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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for July 13th, 2010

July 12th, 2010

The dog days of summer continue on the home market. The best selling release of the week is also one of the worst films of the year. Also, there are not a lot of limited release / TV on DVD releases to pick up the pace, so the odds are that it will be a slow week in terms of sales. Looking for a Pick of the Week contender, there are a couple of TV on DVD releases that are prime contenders, Psych: The Complete Fourth Season and Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XVIII. Both are worth picking up, but I'm going with MST3K as the Pick of the Week.

2:37 - Buy from Amazon
The first of two Australian films on this week's list. I suspect this one is coming out because it stars Teresa Palmer, who is in The Sorcerer's Apprentice, which opens this week. This film is earning better reviews, but still not good reviews. I might be getting a screener to review, and if I do, I'll be able to say which side of the debate I fall on.

8: The Mormon Proposition - Buy from Amazon
This documentary on the fight for gay / lesbian rights and the Mormons' involvement in the Prop 8 battle in California. The film earned mixed reviews with some complaining it was too one-sided, which is not really a valid complaint. It is an advocacy documentary: of course it is going to advocate for its side. On the other hand, others complained that is wasn't as effective as it could have been, which is a larger problem. That said, it is still worth checking out, but with no extras, a rental might be enough for most.

America the Beautiful - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about America's obsession with beauty, which manifests itself in many ways, including a $12 billion plastic surgery industry. The reviews were good, but not great, as a lot of critics complained that it doesn't add a whole lot new to this debate. That said, it is still worth checking out.

The Backyardigans: Operation Elephant Drop - Buy from Amazon
I am way outside the target demographic for this show, but I will admit, when it comes to preschool shows, this is one of the better ones to review. Why? Read our review to find out.

The Bounty Hunter - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of the worst movies of the year, it nevertheless matched expectations at the box office. The DVD isn't exactly loaded with extras containing just a trio of fluffy featurettes, while the DVD is BD-Live enabled and comes with a Digital Copy of the movie for only $2 more. High Definition is the better deal, but this is a movie that is worth skipping, regardless of the extras or format.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Alpha Dog, Assault on Precinct 13, The Bounty Hunter, The Cartel, Caught in the Crossfire, Chloe, Gabriel Iglesias: Hot and Fluffy, The Greatest, Greenberg, How to Make Love to a Woman, In Bruges, Insomnia, Middle of Nowhere, Neil Young Archives Volume I (1963 - 1972), Our Family Wedding, Parasomnia, Shark Week: Jaws of Steel Collection, and White Collar: Season One
Ugh. Another week without a top-notch Blu-ray release. The best-selling release is The Bounty Hunter, which is a movie best avoided regardless of the format. Chloe is in third place according to Amazon.com, which is unusually high for a limited release. Meanwhile, a catalog title, Insomnia, is currently in second place on the same list.

Chloe - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Julianne Moore stars as a woman who thinks her husband might be cheating on her, so she hires a prostitute, the titular Amanda Seyfried, to try to seduce him. The film earned mixed reviews, opened in far too many theaters for a limited release, and struggled to find an audience. That said, it is worth checking out. The DVD has an audio commentary track, making-of featurette, and a couple of deleted scenes. Call it a solid rental, leaning towards a purchase. The Blu-ray is BD-Live enabled, but on Amazon.com it costs nearly $10 more, which is too much to pay for this type of film.

Film Noir Classic Collection, Volume 5 - Buy from Amazon
Eight movies crammed onto four discs without any real special features. On the other hand, it's eight movies for less than $40 and it is hard to beat that price.

The Girl By the Lake - Buy from Amazon
This Italian film is a murder mystery that won ten David di Donatello Awards and was nominated for five others, so I'm definitely looking forward to this one, but sadly, the screener is late.

The Greatest - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Great cast, mediocre reviews, weak box office performance. Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon star as a married couple dealing with the recent death of their son when a woman shows up claiming to be pregnant with their late son's child. Good performances but a predictable script mean the movie is worth checking out, but the replay value is limited. That said, even with just a couple of interview featurettes, it is hard to top that price and it might be worth picking up because of that.

Greenberg - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Ben Stiller stars in a Noah Baumbach film, which is a combination that caught the attention of a lot of people. The end results were good, but not great. Greenberg is a misanthrope, which is fine, but he's also not nearly as witty as he thinks he is, which can be too annoying to handle for a lot of people. It's worth checking out, but with a DVD and Blu-ray that are nearly devoid of extras, its value might be limited to a rental for a lot of people.

Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger - Buy from Amazon
This small Australian coming of age story earned good reviews in its native market, but here things were a little more mixed, and it never came close to matching its potential. Too bad, as I was hoping it would do well here. With extras that include a featurette on the search for Esther and interviews, I would rate the DVD a solid rental, leaning toward a purchase.

The Lucy Show: The Official Second Season - Buy from Amazon
I reviewed the first season when it came out, but the screener for the second season is late. Hopefully it will arrive soon, as I don't want to get behind with the TV on DVD rush starting next month.

Middle of Nowhere - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Buy from Amazon
Eva Amurri teams up with Anton Yelchin after her mother, Susan Sarandon, used her college fund to support the modeling career of her younger sister, Willa Holland. In order to raise cash, they decide to sell marijuana, which seems to be a common decision in movies and TV shows recently. Made in 2007, premiered in 2008, but only making its way to DVD / Blu-ray this week. That's not a good sign. I've read only a few reviews, but most are positive, if not enthusiastically positive. Extras including a making-of featurette, interviews, and deleted scenes. The Blu-ray has no exclusives, but only costs a trifle more, so it is the better deal.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: XVIII - Buy from Amazon
The latest MST3K DVD release includes one of the most infamous films ever presented on the show. Which one? You'll have to read our review to find out.

Nickelodeon Jr. Favorites: First Day of School - Buy from Amazon
I understand that retailers like to sell the next holiday before the previous one ends, like how Christmas starts in October now. However, this is for days people looks forward to. Selling a First Day of School DVD just as summer holidays starts seems almost cruel. Or maybe they are doing this for the parents. "Don't worry, summer vacation ends shortly." Regardless of the reason, how well does the DVD stack up next to previous such releases? Read our review for my opinion.

Note: This DVD makes its home market debut on the 20th. However, the DVD screener arrived early and I was able to get the review done this week.

Ninja Creed - Buy from Amazon
It's took a while for this film to get a theatrical release, and even then it was in and out of theaters before most people noticed. Will it be able to find a more receptive audience on the home market? Check out our review to find out.

Our Family Wedding - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Two quick notes... Firstly, the screener should be mailed to me by Tuesday, so hopefully I will be able to get to the review ASAP. Secondly, the contest will begin on Friday.

Parasomnia - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of several movies for which I'm still waiting for the screener. I will say this: if it is worth buying, the Blu-ray is obviously the better deal, as it is cheaper than the DVD.

Note: This DVD makes its home market debut on the 20th. However, the DVD screener arrived early and I was able to get the review done this week.

The Professional - Buy from Amazon
A French spy thriller from 1981. That's not the usual film I review. However, is this the only noteworthy aspect of the film, or is it worth checking out? Read our review for my opinion.

Psych: The Complete Fourth Season - Buy from Amazon
A P.I. show about Shawn Spencer (James Roday) who has highly developed perception thanks to constant training as a kid by his cop of a father. Now he uses this gift, and the help of his best friend Burton Guster (Dulé Hill), to pretend to be psychic and help the cops solve crimes. Overall it is one of the best of a crowded genre mixing comedy and mystery to near perfect levels; however, as a high concept show, it is showing signs of running out of steam. Extras on the 4-disc set include audio commentary tracks, deleted scenes, outtakes, featurettes, etc. Worth picking up and a contender for Pick of the Week.

Saint John of Las Vegas - Buy from Amazon
Thanks to an impressive cast, this film opened really well, earning more than $20,000 in just two theaters. However, thanks to less than impressive reviews, it collapsed the next weekend and never recovered. This could explain why the DVD is coming out on a nearly featureless DVD (there's just a short interview featurette). Maybe if you are a fan of some of the cast it is worth renting, but that's absolutely it.

Saturday Night Live: The Best of Tracy Morgan - Buy from Amazon
The first of two SNL re-releases on this week's list. Although it is actually coming out next week. (I've been getting a lot of reviews done early recently. I wonder if that will keep up?) The previous version is still around, and a better price, but that doesn't matter if the DVD isn't worth checking out. Read our review to find out my opinion.

Saturday Night Live: The Best of Will Ferrell - Buy from Amazon
This DVD suffers from the same problem as the Tracy Morgan DVD, i.e. if you are interested in it, it is better to buy the older release. However, is it actually worth buying? Check out our review to find out.

Saving Grace: Season Three - Buy from Amazon
Holly Hunter earned a dozen award nominations for her portrayal of the titular character, including a Golden Globe, Emmy, and three SAGs. Sadly, this was not enough as the show was canceled after three years. Did it go out on a high note? Won't know for sure until the screener arrives.

Saving Marriage - Buy from Amazon
A documentary on the fight for gay / lesbian rights that took place in Massachusetts starting in 2003. This film earned excellent reviews and it is the perfect accompaniment to 8: The Mormon Proposition. If you rent one, rent them both. If you buy one, buy them both.

Selling Hitler - Buy from Amazon
A journalist, Jonathan Price, makes the discovery of a lifetime when he meets a small book dealer who has Hitler's diary. This creates a media storm, but unfortunately for him, this book dealer is a forger and a conman. Lack of substantial extras are a disappointment, but this British mini-series is still worth picking up.

Sesame Street: 20 Years...and Still Counting! - Buy from Amazon
Like countless people, I grew up watching Sesame Street, so I'm really looking forward to getting this DVD to review. It is, unfortunately, late.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Triton's Revenge - Buy from Amazon
One of many, many releases where I'm still waiting on the screener.

Street Hawk: The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
A TV show from the 1980s about a cop injured on the job who is then recruited by a secret agency to ride their experimental motorcycle. I only have the vaguest of recollections about this show, so I will have to wait until the screener arrives before I can comment on it.

The Super Hero Squad Show: Volume One - Buy from Amazon
This show is a little hard to explain; let's just say it's a different kind of Super Hero cartoon. Does it work? Won't know until the screener arrives.

Vivere - Buy from Amazon
A German / Dutch co-production that only earned mixed reviews and never found an audience here. Will it do better on the home market? It would be hard to do worse; however, until the screener arrives I won't know if the DVD is worth buying, renting, or avoiding.

White Collar: Season One - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of a new wave of "It Takes a Thief" shows. You know the saying, "It takes a thief to catch a thief." Or in this case, it takes a white collar conman to catch a conman. I love shows like this, but will this one live up to Leverage? Won't know until the screener arrives.

World War I in Color - Buy from Amazon
This six-part documentary from 2003 features hours of footage from World War I colorized under the guidance of experts to make sure every detail is correct. The colorization process isn't perfect, but it is the central selling point of the DVD and the overall show is not as in-depth as it should be.

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Filed under: Video Releases, Saving Marriage, Vivere, Royal Kill, The Greatest, Our Family Wedding, Saint John of Las Vegas, Greenberg, Alpha Dog, America the Beautiful, The Bounty Hunter, Chloe, Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger, How to Make Love to a Woman, 8: The Mormon Proposition