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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for January 18th, 2011

January 17th, 2011

It's a very slow week on the home market with Takers being the biggest first-run release. Admittedly, it did perform better than expected at the box office, but was still only a midlevel hit. The best bet in terms of new releases is Buried, which is coming out on a Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack, but without a DVD only option. However, while that movie is amazing, there are not enough extras to be considered pick of the week material. For that honor we have to go to Futurama: Volume Five, even though it didn't come out this week, or even this year. However, the screener arrived really late, and it is the best release on this week's list.

Note: These Blu-rays made their home market debut on the 4th.

After Dark Horrorfest - Blu-ray Double-Shots - Buy from Amazon: Borderland / Crazy Eights, The Broken / The Butterfly Effect 3, The Gravedancers / Wicked Little Things, and The Graves / Zombies of Mass Destruction
The After Dark Horrorfest has been going on for several years and over that time, dozens of low-budget films have earned theatrical releases. Some of which earned excellent reviews, others were critically panned. Where do these films fit in that spectrum? And do any of these Double-Shots have two films that are worth picking up? Check out our review for my opinion.

Animal Kingdom - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This Australian film earned stellar reviews and managed to crack $1 million at the box office, which is pretty good for a limited release. The DVD comes with an audio commentary track, making of featurette, and interviews, and while the Blu-ray has no exclusives, it only costs 15% more, which makes it clearly the better option. Worth picking up.

Black Panther: The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
This cartoon was made for BET, but it never aired, at least not in the States. Now that it is coming out, was it worth the wait? Read our review to find out.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Animal Kingdom, Army of Crime, Buried, Death Race 2, Down Terrace, Freakonomics: The Movie, Jack Goes Boating, Justified: Season One, Lebanon, The Naked Kiss, Paper Man, Shock Corridor, Stone, El Superstar: The Unlikely Rise of Juan Frances, and Takers
Not a whole lot of prime Blu-ray releases this week with Justified leading the sales, at least according to I'm most interested in seeing how well Buried does, as it is only coming out on a Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack, but there are a few others that are worth checking out.

Buried - Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack - Buy from Amazon
A major player at this year's Goya awards, it is also an intriguing release as it is only coming out on a Blu-ray / DVD combo pack. It is worth checking out, or perhaps even buying? Read our review to find out.

Dallas: Season 14 - Buy from Amazon
I never liked this show back when it was on TV, and my opinion hasn't mellowed over the years. On the other hand, it must have had a lot of fans, or it wouldn't have lasted this long.

Dark Skies: The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
After problems with music rights led to the delay of a previous release attempt, this sci-fi show finally comes out on DVD this week. Was Shout! able to secure the music rights? And did they add enough extras on the six-disc set to attract fans and / or newcomers to the series? Check out our review to find out.

Death Race 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A direct-to-DVD sequel to Death Race, which was a remake of Death Race 2000. So how does this film compare to its predecessors? Won't know till the screener arrives.

Denis Leary & Friends Presents: Douchbags & Donuts - Buy from Amazon
More than an hour and a half of stand-up with Denis Leary and a few of his friends. Do enough of the jokes work to make the DVD worth checking out, or perhaps even picking up? Won't know till the screener arrives.

Freakonomics - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Documentaries rarely have a lot of advanced buzz going into their release, but this one did, thanks mostly to the book it was based on. However, the reviews were not as strong as its source material and it crashed and burned at the box office. It should perform much better on the home market, especially since you can skip the segment(s) that don't work. However, since the Blu-ray costs 50% more than the DVD, it's best to stick with the Standard Definition release.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 21st of December.

Futurama: Volume Five - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
It has been reborn! Futurama is back, but is it as good as it was before? Does it need to be to be worth picking up? Read our review to find out.

Jack Goes Boating - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Philip Seymour Hoffman's directorial debut. The film earned good reviews, but not great reviews, while the DVD has two short featurettes and some deleted scenes as extras. Call it a solid rental, leaning toward a purchase. On the other hand, the Blu-ray has no exclusives and it is a little too expensive for this type of release.

Justified: Season One - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Timothy Olyphant stars as a Raylan Givens, U.S. Marshall reassigned from Miami to his hometown of Harlan County, Kentucky, after a justified shooting. The character is based on one created by Elmore Leonard, who has seen many of his novels turned into movies, sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much. Reviews for this show have been incredible, while the DVD / Blu-ray releases are loaded with extras, including audio commentary tracks, making of featurettes, and more. Worth picking up and a contender for Pick of the Week.

LeapFrog - Buy from Amazon: The Amazing Alphabet Amusement Park and Numbers Ahoy
Normally I don't mention releases like these, but it's such a slow week that these two popped onto the front page on's list of new releases for the week.

Lebanon - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
While this film is about the first Lebanese War, which took place 30 years ago, it can be seen as a metaphor for practically every war fought for the 30 years since, or really the 30 years previous to that war. The story of soldiers going off to a war they are not prepared for is universal and poorly thought out wars have become the norm. With amazing reviews, it is certainly worth checking out, and even with light extras on the DVD and Blu-ray (there's just a single featurette) it is worth buying over renting. The Blu-ray doesn't have any exclusives, while at 35% more in price, it's right on the border between being worth the upgrade or not.

Merlin: Season Two - Buy from Amazon
A British TV series that looks at what the myth of King Arthur, Merlin, etc. would be like if they were all teenagers. The show has earned reviews that are mixed, but mostly positive. Fantasy fans will want to check it out, especially if you liked the show when it aired on NBC last season, but didn't follow it to SyFy when it moved there for the second season. Additionally, the extras including audio commentary tracks, making of featurettes, etc. lift the overall package to a solid rental, leaning toward a purchase.

Paper Man - Buy from Amazon
One of two Ryan Reynolds limited releases coming out on the home market this weekend. This film never found an audience in theaters, but was this to be expected, or was it unfairly overlooked? Won't know till the screener arrives.

Roger Corman's Cult Classics - Buy from Amazon: Double-Shot: Up From The Depths / Demon Of Paradise and Triple Feature: Attack of the Crab Monsters / War of the Satellites / Not of This Earth
Two more DVDs featuring five Roger Corman classics, but are these really classics, or is that just marketing? Won't know till the screener arrives.

Stone - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Given the cast, and the $22 million production budget, one has to think the studio was hoping for more at the box office and with critics. In the movie, Edward Norton plays a convicted arsonist and Robert De Niro plays a parole officer working one last case before retiring. The former tries to manipulate the latter into granting him parole by using his wife, Mila Jovovich. Reviews were only mixed, but that's enough to recommend a rental, but with only a featurette on the DVD and / or Blu-ray, a rental is all that it is worth.

Takers - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A group of criminals, including their leader who is just out of prison, plan a major heist, while the cops look to take them down. The film was a surprisingly strong hit, given its release date and its reviews. The extras on the DVD include an audio commentary track, making of featurette, and more, while the Blu-ray has a trivia track and some BD-Live extras. The Blu-ray is definitely worth the extra money, if you are interested in buying, but for most fans of heist movies, a rental will be enough.

Triggerman - Buy from Amazon
The sequel to Doc West, which was a pleasant enough TV Movie from Italy. Will this installment be able to live up to its predecessor? Check our our review to find out.

The Virginity Hit - Buy from Amazon
This film had a lot of advance buzz going in, especially compared to most limited releases. However, when the reviews came in, they were not good, and the semi-wide release was nothing short of disastrous. At least it didn't cost a lot to make.


Filed under: Video Releases, Takers, Paper Man, Jack Goes Boating, Lebanon, Down Terrace, Buried, The Virginity Hit, Freakonomics, Stone, Doc West Returns, El Súperstar: The Unlikely Rise of Juan Francés, Death Race 2