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Tuesday, July 22, 2014



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

It is a good, but very shallow week on the home market. The Wolf of Wall Street is leading the pack, with the Blu-ray Combo Pack earning first place and DVD earning second. This is a $100 million hit and a multi-Oscar nominee, so it is not surprising it is earning the top two spots. On the other hand, third place currently belongs to Monster High: Frights, Camera, Action! on DVD. That's a real sign that it is a shallow week. That's not to say some of the smaller releases are not worth picking up. Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXIX is certainly a contender for Pick of the Week, but in the end I went with The Wolf of Wall Street. On a side note, Continuum: Season 2 on Blu-ray earned the Puck of the Week, for Best Canadian Release.

Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
While Marvel is producing hit after hit in theaters, it is struggling on the home market. The latest release is again only earning mixed reviews, which is a shame. Extras on the DVD include a couple of featurettes, while the Blu-ray also has an art gallery. If you really like Marvel, it might be worth checking out, but I think a rental will be enough even then.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Beneath, Best of Bogart Collection, Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa: Live in Amsterdam, The Chipmunk Adventure, King of Comedy: 30th Anniversary, Mardock Scramble: Third Exhaust, The Past, Patrick, Performance, Ranma 1/2: Set 1, The Truth About Emanuel, and Wonderwall
There are not a lot of secondary Blu-ray releases on this week's list that jump out at me. The best is The King of Comedy, which I should get a chance to review, if the screener arrives.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Walking With Dinosaurs
Only one 3D release this week, but at least it was a wide release and not some film that most people will not have heard of.

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

The Book Thief - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film is busted Oscar-bait. It did earn some Awards Season buzz, but mostly for the score. (Sophie Nelisse did earn some smaller nominations for her performance.) Was the film as mixed as its reviews? Or were Oscar expectations too high? Read our review for my opinion.

Californication: Season Six - Buy from Amazon
I reviewed a couple of seasons of this show, but quickly grew to hate it.

Chinese Zodiac - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This might be one of Jackie Chan's last action movies. Its reviews are not good, so I think fans would be better served watching his older movies.

Continuum: Season 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A Canadian show starring Rachel Nichols as a cop from the future accidentally sent to Vancouver, 2012 by rebels who are fighting the corporate takeover of the government. The show has earned numerous Gemini and Leo awards and if you are a fan of Sci-fi, it is a must have.

Delivery Man - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A remake of Starbuck, a Canadian movie. Its reviews were weak, but not as bad as I feared they would be. Extras are okay, but not enough to make up for the quality of the movie. I would stick with the original instead.

Dragons: Defenders of Berk: Part 1 - Buy from Amazon
I reviewed the first season of the show when it was called Riders of Berk and I was impressed. It is a lot better than most TV shows based on kids movies are. I'm still waiting for the screener for this DVD, but I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Ed and His Dead Mother - Buy from Amazon
It has been a long time since I've seen this movie. I remember really liking it, but the reviews are only mixed, so perhaps I can't trust my memories.

Geography Club - Buy from Amazon
A group of high school students use Geography Club to talk about their secrets, which includes sexual orientation, with many characters having to hide their true orientations, lest they become victims of bullies. The film is earning mixed reviews with critics saying the script doesn't do much new, but the cast help it to rise above the clichés.

Key & Peele: Seasons One & Two - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I reviewed season one and I did like the show. However, I'm not sure I liked it enough to recommend buying it again as part of a two-season set. I'll have to wait till the screener arrives to answer that.

Little House on the Prairie: Season One - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
A family classic TV show hitting Blu-ray for the first time. This isn't exactly a visually impressive show, so I'm a little surprised it is coming out on Blu-ray before more action or sci-fi oriented shows from the era, like The Incredible Hulk, for example. On a side note Season Two comes out in May.

Monster High: Frights, Camera, Action! - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This is one of the most popular Direct-to-DVD kids series out there. It is not as popular as Barbie is, but it is up there. The DVD is the third best selling new release, at least according to Amazon.com.

Ms. 45 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of Abel Ferrara's first films and arguably his best. On the other hand, it is a rape-revenge movie that originally earned an X-rating, so it is not for the timid. If you are a fan of the director in general or of this movie in particular, then the Blu-ray is worth picking up.

Musicares Person of the Year: Tribute to Bruce Springsteen - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A concert that pays tribute to Bruce Springsteen that includes nearly two-dozen songs written by Bruce Springsteen over the years, performed by many artists, including several by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXIX - Buy from Amazon
I love this show, but it has been a while since I got a screener to review. Extras are better than most similar releases with a couple of interviews with some of the stars of the featured films, plus intro, featurettes, and of course the mini-posters. Definitely worth picking up.

Odd Thomas - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Anton Yelchin stars as Odd Thomas, a young man who can talk to the dead. What he sees is a stranger entering town followed by a large number of dangerous spirits that feed on misery. Clearly something bad is about to happen. The film's reviews are only mixed, which explains why it failed to find an audience in theaters. There are no extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray, so it further hampers its overall value. If you like the genre, it is worth a rental, at the most.

The Punk Singer - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about Kathleen Hanna, Punk Singer and feminist activist. Will this film appeal to her fans? Will it generate more fans? Check out our review to find out.

Scooby-Doo: Wrestlemania Mystery - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Scooby-Doo is more than 40 years old and the franchise is still going strong. The latest movie is a crossover with WWE wrestling.

Veep: Season 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I'm still waiting for the screener for this show. Given its reviews and the number of awards it has won, I'm really looking forward to seeing it.

Walking with Dinosaurs - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack
This film flopped at the box office earning $36 million on an $80 million budget. The reviews certainly hurt. The film looks amazing, but the "story" being told was unnecessary. There are not enough extras to make up for the reviews.

Welcome to the Jungle - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Jean-Claude Van Damme does comedy for the first time. Is he funny? Yes. Is the rest of the movie funny? ... Read the review to find out.

William & Mary: Complete Collection - Buy from Amazon
A British TV series about a midwife and a mortician who fall in love. It ran for three seasons and 18 episodes, so the price-per-minute is a little high for a TV on DVD release, but this is common for British imports. It is worth picking up.

The Wolf of Wall Street - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Martin Scorsese's biggest hit at the Worldwide box office as well as a major Awards Season player. Does it live up to the hype? Read our review for my opinion.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-03-25

Movies 
 The Wolf of Wall Street
 The Book Thief
 Delivery Man
 Ed and his Dead Mother
 Geography Club
 Odd Thomas
 The Punk Singer
 Walking with Dinosaurs
 Welcome to the Jungle