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

July 18th, 2011

Looking at the overall strength of the home market releases this week and there's not a lot to look forward to. If you don't count Rango, which came out on Blu-ray / DVD on Friday, then the biggest hit of the week is Limitless. That film is worth picking up on Blu-ray, but it's not exactly Pick of the Week material. In fact, the best release on this week's list is Once Upon a Time in America, which made its Blu-ray debut at the end of May, but the screener arrived very late. Despite this, I'm awarding it the Pick of the Week.

2011 NBA Finals Champions: Dallas Mavericks - Buy from Amazon
I like the free agency era in professional sports, for the most part. Yes, the increased player salaries are insane and are partially responsible for ticket prices going up, but a player's career is quite short and unlike the owners, their careers can end with permanent injuries. That said, my biggest complaint about free agency is when a team tries to buy a championship, or a player leaves an organization that's been loyal to him in order to win a championship. So I was quite pleased the Miami Heat lost the finals, as their free agent signings during the off season were celebrated like they had already won. On the other hand, I'm not a fan of the Dallas Mavericks, nor would I spend money on a two-hour clip show. Give me full games, or you don't get any cash. On a side note, if the NHL can make about $200 million in profit during a season and the NBA is losing money, it's not the players' fault. The owners are morons.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Amélie, Beauty and the Beast: The Criterion Collection, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Boyz 'n the Hood, Bridget Jones's Diary, Chocolat, Desert Flower, Doctor Who: Series Six, Part One, Gungrave: The Complete Series, House of the Rising Sun, Limitless, The Music Room: The Criterion Collection, NHL Stanley Cup Champions 2011, Nowhere to Run, Peep World, Potiche, The Reef, Take Me Home Tonight, Tekken, and Torchwood: The Complete Series
There's only one first run release on this week's list of Blu-ray releases that has any hope of making an impact in terms of sales. And while Limitless is worth picking up, it will likely be a slow week as far as total sales go.

Clifford The Big Red Dog: Dog Days of Summer - Buy from Amazon
So what adventures do the canines of Birdwell Island get into in the latest DVD release? Read our review to find out.

Cracks - Buy from Amazon
A teacher is held in high esteem by her students, but when a new girl arrives at the boarding school, the change threatens to upset the balance. I'm still waiting on the screener for this film.

Desert Flower - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film opened in limited release earlier in the year and struggled to find an audience. Its mixed reviews didn't help, but it is also about a very difficult subject (Female Genital Mutilation) which is hardly going to draw in moviegoers. It should perform better on the home market, and it is an important topic that should be discussed more, but I think the replay value is low enough that for most a rental will be enough.

Dive!: Living off America's Waste - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about Dumpster Diving for food. It's an interesting subject matter, but just the thought of eating food that was in the dumpster makes me a little queasy.

Doctor Who: Season Six, Part One - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is a great show, but I'm a little annoyed they split the season into multiple parts. It's not like British Imports are not already more expensive than the average TV on DVD release. On the other hand, the Blu-ray is absolutely worth the extra $3.

Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box Six - Buy from Amazon
According to Amazon.com, this is the fourth best selling release of the week. Granted, Dragon Ball Z is arguably the most popular Anime series in North America, while Amazon.com does over-inflate sales of Anime (people who shop at Amazon.com are a lot more likely to buy Anime than those who don't) but this is still damning evidence that this overall slate of DVD / Blu-ray releases is very weak.

Dumbstruck - Buy from Amazon
I've never been a fan of ventriloquism and since this film never found an audience in theaters, I'm clearly not alone. On the other hand, the reviews are good and it might even change some people's minds on the art form. Or at least make you appreciate the performers more.

Go, Diego, Go!: Fiercest Animal Rescues - Buy from Amazon
The latest DVD release for Go, Diego, Go! hits the home market this week, and as a bonus, folks in Canada can grab an older release with a new French-language track. Are they worth picking up? Check out our review to find out.

HEY, BOO!: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about a book. Granted, it's one of the most important books of the 20th century, but it still never managed to find an audience in theaters. Perhaps it will perform better on the home market.

Hey Dude: Season One - Buy from Amazon
A show that is sure to cause a flood of nostalgia for kids who grew up in the late 1980s / early 1990s. Christine Taylor sits down for an interview, but that's the only extra on this two-disc set. On the other hand, $14 is certainly inexpensive for this much nostalgia.

House of the Rising Sun - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Dave Bautista tries to make the transition from wrestler to actor. Will this film help him get there? Check out our review for my opinion.

iCarly: The I <3 iCarly Collection - Buy from Amazon
If you are a fan of iCarly but can't wait till Season Three to come out on DVD, you can spend time reading the review for this box set, or take your chances with our latest contest.

Leap Frog: Sing and Learn With Us - Buy from Amazon
Leap Frog is a popular line of educational products, but what does the latest DVD teach, and is it worth the price? Check our out review to find out.

Limitless - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The biggest hit on this week's list, but is it the best? Check out our review to find out.

Melrose Place: Season Six, Volume 2 - Buy from Amazon
Hate the show, don't like the genre in general, and I don't like it when they split TV on DVD releases into two volumes.

NHL Stanley Cup Champions 2011: Boston Bruins - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Another year without a shave and a haircut. On the one hand, it is especially frustrating, as the Canucks came so damn close this year. On the other hand, the Bruins are my second favorite team. Back to the original hand, its even more frustrating, as Zdeno Chara shouldn't even have been playing. His hit on Max Pacioretty was so dirty it should have cost him the rest of the playoffs. That might have been enough for Montreal to win the opening series. As for this DVD / Blu-ray release, I'm not happy. Real fans want full games, not a two-hour highlight package.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 31st of May.

Once Upon a Time in America - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
A classic from Sergio Leone that wasn't appreciated till long after its initial theatrical release. At the end of May, it made its Blu-ray debut, but does the film shine in High Definition? Read our review for my opinion.

Peep World - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A dysfunctional family comedy looking at the aftermath when one member of the family writes a best-selling novel using the families dirty laundry as inspiration. The film has a good cast, but I'm still waiting on a screener, so I don't know if the rest of the film is worth it.

Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about singer / songwriter Phil Ochs, whose career was cut short because of mental illness. The film's Tomatometer Score is perfect going 30 for 30 and fans of the genre in general, and of Phil Ochs in particular, will certainly want to buy this DVD.

Potiche - DVD or Blu-ray
This French film has an amazing cast, it was directed by François Ozon, earned excellent reviews, and even cracked $1 million in limited release and that's not a common feat for a foreign language film. It should do well on the home market, but I'm a little concerned about the price of the Blu-ray. Given the pedigree, I think it's worth it.

Note: This Blu-ray / DVD made its home market on the 15th.

Rango - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy Combo Pack
Just a quick note that since this film came out on Friday, I thought it would make sense to include the link to the review this week.

The Reef - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
You are more likely to die eating shark than getting eaten by a shark. Sharks are also alpha predators and are too important to the environment to hunt, so I get annoyed when they are demonized by movies. (Also, don't buy shark cartilage pills thinking they can cure cancer. Not only can sharks get cancer, unlike the claims made by the people who sell those pills, they can get cancer of the cartilage.) That said, this film's reviews are quite strong for the genre and fans of such films will likely want to watch it. It only has a single featurette in terms of extras, so a rental will probably be enough.

Reggie Perrin Set 1 - Buy from Amazon
I've only vaguely heard of this show. I know it's a remake of a classic British TV series and that is stars Martin Clunes. That said, I've liked nearly everything Martin Clunes has done that I've seen, so I might give this a blind buy.

Small Town Murder Songs - Buy from Amazon
One of several films on this week's list where I'm still waiting for the screener. I've heard good things about the movie, especially concerning Peter Stormare's performance, so I'm looking forward to seeing the film.

Smurfs: A Magical Smurf Adventure - Buy from Amazon
If the upcoming movie is a hit, you can expect to see a lot more DVDs like this released.

Take Me Home Tonight - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Arguably the biggest bomb of the year, but it's not as bad as its box office performance. Right? Check out our review to find out.

Tekken - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Movies based on video games have a poor track record and this film is no different. The fighting tournament subgenre is certainly low expectations cinema, but only one positive review out of five is still below expectations.

Torchwood: The Complete Original UK Series - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Good show, for the most part. (Some argue the mini-series that came after the series finale, Children of Earth, ruins the show.) If you feel that way, getting the first two seasons separately is actually cheaper than buying the Megaset.

The Way of the West - Buy from Amazon
A western set up north, way up north in the Yukon. Is that enough to help set this Canadian film set itself apart in a crowded genre? Read our review for my opinion.

Young Justice: Season One, Volume One - Buy from Amazon
Four episodes? Warner Bros. is charging $10 for a TV on DVD release with just four episodes? No. Unacceptable.

Zonad - Buy from Amazon
This is a really hard film to explain. It involves an escaped convict hiding out in a small town and pretending to be an alien. I'm hoping to get a screener, especially since is it such a strange movie and I want to see it for myself, but it's late.


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Filed under: Video Releases, Bridget Jones's Diary, Chocolat, Boyz n the Hood, Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, C'era una volta il West, Tekken, Rango, Take Me Home Tonight, Limitless, Cracks, Desert Flower, Peep World, Phil Ochs: There but for Fortune, Dumbstruck, Potiche, The Reef, HEY, BOO: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird, The Way of the West , House of the Rising Sun, Small Town Murder Songs