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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for January 31st, 2012

January 31st, 2012

It's kind of an unusual week on the home market with five first run releases coming out on DVD and Blu-ray. However, all five films missed expectations in one degree or another. Some were outright bombs by anyone's definition, while others were expected to struggle to find a large audience, just not by as much as they did. That is not to say they were all bad movies. In fact one of them, Drive, has done quite well during Awards Season and the Blu-ray Combo Pack is a contender for Pick of the Week. Its main competition is To Kill A Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition, which is also coming out on a Blu-ray Combo Pack. It's a coin toss, but I'm going with the latter over the former.

2-Headed Shark Attack - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Oh Asylum Home Entertainment. Where would the world be without you? B-movie fans would certainly not have as many movies to chose from.

The Big Year - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Arguably the biggest bomb of 2012. That said, the correlation between box office results and the quality of the movie is dubious at times. Will this film find an audience now that it is coming out on the home market? Check out our review for my opinion.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Adaptation, Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 1, Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 2, B Gata H Kei: Yamada's First Time Complete Series, B Gata H Kei: Yamada's First Time Complete Series (Limited Edition), Cold Mountain, Das Boot, ef ~ A Tale of Memories: Complete Collection, The English Patient, Fairy Tail: Part 3, Fernando Di Leo Crime Collection, Frida, Grand Canyon, Into The Universe With Stephen Hawking, Malcolm X, Monkeybone, Night Train Murders, Nothing in Common, Outrage, Phantom: Requiem For the Phantom, The Piano, Queen: Days of Our Lives, The Scout, Shakespeare in Love, A Soldier's Story, Styx: Grand Illusion / Pieces of Eight - Live, and Snow Buddies
The list of secondary Blu-ray releases is comprised mostly of previous Oscar winners, Anime, and musical releases. I hope to get a few of the Oscar winners to review, but the screeners are late.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Transformers: Trilogy Box Set
Just the two 3D releases this week, and they are both the same film, but different sets.

Chalet Girl - Buy from Amazon
This film earned good reviews, especially for its star, Felicity Jones. On the other hand, it bombed hard in limited release. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie, but the screener is currently late.

Church Girl - Buy from Amazon
A play by Angela Dunlap starring Robin Givens that is selling quite well on Amazon.com. If you like the works of Tyler Perry, you'll probably like this DVD better.

The Comic Strip Presents: The Complete Collection - Buy from Amazon
A nine-disc, 26-hour collection of British stand-up comics. I really hope the screener arrives soon, because my schedule will be really tight once the Oscar contest begins in full next week.

Dead Hooker in a Trunk - Buy from Amazon
With a name like that, how could I refuse a chance to review this movie? Sadly, I'm still waiting for the screener.

The Double - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film opened in limited release in late October, but went nowhere at the box office, despite its impressive cast. This is because it was a forgettable film. There are not a lot of extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray (audio commentary track and interview) and it is only worth renting if you are a fan of the spy thriller genre and the cast. Otherwise, you have better options.

Dream House - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
I liked the trailer for this film. I thought it was moody and compelling. A lot of other people hated the trailer, because they felt it gave away the big twist. I figured the reveal in the trailer wasn't the big twist and there was more to the story than the trailer gave away. I was right. It didn't matter. Having two big twists didn't matter, because the rest of the movie was slow and predictable. Even if the DVD and / or the Blu-ray were fully loaded, it wouldn't be enough to overcome its reviews. Since they are bare bones, it is an easy decision to skip it.

Drive - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Ryan Gosling stars in this movie, which was advertised as a simple car chase movie, but was much more. The expectations and the final product were different enough to explain why it wasn't a bigger hit. (Also, it opened in September.) The DVD has five featurettes, which are mostly quite short, while the Blu-ray has no real exclusive features. That said, it is a contender for Pick of the Week, while at just $3 more, the Blu-ray it worth the extra.

In Time - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
A vision of a dystopian future where people stop aging when they hit 25, but they have to buy each additional year of their lives. The rich become effectively immortal, while the poor have to work just to have enough time to get through the day. It struggled to find an audience, but will it do better on the home market? Read our review to find out.

Janie Jones - Buy from Amazon
Abigail Breslin stars as the titular Janie Jones. Her father is a rock star who had a one night stand with her mother many, many years ago. Now that her mother is going into a drug rehab facility, she has to stay with her father, who didn't even know she existed. The film's reviews were evenly split, while it never found an audience in limited release. Hopefully it will do better on the home market and it is at least worth a rental, especially if you are a fan of the cast.

LeapFrog: Scout and Friends: Number Land - Buy from Amazon
An educational show for preschoolers, and not "educational" like a lot of shows aimed preschoolers pretend to be. This one teaches number recognition and counting. Is it worth picking up? Check out our review to find out.

The Magnificent Ambersons - Buy from Amazon
Why is this not out on Blu-ray? It's the 70th anniversary, so that would be a great time to release the film on Blu-ray. It deserves a Blu-ray release.

The Mill and the Cross - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film is an adaptation of a famous picture by Pieter Bruegel, sort of. We are guided by Pieter and his patron as we step into and explore his painting The Way to Calvary. It's a rather unique film and it earned good reviews. Unfortunately, while it opened strong, it wasn't able to hold onto its audience as it expanded. Hopeful it will perform better on the home market.

One Piece: Collection Four - Buy from Amazon
An Anime series about pirates set in a fantasy setting. Anime is still a niche market, but a couple of the films from this franchise have been released here, which shows its popularity within that target audience.

Spork - Buy from Amazon
Savannah Stehlin stars as the titular Spork, a social outcast in high school. I'm still waiting for the screener, but I hope the Indie comedy has plenty of laughs to go with its quirkiness.

Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Next Level - Buy from Amazon
Star Trek: The Next Generation is finally coming out on Blu-ray. ... But not quite in full season sets just yet. This week, we have a single-disc teaser release. Is it worth picking up? Or should you really save your money for the full sets coming out this fall? Will hardcore fans be able to wait? To find out, read our review, which I almost forgot to upload.

Texas Killing Fields - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The final release of the week where I'm still waiting for the screener. I'm definitely looking forward to the film, as it has an impressive cast, including Jessica Chastain, who is quickly become someone I'm willing to watch in any movie.

The Thing - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
The 1982 version of The Thing is one of my favorite movies. However, this prequel just didn't do enough to justify its existence, at least that's how a lot of critics saw it. The DVD has no extras, but the Blu-ray has enough to lift it to a solid renting, leaning towards a purchase.

Thunder Soul - Buy from Amazon: Buy from Amazon or Video on Demand
This film opened in way too many theaters for a documentary and really struggled at the box office. Is it a bad movie? Does it have too limited a target demographic? Or does is deserve to find success on the home market? Check out our review for my opinion.

To Kill A Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
One of the best movies ever made. How well has it aged and is its Blu-ray debut worth picking up? Read our review to find out.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon: 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack - Buy from Amazon
After a bare bones Blu-ray release last year, the studio is releasing the film in a special edition 3D Blu-ray combo pack this week. Is it worth the extra money? Check out our review for my opinion.

Also coming out this week is the Trilogy Box Set, but no screeners of that were made available.

Treasure Buddies - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
The Buddies franchise is practically an annual event at this point, but the studio hasn't been handing out screeners for the last few films. I would say they are reliable in terms of quality, but that quality level is pretty low.

You and I - Buy from Amazon or Video on Demand
A movie focusing on two fans of t.a.T.u., a band whose biggest hit was released was release ten years ago. The timing for this DVD could have been better. Does it still work without the connection to the band? Read our review for my opinion.


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Filed under: Video Releases, Shakespeare in Love, Cold Mountain, The English Patient, Malcolm X, The Piano, Grand Canyon, Nothing in Common, Frida, A Soldier's Story, To Kill A Mockingbird, Monkeybone, The Scout, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Snow Buddies, Adaptation, Autoreiji, You and I, The Thing, The Big Year, Chalet Girl, Dream House, Janie Jones, The Double, Drive, Treasure Buddies, In Time, Thunder Soul, Texas Killing Fields, The Mill and the Cross