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Monday, September 1, 2014



DVD and Blu-ray Releases for June 17th, 2014

It's a good week / bad week on the home market. There are several releases coming out this week that are absolutely worth picking up. But there are also several of these where I'm still waiting for screeners to arrive, some of which are contenders for Pick of the Week, like The Grand Budapest Hotel or House of Cards. Other potential Pick of the Week contenders include Ernest and Celestine on Blu-ray Combo Pack and The LEGO Movie on Blu-ray Combo Pack. It was literally a coin toss and Ernest and Celestine won. Meanwhile, No Clue on DVD wins the Puck of the Week, for the best Canadian release of the week.

Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story Of The VHS Collector - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about people who are trying to keep VHS alive as a format. ... WHY? The reviews are great, but I think the subjects are crazy.

Almost Human - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A man is abducted by a flash of light and when he is returned, his friends suspect he isn't quite human anymore. This is not a unique plot, nor are the reviews great. Then again, if you are a fan of the genre, it is worth checking out.

Authors Anonymous - Buy from Amazon
This film has a cute premise. It is a mockumentary about a support group for unpublished writers getting a new member, Kaley Cuoco, who shortly after joining becomes an overnight success. However, the reviews are awful with most critics complaining that the satire didn't have the fangs needed to carry the movie.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: 13 Sins, 1939: Battle of Westerplatte, Angel of the Skies, B.B. King: The Life of Riley, Beneath Hill 60, Hearts and Minds (Criterion Collection), Home Before Midnight, House of Mortal Sin, Jimi Hendrix: Blue Wild Angel, Judex (Criterion Collection), The Monkey's Paw, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and Tosh.0: Collas Plus Exposed Arms
I'm waiting for the Redemption titles, Home Before Midnight and House of Mortal Sin, but the few Criterion Collection releases are also interesting.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: The LEGO Movie
The biggest release of the week is also the only 3D release of the week.

Note: This Blu-ray / DVD made its home market debut on the 27th of May.

Cheap Thrills - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A low-budget thriller about what a recently fired husband / father will do for quick cash. It's a black comedy, which means it is not for everyone. But will fans of the genre want to check it out? And is the DVD or Blu-ray worth picking up? Read our review to find out.

DCI Banks: Season 1 - Buy from Amazon
A British police procedural. Death in Paradise is earning better reviews, so if you want just one such TV on DVD release, grab the next release instead.

Death in Paradise: Season One - Buy from Amazon
One of a handful of British TV shows coming out this week. It's a murder mystery show, which is one of the most popular genres to be imported from Britain. The reviews are excellent and if you are a fan of the genre, then it is definitely worth checking out.

Ernest and Celestine - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This film was a surprise Oscar nomination last year. It is not that it didn't earn amazing reviews, it did. But it wasn't a well known film before it picked up the nod. Now that more people have heard of it, is it worth checking out? Are the DVD or Blu-ray worth buying? Check out our review for my opinion.

The Final Member - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A documentary about a penis museum in Iceland looking for the perfect human penis to add to their collection. It earned stellar reviews and if you like documentaries on quirky subjects, then this one is worth picking up.

Good Witch's Gift - Buy from Amazon
I was hoping to get a screener for this film, because it has Jordan Todosey in it and she's my favorite cast member of the current Degrassi cast, or was.

The Grand Budapest Hotel - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film is Wes Anderson's biggest hit at the box office, but is it also his best movie? I won't know till after the screener arrives. However, I'm really looking forward to seeing it.

House of Cards: Season 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Kevin Spacey stars as Francis Underwood, a Machiavellian politician who is using any method he can to grab more power. The reviews are amazing, but I'm still waiting for the screener to judge for myself. Extras on the DVD and Blu-ray include several featurettes with a total running time of close to 50 minutes.

Jimmy P. - Buy from Amazon
A drama based on the real life events of a Native American former soldier who had been injured in the war and suffered from headaches and intermittent blindness. Is this real life story turned into an engaging film? Or was there a reason it earned mixed reviews and disappeared from theaters? Read our review to find out.

Joe - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Nicolas Cage stars as Joe, an ex-con looking to stay out of trouble, but who becomes a father figure to a teenage boy. The reviews were great, but it was playing on Video on Demand and opened in 48 theaters, so its per theater average was very weak. Extras include an audio commentary track, a couple of making of featurettes and deleted scenes.

Joy Ride 3 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
There is only one review on Rotten Tomatoes and the critics call it serviceable. It is a direct-to-DVD sequel, so I guess serviceable is better than most such films.

The LEGO Movie - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack
One of the best movies of the year and possibly currently the highest grossing film as well. (It is in an amazingly close battle with Captain America: The Winter Soldier.) The DVD only has an audio commentary track, so it is worth a rental. The Blu-ray and the 3D Combo Packs are loaded with extras that include making of featurettes, deleted scenes, outtakes and lots of little humorous bits. Easily worth picking up, but the 3D version (with toy) is a little too expensive compared to the Blu-ray.

The Machine - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Two computer scientists create the first autonomous artificial intelligence, a.k.a. a robot, but the military sweeps in and tries to use it as a weapon. The reviews are great, but it couldn't find an audience in theaters. If you are a fan of Sci-fi, then this is worth picking up.

Masterpiece Mystery: The Escape Artist - Buy from Amazon
David Tennant stars as Will Burton, a defense attorney, who has never lost a case. But when he gets a suspected killer acquitted, the freed killer decides to repay him by killing his wife. Now he's on the other side of the law and doesn't believe the prosecution is up for the job, so he conducts his own investigation. The reviews are excellent and if you like British murder mysteries, then it is worth checking out.

A Measure Of The Sin - Buy from Amazon
An ultra-low-budget film from BrinkVision. The trailer was bizarre, which is why I accepted a screener when I was offered one. Is it too bizarre for the average moviegoer? Will those who like a more unique experience want to check it out? Read our review for my opinion.

No Clue - Buy from Amazon
A Canadian film starring Brent Butt as an office supplies salesman who is mistaken for a private eye and gets sucked into a Film Noir story. I'm waiting for the screener to review and we should be having it in the contest either this week or next.

Power Rangers: Megaforce: Ultra Defenders - Buy from Amazon
The latest DVD from the latest installment of the Power Rangers franchise. What episodes are found on the DVD and is it worth picking up for fans of the show? Read our review to find out.

Scott & Bailey: Season 1 - Buy from Amazon
The third British police procedural / murder mystery show on this week's list. This one stands our because it focuses on two female detectives. Also, it has great reviews, but not quite as great as Death in Paradise.

Sinbad: Make Me Wanna Holla - Buy from Amazon
I reviewed a Sinbad concert DVD and I liked it better than I thought I would. I haven't seen this set, but hopefully it is about as good as before.

Solo - Buy from Amazon
Annie Clark stars as Gillian, a girl who is a camp counselor but has to prove she can do the job by spending a weekend on an island in the middle of the lake. It is a horror film, so you know this goes poorly. It is also a Canadian film, so it is no surprise there are not a lot of reviews online. If you are a fan of direct-to-DVD horror movies, ones that are more atmospheric than gorefests, then this is worth checking out.

Teen Wolf: Season 3, Part 2 - Buy from Amazon
This TV show is much better than most shows on MTV. I'm not in the target audience for this show, while the price-per-minute is higher than most TV on DVD releases.

Test - Buy from Amazon
A gay romance set in the world of dance. The film earned excellent reviews, but failed to find an audience in theaters.

Walk of Shame - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This comedy earned terrible reviews and flopped in limited release. Skip it.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-06-17

Movies 
 Ernest & Celestine
 Almost Human
 Authors Anonymous
 Cheap Thrills
 The Final Member
 The Grand Budapest Hotel
 Jimmy P.
 Joe
 The LEGO Movie
 The Machine
 No Clue
 Solo
 Walk of Shame