Follow us on

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for August 24th, 2010

August 24th, 2010

There are not a lot of prime releases on this week's list. One release, or, to be more specific, the many releases of one TV show, Lost dominate. Unfortunately, the screeners for that show won't be sent till today, so I wasn't able to get a review complete in time for this week's preview article. Outside the four Lost releases, there's little that really grabs your attention, and while going down the list of best-sellers, it doesn't take long before you start running into second-tier and even third-tier releases. Lost: The Complete Collection is likely the best release on this week's list, but I'm going to wait until I get a chance to check out the screener before awarding it the Pick of the Week.

$5 A Day - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
There was a day when Sharon Stone was arguably the biggest actress in the world. Of course, that day was back in the early 1990s. This film was made over two years ago and has been sitting on a studio shelf for a while now. With only two reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, it is hard to judge the quality. There are not a whole lot of extras on either format, but at least the Blu-ray isn't overpriced.

90210: Season Two: Buy from Amazon
The opening of the one-two Monday night punch on the CW (it's followed up Gossip Girl, which is also coming out on DVD this week). I didn't like the original series and I didn't see the first season, so with that in mind, what did I think of this season? Check out our review to find out.

Abandoned - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Brittany Murphy first came to the attention of most moviegoers for her performance in Clueless, but despite a few roles in some high-profile movies, she never quite lived up to the potential she showed. She had a lot of completed films at the time of her death and they've been trickling out on to the home market for the past several months, but none of them have exactly been A-list releases. Abandoned is the same, as it is coming out without much buzz or studio support. There are almost no reviews online and the ones I've read are mostly mixed. Perhaps if you are a fan of the actress, it is worth a rental.

The Age of Stupid - Buy from Amazon
Pete Postlethwaite stars in this documentary that is set in the year 2055 and that looks back over the "past" 50 years and asks, "How could we have been so stupid?" This is quite a novel setup for a documentary and its reviews reflect that. Fans of documentaries will likely want to pick it up, while it is worth checking out for the rest.

The Back-Up Plan - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Jennifer Lopez's return to theaters wasn't exactly a success. It appears poised to perform better on the home market, but is that improvement warranted? Read our review to find out.

The Bad Mother's Handbook - Buy from Amazon
This TV movie came out in its native Britain a few years back, but it is clearly being released now to take advantage of Robert Patterson's popularity. Or to be more precise, the popularity of the Twilight series, which stars Robert Patterson, among others. However, this bit of marketing aside, is the movie worth checking out? Read our review for my opinion.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: 2:22, $5 A Day, Abandoned, Alice, City Island, The Death Note Collection, Dorian Gray, The Great Rift: Africa's Greatest Story, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Part 2, Les Paul: Live in New York, The Long Good Friday, Lost: The Final Season, Lost: The Complete Collection, Machine Gun McCain, Mona Lisa, Shogun Assassin, The Simpsons, The Square, Time Bandits, The Universe: Our Solar System, and Withnail and I
A very top-heavy list of Blu-ray releases with only two of them generating any interest, both of which are from Lost. The only other release that really caught my attention was Time Bandits. Unfortunately, the reviews I've read about that Blu-ray describe it as cheap. Not inexpensive, but cheap. The video and audio quality are worse than a lot of DVDs and even at that price, it is hard to recommend buying.

City Island - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of the biggest limited releases of the year, it was able to rise from just two theaters and spent more than a month in the top 20, earning more than $6 million in the end. Its reviews clearly helped in this case and it deserves to be seen on the home market. Unfortunately, the DVD / Blu-ray is not exactly loaded with extras (audio commentary track and a roundtable interview) and there are no exclusives on the Blu-ray. That said, it is still worth checking out for most, picking up for many.

Note: This DVD / Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 10th.

Date Night - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film just missed $100 million at the box office, which is an excellent run given its release date. Does it deserve this success and is the DVD / Blu-ray worth picking up? Check out our review to find out.

Dinosaur Train: Dinosaurs Under the Sea - Buy from Amazon
A pre-school show with a much heavier emphasis on education than you see in most shows aimed at the same target demographic. This show doesn't just teach your kids one or two vocabulary words, but goes into detail on a single dinosaur species, or species from the time of the dinosaurs. But does it still entertain kids? And is the DVD worth picking up? Check out our review to find out.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 10th.

The Diplomat - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
A TV mini-series from Australia starring Dougray Scott, Rachel Blake, and others. It's obviously not the biggest release on this week's list, but is it worth checking out? Read our review for my opinion.

Dorian Gray - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film was released in its native U.K. last year, but it would be hard to call it even a mid-level hit, finishing with less than $5 million there. (That's equivalent to about $25 to $30 million here.) It is being dumped direct-to-DVD here. Granted, its reviews are not good, but they are not terrible either, and it likely deserved better than this. If you are interested in buying the movie, the Blu-ray is actually cheaper than the DVD, and cheaper than a lot of catalog / shovelware releases.

Flight of the Conchords: The Complete Collection - Buy from Amazon
Good show, but do they really need to release a "Complete Collection" for a show that only lasted two seasons?

George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead - Buy from Amazon: Single-Disc DVD , Two-Disc DVD or Blu-ray
The latest installment in the George A. Romero's Dead Series didn't wow critics, nor was it able to find an audience in limited release. It should perform better on the home market, partially because it would be hard to perform worse, but also because the DVD / Blu-ray have good extras for a limited release (audio commentary track, making of documentary, and a short film) while the Blu-ray costs exactly the same as the DVD.

Gossip Girl: Season Three - Buy from Amazon
Hilary Duff had a recurring role in this season of the show and that helped boost ratings, sort of. The number of people watching it when it first aired on TV sank by about 30%; however, this is true of a lot of network shows, and its ranking actually improved compared to last year. (It was also hurt by its lead-in, 90210, which saw an even bigger decline in ratings.) Extras include a few featurettes, a couple music videos, etc. and its worth picking up for fans of the show.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 3rd.

Kalifornia - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
When this movie was released back in 1993, it never found an audience, which partially explains why it is being released as part of the Cult Movie collection. Now 20 years after its release, does the movie hold up? And is its Blu-ray debut worth picking up? Check out our review for my opinion.

Lost: Season Six - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The sixth and final season of Lost comes out this week, as does the Complete Series on DVD and Blu-ray. Unfortunately, the screeners haven't arrived just yet. Hopefully soon.

NCIS: Season Seven - Buy from Amazon
Due to the economics of the industry, most TV shows don't make it past the seventh season, as it becomes much more profitable to stop making new episodes and leave it in syndication. However, NCIS is still going strong and season eight premieres in about a month's time. But has the show been able to maintain its high quality level, or is it starting to feel past its sell-by date? Check out our review for my opinion.

Nick Jr Favorites: Happy Halloween - Buy from Amazon
It's way too early for Halloween, but we have the first of two Halloween themed releases. This one is a collection of many Nick Jr series with a scary theme, but is it good value for the money? Check out our review to find out.

The Patty Duke Show: Season Three - Buy from Amazon
This show only lasted three seasons? I guess it is kind of a high-concept comedy, which usually means it has a short run, but I thought it lasted longer than that. It's rare for a show that lasted only three years to still be remembered more than 40 years later.

The Simpsons: Season 13 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This show is one of the longest-lasting scripted shows, ever. Almost everyone agrees that by season 13, it is no longer nearly as funny as it was at its peak. But since its peak was so high, being way off its peak doesn't necessarily mean you should give up on the show. Is that the case here? I have no idea. And I won't know till the screener arrives.

The Square - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
An Australian Film Noir about infidelity and organized crime. Not a good combination. The film earned excellent reviews and did well in limited release. The DVD / Blu-ray has quite a few extras, including making-of featurettes, deleted scenes, a short film, and a music video. The Blu-ray has no additional extras and costs a little more than I would like. But regardless which format you choose, it is worth checking out.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles Forever - Buy from Amazon
This TV movie was made to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the TMNT franchise, and as a finale for the 2003 cartoon incarnation. (Don't worry, they are working on a new series.) Does this movie wrap up the series nicely? Does it work as a 25th anniversary celebration? Does it work as entertainment? Read our review for my opinion.

The Universe: Our Solar System - Buy from Amazon
A re-release of sorts. This is not the first time this title has hit the home market, as it previously came out on DVD. It is also not the first time these episodes have been released on Blu-ray, as the first three seasons have come out on a box set. So there's a lot of concerns about double-dipping, but with that in mind, is the two-disc set still worth checking out? Read our review to find out.

Word Girl - Buy from Amazon: Tobey's Tricks and Treats and Earth Day Girl
We have a pair of reviews for Word Girl releases this week, even though only one of the DVDs came out this week. (The other was released way back in April.) This confusion aside, are the DVDs worth picking up for your preschool kids? Check out our review to find out.


Filed under: Video Releases, Date Night, City Island, The Back-up Plan, The Square, Dorian Gray, Five Dollars a Day, George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead, The Bad Mother's Handbook