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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for June 22nd, 2010

June 21st, 2010

We have reached the slowest time of the year on the home market. The biggest first-run release coming out this week is Green Zone, which was a box office disappointment. The second biggest first-run release is She's Out of My League, which was also a box office disappointment, as was Remember Me. Worst still, there are very few limited releases, TV on DVD releases, or classics to make up the difference. However, many releases are worth picking up for certain target demographics, although very few that will likely sell a lot of units. For instance, Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Complete Book 1: Collector's Edition is a must have if you don't own the series on DVD yet, but there's not enough new material to make the upgrade. Cinematic Titanic: Danger on Tiki Island continues the tradition started with MST3K, but either you love you show or you're simply not interested in the DVD. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs makes its 3D Blu-ray debut, but the number of people who have made the leap to 3D is so small that it can't really be pick of the week material. To find the Pick of the Week, I'm instead going with two films that couldn't be more dissimilar if it were a contest. Death Race 2000 and The Last Station. Both are worth owning, but in both cases the Blu-ray release is not the obvious better deal.

Warning: This DVD does not come out this week and made its home market debut on the 15th. However, the screener arrived late, hence the delay in this review.

Air Bud: World Pup - Special Edition DVD - Buy from Amazon
The first of four DVDs from last week that arrived late. Actually, they arrived on Monday, which is technically not late, but certainly doesn't give me enough time to get the review online by Tuesday.

Amanda - Buy from Amazon
A romantic comedy about a man, Randy Ryan, who meets the woman of his dreams, Ariana Dubynin, only to learn that she used to be a man. That kind of twist makes this a niche market film. The DVD has an audio commentary track, behind-the-scenes featurette, interviews, outtakes, and more and it is worth checking out.

Warning: This DVD does not come out this week and made its home market debut on the 15th. However, the screener arrived late, hence the delay in this review.

American Dad!: Volume 5 - Buy from Amazon
Seth McFarlane's second highly successful TV series. Some have complained it is too much like his first show, but is this a fair complaint, or can the show thrive on its own? Check out our review for my opinion.

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Complete Book 1: Collector's Edition - Buy from Amazon
The movie is on its way to theaters, so now is the perfect time to release the TV show on a Collector's Edition DVD. However, is this release special enough to be worth picking up? A worthwhile upgrade? Check out our review for my opinion.

Blue Beard - Buy from Amazon
Written and directed by Catherine Breillat, whose films are sometimes difficult to watch. The film's reviews were good, but not great. Its opening was okay, but not enough to justify major expansion. It's worth checking out, especially if you are a fan of Catherine Breillat's past work, but the DVD is devoid of extras, which limits its value.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Afro Samurai: Complete Murder Sessions, The Bourne Trilogy, Close Up: Criterion Collection, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - 3D, Death Race 2000, Dire Straits: Alchemy Live: 20th Anniversary Edition, Entourage: The Complete Sixth Season, Green Zone, Guyver: Complete Box Set, Hung: The Complete First Season, The Last Station, Red Desert: Criterion Collection, Remember Me, Riverworld, She's Out of My League, A Star is Born, and Tromeo and Juliet
The weakness in the overall list of releases is reflected in the Blu-ray selection, especially at the top of the chart. At least Green Zone is the type of movie that does well on High Definition. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs coming out in 3D is the most interesting development of the week, but that technology is far too new to take off just yet. On the other hand, if you are an early adoptor for 3D, what other choices do you have for 3D entertainment?

Cinematic Titanic Live: Danger on Tiki Island - Buy Direct
The latest Cinematic Titanic DVD comes out this week. Or it might have come out last week and I missed it. Regardless, if you are a fan of Cinematic Titanic, Rifftraxs, Mystery Science Theater 3000, etc., then this is a must have. As a bonus, there is a behind-the-scenes featurette with the crew talking about the genesis of the show. A must have.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - 3D Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
For those who have spent $3000 to $5000 on a 3D TV / 3D Blu-ray player, now you will have something to watch! On a serious note, I do think this technology will catch on, but I think it will be 3D sports that sparks the revolution. Personally, I won't be spending any money on a 3D TV till the price is cut in half, and even then only if I have to to do my job. (I.E., I start getting offers to review 3D movies on a regular basis.)

Death Race 2000 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
It has been 35 years since this movie was made, and 10 years since it supposedly took place. How well has the film stood up to the test of time, and is the latest home market release worth picking up? Check out our review to find out.

Entourage: Season Six - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is a show that feels like they started recycling scripts around season three or four and no one has noticed. I will compliment it by saying the Blu-ray is an excellent deal compared to the DVD.

Warning: This DVD does not come out this week and made its home market debut on the 15th. However, the screener arrived late, hence the delay in this review.

Family Guy: Volume 8 - Buy from Amazon
This show survived being canceled not one, not twice, but three times. It was resurrected thanks to amazing DVD sales. Can the eighth volume maintain these impressive home market numbers? Check out our review to see if I recommend buying it.

Fuel - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about our addiction to oil and how we can break it. On the one hand, I don't think it is possible for this film's DVD debut to be better timed. On the other hand, I think it is impossible for this film to not preach to the choir. The evidence there is a problem is so strong that no matter how good a movie is, it won't convince those who are emotionally invested in remaining unconvinced. At least this film does give some advice on how to solve the problem, which makes it worth checking out, even if you are already convinced that there is a problem.

The Good Guy - Buy from Amazon: Buy from Amazon
Movies that open in limited release need very strong word-of-mouth to thrive. Even overall positive reviews are not enough to make it. So a film that opened with 43% positive reviews has a steep hill to climb, and The Good Guy wasn't able to make that climb. Will it be able to find an audience on the home market? Check out our review for my opinion.

Green Zone - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass team up trying to recapture The Bourne Magic. That plan didn't work out. It wasn't a terrible movie, but it wasn't as good as their first to films they made together. Additionally, its box office performance was nothing short of disastrous. The other two under-performing first run releases on this week's list can at least take solace in the fact that they were relatively inexpensive to make. This film cost $100 million to produce, and likely another $50 to $75 million to promote worldwide, yet it has only made less than $100 million on the global scale. Not good. The DVD comes with an audio commentary track, deleted scenes, and a making of featurette. The Blu-ray comes with that and a Picture-in-Picture track, as well as a digital copy of the movie. The movie is worth checking out, the DVD is worth buying over just renting, and the Blu-ray is better deal of the two.

Hung: The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Thomas Jane stars as a middle-age man who has lost just about everything, but he is well-endowed, so he decides to become a male escort. It's a little more complicated than that, but not by much. There was a lot of buzz going into this series, but the reviews have only been mixed. Extras on both the DVD and the Blu-ray include three audio commentary tracks, a couple featurettes, and a couple of faux commercials. That's not bad, but since there are only 10 episodes, the price-per-minute is a little high.

The Last Station - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film earned nearly a dozen major award nominations, but it was shut out every time. Obviously this suggests it is an excellent movie, but is the DVD / Blu-ray a must have? Check out our review for my opinion.

The Maid - Buy from Amazon
When their maid of more than 20 years becomes ill, a family hires temporary help. However, the maid isn't sure if they are being nice to her, or are about to replace her. The film earned amazing reviews and started its limited release run in an impressive fashion. However, it wasn't able to maintain its momentum as it expanded. Now that it is coming out on DVD, it should find a larger audience. Extras are not great (interviews, behind-the-scenes, and storyboard comparison) but it is still worth picking up over just renting.

Remember Me - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The latest attempt by a Twilight alum to try for solo success. So far their collective hit to miss ratio has been less than impressive, and with a Tomatometer Score of just 28% positive and a box office of less than $20 million, this is definitely a miss. The DVD has two audio commentary tracks and a making of featurette, while the Blu-ray has nothing extra, but it does cost just 26% more, which is reasonable. That said, I would stick with a rental.

Riverworld - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A three-hour mini-series that aired on SyFy earlier this year. Right now a lot of people have moved on to the next release, and frankly, I can't blame them, as the network doesn't have a real strong track record when it comes to TV movies / mini-series. Reviews for this one were mixed and if the network was testing the waters to see if they had the right material to base a TV series on, they probably didn't succeed.

She's Out of My League - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Jay Baruchel's first attempt at being a leading man in a major motion picture didn't go exactly as the studio had hoped. That said, its reviews were better than its box office performance. But is the movie funny enough to be worth watching? Perhaps even worth buying? Check out our review to find out.

Warning: This DVD does not come out this week and made its home market debut on the 15th. However, the screener arrived late, hence the delay in this review.

The Secret Life of the American Teenager: Volume Four - Buy from Amazon
When I reviewed the first DVD release, I had mixed opinions. Since then, my opinion of the show has soured more and more. Can it finally turn things around? Check out our review to find out.

Thirst - Blu-ray
Lacey Chabert stars as one of four people who head into the desert to do a sexy photoshoot only to become stranded by a car crash. This film was made in 2008 but is only coming out now. That's a bad sign, but I'll have to wait till the screener arrives before I can say if this decision was justified.

Timer - Buy from Amazon
Emma Caufield stars in this high-concept romantic comedy. In the film, a company developed a device that could be implanted into your wrist and that would count down to the very second you would meet your soul mate. The film's reviews were probably not good enough to thrive in limited release, especially given its genre. However, it should find an audience on the home market. Add in extras that include an audio commentary track, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes, outtakes, etc. and the DVD is worth picking up.

Tom & Jerry: Deluxe Anniversary Collection - Buy from Amazon
I was never a huge fan of Tom and Jerry; however, this is still a very disappointing release, as it is mostly double-dips. If you are going to double-dip, put out full catalogs in chronological order. You will make a lot of fans very happy.

Wolf Moon - Buy from Amazon
The latest in a flood of werewolf movies that have come out recently. Most have been low budget affairs that were likely picked up just to take advantage of the Twilight buzz and most are very skippable. Is this one any better? Check out our review for my opinion.


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Filed under: Video Releases, The Bourne Ultimatum, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Fuel, The Last Station, Remember Me, She's Out of My League, Green Zone, The Maid, The Good Guy, Bluebeard, Wolf Moon, Amanda