DVD and Blu-ray Releases for June 19th, 2012

There are a trio of wide releases coming out on the home market this weekend; however, two of them were box office bombs, while the only one that did reasonably well at the box office was absolutely eviscerated by critics. Project X will likely be the best selling new release of the week, but that's not a good sign, as it made just over $50 million in theaters. Additionally, according to Amazon.com, the top ten best selling new releases include a trio of catalogue titles making their Blu-ray debut. We are not talking about classics that are finally making the leap to high definition. We are talking about films like Newsies, which earned less than $3 million during its original theatrical run. As for potential Pick of the Week winners, there were a few contenders. Jeff, Who Lives At Home is an excellent film, but the DVD and the Blu-ray have absolutely no extras. Wilfred: Season One could be a winner, but I didn't get a chance to see the show when it first aired, and the DVD / Blu-ray is late. The screener is also late for Louie: Season Two, but at least I've seen season one and the DVD or Blu-ray is the best bet for Pick of the Week.

Big Miracle - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This film deserved to do better at the box office. It earned some of the best reviews out of all of the January / February releases, but it barely managed $20 million at the box office. Extras include an audio commentary track, deleted scenes, and a pair of featurettes. That's not bad for a first-run release, but not great either. It's worth picking up, while the Blu-ray is worth spending $4 more for.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: And Everything is Going Fine (The Criterion Collection), A Bag of Hammers, Evita, Gray's Anatomy (The Criterion Collection), Hidden Blade, The Invisible Man: The Complete Series, K-ON!: Season 2 Collection 1, Newsies, Project X, The Raconteurs: Live at Montreux 2008, and Sister Act / Sister Act 2
There's not a lot in the secondary Blu-ray releases that I would consider worth picking up for most people. I'm interested in the two Spalding Gray Blu-rays, And Everything is Going Fine and Gray's Anatomy, but that's about it.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Earth 3D and Flying Monsters 3D
Only two 3D releases this week and they are both edutainment releases. Flying Monsters 3D looks awesome, but I don't think it will be a huge seller.

Buck Denver Asks: What's in the Bible? Volume Eight - Buy from Amazon
I've seen a number of these releases over the past few months. Normally I ignore them, as they are usually very far down the list of best selling new releases. However, this one is in the top twenty at the moment. That's a sign of a slow week rather than that this franchise is suddenly very popular. If you are in the market for this type of release, I would go with the VeggieTales instead.

Cat Run - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film opened in over 100 theaters, which is a lot for a limited release, and only managed reviews that were 15% positive, which would be terrible for a wide release. Needless to say, it bombed in theaters. The DVD and the Blu-ray have some deleted scenes and a behind-the-scenes featurette, but that's not enough to be worth a rental.

Exit Humanity - Buy from Amazon
A zombie film set in the Civil War era. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes; however, most of the reviews I've found online are positive, some of them enthusiastically so. Should be worth checking out for fans of horror in general, but there are a lot of competition in this genre.

The FP - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
According to this movie, in the future, gangs will use a deadly version of Dance, Dance Revolution to settle their disputes. Okay... That premise is a little hard to take, but the reviews are not too bad. If you are a fan of B-movies, it might be worth checking out.

Franklin & Bash: The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
Two lawyers, Peter Bash and Jared Franklin, win a high profile case and are recruited by Stanton Infeld to be part of his powerful law firm. However, they are not your typical serious lawyers and they clash with Infeld's nephew, Damien Karp, who has other plans for the law firm. The show's reviews are good, while the extras are even better. If you caught the show on TV the first time, it is worth picking up. While if you missed it, but like courtroom dramas that lean to the humorous side, then it is worth checking out at the very least.

How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster? - Buy from Amazon
A biography of Norman Foster, an influential architect. The film's reviews were mixed and a lot of critics complained it was too praiseworthy and this will limit the film's appeal to those who are already fans of his work and less to those who are interested in a more critical look at his work.

Jeff, Who Lives At Home - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The latest film from the Duplass brothers. The pair started in the Mumblecore genre, but they've been trying to move beyond that. Was this film a success in that regard? Or are they stuck with their old tricks. Read our review for my opinion.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 5th.

John Carter - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray, or 3D Blu-ray
This film is arguably the biggest box office bomb of all time. It lost $200 million at the box office, which is more than most films cost to make and advertise. Did it deserve to perform better? And now that it is out on the home market, will it find a more receptive audience? Check out our review to find out.

Keyhole - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Guy Maddin's latest is, well, it's way too strange to explain here. Half the movie might be an hallucination or a haunting. It is one of his weaker films, but it is still worth checking out. And if you are a fan of his past work, it is worth picking up.

Louie: Season Two - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I thought the first season of this show was close to Pick of the Week material, so I'm really looking forward to season two. However, the screener is late.

A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt - Buy from Amazon
A biographical look at Paul Liebrandt, who is the youngest chef to ever earn a perfect three-star rating from the New York Times. There are not a lot of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but all three of them are positive. It should be worth picking up for fans of documentaries, especially if they are also foodies.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 12th.

Meatballs - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I mentioned last week that I only have the vaguest recollection of this movie. In fact, my memory of this movie was faulty in the one scene I did remember. (It was a hot dog eating contest, not a pie eating contest.) The screener did arrive a little late, but I got the chance to see the movie for the first time in over a decade, perhaps even two decades. Does it live up to its reputation as a minor cult classic? Should it be remembered by more? Or should it fade away? Read our review for my opinion.

My Afternoons With Margueritte - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Gerard Depardieu stars as a semi-illiterate man in his 40s, while Gisèle Casadesus in an author in her 90s who likes to read books in the park. The pair form an unlikely friendship. The film's reviews were very impressive, but didn't find an audience here. The DVD is a little pricey, but this is common for limited releases, while the Blu-ray is only 20% more, which is a good deal. Regardless what format you choose, it is worth picking up.

Power Rangers: Samurai - Buy from Amazon: The Team Unites and A New Enemy
The latest incarnation of this franchise is the nineteenth series to bare the Power Rangers name. How well does it compare to previous incarnations like RPM? Check out our review for my opinion.

Project X - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
A movie about a party gone wild. That's it. The reviews were terrible with a lot of critics giving the film aggressively negative reviews. Anyone old enough to see R-rated movies will be old enough to have seen much better films in this genre. Additionally, the extras are terrible and even though the Blu-ray has a couple more short featurettes, it isn't worth paying $7 more for. Skip it.

Radio Rebel - Buy from Amazon
A Disney Channel TV movie starring Debby Ryan, who has been in a few other Disney projects. Her she plays a high school girl who is incredibly shy, but who has a secret. Outside of school, she's the DJ on a popular pirate radio station. I'm not in the target audience, but it could be a good show compared to the average Disney Channel production, but I will have to wait for the screener to arrive to be sure.

Seeking Justice - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Nicolas Cage is in serious need of career rehabilitation. I still like the actor and I've liked some of his recent films. However, he's making too make bad films like this one and his box office drawing power is shrinking. This film opened in a couple of hundred theaters, but only managed to earn just over $400,000, in total. An opening that bad would have been below the Mendoza line. This explains why there is only a couple featurettes on the DVD and Blu-ray for extras. Unless you are a hardcore fan of the cast, or of Revenge / Vigilante films in general, you can skip this one.

Tyler Perry's House of Payne: Volume Nine Buy from Amazon
Not a fan of the show, but clearly it has a loyal audience if it has lasted this long.

Wanderlust - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This was a good movie, but not a great movie, at least with critics. It came within one vote of earning overall positive reviews, but it failed to reach the top five during its opening and very, very quickly disappeared from theaters. The extras on the DVD are excellent with an audio commentary track, deleted / alternative scenes, and lots of behind-the-scene featurettes. The Blu-ray includes the extended version of the movie that has more to it. It's worth picking up and worth paying extra for.

Web Therapy: The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
This show is based on a web series that featured Lisa Kudrow as a really bad therapist who only dealt with clients online. The original series won awards; however, a lot of critics are saying that the translation from 3-minute web series to 30-minute sitcom was not a smart way to go. The show just works better in small doses.

Wilfred: Season One - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Elijah Wood stars as a man who, at the beginning of the series, is trying to commit suicide by a drug overdose. However, he's interrupted by his new neighbor, who wants him to look after her dog for a little bit. Her dog, Wilfred, is a man in a dog suit who speaks English. At least that's how Elijah sees him. Then again, he had just taken a lot of drugs. Everyone else sees Wilfred as just any other dog. It is a strange premise for a show, but I'm really looking forward to seeing it. Unfortunately, the screener is late. I do have high expectations and it could be Pick of the Week material.

WWE: Over the Limit 2012 - Buy from Amazon
The latest WWE release. These are generally the best selling "Sports" DVDs around, but I'm not a fan of wrestling, so I can't comment on the quality.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2012-06-18