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Tuesday, July 22, 2014



DVD and Blu-ray Releases for February 25th, 2014

It's a very impressive week at the top of the new DVD and Blu-ray releases. There's not one, but two $200 million hits coming out this week. Likewise, there are not one, but two major Awards Season hits coming out as well. One film, Gravity, is in both groups. All three films, Gravity, Thor: The Dark World, and Nebraska, are all contenders for Pick of the Week. Gravity is the only one I didn't get a chance to review, but the Blu-ray Combo Pack or the 3D Combo Pack are clearly the Pick of the Week. It's an amazing movie and the Blu-ray releases are loaded with extras.

Above Suspicion: Set 3 - Buy from Amazon
A British police procedural show. Like most similar shows, the quality is high, but the price-per-minute is equally high. It is best to look at each series as a three-hour mini-series rather than a TV series. If that's true, then $19 is a good deal.

Adventure Time: Season Three - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Adventure Time is behind when it comes to full-season releases, but this week get one season closer to being up to date with the release of Season Three. I've released their mixed episode DVDs before, but this is the first full-season set and the first Blu-ray I've reviewed from the show. Is it worth picking up over the earlier releases? Read our review to find out.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: The 300 Spartans, Come Back, Africa - The Films of Lionel Rogosin, Volume 2, The Crash Reel, Girls und Panzer, Heart: Fanatic Live, Ice Soldier, K: The Complete Series, Lost in Thailand, Love, Election, and Chocolate: The Complete Collection, Rock Candy Funk Party Takes New York, Royal Rumble 2014, Secret Policeman's Ball: U.S.A., The Shadow - Collector's Edition, Sword of the Assassin, and You Will Be My Son
The Shadow is the best-selling secondary Blu-ray release of the week, but it is not a good movie.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Gravity and Thor: The Dark World
Two 3-D releases this week, and both of them are massive hits in theaters. It is a good week for the format.

Blue Is the Warmest Color: Criterion Collection - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film earned amazing reviews and did well in limited release, for a foreign language film. On the other hand, the quality of the film was overshadowed by the lesbian sex scenes in the movie, which earned the film an NC-17 rating. The movie is worth picking up, the the DVD and Blu-ray are mostly devoid of extras (they do come with a booklet of essays) so it is not a contender for Pick of the Week.

Celtic Woman: Emerald: Musical Gems - Live in Concert - Buy from Amazon: CD / DVD, DVD or Blu-ray
Celtic Woman's album is coming out this week in CD, DVD, and Blu-ray forms.

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood - Buy from Amazon: Daniel's Big Feelings and Life's Little Lessons
Two DVDs from the PBS preschool show. I have not seen this show, but PBS is generally very good at making these shows, while the price-per-minute is better than most similar titles.

Ghost Adventures: Season 5 - Buy from Amazon
If you can prove the existence of ghosts, James Randi will give you $1 million. The fact that none of these paranormal investigators have tried is all I need to know to dismiss them.

Gravity - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack
This film is one of the best movies of 2013 and it led the way in terms of Oscar nominations and could be the big winner come Oscar night. I don't have a screener, but I've read a few reviews and they all agree the film looks and sounds amazing on high definition, including 3D. The DVD has a 22-minute documentary on space debris and an 11-minute short film by Alfonso Cuaron. That's good, but not great. The Blu-ray is amazing. There's a nearly two-hour making of featurette as well as a 30-minute look at the special effects. That's a ton of extras and makes the Blu-ray or 3D Blu-ray a clear contender for Pick of the Week.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Collection - Buy from Amazon
This is the third box set for this franchise that has come out. It not different enough to be worth the double-dip if you bought either of the previous ones. I'm still looking for a box set that includes all of the films with their extended editions, hopefully at a more reasonable price. $20 a film for an eight-film box set isn't a real deal.

LA Law: Season One - Buy from Amazon
Is this really the first time this show has been released on DVD here? Wow. The show ran for eight seasons earning 15 Emmys and 5 Golden Globes along the way. Extras include new interviews, so it is not featureless, despite the bargain price. Season Two comes out in May, so it looks like fans of the show won't have to wait several years to complete their collection.

Mama's Family: Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon
There is a full-series Megaset that is already out, but the individual seasons are much cheaper. On the other hand, the Megaset comes with exclusive bonuses. I would wait till the fall, then the Megaset won't be a Time Life exclusive and you will get it cheaper.

The Middle: Season Four - Buy from Amazon
I couldn't get into this show. I thought it was too much a typical family sitcom without enough to make it stand out.

Monsters: Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
This horror anthology series was coming out this week, but it was pushed back till the 18th of March. I'm hoping to get a screener, but obviously it hasn't arrived yet.

Mr. Nobody - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Jared Leto stars as a man who, as a boy, had to decide to live with either his mother or father after his parents divorced. He decided that if he didn't chose, then all possibilities would be open to him forever. It's a high-concept film with good results, but it never found an audience in theaters. Sadly, the weak box office numbers means there's only one extra on the DVD and Blu-ray, but I think it is still worth checking out for most, picking up for many.

Muscle Shoals - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A documentary about an area of the Tennessee River that has had a disproportionate influence on the musical culture. The film's reviews are amazing and if you like musical documentaries, then it is worth picking up, especially with the extended interviews and behind-the-scenes featurette.

Nebraska - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
The latest film from Alexander Payne. Needless to say, it is a major player during Awards Season. Does it live up to the hype? Read our review for my opinion.

Pulling Strings - Buy from Amazon
This film earned mixed reviews but still found an audience in limited release, especially compared to most foreign-language films.

Scarecrow - Buy from Amazon
A TV movie. Not just a TV movie, but a SyFy original movie. Expectations should be really low, but are they low enough that I enjoyed the movie? Check out our review to find out.

Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
The fifth film in the Swan Princess franchise, although the last few have been direct-to-DVD. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but since none of the films in the franchise earned overall positive reviews, I doubt this one will be any better.

Thor: The Dark World - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack
The follow-up to both Thor and The Avengers. Can it live up to its pedigree? Or is it the first disappointment in the The Avengers universe? Check out our review for my opinion.

Twice Born - Buy from Amazon: Buy from Amazon
Penelope Cruz stars as a mother who takes her son, Emile Hirsch, to Sarajevo, where she met his father during the war. The film's reviews are bad and it failed to find an audience in theaters.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-02-24

Movies 
 Gravity
 La Vie d'Adèle – Chapitres 1 & 2
 Mr. Nobody
 Muscle Shoals
 Nebraska
 Pulling Strings
 Thor: The Dark World
 Venuto al mondo