DVD and Blu-ray Releases for April 17th, 2012

This week's list of DVD and Blu-ray releases is dominated by Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol. The Blu-ray Combo Pack is worth picking up, but you'll want the Best Buy exclusive, or perhaps you want to tell studios to stop doing retailer exclusives, as they are annoying. That added complication is the reason I'm not awarding the release Pick of the Week, but there are not a lot of other films worthy either. Shame has two amazing performances, but the Blu-ray Combo Pack doesn't have a lot of extras. Fans of nature documentaries might want Frozen Planet: The Complete Series on Blu-ray or IMAX: Born to be Wild on 3D Combo Pack. But in the end, I went with the underseen The Last Rites of Joe May on DVD.

American Dad!: Volume Seven - Buy from Amazon
I believe the screener for this release was shipped on Tuesday, so it could get here before the weekend. If I can clean up some of the other late screeners that arrived, before then, I should get to the review over the weekend. It also depends on how many new releases arrive.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: 7 Below, Alambrista! (Criterion Collection), America Revealed, The Asphyx, Baseball's Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6, Buck Privates, Late Spring (Criterion Collection), The Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Part One, The Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Part Two, The Man Nobody Knew, WWII: The Atlantic Campaign, and WWII: The Pacific Campaign
There are a few secondary Blu-ray releases that pique my interest. The two Citerion Collection releases are in that group, as is the Abbot and Costello release, Buck Privates. But most are on the forgettable side.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Born to be Wild
Just the one 3D release this week, and it is an edutainment release. Granted, its box office numbers were better than a lot of similar releases, but I'm not sure it will sell well on the home market.

Bob's Burgers: Season 1 - Blu-ray
Loren Bouchard and H. Jon Benjamin team up again after helping create Home Movies. Is this show as good as their past work? Check out our review for my opinion.

Crew 2 Crew - Buy from Amazon
One of many Lionsgate releases that arrive on my desk every week or so that I've never heard of before I open the box it comes it. This week I didn't have enough time to get to every review, so I'm putting this one into the prize pool, so starting this Friday, you will have a chance to win this DVD and Night Wolf.

The Divide - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
A group of tenants in a New York City apartment building head to their bomb shelter after a nuclear war starts. When their resources start to run low, they turn on each other. It's a good premise for a thriller, but its reviews were awful. It is selling better than expected according to Amazon.com, but that's likely just a sign of how slow the week is in terms of new releases.

Eight Is Enough: The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
It's been a long, long time since I've seen this TV show, or even thought about it. The Family Dramedy ran for five seasons starting in 1977 and has enough fans who probably still remember it. However, I think it might be a little too old fashion to draw in new people.

Farmageddon - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about the raw milk phenomenon. It only earned mixed reviews, as it is clearly more AgitProp than an academic argument. It also struggled at the box office, likely because the work of Louis Pasteur holds up to this day. In fact, Germ Theory is one of the foundations of all modern medicine.

Note: These Blu-ray made their home market debut on the 6th of March.

Fox Family Easter Releases
Aquamarine - Buy from Amazon
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - Buy from Amazon
The Man From Snowy River - Buy from Amazon
Thumbelina - Buy from Amazon
Four family films from 20th Century Fox came out on Blu-ray for the first time. The screeners arrived late, but how many of these films are family classics? And are the Blu-rays worth paying extra for? Check out our review to find out.

Frozen Planet: The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
From the same team that made Planet Earth. That should be more than enough reason to buy this nature documentary series. In fact, it's a contender for Pick of the Week.

Girl Fight - Buy from Amazon
A film about girl-on-girl bullying starring Anne Heche and Jodelle Ferland. Still waiting for the screener for this film, but hopefully it will get here soon.

Grateful Dead: All the Years Combine: The DVD Collection - Buy from Amazon
A 14-disc set of Grateful Dead featuring more than a day-and-a-half of concert footage. It's an amazing collection and a must have for fans of the band.

High Road to China - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is not Tom Selleck's best known or most beloved film. However, both the DVD and the Blu-ray are in the top ten best-selling new releases, at least according to Amazon.com. That's a sure sign it's a slow week. It's basically an Indiana Jones clone that is not nearly as good, but it is still entertaining as an escapist movie.

IMAX: Born to be Wild - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack
This film earned nearly perfect reviews and earned quite a lot at the box office, for an IMAX edutainment film. If you are fans of similar films, this is a must have. Also, if you have a 3D setup, it is worth picking up.

Keeping Up with the Steins - Buy from Amazon
This film was obviously aimed at a more niche market and while it did well in limited release, it wasn't able to expand wide. Now that it is coming out on a bargain DVD, is it worth checking out for those who missed it the first time? Read our review to find out.

The Last Rites of Joe May - Buy from Amazon
Dennis Farina plays a low level hustler who winds up in a hospital due to a health scare. When he gets out, he finds someone else living in his apartment. Turns out his landlord thought he had died and sold all of his stuff. Fortunately, the new tenants rent him a room so he's not homeless, but this turn of events makes him anxious to have one big score so he can retire and not live so close to poverty. The film earned really good reviews, but it never found an audience in theaters. Hopefully that will change on the home market.

Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
The latest Mission: Impossible franchise was the biggest hit of the fall and the biggest hit of the franchise worldwide. Is it also the best film in the franchise? Check out our review for my opinion.

NHL Road to Victory: The New York Rangers Story - Buy from Amazon
Skip it and buy NHL Original Six Series - The New York Rangers 1994 Stanley Cup Champions instead. Real fans want full games and not a 60-minute highlight reel.

Roadracers - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is just a quick update to a previous review. When the DVD came out, I really liked the movie. Sure, it perhaps had more style than substance, but the style added to the film rather than distracted from the film. So how is the Blu-ray? It's good, but not great. It only has the same extras as before (audio commentary track and a ten-minute film school) so there are no exclusives. That said, this is better than a lot of similar releases; it is a low-budget TV movie, after all. The video and audio quality is solid, but unspectacular. The level of detail is good, again considering it is a low-budget TV movie. The colors are solid, for the most part, with only occasional issues. The blacks are deep, without swallowing details too much. Finally, I didn't notice any compression issues or digital manipulation. The audio has more activity than I was expecting with plenty of sound effects from the rear speakers, although sometimes the dialogue has to fight to be heard over the music. That said, the Blu-ray costs just $7.99 compared to $6.49 for the DVD and it is clearly the better deal.

Roger Corman's Cult Classics: The Nurses Collection - Buy from Amazon
Still waiting for the screener for this release. Hopefully it will get here soon.

Shame - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray Combo Pack
The term "Busted Oscar Bait" has a generally negative connotation, but sometimes a film is really good without being Oscar-worthy. Is that the case with Shame? Or does it try too hard to win an Oscar without being a film others will want to see? Read our review to find out.

Shaun the Sheep: Shear Madness - Buy from Amazon
Great show for kids, but two of the episodes are double-dips, so keep that in mind.

Note: This DVD and Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 27th.

South Park: Season 15 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
For the last few seasons, South Park has been off its peak in terms of quality. Is it able to recover this year? Or does it fall even further? Read our review for my opinion.

Starman: The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
They turned Starman into a TV series? It was a good movie, but the TV series only lasted a season. The alien from the movie returns to find his son and 'wife' separated. He reunites with his son to look for his wife while tracked by a paranoid government agent. It's not a bad setup, but like I said, it only lasted one season.

The Super Hero Squad Show: The Infinity Gauntlet Vol. 3 - Buy from Amazon
I've only had a chance to review a couple DVDs from this series, but it is a fun show, although one aimed at a younger audience than most super hero cartoons are aimed at these days.

Treme: Season Two - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I got a chance to review Season One, but while I put in my request, the screener never arrived. I think this will also happen with Season Two. This is a shame, as the reviews have been excellent. I'm not surprised so many people love the show, given its pedigree. (Its creators also made The Wire, Homocide: Life on the Streets, and more.)

Note: This DVD and Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 3rd.

We Bought a Zoo - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
A family film released during Christmas week. It did well at the box office, but struggled in face of high competition. Did it deserve to be seen by more? Or was it destined to fade into the crowd? Check out our review for my opinion.

Yo Gabba Gabba!: Super Spies - Buy from Amazon
What episodes are found on the latest Yo Gabba Gabba! DVD release? And are there any extras to add to the overall value? Read our review to find out.

Young Justice: Season One - Buy from Amazon
This is a much better deal than the previous single-disc releases.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2012-04-17