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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for August 27th, 2013

August 26th, 2013

It's a terrible week on the home market. There's not a lot in terms of top sellers, although The Great Gatsby should lead the way. The only first-run release is Pain and Gain, which will likely not sell a lot on the home market. There are a few TV on DVD releases to fill in the gaps, like The Walking Dead or Elementary; however, by the end of the first page of new releases on Amazon.com, we run into filler. As for Pick of the Week, the best is The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh on Blu-ray Combo Pack. I'm still waiting for the screener, but it is such a good movie and it is slow week that it is still Pick of the Week.

Among Friends - Buy from Amazon
Alyssa Lobit wrote this film and Danielle Harris directed the film and both of them star in it. Danielle Harris is 36 years old and has been making horror films since she was 10. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but the few I found online are mostly positive. If you are a fan of the genre, then it is worth checking out. The Extras only include an audio commentary track, but that's better than a lot of direct-to-DVD horror films and it lifts the overall value to a purchase.

At Any Price - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A film about agriculture. It struggled at the limited release, due in part to its mixed reviews, but also because it is a film about agriculture. To be fair, it is about a family farm and how the father, Dennis Quaid, wants his son, Zac Efron, to follow in his footsteps, while his son wants to be a professional race car driver. Extras are okay for a limited release with an audio commentary track, Q&A featurette, and some rehearsal footage. Maybe if you are a fan of the cast and / or family dramas it is worth a rental, but that's as far as I would go.

Barbie Mariposa & the Fairy Princess - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of the best-selling direct-to-DVD franchises around. Most such releases fail to reach the top 30. This franchise usually opens in the top five.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: And Then There Were None, Classic Albums: Making of Dark Side of the Moon, The Best of WWE at Madison Square Garden, A Company Man, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, Only the Valiant, The Painting, Pawn Shop Chronicles, Penny Serenade, and To Be or Not To Be (Criterion-Collection)
There are a few secondary Blu-ray releases this week, but not a lot are intriguing. This is because it is a slow week, so I mention a few secondary releases in the rest of the column.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: The Great Gatsby
Only one 3D release on this week's list, but the film did earn close to $150 million domestically and its visuals were praised, so perhaps it will sell well in 3D.

Call Me Fitz: Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon
Jason Priestley stars as the titular Fitz, a used car salesman who is completely amoral. Ernie Grunwald stars as his co-worker, who tries to keep him on the right path. It is a Canadian show and it has won a number of Gemini Awards up here. It is worth checking out, if you haven't seen it before.

Dark Angel - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
A bad sci-fi B-movie that is coming out on Blu-ray this week. According to Amazon.com, it is in the top ten best-selling new release for the week. That just shows you how slow it is this week.

Elementary: Season One - Buy from Amazon
Another entrant in the most crowded genre in TV. Can Elementary stand out amongst its competitors? Is the quality there to make it thrive? Read our review to find out.

The Great Gatsby - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack or 3D Combo Pack
Baz Luhrmann's sense of style works great with the opulent parties that take place in the story, but this comes at the expense of the emotional core of the novel, which is lost in the movie. The overall effect is a mixed end result. There are plenty of extras and if you like Baz Luhrmann, it is definitely worth picking up. If you like The Great Gatsby, on the other hand, this is not a good adaptation.

Grey's Anatomy: Season Nine - Buy from Amazon
I'm not a fan of this show, but clearly many people are, because it is starting its tenth season in December.

Guilty Crown: Complete Series - Blu-ray Combo Pack - Buy from Amazon: Part 1 and Part 2
These Anime series is on the front page on the list of Amazon.com's list of best-selling new releases. Anime releases are still a niche market, so this is a sign at how weak the new releases are this week.

Koch - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about the late New York City mayor, Ed Koch. The film opened with amazing reviews and did relatively well in limited release, especially for a documentary. If you are a fan of political biographic documentaries, it is worth picking up. If you liked Ed Koch, then it is also worth picking up.

Kon-Tiki - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
A film about Thor Heyerdahl's expedition to prove it was possible to sail from South American to Polynesia during pre-Columbian times. The same story was previously made into an Oscar-winning documentary and while this film won't win an Oscar, it still earned excellent reviews. There are not a lot of extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray with just a featurette on the true story and a look at the special effects, but that's enough to be worth picking up.

The Lost Medallion - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film was made in 2009, but didn't pick up a distributor till much later when a lot of church groups invested in the movie. As a result, a framing device was added to the movie so it had a more Christian message. This didn't help the film win over moviegoers. Although its reviews didn't help.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 30th of July.

Love Me Tender - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Elvis Presley's first acting role. He wasn't the star of the film, but he was the biggest draw at the time. Does it work on its own merits? Or is the presence of The King the only noteworthy part of the movie? Read our review for my opinion.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh on Blu-ray Combo Pack
I'm still waiting for the screener. I love this movie and I'm looking forward to reviewing the Blu-ray.

Note: These Blu-rays made their home market debut on the 30th of July.

Marilyn Monroe Blu-ray Double-Shot:
Bus Stop - Buy from Amazon
Niagara - Buy from Amazon

Two more films from Marilyn Monroe came out on Blu-ray recently. How do these compare to the rest of her filmography? Are they worth picking up for fans? Check out our review to find out.

Pain & Gain - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This film isn't as bad as most Michael Bay films are, but that's not really a compliment. Additionally, there are no extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray, so it is worth no more than a rental, and that's only if you are interested in the genre and / or cast.

Q: The Winged Serpent - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
A low-budget B-movie horror film from 1982 that is making its Blu-ray debut this week. It is mostly a cult film at this point, but it is better than most such films. The Blu-ray only has an audio commentary track, while the low budget hinders the technical presentation. If you are a fan of the genre, it is worth at least a rental.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Buy From Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film opened in limited release and topped $10,000 on the per theater chart during its opening weekend. Unfortunately, its reviews were mixed and it collapsed the next weekend. Perhaps it will perform better on the home market, but for most, a rental will be enough.

Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about a store. It only earned mixed reviews with many critics complaining that it was a Hagiography. It was filled with unfiltered praise and there is no real depth presented. If you are really into fashion, then perhaps it is worth checking out, but I think for most a rental will be enough.

Sons of Anarchy: Season Five - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
It appears this show's days are numbered, but not because the quality is going down. The show is still amazing, but season seven is likely the last for the show. Fans will certainly want to pick up the DVD or the Blu-ray, both of which have plenty of extras. These are not exclusive extras on the Blu-ray, but at just $5 more, it is the better deal.

Stranded - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Christian Slater is a good actor, but good lord, he needs to choose better projects than this. I guess if you want a cheesy B-movie sci-fi to make fun of, it is worth checking out, but that's far from a recommendation.

Super Buddies - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This is the seventh film in the Air Buddies franchise and the fourteenth film in the Air Bud franchise. I've reviewed a few of these films and I liked the first film, but most of the rest are a little grating for adults, even if they entertain the kids.

Tales of the City: 20th Anniversary Edition - Buy from Amazon
A TV mini-series that first aired in 1993. It earned excellent reviews. It even picked up a couple Emmy nominations, including one for Best TV Mini-series. (It lost out to Prime Suspect 3, which is also coming out on the DVD and Blu-ray this week.) If you are a fan of the cast or of Armistead Maupin's original novel, then it is worth checking out.

TV on DVD Full Series Megasets - Buy from Amazon: Captain Harlock, Prime Suspect (DVD), Prime Suspect (Blu-ray), and Sapphire & Steel
There are a few TV Full Season Megasets. One of them, Prime Suspect is more of a series of TV mini-series. It is also the one that's worth the most.

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
There are a lot of fans of this show, but there are also a lot of people who still watch the show who tend to complain more than compliment it at this point. I've heard it described as 10% at the beginning of each episode deals with the fallout of the ending of the previous episode, then there's 80% boredom, and then there's 10% of excitement in the end to get you to tune into the next episode. Even if you are a fan of the show, the price of the Blu-ray is just insanely high. Unacceptable.


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Filed under: Video Releases, Love Me Tender, Bus Stop, Dark Angel, Niagara, Q, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Great Gatsby, Pain & Gain, The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone, At Any Price, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Koch, Among Friends, Kon-Tiki, Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's, Stranded, Super Buddies, Air Bud, Air Buddies, Marilyn Monroe, Dennis Quaid, Michael Bay, Zac Efron, Ernie Grunwald, Danielle Harris, Baz Luhrmann, Elvis Presley, Jason Priestley, Christian Slater