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Wednesday, April 23, 2014



DVD and Blu-ray Releases for May 7th, 2013

While there are a lot of new releases listed on Amazon.com, it isn't long before you run into filler. Worse still, the top two selling movies, Jack Reacher and Save Haven, are just mediocre movies. The Great Escape is coming out on Blu-ray this week, which would normally be a reason to celebrate. However, a lot of reviewers are complaining about the poor video quality. The film needed, and deserves, a full restoration, but that didn't happen. We need to look further down the list to find a Pick of the Week contender, and we find one in 30 Rock: Season Seven.

30 Rock: Season Seven - Buy from Amazon
One of my favorite shows on TV, and with 57 Emmy nominations and 10 wins, I'm not the only one who thinks that. Sadly, this was the last season of the show. It is absolutely worth owning, although hopefully a full-season Megaset is coming.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Anatomy Double-Feature, Babe: Pig in the City, Band of Outsiders (Criterion Collection), Barrymore, Best of the Best: Without Warning, Brubaker, Dragon Lord, Full Frontal, The Great Escape, Heaven, Hellraiser VII: Deader, The Hoax, In the Name of the Father, Jesus Christ Superstar, Kids on the Slope: Complete Collection, Mark 2: Redemption, Mother's Boys, An Officer and a Gentleman, One Hour Photo, Pillow Talk, The Rabbi's Cat, Runaway Bride, Saboteur, Sekirei: Complete Series, Shadow of a Doubt, Shanghai Noon / Shanghai Knights, She's So Lovely, Sparkle, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, The Telephone Book, and Viva Zapata
There's a huge list of secondary Blu-ray releases this week, but it is mostly a case of quantity over quality. Saboteur and Shadow of a Doubt are both worth picking up, as is Band of Outsiders. But it is slim pickings.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Gamer
A bad movie in 3D is still a bad movie.

Doc Martin Special Collection - Buy from Amazon
Normally this would be a great deal, but this is not the last we will see of this character. Filming on the sixth, and likely last series, begins in the fall.

Doc McStuffins: Time for Your Checkup - Buy from Amazon
Disney has been putting out a lot of really good shows for preschoolers. I'm still waiting for this screener, but I was impressed by the first DVD, so I'm looking forward to seeing it.

ESPN Films 30 for 30: Survive and Advance - Buy from Amazon
A documentary look at one of the biggest underdog stories in NCAA Basketball history.

Flashpoint: The Fifth Season - Buy from Amazon
I only got a chance to review one season of this show, but I did like it. But I haven't seen the show since.

Fringe: Season Five - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This show never found a large audience, but it found a dedicated audience and rabid fan support helped it stick around two more seasons than its ratings would have indicated. Extras on the DVD and the Blu-ray are good enough that it is worth picking up, while there is also a Full Series Mega-Set coming out this week as well.

The Grifters - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
A con artist movie from 1990 that earned excellent reviews, and four Oscar nominations, but couldn't find an audience in theaters. It is coming out on a bargain Blu-ray, but is it worth the money? Read our review for my opinion.

Gunsmoke: The Eighth Season - Buy from Amazon: Volume One and Volume Two
Great show, but the split-season sets are too expensive.

Have Gun Will Travel: The Sixth and Final Season - Buy from Amazon: Volume One and Volume Two
Still not a fan of split-season sets, but at least the price-per-minute is good.

Jack Reacher - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Tom Cruise starred in one of the biggest and best action films of 2011, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. In 2012, he starred in Jack Reacher very few people thought it would match M:I:4, but is it so much weaker that it isn't worth checking out? Read our review to find out.

Jersey Girl - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Kevin Smith tried something different with Jersey Girl, which was a romantic comedy. It wasn't greeted with much enthusiasm; however, much of that was aimed at Bennifer backlash, Gigli, not the movie itself. Without that distraction, does the movie work? Or were critics and moviegoers right the first time around? Check out our review for my opinion.

K-9: The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
A spin-off of Doctor Who that is aimed squarely at kids, but there is some nostalgia for adults here.

Mama - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
An early year horror film. That just screams misfire. However, it did very well at the box office earning more than $130 million worldwide on a budget of just $15 million. Did it deserve this success? Or did it thrive because of the terrible competition? Read our review to find out.

The Nameless - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Writer / Director Jaume Balagueró made his English-language debut with Darkness. A year later, an earlier Spanish-language film of his was released on DVD. This week, it comes out on Blu-ray. Is it worth checking out for fans of the genre? Or should they stick with more recent works of his, like [REC]? Check out our review for my opinion.

The Oranges - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
I can't believe a movie with this strong a cast was this bad. The DVD and the Blu-ray have a couple featurettes for extras, but that's it. I guess if you really like the cast, then it is worth a rental. But there are better options out there.

Private Practice: The Complete Sixth Season - Buy from Amazon
I am not a fan of this show, nor am I a fan of the show it was spun-off from, Grey's Anatomy.

Rookie Blue: The Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon
A good summer show that has enough fans to help it last four seasons so far. I might try and snag a screener, but the chances are not good, because I'm late with my request.

Royal Pains: Season Four - Buy from Amazon
Like most summer shows, this one is considered a guilty pleasure by many.

Safe Haven - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This film is based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks, so it should come as no surprise that its reviews were terrible. It should also come as no surprise that it earned a substantial amount at the box office. There are few authors that have a larger gap between critical reception and box office numbers. There are not a lot of extras on the DVD, but there are some exclusives on the Blu-ray, making it the better deal.

Starlet - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
It's kind of depressing to watch a film earn excellent reviews then fizzle out at the box office. This film barely avoided the Mendoza Line during its opening weekend, and as a start like that would suggest, it quickly fell apart. Hopefully it will find a more receptive audience on the home market. It is at least worth a rental, if not a blind buy.

Steel Magnolias - Buy from Amazon
A TV movie remake of Steel Magnolias. It is not as good as the original was, but it is not as bad as many TV movies are.

Superman: Unbound - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
DC usually makes great animated Direct-to-DVD movies, but this one's reviews were more mixed. (Too much Soap Opera romance seems to be the biggest complaint.) This is too bad, because the cast is great. The Blu-ray is just $14 and there are a lot of extras, including four episodes from earlier cartoon shows. If you really like DC comics, especially Superman, then it is still worth picking up.

Upstream Color - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This film opened in limited release barely more than a month ago, but it is already coming out on the home market. This is strange. Its reviews were great and it started out fantastically, but its per theater average quickly collapsed. It seems a little too art house, even for an art house film. There are no extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray, but if you are a fan of Shane Carruth's previous film, Primer, then this one is also worth picking up.

The Verdict - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
One of the best films in Paul Newman's career, which is saying a lot. Extras on the Blu-ray include a number of featurettes and it is easily worth picking up.

WWII from Space - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A History channel special about World War II. There are about a million of those. Can this out stand out? Read our review to find out.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2013-05-07

Movies 
 The Grifters
 Jack Reacher
 Jersey Girl
 Mama
 The Oranges
 Safe Haven
 Starlet
 Superman: Unbound
 Upstream Color
 The Verdict