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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for September 14th, 2010

September 13th, 2010

TV on DVD season continues, which is great news for fans who want to relive last season, or missed many episodes of their favorite shows. It's bad news for these people's wallets, as they are quite expensive compared to first run releases. (Although TV on DVD releases tend to be inexpensive entertainment on a per-minute basis.) It's worse news for critics, as trying to review several full season releases in one week is tough to pull off. That's not to say there were no first run releases, but the ones that did come out were second-tier, or lower, leaving them out of competition for Pick of the Week. I'm going with The Big Bang Theory: Season Three for Pick of the Week, with both DVD and Blu-ray worth picking up, but the High Definition release is arguably the better deal.

America: The Story of Us - Buy from Amazon - DVD or Blu-ray
This 3-disc set holds the 12-part documentary mini-series on the history of the United States. For the most part the show earned praise, but there have been a few complaints. For instance, even at 12 hours, there are still some parts of the history that are condensed to practically nothing. Secondly, there's an odd selection of celebrities in the show when it could have been better to have more historians. It's still worth checking out, but not a must have like it could have been.

Amish Grace - Buy from Amazon
Based on a true story, this TV movie shows the aftereffect of a tragic event. In 2006 a gunman killed five children and wounded five others in an Amish school. This movie debuted on TV earlier this year and became the highest rated movie in the history of Lifetime Movie Network. On the other hand, a lot of the reviews said it was rather by-the-numbers.

Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale - Buy from Amazon
I'm so far outside the target audience that my opinion is almost meaningless. However, I will point out that this DVD, like most in the franchise, is selling extremely well.

The Big Bang Theory: Season Three - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of the best shows on TV at the moment, especially if you are into nerd humor. This past season the show exploded in popularity, jumping into the top 20 for the year, while it had its best showing during Awards season. The network is moving the show this upcoming season, but hopefully that won't hurt the the ratings. As for the DVD / Blu-ray release, I'm not entirely pleased, as there are only two featurettes and some outtakes. For a concurrent show, that's not a lot. The episodes themselves have enough replay value that it is worth purchasing, but the studio should reward its fans with more special features.

Bill Maher: But I'm Not Wrong - Buy from Amazon
For those that can't get enough of the Real Time star. I don't agree with every position he holds, but he's one of the best political comedians when it comes to balancing humor and politics.

The Black Cauldron: 25th Anniversary Edition - Buy from Amazon
I've been waiting to see this movie for a long time now, as I am a huge fan of the books it was based on. It had a bad reputation, with some going so far as suggesting it nearly helped killed Disney's animation studio. But is it as bad as it's reputation? Check out our review for my opinion.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: America: The Story of Us, The Amityville Horror, The Big Bang Theory: Season Three, Bloodsport / Timecop, Boogie Woogie, Breathless, Carrie, A Cinderella Story / Another Cinderella Story, Delicatessen, Dragon Ball Z Kai: Season One, Part Two, Feast, Fringe: Season Two, Glee: Season One, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 5, Jacob's Ladder, Janeane Garofalo: If You Will - Live in Seattle, Just Wright, The League: Season One, Leonard Cohen: Songs From The Road, Letters to Juliet, Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Mandingo, March of the Wooden Soldiers with Laurel and Hardy, Monster House: 3D, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Order, Prince of Persia, Prince of Persia - Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack, Proposition, Return of the Living Dead, Se7en, Silence of the Lambs, Starcrash, The Third Man, The Twilight Zone: Season One, and Unleashed
Good lord, there's a huge list of Blu-rays coming out this week. This list includes first run releases, TV shows, classic releases, not-so-classic releases, etc. The number of Blu-rays that are worth picking up is overwhelming; however, that doesn't include the Lord of the Rings releases, because they are not the Extended cuts.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 7th.

Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
As expected, the screener arrived just a couple days late, but was it worth the wait? Read our review to find out.

Designing Women: Season Four - Buy from Amazon
A good show, but by this time it was getting more press over Delta Burke's weight than anything else.

Dora the Explorer: Slumber Party - Buy from Amazon
On the DVD's running time is listed at just 30 minutes. This isn't true. In fact, with six full episodes, it is longer than most preschool releases. So what six episodes are included on the DVD? Check out our review to find out.

Fraggle Rock: Scared Silly - Buy from Amazon
Calling this a Fraggle Rock DVD isn't 100% accurate, as it has episodes from the original Fraggle Rock, the Animated Series, as well as Stinky and Jake. The variety is a selling point, but is that enough to make it worth checking out or even picking up? Read our review to find out.

Fringe: Season Two: DVD or Blu-ray
Sci-fi investigation shows are becoming as popular as police procedural shows. This one stars Joshua Jackson, Anna Torv, John Noble, and others as members of a FBI team that look into strange events that are interconnected as part of The Pattern. It's a good show and one that is worth checking out. The DVD / Blu-ray have audio commentary tracks on four episodes, making of featurettes for six, deleted scenes, outtakes, and more. Worth picking up, while worth paying $7 more for Blu-ray.

Glee: Season One - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Arguably the most successful new show of the 2009 - 2010 season. I'm not exactly in the show's core audience, but can it win me over? Check out our review to find out.

And for those who already have Volume One, they are releasing Volume Two separately.

The Good Wife: The First Season - Buy from Amazon
Julianna Margulies stars as a woman whose politician husband gets caught in a sex / corruption scandal and is thrown in jail, so she returns to her law career. I should be getting a screener for this show shortly.

Grey's Anatomy - Buy from Amazon
One of a few releases coming out this week where the screener is late. Since I already have nine DVD / Blu-rays to review for next week, it better show up soon or it might take a week or two till I get to it.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season Five - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I should be getting this TV show to review, but the screener won't be shipped till tomorrow. Hopefully it will get here soon, but likely I won't have the review online till next week.

James and the Giant Peach - Buy from Amazon
This movie made its Blu-ray debut a few weeks ago and you can read the review here. This week it is coming out on DVD, but it is worth picking up on High Definition.

Just Wright - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film was not expected to be a blockbuster, as it was clearly filling the role of counter-programing. However, it was still expected to do better at the box office than it did. Is it as bad as its box office performance would indicate? Or was it unfairly overlooked? Read our review to find out.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 13th.

The Killers - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The screener arrives a day late, but I was able to get to it right away. Was the short delay worth it? Check out our review to find out.

Leave it to Beaver - Season 4 - Buy from Amazon
The Complete Series has been released, but they are continuing to release the full season sets. I'm sure most people will find the Megaset the better deal.

Letters to Juliet - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Flipper Disc
Amanda Seyfried has a lot of talent, I just wish she would choose better movies than this. Granted, 42% positive is not a bad Tomatometer Score for a romantic comedy, but she hasn't made a movie that was a critic hit since Mean Girls, and that's a pretty long streak. Extras on the DVD and the Blu-ray are acceptable with an audio commentary track, deleted scenes, making featurette, featurette on the book, etc. and if you are a fan of the genre or of the actresses involved (especially Vanessa Redgrave) then it is worth renting. If you are a fan of both, it might even be worth picking up.

Monster House: 3D Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Apparently there are 30 or so 3D Blu-rays in the works, but until they start coming out every week, it's way too early to buy a 3D TV /Blu-ray player.

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? - Buy from Amazon
Directed by Werner Herzog and presented by David Lynch. I can't wait for this screener to show up.

The Pirates of Penzance - Buy from Amazon
Is this really the DVD debut of this movie? Originally released in 1983, the film earned excellent reviews but bombed in theaters because the studio tried to release it in theaters and on a specialty TV station at the same time. (It's a release strategy that still results in failure to this day.) Fans of the musical should be happy it is finally coming out, and even without extras, it is worth picking up.

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray, or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
One of the most expensive films of the summer, it had a massive ad campaign, a prime release date, and a built in audience from the successful video game franchise. So what went wrong? Was it destined to fail, or should it find a more receptive audience on the home market? Read our review for my opinion.

Princess Ka'iulani - Buy from Amazon
This film earned a Tomatometer Score of just 21% positive, while it was never able to find an audience during its limited release run. But is it better than these results would indicate? Read our review for my opinion.

Red Vs Blue: The Recollection - Buy from Amazon
Didn't this box set come out just a few weeks ago?

RiffTrax - Buy from Amazon: Christmas Shorts-Stravaganza: Live, Plays with Their Shorts, and Shorts A Poppin'
For a lot of fans of RiffTrax, these shorts are the highlight of their releases. I think that's because most bad movies tend to have pretty serious lulls here and there ("Rock climbing, Joel, rock climbing.") while short films almost never outstay their welcome. This week three more DVDs filled with shorts are coming out on the home market, and fans of the franchise will rejoice.

Rules Of Engagement: Season Three - Buy from Amazon
This show is still on the air? Don't get me wrong, there are some very funny people on this show, but every time I've seen it, it displayed some very lazy sitcom writing.

Scooby Doo: Camp Scare - Buy from Amazon
This franchise is still going strong more than 40 years after it started. In fact, the series of direct-to-DVD movies have proven to be very popular and this one is in the top 100 sellers on Amazon. That's top 100 overall, not just for the week. It's in the top 20 for the week.

Sherlock Holmes: 1964-1965 - Buy from Amazon
A lot of times, imports of British TV shows are overpriced, but that is not the case here, as this 2-disc set contains 11 of the 13 episodes for just $15. (The other two episodes are sadly lost.) Even without extras, this is worth picking up for fans of the detective.

SpongeBob SquarePants: 10 Happiest Moments - Buy from Amazon
There have been so many SpongeBob DVD releases that one could have a full time job reviewing them, and only them. The latest came out last year to celebrate the 10th anniversary, but was a Wal-mart exclusive. Now that it is released generally, I was able to review it. But was it worth the wait? Check out our review to find out.

Starcrash - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Shout! Factory has been putting out a flood of Roger Corman releases. Some have been good, while some have been bad. Okay, most have been bad, including this one. However, is it bad bad, or entertainingly bad? Check out our review to find out.

Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job: Season 4 - Buy from Amazon
This show is still too weird for me.

Two Tickets to Paradise - Buy from Amazon
A re-release of a DVD that came out in 2008, three years after the film was made. Obviously not the biggest release of the week, but is it worth checking out? Read our review for my opinion.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 31st of August.

Why Did I Get Married Too? - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Tyler Perry finally made a film that earned overall positive reviews in 2009, I Can Do Bad All By Myself. However, this movie wasn't able to match that film with critics, but it did outperform it at the box office. So who is right, the critics or his fans? Check out our review for my opinion.


Filed under: Video Review, Monster House, The Proposition, Feast, Killers, Letters to Juliet, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Another Cinderella Story, Why Did I Get Married Too?, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?, Boogie Woogie, Princess Kaiulani