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Saturday, August 30, 2014



DVD and Blu-ray Releases for June 3rd, 2014

It's not a bad week on the home market, given the time of year. Lone Survivor earned more than $100 million at the box office and the Blu-ray Combo Pack is clearly worth picking up. It isn't quite Pick of the Week material, on the other hand. There are a few choices including a pair of documentaries: Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton As Himself - Buy from Amazon and Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction - Buy from Amazon. The third option was Attack on Titan, Part 1 - Blu-ray Combo Pack Regular Edition or Limited Edition. It was essentially a coin-toss between the three, but in the end I went with Plimpton! as Pick of the Week.

Attack on Titan, Part 1 - Blu-ray Combo Pack - Buy from Amazon: Regular Edition or Limited Edition
One of the biggest Anime series on TV at the moment, it is breaking out into mainstream success. As a causal fan of the genre since Robotech, this is great news. There are a lot of extras on the Blu-ray, including audio commentary tracks on a couple of episodes and several featurettes. Easily worth picking up and a contender for Pick of the Week.

Awkward: Season 3, Part 2 - Buy from Amazon
This is a great show and I loved the two seasons I got a chance to review. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to review these two volumes for season three. Might pick them up anyways.

The Birdcage - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
I got a screener request for this Blu-ray release on Thursday. Even if they sent it right away, there was no chance it would get to me in time. Hopefully it is on its way, but I'm not 100% sure when or if it will get here.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Alice Cooper: Super Duper, Amnesia: Complete, The Break-Up, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason - 10th Anniversary Edition, Cousin Jules, Goodbye World, Hentai Prince & The Stony Cat: Complete Collection, The Lost Future, King and Country, Kissing Jessica Stein, Knight Templar, Nature: Snow Monkeys, Outsiders: Complete Novel Edition, Part Per Billion, Ravenous, The Ringer, and Sugar Cookie
There are quite a few secondary Blu-ray releases on this week's list, including Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and The Ringer, both of which I might get screeners for.

Breaking Bad: The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I put in a request for a screener for this show, but it hasn't arrived yet. Then again, I put in a request for this show every time it came out and I almost never got a copy. It is a great show and if you don't have it yet, it is worth picking up. Not sure if the Complete Series Megaset is worth the upgrade, and I won't unless the screener does eventually arrive.

Death Bed: The Bed That Eats - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
It's a horror movie about a bed that eats people. A bed. That eats people. It is a cult film that some people love, but others won't be able to get over the fact that it is about a bed that eats people.

Falling Skies: Season 3 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A post-apocalyptic show airing on the TNT network. It started out as a big hit, but its ratings are slipping. It is still a hit, but not as big of a hit as it was the first two seasons. The extras on the DVD and the Blu-ray are still great, including two hours of Second Watch, as well as behind-the-scenes, character featurette, etc. If you like the show, then it is worth picking up.

The Glades: Season 4 - Buy from Amazon
Big city cop moves to a small town and joins the state police. It is a good show, for a summer series, but it got canceled unexpectedly. (It ended on a cliffhanger.) Fans can't be happy with that, but at least they get to complete their DVD collection.

Graceland: Season 1 - Buy from Amazon
This show earned good, but not great reviews. It's a cop show that doesn't do enough to rise above the genre. However, it still uses the clichés well enough that if you really like the genre, it is still worth checking out.

Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about Harry Dean Stanton, who is not only an actor, but a folk singer as well. The reviews are amazing and it is certainly worth picking up.

Highway to Heaven: Season 4 - Buy from Amazon
The penultimate season of this spiritually uplifting show. I remember watching it is as a kid, but I don't remember much.

In the Blood - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Gina Carano is amazing in action scenes and getting better as an actress. However, she needs to work on picking better projects. This movie isn't bad, in fact, it is better than a lot of similar films. That said, she needs to star in a few great films to build her star power.

The Killing: Season 3 - Buy from Amazon
The first season had great reviews, right up till the ending. The ending was not satisfying and a lot of people gave up on the series as a result. It was canceled at the end of season three, but Netflix is bringing it back for a short six-episode season to wrap up the storylines.

Law & Order: The Fourth Year - Buy from Amazon
Great show, weak DVD releases. Also, you don't need to see the episodes in order, so you can just catch it on syndication.

Lone Survivor - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
One of the first films of 2014 to earn more than $100 million at the box office... although granted it started in 2013, but only as an Oscar-qualifying run. Is it as good as its box office numbers would indicate? Was it wise to give it an Oscar-qualifying run? Read our review for my opinion.

The Motel Life - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film came out in limited release as well as on video on demand last November. Like most such films, it performed better on the latter than in the former. But would it have struggled just as much had it not had the competition from Video on Demand? Check out our review to find out.

New Tricks, Season 10 - Buy from Amazon
Great show, but there have been perhaps one too many cast changes. It isn't quite as good as it was in earlier seasons. Still worth picking up if you like British police procedurals and the price-per-minute is pretty good, especially for an import.

Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton As Himself - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about George Plimpton, an American author, literary critic, amateur professional sportsman, etc. The film's reviews are stunning and the film is a must have for those who like George Plimpton. If you've never really heard of him, watching this movie might turn you into a fan.

The Pretty One - Buy from Amazon
Zoe Kazan plays two twins, one of whom dies and the other takes the dead twin's place. The reviews were mixed and the film missed the Mendoza Line during its opening weekend in limited release. It should do better on the home market, but for most a rental will be enough.

Pretty Little Liars: Season 4 - Buy from Amazon
I haven't seen this show, but a screener is on its way. Hopefully it is a good show.

Rawhide: Eighth & Final Season - Buy from Amazon
This is a classic Western, but the show lasted at least one season too long and went out on a low note. The price-per-minute is also high, as it lasted only 13 episodes instead of the usual 30. I guess if you bought all of the other DVD releases, then you might as well complete your collection, but that's hardly a ringing endorsement.

RoboCop - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
A remake of the beloved 1987 original. A lot of people thought this film would be a disaster, but it turned out okay. It certainly isn't as good as the original, but it wasn't a train wreck either. Likewise, the extras are rather weak with just some deleted scenes and a couple of featurettes. Call it a rental if you are interested on a new take of the 1987 film.

Son of God - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
A recut of the TV mini-series The Bible, and most critics agree it isn't as good. (They had to cut too much to get it to a reasonable running time.) There are a few extras on the DVD and Blu-ray, but I would just stick with the original mini-series instead.

Tiny: A Story About Living Small - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about homes and the fact that the average size of homes has doubled in recent decades. This might seem great for people living in those homes, but this documentary explores all of the problems this creates and why living small might be a better option for most. There are not a lot of reviews online, but they are mostly positive. Worth checking out if you are a fan of documentaries in general, or of advocacy documentaries in particular.

True Blood: Season Six - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
I'm still waiting for the screener for this TV on DVD release. Its last season is about to end, and I want to know if it is going out on a high note.

Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape - Buy from Amazon
A three-disc, nine-hour box set about Video Nasties. If you are not from the U.K., you might not know what Video Nasties are. This is a term used by the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association (whose abbreviation was so close to NBMLA that I assume they were started as a joke). They used it to describe cheap horror movies that came out on video in the 1980s and caused a moral panic. If you like the genre, the DVD is worth checking out.

Workaholics: Season 4 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A Comedy Central TV series about slackers at work. It has a lot of fans, but I don't think it is unfair to say it has grown stale. The ratings of the final episode of season four dipped below 1 million for the first time in its run. There are still good extras on the DVD and Blu-ray and if you are a fan, then it is worth picking up.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-06-02

Movies 
 The Birdcage
 Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction
 In the Blood
 Lone Survivor
 The Motel Life
 The Pretty One
 RoboCop
 Son of God