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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for April 2nd, 2013

April 1st, 2013

It's a bad week on the home market. The biggest release of the week is a mini-series, The Bible, but it is earning just about as much criticism as praise. (And not just for the Obama / Satan fiasco.) After that release, the quality quickly drops, so much so that there's a 1950s TV on DVD release on the front page of the new releases. As far as Pick of the Week contenders are concerned, there are not many. The Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One - Avengers Assembled is awesome, but it has a high price and if you are a fan, then you likely have all or nearly all of the movies it contains. The only other major contender is John Dies at the End. It's too bizarre for most moviegoers, but if you are into these types of films, then the DVD or the Blu-ray are worth it.

The Baytown Outlaws - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film earned terrible reviews and I'm not 100% sure it actually got a limited release. Normally I would ignore a release like this, but it is a slow week.

The Bible: The Epic Miniseries - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This mini-series aired on the History Channel and generated a lot of buzz, but not all of it positive. There were some controversies, more notably the Satan / Obama issue. The actor who was cast to play Satan has more than a passing resemblance to Obama, and the number of times Obama has been called the anti-Christ gives this controversy a little more weight. Additionally, the good characters in the mini-series are played by light-skinned actors, while the bad characters are played by dark-skinned actors. Finally, there were plenty of complaints from Christians who felt the mini-series strayed too far from the Bible in many places. Even so, it is the best-selling release of the week, so clearly the controversies haven't hurt.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Bounty Hunters, Earth's Final Hours, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan Set 1, and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0: Complete Collection
If you are a fan of Anime, there are a couple releases here worth looking into, but that's really it for secondary Blu-ray releases.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Tormented
The only 3D release of the week is a horror film from Japan.

Dirk Gently - Buy from Amazon
A parody of British detective shows based on the books by Douglas Adams. It's worth checking out; however, like most such shows, the price-per-minute is high for TV on DVD.

Hammer Horror Collection - Buy from Amazon
Three films from the studio that dominated the British horror scene for years and years. All three are worth checking out and at just $8, it is easily worth picking up.

Hello, Dolly! - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Still waiting for the screener. Good Friday and Easter Monday are both holidays up here, so the delay is understandable.

Hemingway & Gellhorn - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
I'm getting mixed signals on this TV movie. On the one hand, the film earned merely mixed reviews. On the other hand, it picked up 18 Emmy nominations, including 2 wins. Granted, the TV movie / Mini-series categories are not as competitive as others, but there is still a disconnect. Extras include an audio commentary track and a couple of making of / behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Highway Patrol - Buy from Amazon: Season Two, Season Three, and Season Four
A cop drama from the 1950s. According to Amazon.com, the second season is one of the best selling new releases of the week. That shows you how weak the new releases are. In most weeks, a show like this would be filler.

John Dies at the End - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film earned good reviews, but not great reviews. It opened well in limited release, but fell apart during its second weekend of release. The reason for this is simple: the movie is just too bizarre for mainstream audiences. If you are interested, the DVD and Blu-ray have audio commentary, two making of featurettes, deleted scenes, and more. Easily worth picking up and a contender for Pick of the Week.

The Killing: Season Two - Buy from Amazon
This show started with amazing reviews and equally good ratings. However, by the end of the first season, it was clear the writers didn't have a complicated murder mystery planned, but were winging it. This really hurt the ratings in season two, but it still did well enough to get a third season. Hopefully things will turn around.

Kristen Schaal: Live at the Fillmore - Buy from Amazon
Still waiting for the screener to arrive. Hopefully it will get here soon.

LUV - Buy from Amazon
This film earned weak reviews, opened below the Mendoza Line, and quickly disappeared. Most weeks it wouldn't be worth mentioning.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One - Avengers Assembled - Buy from Amazon
This ten-disc box set includes six movies, including three that are in 3D, a bonus disc with exclusive extras, plus physical extras. It costs $150, or $25 per film, which is a good deal, assuming you don't own any of the movies. Then again, if you don't own any of the movies, you are probably not interested in this box set. It you own half of them, the price-per-film gets to be a little high. On the other hand, if you own all of them and you are a big Marvel / Avengers fan, it is not too much to ask, considering what you get.

Stitches - Buy from Amazon: Buy from Amazon
Ross Noble stars as a clown accidentally killed at a kid's birthday party, only to be reborn years later to get revenge on those who caused his death. Ross Noble is a very funny comedian, but more importantly, he has a Geordie accent. A killer clown with a Geordie accent... That might make up for the mixed reviews.

The Sweeney - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This film failed to impress critics and bombed at the box office. Normally I would have ignored it, but... say it with me, "It's a slow week."

That Thing You Do! - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Still waiting for the screener. There will be no deliveries today, due to the holiday, but hopefully it will arrive soon.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 12th of March.

Willow - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
This film had really high expectations, both in terms of quality and box office potential. It didn't live up to either. Now that these expectations have dissipated, is the film worth checking out? Is it worth picking up on Blu-ray? Read our review for my opinion.


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Filed under: Video Releases, Willow, Hello, Dolly, That Thing You Do!, The Sweeney, The Baytown Outlaws, John Dies at the End, LUV, Stitches, Kristen Schaal, Ross Noble