Follow us on

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for January 11th, 2011

January 10th, 2011

This week, among the many DVD / Blu-ray releases, is what could be the Best Picture Oscar winner. However, after The Social Network, there's quite a drop-off in quality. There are a few that are worth checking out, as well as a couple that are worth picking up, but there's no competition for The Social Network's Two-Disc DVD or Blu-ray for Pick of the Week.

All in the Family: Season Eight - Buy from Amazon
The penultimate season of this long-running classic, sort of. With both Gloria and Meathead leaving at the end of the season, season nine was almost like a different show. That's not to say season nine was bad, as it still won a couple Emmys, but it was different. Season eight earned six Emmy wins out of nine nominations and it placed fourth in the ratings for the year. Lack of extras on the DVD are disappointing, but fans of the show will still want to add this three-disc set to their collection.

Alpha and Omega - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Lionsgate has yet to score a hit with a digitally animated film. But was Alpha and Omega unfairly overlooked in theaters, or was it destined to struggle? Check out our review for my opinion.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Alpha and Omega, Army of Shadows, Dances With Wolves, The Great Debaters, Kathleen Madigan: Gone Madigan, LennonNYC, Once Upon a Time in America, Piranha, Raging Bull, Rob Roy, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, The Social Network, and The Universe: Season Five
An interesting week for Blu-rays with The Social Network leading the way, but there are also a number of classics here. These include Dances With Wolves and Raging Bull, and hopefully by the weekend the screeners for both of those will get to me.

Blu-ray 3-D Releases - Buy from Amazon: Piranha and The Universe: Seven Wonders of the Solar System
3D releases continue to slowly, but steadily, hit the home market. Piranha is not an award-worthy release, but it delivers on its promises of boobs and blood. The Universe is the better option for more mature people, but it is too expensive on a price-per-minute to be worth anything more than a rental.

Note: This Blu-ray / DVD made its home market debut on the 4th.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 Motion Comic - Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack - Buy from Amazon
This release would have arrived on time, except for the holidays. But while the review was a few days late, was it worth the wait?

Comedy Central Roast of David Hasselhoff - Buy from Amazon
This screener could arrive shortly. So far these roasts have had a pretty weak hit to miss ratio, but this one could be one of the better installments. Won't know for sure till the screener does arrive, but I remain cautiously optimistic.

Doctor Who - Buy from Amazon: Story 44: The Dominators and Story 111: Meglos
This week we have two Doctor Who DVDs, but sadly neither could be considered classics, or even above average for the franchise. Neither is outright bad, on the other hand, while both DVDs have plenty of extras. Call The Dominators a rental and Meglos a solid rental, leaning toward a purchase.

Downton Abbey - Buy from Amazon
The six-hour British mini-series and not the four-hour cut shown to Americans on PBS. For fans of the show, this will be a great relief. And since most of the reviews I've seen have been very positive and the DVD is selling extremely well on Amazon, there are a lot of fans out there.

E.R.: Season 14 - Buy from Amazon
This show was on the air for so long, that I've completely run out of things to say about it. At least there's just one more season to go.

The Freebie - Buy from Amazon
Dax Sheppard and Katie Aselton star in this romantic comedy, which didn't earn bad reviews, especially for its genre. However, it didn't earn good enough reviews to thrive in limited release. The DVD does come with an audio commentary with the two stars, so if you are fans of theirs, it is definitely worth checking out.

Greek: Chapter Five - The Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon
This show's DVD releases just became a bit of a mess, as instead of split-season releases, Shout! Factory, which took over DVD duty from Disney, is going with full season sets. So I'm happy with the new release strategy, but is the season as good as seasons past? Won't know till the screener arrives.

The Green Hornet - Buy from Amazon: Original Serial and Movie Edition
With the latest movie hitting theaters this week, it's the perfect time to release one of the previous incarnations on DVD. However, I'm not sure how many people even remember that the Green Hornet existed before Bruce Lee played Kato on the TV show.

Heartbreaker - Buy from Amazon
Know a woman who is dating the wrong guy? Then hire Romain Duris, professional heartbreaker. His latest job is a little different, as he's being hired by a rich man to break up is daughter's wedding, but she's marrying for love, so breaking up her engagement goes against his ethics, but he really needs the money. The film earned good reviews, but not great reviews, while it still did respectable business in limited release. It should perform better on the home market and it is worth checking out, especially if you are a fan of the lighter side of French cinema.

Hot in Cleveland: Season One - Buy from Amazon
Three friends who are considered over-the-hill in Los Angeles (Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, and Wendie Malick) head to Paris for vacation, but when the plane is delayed in Cleveland, they discover they are considered young and hot there, so they decide to stay. Throw Betty White into the cast, and you have a lot of comedic talent and high expectations. A lot of critics are calling it a throwback to 1980s sitcoms, but in a good way, and the cast picked up a SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, while Betty White was singled out for her performance. With the second season beginning next week, it's the perfect time for fans to pick up the two-disc set, while if you missed it the first time around, give it a rental.

Kathleen Madigan: Gone Madigan - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This comedienne has made quite a name for herself since winning the Funniest Female Stand-Up Comic award at the 1996 American Comedy Awards. This is only her second DVD and the first since In Other Words. I've heard good things about the DVD, but I won't know for sure till the screener arrives. Hopefully it will arrive soon, but I was a little late getting my request in.

LennonNYC - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
John Lennon would have turned 70 last October, and to celebrate, this documentary about his time in New York City was released, first in some film festivals, then on TV, then on DVD, and now on Blu-ray. Is the film worth checking out? Is the Blu-ray worth picking up if you waited? Is it worth upgrading to if you already own the DVD? Read our review for my opinion.

Louis C.K.: Hilarious - Buy from Amazon
One of the best stand-up comics working today releases a feature-length concert DVD. That's awesome. But can it live up to my admittedly high expectations? Read our review to find out.

Max & Ruby: Bunny Tales - Buy from Amazon
This preschool show ended its run on TV, but it continues its life on DVD. What does this single-disc release have to offer? And is it worth picking up if your kids are fans of the show? Check out our review to find out.

My One and Only - Buy from Amazon
A fun movie that was released on DVD more than a year ago, but as a Target exclusive. Now it is finally coming out on DVD in regular release, so for those who don't have a Target near them, you can grab it from Amazon and practically everywhere else.

Piranha - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray, or 3D Blu-ray
Low expectations presents, Piranha! This movie looked like it would be terrible, so bad it would be painful to sit through. However, its reviews were very strong, excellent compared to most late summer releases. Unfortunately for the studio, it still didn't find an audience in theaters. Fortunately, the studio is not skimping on the extras with an audio commentary track, deleted scenes, and a two-hour long making of documentary. The Blu-ray apparently has no exclusives, but at only 20% more, it's a great price. Meanwhile, the price of the 3-D version is inline with expectations, and let's face it, there are so few choice, especially films aimed at adults, that if you've made the leap, its worth paying the extra $7 for the extra dimension.

Psychosis - Buy from Amazon
Charisma Carpenter stars as a novelist who suffers a mental breakdown, so she goes to a country house to relax and recuperate. Since she is a horror novelist, you know this won't end well. I like Charisma Carpenter and have since her Buffy days, but I won't know if this DVD is worth checking out, or perhaps even picking up, until the screener arrives.

Rules of Engagement: Season Four - Buy from Amazon
My first thought at seeing this release was, "This show lasted four seasons?" Which was quickly followed by, "This show is still on the air?" In my defense, each of the first four seasons it was either a midseason replacement or the season was cut short by the writers strike, so while it has been on TV for four years, it has only produced 48 episodes to the end of this season, so it doesn't feel like it has been on for that long. Also, being a midseason replacement three seasons shows that the network doesn't have a lot of faith in the show. The critics seem to agree and most call it no better than a mediocre sitcom.

The Social Network - Buy from Amazon: Two-Disc DVD or Blu-ray
One of the best-reviewed movies of the year, and depending on who you talk to, the leading contender for the Best Picture Oscar. (It was just named the best picture of 2010 by the The National Society of Film Critics, which is a hopeful sign, to say the least.) Extras on the two-disc DVD / Blu-ray include two audio commentary tracks, plus more than two hours of making of featurettes, and more, on the second disc. The price difference between the two versions is a tad much on a percent basis, but that's only because the DVD is so cheap and $17 for the Blu-ray is a bargain. Easily worth picking up, and a contender for Pick of the Week.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 28th of December.

The United States of Tara: Season Two - Buy from Amazon
The first season came very close to being great, but the "split-personality" aspect of the show came across as a little too gimmicky. Will the second season improve upon that part? Or will it slide back? Check out our review for my opinion.

The Universe: Season Five - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The Universe ended its five year run with this season, which is a shame, since it was one of the best shows on The History Chanel. Did it at least go out on a high note? Check out our review for my opinion.

Yo Gabba Gabba!: Let's Visit the Doctor - Buy from Amazon
Those who spend too much time on the Cheezeburger network getting your daily dose of LOL Cats and Demotivational Posters, might have seen a recent entry in the Graph Jam section comparing the amount of music on MTV vs. Yo Gabba Gabba! It's not even close. While the music will help parents enjoy this show with their preschoolers, is there enough here to be worth picking up? Check our out review to find out.


Filed under: Video Releases, Dances with Wolves, Rob Roy, The Great Debaters, Raging Bull, Once Upon a Time in America, My One and Only, Piranha 3D, L'armée des ombres, Alpha and Omega 3D, The Social Network, L'arnacouer, The Freebie