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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for September 7th, 2010

September 6th, 2010

It's TV on DVD season, as five of the top six best-selling new releases for the week are in that category, while the sixth is an exercise DVD. Of the many, many TV on DVD releases coming out this week, there are plenty that are worth picking up, but not many that are worth of Pick of the Week Honors. The top pick in my mind is Stardust, which is making its Blu-ray debut this week. However, Solitary Man might also be added to that list if / when the DVD / Blu-ray screeners arrive.

Boy Meets World - Buy from Amazon: Season One, Season Two, and Season Three
The first three seasons of this show are being re-released on DVD more than five years after they were previously released. This is because a new studio, Lionsgate, is taking over distribution and hopefully if these sell well, seasons four through seven will come out sooner rather than later.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Being Michael Madsen, The Black Dahlia, Blood Into Wine, Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Chuck: Season Three, Forbidden Planet, Full Metal Panic: The Complete Series, Hatchet, In Cold Blood, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Jim Gaffigan: Beyond the Pale, Killers, Linkin Park: Road to Revolution, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, Lost in Space, MacGrubber, Mars Attacks!, Matrix Reloaded, Megadeth: Rust in Peace, Numb, The Office: Season Six, The Phantom, The Player, Poltergeist, Pulse, A Scanner Darkly, The Skeleton Key, Smallville: Season Nine, Solitary Man, Stardust, Supernatural: Season Five, That Evening Sun, Thomas & Friends: Misty Island Rescue, THX 1138, Tommy: The Movie, and Wonders of the Solar System
Wow. There's a huge list of Blu-ray releases coming out this week, including many TV on DVD releases, classic movies, not-exactly-classics-but-not-brand-new movies, etc. Practically the only category that isn't well represented is first-run releases, as the best-seller there is Killers, and it was hardly a major hit. There are a number of prime releases on this list, including Forbidden Planet and Stardust, while if you are a fan of TV on DVD releases, there are just too many to buy.

Bugs Bunny's Howl-Oween - Buy from Amazon
There's just the one 30-minute special on this DVD, which is not enough to recommend. Personally, I don't think I'm going to buy any of these DVDs till they start putting out chronological releases. It has to happen eventually, right? Right?

Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The sequel to Camp Rock comes out on DVD and Blu-ray this week, but the screener won't ship till Tuesday, so the review will be late.

Chuck: Season Three - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is a show that might have been canceled if it were not for what network it is on. Right now NBC is struggling, and that's being generous, so it can't afford to give up on a show, even if it is not in the top 50, at least not yet. If it continues to shed viewers, it can't stay on the air very much longer. Additionally, creatively there seems to be a lot of stagnation in the show and I don't know how much longer it will thrive in that regard. That said, season three is still worth checking out, while extras include a couple featurettes, deleted scenes, and outtakes. That's not a lot for a concurrent show, but enough that it is worth picking up. Likewise, there are no exclusives on the Blu-ray, but the price is reasonable compared to the DVD.

Criminal Minds: Season Five - Buy from Amazon
Police Procedural shows have been dominating TV channels for a while now, but while this is good news for fans of the genre, it does make it hard for each individual show to stand out. So does Criminal Minds stand out? Read our review for my opinion.

Doc West - Buy from Amazon
Terrance Hill is most famous for his Spaghetti Western Comedies in the early 1970s. Doc West is like a return to the genre that was the peak of his career, but is it as good as the films from his past? Check out our review to find out.

Doctor Who - Buy from Amazon: Story 106: The Creature from the Pit, Story 129: The King's Demons, and Story 135: Planet of Fire
Three more Doctor Who DVDs are making their debut this week. I think it is fair to say that while none of these episodes are really duds, they are not among the best the franchise has to offer. The price-per-minute is high for TV on DVD, but normal for the franchise, while there are plenty of extras for fans to enjoy. However, for a lot of people, these DVDs are more for completists than for casual fans.

The Ed Sullivan Show: The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles - Buy from Amazon
A great DVD and a must have for fans of the The Beatles; however, it features material that has been previously released. (The 4-disc set has just 13 minutes of new material.) Hard to argue that it is worth the upgrade, unless you are a hard, hardcore completist, but worth picking up if you don't have the previous release.

Goosebumps - Buy from Amazon: The Blob That Ate Everyone and Go Eat Worms
Two DVDs from this kids horror TV show are coming out this week, but sadly the screeners are late. Hopefully they will get here soon, as I don't want to fall behind.

The Guardian: Season Two - Buy from Amazon
We are at the halfway point of this series, but while it never found a large audience when it first aired on TV, will it find one on the home market? Red our review for my opinion.

Jillian Michaels: Shred-It With Weights - Buy from Amazon
The latest exercise DVD from The Biggest Loser trainer, Jillian Michaels. Does it live up to her reputation? Check out our review to find out.

The Killers - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Just a quick note that the screener has been sent, but it didn't arrive yet. Since it is Labor Day, it won't arrive till Tuesday at the earliest, so the review will likely be late. (If it arrives on Tuesday, I might get to it ASAP, but Wednesday or Thursday is more likely.)

Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1985 - Buy from Amazon
Arguably the longest-running sitcom of all time starting in 1973 and just ending this summer. Granted, while it ran 31 seasons over 37 years, there were 295 episodes produced, and a few American sitcoms have made it past the 300 episode milestone.

Less That Perfect: Season One - Buy from Amazon
I remember being excited to see this sitcom when it first aired, because I really liked Sara Rue from Popular, who was the star of this show. I also remember being disappointed in the quality back then, but maybe it was a case of expectations getting in the way. So has it aged well? Check out our review for my opinion.

MacGruber - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The first SNL movie release in a long time, and given how poorly it performed, it might be the last for an even longer time. I think it bombed more because of the reputation SNL films have earned rather than any fault within the film itself. Granted, its reviews are not great, but they are nowhere near as bad as its box office numbers were. The DVD release is pretty average with an audio commentary track, deleted scenes, and outtakes, while the Blu-ray is BD-Live enabled. If you are a fan of the genre, then it's worth picking up, but the Blu-ray costs 50% more, so the DVD it likely the better deal, unless you've abandoned standard definition releases.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Road Rally - Buy from Amazon
"A Full-Length Adventure", or at least that's what the DVD cover says. Its running time is too short to be "Full-Length", but does it have enough adventure? Check out our review to find out.

The Norm Show: The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
Norm MacDonald was the anchor on the SNL news desk before he was fired. I believe the official story was, 'He wasn't funny enough.' But I remember something about him pissing off someone at the network. He quickly landed on his feet; however, The Norm Show only lasted two-and-a-half seasons. Was it destined to fail, or should it have lasted longer? I can't remember, but I'm expecting the screener any day now.

The Office: Season Six - DVD or Blu-ray
This could be the penultimate season of this show. As most of you are likely aware, Steve Carell is leaving the show, and there is a good chance it will suffer because of this. In fact, I would say there's a 99% chance season seven will be weaker. How much weaker will determine whether or not there is a season eight. Further hurting the show's chance are the pure business numbers. After season seven, the expense of making the show usually increases beyond the profit of selling the already made episodes into syndication. There are a number of extras on the DVD, including audio commentary tracks, podcasts, extended episodes, deleted scenes, outtakes, and more. The Blu-ray is BD-Live enabled but does cost 40% more than the DVD. It is worth picking up, but it might be the last season that is true.

Pie in the Sky: Series 3 - Buy from Amazon
Richard Griffiths is best known Stateside for playing Uncle Vernon in the Harry Potter franchise, but he has a large and diverse list of credits beyond those films. In this series, he plays Henry Crabbe a retired police detective who has taken to his prime passion, food. However, his former boss "convinces" him to take the occasional case by threatening to reopen a corruption investigation that could cause Henry to lose his pension. This is an excellent British police procedural show and it is worth checking out. On the other hand, it is pricey for a TV on DVD release. It's kind of pricey compared to most TV movies.

Prime Suspect: The Complete Collection - Buy from Amazon
This 9-disc, 25-hour long DVD includes all nine mysteries in this Emmy and Bafta winning series, which starred Helen Mirren. An amazing show and the complete collection is a very reasonable price compared to most British TV imports.

Smallville: Season Nine - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I can't believe this show is still on the air for two reasons. Firstly, nine seasons is a long time to be on the air. Secondly, its reviews are down more than 60% from the show's peak. Ouch. On the other hand, it is not like the CW has an overabundance of hit shows and with 2.38 million viewers, it is still one of the network's better performers. Extras include a couple audio commentary tracks, a couple featurettes, and deleted scenes, while the Blu-ray has no exclusives, but only costs about 25% more. That's acceptable, but not enough to be a contender for Pick of the Week.

Solitary Man - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I hope to be getting this movie to review shortly. I hope it does arrive soon, as the film earned excellent reviews and did quite well in limited release and I'm looking forward to seeing it. With an audio commentary track and a making of featurette, the DVD is worth checking out, while the Blu-ray only costs 33% more, so it could be the better deal. It's too close to call without getting the screener.

Stardust - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Back in 2007, I bought an HD DVD player, not because I thought the format was going to win the High Definition war, but because I was getting regular offers to review HD DVD releases. In the end, I only reviewed 14 HD DVD releases, and of those the only one that hadn't also been released on Blu-ray was Stardust. That is until this week. Was it worth the wait? Read our review to find out.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 27th of July.

Stargate: Universe: Season 1.5 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Splitting a season into two volumes comes across as a cheap cash grab and usually the price-per-minute is higher than if the season was released in one DVD. This is the case here, but are the episodes strong enough and are there enough extras that it is still worth picking up? Read our review to find out.

Note: These DVDs made their home market debut on the 31st of August.

Strawberry Shortcake: Double-Shot - Buy from Amazon: Berrywood, Here We Come and The Gilmmerberry Ball Movie
These two DVDs came out last week, but the screeners arrived a day late. So close. Will fans of the franchise want to pick up one or both of these DVDs? Read our review for my opinion.

Supernatural: Season Five - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki star as two brothers fighting supernatural evils, just like their father did. This show is one of the CW's biggest hits, and also one of its most critically acclaimed shows. (Most of their other hits fall under the "Guilty Pleasure" category.) On the other hand, the DVD / Blu-ray are not exactly loaded with extras with an audio commentary track, the webseries, behind-the-scenes, deleted scenes, and outtakes. Still worth buying, but it is not quite at the level needed to be a contender for Pick of the Week.

thirtysomething: The Complete Fourth and Final Season - Buy from Amazon
Good show, unacceptably high price. Wait till it is a non-exclusive for a better deal.

You're So Cupid - Buy from Amazon
Twin teens Emma and Lily are nothing alike, except they are both expert matchmakers. However, when they both fall for the same boy, their family bonds are put to the test. There's a bit of a supernatural twist to the family friendly film, which is enough to help it stand out. That said, for most in the target demographic, a rental will be enough.


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Filed under: Video Releases, Stardust, A Scanner Darkly, Killers, MacGruber, That Evening Sun, Solitary Man, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, Strawberry Shortcake: The Glimmerberry Ball Movie, Strawberry Shortcake: Berrywood Here We Come, You're So Cupid