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Wednesday, April 23, 2014



DVD and Blu-ray Releases for January 15th, 2013

It is a rather shallow week on the home market. Taken 2 should come away with an easy win, but after that, there's almost nothing that will reach the top 30 for the week. Also, Taken 2 is not Pick of the Week material. I don't know if there is anything that is truly Pick of the Week material. Wake in Fright comes the closest, but the DVD or Blu-ray is still late, I hate giving this title when I'm still waiting for the screener.

5 Broken Cameras - Buy from Amazon
The first of three award-worthy documentaries coming out on the home market this week. This one is about political activism in the Middle East, specifically the Palestinian conflict. It is absolutely worth picking up.

30 Nights of Paranormal Blah Blah Blah - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Skip it.

The Amazing World of Gumball - The Mystery - Buy from Amazon
An award-winning British animated series than airs on the Cartoon Network here. The first two seasons earned five Annie Awards nominations, while it even won a BAFTA.

Being Human: Season 4 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Great show. If you've only seen the Canadian remake, check out the original British show. It is arguably better.

Bishop's Wife - Buy from Amazon
This DVD is in the top ten new releases for the week, according to Amazon.com. This is a sign of how weak the new releases are. It's a good movie, but it is a catalog release from 1947. There's no reason for it to be this high on the chart.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: About Cherry, Gentleman's Agreement, How Green Was My Valley, I Am Bruce Lee, Lightning Bug, The Man Who Knew Too Much (Criterion Collection), Notebook: Ultimate Collector's Edition, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: The Complete Series, The Tin Drum (Criterion Collection), and Wild River
A good selection of secondary releases with several classics, like The Man Who Knew Too Much.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Amazing Nature Lovers Wonderland Family 2 Pack
There's been a lack of quality 3D releases for a while.

Branded - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This high-concept film has an interesting premise at the heart of the film, but it is an utter mess.

Detropia - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about the collapse of Detroit. The film earned excellent reviews and did well at the box office, for a documentary. It is worth checking out/picking up if you are a fan of documentaries.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 4th of December.

eXistenZ - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
A film written and directed by David Cronenberg. He's not known for his commercially accessible films, and this film is a perfect example of that. Is it a movie that is worth checking out? Or is it just too bizarre. Read our review to find out.

Farewell, My Queen - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Still waiting for the screener for this film. Given its pedigree and its reviews, I'm really looking forward to seeing it. It could be Pick of the Week material.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 4th of December.

Godzilla vs. Biollante - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
The Godzilla franchise has been around for a long, long time. And while he (it?) is arguably the most famous of the Kaiju monsters, there have been just as many misses in the franchises as there have been true hits. Is this one of the better films? Check out our review to find out.

Jackson Five: The Completed Animated Series - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
All 23 episodes from this series, which has a lot of nostalgia value for many people. I'm not one of those people.

Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1997 - Buy from Amazon
One of the longest running shows of all time. If you are a fan, there's little I can say about it that you don't already know. If you've never heard of it, it would be daunting to jump in this far into the run, so check out an earlier season.

Life's Too Short: Season One - Buy from Amazon: Buy from Amazon
The latest creation from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant only lasted one season (there's an upcoming special to wrap things up). Did it end too soon? Or are there real problems here? Read our review to find out.

Love Me - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A low budget Canadian film coming out on DVD and Blu-ray this week. I hadn't heard of it before I was offered a chance to review it. Is is an undiscovered gem? Or is it best left alone? Read our review for my opinion.

Men of a Certain Age: Season Two - Buy from Amazon
This show earned great reviews and even picked up a couple of Primetime Emmy Awards nominations and a couple Peabody Award wins, but it was still canceled after the second season. If you bought the first season, it is obviously worth completing your collection. If you never saw it, give it a chance.

Merlin: The Complete Fourth Season - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A BBC series about the legendary wizard as a young man. The series has earned good reviews and has even picked up a number of award nominations in its native U.K. It is selling surprisingly well according to Amazon.com.

Nickelodeon: Let's Learn - Buy from Amazon: 1, 2, 3s and ABCs
A couple of mixed DVDs from Nickelodeon that focus on learning more than just entertaining. We will be announcing the winners of our contest for these two DVDs later today.

The Other Dream Team - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic basketball team, which helped the country find an identity after leaving communism. Its reviews were amazing and it has earned some award nominations. It's worth picking up, even if you are not a fan of basketball.

Perry Mason: Season Eight, Volume 2 - Buy from Amazon
The screener arrived yesterday, but the rule is, a screener has to arrive before the weekend in order to get the review done on time. I will try to get the review done this week, but there were also two more late reviews that previously arrived, so I can't promise that.

Persona 4: Collection 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
According to Amazon.com, the Blu-ray is the tenth best selling new release of the week. Granted, the show is popular for Anime, but no Anime should reach the top ten, unless it is a really slow week.

The Possession - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I'm still waiting for the screener for this release. The reviews were not good, but I like some of the cast, so I'm choosing to remain cautiously optimistic.

Power Rangers: Samurai - Buy from Amazon: A Team Divided
Power Rangers: Super Samurai - Buy from Amazon: Rise of the Bullzooka
Two DVDs from the latest incarnation of the Power Rangers franchise. ... From two different seasons. How do these DVDs compare to earlier releases from the Samurai and Super Samurai? How do they compare to the franchise as a whole? Check out our review to find out.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 4th of December.

Ritual - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
The last of a planned Tales from the Crypt trilogy. Bordello of Blood did so poorly that the release for Ritual was delayed five years before it was finally dumped direct-to-DVD. Is it as bad as that sounds? Or was it treated unfairly? Read our review to find out.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Extreme Kah-Rah-Tay - Buy from Amazon
The latest single-disc release from SpongeBob. What episodes are found within and are they worth picking up? Check out our review to find out.

Taken 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
I liked the original Taken, but the sequel is earning much weaker reviews. I'm still waiting for the screener, but most critics complained about the lack of thrills and surprises. Thrillers don't work when you know what is coming. Extras are only average, so it is likely only worth a rental to those who really liked the first film, but I won't know for sure till the screener arrives.

To Rome With Love - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film was one of the bigger limited release hits of the summer, but it wasn't one of the best. Also, like so many other Woody Allen releases, there are almost no extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray. If you are a fan of his, then it is worth a rental, but that's it. Also coming out this week are Sleeper on Blu-ray and Hannah and Her Sisters on Blu-ray. I'm hoping to get those screeners to review, but they are late.

Wake in Fright - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Donald Pleasence plays a man traveling to a new job. He has to stay the night in a small town where there's nothing to do but drink, so he drinks. And he drinks. And he drinks. And he drinks. The film came out in its native Australia more than 40 years ago, but despite earning amazing reviews, it hasn't been seen a lot since then. I'm waiting for a screener and I've heard it is a little difficult to watch, but it is still a contender for Pick of the Week.

Waking the Dead: Complete Season Seven - Buy from Amazon
A British police procedural that focuses on the cold case squad. It's an Award-winning show and the price-per-minute is better than a lot of imports.

Won't Back Down - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Inspired by a true story, only in real life, when the public school switched to a chartered school, the test scores went down. This shouldn't be a surprise to those paying attention to the education debate, because charter schools do worse on average than public schools. That wouldn't be a fatal flaw, if the film was good as a drama, but it is not. It does have better than average extras, but I don't think it is worth renting.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2013-01-15

Movies 
 5 Broken Cameras
 30 Nights Of Paranormal Activity With The Devil Inside The Girl With The Dragon
 About Cherry
 Branded
 Detropia
 eXistenZ
 Les adieux la reine
 Gentleman's Agreement
 Godzilla vs. Biollante
 How Green Was My Valley
 Love Me
 The Man Who Knew Too Much
 The Notebook
 The Other Dream Team
 The Possession
 Taken 2
 To Rome with Love
 Wake in Fright
 Won't Back Down