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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for March 29th, 2011

March 30th, 2011

It's a very busy week for DVD and Blu-ray releases with several top-tier releases, as well as plenty of interesting catalog titles. Paradoxically, this week's list could be rather short, as I've previously reviewed most of the major releases, while I'm still waiting on about half of the catalog titles to show up. So this week's list is mostly just links to the reviews already done and notices of what reviews to look forward to if / when late screeners arrive. In the meantime, the best of the best is a three-horse race between Tangled, Black Swan, and Mad Men: Season Four. All three are absolutely worth picking up, but for Pick of the Week I'm going with the Mad Men: Season Four on Blu-ray.

All Good Things - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Before this film was releases, there was some Awards Season Buzz being generated. That didn't pan out. However, was it as case of a bad movie, or just expectations that were too high? Won't know till the screener arrives.

Big Time Rush: Season One, Volume One - Buy from Amazon
The latest TV series from Nickelodeon had a certain Jonas feel to it, which is not a good sign. But was it as weak as that show, or as good as other Nick shows like iCarly. Check out our review for my opinion.

Black Swan - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is the third Darren Aronofsky film that I've reviewed and I loved them all. It is by far his biggest box office success, but is it as good as the previous two? Read our review to find out.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: All Dogs Go to Heaven, All Dogs Go to Heaven 2, All Good Things, Apocalypse: World War II, Black Swan, Dead Awake, Dogtooth, Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance, Fair Game, The Greatest Story Ever Told, King of Kings, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde, Mad Men: Season Four, Made in Dagenham, Material Girls, Mesrine: Public Enemy #1, The Mikado, Picture This, The Resident, Scream, Scream 2, Scream 3, The Secret of NIMH, Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Collection, Soylent Green, Tangled, Teen Wolf, The Times of Harvey Milk, Topsy-Turvy, The Ten Commandments, Treme: Season One, and When Rome Ruled
It's a good / really, really, really bad week for Blu-rays. There are so many excellent Blu-rays coming out this week, that one could easily blow their entire month's entertainment budget and still not get everything they are interested it. There are first run releases like Tangled, TV on DVD releases like Mad Men, limited releases, catalog titles, and so forth. In fact, there's a group of six or so MGM titles that will probably get here before the weekend. It's madness.

3-D Blu-ray releases - Buy from Amazon: Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs, Tangled, and Ultimate Gs
Kids shows are still dominating the 3D home market releases. This makes sense, as turning a digitally animated movie 3-D is a whole lot cheaper than filming a live action movie 3-D. And don't even get me started on the poor quality of a lot of post-production 3-D conversions. There are also a couple IMAX films coming out on 3D this week, but their sales numbers were be dwarfed by Tangled.

Cool It - Buy from Amazon
An environmental documentary where Bjorn Lomborg offers his advice on how to solve global warming. Does he have real solutions? And if so, does the movie offer then in a compelling way? Won't know till the screener arrives.

Dennis the Menace: Season One - Buy from Amazon
A classic family sitcom from the 1950s to early 1960s. I got a copy to review, but by Friday I knew I wouldn't have enough time to watch it this week, so it was made the prize in this week's box office prediction contest.

Emergency: The Final Rescues - Buy from Amazon
After the show ended its run, six made for TV movies were released and this 2-disc set has all of them. The price per minute is a little high for TV on DVD, but good for TV movies, so it depends on how you define this. TV movies tend to be bigger than regular TV shows, so if you only consider these double-length episodes, or worse, hour-long episodes padded to two hours, then it's not worth the price. If they are worthy of being TV movies, then they are worth the price.

Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Usually I use Anime as a gauge to test how slow the week is. If there are any such releases in the first two pages on Amazon.com, it's usually a pretty good indicator that it's slow. However, that is not true of this franchise, which could hit the top ten on Amazon.com during all but the busiest weeks.

Fair*Game - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is a political film that opened last fall to a small amount of Oscar buzz, and not the similarly named Fair Game from 1995. The film did well with critcs, but was not quite Oscar-worthy. The only extra on the DVD or the Blu-ray is an audio commentary track, but it is with the real life Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson, so for political junkies, it is absolutely worth checking out. For most it is worth picking up.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 15th.

Gamera: Double-Feature: Gamera Vs. Zigra / Gamera: The Super Monster - Buy from Amazon
Arguably the second most popular kaiju franchise out there, but will the final two installments please fans of the genre, or has the quality dropped so far that even hardcore fans will want to pass it by? Read our review for my opinion.

Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown - Buy from Amazon
I might be getting this DVD review, but I don't have high hopes. That's too bad, because I really like a lot of the old specials and I want to see how well the latest one lives up to the high standards set in the 1960s and 1970s.

Here's Lucy: Season Four - Buy from Amazon
In this show, Lucille Ball takes stunt casting and elevates it to an art form. Practically every episode is an excuse for her to work with amazing comedic talent from Flip Wilson, Tony Randall, Vivian Vance, etc. That said, while it is stunt casting, it is still incredibly funny.

Husk - Buy from Amazon
A low budget horror film about a killer scarecrow. That's not exactly an original idea; however, with proper execution, it can still result in an effect movie. Is that the case here? Read our review to find out.

Imax: Hubble - Buy from Amazon
A great movie, but at only 40-minutes long, it's not worth a full price DVD.

In Plain Sight: Season 3 - Buy from Amazon
Mary McCormack stars as an officer in the Witness Protection Agency. There are far too many similar shows for me to keep up with this one, but I've seen a number of reviews that say season three was a season in transition, and not for the better. If this is true, it might be smart to wait till season four is going to see if the show will bounce back, or if it has jumped the shark. If it bounces back, then you will want season three for continuity. If it has jumped the shark, it might be time to move on.

Mad Men: Season Four - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
In four years, this show has won three Golden Globes for Best Drama, but it missed out this past season. Was there really a drop in quality? Or was it robbed? Check out our review to find out.

Made in Dagenham - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film came out during the heart of Awards Season, and given its amazing cast, the real life story, et al, I think it was clearly made to win awards. That didn't really happen, but given its reviews, it deserves to be seen by more people. Extras on the DVD and Blu-ray include an audio commentary track, a making of featurette, and outtakes, which is a solid selection for a limited release. Easily worth picking up.

Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Vincent Cassel stars in this biopic of the titular French gangster. The film earned excellent reviews, but didn't quite find an audience in theaters. It should do better on the home market.

Prowl - Buy from Amazon
A low budget horror movie from a label that has better success than most at finding such films, but still lower than 50%. This film is the first of a wave that they are producing, not just distributing, but will this mean better or worse quality? Check out our review for my opinion.

The Resident - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
When you hear the name Hilary Swank, you probably think Oscar winner, not direct-to-DVD. However, that's exactly what happened to her latest movie. Is is really bad, or is there something else at work here? Won't know till the screener arrives.

Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends: Complete 5th Season - Buy from Amazon
One of my favorite cartoons as a kid. It might not have the greatest animation, or sound effects, but witty writing and good voice acting is way more important. I would love to see special edition DVDs released with tons of extras, but it's really hard to top that price per minute.

Scream: Trilogy - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon: Scream, Scream 2, Scream 3
With Scream 4 hitting theaters shortly, there's no better time to release the first three films on Blu-ray. Were they any good to begin with? Have they aged well? And are the Blu-ray's worth the upgrade? Check out our review to find out.

Tangled - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray / DVD, or 3D Blu-ray / Blu-ray / DVD
The biggest release of the week, but is it also among the best? And if so, are there are enough extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray to make it worth picking up? Check out our review for my opinion.

The Ten Commandments - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray, or Giftset
With Easter fast approaching, there's no better time to release this film on Blu-ray for the first time. Unfortunately, I only have the DVD to review. Is it still worth the upgrade from the previous DVD release? Check out our review to find out.

Treme: The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
From the creator of The Wire. Right away this should make a lot of people excited. Reviews were not quite as good, but it did earn two Emmy nominations, as well as other awards. In addition, there are plenty of extras from audio commentary tracks, making of featurettes, a featurette on the music, etc. Absolutely worth checking out.

Upstairs, Downstairs: The Complete Series: 40th Anniversary Collection - Buy from Amazon
This show lasted five years and won seven Emmys and nine additional nominations. The 21-disc set is not cheap, but no full series Megaset worth picking up should be. Additionally, there are plenty of extras when compared to the previous such release and for fans of the show, it's worth the upgrade.

Vegas: The Second Season, Volume Two - Buy from Amazon
Over the years there have been countless private eye shows. Will this one be able to stand out in such a crowded field? Check out our review to find out.


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Filed under: Video Releases, Scream, Scream 2, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, Scream 3, The Ten Commandments, Teen Wolf, All Dogs Go To Heaven, The Greatest Story Ever Told, King of Kings, Material Girls, The Secret of Nimh, All Dogs Go To Heaven 2, Topsy Turvy, Tangled, Picture This!, All Good Things, Hubble 3D, Fair*Game, Dogtooth, Made in Dagenham, Black Swan, L'ennemi public n°1, Dead Awake, The Resident, Cool It, Prowl, Husk, Evangerion shin gekijôban: Ha