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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for October 26th, 2010

October 25th, 2010

Not exactly a busy week on the home market, as the biggest box office hit making its debut this week is Sex and the City 2, which I think is fair to call a disappointment at the box office. That doesn't mean there are no DVDs / Blu-rays that are worth picking up, including Winter's Bone on Blu-ray, which is this week's Pick of the Week.

Alien Anthology - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
This six-disc Blu-ray contains all four of the Alien movies, plus two discs of special features. That's a lot of material, but is it worth the price? Won't know till the screener arrives.

Altitude - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Buy from Amazon
A Canadian movie about a group of teens, one of whom is a pilot played by Jessica Lowndes of the new 90210. They are going across country to a Coldplay concert, but instead of driving, Jessica flies them. But while in the air, they are first hit by technical difficulties, then a tentacle. This supernatural thriller is hampered by a low budget, but the one review on Rotten Tomatoes is positive. On the other hand... Coldplay? They deserve what they get.

Back to the Future Trilogy - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The screener is on the way, and I can't wait.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Alien Anthology, Altitude, Back to the Future Trilogy, Canaan: The Complete Collection, Dawn of the Oceans, Earth & Space, Elf, The Girl Who Played With Fire, House (Criterion Collection), How the Earth Was Made: Season One, Legend of the Black Scorpion, Maniac, NBA Championship: 2010: Los Angeles Lakers, NFL: Ultimate NFL, Paths of Glory, Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express, Santa Claus: The Movie, Score, Sex and the City 2, Sling & Arrows: The Complete Series, South of the Border, Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season Two, Tom & Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes, Winter's Bone, and World War II: 360 Degrees
This week's selection of Blu-ray releases includes two franchise box sets, both of which I will be reviewing if / when the screeners arrive. There are also a couple limited releases coming out on High Definition this week, as well as some TV on DVD, Criterion Collection releases, direct-to-DVD releases, etc. Basically something for everyone. The only thing this list is missing is a release that's going to sell a million units opening week.

Cannibal Girls - Buy from Amazon
A slice of Canadian B-movie goodness starring Eugene Levy. I can't wait till the screener arrives.

Chaplin At Keystone: An International Collaboration of 34 Original Films - Buy from Amazon
34 of Chaplin's earliest short films, which represents all surviving films from his days at Keystone Studio. (Amazing, although he started there nearly a century ago, only one of his films is considered lost. Her Friend the Bandit, although there is only an excerpt of A Thief Catcher in this collection.) Extras include a short documentary, notes on all of the films, and more. Easily worth picking up for fans of the filmmaker and at least worth checking out for others.

Christmas Releases - Buy from Amazon: Comfort and Joy, Elf (Blu-ray), Elf (DVD), Holiday Switch, Home for Christmas, Recipe for a Perfect Christmas, Road to Christmas, Santa Claus: The Movie (Blu-ray), Santa Claus: The Movie (DVD), Surviving the Holidays with Lewis Black, and Yes Virginia
This week's selection of Christmas movies is mostly made up of Lifetime TV movies, but there are a couple of theatrical releases, plus a Lewis Black release that I will be reviewing if / when the screener arrives.

CSI: New York: Season Six - Buy from Amazon
Overall this show is better than Miami, but not as good as the original. Anything more in-depth than that will have to wait for the screener, which is late.

Dark Star - Buy from Amazon
John Carpenter's first feature-length film. That should be enough for a lot of people to be interested. However, it is also worth checking out based on its reviews. Add in extras that include an audio commentary track, feature-length making of featurette, and more and it is worth picking up.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 12th.

Dinosaur Train: Dinosaurs in the Snow - Buy from Amazon
Talk about a last minute review. I actually completed this week's list of DVD & Blu-ray releases before I wrote this review, but figured I could squeeze in one more review this week.

Evening Primrose - Buy from Amazon
Anthony Perkins stars in a TV musical that features music by Stephen Sondheim. That should pique your interest.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 12th.

Ghost Whisperer: Season Five - Buy from Amazon
This show was a surprise cancellation at the end of last season, as the ratings were still very good compared to the rest of the night. But did the network realize it had run its course, or did the show still have plenty left in its premise? Read our review for my opinion.

The Girl Who Played With Fire - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, this film didn't earn as strong reviews as its predecessor did, but still better reviews than most films earn. Also, for a foreign language film it did extremely well at the box office. The price difference between the DVD and the Blu-ray is a bit of an issue, at least over on Amazon.com. The list price is only $5 more than the DVD, which is an acceptable difference. It's worth renting at the very least, while with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest opening this Friday, there might be a trilogy box set coming out sooner rather than later.

Lake Placid 3 - Buy from Amazon
Why? It's not like the first film was a great movie, or a box office hit. So why are they making a third?

Law & Order UK: Season One - Buy from Amazon
13 of the best episodes of Law & Order rewritten to fit the British justice system. Obviously if you are a fan of the original show, you will likely recognize the episodes here. Maybe. Actually, now that I think of it, there were more than 400 episodes of Law & Order made, so odds are you won't remember all of these particular episodes, even if you are huge fan. Plus, the price-per-minute is quite reasonable, especially for an import. If you own the original on DVD, then this is definitely worth picking up. If you enjoy watching the show in syndication, then this is worth at least a rental.

Los Angeles Lakers: 2010 NBA Finals Series - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I got a chance to review this release, but I declined for two reasons. Firstly, I'm not a fan of basketball. Secondly, I hate the Los Angeles Lakers, as they are like the New York Yankees of the NBA. They spend more than any other team and more than twice the lowest. It's not as extreme in the NBA as it is in MLB, but there's something fundamentally unfair about trying to buy a championship. That said, these sets have full games and not just highlights. They present a huge amount of entertainment for the money and are definitely worth picking up if you like the L.A. Lakers.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 5th.

Medium: Season Six - Buy from Amazon
The move from NBC to CBS didn't stop the show and season seven is already underway. But has the show peaked creatively? Check out our review for my opinion.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 5th.

Penguins of Madagascar: I Was a Penguin Zombie - Buy from Amazon
So far my opinion of this Madagascar spin-off have been mixed. Will this be the DVD that wins me over? Read our review to find out.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 5th.

RoboCop Trilogy - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
There's a concept called "The Law of Diminishing Returns", which is one of the most important principles in economics. It is also used in a number of other subjects, including the movie industry. Here, it basically says that each installment in a franchise will generally get weaker and weaker till even its hardcore fans give up on it. How long did the RoboCop franchise go till we hit that point? And is there enough entertainment here to be worth picking up? Check out our review to find out.

Sex and the City 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The follow-up to Sex and the City wasn't as good as the original, either at the box office or with critics. In fact, the film earned some of the worst reviews of the year. Extras on the DVD are rather light and it appears better suited for a rental, while the Blu-ray is aimed at fans looking to pick it up. That said, unless you are a really, really big fan, I would skip this one.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season Two - DVD or Blu-ray
The movie may have been a disappointment, but the TV series has built quite a fanbase. (On a side note, I think too many people compare the movie with major theatrical releases, when it was originally planned as a TV movie. And compared to a lot of TV movies, it is quite good.) Extras include several featurettes, audio commentary tracks, and even a booklet. The Blu-ray does cost quite a bit more, but this TV show should shine on High Definition.

Surviving the Holidays with Lewis Black - Buy from Amazon
Love Lewis Black in nearly everything he's been in, so I'm disappointed this screener is late. However, there's a good chance it will arrive very shortly.

TV Series Megaset - Buy from Amazon: The Deputy, Sex and the City, Slings & Arrows (Blu-ray), Tonight: 4 Decades of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, and War of the Worlds
I might be getting Tonight and / or War of the Worlds to review, but the TV on DVD Megaset I'm most interested in is Slings & Arrows on Blu-ray.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 5th.

Ugly Americans: Volume One - Buy from Amazon
The first seven episodes of this Comedy Central cartoon hit the home market at the beginning of the month. It took a couple extra weeks for the screener to get to me, but was it worth the wait? Read our review to find out.

The Venture Bros: Season 4, Volume 1 - Buy from Amazon
Great show, but there have been some complaints about the latest DVD release, which has been split into two volumes. However, season four is slightly longer than the previous seasons, so the price-per-minute is similar. Additionally, the extras are strong, so compared to a lot of similar TV on DVD releases, it is worth picking up.

War of the Worlds: The Final Season - Buy from Amazon
Still waiting on the screener for this release.

Who is Harry Nilsson - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about influential musician, Harry Nilsson, who was loved by most who knew his music, but most never heard of him. Likewise, the film earned excellent reviews, but was barely seen in theaters. Hopefully it will find a wider audience on the home market.

Winter's Bone - DVD or Blu-ray
Normally Awards Season hopefuls come out in theaters either just before or during Awards Season. However, hitting the home market just after earning three Gotham Independent Awards nominations could turn out to be a huge boost for this film's chances to take home some hardware. Will the movie find an audience on the home market? Check out our review for my opinion.

You Don't Know Jack - Buy from Amazon
Al Pacino stars as Jack Kevorkian in this TV Biopic. The film earned excellent reviews and Al Pacino won an Emmy for his performance, which was one of two wins and fifteen nominations for the movie. Anyone interested in the subject should check out the movie. Even if you are not interested in Jack Kevorkian as a person, the performance could still be worth it.


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Filed under: Video Releases, Elf, Santa Claus, Sex and the City 2, Flickan som lekte med elden, Winter's Bone, Who is Harry Nilsson (and Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him)?, Lake Placid 3