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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for August 9th, 2011

August 9th, 2011

This week's list is highly frustrating for two reasons. Firstly, while there's a pretty big list of first-run releases, many of which had some pre-release buzz, almost none of them matched expectations. Secondly, my internet access kept cutting out, so it took till 4:30 a.m. to get this done, and by the end I was swearing nearly constantly. (Even 15 minutes of the Smooth Jazz Nyan Cat wasn't enough to calm my nerves.) Moving on... There were two main contenders for Pick of the Week, Paul on Blu-ray and Stargate: Atlantis: Complete Series Megaset on Blu-ray. In the end I went with the latter, partially because the screener for the former hasn't shown up yet.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: The Battle of Algiers: The Criterion Collection, Bikini Girls on Ice, Cameraman: The Life & Work of Jack Cardiff, Dazed and Confused, Dead Man, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Fox and the Hound / The Fox and the Hound 2, Jumping the Broom, Mars Needs Moms, Paul, Soul Eater: The Weapon Collection, Super, Tactical Force, Top Gear: Season 16, Your Highness, and Yu Yu Hakusho: Season Two
A highly eclectic mix of releases from first-run releases, classics, limited releases, TV on DVD, foreign releases, etc. And there's something worth picking up from every category. That said, the biggest release, Paul, was only a modest hit at the box office, so I don't expect the overall Blu-ray sales to be strong.

Blu-ray 3-D releases - Buy from Amazon: Mars Needs Moms
One of the biggest bombs the year, if not the biggest bomb. It's not as bad as its box office numbers would indicate and if you were one of the few who saw it and liked it, it's not a bad addition to your 3-D collection.

Bay Rong - Buy from Amazon
This film was a huge hit in its native Vietnam, but it only got a token release here. Will it find a more receptive audience on the home market? Does it deserve to? Check out our review to find out.

Camp Hell - Buy from Amazon
This film was shot in 2007 but its release was delayed several years. The DVD cover prominently displays a supporting actor who has since become very famous. Plus it has "Inspired by True Events" on the DVD cover. That's a lot of warning signs. But can it rise above? Check out our review for my opinion.

Choose - Buy from Amazon
A serial killer is terrorizing a town. His particular schtick is to torment his victims with a choice, like a concert pianist having to choose between his ears or his fingers. Either he won't be able to hear music, or he won't be able to make music. It's a good premise and there are several good performances by Katheryn Winnick, Kevin Pollak, Bruce Dern, etc., but the overall result is still just mixed. That said, fans of the genre will still want to check it out.

Doctor Who - Buy from Amazon: Story 95: The Sun Makers and Story 149: Paradise Towers
The Sun Makers has Tom Baker battling corporate bureaucrats on Pluto. Paradise Towers has Sylvester McCoy battling gangs in a luxury hotel of the future. The former is much better than the latter. Both DVDs are loaded with extras and while the latter is cheaper, I would pick up the former and rent the other.

Donnie Darko - 10th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack - Buy from Amazon
Has it really been ten years since this film was first released? When this film came out, it earned excellent buzz, but never found an audience. However, that changed when it hit the home market. That said, this is not the first time it has come out on Blu-ray, so is it worth the upgrade? Check out our review for my opinion.

Dragon Dynasty Releases - Buy from Amazon: Executioner from Shaolin, Five Shaolin Masters, Mad Monkey Kung Fu, and Martial Arts of Shaolin
A quartet of Dragon Dynasty releases are hitting the home market this week. I really miss getting a chance to review these DVDs, as they generally picked the best Martial Arts movies to import.

Dream Home - Reviews
Josie Ho plays a woman desparate to own her own apartment with a view of the harbor, just like she had when she was a kid. However, after finally saving up enough money, the owners decide to up the price. This causes her to snap and start killing anyone in the way from her dream. The reviews were really good and fans of Hong Kong Horror will want to check it out.

The Fox and the Hound / The Fox and the Hound 2 - Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack - Buy from Amazon
Still waiting on the screener for this release. It should arrive before the weekend.

Gunless - Buy from Amazon
A Canadian film starring Paul Gross as an American gunslinger who while on the run from a gang, accidentally finds himself in Canada. It pokes gentle fun at the Canadian / American relationship, perhaps a little too gentle to be entirely effective, but it is still worth checking out.

Head Rush - Buy from Amazon
Kari Byron hosts a science show aimed a middle schoolers, but I'm sure many who watch MythBusters will want to check it out.

Hey Arnold!: Season One - Buy from Amazon
Still waiting on the screener for this DVD, although this might be a case where I get the full series Megaset and not the individual releases, which means there will be a long wait.

Jumping the Broom - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A romantic comedy with an African-American cast. The hook in this film is that the two families come from two different economic classes, which is a subject that isn't really touched on a lot in African-American films. The film earned good reviews, for its genre, and was very profitable at the box office. The DVD / Blu-ray have an audio commentary track and two featurettes, and if you are in the target demographic, it's worth checking out.

The Last Godfather - Buy from Amazon
This film features one of South Korea's biggest comedic stars and was a big hit in its native market. However, when it opened here in select cities, it bombed. Was this a result of bad marketing or was there something else at work? Read our review to find out.

Mars Needs Moms - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack, or 3-D Blu-ray / Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
This film might go down as the biggest bomb of the year. But was it really as bad as its box office numbers would indicate? Check out our review for my opinion.

M.A.S.K.: The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
I loved this show as a kid, but it has been a long time since I've seen it. I'm still hoping I'll get a screener to review, but with Shout! Factory, usually I get a screener weeks in advance, or not at all.

Paul - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Still waiting on the screener for this release. Hopefully it will arrive soon, as it could be pick of the week material.

Secret Diary of a Call Girl: The Final Season - Buy from Amazon
The fourth and final season of Secret Diary of a Call Girl comes out on DVD this week and the obvious question is: What the hell happened to season three? I can't answer that question, but I can tell you if I think the final season is worth checking out or not. Read our review to find out.

Stargate: Atlantis: Complete Series Megaset - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
The first time this show comes out on High Definition and it's a full series Megaset. Is this a cash grab? Or it is worth the investment? Read our review for my opinion.

Super - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Currently this film is the best-selling new release according to Amazon.com, but this probably has a lot to do with the film's target demographic, plus the deep discount in the price. The film did have a lot of nerd buzz going into its limited release, but the reviews were well below expectations, as were its opening weekend numbers. There are a lot of extras, including an audio commentary track, a making of featurette, SXSW film festival featurette, etc. It's worth checking out for fans of the genre, many of which will want to pick it up.

Top Gear: The Complete Season 16 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is a very popular show among car enthusiasts, but every time see it, I can't help thinking about Frankie Boyle's joke of Mock of the Week. I won't post it here, but you can look it up on YouTube.

Yo Gabba Gabba!: Music Makes Me Move - Buy from Amazon
So what adventures do DJ Lance and the rest of Gabbaland have in store for preschoolers? Read our review to find out.

Your Highness - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of many spring releases that failed to match expectations. Was the crossover appeal between Stoner Comedy and Sword & Sorcerer Epic too small? Or are there other factors here? Read our review to find out.


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Filed under: Video Releases, The Fox and the Hound, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Dazed and Confused, Donnie Darko, Dead Man, La Battaglia di Algeri, Your Highness, The Fox and the Hound 2, Mars Needs Moms, Gunless, Paul, Jumping the Broom, Choose, Super, The Last Godfather, Wai dor lei ah yut ho, Bay Rong, Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff, Camp Hell, Tactical Force