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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for August 17th, 2010

August 16th, 2010

The dog days of summer continue on the home market, but it is the calm before the storm. In this case the storm is a flood of TV on DVD releases, which we are starting to see show up in earnest. This is both good news and bad news. On the one hand, there are plenty of top notch releases coming out over the next few weeks. On the other hand, reviewing a full-season TV on DVD release takes a long time, which means my schedule will be packed for the next month or so. At least I get screeners for free, while consumers will see their wallet under assault week after week. The best selling release of the week is Dexter: Season Four, which is also the easy choice for Pick of the Week. I'm not sure if the DVD or the Blu-ray is the better deal, but regardless which format you choose, it is worth picking up.

The Assassin Next Door - Buy from Amazon
A reluctant assassin and a woman in an abusive relationship look to each other to escape their current situations. Could be an effective action film, but I won't know for sure till the screener arrives.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Season One, Part One - Buy from Amazon
This is a good show, even if it is closer to the 1960s version of Batman and not the grittier side of the character we've come to expect over the past few years. That said, splitting the season into two volumes is unlikely to win over many fans and it just seems like a cash grab.

Big Money Rustlas - Buy from Amazon
How did these people make a movie? Weren't they scared the camera was going to steal their souls. (If you don't get that joke, check out their song, "Miracles". Better yet, don't. Check out the SNL parody instead; it's intentionally funny.)

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Black Orpheus (The Criterion Collection), Casshern Sins: Part 1, Casshern Sins: Part 2, Cemetery Junction, The City of Your Final Destination, Dexter: Season Four, DOA: Dead or Alive, Furry Vengeance, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Hamlet, The Last Song, Nanny McPhee, and Skellig: The Owl Man
A downright depressing list of Blu-ray releases this week. There are only two first-run releases, neither were big hits at the box office, and worse yet, neither are the kind of film that do really well on Blu-ray. The best selling Blu-ray is Dexter: Season Four, but I'm not exactly thrilled with the TV show's treatment on Blu-ray.

Burning Bright - Buy from Amazon
A movie about a girl locked in her house with her autistic brother, during a hurricane, and trying to survive a very hungry, very mean tiger. That's a setup that doesn't exactly build expectations, but can it surprise? Check out our review to find out.

Cash - Buy from Amazon
Chris Hemsworth recently finished filming Thor, which could be the first big hit of next summer. This will undoubtedly help this film sell some DVDs, but does it deserve a wider audience? Read our review to find out.

Cemetery Junction - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who previously made The Office and Extras. That's a recipe for high expectations, but the reviews are only mixed. That said, its reviews are still better than most wide releases and it is worth checking out for most, or picking up for fans of their previous work. Also, the Blu-ray is the better deal with a few exclusive featurettes to go with the two audio commentary tracks found on both the DVD and the Blu-ray.

The City of Your Final Destination - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
It took a couple years from the time this film was finished untill it made it to theaters. Quite frankly, when it finally did, it wasn't exactly worth the wait. That said, this could be a problem with high expectations. It was the first film by James Ivory since the death of Ismail Merchant in 2005 and their collaboration had produced a number of Oscar-worthy films over the years. If you are a fan of their films, it is worth checking out, but a rental will be enough.

The Conversation - Buy from Amazon
An early film by Francis Ford Coppola starring Gene Hackman as a security expert who thinks the couple he was hired to spy on might be murdered. The film earned outstanding reviews and more than a few awards / nominations. Hopefully the screener will arrive shortly so I can see if I will be adding my voice to the chorus of praise.

Cougar Town: Season One - Buy from Amazon
Courtney Cox's second attempt at a hit after Friends. Will this one be more successful than Dirt? Read our review for my opinion.

Dark Oracle: Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
A Canadian TV series made by some of the people responsible for Degrassi. It's about a pair of fraternal twins who find a comic book that can predict the future. It only lasted 2 seasons / 20 episodes, but it earned a couple major awards and a number of nominations and it is worth checking out.

Dexter: Season Four - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I've reviewed every single season of this show, and while I haven't been let down by the quality of the show, I haven't always been impressed by the home market releases. So how well does the latest season compare to past releases? Check out our review to find out.

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

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The screener finally arrived, sort of. It's just a DVD-R screener and the Blu-ray is still MIA. But was it worth the wait? Read our review for my opinion.

Friday Night Lights: Season Four - Buy from Amazon
This show earned a lot of critical praise during its first season. By season three that praise had all but evaporated and its ratings haven't held up much better. In fact, it's only still on TV because NBC was able to sell rebroadcast rights making the show very inexpensive to make. However, season five will be the show's last. This is bad news for fans, but since season four earned a number of Emmy nominations, there is at least a chance it could go out on a high note.

Furry Vengeance - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of the worst movies of the year. Even taking into account the film's target demographic, it is not worth checking out. There are far too many other choices for kids to waste money on this.

The Good, the Bad, the Weird - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A South Korean take on The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. That alone makes me want to review it; however, the screener is late. I really hope it shows up, but perhaps not this week, as I already have more than a dozen DVDs / Blu-ray to review for next Monday.

Keeping Up with the Kardashians: The Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon
Why are these people still on TV? Why do I keep requesting Reality TV to review? At least it's better than Jersey Shore, right? Read our review to find out.

Larry Blamire Double-Shot - Buy from Amazon: The Lost Skeleton Returns Again and Dark and Stormy Night
Larry Blamire and his troupe return with two more parodies of low-budget films from the past. Can these films live up to The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra? Check out our review to find out.

The Last Song - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Miley Cyrus's first dramatic role didn't win over a lot of critics, but it became a solid mid-level hit. Do I agree with the critics or with moviegoers? Read our review to find out.

My Friends Tigger And Pooh: Bedtime With Pooh - Buy from Amazon
Normally I get these Disney DVDs to review, so I'll have to check to see if this one is late.

Off and Running - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about a women who grew up in a very, very diverse family. (Her parents are lesbians and both her brothers are of different ethnicities.) This has helped her adapt to a diverse world, but left her without a strong cultural identity of her own, a theme that is explored in the movie. Reviews were excellent, but it wasn't able to find an audience theatrically. Hopefully I'll be getting a screener to review shortly, but if I don't, the review on Rotten Tomatoes suggest it is worth checking out, at the very least.

One Tree Hill: Season Seven - Buy from Amazon
This show is still on the air? If its ratings don't improve from last year's lows, it won't be on air for much longer.

Orlando - Buy from Amazon
This film was originaly released in theaters in 1992, but after a short, limited, theatrical re-release, it is coming out on a new Special Edition DVD this week. But have the years been kind to it? Check out our review to find out.

Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends: Season Four - Buy from Amazon
'Bout time. It has been five years since season three came out, so if you are a fan of the show and want season five to come out within the next five years, you better pick up this DVD ASAP.

Temple Grandin - Buy from Amazon
Claire Danes stars as the titular Temple Grandin, a woman born in the late 1940s who was diagnosed with autism back when it was considered a form of childhood schizophrenia and thought to be caused by emotionally cold mothers. This TV movie earned excellent reviews and is in contention for a number of Emmys. Extras include an audio commentary track and a making of featurette. That's not a huge amount, but more than a lot of TV movies get and, enough to lift the DVD from a solid rental to a purchase.

Ugly Betty: Season Four - Buy from Amazon
After a very strong start, this show wasn't able to maintain its momentum, either with critics or with audiences. Now that it is over, did it at least end on a high note? Check out our reviews for my opinion.

Wolverine and the X-Men: Final Crisis Trilogy - Buy from Amazon
With Disney buying Marvel, there have been a number of changes at the comic book company's media department. This includes no second season for Wolverine and the X-Men, which is too bad. That said, is the series finale worth checking out, perhaps even worth picking up? Check out our review for my opinion.


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Filed under: Video Releases, Nanny McPhee, DOA: Dead or Alive, The Last Song, Burning Bright, The City of Your Final Destination, Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom, Furry Vengeance, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Off and Running, Ca$h