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Monday, July 28, 2014



DVD and Blu-ray Releases for April 29th, 2014

According to Amazon, the top best selling new release of the week is Space Battleship Yamato on Blu-ray Combo Pack. Huh? This is a live action remake of a 1970s Anime series, and according to Amazon.com, it is the number one selling new release of the week. Either this is an incredibly slow week, or there's something wrong with Amazon.com's algorithm. It's mostly the former. Gloria is easily the best movie on this list, but the reviews on the DVD are weak. Star Trek: Enterprise: Season Four has a lot of extras and the season was arguably the best in the show's short run, but the Blu-ray is expensive and even the best season isn't as good as the average TNG season. I finally got to the review for Knights of Badassdom and I loved the Blu-ray, but I'm not sure there is a wide enough audience for the movie. I was tempted to go with Space Battleship Yamato as Pick of the Week. In the end, I went with Gloria.

The Allman Brothers/40: 40th Anniversary Show Live At The Beacon Theater - Buy from Amazon
According to Amazon.com, this is the fifth-best selling new release of the week. This is not slam against The Allman Brothers, but concert DVDs simply shouldn't place that high on the chart. It's not the only one in the top ten.

The Best Offer - Buy from Amazon
I think a screener for this film is on its way. The trailers looked intriguing, but the reviews are only mixed.

Betty Boop: Essential Collection 3 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The third of likely four volumes of Betty Boop cartoons remastered in 4k and released on DVD and Blu-ray. This is not as good as the first two volumes, as it contains a couple of the post Hayes Code cartoons, but it is still worth picking up for fans of Betty Boop specifically, or of cartoons of the era.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Bad Country, Cuticle Detective Inaba: Complete Collection, Gamera: Ultimate Collection - Volume 1, Gamera: Ultimate Collection - Volume 2, Hallucination Strip, Il Sorpasso (Criterion Collection), Notes on a Scandal, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Collection, Sophie's Choice, Toto: 35th Anniversary Tour - Live in Poland, Up the Junction, and The Wind And The Lion
There are not a lot of secondary Blu-ray releases this week. The Rodgers & Hammerstein Collection is obviously the biggest, but I'm not sure it is the best. There are a couple of Gamera releases that might be worth picking up to the right person. The Wind And The Lion is selling better than I would have expected.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: The Legend of Hercules
Just the one 3D release this week. It was a wide release, which is good. The film bombed utterly at the box office and was savaged by critics, which is bad news.

Bob Hope Classic Comedy Collection - Buy from Amazon
A four-disc, ten-movie box set featuring Bob Hope. These film are from the 1930s and 1940s and most are well-liked by his fans.

Devil's Due - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
An early year horror film. There have been plenty of such films to come out in the past several years. This one is worse than most. There are plenty of extras on the DVD and the Blu-ray, but not enough to compensate for those reviews.

Dynasty: Season 8 - Volumes 1 & 2 - Buy from Amazon: Buy from Amazon
Nighttime soap from the 1980s. It lasted nine seasons, so we only have one more to go.

Escape from Tomorrow - Buy from Amazon
This film was shot at Disney World without the company knowing it was being shot there. That created a lot of buzz for the film, but the reviews there merely mixed. Extras include two audio commentary tracks and a making-of featurette. Worth checking out, but I think for most a rental will be enough.

Father Brown: The Complete Collection - Buy from Amazon
A British TV series from 1974 about a Catholic Priest who solves crimes. Since the show is 40 years old, I'm not sure how many people remember it.

Francis the Talking Mule Complete Collection - Buy from Amazon
A three-disc, seven-movie collection from the 1950s about a talking mule. They were popular at the time, but I don't think they've aged well.

Gimme Shelter - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Preachy and predictable. That's how a lot of critics described this film. That's a fatal combination and the movie bombed at the box office. The DVD and the Blu-ray have a making-of featurette and some deleted scenes, but that's not enough to lift it to a rental.

Gloria - Buy from Amazon
One of the best-reviewed films to come out this year. It is also one of the biggest foreign-language hits. Did I like it as much as the average critic? Or am I one of the rare dissenters. Read our review to find out.

Godzilla - The Complete Animated Series - Buy from Amazon
With the 60th anniversary of the original film, there are plenty of ways to celebrate. This is one of them. It is not the best incarnation of Kaiju, but it is not the worst either.

Hill Street Blues: The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
A great show and this seven-season, 34-disc collection is certainly worth picking up. I'm just a little surprised it is coming out this week and not closer to Christmas.

Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The latest stand-up concert DVD from Jim Gaffigan, who has been in the business for two decades now. Is the concert set worth checking out? Check out our review for my opinion.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 1st.

Knights of Badassdom - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I finally got to the screens for this review. It arrived a little late, but it took a couple of weeks before I got enough time in my schedule to write the review. Was it worth the wait? And does the Blu-ray have enough extras to be worth picking up? Read our review for my opinion.

Labor Day - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
An escaped convict who killed his wife takes a mother and son hostage and the mother falls in love with him. I know that's not how the filmmakers would describe the film, but that's what happens. It had an Oscar-qualifying run, but the reviews were bad and the film struggled during its theatrical release in January. Extras include an audio commentary track, deleted scenes, and a making-of featurette. However, unless you are a really big fan of the actors, you can safely skip this one.

The Legend of Hercules - Buy from Amazon: DVD or 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack
One of the worst movies of the year and one of the biggest bombs as well. There are very few extras on the DVD (audio commentary track and a featurette) while the Blu-ray has the 2D and the 3D versions of the movie. Avoid at all costs.

Mr. Selfridge: Season 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
When I think if British period pieces, Jeremy Piven doesn't spring to mind. However, this show has earned good reviews and it is a big enough hit to earn a third season. Extras are limited to a behind-the-scenes featurette, which is a shame, because a fully loaded set could have been a contender for Pick of the Week. Even so, it is worth picking up.

Salems Lot: The Ultimate in Terror - Buy from Amazon
The original 1979 TV mini-series. It hasn't aged particularly well, but if you are a fan of the story, it is worth checking out.

Space Battleship Yamato on Blu-ray Combo Pack I watched the original Space Battleship Yamato, or to be more accurate, I watched the North American edited version, Star Blazers. However, it has been so long since I've seen the show, I can't remember any details. I remember liking it, and the Wave Motion Cannon, but that's about it. The movie came out in Japan in 2010 and I remember hearing about it and that piqued my interest. There are almost no reviews online, at least none in English, but the sampling I checked out was mostly positive. I think the Blu-ray combo pack is worth a blind buy, but I also think nostalgia is an issue here.

SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob, You're Fired! - Buy from Amazon
The latest DVD from one of the longest-running cartoons ever. What episodes are on the DVD and how many of them are double-dips. Read our review to find out.

Star Trek: Enterprise: Season Four - Buy from Amazon The final season of the final installment in the Star Trek TV franchise, at least for now. The show didn't please critics or fans for the first two seasons, but it did begin to turn things around in season three. Did it continue to grow in season four? Or was there a good reason this was the final season? Check out our review for my opinion.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-04-28

Movies 
 Gloria
 La migiliore offerta
 Devil's Due
 Escape from Tomorrow
 Gimme Shelter
 Knights of Badassdom
 Labor Day
 The Legend of Hercules
 Supesu Batorushippu Yamato