, it is worth picking up. If you didn't see the movie but like the other Resident Evil films, then give it a rental. Also coming out this week is a franchise box set.

Rush: 2012 - CD and Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon: Deluxe Edition or Super Deluxe Edition
One of the greatest concept albums of all time comes out in a CD / Blu-ray combo pack. The album has been remastered for 5.1 surround sound, while the Blu-ray includes a digital comic book that plays along with the songs. The Super Deluxe Edition includes a 40-page hardcover graphic novel. It is expensive, but it is worth it.

The Sarah Silverman Program: Season Three - Buy from Amazon
I like Sarah Silverman, but her show was only sporadically funny. Her sense of humor works better in stand-up than when trying to maintain a plot over a 22-minute episode.

Shameless: The Complete Second Season - DVD or Blu-ray
Showtime has a lot of comedies with a flawed anti-hero at the center of the story. Shameless pulls off this formula the best. It works because while Frank is a drunk and a scam artist, he at least has heart. The extras are better than most Showtime shows and it is easily worth picking up and a contender for Pick of the Week.

Sleepwalk With Me - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I'm hoping to get a copy of this film to review. Given its reviews, I'm really looking forward to seeing the film. Unfortunately, the DVD and Blu-ray appear to have no real extras. That's a shame, because if it had strong extras, it would be a Pick of the Week contender.

Smooch - Buy from Amazon
A TV movie starring Kiernan Shipka as a young girl, who doesn't want to dissect a frog for science class, so she sneaks it out into the park to let it go. But before she does, she kisses it where she cut it. Moments after it hops away, she bumps into a real life prince, whom she assumes was the frog she just kissed. It's modern retelling of the Frog Prince fairytale, turned into a TV movie romantic comedy. It is rather predictable, but it is charming nonetheless.

Tosh.0 - Deep V's - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
America's Funniest Home Videos, but for the Internet Age. It is funny as a weekly show, but I found the humor to be too repetitive to last as a TV on DVD release.

Total Recall - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray, or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This remake looks great and there are some interesting elements to the film, but overall it is much weaker than the original. If you are a fan of this version, there are enough extras on the DVD / Blu-ray to be worth purchasing. If you loved the original and are curious about this one, then a rental isn't a total waste.

Trouble with the Curve - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
There was a lot of buzz surrounding this film, as it marked Clint Eastwood's return to acting after a short retirement. However, the reviews were only mixed and it didn't live up to expectations at the box office. The DVD and the Blu-ray only has a couple of featurettes, but it is still worth a rental.

TV on DVD Megasets - Buy from Amazon: Masters of the Universe - 30th Anniversary Limited Edition
He-man came out 30 years ago? Now I feel old.

The Well Digger's Daughter - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I might get a screener for this film. It doesn't come out till the 24th, so it has a few more days to arrive before being late. Given its reviews, I'm really looking forward to seeing it.

The Words - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film doesn't come out till next Monday, the 24th. This means the screener still has a chance to arrive on time. Given its reviews, I'm not overly optimistic.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2012-12-16

Movies 
 Arbitrage
 10 Years
 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
 The Good Doctor
 Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet
 Killer Joe
 Liberal Arts
 Pitch Perfect
 Red Hook Summer
 Resident Evil: Retribution
 Sleepwalk With Me
 Total Recall
 Trouble with the Curve
 La fille du puisatier
 The Words
 Premium Rush