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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for January 3rd, 2012

January 3rd, 2012

The first Tuesday of the year is not a great time of year for new releases on the home market. It's an even worse time of year for critics, especially this year. With Christmas Day landing on the Sunday, many studios took the entire week off, so there are plenty of screeners that still haven't made it my way. (There is some good news here, as I was able to get caught up on all of the screeners that had previously arrived late.) A couple of these potential late arrivals are contenders for Pick of the Week, like Justified: Season Two - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray and Mildred Pierce - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack. They also have competition from Contagion - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray, but in the end I gave that honor to The Guard - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season Five - Buy from Amazon
It has been more than two years since Season Four came out on DVD, so if you want to see season six come out any time soon, buy this DVD and buy it this week.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Chris Isaak Live, Pearl Jam Twenty, Ringo Starr and the Roundheads: Live, and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers: Live
It's a slow week for Blu-ray. It's a slow week overall. In fact, there are several DVD / Blu-ray releases I normally would not have mentioned during a normal week, which would instead have ended up on this part of the list.

Contagion - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Steven Soderbergh helms this ensemble drama about an epidemic that could spell the end of the world, and how various individuals and agencies deal with it. The film earned excellent reviews, especially compared to the average September release. The extras on the DVD are not exceptional, but the Blu-ray has some exclusives, plus it comes with the DVD and Digital Copy, so it is worth the upgrade. In fact, it is a Pick of the Week contender.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
A late summer release that earned better than average reviews, but still underperformed at the box office. If you are a fan of the genre, it is worth checking out. However, there are not a lot of extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray, so a rental will likely be enough for most. If you are interested in buying, the Blu-ray does have some exclusive extras, plus it only costs 20% more than the DVD.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 13th of December.

The Expendables: Extended Director's Cut - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
With filming on the sequel currently underway, an extended cut of the original came out on Blu-ray last month. The screener arrived late, but was it worth the wait? Check out our review for my opinion.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 20th of December.

Glee: The Concert Movie - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack
This is the latest release from Glee, but while the TV show is popular, the concert movie struggled to find an audience. Will it do better on the home market, or is it strictly for hardcore Gleeks? Check out our review to find out.

The Greening of Whitney Brown - Buy from Amazon
Sammi Hannraty stars as the titular Whitney Brown, a preteen who has to learn what's truly important after her father loses his high paying job and they have to move to the country. The film is best described as utterly predictable with a lot of critics saying it is more TV movie quality than theatrical release quality. Granted, while the reviews were almost all negative, most were not aggressively negative, so if you have a preteen daughter, it might be worth a rental.

The Guard - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Don Cheadle plays a cop who travels to Ireland to stop drug traffickers and who is teamed up with Brendan Gleeson, an effective, but racist / corrupt cop. The film earned Award-worthy reviews and did very well in limited release. However it deserved to do better. There are plenty of extras on the DVD, and while the Blu-ray has no exclusive extras, it only costs 15% more, so it is definitely worth the upgrade.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 6th of December.

The Heroic Trio - Buy from Amazon
A Hong Kong action film from the mid-1990s starring three of most popular female action stars of the day. Does the film live up to their combined talent? Or are there too many stars, but not enough movie? Read our review to find out.

I Am - Buy from Amazon
This documentary earned poor reviews and was not a huge hit at the box office. Granted, few documentaries reach $1 million at the box office, so the studio is likely happy with that result. However, despite this, it is currently in fourth place on new releases chart according to Amazon.com. That just shows how slow it is for new releases this week.

I Don't Know How She Does It - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The latest film starring Sarah Jessica Parker earned bad reviews and bombed at the box office. I might get a screener to review, but my expectations are very low.

Ice Quake - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A TV disaster movie from SyFy that earned weak reviews and the only reason I recognized the name was Jodelle Ferland, a Canadian actress who has been in a number of films, most of which are better than this one.

Justified: Season Two - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The screener for this show probably won't ship till Tuesday, but hopefully it will get here before the weekend. The show has been earning a lot of praise, so I'm looking forward to reviewing it.

The Last Lions - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This nature documentary earned very good reviews and opened in the $10,000 club, but failed to maintain its average as it expanded and disappeared before it reached $1 million at the box office. With extras that included deleted scenes, interviews, and more, it's worth picking up, while the Blu-ray is worth the extra $2.

Marley & Me: The Puppy Years - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film was supposed to come out direct-to-DVD earlier last year, but it was delayed till now. If the screeners arrives, I'll be able to judge whether it was worth the wait or it it was a mistake making a midquel to Marley & Me in the first place.

Mildred Pierce - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
The big winner in terms of Emmy nominations with 21 of them and while it only managed to win two of them, that still sets up really high expectations. I'm hoping to grab a screener for this mini-series, but the holidays have possibly delayed its shipping.

Proof - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
This film was clearly meant to be a major player during Awards Season, but it failed to garner much buzz when it came out. Now that it is coming out on Blu-ray many years later, is it worth checking out? Or was there a reason it failed to live up to expectations originally? Check out our review to find out.

Puncture - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Chris Evans stars as a lawyer dealing with a tough case and a serious drug addiction. The film only earned mixed reviews and went nowhere at the box office, but until the screener arrives, I won't know which side I fall on.

Red: Werewolf Hunter - Buy from Amazon
I was really hoping to get a screener for this TV movie, as it stars Felicia Day, who is one of my favorite actresses. She certainly has high nerd cred. I'll have to buy it myself I guess.

Removal - Buy from Amazon
A low-budget horror film coming out direct-to-DVD. Is this an discovered gem? Or will it get lost in the crowd? Read our review to find out.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 13th of December.

The Rocketeer: 20th Anniversary Edition - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
This was a relatively expensive film when it came out and it was originally planned to be the first of a franchise. That didn't work out. However, has the film aged well? And does the Blu-ray live up to the 20th Anniversary label? Check out our review for my opinion.

Royal Pains: Season Three, Volume One - Buy from Amazon
Guilty pleasure is the most common way fans of this show describe it, although it has become more guilty than pleasure. Also, the latest DVD release has an unacceptably high price-per-minute for a TV on DVD release.

Sekirei 2: Pure Engagement Complete Season - Blu-ray Combo Pack - Buy from Amazon
I've been wanting to get back into Anime for a while, but I've been so far out of the loop for so long I don't even know where to being. This set is certainly selling well according to Amazon.com (it's currently in ninth place on the best selling new releases) but I don't know if the quality lives up to sales level. One of the series I used to watch was Dirty Pair, which is coming out on DVD this week. It has been too long since I've seen it last to comment on it.

Serendipity - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
She's All That - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Two romantic films that came out more than a decade ago. Both were solid midlevel hits, but have they aged well? And if so, are they worth picking up on Blu-ray? Check out our review to find out.

Shark Night - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
One of several September releases that earned weak reviews and struggled at the box office. I think I'm getting a screener for this film, but it is currently late.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Frozen Face-Off - Buy from Amazon
The latest SpongeBob DVD hits the home market this week. What shots are included? And is it worth picking up or should you wait till the next full-season set? Read our review for my opinion.


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Filed under: Video Releases, She's All That, Serendipity, The Rocketeer, Proof, The Expendables, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Contagion, The Last Lions, The Guard, Puncture, I Don't Know How She Does It, I Am, Shark Night 3D, Ice Quake, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, Pearl Jam Twenty, Marley and Me: The Puppy Years, The Greening of Whitney Brown, Removal