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Thursday, August 28, 2014



DVD and Blu-ray Releases for May 6th, 2014

It's a short list this week, because there's almost nothing worth talking about. The best-selling new release according to Amazon is Veronica Mars, while the first page of new releases is dominated by Godzilla titles, and not even good Godzilla titles. There are not a lot of new releases that are contenders for Pick of the Week, but Still Mine on DVD is the best of what is out there. Meanwhile, another Canadian release, Republic of Doyle: Season 1 earns an honorable mention and is the Puck of the Week.

Adventure Time: The Suitor - Buy from Amazon
I'm still waiting for the screener for this release, while it will be featured in this week's box office prediction contest.

Amistad - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Oscar-bait from Steven Spielberg. It didn't live up to expectations, but is it worth checking out? And is the Blu-ray worth picking up? Read our review to find out.

The Art of the Steal - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A Canadian movie about a group of criminals trying one last heist. The reviews were only mixed, as critics complained the cast was wasted on a predictable plot. Extras include an audio commentary track and two featurettes. If you like heist movies, then it is worth checking out, but a rental will probably be enough.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Andy Griffith Show: Complete First Season, Ace in the Hole (Criterion Collection), Agatha Christie's Poirot, Series 12, The Big Red One, The Bridges of Madison County, Countess Dracula, Harvey, Memphis Belle, Revenge of the Nerds, Speed 2: Cruise Control, and Weekend at Bernie's
There are some good catalog titles on this week's list of secondary Blu-ray releases. Harvey is the one I'm most interested in, but it is not the only one I might buy.

China Beach: Season 3 - Buy from Amazon
This is the prize in this week's contest, but if you don't win, it is worth picking up.

Generation War - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A look at World War II from a German perspective, specifically a group of Germans who have to navigate War while also dealing with living under a Nazi regime. On the one hand, obviously not every German living in Nazi Germany supported Adolph Hitler. (He did only receive 40% of the vote and killed countless political opponents during his rise to power.) On the other hand, a lot of critics complained that this movie feels like revisionism and this results in mixed reviews.

Oh no, they say he's got to go. Go, go Godzilla. Various Godzilla Titles on Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon: Ebirah - Horror of the Deep, Final Wars / Tokyo S.O.S., Godzilla Vs. Destoroyah / Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus: The G Annihilation Strategy, Godzilla Vs. Gigan, Godzilla Vs. Hedorah, Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah / Godzilla Vs. Mothra, and Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla II / Godzilla Vs. Spacegodzilla
A whole lot of Godzilla Blu-ray to take part in the 60th anniversary of the franchise.

The Honeymooners "Classic 39" Episodes - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon The Honeymooners only ran for one season, in this form, but it is widely considered one of the best sitcoms of all time. It is obviously worth owning, but is the Blu-ray worth picking up? Check out our review for my opinion.

I Love Lucy: Season One - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon One of the best sitcoms of all time. It isn't a question of whether or not you should own it. It is a question of whether or not the Blu-ray is worth the price. Read our review for my opinion.

Laverne & Shirley: Eighth & Final Season - Buy from Amazon
This show was great for most of its run, but the final season was very weak. I guess if you bought every other season, you might as well complete your collection. However, that's hardly an enthusiastic recommendation.

Lewis Black: Old Yeller: Live at the Borgata - Buy from Amazon
Lewis Black is one of my favorite stand-up comics, but I didn't get a chance to review this DVD, so I don't know how it compares to DVDs I've previously reviewed.

Little House on the Prairie: Season 2 - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
According to Amazon.com, this is the third best selling new release of the week. Granted, it is a classic show, but even so, it shouldn't perform this well if it were a regular week. Earning third place just shows how slow it is.

Nearlyweds - Buy from Amazon
A TV movie starring Danielle Panabaker, among others. Normally I wouldn't even mention the release, but it is a slow week. On a side note, did you know Danielle's little sister, Kay Panabaker, is a super-genius? She graduated from college at age 17.

Republic of Doyle: Season 1 - Buy from Amazon
A Canadian show set in Newfoundland about a private eye, the titular Doyle, played by Allan Hawco. The show's reviews are strong and the cast is great. If you like the genre, it is certainly worth owning.

Rookie Blue: Season 4 - Buy from Amazon
A Canadian cop show starring Missy Peregrym as the titular rookie. (Although after four seasons, she's no longer a rookie.) The show's reviews are good, but not great. It's better than most summer shows and if you are interested in season five, which starts in Canada on the 19th of May and in the States on the 19th of June, then it is worth picking up.

Rush - The Rise Of Kings - Buy from Amazon
There's a lot of Canadian content on this week's list. This is an unofficial documentary that explores the band's early years till the early 1980s.

Separate But Equal - Buy from Amazon
Sidney Poitier plays Thurgood Marshall in this TV mini-series about the end of school segregation. It earned several Emmy nominations and won for Best Mini-series, but has it aged well? And are there any extras on the DVD to make it worth buying? Read our review to find out.

Still Mine - Buy from Amazon
A Canadian movie about an elderly couple, James Cromwell and Genevieve Bujold, who are dealing with his deteriorating memory. He decides they need a smaller home, which will be easier to maintain. He also decides to build it himself. Of course, he doesn't have a plan or building permits, which means he gets into a conflict with a local government bureaucrat. The film's reviews are excellent and it is clearly the best new release of the week.

The Story of the Jews with Simon Schama - Buy from Amazon
A PBS special on Jewish history. The reviews are mostly positive, but there are some who think this is, at best, incomplete. For instance, most Rabbinical scholars accept the story of Moses and the Jews in Egypt is not historically accurate. Here it is more or less presented as history. It is still interesting to watch if you are interested in Jewish history, but it is not a complete picture.

The Terminal - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
A lot of people thought this film would crack $100 million at the box office. It didn't. Was it a victim of great expectations? Or was is flawed in some other way? Check out our review for my opinion.

Veronica Mars - DVD or Blu-ray
This movie was crowdfunded and did extremely well. This helped the buzz, while the reviews helped its box office numbers. (It likely did much better on Video on Demand than it did in theaters.) The extras on the DVD and Blu-ray include a making of featurette, interviews, outtakes, and deleted scenes. Definitely worth picking up and even a contender for Pick of the Week.

Your Inner Fish - Buy from Amazon
My inner fish is Pacific Cod, which is what I had for dinner. This movie is about evolution and looks at various anatomical structures within the human body and how they connect us to our ancestors. If you like learning more about evolution, then it is worth checking out.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-05-06

Movies 
 Still Mine
 Amistad
 The Art of the Steal
 Unsere Mutter, unsere Vater
 The Terminal
 Veronica Mars