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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for August 30th, 2011

August 30th, 2011

Summer is officially over, both at the box office and on the home market. Granted, the theatrical releases are still really weak, but the TV on DVD releases are starting to become overwhelming. There are several such releases that are worth picking up, but none rise to the level of Pick of the Week. For that I went with The Coen Brothers Blu-ray Box Set. However, if you've made the leap to Blu-ray, then The Nightmare Before Christmas 3-D Blu-ray Combo Pack is worth an honorable mention. Meanwhile, there's a film called Norwegian Ninja coming out on DVD that has cult classic written all over it. I really hope the screener arrives soon.

The 5th Quarter - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film was aimed at churchgoers and while the few reviews that were on Rotten Tomatoes were mostly positive, it struggled at the box office. Since the only extra is a making of featurette, it's likely only worth a rental, even if you are part of the target demographic.

90210: The Third Season - Buy from Amazon
I didn't like the original and I have no use for the remake.

Bereavement - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A prequel to Malevolence. Neither film earned good reviews, nor did they earn a lot at the box office. However, given the genre, this film should perform better on the home market.

BKO: Bangkok Knockout - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Director Panna Rittikrai wanted to give his stuntmen a chance to shine as lead actors, so he made this movie. Giving these men and women a bigger spotlight is a kind thing to do, but will the end result be worth watching? Read our review for my opinion.

Blood Simple - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
It has been more than 25 years since The Coen Brothers released their first movie, and in recent years, they've become nearly perennial Oscar hopefuls. Is their first film worth checking out and is its Blu-ray debut worth the money? Read our review to find out.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: The 5th Quarter, Bereavement, BKO: Bangkok Knockout, Blood Simple, Coen Brothers Collection, The Complete Jean Vigo (Criterion Collection), Deadgirl, Forks over Knives, Gantz, Good Will Hunting, House, M.D.: Season Seven, If... (Criterion Collection), In a Better World, Latter Days, Madea's Big Happy Family, Miller's Crossing, Nikita: The Complete First Season, Orpheus (Criterion Collection), The Perfect Host, Prom, Raising Arizona, Skateland, Son Anarchy: Season Three, Spice and Wolf: Season One, Spice and Wolf: Season Two, Spice and Wolf: Season Two (Limited Collector's Edition, Strike!, Top Gun: 25th Anniversary Edition, Twilight Zone: Season Five, The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Second Season, Wrecked, and Wonders of the Universe
This week's list of Blu-ray releases is dominated by limited releases, catalog titles, and TV on DVD releases. Those rarely do really good business on Blu-ray, so while there are a lot of releases, the overall sales will probably be quite weak.

3-D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Rio
There are four 3-D films coming out this week, and all four of them were hits at the box office, to one degree or another. The one I'm most interested in is The Nightmare Before Christmas, which was actually the smallest hit at the box office during its run.

Captain America - Buy from Amazon
This film is a bit of a legend among comic book fans and fans of bad movies. They've heard about it for years, but most have never seen it. Now that it is out on DVD, was it worth the wait? Do bad movies age like fine wine? Read our review to find out.

Christmas Releases - Buy from Amazon: The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D Combo Pack
Only one Christmas release this week, and it's only partially a Christmas release.

Cougar Town: The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon
Still waiting on the screener for this show. I reviewed the first season and hated the first half, but liked the second more. Apparently, season two continued to improve, but until the screener arrives I won't be able to confirm that for myself.

Desperate Housewives - Buy from Amazon
It has been announced that season eight of this show will be the last. Personally, I'm amazed it has lasted as long as it has.

The Defenders: The DVD Edition - Buy from Amazon
Two defense lawyers working in Las Vegas. It's a simple set-up, but was the execution any good? Won't know till the screener arrives.

Detroit 1-8-7: Season One - Buy from Amazon
The first of two TV shows I reviewed this week that were canceled before the season was out. Did it deserve better? Or was is destined to struggle? Read our review to find out.

Doc Martin: The Movies - Buy from Amazon
Martin Clunes starred in a movie called Saving Grace as Dr. Bamford. That character later became the inspiration for Doc Martin, the TV series. However, before that happened, he starred in two TV movies that were a prequel to Saving Grace. If you are a fan of either the earlier movie or the later TV series, then this two-movie DVD is worth picking up.

Dora the Explorer - Buy from Amazon: Dora's Ballet Adventures and Dora's Halloween Parade
Two Dora the Explorer DVDs are coming out today, sort of. Dora's Ballet Adventures came out as a Target Exclusive earlier in the year and was released in Canada earlier in the month. So what episodes are found on these DVDs and are they worth picking up? Check out our review to find out.

Forks Over Knives - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A documentary advocating a vegan lifestyle to improve people's health. Reviews were mixed with a lot of critics complaining it was repetitive and was preaching to the choir. The DVD and Blu-ray have addition scenes and interviews, but I think it will only be of interest to those already sold on veganism. On a side note, the number one vegetable eaten by Americans is potatoes, most of which are eaten as French Fries or chips.

Godfrey: Black by Accident - Buy from Amazon
Godfrey's first hour-long stand-up special was recorded in January, first aired over the weekend, and is coming out on DVD Tuesday. Is it worth checking out for those who missed it? Read our review for my opinion.

Herculoids: The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
One of Hannah Barbara's stranger cartoons, and that's saying a lot. There are only 18 episodes on this two-disc set, so the price-per-minute is a little high, but there's a lot of nostalgia here for people who grew up on the show.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 16th.

Hoodwinked Too!: Hood vs. Evil - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack, or 3-D Blu-ray / Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
This film really bombed at the box office, missing expectations by a large margin, and expectations were rather low to begin with. Now that it is out on the home market, is is worth checking out? Or is it best left forgotten. Read our review for my opinion.

House, M.D.: Season Seven - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
It's rare for a show to reach seven seasons. It's much rarer for it to live beyond that mark, because the way syndication works, each additional season doesn't add a lot to the fee charged to air the series. Additionally, by this time in its run, a lot of fans have moved on to other, newer shows. This appears to be the case here, as the show fell out of the top 30 in the ratings for the first time during its run. It also saw the number of major award nominations take a hit. That said, if you own the previous seasons on DVD and / or Blu-ray, this season is still worth picking up, but I don't know how long the show will last.

iCarly: Season Three - Buy from Amazon
For the first two seasons, iCarly was one of the best shows aimed at teenagers and has lasted far longer than most. However, is it still one of the best, or has it run out of steam? Check out our review to find out.

Laugh to Keep From Crying: The Play - Buy from Amazon
The latest play from Tyler Perry is coming out on DVD this week. Its theatrical release shouldn't be too far away.

Mad Love: The DVD Edition - Buy from Amazon
This TV show had a great cast, but it never found an audience when it debuted as a midseason replacement and was canceled after just 13 episodes. I'm hoping to get a screener for this show, but it is late.

Madea's Big Happy Family - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I reviewed the play, but I don't have the screener for the movie yet.

Meet The Browns: Season One - Buy from Amazon
One of three Tyler Perry DVDs coming out this week. If you are a fan of his, it's a great day.

Nikita: The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Based on the film La Femme Nikita, this TV series earned good reviews, and was one of the five shows nominated for Favorite New TV Drama at the People's Choice Awards. But it barely survived in the ratings. (On a side note, three of the other four shows were canceled: The Event, Hellcats, and No Ordinary Family). The extras on the DVD include audio commentary tracks on a couple episodes, outtakes, and a trio of featurettes, while the Blu-ray has an exclusive extra and only costs 14% more. Worth picking up and worth going High Definition.

Norwegian Ninja - Buy from Amazon
Still waiting for this screener to arrive and I really hope it does soon, because it sounds too crazy to not review.

Parenthood: Season 2 - Buy from Amazon
This is the second TV show based on the movie Parenthood. Its reviews were good, but not great, while its ratings were on the low side. Still, it has lasted a lot longer than the previous attempt at turning the movie into a TV show. Extras include audio commentary tracks on a few episodes, deleted scenes, and a making-of featurette. It's worth picking up, but it's a borderline case. The show is good, but not great, while the same can be said of the extras.

The Perfect Host - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
After earning some good pre-release buzz, the film barely made a peep at the box office. Now that it is coming out on the home market, is it worth checking out? Read our review to find out.

Prom - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD
This was one of the worst-performing wide releases at the box office this year. Was it as bad as its ticket sales would indicate, or was it unfairly ignored by moviegoers? Check out our review for my opinion.

Roadkill - Buy from Amazon
A group of frienda on vacation accidentally awaken an ancient curse. Not the most imaginative premise, but it could still be a good movie. Won't know for sure till the screener arrives.

Running Wilde: Season One - Buy from Amazon
This show was advertised as being from the team behind Arrested Development. Sadly it was canceled after just 13 episodes, although that really shouldn't be too much of a surprise, as Arrested Development was always on the bubble of being canceled as well. Was this show able to live up to its predecessor in terms of quality? Or at least come close enough that it is worth checking out? Read our review for my opinion.

Sons of Anarchy: Season Three - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This series has been growing in critical praise and this year Katey Sagal won a Golden Globe for Best Lead Performance by an Actress - Drama. Extras on the DVD and Blu-ray include a few audio commentaries, some extended episodes, deleted / extended scenes, outtakes, and a few featurettes. Worth picking up. While the Blu-ray has no additional extras, it only costs about 30% more than the DVD, so it's an acceptable deal.

Strawberry Shortcake: Growing Up Dreams - Buy from Amazon
One of several DVDs where I'm still waiting for the screener. Hopefully it will arrive before the weekend.

Top Gun: 25th Anniversary Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
This is the fourth time I've reviewed this movie, and the second time I've reviewed it on Blu-ray. Is it getting better each time I see it? Check out our review to find out.

The Vampire Diaries: Season Two - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of the biggest hits on The CW, but that's not saying much. Strangely, while the reviews have improved, the ratings have weakened and less than 3 million people turned in to see the season two finale. Granted, network TV as a whole has seen its ratings erode and the CW has been particularly hard hit. Extras on the DVD and Blu-ray include audio commentary on one episode, deleted scenes, outtakes, and a trio of featurettes. Worth picking up for fans of the show, while the Blu-ray only costs $6 more than the DVD.

Wrecked - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is a high-concept suspense film staring Adrien Brody as a man who wakes in a crashed car at the bottom of a ravine with no idea who he is or how he got there. Still waiting for the screener, so I don't know if the execution lives up to the concept.


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Filed under: Video Releases, Top Gun, Good Will Hunting, Fargo, Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing, Blood Simple, Latter Days, Deadgirl, Skateland, Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil, Madea's Big Happy Family, The 5th Quarter, Wrecked, The Perfect Host, Prom, Bereavement, Haevnen, Forks Over Knives, Bangkok Knockout