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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for November 16th, 2010

November 16th, 2010

It's getting really close to Black Friday, which is sometimes reported as the busiest shopping day of the year. (It's not. That would be Christmas Eve.) So it should come as no surprise that there's a prime release this week, or should I say re-release. Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition on Blu-ray is the biggest, and arguably the best, release of the week and it is the Pick of the Week. However, there was some competition from The Kids Are All Right on DVD or Blu-ray.

16 Wishes - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Debby Ryan of The Suite Life on Deck stars as a girl whose Sweet Sixteen wishes start to come true. At first she's loving this, until she accidentally wishes she was an adult. It's a simple "Wish-Granter" story, but it pulled in 5.6 million viewers when it premiered, which is quite high for this type of movie and those in the target audience might want to check it out.

Ancient Aliens: Season One - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Pyramids are literally the easiest shape to build. There's absolutely no reason to think aliens helped the Egyptians build them.

Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
By far the biggest release of the week is the special edition DVD / Blu-ray for a movie that was first released on the home market roughly six months ago. At the time, I warned people not to bother with the featureless release, because this one was already announced. Now that it is here, was it worth the wait? Check out our review to find out.

Back From Hell: A Tribute to Sam Kinison - Buy from Amazon
Sam Kinison was a shock comic from the 1980s who was quite popular, but he tragically died after overcoming addiction problems. I was never a big fan of his work, but I'm still looking forward to seeing the tribute to learn more about the man. Unfortunately, the screener is late.

Barbie As Rapunzel - Buy from Amazon
This DVD is part of an incredibly popular franchise, plus it is coming out just weeks before the release of Tangled, which is based on the same Fairytale. Quite frankly, I'm surprised this DVD isn't selling better.

BearCity - Buy from Amazon
A romantic comedy. A gay romantic comedy about the Bear fetish. That's beyond niche market. The reviews are not bad for the genre and if you are in that niche of a niche market, it might be worth picking up.

Beneath the Blue - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The sequel to Eye of the Dolphin with Caitlin Wachs taking over the role of Alyssa from Carly Schroeder. The original only earned weak reviews and hardly made a peep at the box office, so it is a little strange that this movie was even made. Perhaps it will have better luck, but there are no reviews, so it's hard to judge its value.

Best Worst Movie - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about Troll 2, which many consider one of the worst movies ever made. Having reviewed Troll 2, it is hard to argue with that assessment. However, while the subject matter is terrible, the film itself is so good that it is worth a blind buy for fans of documentaries and / or B-movies.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: 16 Wishes, Ancient Aliens: Season One, Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition, Beneath the Blue, Buster Keaton: Sherlock Jr. / Three Ages, Cats & Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore, Charles Chaplin: Modern Times, Disney's A Christmas Carol (Blu-ray / DVD Combo), Disney's A Christmas Carol (3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy), The Extra Man, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas, The Kids Are All Right, The Last Airbender (Blu-ray / DVD Combo), The Last Airbender, Lottery Ticket, Metropolis: The Complete Edition, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, Mutiny on the Bounty, National Geographic: Great Migrations, The Night of the Hunter, Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection (Ultimate Collector's Edition), RoboGeisha, The Shawshank Redemption, Sondheim: The Birthday Concert, Sting: Live in Berlin, The Tournament, The Twilight Zone: Season Two, Water Life: The Big Blue, Water Life: Planet Water, Water Life: Journey of Water, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, and The World at War
An absolutely amazing list of Blu-rays coming out this week, including the biggest grossing movie of all time, a few Christmas releases, classics like The Night of the Hunter, limited releases, even TV on DVD. And that's not including the nearly dozen 3D Blu-ray releases. We could see records broken this week.

Blu-ray 3D Releases - Buy from Amazon: 3D Magic Forest, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (3D / Blu-ray Combo), Clash of the Titans (3D / Blu-ray Combo), Disney's A Christmas Carol (3D / Blu-ray Combo), IMAX: Deep Sea (3D / Blu-ray Combo), IMAX: Space Station (3D / Blu-ray Combo), IMAX: Under the Sea (3D / Blu-ray Combo), The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Film, Open Season, and Polar Express (3D / Blu-ray Combo)
It looks like the studios are starting to push Blu-ray 3D in earnest with two films making day-and-date debuts on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D, while there are a couple other recent releases and a trio of IMAX releases as well. It's still too early to suggest spending $3000 or so on a 3D setup, but depending on how many releases there are and how much the price has changed, it could be different next Christmas.

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray, or
A lot of box office analysts were questioning the sanity of releasing a sequel to a film nearly a decade after the first installment hit theaters. Given its reviews, its box office performance wasn't as bad as it could have been, but it certainly wasn't anything impressive. The extras are really not that impressive with the new Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote cartoon being the biggest selling point. Even if you have kids the right age, there are far too many better option to even rent this one.

Christmas Releases - Buy from Amazon: Bing Crosby: The Television Specials - Volume 2 - The Christmas Specials Deluxe Edition, Celtic Thunder: Christmas, Disney's A Christmas Carol, Disney's A Christmas Carol (Blu-ray / DVD), Disney's A Christmas Carol (3D Blu-ray / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy), Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (Blu-ray), Mrs. Miracle, Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection - Ultimate Collector's Edition (Blu-ray), and Polar Express (Blu-ray / 3D Blu-ray)
This week's list of Christmas releases is dominated by four high profile Blu-rays, including two 3D Blu-rays.

Disney's A Christmas Carol - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack, or 3-D Blu-ray / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy
The latest motion capture animated film from Robert Zemeckis, who is one of the biggest proponents of the technology. So far he hasn't managed to score an undisputed hit, but has the technology advanced enough to be an effective tool for storytelling? Read our review for my opinion.

The Extra Man - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A strong cast that includes Kevin Kline and Paul Dano helped the film do well for a weekend or two, before its weak reviews caught up with it. Extras include an audio commentary track, making of featurette, and deleted scenes, which adds up to a rental, if you are a fan of the cast.

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

The Fugitive: Season Four, Volume One - Buy from Amazon
We've almost reached the end of this groundbreaking series. Is the show picking up steam as we close in on the end, or is it running out of gas? Read our review for my opinion.

German Fighting Tanks - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about German fighting tanks... as opposed to German hugging tanks?

Glee: Season One Gift Set - Buy from Amazon
Third release for this show. ... Well, is it at least worth the money? Won't know till the screener shows up.

The Gunslingers - Reviews
A low-budget western that promises to pay homage to the classics of the genre. Can it live up to that promise? Check out our review for my opinion.

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas - DVD or Blu-ray
One of many DVD / Blu-ray releases I'm still waiting to screen. I've reviewed this show once in the past and I liked it, but I don't know the details on this release, so I can't comment till it arrives.

The Kids Are All Right - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of the few limited releases to earn a significant amount of mainstream success. At its widest it was playing in almost 1000 theaters. Given its reviews, it is easy to see why. The reviews alone make it worth picking up, while the extras (audio commentary track and a trio of featurettes) lifts it in contention for Pick of the Week. The Blu-ray is BD-Live enabled and has some minor exclusives. It only costs 40% more, but that's a little high for this type of release.

The Last Airbender - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film was saddled with bad buzz from before filming began; in fact, from the time M. Night Shyamalan was attached to write and direct it. That said, it wasn't a flop at the box office earning more than $300 million worldwide. So, is it bad like the buzz, or respectable like the box office result? Won't know till the screener arrives.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 2nd.

LeapFrog: Learning Set: Volume 2 - Buy from Amazon
A four-disc set (three DVDs and a CD) was the latest release from this educational franchise. Is it worth picking up, or is the price-per-minute too high? Check out our review to find out.

Lottery Ticket - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
An ensemble comedy headed by Bow Wow, who wins the lottery, but has to survive the long weekend without anyone finding out. "Low expectations" is probably the best way to describe how most analysts felt about the movie, but it wasn't as bad as many had feared it would be. That's hardly high praise, but if you are in the target audience and like some of the cast, it might be worth a rental.

Metropolis: The Complete Metropolis - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of the greatest movies ever made, and its coming out in its complete form for the first time in about 70 years. That alone makes the Blu-ray a must have. It also comes with a nearly hour-long documentary and an interview with the man that discovered the missing footage in 2008. Get it. Get it now.

Michael Jackson's Vision - Buy from Amazon
A 3-disc set containing four and a half hours of music videos from the King of Pop. Even if you think Michael Jackson went off later in his career, this set is still worth picking up for his earlier work.

Mickey Mote - Buy from Amazon: Handy Manny: Big Construction Job and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Numbers Roundup
Two Disney preschool DVDs coming out with Mickey Motes, which is a remote control made for preschoolers to work with the interactive mode that many such DVDs have. It's an interesting idea, but how's the execution? Won't know till the screener(s) arrive. Also coming out this week is Handy Manny: Big Construction Job and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Numbers Roundup without the remote.

National Geographic: Great Migrations - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This three-disc DVD or two-disc Blu-ray presents more than three hours of nature footage shot by the National Geographic film crew. Nature documentaries like this have grown in popularity recently, and they tend to really shine on High Definition. Add in a very good price for the two-disc Blu-ray and it is worth picking up for fans of the genre.

The Office: Digital Shorts Collection - Buy from Amazon
On the one hand, the seven webisodes run just over one hour, which means the price-per-minute is too high for a TV on DVD release. On the other hand, there's plenty of extras to compensate and if you are a hardcore fan of the show, it might be worth it.

Opposite Day - Buy from Amazon
A movie starring Pauly Shore, who hasn't starred in a wide release since Bio-Dome, which came out two years before Ariel Winter, his co-star, was born. I thought Pauly Shore Is Dead could have been the beginning of the revamping of his career, but that hasn't been the case.

Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection - Ultimate Collector's Edition - Blu-ray Buy from Amazon
A six-disc Blu-ray collection, plus physical extras like a a snowglobe. It's a double-dip, but if you don't already own it, it's worth grabbing.

Perry Mason: Season Five, Volume Two - Buy from Amazon
Another split-season, featureless DVD release for one of the greatest courtroom dramas ever created. Does the quality of the episodes make up for the lack of extras and high price-per-minute? Check out our review for my opinion.

RoboGeisha - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
From the director of The Machine Girl, which might be enough for a blind buy, or to send you running in the other direction. Reviews have been mixed with some saying this is among writer / director Noboru Iguchi's best work, while others say it isn't as fun or energetic as The Machine Girl.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 26th of October.

Santa Claus: The Movie - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The studio was expecting this movie to be a huge hit and they spent $50 million in 1985 to make it, which is more than $100 million in today's money. Was it money well spent? Or was this a foolish expense for a fledgling studio? Read out review to find out.

Sondheim: The Birthday Concert - DVD or Blu-ray
I'm not a fan of musicals, but Stephen Sondheim is really the only person whose work I consistently like (not counting animated musicals). Is this concert for hardcore fans only, or will a more casual fan like myself enjoy it? Won't know till the screener arrives.

Spongebob Squarepants: Legends of Bikini Bottom - Buy from Amazon
The latest single-disc SpongeBob DVD contains just six shorts, which makes it shorter than usual. So how does it set itself apart? By presenting three full episodes that won't air on TV for a few more months. Is that enough? Read our review for my opinion.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 19th of October.

Tales from the Darkside: Season Four - Buy from Amazon
The final late release of the week is also the latest of the four late releases. Was the screener worth the wait and did the show go out on a high note, or did this horror anthology series last one season too many? Check out our review for my opinion.

TV Series Megaset - Buy from Amazon: Heroes
Just the one Megaset on this week's list, and quite frankly, despite a promising start, the show really struggled throughout most of its run.


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Filed under: Video Releases, The Polar Express, Open Season, Space Station, Deep Sea 3D, The Shawshank Redemption, Santa Claus, Under the Sea 3D, Mutiny on The Bounty, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Metropolis, The Last Airbender, Lottery Ticket, Disney's A Christmas Carol, Clash of the Titans, Avatar, The Kids Are All Right, Best Worst Movie, Ecstasy of Gold, The Extra Man, BearCity