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Home Market Releases for June 16th, 2015

June 17th, 2015

Spirited Away

Wow. Slow week. There are a few releases that are notable, but we very quickly run into titles that would be considered filler during the average week. In fact, there are no first run releases that are contenders for Pick of the Week. There are a trio of limited releases that are in the running for that title: Time Lapse (DVD or Blu-ray or Video on Demand); Wild Tales (DVD or Blu-ray or Video on Demand); and The Wrecking Crew (DVD or Blu-ray or Video on Demand). There were also two catalog releases of note: The Cat Returns (Blu-ray Combo Pack) and Spirited Away (Blu-ray Combo Pack). Both are excellent, but Spirited Away is the better of the two films and it is the Pick of the Week.

Beyond The Reach - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
I might get a screener for this film. I liked the book it is based on, but the reviews are weak, so I'm not hopeful.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: André Gregory & Wallace Shawn: 3 Films, The Boys in the Band, Captain Earth: Collection 1, Eye for an Eye, The Happiness Of The Katakuris, Is This a Zombie: Season 2, Malice, A Master Builder, My Dinner with André, The Onion Field, The Shipping News, The Sunshine Boys, Tentacles / Reptilicus, and The Land That Time Forgot
My Dinner with André is arguably the best secondary Blu-ray release this week.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Pandas: The Journey Home
I'm going to say something controversial, but it's the truth... Pandas need to die. The amount of money spent trying to prevent Pandas from going extinct would be better spent trying to save other species that are a lot more important to the overall ecology.

Chappie - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
This film was widely expected to become a hit at the box office. However, its reviews were poor enough to kill any chance it had. There are almost no extras on the DVD, but the Blu-ray is better in that regard. Even so, I think renting it on Video on Demand is the better option. Also coming out this week is the Blomkamp3 Limited Edition Collection. It is only $33, but if you are a fan of Neill Blomkamp, you likely already have his first two films on Blu-ray.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 9th.

The Duff - Reviews
Video on Demand
The screener for this film arrived a few days late, but I was able to get to the review over the weekend. The film was a contender for Pick of the Week last week, in part because of its reviews, but partially because it was a slow week. Does it live up to its reviews? Read our review for my opinion.


La Gata - Buy from Amazon: DVD
This is a Spanish-Language soap opera from Mexico. It arrived on my desk unannounced and it will be featured in this week's Box Office Prediction Contest, along with another soap opera or two.

Playing It Cool - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Video on Demand
A romantic comedy that opened on Video on Demand and as a result went nowhere at the box office. Its reviews also didn't help. It did so poorly that there isn't even a Blu-ray release in this market. You can import one, but I don't see why you would bother. Catch it when it comes out on Netflix.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 9th.

Kingsman: The Secret Service - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Video on Demand
This screener arrived a day late, but I go to review it over the weekend. Is it as good as its box office numbers would suggest? Or did benefit from lack of competition? Check out our review to find out.


The Lazarus Effect - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Video on Demand
This horror film earned terrible reviews. It was a middling hit at the box office, but only because its production budget was so low. Unless you are really into this genre and love the cast, this film is safely skippable. Even then, I would suggest renting it on VOD and not buying it.

The Newsroom: Season Three - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
This show only lasted three seasons, but the reviews got better each season. At this pace, season five would have been award-worthy. As it is, it is worth checking out. Extras on the DVD and Blu-ray include behind-the-scenes for each episode, as well as an audio commentary track for the series finale. It's worth picking up.

The Odd Couple: The Complete Collection - Buy from Amazon: DVD
This TV show was based on an Award-winning movie, which was based on an Award-winning Broadway play. This is the first time the show is coming out on a Megaset, so is it worth picking up if you missed the single-season releases? Is it worth the double-dip? Read our review for my opinion.

Old Fashioned - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Video on Demand
A romantic comedy that opened in limited release and did well during its opening weekend, but failed to maintain that pace as it expanded. Given its reviews, I'm surprised it opened well to being with.

Run All Night - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Video on Demand
I think the Liam Neeson action film sub-genre has reached its peak. This film earned good reviews, but opened with with barely more than $11 million before quickly disappearing. The extras on the DVD are limited to some deleted scenes, while the Blu-ray has a couple of extra featurettes. It is worth picking up for fans of the genre.

Studio Ghibli Double-Feature:
The Cat Returns - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray Combo Pack
Spirited Away - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray Combo Pack
This week, two Studio Ghibli films are making their Blu-ray reviews. Are these two films among the best the studio has put out? And are the Blu-ray reviews worthy of the movies? Read our review for my opinion.


Through the Wormhole: Season Five - Buy from Amazon: DVD
A science show hosted by Morgan Freeman that has earned excellent reviews and even picked up a couple of Emmy nominations. It is certainly worth checking out.

Time Lapse - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
Most weeks, this film would be too small to get noticed. This week, it is one of very few films to come out on the home market to earn overwhelmingly positive reviews. On the other hand, it debuted on Video on Demand, so its box office numbers are non-existent. Extras include two audio commentary tracks, deleted scenes, and a making-of featurette. It is worth picking up and it is even a contender for Pick of the Week.

TV on DVD Full Series Megasets - Buy from Amazon: Laverne and Shirley, Lovejoy, The Odd Couple, and Two and a Half Men
There are four full-series Megasets coming out this week and three of them are worth picking up.

Two and a Half Men: Season 12 - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Video on Demand
This show is too much of a sitcom in the negative sense of the word. It lasted more than a decade, but I could never get into it. You can also buy the Full-Series Megaset.

Unfinished Business - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
One of the biggest bombs of the year so far and one look at its reviews tells you why that happened. It doesn't matter what extras are on the DVD or Blu-ray (there's not a lot) as the movie isn't worth watching for free.

Video on Demand - Buy from Amazon: An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong, Amour Fou, Burying the Ex, Danny Collins, Dark Matter, Graduation Day, Leading Lady, Momentum, Phantom Halo, Rubble Kings, She's Lost Control, Thomas & Friends: Wild Water Rescue & Other Engine Adventures, and Tony Tango
According to Amazon.com, there are nearly 200 new VOD releases this week. I'm assuming that's a mistake. On the other hand, the best VOD release on this week's list is Dark Matter, which started last Friday. I caught the premiere and if you missed it, it is worth checking out.

Welcome to Me - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
Kristen Wiig is a very funny actress, but she hasn't always chosen the best roles. In this film, she plays a woman who wins $86 million in the lottery and uses this money to start a talk show hosted by herself. This film earned good, but not great, reviews. It is worth checking out, but the DVD and Blu-ray only has a single featurette, so perhaps renting it on Video on Demand is the best deal.

Wild Tales - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
An Argentinian Black Comedy anthology with six short stories about revenge. Despite being a foreign-language film, it has earned just over $3 million during its limited release run, which is impressive for an English-language limited release, and amazing for this type of film. It is easy to see why this happened. It is one of the best-reviewed releases on this week's list. It even earned an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign-Language film, although it lost out to Ida. Extras are limited to a making-of featurette and a featurette with the director, Damián Szifron, at a Q&A event at the Toronto International Film Festival. That's not a lot, but it is more than most foreign-language imports get. It is also more than enough to make it a a contender for Pick of the Week.

The Wrecking Crew - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
A documentary about the Wrecking Crew, a studio band that helped create the sound for many classic rock bands during the 1960s and 1970s. The film's reviews are among the best of any release on this week's list. If you are a fan of Rockumentaries, then this is a must have. The DVD and the Blu-ray only have some deleted scenes, but that's still enough to make it a contender for Pick of the Week.

WWE: Payback (2015) - Buy from Amazon: DVD
I have no interest in professional wrestling; in fact, I know John Cena more from movies I've reviewed than I do from his wrestling career. So I really can't comment on the quality of this release.


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Filed under: Video Releases, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, My Dinner With Andre, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Chappie, Unfinished Business, The Lazarus Effect, Run All Night, Welcome to Me, The DUFF, Relatos salvages, Time Lapse, Playing It Cool, Old Fashioned, Beyond The Reach, Neko no ongaeshi, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Neill Blomkamp, John Cena, Kristen Wiig, Damian Szifron