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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for March 20th, 2012

March 20th, 2012

It's another week were there are a lot of Awards Season players hitting the home market and a lot of screeners that are late. There are a trio of films that are high on the list of contenders for Pick of the Week. These include two serious drama / thrillers: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy on Blu-ray Combo Pack and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on Blu-ray. However, in the end, I went with the extreme other end of the serious scale with The Muppets's Wocka Wocka Value Pack

Adventures in Lalaloopsy Land: Search for Pillow - Buy from Amazon
This is the first DVD release based on the Lalaloopsy doll line. It's not the first doll line to be turned into a DVD franchise and it won't be the last. But is it worth checking out? Read out review for my opinion.

The Adventures Of Tintin: Season Two - Buy from Amazon
The movie failed to reach blockbuster status here, but it might have converted a few more people into fans of the franchise. If so, they should be interested in grabbing the animated series on DVD.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Season Two, Part Two - Buy from Amazon
This Batman cartoon has more in common with the campy 1960s TV show than the dark re-invention from the 1980s. Depending on your point of view, this is either a welcome return to humor, or disappointingly immature.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Alter Bridge: Live At Wembley, B.B. King: Live at the Royal Albert Hall 2011, B52's: With The Wild Crowd! Live In Athens, GA, Battle Royale: The Complete Collection, Battle Royale, The Chemical Brothers: Don't Think (Blu-ray/CD), Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part Seven, ef: A Tale of Melodies: Complete Collection, Fairy Tail: Part 4 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo), General Orders No. 9, The Hills Have Eyes 2, Iron Maiden: En Vivo!, Joe Bonamassa: Live From New York: Beacon Theatre, Lady for a Day, Letter Never Sent (Criterion Collection), Lost Keaton: Sixteen Comedy Shorts 1934-1937, Phil Collins: Live at Montreux 2004, That 70s Show: Season One, This Is Not a Movie, and The War Room (Criterion Collection)
There's quite a collection of secondary Blu-ray this week. The most notable release is Battle Royale, which is a massive cult film from Japan and worth checking out, if you don't have a weak stomach. The War Room is also worth owning, if you are a political enthusiast. Meanwhile, That 70s Show is making its Blu-ray debut this week, with extras not found on the DVD.

Carnage - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is busted Oscar bait. I think it is fair to call the film that. That is not to say it is a bad movie, but it didn't live up to expectations. There are not a lot of extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray, but it is still worth checking out at least, perhaps buying if you are a fan of the four main leads.

The Descendants - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This film came out last week and the review is already online, but I've updated it for the Blu-ray release. Those who don't want to follow the link, here's the new information...

The Blu-ray has arrived and only a day late. There were plenty of exclusive extras, although they don't push the technology. These start with two deleted scenes with intertitles explaining the cuts. The Real Descendants spends 12 minutes talking about the real life history of the family this film is loosely based on. The 8-minute featurette, Casting, is self-explanatory. Working With Water is an 11-minute featurette on trying to film on the ocean. Waiting for the Light is a 3-minute behind-the-scenes featurette while the filmmakers wait for a cloud to pass by so that the light it right. There is a short, silent film called The World Paradise: Hawaii. This archival 10-minute short film shows off all of the attractions of Hawaii and it is quite interesting, although it would have been nice if some background music was included. A Conversation with George Clooney and Alexander Payne has George Clooney and Alexander Payne talking about filmmaking for 12 minutes. Finally there are three music videos. Like I said, it doesn't push the technology, but it certainly provides a lot of additional value to the Blu-ray.

As for the tech specs, the film looks amazing with excellent details and fantastic colors. This is most important while the movie showcases the Hawaiian natural beauty. There are deep blacks, excellent contrast and absolutely no compression issues. The audio is nearly as strong, but as a dialogue driven drama, its audio mix is not very complex.

From Time to Time - Buy from Amazon
A British kids movie based on the novel by Lucy M. Boston. It stars Alex Etel as a 13-year old boy who discovers he can travel through time and visits his family from the past. It earned good reviews and even a few awards at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival, so fans of the genre should check it out.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film earned excellent reviews and even picked up quite a few nominations. However, it wasn't able to convert many of those into major wins. That said, if the worst thing you can say is, "Not quite award-worthy" it is high praise. Extras on the DVD are very limited with just an audio commentary track. On the other hand, the Blu-ray has a quartet of featurettes on the making of the movie, characters, the original novel, etc. Absolutely worth picking up and a contender for pick of the week.

Hop - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Just a quick note. The screener has arrived, but the DVD / Blu-ray doesn't come out till Friday. I'll get the review done before then.

Jane by Design: Volume One - Buy from Amazon
The contest is currently going, but the screener is late. I will get to the review ASAP.

Kojak: Season Three - Buy from Amazon
The halfway through the series' run on the home market. It's a very stylish show and and Telly Savalas is great as the lead character.

Lady and the Tramp - Buy from Amazon
This film was released on Blu-ray recently, and now it is coming out on DVD. Since I reviewed the Blu-ray release, there's not much more than needs to be said.

Lexx - Buy from Amazon: Season Three and Season Four OR Season Three and Four
The third and fourth seasons of the Canadian / German co-production are being re-released on DVD this week, while season two comes out in May. It's a low budget show with a cult appeal, but is it worth checking out? Read our review to find out.

A Lonely Place to Die - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray
Melissa George stars in this British thriller. It wasn't able to find a receptive audience in its native market, but will it perform better here on the home market? Check out our review for my opinion.

Lucille Ball Specials: Lucy Moves to NBC - Buy from Amazon
I think we are really close to the end of Lucy's run on TV. There's just one or two more seasons of one show and then no more DVD releases. Until they start releasing box sets or special editions. Or upgrade the shows to high definition.

The Muppets - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or Wocka Wocka Value Pack
For the first time in more than a decade, The Muppets have a theatrical release. And the last one really underperformed at the box office. Can the franchise return to its previous heights? Read our review for my opinion.

My Living Doll: The Official Collection Vol. 1 - Buy from Amazon
Julie Newmar plays a top secret government robot. Yep, the 60s were weird. The show only lasted one season, but they are splitting the release into two volumes. That's not acceptable.

Roadie - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The film focuses on a love triangle between a recently fired roadie and his high school rival, who married his high school sweetheart. The reviews were good, but it struggled to find an audience in limited release. The screener hasn't arrived yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Roadracers - Buy from Amazon: Buy from Amazon
A made for TV movie, which was only the second film Robert Rodriguez ever made. It is also the hardest to find. Fans of his will certainly want to check it out, but will it appeal to a wider audience? And is it worth picking up? Check out our review to find out.

Scarecrow and Mrs. King: The Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon
A fun show starring Kate Jackson as a housewife turned CIA agent and Bruce Boxleitner as her handler. It ran for four seasons so the show's run on the home market is coming to a close.

The Secret Life of the American Teenager: Volume Seven - Buy from Amazon
I've reviewed this show a number of times and for the most part I think it is simply a bad Teenage Soap Opera. However, after seeing Shailene Woodley in The Descendants, I want to see the show again and give it another chance. The screener may or may not arrive later.

The Sitter - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Just a quick not that this screener arrived on Monday, so I'll get to the review ASAP. Perhaps as early as the wee hours of the morning.

Snow White: A Deadly Summer - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Video on Demand
A modern retelling of the Snow White legend done as a low budget Teenage Slasher. Is it worth your time? Read our review to find out.

Note: These DVDs made their home market debuts on the 6th.

Strawberry Shortcake: Double-feature - Buy from Amazon: Berry Brick Road and Bloomin' Berry Garden
Two different DVDs from two different incarnations of this long running franchise. Will they entertain fans of the franchise? Check out our review to find out.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack
One of several Oscar nominated films on this week's list. It wasn't able to convert its trio of nominations into wins, but three Oscar nods is still enough to be worth checking out. The real question is whether or not it's Pick of the Week material. Read our review to find out.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 18th as a Target Exclusive.

Victorious: Season Two - Buy from Amazon
The second season of Victorious came out over the weekend as a Target Exclusive, while it hits wide release in May. Is it worth grabbing early? Check out our review to find out.

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

Wizards: 35th Anniversary Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
As noted last week, the screener arrived at day late, but I got to the review just a day late. Was it worth the wait? Check it out our review to find out.


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Filed under: Video Releases, Lady and the Tramp, Wizards, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Descendants, The Sitter, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Muppets, Hop, Carnage, General Orders No. 9, Roadie, Snow White: A Deadly Summer, From Time to Time, Roadracers