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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for June 1st, 2010

June 2nd, 2010

This should be a strong week for DVD sales, as Alice in Wonderland hits the home market. While the $1 billion blockbuster is leading the way in terms of sales, it isn't the best release on this week's list. That would be Life (the version narrated by David Attenborough) on DVD or Blu-ray. Both formats of the show are excellent value, but the high definition is worth paying extra for and is our Pick of the Week. On a side note, there are two other releases that could vie for Pick of the Week, The Man with No Name Trilogy on Blu-ray and Burn Notice: Season Three. We'll have more on those when the screeners arrive.

Alice in Wonderland - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray, DVD / Blu-ray / Digital Copy Combo Pack, or Combo Pack Giftset
A surprise $1 billion hit, this film benefited from the lack of competition and 3D ticket prices, but is it still worth checking out on the home market, or without the 3D effects is it just flat? Check out our review for my opinion.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Volume 7 - Buy from Amazon
One of those shows that I'm amazed is still on the air. I mean, how many stories can you tell about anthropomorphic fast food? Eight years worth and counting, apparently. The two-disc set includes the last half of season seven's episodes and the first part of season eight, while there are plenty of extras that include a trio of behind-the-scenes featurettes, and a couple bonus shorts. If you've bought the rest, there's no need to stop now.

Band of Brothers with The Pacific Part One - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I'm not sure who this is for. If you liked Band of Brothers, you will likely want The Pacific. However, you likely already have Band of Brothers and you just as likely want to wait until The Pacific comes out in full and not just Part One.

Bare Knuckles - Buy from Amazon
A single mom with a special-needs child needs cash so she gets involved in mixed martial arts. There are very, very few reviews online, so it is hard to judge the movie. But you get the idea that the filmmakers were trying very hard to be both emotionally substantive and a little pervy at the same time. If you are just interested in seeing athletic women beating each other up, the drama might get in the way. Conversely, if you are looking for the sports drama with a underdog, it works, but it relies a little heavily on the clichés.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Absolute Power, Air Force One / In the Line of Fire, Alice in Wonderland, Alice in Wonderland (Combo Pack), Alice in Wonderland Combo Pack Giftset, Bad Boys, Band of Brothers with The Pacific Part One, Class of Nuke'Em High, Clint Eastwood Collection (Absolute Power / Dirty Harry / Gran Torino / Kelly's Heroes / Letters from Iwo Jima / Million Dollar Baby / Mystic River / The Rookie / Unforgiven / Where Eagles Dare), Crossing Over, Dark Nature, Disney Parks: The Secrets, Stories and Magic Behind the Scenes, The Enforcer / Sudden Impact, Essential Eastwood: Director's Collection (Letters from Iwo Jima / Million Dollar Baby / Mystic River / Unforgiven), Every Which Way But Loose, Gauntlet, Heartbreak Ridge, I Know What You Did Last Summer / I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Kelly's Heroes / Where Eagles Dare, Lide (Attenborough), Life (Oprah), Life (Oprah) / Planet Earth, The Man With No Name Trilogy, NFL New Orleans Saints: Road to Super Bowl XLIV (Post-Season Collector's Edition), Pale Rider, The Red Baron, The Rookie, Someone's Knocking at the Door, Space Cowboys, The Stranger, U2: 360° at the Rose Bowl, Undisputed III: Redemption, War of the Worlds, Wild Things: Foursome, and The Wolfman
A big list of Blu-ray releases, including big releases like Alice in Wonderland and Life. It is also Clint Eastwood's birthday this week, so practically every film he's ever made is being released on Blu-ray this week, including individual releases, double-shots, and box sets.

Burn Notice: Season Three - Buy from Amazon
A great show about a former secret agent trying to figure out who cost him his job, i.e. who burned him. It is the featured prize of our current contest while hopefully the screener will arrive soon for our review.

Change of Habit - Buy from Amazon
Elvis Presley's last film, not counting concerts. He stars with Mary Tyler Moore as a doctor working in a low-income neighborhood while she is a nun working undercover as a nurse. Not a great movie, but almost nothing from Elvis was.

The Cleaner: Season Two - Buy from Amazon
A&E took a chance with their first scripted show in a long, long time. However, it wasn't able to thrive and was canceled after just two seasons. Was this a matter of poor quality, or did it just not fit in with the rest of the network's programming? Check out our review to find out.

Cornered - Buy from Amazon
A direct-to-DVD slasher flick starring Steve Guttenberg. ... Huh. That's not something you see every day. It is more than a curiosity? Check out our review to find out.

Disney Parks: The Secrets, Stories and Magic Behind the Scenes - 6-Disc DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
Coming out this week is a 6-disc DVD that contains five hours of specials about the Disney parks worldwide. The Blu-ray is half as long, so I'm not sure who it is aimed at. You would think people willing to pay more for Blu-ray would also be people willing to pay more for the complete collection.

Drop Dead Diva: The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
A beautiful but vapid woman dies and is reincarnated, sort of, in the body of a "plus-sized" lawyer. It's a high-concept comedy and one that usually only works for a few seasons before running its course, even under the best of circumstance. Will it last that long? Season two starts in two weeks, so we will see.

Foyle's War: Set 6 - Buy from Amazon
A World War II spy series that is almost like a series of TV movies. At one time this was going to be the final season, but thankfully it will continue.

Ghost Hunters International: Season One, Part One - Buy from Amazon
How many of these shows are there?

Hannah Free - Buy from Amazon
Sharon Gless stars as a free-spirited lesbian, while Maureen Gallagher plays the woman she keeps returning to. It's a niche market, of a niche market, of a niche market. To clarify, even among gay films, those that focus on lesbians are rare. And films that focus on older lesbians are rarer still. If you are in their target demographic, or a fan of two of the three genres, it could be worth checking out. However, the few reviews I've seen online describe it as TV movie quality, so rent it first.

Life (narrated by David Attenborough) - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is the BBC version of this amazing nature documentary series. You can also get the American version that is narrated by Oprah on both DVD and Blu-ray. If you loved Planet Earth, you will likely love this show as well, but stick with the original. It treats the subject matter with more depth.

The Man with No Name Trilogy - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
The films that made Clint Eastwood a box office star. Amazing movies, but is the box set worth it? Won't know for sure till after the screener arrives.

Midsomer Murders: Set 15 - Buy from Amazon
When you get to the 15th release on a TV series, it's hard to come up with something new to say with each new release. There are three mysteries here, each with feature-length running time, and while there are not a lot of extras, the price is a lot less than many imports. Fans should snap it up right away.

Mister Ed: The Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon
There must have been something in the water back then for people to make so many TV shows / Movies about inappropriately chatty things. Mister Ed, Francis the Mule, My Mother the Car. This is the best known, and for good reason, but it is still a high-concept comedy where a lot of the appeal is nostalgia.

NFL New Orleans Saints: Road to Super Bowl XLIV - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I'm not a huge fan of the NFL (I'm a CFL man myself) but I will admit their Championship releases are amazing. The only way this would be better is if they included every regular season game. That would cost a lot, but there are probably some fans that would be willing to buy it.

Peanuts: 1970's Collection, Volume 2 - Buy from Amazon
Six more TV specials from this franchise are being released this week. They include a couple that are still classics, Be My Valentine and You're a Good Sport, but the selection is being spread thin. (Arbor Day?) There's a featurette that looks at Peanuts and the 1970s and overall this is worth picking up.

The Red Baron - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Like Flyboys before it, this World War I dogfight movie failed to win over critics or moviegoers. The fight scenes might look good in High Definition, but even for fans of the genre, there are not enough of them to be worth picking up.

Rescue Me: The Complete Fifth Season - Buy from Amazon
The studio released the season in two separate volumes and now they are releasing the complete season for the same price as either of the individual volumes. It's like they are trying to piss off the fans.

Small Town Saturday Night - Buy from Amazon
A musician (Chris Pine) has to choose between his career and the woman he loves. When I saw this title, I assumed it was made before Chris Pine was in Star Trek and was being released now to take advantage of his sudden burst of fame. That is apparently not the case. There are very few reviews online, but it appears to be competently made, even if it is not entirely original, which is better than most direct-to-DVD releases.

The Stranger - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Steve Austin stars as a FBI agent suffering from amnesia. The few reviews I've seen online are mostly negative, but it's a direct-to-DVD release starring a wrestler, so you probably could have guessed that. With a near featureless DVD and Blu-ray, there's no reason to buy, and little reason to rent. (You would have to be a fan of the genre and the star.)

The Three Stooges Collection, Volume 8: 1955-1959 - Buy from Amazon
The final volume of this collection of great shorts. Or not so great shorts. Yes, the comedy troupe peaked many years before the timeframe captured by this 3-disc set, but there are still enough laughs that it is worth checking out for most, picking up for many, especially if you are a completionist.

U2: 360° at the Rose Bowl - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The No Line on The Horizon tour culminated in a performance at the Rose Bowl in front of nearly 100,000 people. This comes out on Thursday and not Tuesday, as most releases do, so keep that in mind.

The War of the Worlds - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
The latest Steven Spielberg catalogue release coming out on Blu-ray. The film earned excellent reviews and was one of the biggest hits of 2005. However, can it live up to its source material? Check out our review for my opinion.

Wild Things: Foursome - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Stop is. Seriously. The first movie was good, but the franchise needs to end.

The Wolfman - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Universal has a long and proud history with movie monsters and the wolf man is one of their most memorable. However, this film was plagued with issues from the beginning, which resulted in changes in directors, release dates, etc. Does this have an effect on the end product? Check out our review for my opinion.


Filed under: Video Releases, Crossing Over, The Wolfman, Alice in Wonderland, Cornered, The Red Baron, Small Town Saturday Night, Bare Knuckles