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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for June 7th, 2011

June 7th, 2011

The summer is usually a really weak time for home market releases, but this week is amazing. Not only are there two $100 million hits coming out on DVD / Blu-ray this week, but there are also half-a-dozen TV on DVD releases, a few limited releases, direct-to-DVD releases, and catalog titles, many of which are worth picking up, or even contenders for Pick of the Week. I tried to narrow the list of contenders down to one, but I couldn't do it. In the end I went with Leverage: Season Three on DVD and True Grit on Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack as co-winners of the Pick of the Week.

American: The Bill Hicks Story - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film earned good reviews, but was never able to find an audience in theaters. It should sell better on the home market, especially with a DVD / Blu-ray that is loaded with extras, including three hours of additional interviews. Also, the Blu-ray costs less than the DVD, so that's an added bonus for fans of High Definition.

Another Year - Buy from Amazon
The latest by Mike Leigh earned Oscar-worthy reviews, even if it only picked up one nomination. The extras on the DVD / Blu-ray Combo pack include an audio commentary track and two featurettes, which is more than enough to be worth picking up.

The Big C: The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
Laura Linney plays a middle-aged woman who just learned she has terminal cancer, so she decides to live her life as she always wanted to. Laura Linney won a Golden Globe for her performance, while the show was nominated for Best Comedy or Musical. On the other hand, some critics were less kind saying the film had too much forced quirkiness to stand on its own. The three-disc set has deleted scenes, outtakes, interviews with the cast, etc. and if you are a fan of the show, it's worth picking up. If you've never seen it, give it a rental.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 10th of May.

Bhutto - Buy from Amazon
The DVD arrived a little late, but I was able to get to the review early last week. Was it worth the wait? Check out our review to find out.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: 61*, AC/DC: Let There Be Rock (Limited Collector's Edition), The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, American: The Bill Hicks Story, Another Year, Blue Crush, Blue Crush 2, Breaking Bad: Season Three, Bridge over the River Kwai, Cirque du Soleil: Journey of a Man, The Company Men, Death at a Funeral, Every Which Way But Loose / Any Which Way You Can, Firefox / Heartbreak Ridge, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Hair, Happy Gilmore, Just Go With It (Blu-ray / DVD Combo), Just Go With It (Blu-ray Only), Long Riders, Madagascar (The nature documentary and not the cartoon.), The Man Who Would Be King, New York, New York, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Sanctum, Spectacle: Season Two, The Stunt Man, Superman: The Motion Picture Anthology, TO, True Grit, Vera Cruz, and When it Was a Game
There is simply a massive list of Blu-ray releases coming out this week, and this list includes every type of release. There are first run releases like True Grit, limited releases like Another Year, TV on DVD Releases like Breaking Bad, catalog titles The Outlaw Josey Wales, and direct-to-DVD releases like Green Lantern: Emerald Knights. However, while there are many, many, many Blu-rays worth buying, I don't think it will be a terribly good week for sales overall. Outside of True Grit, I don't see any of the new releases making a lot of noise, while there are several TV on DVD releases that don't even have a Blu-ray release, so the overall Blu-ray ratio could be low.

3-D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: 3D Aquarium, Dolphins and Whales, Legends of Flight, Ocean Wonderland, Sanctum, Sharks, and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2011: The 3D Experience
There's only one wide release on this week's list of 3D releases; however, since it was filmed with 3D cameras, it looks a lot better than films that are converted to 3D post-production. There are also several educational films on this week's list, plus Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. ... Really?

Blue Crush 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
Blue Crush came out nearly a decade ago, so this direct-to-DVD sequel is hardly timely. The original was better than expected, but will this film be as good? Won't know for sure till the screener arrives.

Bratz: BFF - Buy from Amazon
Clearly I'm not in this show's target demographic, but I've seen enough similar shows to judge how well it works in comparison to the direct competition. So is it a success? Read our review to find out.

Breaking Bad: Season Three - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
An excellent show, at least it was for the first two season. I'm still waiting on the screener for season three, so I don't know if it maintained its high quality level. I do have high expectations, other the other hand, and I'm very sure it will be worth renting, at the very least.

Burn Notice: Season Four - Buy from Amazon
This show combines elements of spies, conmen, and heists, which are three things I love. But is the whole as good as the sum of its parts? Perhaps even better? Check out our review for my opinion.

Care Bears: Flower Power - Buy from Amazon
The latest DVD release in this decades long franchise hits the home market this weekend. But is it worth picking up? Check our our review to find out.

The Company Men - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Before this film was released, it had some good buzz. In fact, some thought it would be an Award Season player. Then when it was pushed back from October to December, that buzz grew. Then when it was pushed back again to January, the buzz evaporated. In the end it wasn't a bad movie, earning 66% positive reviews while it did managed to pull in more than $4 million in limited release. It has extras that are acceptable for a limited release (audio commentary track, deleted / alternative scenes, making of featurette) and it is worth checking out for most, picking up for many. The Blu-ray doesn't have any exclusive to add, but it also only costs $3 more, so it's the better deal.

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
With the theatrical release for Green Lantern less than two weeks away, it's the perfect time to release another direct-to-DVD movie for the franchise. So far reviews have been strong and if you are a fan of D.C.Comics in general or of Green Lantern in particular, it's worth picking up. However, the DVD has very little in the way of extras, so you will want to grab the Blu-ray version, which is loaded with an audio commentary track, featurettes, bonus episodes of other D.C.Comics shows, etc.

HawthoRNe: Season Two - Buy from Amazon
Jada Pinkett Smith stars as the titular character, who is a registered nurse. I'm expecting a screener to arrive any day now, so hopefully I will be able to get the review done in a timely fashion.

The Housemaid - Buy from Amazon
This Korean film opened well on the per theater chart; in fact, it opened in first place on that chart. On the other hand, its reviews were not quite strong enough to overcome the additional obstacle of being a foreign language film and it couldn't maintain its momentum as it tried to expand. If you are a fan of films from South Korea, it is worth checking out. I might be getting a screener, so I'll leave a more detailed recommendation till then.

Just Go With It - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
This film earned awful reviews, even when compared to the average romantic comedy, or the average Adam Sandler film. Even so, it was one of the first films released in 2011 to cross $100 million at the box office. There are quite a few extras on both the DVD and the Blu-ray, but outside the two audio commentary tracks and the deleted scenes, most are rather small featurettes. I guess if you are a hardcore fan of both romantic comedies and Adam Sandler it might be worth a rental, but with just 18% positive reviews, it's probably best ignored.

Leverage: Season Three - Buy from Amazon
I felt the first season of Leverage was worth a blind buy, while the second season was a contender for Pick of the Week. Can it maintain this quality, or perhaps even improve? Read our review to find out.

McMillan & Wife: Season 3 - Buy from Amazon
They are really rushing this series' home market releases and Season Four and Season Five are coming out in less than a month.

New Tricks: Series Four - Buy from Amazon
One of my favorite police procedurals out there. It does come from Britain, which means the price-per-minute is a little high, but it is definitely worth it.

Pretty Little Liars: The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
This show has become quite popular among its target demographic, teenage girls, and a guilty pleasure among many others. It won three Teen Choice Awards and saw growth of roughly 50% from its premiere to its season finale. Fans will certainly want to buy the 6-disc set to see if they missed anything the first time around and to get caught up for season two.

Psycho Gothic Lolita - Buy from Amazon
Sometimes a name can grab your attention, and Psycho Gothic Lolita is such a name. I might grab this to add to my collection of Strange Stuff From Japan, which is quite large. However, before I do buy it, I'm going to actually do some research, because I don't want to accidentally buy any more softcore porn from Japan (Yo Yo Girl Cop is not porn, but there is softcore parody of that movie with a nearly identical name). And this film stars Rina Akiyama, who is best known as a gravure model, there's a chance it could be.

Queens Blade 2: The Evil Eye Series Part 1 - Buy from Amazon
Speaking of accidentally buying porn from Japan. I bought a set of figures from this show. I got it mixed up with a different anime series. Always double-check these things.

Rawhide: Season Four, Volume One - Buy from Amazon
The TV show that made Clint Eastwood a star and helped solidify his place in Westerns. There's a chance I could be getting this screener, but in case I don't, I have reviewed it in the past and it is a good show and worth checking out for fans of the genre.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 10th of May.

Rocky - Buy from Amazon
This is not the first time this Oscar winning film has been released on Blu-ray, but is it an improvement from the other releases? Read our review to find out.

Sanctum - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray, or 3D Blu-ray / Blu-ray Combo Pack
This film earned mixed to weak reviews with many critics saying the 3D effects were the best part of the movie and the weak script was a let down compared to the visuals. (The strong 3D effects is not surprising, as the film was shot using the same camera technology that James Cameron helped create.) Because of this, the 3D version is the ideal to buy, but since so few people have made that leap, it's probably not going to attract a lot of interest on the home market.

Secret Life of the American Teenager: Volume Six - Buy from Amazon
This show had some potential, but too often went the soap opera route and that killed it for me.

Transformers Beast Wars: Season One - Buy from Amazon
I was hoping to get this DVD to review, but I think the studio is waiting for the Complete Series before handing out screeners.

True Grit - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
This was a rather controversial movie, not because of the subject matter, but because the 1969 version of True Grit was considered such a classic. But can this film live up to that version? Perhaps even surpass it? Check out our review to find out.

Veggie Tales: Live! Sing Yourself Silly - Buy from Amazon
My favorite part of Veggie Tales was always the Silly Songs. And the chance to see them performed live with people in giant veggie outfits might be too tempting to pass up.

White Collar: Season Two - Buy from Amazon
The third TV show with a conman aspect to it that I was able to review this week. How does this one compare to the others? And it is worth checking out or perhaps even picking up? Read our review for my opinion.

There is also a Two-Season Combo Pack that costs just $4 more than Season Two separately, and it is clearly the better deal.


Filed under: Video Releases, Superman Returns, Superman, Rocky, Superman II, Every Which Way but Loose, Superman III, Firefox, Heartbreak Ridge, Blue Crush, Happy Gilmore, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Long Riders, New York, New York, Hair, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Vera Cruz, Death at a Funeral, The Stunt Man, Any Which Way You Can, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, True Grit, Sanctum, Another Year, The Company Men, Just Go With It, Bhutto, Hanyo, American: The Bill Hicks Story, Blue Crush 2