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Friday, July 25, 2014



DVD and Blu-ray Releases for May 20th, 2014

It's that time of year, the weakest time of year on the home market. This week there are four first-run releases, but only one of them earned overall positive reviews and only one of them did well at the box office. Fortunately, it was the same film, About Last Night. If you are a fan of romantic comedies, then the DVD or Blu-ray is worth picking up, but it is not Pick of the Week material. For Pick of the Week, I went with Nosferatu the Vampyre on Blu-ray.

3 Days to Kill - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
The second of three Kevin Costner movies that have already come out this year. It earned bad reviews and struggled at the box office. Was this a fair result? Or do I think it should it have performed better? Read my review for my opinion.

About Last Night - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is the only first-run release to earn overall positive reviews and it was also a box office hit, earning nearly $50 million on a production budget of just $13 million. Extras include four featurettes, which is fine for a first-run release, but not great. That said, it is worth checking out for most, picking up for fans of the cast or of romantic comedies in general.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Evil Dead, Fair Tale: Part 10, Like Someone in Love (Criterion Collection), McCanick, McLintock! - Authentic Collector's Edition, Serial Experiments Lain: Complete Series - Classic, and Way of the Wicked
There's a pretty short list of secondary Blu-ray releases this week, mainly because there were so many re-releases this week that I didn't feel the need to make note of. Speaking of which, how many times are they going to re-release The Evil Dead?

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: FASCINATION EARTH 3D and Pompeii
One Edutainment release and theatrical bomb coming on out 3D. I don't think either will sell particularly well.

Call the Midwife: Season 3 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A BBC series about a group of midwives working in one of the poorest parts of London in the 1950s. The series has earned excellent reviews and a number of major awards in its native U.K. Like most British imports, the price-per-minute is high and there are not a lot extras, but fans of the show will still want to pick it up.

Dalziel & Pascoe: Season 9 - Buy from Amazon
A British police procedural and fans of the genre know what to expect. The show is great, but the price-per-minute is really high. In fact, it is best to look at this DVD as four TV movies rather than a TV on DVD release.

Doctor Who: The Enemy of the World - Buy from Amazon
For a long time, only episode three of this six-part story remained, but that changed last year with the discovery of the other five episodes in Nigeria. That alone will make a lot of Doctor Who fans jump at the chance to buy this DVD. Reviews are mixed, with some fans loving it for being unique and others complaining that it doesn't feel like a Doctor Who story.

God Love Uganda - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about the anti-gay legislation being adopted by Uganda and its roots in the American Evangelical movement. One of the best movies of last year and easily worth picking up. According to Amazon.com, this came out last week. According to the studio, it comes out this week.

Grand Piano - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A thriller that opened on Video on Demand and in limited release. Needless to say, it failed to find an audience in theaters. Now that it is coming out on the home market, does is deserve to perform better? Check out our review for my opinion.

In Secret - Buy from Amazon
This film opened in more than 250 theaters, which is way too many for a limited release. It also opened well below the Mendoza Line and quickly disappeared after that. Was the release just way too wide? Or would the film have struggled to find an audience no matter how small its opening theater count was? Read our review to find out.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Around the Clubhouse World - Buy from Amazon
A fun TV show for preschool kids. I haven't gotten any screeners recently, but I like this show better than many of the others aimed at the same target demographic.

The Monuments Men - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
A movie written, directed, and starring George Clooney. It earned weak reviews and it struggled to match its production budget domestically. Extras on the DVD are limited to two featurettes and while the Blu-ray has more, it is hard to recommend it.

Mountain Men: Season 2 - Buy from Amazon
A reality TV show that is selling surprisingly well on Amazon.com. Don't like the genre, so I can't comment on the quality of the show.

Nikita: Season 4 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This show earned good reviews, but it was never a hit in the ratings, even compared to the low average on the CW. The fourth season was very short, just long enough to wrap up all of the storylines, so the price-per-minute is really high.

Nosferatu the Vampyre - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
One of Werner Herzog's best movies, and that's saying a lot. It is also proof that you shouldn't fear remakes, even remakes of classic films. You should fear bad remakes, but you should fear bad movies, regardless of their source. Extras include two audio commentary tracks (one in German with English subtitles) and a making of featurette. That's isn't a lot of extras, but it is enough to be a contender for Pick of the Week.

Pompeii - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray, or 3D Combo Pack
This film cost $80 million to make, but only pulled in $23 million domestically. Had it opened with $23 million, it still would have been a disappointment at the box office. Its reviews were bad, but not that bad. Extras on the DVD and Blu-ray are better than expected given its box office troubles (audio commentary track, deleted scenes, and about an hour of featurettes) but that is still not enough to be worth a rental, not unless you really want to see a volcano blow up in 3D.

Raze - Buy from Amazon
I really like Zoe Bell and hope she can make a career for herself as a leading actress, but this film won't really help towards that goal. It's not a bad movie, but the film's reviews are only mixed. It is worth checking out if you like the genre, but I think a rental will be enough.

The Right Kind of Wrong - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is the prize for this week's contest. If you haven't entered, there is still time.

Sophia Grace & Rosie's Royal Adventure - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Sophia Grace and Rosie became famous for their viral videos and were featured a number of times on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show. Now they have their own movie. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 13th.

Strawberry Shortcake: Fun Under the Sun - Buy from Amazon
The screener arrived just a little late, but I got to the review this week. What is the movie like? And is the DVD worth the price? Check out our review to find out.

Terry Fator: Live in Concert - Buy from Amazon
I'm not a fan of ventriloquism, but I will admit Terry Fator is very popular. If you like this form of entertainment, then his DVDs are worth picking up.

TV on DVD releases - Buy from Amazon: Facts of Life Seasons 1 & 2, Gidget: The Complete Series, Good Times Seasons 3 & 4, Happy Days: Season 5, The Jeffersons Seasons 1 & 2, and LA Law: Season 2
There are a number of TV on DVD releases coming out this week, mostly catalog releases that would fly under the radar most weeks. There are just so many of them this week that collectively they stand out.

Vampire Academy - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Of the four first-run releases on this week's list, this one earned the worst reviews and the lowest box office total. There are almost no extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray (short interview, alternative opening, and some deleted scenes) so it is not even worth renting.

Waking the Dead: Season 9 - Buy from Amazon
A British police procedural about a cold case squad. Like most such shows, the reviews are excellent, but the price-per-minute is really high.

Warehouse 13 - Buy from Amazon: Season Five or The Complete Series
Great show and fans will be sad to see it go, but why is the Megaset more expensive than buying the individual seasons? This makes no sense.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-05-19

Movies 
 Nosferatu the Vampyre
 3 Days to Kill
 About Last Night
 God Loves Uganda
 Grand Piano
 In Secret
 The Monuments Men
 Pompeii
 Raze
 The Right Kind of Wrong
 Vampire Academy