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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for June 28th, 2011

June 27th, 2011

It's a bit of a madhouse in terms of DVD and Blu-ray releases this week: Amazon.com has more than 400 listed. That said, a lot of them are catalogue titles that would barely warrant a mention during a slow week. The most intriguing first run release is Sucker Punch on Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy Combo Pack, but while I think it's worth picking up, it's appeal is limited enough that it is not worthy of the Pick of the Week honors. Fortunately, one of the catalogue titles is clearly Pick of the Week material. In fact, Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Extended Edition - Blu-ray is one of the most anticipated releases in the history of Blu-ray.

Ancient Aliens: Season Two - Buy from Amazon
It saddens me that this show is on a TV network that used to focus on educational information.

Barney's Version - Buy from Amazon: Buy from Amazon
This film earned excellent reviews and even picked up an Oscar nomination, although not for Paul Giamatti's performance. (Clearly the Oscar voters are just messing with his head at this point.) Extras include an audio commentary track, a behind-the-scenes featurette, a 30-minute interview featurette, and more. Strangely, you can only buy the film on a Blu-ray / DVD combo pack, but it is worth picking up, even at the hefty price.

Beastly - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Yet another movie trying to make Alex Pettyfer a star. I just don't think he has it in him. The reviews were terrible and the film struggled at the box office. Extras on the DVD and Blu-ray include some deleted scenes, an alternate ending, a couple featurettes, and a music video. Nothing too special. The Blu-ray doesn't cost too much when compared to the DVD, but I would still avoid even renting this one.

Bloodworth - Buy from Amazon
Kris Kristofferson plays the titular Bloodworth, a country singer returning home years after abandoning his wife and kid. While much of the cast was given praise for their performances, the script is too formulaic to work as a whole.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Above and Beyond: The Complete Miniseries, Barney's Version, Beastly, Black Moon: The Criterion Collection, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part Five, George Gently: Series 3, High School of the Dead: Complete Collection, Lebanon, PA, The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (Extended Edition), Michael Flatley Returns as Lord of the Dance, People on Sunday: The Criterion Collection, Rideback: The Complete Series (Limited Edition), Season of the Witch, Serenity Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack, Sucker Punch (Extended Edition), Sucker Punch (Movie Only Edition), The Warrior's Way, Wild Cherry, Zazie dans le metro: The Criterion Collection, Zombie Holocaust
It's a weak list of Blu-ray releases, once you get past the top. Sure, Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Extended Edition - Blu-ray is Pick of the Week material and Sucker Punch on Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy Combo Pack will be worth picking up for Fanboys. But after that there are just a few niche market releases of interest, a few Criterion Collection releases, and a lot of second-tier stuff. In fact, the bulk of the Blu-ray releases are films that have already been released on Blu-ray, but are now coming out on Blu-ray / DVD Combo Packs.

3-D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Deep Ocean
Only one 3-D release this week, and its an edutainment release, which rarely make any noise on the home market.

Challenge of the Gobots: The Original Miniseries - Buy from Amazon
As a fan of the original Transformers toys, I'm constitutionally obligated to hate the Gobots. Fortunately, it's not hard to hate this show. It really is a bad show and at this point its only saving grace is nostalgia.

Christopher and His Kind - Buy from Amazon
Matt Smith, the current Doctor Who, plays Christopher Isherwood, who wrote Cabaret, among other works. This British TV movie earned mostly good reviews and it is certainly not a topic that gets a lot of focus (the gay sex tourism trade in pre-Nazi Berlin). Fans of Cabaret will recognize a lot of the influences Christopher Isherwood used and fans of the author's work, or of gay cinema in general, should check it out on DVD.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 7th.

Death at a Funeral - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
The original British version of the 2010 remake. The remake did better at the box office, but is the original the better movie? Check out our review to find out.

Erasing David - Buy from Amazon
Documentarian David Bond decides to test how much privacy is really left by going off the grid and hiring two private eyes to find him. It's an interesting premise, but I won't be able to judge the execution till the screener arrives.

George Gently: Series 3 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A British detective series, which is one of the most common genres to be imported from the U.K. However, this one is coming out on Blu-ray, which is very rare.

High School of the Dead Complete Collection - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I've heard some good things about this show, but I'm surprised it's in the top ten for new releases this week. Granted, Amazon.com tends to overstate Anime sales compared to the industry as a market. (This is not due to anything intentional on their parts. It's just that fans of the genre are more likely to buy online than the average consumer.) That said, this is still better than expected.

How the Universe Works - Buy from Amazon
Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame narrates this show, which looks at how the universe was formed from stars and planets to solar systems and galaxies. Worth checking out, but there are a lot of similar TV shows out there, so start with a rental if you haven't seen it.

Immigration Tango - Buy from Amazon
This film failed to impress critic or moviegoers when it first hit theaters. Will it perform better on the home market? Check out our review for my opinion.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Season Six - Buy from Amazon
This is a good show, but it is part of a crowded genre, it's syndicated practically 24 hours a day, and the DVDs have never been great. Maybe if there were a lot of extras to make up for the lack of replay value this would be worth it, but that's never been the case.

Lebanon, PA - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A movie with a message, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but when the message gets in the way of the story, it does become a problem. It's not a terrible movie, but one that works better as a rental than a purchase.

Lord of the Rings Trilogy - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
What needs to be said? This trilogy is one of the most successful franchises ever, both in terms of box office dollars and in terms of critical reception. It is one of the Holy Grails for Blu-ray (Star Wars being the other) and it is clearly a contender for Pick of the Week.

Music Video Exposed: The Collection - Buy from Amazon
A look at music videos from the 1980s. I can't wait to see this; however, since the screener is late, I guess I'll have to wait.

Note: This Blu-ray / DVD made its home market debut on the 14th.

N-Secure - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Buy from Amazon
This film opened in too many theaters and with too few reviews and really struggled at the box office. Was this a case of spreading the film too thin on opening weekend, or was it always going to have a difficult time finding an audience? Read our review for my opinion.

ReBoot: The Definitive Mainframe Edition - Buy from Amazon
Just waiting on the screener for this TV on DVD Megaset. It should arrive any day now. I can't wait to see the show, as I really liked it when it was first on TV, but it has been a long time since I've seen it. Hopefully it has aged well. Also coming out this week is Seasons Three & Four, for those who couldn't wait when Seasons One & Two came out.

Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
One of dozens of police procedural shows on TV. This one tries to stand out by having two female leads: Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. On the one hand, that's simply not enough to stand out. On the other hand, the TV is still good and worth checking out if you are a fan of the genre. (At this point, any new police procedural show has to replace one that I'm currently following, either because the previous one was canceled or because it jumped the shark.) It is doing something right, as it is earning excellent ratings for a cable show. In fact, its ratings averaged close to 7.0 over the ten episodes, which is good for a network TV show. With extras that include deleted scenes, outtakes, and a couple featurettes, its worth checking out. However, I would have really liked a few audio commentary tracks, so I'm unsure it's worth picking up.

Season of the Witch - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Nicolas Cage's latest film. He's made two dozen movies in the past decade alone. However, in that time, he's only made three or four films that earned overwhelmingly positive reviews. This film is not in that list. In fact, if you go by its Tomatometer Score, it's one of the worst films in his entire career. Is it really that bad? Check out our review to find out.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 7th.

Secret Life of the American Teenager: Volume Six - Buy from Amazon
This show suffered though falling ratings last season, but was this the result of a decline in quality? Read our review for my opinion.

Sucker Punch - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Movie Only Blu-ray, Extended Edition Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy Combo Pack
Zack Snyder has made some visually impressive films in the past, but this is the first based on his own material. As such, there was a lot of buzz going in, but the end result was a mess and it struggled at the box office. On the other hand, even most critics that gave it negative reviews said the visuals were impressive, so giving it a rental on Blu-ray is not a bad idea, especially if you are fan of the genre. And if you are looking to buy, the Extended Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack is the best deal. The film is visual enough that you'll want to see it in high definition, while the extras are worth the extra money.

Team Umizoomi: 1 2 3 - Buy from Amazon
The latest Nickelodeon show aimed at preschoolers that is making its DVD debut. How does it compare to the countless other shows? Read our review to find out.

Tetsuo: The Bullet Man - Buy from Amazon
A movie with a plot that's hard to explain, so I'm just going to wait till the screener arrives so I can do it justice.

Warehouse 13: Season 2 - Buy from Amazon
Essentially an X-Files clone, but a well done one and one that is worth checking out for fans of the genre.

The Warrior's Way - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film was one of the biggest bombs of 2010 making just $5.66 million domestically on a budget of $40 million. Was it really that bad? Or does it deserve a second chance on the home market? Check out our review for my opinion.

Wild Cherry - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A R-rated teenage sex comedy starring Tania Raymonde, Rumer Willis, and Kristin Cavallari. The genre usually centers on the sexual exploits of guys, so having a film from the girls point of view is novel; however, the reviews are mixed to weak with more than one critic saying that's the only thing that sets it apart from an otherwise cliché filled script.

Winnebago Man - Buy from Amazon
Jack Rebney became an internet celebrity years before the internet became big enough to create celebrities. While recording an infomercial on RVs, he has numerous profanity laden outbursts and these outtakes were copied and shared on VHS tapes many, many times. Last year, documentarian Ben Steinbauer decided to track down the legend and film a documentary about him. The film earned amazing reviews but it struggled to find an audience in limited release. It was originally released on DVD last November, but it is being re-released this week, which probably means it sold well enough that the distributor gave it a second printing, which is good news. It deserves to be seen by more.


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Filed under: Video Releases, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Serenity, Death at a Funeral, Cowboy Bebop, Sucker Punch, Barney's Version, Season of the Witch, Beastly, Winnebago Man, The Warrior's Way, N-Secure, Wild Cherry, Immigration Tango, Tetsuo III: The Bullet Man, Lord of the Dance 3D, Bloodworth, Lebanon, PA