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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for August 10th, 2010

August 9th, 2010

There are not a lot of prime releases on this week's list, but there are a few that I'm interested in. Date Night is the biggest release of the week and depending on how strong its home market debut is, it could be a worthy pick up, or even a contender for Pick of the Week. I won't know till the screener arrives. Crumb's Blu-ray review was also a tempting choice for Pick of the Week. As was Bugs Bunny: Hare Extraordinaire and Daffy Duck: Frustrated Fowl. But in the end I went with Max Headroom: The Complete Series as Pick of the Week.

Adam-12: Season Five - Buy from Amazon
One of Jack Webb's many hit TV series. He was a master of the straight forward realistic approach to the depiction of police detectives (Dragnet); EMT crews (Emergency!); and beat cops (Adam-12). If you are a fan of one show, chances are you will like the others. If you are a fan of the current crop of shows in this genre, these might seem old-fashion. However, they do have a certain timeless quality to them, because they don't rely on flashy graphics to sell the story.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Crumb, Date Night, Death at a Funeral, The Diplomat, An Empress and the Warriors, Helen, In the Shadow of the Moon, Invisible Target, The Joneses, The Killing Room, The Legend of Fong Sai Yuk, La Mission, Multiple Sarcasms, National Lampoon's Vacation, National Lampoon's European Vacation, Screwballs II: Loose Screws, Tai Chi Master, Triage, and What's Up, Doc?
Not a single $100 million first-run hit on this week's list, although to be fair,Date Night did come very close. There are not a lot of secondary releases to make up for this slack at the top, but I am interested in picking up Crumb.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 3rd.

Bull Durham - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
One of the greatest baseball movies of all time makes its debut on Blu-ray. But is this a reason to celebrate? Read our review for my opinion.

Crumb - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
It's a good week for fans of Terry Zwigoff, as two of his documentaries of coming out. Crumb is making its Blu-ray debut, while Louie Bluie is making its debut on DVD. Both are worth picking up.

Date Night - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film earned good reviews and came really close to earning $100 million in theaters. With two amazing comedic talents in the lead, I'm looking forward to reviewing this film, but the screener still hasn't arrived yet. Hopefully soon. And while we wait, check out this PSA...

Death at a Funeral - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Normally there is quite a long time between the original film and its remake. After all, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to remake a movie when the original is so accessible to most. There is an exception to this rule when it comes to foreign films. For instance, Let the Right One In came out less than two years ago, but the remake, Let Me In, comes out later this year. However, in this case, while the original Death at a Funeral was foreign, it wasn't a foreign language film. So a remake this early doesn't make sense. It's reviews suggest it is not a terrible film, but it is not as good as the original was. Extras on the DVD include the usual features (audio commentary, deleted scenes, outtakes, behind-the-scenes, etc.) while the Blu-ray includes MovieIQ, is BD-Live enabled and a digital copy is also included. I would suggest renting this movie and buying the original.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 3rd.

Escape from New York - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
The sequel to this film, Escape from L.A. made its Blu-ray debut earlier this year, but last week the original finally did the same. Was it worth the wait? Check out our review to find out.

The Ghost and the Darkness - Buy from
This film is being re-released on DVD up here in Canada, which is why a screener was sent my way. Is it worth checking out? Is it better than the previous release? Read our review to find out.

Helen - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Filmed in 2007 but not getting a release till now. That's not a good sign. On the other hand, its reviews are actually very good. It is a smaller film, and perhaps that's why it didn't find a theatrical release. But is it worth checking out now?

The Joneses - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A movie about a family that moves into a posh neighborhood. However, instead of a real family, they turn out to be an exercise in stealth marketing. I would be completely immune to something like that, because I not materialistic and would never buy anything that isn't 100% necessary. ... Yes, the DEVO Energy Dome I'm wearing is 100% necessary. As were the two-dozen T-shirts I bought from Sharing Machine. ... So was the Giant Plush Herpes I have on my couch in the living room, all six of them. ... Fine, I'm immune from stealth marketing, because my taste is too bizarre for any marketing company to bother targeting me. So assuming my credibility isn't completely gone, check out our review of The Joneses.

And on a serious side note, I think Something for Everybody might be Devo's best album ever. It is certainly their best since Freedom of Choice. There's not a bad track on the CD and more than half are going in my heavy rotation.

Letters to God - Buy from Amazon
Another film aimed strictly at the Churchgoing set with little crossover appeal. For that matter, at 17% positive, even if you are in the target demographic you might want to approach this one with caution.

Looney Tunes Releases - Buy from Amazon: Bugs Bunny: Hare Extraordinaire and Daffy Duck: Frustrated Fowl
I have mixed feelings about these DVDs. On the one hand, none of the 30 shorts presented on these two DVDs are double-dips, which is awesome. On the other hand, there are no extras, which is disappointing. Back to the original hand, the price is hard to beat at roughly $1 a short. That said, while I am recommending purchases for both DVDs, I would rather have chronological collections, even if that would mean a lot of double-dips.

La Mission - Buy from Amazon: DVD or DVD
Benjamin Bratt stars as a widower living in the Mission district of San Francisco whose traditional values come into conflict with a strong sense of family when he learns his son is gay. The film only earned mixed reviews and struggled during its opening. However, it hung around quite well and eventually crossed the $1 million mark. Hispanics tend to be an underserved demographic at the theaters, so supporting films like this could be a way to change that. And let's face it, 45% positive is better than a lot of wide releases and worthy of a rental.

Max Headroom: The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
Max Headroom is a TV show I didn't think I would get to see again. It's a show that ran on network TV and spent a great deal of time attacking network TV. No wonder it only lasted 14 episodes. This is too bad, as it was a great show. Its absolutely worth seeing, but did Shout! Factory do it justice on DVD? Check out our review to find out.

Multiple Sarcasms - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A strong cast that includes two Oscar winners could save this film, which earned disastrous reviews. A Tomatometer score that is just 5% positive is so bad that even if you are a fan of the cast, this one will likely be skippable.

My Name is Khan - Buy from Amazon
An Indian film that was distributed here by Fox Searchlight. The backing from a major studio helped it open and thrive in more than 100 theaters. Granted, it still had the weak legs that plague most Bollywood films, but $4 million is still a great box office for a limited release. There are not a lot of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but the ones that are there suggest it is worth checking out, especially if you are a fans of the genre.

Numb3rs: The Final Season - Buy from Amazon
I can't believe this show is over and I only got to review one season. The Numbers and Numb3rs, it's perfect. But despite putting in requests every year, I kept missing out on the limited number of screeners. Oh well. On a positive note, at least the show was able to go out before it grew stale.

The Penguins of Madagascar - Buy from Amazon: Happy King Julien Day! and New to the Zoo
Two more DVD releases from the Madagascar spin-off. Strangely, I only received a screener from one of those releases, but you can read the review here.

Tapped - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about bottled water, which doesn't seem like a super intriguing topic. However, strong reviews, if not plentiful reviews, could help change your mind. There are not a huge amount of extras on the DVD but the deleted scenes continue to hammer home the message. Worth checking out for most, picking up for many.

Titan Maximum: Season One - Buy from Amazon
The latest show from Stupid Monkey, the people who gave us Robot Chicken. It shares the same comedic touches, but with a plot instead of a series of mostly unrelated sketches. It's a parody of super hero shows and if you like Robot Chicken, you will probably like this one.

Trauma: Season One - Buy from Amazon
There was a time it looked like medical dramas would dominate the TV schedules, but a lot of these shows that have debuted recently have failed to make an impression with audiences and were quickly canceled. Trauma is just one of these recent casualties. In fact, this show was canceled twice. (It was canceled very early in the 2009 season, but when NBC realized how few shows they had that were hits, they ordered a few more episodes to give it a second chance, and then canceled it again.) If you liked the show, the DVD might be worth picking up, but it's not strong enough to pick up if you've never seen the show.

Triage - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The latest film from Colin Farrell has him playing a War correspondent who has trouble readjusting from a particularly brutal assignment. There are not many reviews online, and it is being dumped direct-to-DVD, neither of which are good signs. Then again, both its reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are positive, so it could be worth checking out.

Under the Mountain - Buy from Amazon
A fantasy film from New Zealand based on a novel by a native author, Maurice Gee. It's aimed at Tweens, but will it only appeal to kids, or will adults also enjoy it? Read our review for my opinion.

We Have To Stop Now: Season One - Buy from Amazon
An internet series about two women, both therapists, who are married. They write a book about their marriage called, "How to Succeed in Marriage Without Even Trying". However, shortly after completing the book, their relationship falls apart and they decide to get a divorce. But when their book becomes a best-seller they decide to stay together for appearance sake. It's a web series, so each episode is quite short compared to a regular TV show. Also, the price-per-minute is more inline with a movie than TV on DVD. That said, there are better extras than expected and it is worth checking out.


Filed under: Video Releases, In the Shadow of the Moon, Death at a Funeral, Date Night, The Killing Room, Helen, The Joneses, Letters to God, My Name is Khan, Multiple Sarcasms, Under the Mountain