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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for March 15th, 2011

March 14th, 2011

Another exhaustingly slow week. It seems like forever since there was a week with two or more top-tier releases. There is one film that was a hit both at the box office and with critics, The Fighter, while most of the rest failed to succeed in both areas and during a normal week many would have not even been worth mentioning. That said, The Fighter would have been a contender for Pick of the Week even if the competition was stronger than average and the DVD or the Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack is worth grabbing.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 1st.

127 Hours - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film was pegged as one of the major players during Awards Season, and while it didn't win any Oscars, it still earned a lot of accolades. Given that, it is very likely that it is worth checking out, but is it worth picking up? Read our review to find out.

The Absent - Buy from Amazon
A low-budget horror film about a pair of twins, one of whom is a high school teacher and the other an escaped mental patient. Still waiting on the screener for this one, but hopefully it will get here soon.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Season One, Part Two - Buy from Amazon
The latest Batman cartoon series has him teaming up with other D.C. Comics super heroes to do battle with foes he normally wouldn't be able to defeat on his own. It's aimed at a younger target demographic than some other recent comic book cartoons, but the reviews have been excellent. Sadly, there are no extras on the two-disc set.

Barbie: A Fairy Secret - Buy from Amazon
The latest in the very popular direct-to-DVD franchise. I'm outside the target demographic, but there's no denying that these DVDs sell well compared to most direct-to-DVD releases.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Au Revoir Les Enfants (Criterion Collection), Battle of the Warriors, Blood: The Ultimate Death, BMX Bandits, The Fighter, Hereafter, Heroic Age: The Complete Series, Sharktopus, The Switch, The Wildest Dream, WWE: The True Story of WrestleMania, and Yi Yi (Criterion Collection)
It's a brutal week for Blu-rays, at least in terms of sales potential. There's only one first-run release that is likely to do well, while the two Criterion Collection releases and the Dragon Dynasty release are also of interest. Speaking of which, I hope to get the Battle of the Warriors to review, but the screener is late and I'm not overly optimistic that it will arrive.

Coach: The Fourth Season - Buy from Amazon
It's been just over three years since season three came out on DVD. If you want season five to come out any time soon, you'd better pick up this DVD this week.

The Fighter - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
One of the best-reviewed films of the year and one of the few to win more than one Oscar. I should be getting the screener to review, but it's late. Given the review and the extras (audio commentary track, making of featurette, deleted scenes, etc.) it is definitely a contender for Pick of the Week. Meanwhile, the Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack appears to be the better deal over just the DVD.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 8th.

Four Lions - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
There's little chance that a film about four Islamic terrorists would have mainstream appeal, especially a black comedy on that subject. But will it appeal to fans of British humor? Check out our review for my opinion.

Gamera Vs. Zigra / Gamera: The Super Monster - Buy from Amazon
The last of the Gamera movies to hit the home market. The screener is late, but hopefully it will get here soon, as I'm running out of DVDs to review.

Hemingway's Garden of Eden - Buy from Amazon
Based on what many consider Ernest Hemingway's weakest novel, this film earned terrible reviews and was in theaters just three weeks. But it can't be as bad as that, right? Read our review for my opinion.

Hereafter - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
Clint Eastwood's first supernatural film, which certainly increased interest, but the end result was mixed reviews and disappointing box office numbers. The DVD has a nine-part making of featurette and its worth a rental. However, the Combo Pack includes The Eastwood Factor: Extended Version, a feature-length documentary and that definitely lifts it to the purchase level.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 1st.

Love & Other Drugs - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film had a lot of Awards Season buzz going into its release, but in the end it only managed a couple of Golden Globe nominations. So it's not Oscar-worthy? It can still be worth checking out, or perhaps even picking up. Is it? Check out our review for my opinion.

Peanuts Double Feature: Snoopy Come Home and A Boy Named Charlie Brown - Buy from Amazon
Two movies from one of the most popular comic strips of all time. The first is about Snoopy traveling home to visit his original owner, while the second has Charlie Brown trying to win a spelling bee. Both have high replay value and the price is hard to top. I was hoping to get a screener, but it's currently late, and likely won't arrive at all, so I don't know if there are any extras. But given the price, extras would be pure gravy.

Red Green Show: The Delinquent Years - Buy from Amazon
At first this TV on DVD release might seem pricey, but it's a nine-disc set with 47 episodes from three seasons of the classic Canadian TV show and its price per minute is below average for this type of release, while the quality remains strong.

Sharktopus - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
With a name like Sharktopus, you know this is not going to be a good movie in the classical sense. But will it be the kind of film fans of MST3k live for? Or something that even that target audience should avoid? Won't know till the screener arrives. Personally, I can't wait to see it.

Note: This DVD makes its home market debut on the 22nd.

Siren - Buy from Amazon
Unbelievably. I got a review done early. In fact, unless something arrives soon, I might have all of my screeners reviewed by this time tomorrow. Is Siren worth waiting for? Check out our review to find out.

Step Off - Buy from Amazon
A film about an up-and-coming hip-hop producer trying to catch a break in a competitive field. That story has a lot of potential, but it also sounds like a lot of other movies that have come out over the years. Does this film have what it takes to stand out? Of does it fade into the crowd? Read our review to find out.

A Shine of Rainbows - Buy from Amazon
One of several screeners I'm still waiting on. In fact, there are more screeners late this week than ones that arrived on time. At least that gave me a chance to catch up.

Sugar Boxx - Buy from Amazon
A homage to grindhouse. These films can be playfully fun or painful to watch. I'm hoping for the former, but I won't know till the screener arrives.

The Switch - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film actually earned pretty good reviews for a romantic comedy, but it failed to make much of an impact at the box office. Perhaps it was too high concept to thrive. Or maybe the critics were being too generous. Won't know for sure till the screener arrives.

Triumph of the Will & Olympia - Buy from Amazon
Triumph of the Will is one of the most important films ever made, as its director, Leni Riefenstahl, revolutionized filmmaking during its production. However, it's hard to name more than one or two other films that have such a massive gap between their historical and technical importance and the horrible message that they present. (The Birth of a Nation is the only one that immediately springs to mind.) Olympia is the first documentary about the Olympics and it too is groundbreaking in its filmmaking techniques and of great historical importance. Unfortunately, it is also Nazi propaganda.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 8th of February.

Tyler Perry's House of Payne: Volume Six - Buy from Amazon
I'm not a member of the demographic Tyler Perry is usually interested in. However, I think I've seen enough of his work to be able to judge if a show is likely to be enjoyed by said target audience, or if even they should avoid it. What's the verdict here? Check out our review to find out.

Waste Land - Buy from Amazon
One of the best reviewed films from 2010, it also earned an Oscar nomination. However, it's about an artist making art in a dump. And I don't mean that in a colloquial way, I mean he is making giant replicas of famous art work out of thing scavenged from Jardim Gramacho, the world's largest garbage dump. This might limit its target audience. It's definitely worth checking out for fans of documentaries, in fact, it's worth a blind buy.

Who Do You Think You Are?: Season One - Buy from Amazon
In 2004, a British TV show of the same name premeired. In each episode, they looked at the family tree of a celebrity to determine where their roots came from. In 2010 the show was imported to the United States and looked at the ancestry of Spike Lee, Susan Sarandon, and others. It's probably a bit of a niche market show, but the subject matter is certainly more interesting to me than watching some celebrity meltdown on TV.

The Wildest Dream - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A documentary about George Mallory, who attempted to become the first man to climb Mount Everst back in 1924, and Conrad Anker, who found his body 75 years later. The film earned excellent reviews and it is worth checking out. However, the DVD is a better value given the prices at Amazon.com.


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Filed under: Video Releases, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Yi Yi, The Fighter, Battle of the Warriors, The Wildest Dream, Love and Other Drugs, The Switch, A Shine of Rainbows, 127 Hours, Hereafter, Four Lions, Waste Land, Hemingway's Garden of Eden, The Absent, Siren