Follow us on

Home Market Releases for August 4th, 2015

August 4th, 2015

Orphan Black

For a summer week, there's a surprising strength on top of the home market releases. Insurgent will very likely be the top selling DVD or Blu-ray on this week's list, but it isn't even close to the best. There were five contenders for Pick of the Week, three of which were in the TV on DVD category. This includes the eventual winner, Orphan Black: Season Three.

A La Mala - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Video on Demand
A Spanish-language film that earned stellar reviews and did well enough in limited release to earn some measure of mainstream success. If you are a fan of Spanish-language movies, then it is a must have. If you haven't seen many of them, it is worth checking out.

Adult Beginners - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
A limited release about a man whose life crashes after a nervous breakdown on the eve of his company's launch. He then moves in with his sister and brother-in-law and becomes a nanny to their kid. The reviews are mixed, so it is probably better off as a VOD rental.

The Affair: Season 1 - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Video on Demand
This show looks at the effects of an extra-marital affair from the perspective of both the man and the woman, but their recollections don't always match. This is an excellent premise and the execution was nearly flawless. On the downside, it is a Showtime release and it has been a long time since I've been wowed by one of their DVD releases. (Episodes from unrelated shows are not extras. They are ads.)

Alpha & Omega: Family Vacation - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Video on Demand
The latest installment in the Alpha and Omega franchise. It started out poorly and never really recovered.

Barely Lethal - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
A24 has an amazing track record when it comes to critical acclaim, and even more so when it comes to box office success in limited release. This film is not one of their success stories. Is it better than its box office numbers would indicate? Or is this a film you should avoid? Read our review to find out.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Big House, U.S.A., Blackbird, Blast from the Past, The Casual Vacancy, The Dead Lands, Foreign Intrigue, Free Willy, He Ran All the Way, Hitman, Innerspace, The Last Survivors, Madame Bovary, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Night and the City, Snow Girl and The Dark Crystal, Storm Fear, Toolbox Murders 2, and Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead
Innerspace is a hidden gem. Not enough people saw it when it first came out, but hopefully more will discover it on Blu-ray.

Child 44 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand One of the biggest bombs of the year. It cost $50 million to make, but barely cracked $1 million at the box office. It isn't as bad as that makes it seem, but it is bad enough that I can't even recommend renting it.

Chocolate City - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Video on Demand
Magic Mike, but with an African-American cast and mixed reviews.

The Comeback: Limited Series - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Lisa Kudrow's first TV series since Friends. The two seasons combined earned good reviews and it has a small, but very loyal fanbase. Small enough that it was canceled after one season, but loyal enough that it earned a second limited season nearly a decade later. If you've never seen the show, check it out.

Do You Believe? - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Video on Demand
As a box office analyst, faith-based films are a nightmare. They are the most unpredictable genre at the box office. Their performances with audiences have almost no correlation with their critical reception. God's Not Dead and this film had nearly identical reviews, but the earlier film made $60 million domestically and this one made $12 million. I have no idea how to explain this. I'm also not going to offer an opinion on whether or not it is worth picking up, as those that are even remotely interested in the movie won't be swayed with what I have to say. We're in totally different target demographics.

Far from the Madding Crowd - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Video on Demand
Carey Mulligan stars in this adaption of the Thomas Hardy novel. Its reviews are amazing and it became one of the biggest hits in limited release so far this year. The genre and the reviews suggest it could have been a player during Awards Season, but it was likely released far too soon in the year for voters to remember it. It still has a shot at earning a few nominations, including maybe an Oscar nod or two for production design, costumers, etc. As for the extras on the DVD / Blu-ray, there are several making of featurettes and some deleted and extended scenes. That's more than enough to be worth picking up; in fact, it is a contender for Pick of the Week.

How to Get Away with Murder: Season 1 - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Video on Demand
One of the best new shows from last fall. Not only was it a critical hit, but it also earned a number of awards / nominations for Viola Davis. On the other hand, it is only coming out on DVD. It is such a competitive week for Pick of the Week contenders that not getting a high definition release is enough to keep it out of the shortlist.

I Love Lucy: Season Two - Buy from Amazon:
This is inarguably one of the best sitcoms of all time and season two has one of the funniest episodes in the show's history, if not the funniest episode. On the other hand, this is not the first time it has been released on the home market. Is the Blu-ray worth picking up? Is it worth the double-dip? Read our review for my opinion.

Insurgent - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
This is easily the biggest release on this week's list, but it is far from the best. The Young Adult Dystopian Future genre has almost as many installments as the Comic Book Adaptation genre, with a hit to miss ratio far below the latter's. Even if you liked the first film, I would hold out till the next one is released. Maybe it will close out on a high note and the box set will be worth the price.

Last Tango in Halifax: Season 3 - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Video on Demand
A British drama about the relationship between two widowed septuagenarians. It has earned a lot of praise and there might be an American remake in the works. I would check out the original before that happens.

A Little Chaos - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand This film has a terrific cast, but only earned weak reviews. It is weak enough that I don't think it is worth picking up, but renting it on VOD makes sense, if you are a fan of the cast / genre.

Little Loopers - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Video on Demand
A family-friendly film about golf. It has the Dove Foundation seal of approval, so you know what you are getting into. A screener arrived unannounced, but I didn't have time to get to this weekend, so it will be part of this week's box office prediction contest.

Murdoch Mysteries, Season 8 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
A police procedural from Canada set in turn-of-the-century Toronto. It is a huge hit in Canada being watched by more than 1 million people, which might not seem like a lot, but we do only have about a tenth the population of the United States. The DVD and Blu-ray is also selling really well, according to and with nearly two hours of behind-the-scenes / making of featurettes, I'm not surprised it is doing so well. I would even consider it a Pick of the Week contender, but this is partially due to my well-publicized pro-Canada bias.

Orphan Black: Season Three - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
Tatiana Maslany stars as Sarah Manning, plus countless other clones. The show has built up a dedicated fanbase and earned stellar reviews, as well as some major awards in its native Canada. (Additionally, Tatiana Maslany finally picked up her overdue Emmy nomination this year). Add in the numerous extras and this Blu-ray is Pick of the Week material.

The Salvation - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
A western from Denmark. That helps it stand out a bit, but its reviews are only good and not great. If you like the genre, it is worth checking out, but I would rent it first.

Strike Back: The Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Video on Demand
I have a hard time taking any TV show in Cinemax seriously. Its reputation is one of exploitation and not real quality. However, this British co-production has earned excellent reviews throughout its four-season run so far. (Season Four has already started airing.) The ten-episode DVD and Blu-ray releases have three audio commentary tracks and nine making of featurettes. That's an excellent release, but not quite Pick of the Week excellent.

True Story - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
This film had some good pre-release buzz, but it couldn't live up to the hype. It only earned mixed reviews and flopped at the box office. It you like the cast and true crime stories, then it is worth a rental.

Video on Demand - Buy from Amazon: Big House, U.S.A. and Foreign Intrigue
There are probably a lot more VOD releases that I didn't mention; however,'s listings were a real mess this week. They had over 100 titles and I know that's wrong. I gave up trying to pick through that mess.


Filed under: Video Releases, Innerspace, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, Far from the Madding Crowd, Child 44, True Story, Adult Beginners, A Little Chaos, The Salvation, A La Mala, Barely Lethal, Do You Believe?, Chocolate City, Little Loopers, Magic Mike, Alpha and Omega, Viola Davis, Lisa Kudrow, Carey Mulligan, Tatiana Maslany, Thomas Hardy