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Thursday, August 21, 2014



DVD and Blu-ray Releases for December 25th, 2012

This year, Christmas day lands on the Tuesday, so it should come as no surprise there are not a lot of DVDs or Blu-ray coming out that day, or over the next week. (There are some films in this week's list that are definitely fillers, plus two late reviews, and I still could only get to a dozen releases.) However, there are some coming out during the week that are of interest and there are two that would be contenders for Pick of the Week in all but the busiest weeks. Justified: The Complete Third Season on DVD or Blu-ray is one such contender. However, in the end I went with Looper on DVD or Blu-ray as Pick of the Week.

2012 Best Pay-Per-View Matches - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Not a fan of the WWE, but these releases tend to sell well enough to be worth mentioning.

Brooke Burke Body: 30 Day Slim Down - Buy from Amazon
There's an exercise video in the top ten on Amazon.com's list of best-selling new releases, while Sexy Abs is currently just outside the top ten. That should tell you how slow the week is.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 11th.

Ice Age: Continental Drift - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack
This film arrived as a DVD-R a few weeks ago, but the Blu-ray finally arrived just before the weekend. So are there any exclusive extras? And how is the technical presentation.

The Blu-ray contains several new extras, starting with a pair of deleted scenes in storyboard form. Through a Pirate's Spyglass is a 26-minute long making of featurette. Next up is a nine-minute look at the sloths and the hiraxes. Scrat Got Your Tongue is a seven-minute featurette on Scrat while The Scratist is a two-minute look at Scrat as a silent movie star. There are three extras that push the technology. First is a simple featurette, Designing the Ice Age World, but it is BD-live only. The second is Party with a Pirate Mode, which has Squint popping up every now and again to make a comment. It links up with the Ipad app, which is an interesting idea, but Squint annoyed me, so this was not something I wanted to sit through. Finally, there's Sign Along, which has two actors sign along with the movie. It's much better than simple subtitles.

The technical presentation is as strong as you would expect for a digitally animated film by a major studio. The video is truly reference level quality with incredible details, stunning colors, etc. The 7.1 audio track is very active with lots of sounds coming from every speaker. The dialogue is always clear, the bass is active, and there's excellent separation. Definitely worth the upgrade.

I still don't have the 3D version of the film, and it likely won't arrive, but $25 isn't too much to ask for a release like this.

Justified: The Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I'm still waiting for the screener for this release. It doesn't come out till Monday, but since I put in requests for screeners for the first two seasons and they didn't arrive, I don't have high hopes this one will arrive. Timothy Olyphant plays a U.S. Marshall reassigned from Miami to his hometown, which is in a poor part of Kentucky. The show has earned incredible reviews and has even won a couple Emmys, not to mention other TV awards. The extras are great including audio commentary tracks, outtakes, interviews, featurettes, etc. Worth picking up and a contender for Pick of the Week.

Looper - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The trailer for this film looked awesome. However, I was always worried it would suck, because it was coming out in September. Even the last weekend in September is usually home to bad movies. Fortunately, the reviews were amazing and the film did well enough at the box office to justify a fully-loaded DVD (audio commentary track, deleted scenes, featurettes, etc.) while the Blu-ray has a couple exclusive extras (deleted scenes and a featurette on time travel). Easily worth picking up and a contender for Pick of the Week.

Mass Effect: Paragon Lost - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Mass Effect had a better plot than most video games, so turning it into a movie makes some sense. The overall reviews are not very good, on the other hand. On the plus side, the voice actors are good. On the negative side, the animation looks really cheap. If you are a fan of the series, then it is worth checking out, but start with a rental.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 4th.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Adventures in the Crystal Empire - Buy from Amazon
The latest release from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic includes episodes from the third season, which hasn't even finished yet. Does that make it worth picking up? Is that the only reason to buy the DVD instead of waiting for full season sets? Read our review for my opinion.

Penguin Drum: Collection 1 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This Anime series series focuses on three siblings, twin brothers, Kanba and Shouma, and their sister, Himari. Himari is suffering from an incurable disease, but when she dies, she's brought back to life by a penguin hat. However, when she comes back to life, she's not the same person. She tells her brothers the only way she can return to normal is if they find her the Penguin Drum, but they will have help, from three penguins. That's strange, even for Anime. I haven't seem many reviews online, but the ones I've found were all positive.

Putin's Kiss - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about Masha, who is one of the most vocal supporters of Nashi, a youth organization in Russia run by the KGB and fanatically devoted to Vladimir Putin. She begins to question her beliefs when she befriends a journalist who is opposed to Putin, and who is subsequently beaten into a coma by members of Nashi. The film earned excellent reviews, but didn't find an audience in limited release. Hopefully that will change on the home market.

The Room - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
One of the worst movies ever made, it has nonetheless garnered a loyal following, who love it because it is so bad. If you are a fan of bad movies, you can't get much worse than this, but $33 for the Blu-ray is too much to ask, especially since you can grab the film for less than $10 on DVD.

Saltwater - Buy from Amazon
A Gay-themed romance between a former Navy man and a rugged model who have chemistry, but don't seem to find a way to be together, until they are brought together through tragedy. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and normally I wouldn't mention the release, but it is a slow week.

The Thompsons - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
A sequel to The Hamiltons, this time the vampire family flees the United States and returns to the U.K.; however, when they get there, they learn why their parents left the U.K. in the first place. There's only one review on Rotten Tomatoes and it is negative.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2012-12-22

Movies 
 Looper
 Ice Age: Continental Drift
 Putin's Kiss
 The Thompsons