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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for November 1st, 2011

November 1st, 2011

The selection of home market releases is rather soft this week. Sure, Cars 2 was a major hit at the box office, but it is the only major hit on this week's list. The best selling TV on DVD release is Californication, which is a cable show, while the top ten selling titles according to Amazon.com include limited releases, catalogue titles and direct-to-DVD releases. There are more second-tier Christmas releases than any other type of release. There are far fewer titles that are worth picking up than last week, and the the Pick of the Week contenders are even more limited. Transformers: Beast Wars comes out on a Complete Series Collection and that could be Pick of the Week material, but I'm still waiting for the screener.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: The Big Country, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Cop Land, The Grateful Dead Movie, Hook, Phantom of the Opera and Quigley Down Under
There are a number of Blu-ray catalogue releases that are worth checking out, including Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Cop Land and Quigley Down Under. I'm still waiting for the screeners for all three films. Also coming out this week is the 1925 silent film version of Phantom of the Opera, which is a must have for fans of old school horror.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Cars 2, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3 and Toy Story Trilogy
It's Pixar week for 3D releases and if you have made the leap you are in luck because three of the four films are must haves. The fourth is not terrible, but it certainly drags down the average.

Boy Toy - Buy from Amazon
This DVD arrived on my desk unannounced last week. ... I decided to push it to the prize pool instead of reviewing it. The contest will begin on Friday.

Bunraku - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film has a pretty good cast, especially for a limited release. However, most critics complained that it was purely style over substance and the end result was a mess.

Californication: Season Four - Buy from Amazon
I reviewed the first three seasons of this show, but when I got the chance to review the fourth I passed. David Duchovny's character is wholly irredeemable and at this point I had more productive ways to spend my time than watching a show and hoping someone will punch Hank Moody in the face.

Cars 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack or 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack
This is the first Pixar film to not earn overwhelmingly positive reviews. In fact, it earned bad reviews. But is the film as bad as its Tomatometer Score? Or were critics' expectations too high based on Pixar's past performances? Check out our review for my opinion.

Christmas Releases - Buy from Amazon: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Christmas With The Chipmunks, The Christmas Bunny, A Christmas Carol: Anniversary Edition, A Christmas Carol: Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray), Dear Santa, Golden Christmas 2, Holiday Baggage, It's a Wonderful Life Giftset (Blu-ray + Bell Ornament), The Nutcracker: The Untold Story, The Nutcracker: The Untold Story (Blu-ray), The Perfect Gift, The Santa Incident, and Scrooged
There's a ton of Christmas releases this week, but only a trio that are really worth checking out: A Christmas Carol Anniversary Edition, It's A Wonderful Life and Scrooged, all three of which are coming out on Blu-ray this week.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 11th.

Comedian - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about Jerry Seinfeld's post-Seinfeld decision to retire his entire stand-up act and start fresh. I'm not here to judge if that was a wise decision, but did it make for a compelling movie? Read our review to find out.

Complete Series Megasets - Buy from Amazon: Pie in the Sky and Transformers: Beast Wars
Richard Griffiths stars in this British mystery series. It's a great show and the complete series box set has a lot better price-per-minute than the individual seasons. (It's like buy the first three and get the other two for free.) As for Beast Wars, I'm still waiting for the screener for that release. Hopefully it will arrive soon.

Crazy, Stupid, Love - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
This film wasn't a blockbuster hit when it opened, but thanks to great reviews and a more mature target demographic, it became a solid midlevel hit and likely earned more domestically than it cost to make and advertise. If you are in the target demographic, it is worth checking out. There are not a lot of extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray (a couple featurettes and deleted scenes), but I think it is still worth picking up. On the other hand, had it had a full set of extras, it could have been a contender for Pick of the Week.

Deadliest Catch: Season Seven - Buy from Amazon
One of the only Reality TV shows that's worth watching, although it is more of a documentary about a very dangerous job rather than your typical Reality TV show, which tends to either be vacuous people who shouldn't be on TV or people doing difficult / disgusting challenges for only a fraction of what the network makes in profits.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 27th of September.

DreamWorks Halloween Double Pack - Buy from Amazon
Two TV specials based on two DreamWorks films. Are they worth checking out? And is there enough entertainment value here that the two-DVD pack is worth picking up? Read our review for my opinion.

The Ed Sullivan Show: Starring The Rolling Stones - Buy from Amazon
All six episodes of The Ed Sullivan Show that featured The Rolling Stones as guests. It includes full episodes and 16 musical performances over the two-disc set. Fans of the band will certainly want to pick it up.

The Essential Daffy Duck - Buy from Amazon
Skip it. There are too many double-dips and I'm not willing to pay for any double-dips, not unless I'm getting a chronological collection.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 18th.

Gift of the Magi - Buy from Amazon
A modern adaptation of the classic Christmas short story. But can a 2000 word story be turned into a feature-length movie? Check out our review for my opinion.

Hot Coffee - Buy from Amazon
A documentary looking at how corporations are trying to use campaign dollars to influence the judicial process so they can avoid paying people when their customers are damaged by products that they know are dangerous. The few reviews I've seen have been positive and it is a very important topic, especially with corporate power growing to dangerous levels. If you've only heard of the infamous hot coffee lawsuit from late night comedians, this DVD is a must see.

How the States Got Their Shapes: Season One - Buy from Amazon
A TV show on the History Channel that is actually about history. It does sound interesting, especially if you are into American history, but the screener hasn't arrived yet, so I can't go into more details til it does.

An Invisible Sign - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of a handful of films where I'm still waiting for the screener to arrive.

It's a Wonderful Life - Blu-ray Gift Set - Buy from Amazon
The greatest Christmas movie ever made. However, it's not the first time it's been released on the home market. It's not even the first time it's been released on Blu-ray. Is it worth picking up if you don't have it on Blu-ray yet? Is it worth upgrading for? Check out our review to find out.

The Last Mountain - Buy from Amazon
A powerful documentary about mountain top removal mining. Mining is a bit of an environmental nightmare at the best of times, but mountain top removal is arguably the worst form of mining one can do. (I think with open pit mining you can at least turn it into a man-made lake after it's closed, assuming you clean up any and all toxic leftovers first.) The DVD has deleted scenes and additional interviews, which are almost as long as the movie itself and it is easily worth picking up.

LeapFrog: 3-DVD Learning Collection - Buy from Amazon
Three previously releases DVD from the LeapFrog franchise, plus a bonus reading book. So what are the three DVDs and is the box set good value for the money? Read our review to find out.

Magic Trip - Buy from Amazon
A documentary look at a road trip that was one of the central events of the 1960s counter-culture. It only earned mixed reviews and never really found an audience in theaters. It should do better on the home market, even if it is only worth a rental for most people.

Rawhide: Season Four, Volume 2 - Buy from Amazon
An iconic TV western. I've reviewed this show in the past, but the latest screener is late. If it doesn't arrive, I will say it is iconic for a reason and fans of the genre should be interested in grabbing it.

Scrooged - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
One of my favorite Christmas movies of all time. But does it shine on Blu-ray? Check out our review to find out.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The latest film from Wayne Wang, who previously made The Joy Luck Club, among other films. This wasn't as popular with critics, nor did it find a large audience in limited release. But will it do better on the home market? Check out our review for my opinion.

Strawberry Shortcake: Bright Lights, Big Dreams - Buy from Amazon
Three more episodes from the latest incarnation of the popular greeting card / toy / cartoon franchise, which has been around for about 30 years now. People who grew up on the show are now old enough that they might have kids of their own that are in the target demographic. Will they want introduce the characters to their kids? Read our review to find out.

Tabloid! - Buy from Amazon
This documentary tells a story so strange that if it was a fictional movie it would strain suspension of disbelief. The film's amazing reviews were not enough to help it find an audience during its theatrical run, but that should hopefully change on the home market. Unfortunately, there are no special features, but the film is interesting enough that it is worth picking up.

Trespass - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray, or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
A lot of big names were involved in this big mess. It failed to make any noise during its short limited releases. It will perform better on the home market, but that's only because it is medically impossible for it to perform worse.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 11th.

The Trip - Buy from Amazon
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon eating food and doing impersonations. It doesn't sound like enough to carry a full movie, but does it work? Check out our review to find out.

Victorious: Season One, Volume Two - Buy from Amazon
The series got off to a slow start with the pilot, but did it find its legs by the second half of the first season? Check out our review for my opinion.

Water for Elephants - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A period drama focusing on a love triangle between Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz. Its reviews were barely in the overall positive range, while it did well enough to be considered a midlevel hit, but nothing more. Now that it is coming out on the home market, it is worth checking out, or is it worth more? Read our review for my opinion.


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Filed under: Video Releases, Toy Story 2, Toy Story, Hook, Scrooged, Cop Land, Quigley Down Under, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, The Big Country, It's a Wonderful Life, Comedian, Toy Story 3, Cars 2, An Invisible Sign , Bunraku, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Trespass, The Nutcracker in 3D, Water for Elephants, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, The Trip, Tabloid!, The Last Mountain, Magic Trip