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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for April 19th, 2011

April 18th, 2011

This year's big Oscar winner, The King's Speech, is hitting the home market this week. It leads the way in terms of quality and is likely to be the best-selling new release. It's certainly the Pick of the Week, with neither the DVD nor the Blu-ray being a substantially better deal than the other. The only other real contender is the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack, but that came out on Friday.

American Dad!: Volume Six - Buy from Amazon
The second of three Seth MacFarlane cartoons on TV at the moment. It's earning the weakest ratings of the three. (The Cleveland Show is getting better ratings? Seriously?) But how is the quality? Check out our review for my opinion.

Bambi - Two-Disc Diamond Edition - Buy from Amazon
I reviewed the Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack when it came out in March and called it the Pick of the Week. If you waited, I still think it's worth the extra $6 to get the Blu-ray with the DVD.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Born to Raise Hell, Earth from Above: Amazing Lands, Earth from Above: Life, Earth from Above: Stunning Water, Fubar II: Balls to the Walls, Glee: Encore, Goemon, Gulliver's Travels, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I: Blu-ray, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I: Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack, Ip Man 2, Ip Man 2: Collector's Edition, Kes (Criterion Collection), The King's Speech, The Last Legion, Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Rabbit Hole, Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure, Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure: Clutch Purse Gift Set, Short Circuit 2, Somewhere, Street Kings 2: Motor City, Street Kings Double-Shot, Studio Happy Chicken Girls 0425208863 24h, Sweetie (Criterion Collection), Tokyo Gore Police, and The Way Back
It's not a good week for Blu-ray releases. Sure The King's Speech is coming out this week, but it's not the kind of movie that screams "Must Buy in High Definition." Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I came out on Friday, but by the time this week starts, its sales will have slowed greatly, due to the Fanboy Effect.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Gulliver's Travels
One major release on 3-D this week, and it was a bad movie and a box office flop, so I doubt it will help convince many people to upgrade their home theater system.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 29th of March.

The Civil War: Commemorative Edition - Buy from Amazon
With the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, it's a perfect time to release a special edition of the award-winning Ken Burns documentary series. Is it worth owning if you don't have the previous edition? Is it worth upgrading to? Read our review for my opinion.

The Ernie Kovacs Collection - Buy from Amazon
Ernie Kovacs was a pioneer in TV, but like many TV stars of that era, a lot of his work has been lost. Fortunately for fans, this six-disc set contains 13 hours of TV shows, specials, guest appearances, commercials, and more.

Falco - Buy from Amazon
I love Falco. I always get angry when I see Falco on a list of one-hit wonders. Firstly, Falco was Austrian and sang in German. How many non-English acts score hits in the United States? Dismissing him as a one-hit wonder is an insult. Secondly, "Der Kommissar" was a hit a couple years before "Rock Me Amadeus" was (more so in Canada, where I'm from, than in the United States) while he had two more top twenty hits with "Vienna Calling" and "Sound of Musik". He had four singles chart in the United States. Again, how many foreign language acts can you name that topped that feat? Now that I have that rant out of the way, I think I'll listen to "Data de Grove".

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air: Season Six - Buy from Amazon
I don't think it is unfair to say the final season of this show was weaker than the rest, but I also don't think many people who bought the first five seasons will stop now.

FUBAR II: Balls to the Walls - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A Canadian mockumentary about two Heavy Metal slackers. It earned great reviews and deserves to find a larger audience than it did theatrically.

Gas Hole - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about gasoline and the fight for alternative fuels. It's an important debate, but there are almost no reviews online by which to judge the movie.

Glee: Encore - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is perfect for those who love Glee but think the plot gets in the way of the music. Personally, I think it's the other way around.

Gulliver's Travels - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack, 3-D Blu-ray / Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
This film cost more than $100 million to make, and it was released on Christmas Day, yet it bombed at the box office, earning only $42 million domestically. It did better internationally, but it will still need strong home market sales to break even. Does it deserve to find a more receptive audience on the home market? Read our review for my opinion.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack, or DVD with Dobby Bookend
This film earned weaker reviews than the franchise average, but I would argue that's because of the cliffhanger ending. It's not a real movie, but the first part of a three-hour movie, and that's bound to annoy some people. That said, for fans of the franchise, it's a must-own and the Blu-ray is a contender for Pick of the Week. Also coming out this week are franchise box sets on DVD and Blu-ray, but since there is one more installment in the series, those are ridiculous to buy. (The film debuted on the home market on Friday, so I'm including it on this week's list as well.)

Hyenas - Buy from Amazon
After a string of pretty good low-budget horror movies, I hit a snag with Mandrake. Will Hyenas be the cure I need? Read our review to find out.

If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise - Buy from Amazon
A sequel to When the Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts, which is a movie that is equally powerful as it is infuriating. If you liked the predecessor, then this one is just as strong, but make sure you keep your blood pressure in check.

Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grand Master - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Two-Disc DVD, Blu-ray, or Two-Disc Blu-ray
This film was a massive hit in its native market and earned stunning reviews here, but it wasn't able to find an audience. Hopefully that will change on the home market and fans of the genre will want to pick it up right away. Those who do buy it will want to grab the Two-Disc Blu-ray, which is less than 20% more than the equivalent DVD.

Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story - Buy from Amazon
A PBS documentary about how Jews influenced baseball. You don't have to be Jewish baseball fan to enjoy this film, but it would probably help to be one or the other.

The King's Speech - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film earned 95% positive reviews, four Oscars and was arguably the best film of the year. (Although both Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon earned better reviews.) The extras on both the DVD and the Blu-ray include an audio commentary track, making-of featurette, and a Q&A. Plus there are two archival extras with real speeches by King George VI and Lionel Logue. Absolutely worth picking up and a contender for Pick of the Week.

Rabbit Hole - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film earned five major nominations, which sets up really high expectations. However, it was shut out. So perhaps I need to reduce expectations somewhat to avoid disappointment. Was that the case? Read our review to find out.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 29th of March.

The Secret of NIMH - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
The first feature-length film directed by Don Bluth and arguably his greatest. On the other hand, it was a box office disappointment. Has it aged well? Is it worth having in your collection? If so, is the Blu-ray worth upgrading to? Check out our review for my opinion.

Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack, Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy / Clutch Purse Gift Set
A spin-off of the popular High School Musical franchise focusing on Sharpay Evan. Can the villain of the first three films become a sympathetic hero this time around? Check out our review for my opinion.

Two quick addenda. Firstly, I feel very proud not quoting Phineas and Ferb in my review, as I've peppered previous reviews with quotes when there was a far smaller connection. Secondly, I think I might be stalking Ashley Tisdale, as I've reviewed practically everything she's been in. (The Picture This Blu-ray might be on its way.)

Shaun the Sheep: The Big Chase - Buy from Amazon
An incredibly popular series from the studio that makes Wallace and Gromit. If you are a fan of that pair, then this is the kind of show you can watch with your kids.

Somewhere - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The curse of High Expectations. This movie was directed by Sophia Coppola and for a quite a while before its release, it was considered an Oscar hopeful. That didn't happen. It's a good movie and one that deserves a bigger audience than it found in theaters. However, with just a making-of featurette, it's a borderline rental / purchase.

Square Grouper - Buy from Amazon
This film was released in theaters on Friday and is hitting the home market on Tuesday. It only earned mixed reviews, but those who liked the filmmakers' previous documentary, Cocaine Cowboys, will probably like this one as well.

Street Kings 2: Motor City - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
The original film was only mediocre, while there are no reviews to judge this film by. I do like Ray Liotta and I am holding out some hope. Perhaps if / when the screener arrives I will be pleasantly surprised.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 29th of March.

Teen Wolf - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
This film came out just a few weeks after Back to the Future and for several weeks the two films finished one - two at the box office. But it's 25 years later and will people still be interested in this movie? And if so, does the Blu-ray do it justice? Check out our review to find out.

The Way Back - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film had an Oscar qualifying run before it opened in way too many theaters for a limited release and crashed at the box office. Its reviews were much better than this result, but I think the controversy surrounding the origin of the story might have hurt. (It wasn't based on a true story, despite original claims to the contrary.) It's still worth checking out, but there are not a lot of extras. (Just a 30-minute behind-the-scenes featurette.) Call it a solid rental, leaning toward a purchase. And if you are going to buy, the Blu-ray only costs $1 more, making it the better deal.


Filed under: Video Releases, Bambi, Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Teen Wolf, Street Kings, Short Circuit 2, The Secret of Nimh, The Last Legion, Gulliver's Travels, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, Somewhere, The King’s Speech, Born to Raise Hell, Rabbit Hole, The Way Back, FUBAR II, Ip Man: Legend of the Grand Master, Street Kings 2: Motor City, Square Grouper