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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for June 15th, 2010

June 14th, 2010

As it usually this time of year, the selection of first run releases on the home market is rather weak, with only one certified hit: The Book of Eli. That's not to say there are not a lot of interesting releases, as we have many summer TV series hitting the home market ahead of their premieres. However, looking for the Pick of the Week we have to dig deep to find a mostly undiscovered gem: Mary & Max. Both the DVD and the Blu-ray are worth buying, but the latter is the better deal.

Air Bud: World Pup - Special Edition DVD - Buy from Amazon
It is very unusual for a Disney DVD to be late, but that is the case here. Hopefully the latest re-release for this franchise will get to be reviewed soon.

American Dad!: Volume 5 - Buy from Amazon
The winners of the box office prediction contest that featured this DVD will be announced shortly. In the meantime, the wait for the screener continues. Given the norm for the studio, it will be shipped on Tuesday and should arrive before the weekend.

Avatar: The Last Airbender - Buy from Amazon: Book One: Water: Volume One & Two and Volume Three & Four, Book Two: Earth: Volume One & Two and Volume Three & Four, and Book Three: Fire: Volume One & Two and Volume Three & Four
With the movie coming out next month, they are re-releasing the TV series in double-pack DVDs. However, they are also releasing special edition Full Book sets starting next week. I have three of the six double-packs, but I also have Avatar The Last Airbender: The Complete Book 1 (Collector's Edition), so I will be reviewing that and giving these away when we get closer to the movie's release date.

Best Years: Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon
I reviewed Season One when it came out... okay, I reviewed it a month after it came out, because the screener arrived a month late. Hopefully it won't take that long this time around.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: American Bandits: Frank and Jesse James, Book of Eli, Circle of Pain, Control Alt Delete, Darkman, Enter the Dragon, Flash Gordon, The Horseman, Mary and Max, Mystery Train, Sanctuary: Season One, Sanctuary: Season Two, The Shadows: The Final Tour, Showgirls: 15th Anniversary Sinsational Edition, The Stepfather, Supernatural: Season One, Unthinkable, Vengeance Trilogy, When in Rome, and Youth in Revolt
It's kind of a mixed week for Blu-ray releases. There are a number that are worth picking up, including The Vengeance Trilogy, Mary and Max, two Sanctuary seasons, etc. However, the top selling releases are less impressive, which leads me to think the overall sales will be poor.

Book of Eli - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The biggest hit of this past January. Normally this is a clear case of, "Damning it with faint praise." However, this film made nearly $100 million domestically and more than $140 million worldwide. Granted, it cost $80 million to make, so it will need help on the home market to break even, but it has done better than the vast majority of January releases do. As for its quality, the reviews were only mixed. Again, that's better than most January releases. Extras on the DVD include an animated short that provides some background information and some deleted scenes. That's barely enough to be worth a rental. The Blu-ray has a Picture-in-Picture track with more than 30 minutes of featurettes sewn through. It also has featurettes with the cast talking about what a post apocalyptic world might be like, the moral questions posed by the movie, and on the soundtrack. It does cost nearly 40% more than the DVD, but it includes the DVD and a Digital Copy, so it is definitely worth the upgrade.

Warning: This DVD does not come out this week and made its home market debut on the 1st. However, the screener arrived late, hence the delay in this review.

Burn Notice: Season Three - Buy from Amazon
The only late DVD review on this week's list. In fact, at the moment, it is the only late DVD I have. This either means that I've completely caught up, or there's a package on its way with a dozen late DVDs. Either way, check out our review of this great spy show.

Circle of Pain - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The latest entrant in the world of Mixed Martial Arts movies. Like most such films, this one is going Direct-to-DVD, which further lowers expectations. How well does it live up to its direct competition? Check out our review to find out.

Collapse - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about the current economic collapse and how it is only going to get worse because the idiots in charge don't know what they are doing. An excellent and timely movie and one that should be seen by more people. Extras on the DVD include a 13-minute update and it is worth picking up.

Control Alt Delete - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Buy from Amazon
Tyler Labine stars as a man that is dumped by his girlfriend and as a result begins to take his cybersex addiction to the extreme. It's not a movie you would expect to go mainstream, but can it find a cult audience? I won't be able to judge that till the screener arrives.

Everwood: Season Three - Buy from Amazon
It has been nearly a year since Season Two came out, but while that's a little long between TV on DVD releases, it's lightning fast compared to the five years between Seasons one and two. Hopefully it won't be too long before the fourth and final season comes out.

Family Guy: Volume 8 - Buy from Amazon
Just a quick note that the screener will be shipped to me on Tuesday and hopefully I will get it before the weekend. Depending on how many late DVDs arrive this week, I might get to it right away, but it is more likely that the review won't be online till next Wednesday.

Happy Tears - Buy from Amazon
An impressive cast that included Parker Posey, Demi Moore, Rip Torn, and Ellen Barkin wasn't enough for this film to thrive in limited release. Should people who didn't get a chance to see it in theater check out the DVD? Read our review for my opinion.

Hawthorne: The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
A medical drama starring Jada Pinkett Smith as the titular character, a head nurse. Reviews for the show were a little mixed, and it is a crowded genre, but it was still a solid hit for TNT. (3.5 million viewers would be disastrous for a network show, but some weeks that would be top 20 material for cable.) Since it is a summer show there are only 10 episodes, which makes the price per minute a little high. That said, there are a number of featurettes that help mitigate that, so it is worth picking up if you are a fan of the show.

Here's Lucy: Season Three - Buy from Amazon
This show was a follow-up to The Lucy Show, which only ended its six-year run because of behind-the-scenes business involving the sale of the Desilu Productions. This was Lucille Ball's third and last highly successful TV series and fans of the show will be happy it coming out on DVD. So far the extras on these releases have been better than most shows from the same era get when they come out on DVD.

The Horseman - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
After the death of his daughter, a man goes looking for revenge on those responsible. Along the way, he picks a a young runaway that reminds him of his daughter and they develop a friendship, but she is unaware of what he is doing. The film has been earning widely mixed reviews. Some are calling it the best revenge film since Death Wish, while others are calling it Torture Porn with delusions of grandeur. If you are in the target demographic, it is probably worth checking out, but start with a rental first. If you are intent on buying, the Blu-ray doesn't appear to have additional extras, but it also only costs 20% more.

Johnny Bravo: Season One - Buy from Amazon
About time! I love this show. It features Johnny Bravo, a man obviously modeled after Elvis, at least in terms of looks and mannerisms. Personality-wise, he's a simple-minded, muscular, moron whose days are filled with trying to impress women and utterly failing. For fans of the show, or other Cartoon Network offerings, this is an important week, as the network has said if this show sells well, and so does next month's release of Courage the Cowardly Dog, then they will start releasing other shows on DVD. Awesome news. And both shows are worth picking up.

Leave it to Beaver: Season Three - Buy from Amazon
This DVD is featured in our latest box office prediction contest, while the screener for the Complete Series Megaset should arrive sooner rather than later.

Lewis Black: Stark Raving Black - Buy from Amazon
Lewis Black's latest stand-up concert DVD is the third one I own, but the first I've had the pleasure to review. Can it live up to the other two? Check out our review for my opinion.

MacGyver: The TV Movies - Buy from Amazon
All seven seasons of this TV show have been released on DVD, including on a Full Series Megaset. The last part of the franchise that needed to be released were the TV movies, but now that they have come out, were they worth the wait? Check out our review to find out.

Mary & Max - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
2009 was a great year for claymation, with two such films grabbing Oscar nominations. There was also a third such film released, but it was a tiny film from Australia that was overlooked by most people. Now that it is coming out on DVD and Blu-ray, should it find a more receptive audience? Read our review to find out.

My Three Sons: Season Two, Volume Two - Buy from Amazon
Season Two of My Three Sons was the highest rated in the show's 12-year run. However, was it also the best quality? Check out our review for my opinion.

Mystery Train: Criterion Collection - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of Jim Jarmusch's first films, and still one of his best. It's an ensemble anthology about three groups staying at the same seedy hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. It won the Best Artistic Contribution at the Cannes Film Festival and earned six Independent Spirit Award nominations. (It was shut out, but that year Sex, Lies, and Videotape and Drugstore Cowboy won just about everything between the two of them.) Extras on the DVD and Blu-ray include documentary, Q&A session with the director, booklet with essays, as well as an improvement in the film's technical presentation. It is rather expensive, but with the Criterion Collection, you get what you pay for.

Sanctuary: Season 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Amanda Tapping from Stargate - SG-1 stars in this TV series about a secret government agency dealing with the world of monsters that exists but is kept a secret from the population at large. However, instead of hunting down and destroying these monsters, they protect them from those who would. It's an interesting twist and it helps the show stand out from its competition. It's worth picking up and going by the list price, the Blu-ray is the vastly better deal. However, DVD is massively discounted on Amazon.com at the moment, which complicates the equation. Also coming out this week is Season One on Blu-ray and it's also quite the deal.

Secret Life of the American Teenager: Volume Four - Buy from Amazon
This show took a turn at the beginning of Season Two (a.k.a., volume three) but can it right itself during the second half? Won't know for sure till the screener arrives.

Showgirls: 15th Anniversary Sinsational Edition - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Just a quick note that I should be receiving a screener for this DVD shortly. When I do, I'll be able to say if the film deserves its reputation or if it has some real entertainment value.

Unthinkable - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Torture porn, literally. The film is about a U.S. Interrogator, Samuel L. Jackson, trying to break a suspected terrorist, Michael Sheen. Unfortunately, it treats the subject with less realism than it should. It turns what could be an interesting look into a controversial topic to something that exploits said topic for entertainment purposes.

When in Rome - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Not the worst January release this year, both in terms of box office performance and with critics. However, that's not really a compliment. Is, "Not the worst for the month." enough to be worth checking out? Read our review for my opinion.

Yo Gabba Gabba!: Clubhouse - Buy from Amazon
Nickelodeon has made these single-disc releases for preschoolers an example of assembly line work. By that I mean, if you've seen one, you know what to expect from the next. So what four episodes appear on this DVD? Check out our review to find out.

Youth in Revolt - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Buy from Amazon
Despite earning strong reviews, this film went nowhere at the box office. Perhaps people are tiring of Michael Cera's schtick, which sadly hasn't changed much since his breakout performance in Arrested Development. Fortunately, the studio didn't skimp too much on the extras and the DVD has an audio commentary track, about 20 minutes of deleted scenes, and several minutes of audition tape footage. The Blu-ray has this, plus the MovieIQ trivia track feature that is becoming standard for Sony releases.


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Filed under: Video Releases, Youth in Revolt, When in Rome, The Book of Eli, Unthinkable, Collapse, Happy Tears, Control Alt Delete, Circle of Pain, American Bandits, The Horseman