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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for July 27th, 2010

July 26th, 2010

It is a deceptively slow week in the video market. I love that word, "deceptively", because it really has no meaning. In the first sentence it could mean the week appears to be busy, but it is really slow. Or it could mean the week appears to be slow, but it is really busy. In this case, it's the former. While there are 350 releases for the week on, there's only one significant first run release, Clash of the Titans. Moving down the list of best sellers, it doesn't take long until you run into second tier, or even third or fourth tier releases. Arguably the best release on this week's list of reviews is Mother, but that came out last week it's on the list because the screener was late. The two competitors for Pick of the Week from this week's releases are Batman: Under the Red Hood - Blu-ray with Litho Cell and Ip Man - Collector's Edition Blu-ray. Which one wins depends on whether you like martial arts movies or comic books more. For me, it's a tie.

Accidents Happen - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Geena Davis stars as the head of a dysfunctional family in this Australian film. It earned mixed reviews and it may or may not have been released in theaters on Friday. It has been a while since Geena Davis has been the star of a box office hit, but perhaps making smaller independent films will help correct the damage Cutthroat Island did to her career.

Agatha Christie Releases - Buy from Amazon: Agatha Christie Hour Set 1, Poirot: Classic Collection: Set 4, Poirot: Movie Collection: Set 5
Not one, not two, but three Agatha Christie DVDs coming out this week, including two featuring David Suchet as Poirot. Suchet is arguably the most iconic incarnation of Hercule Poirot, although I'm still partial to Peter Ustinov.

The Art of the Steal - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about the legal battle over an art collection that is currently held by a small museum. However, a larger museum wants to take it and charge money for people to see it, even though the original owner of the art left it to the smaller museum under the understanding that it would never be used for commercial purposes. The movie's reviews were excellent, while earning $500,000 is pretty good for a documentary. There are no extras on the DVD, which is disappointing, but it is still worth checking out for most, picking up for many. (Oh, and on a side note, objectivity doesn't mean giving both sides equal time and equal weight. If one person says, "It is important to have a balanced diet," and the other person says, "Broccoli is invading my mind and stealing industrial secrets," it doesn't make sense to say, "There are differences of opinion." This fallacy of balance needs to end.)

Batman: Under the Red Hood - Buy from Amazon: Single-Disc DVD, Two-Disc DVD, Two-Disc DVD with Litho Cel, Blu-ray, Blu-ray with Litho Cell
The latest direct-to-DVD title from D.C.Comics. In this film, Batman has to deal with the Red Hood, a vigilante like Batman, but who doesn't have the same ethics code. I've seen a few reviews online and they are almost always enthusiastically positive. Add in a large selection of extras, especially on the Two-Disc DVD and the Blu-ray, and you have a must-have for fans of the franchise, with the High Definition release being the better deal. And paying a few dollars more for a Litho cell is probably worth it for even the average collector, never mind the hardcore ones.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Accidents Happen, Batman: Under the Red Hood, Batman: Under the Red Hood (with Litho Cel), Battlestar Galactica: Season Three, Clash of the Titans, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Don't Look Up, Fanboys, G.I.Joe: The Movie, Ip Man, Ip Man: Collector's Edition, Johnny Handsome, Life After People: Season Two, Lock Up, Operation: Endgame, The Prowler, Puppet Master , Puppet Master: Axis of Evil, Rambo: Extended Cut, Rambo: The Complete Collection, Repo Men, The Secret of the Grain - The Criterion Collection, Stargate: Universe, Stephen Fry in America, and Voctor Victoria
Not much in terms of top tier Blu-ray releases. Clash of the Titans was a reasonable-sized hit, but not a very good movie. Batman: Under the Red Hood is the second-best-selling Blu-ray according to Amazon. Actually, it's second and third, but it is direct-to-DVD, which doesn't suggest huge sales numbers.

Clash of the Titans - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The biggest release on this week's list, but it is not the best. It was, to be kind, a visual feast with a very weak story. Many even complained that the visuals were distracting and not a selling point. Because of the visual nature of the movie, the Blu-ray is the better choice, plus it is has extras and comes with the DVD format as well. However, unless you are hardcore fan of the genre, a rental will be enough.

Don't Look Up - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Based on a film by Hideo Nakata, who made the original Ringu. It also has a cameo by Eli Roth, as a filmmaker in the 1920s trying to make a movie about a gypsy curse, only to become the victim of one. Now nearly a century later, a new film crew is trying to finish the film, but they've awoken the same curse. There are a lot of warning signs here, including a lack of reviews over on Rotten Tomatoes. However, I've seen a few reviews from genre critics that were mixed to positive. If you are a fan of remakes of Japanese horror films, then it might be worth a rental.

FIFA World Cup DVD Collection: 1930-2006 - Buy from Amazon
This is a 15-disc, 24-hour box set that looks at 20 World Cups over the past 80 years. All without Vuvuzelas! If you are a fan of the sport, it's worth the money. Heck, even if you just hate Vuvuzelas, it is worth the money.

G.I.Joe: The Movie - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Part of a trio of theatrical releases based on Hasbro toys. However, after the first two bombed, this one was dumped direct-to-video. Was this a smart plan, or could this film have been a hit? Check out our review for my opinion.

Hannie Caulder - Buy from Amazon
A revenge Western starring Raquel Welch as Hannie Caulder, who is the victim of a gang rape but who gets her revenge after being taught how to use a gun. It's part of a flood of old Paramount movies being released on bare bones DVDs by Olive Films, the others coming out this week are Appointment with Danger, Crack in the World, Dark City , and Union Station. This is the one that is selling the best, at least at the moment according to, but they are all mostly forgotten.

Instant Star: Season 4 - Buy from Amazon
It's a bittersweet week for fans of this Canadian show, as the show ended after four years. There was a plan for a fifth season, but that's not going to happen now. That said, at least it didn't overstay its welcome and this 2-disc set is good value for the money with lots of extras.

Ip Man - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Collector's Edition DVD, Blu-ray, Collector's Edition Blu-ray
A Biopic about Ip Man. Who? He's a martial arts master who, among other things, trained Bruce Lee. This movie looks at the earlier part of his life during the Second Sino-Japanese War, also known as World War II. The film's reviews are excellent and fans of historical martial arts movies will definitely want to add the film to their collection. Additionally, the Collector's Edition Blu-ray is the best deal, as it is cheaper than both the Collector's Edition DVD and the regular Blu-ray.

Jesse Stone: No Remorse - Buy from Amazon
The latest in the long line of TV movies from the popular franchise is hitting the home market this week. Jumping into a franchise like this partway through is tough, but is this a worthy installment? Does it do enough to make a neophyte want to start from the beginning? Read our review for my opinion.

Life After People: Season Two - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A look at what would happen to the planet if all the people suddenly disappeared. How long would our infrastructure take to break down? What would happen to the buildings over time? It's an interesting premise, but how far can they stretch it? I'll have a better idea after the screener arrives.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 20th.

Mother - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
After arriving a couple days late, I was able to get to the review of this film over the weekend. So how well does this film live up to Joon-ho Bong's movie, The Host? Check out our review to find out.

The Mothers-in-Law: The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
After Desi Arnaz split with Lucille Ball, he went on to produce and direct a few projects, including this TV show. It focuses on the lives of two vastly different neighbors that suddenly find themselves related when their kids get married. Unfortunately, the show never earned the same critical or commercial success as did his work with Lucille Ball and it was nearly canceled after one season and actually canceled after two. That said, this 8-disc set is loaded with extras and fans of the show should pick it up.

Neighbor: Unrated Director's Cut - Buy from Amazon
This will be the third film with America Olivo in it that I've reviewed, when the screener arrives. So far she is one and one, so this will be the tiebreaker.

Operation: Endgame - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Two groups of assassins are forced by the clandestine organization they work for to kill each other in a "downsizing" measure. It's a dark comedy that earned weak reviews and we still don't have box office numbers. Add in very light extras (a making-of featurette and alternate opening and ending) and it is nearly impossible to recommend buying. However, if you like some of the cast, and are into bloody dark comedies, it might be worth a rental. Who knows, maybe it will click with you.

Pawn Stars: Season Two - Buy from Amazon
Why is this show on the History Channel? At least is it not made up ghost stories, but I really don't think these three will find their way into a history book anytime soon.

The Phil Silvers Show: Season One - Buy from Amazon
After a 50th Anniversary release a few years back, they are releasing the show in full season sets. But was it worth the wait? Read our review to find out.

Puppet Master Releases - Buy from Amazon: Puppet Master: DVD or Blu-ray & Puppet Master: Axis of Evil: DVD or Blu-ray
I can't believe this franchise has lasted more than 20 years and now it is making its Blu-ray debut. Granted, the first film isn't exactly a good movie, but it is a good example of its genre, the low-budget direct-to-DVD horror film. The vast majority of these movies are sold on nothing more than the promise of boobs and blood, and this movie has both. However, it also has one of the best horror killers out there, or one of the best groups of horror killers out there, in the form of the killer puppets. I grabbed the Limited Edition Box Set from the official site, as well as the resin statue of Blade, but I've been a fan of the movie since it first came out. If you haven't seen the series, give it a rental.

Rambo: The Complete Collector's Set - Buy from Amazon
The complete Rambo franchise on Blu-ray. Needless to say, this should interest more than a few people, but I won't be say if it is worth upgrading to or not until the screener arrives.

Repo Men - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I was never expecting this film to be a big hit, but the magnitude of its bombing caught me off guard. Granted, it did earn terrible reviews, but even so, it should have done better at the box office. Extras on the DVD / Blu-ray include an audio commentary track, deleted scenes, making-of featurette on the special effects, and the fake commercials for the Union organ corporation seen in the movie. That's better than expected given the film's struggles at the box office, but not enough to overcome its reviews.

Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band: Live at the Greek Theatre 2008 - Buy from Amazon
I read once that for the first couple of years after the Beatles broke up, Ringo Starr was the best-selling solo act of the four. I don't know if that is true, but this DVD is selling quite well compared to most new releases this week.

Sabrina: The Teenage Witch: Season Seven - Buy from Amazon
This is the final season of this long-running TV series. It was never really a darling of the critics, but was it able to go out on a high note? Check out our review for my opinion.

Stargate: Universe: Season 1.5 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Just a quick note that the contest is underway, while the screener could arrive at my door as early as later today.

Stephen Fry in America - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Buy from Amazon
I'm going to put forth a theory that I believe to be true, but bear in mind I haven't done extensive research to back it up. Stephen Fry is one of the funniest people ever to live on this planet and almost everything he's in is a joy to watch. (Almost everything.) In this show he plays one of his funniest characters, himself. It's a travelogue with Stephen Fry driving around in a British taxi and visiting all 50 states, and the District of Columbia. This is probably the only issue with the show, with 51 stops in just 6 hour-long shows, there's not enough of Stephen Fry in any one place. However, fans of the show will still want to check it out. The Blu-ray is 33% more than the DVD, which is right on the border between a good value and not.


Filed under: Video Releases, Rambo, Fanboys, Madeo, Clash of the Titans, The Art of the Steal, Operation: Endgame, Accidents Happen, Batman: Under the Red Hood, Don't Look Up, Ip Man