DVD and Blu-ray Releases for December 17th, 2013

It's a busy week with eight or so first-run releases. (It depends on if you count the The Sound of Music Live! as a first-run release.) However, none of them were big hits at the box office. Some of them made enough money to break even sometime on the home market, others struggled more than that, but none were breakout hits. Some of these are still worth picking up. For others, there's a reason they struggled. There are also a few TV on DVD releases this week that are worth picking up, as well as a few limited releases that are strong. All in all, it's a good week on the home market with many DVD and Blu-rays that are worth picking up, some of which I'm looking forward to reviewing... when they show up. This time of year, getting screeners on time tends to be a little harder. I think Burn Notice: Season Seven is the top selection, but I'll have to wait for the screener to make sure. On a side note, next Tuesday is Christmas eve, so there won't be a DVD and Blu-ray Release report. There's only four films worth talking about anyway, so I'm including them on this list. Of next week's films, More Than Honey on DVD or Blu-ray is the Pick of Next Week.

Ain't Them Bodies Saints - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film earned excellent reviews, but while it opened well, it collapsed quickly and disappeared from theaters before finding an audience. The only extra on the DVD and Blu-ray is a making of featurette, but it is still worth picking up, especially if you like the cast.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero: Complete Series, Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero: Complete Series (Limited Edition), Alien Uprising, The Best Within, The Blue Angel, Crawlspace, Force of Execution, Humanity Has Declined, Indiana Jones & Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones & Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones & Last Crusade, Pet Girl of Sakurasou 1, Roxette Live Travelling the World, Say I Love You, and The Whip and the Body
The list of secondary releases has a high percentage of Anime releases this week. There are also the first three Indiana Jones coming out separately, as opposed to the previously released Blu-ray Box Set.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: One Direction: This is Us, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, and Predator
Three 3D releases this week, two of which are first-run releases and the other is an 1980s action film with a recent post-production conversion.

Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans Of My Little Pony - Buy from Amazon
John de Lancie narrates this documentary about Bronies, adult male fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Of course, de Lancie is the voice of Discord, which partially explains why there are so many male fans of the latest incarnation of My Little Pony. There are not a lot of reviews online, but they are very positive. It is worth checking out, even if you are not a fan.

Burn Notice: Season Seven - Buy from Amazon
I love this show and I can't wait to see the final season. I really hope it went out on a high note. Even if it didn't, the Complete Series Megaset would make a great gift.

Caesar Must Die - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about a prison in Rome that uses William Shakespeare to help rehabilitate the prisoners. The reviews are amazing, but you will have to wait till next week to pick it up.

Contest - Buy from Amazon
A bullied kid is suddenly befriended by the star athlete who is his chief tormentor. There are not a lot of reviews online, but they are mostly positive. It's a good family film.

Elysium - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This film suffered due to high expectations. It was Neill Blomkamp's follow-up to District 9 and many people where expecting the same level of quality. The movie is good, it's just not amazing. Extras on the DVD are rather limited, but the Blu-ray has several more exclusive featurettes. Worth picking up and worth paying more for high definition.

The Family - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
I'm still waiting for the screener for this show. In the meantime, it is the prize for our current Box Office Prediction Contest.

Family Guy: Volume 12 - Buy from Amazon
I'm still waiting for the screener. The past few seasons have been hit and miss, so I won't know if this one is more of the former than the latter till after it arrives.

Ghost Team One - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of four haunted house comedies that came out this year. None earned positive reviews. This wasn't the worst in terms of Tomatometer Scores, but that doesn't mean it is good either. Is it worth checking out? Read our review to find out.

Insidious Chapter 2 for DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This is the biggest of the four releases from next week. It is the only first-run release. This film was a much bigger hit than the original was, but it was also much weaker in terms of critical reception. A Tomatometer Score of 38% positive is low enough that if you only liked the first film, then perhaps you should skip this one. The extras on the DVD are weak with just a couple featurettes, while the Blu-ray has additional extras like a behind-the-scenes featurette.

Justified: The Complete Fourth Season - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Every year I ask for a screener for this show and every year I don't get one. Its on FX, which is a smaller cable channel, so there are not as many screeners to go around. Additionally, it has earned very good reviews, so the demand is higher. It's a busy week, but it could be a contender for Pick of the Week.

Kick Ass 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This is arguably the most disappointing sequel of the summer. The first film earned 77% positive reviews while this one earned just 29% positive reviews. Hopefully it is not as bad as that score would indicate, but I'm still waiting for the screener to find out.

The Lone Ranger - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
One of the biggest films of the summer, at least in terms of production budget. It wasn't a big hit at the box office. In fact, it was arguably the biggest financial bomb of the year. Is the film as bad as its box office numbers? Check out our review to find out.

The Mod Squad Season Five - Buy from Amazon: Volume 1 and Volume 2
I really don't like split-season sets. $50 for 24 episodes is not good price-per-minute.

More Than Honey - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The best reviewed new release of the week, except that it is coming out next week. It's a Swiss documentary about the importance of bees. The film's reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are perfect and there are plenty of extras on the DVD or Blu-ray. It is a clear contender for Pick of the Week.

Museum Hours - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film earned amazing reviews, but sadly never really found an audience in theaters. Granted, it has a deliberate pace, but those that want a good character drama should pick it up.

One Direction: This is Us - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack
I really dislike this band. Their lyrics are usually really emotionally manipulative, and since their target audience is young teens, it's twice as bad. On the other hand, the reviews are good, while the extras are not bad. It is strictly for fans, but fans will at least enjoy it.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray, or 3D Combo Pack
One of a handful of new releases where I'm still waiting for the screener. The reviews are weaker than the original's reviews were. It still made $200 million worldwide, so perhaps the series will continue, if it does well on the home market. I won't know if it deserves to until after the screener arrives.

Prisoners - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
For a September release, this film did really well at the box office and with critics. It stars Hugh Jackman as a man whose daughter is kidnapped and when the police can't solve the crime fast enough, he takes matters into his own hands. It would be a contender for Pick of the Week, but the extras on the DVD and the Blu-ray are terrible. (There's a promotional fluff piece and a short featurette on the cast.)

Psych: The Musical - Buy from Amazon
A special TV movie musical edition of Psych. It's a great show and the price isn't bad, especially since it includes a CD soundtrack. My only concern is the double-dip. Is there anything on this DVD / CD that won't be on the full season set? It's too soon to tell.

Shameless: The Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
An American remake of a British TV show. It began in 2011 and was a hit with critics and did really well for a Showtime show. I've requested a screener each season, but they've never shown up. It is certainly worth picking up and it is even a contender for Pick of the Week.

The Sound of Music Live! - Buy from Amazon
I heard mostly good reviews for this TV movie. The biggest complaint I read was that Carrie Underwood is better at singing than she is at acting. It is selling really well and I think it will be given out as gifts a lot this Christmas.

TV on DVD Full Series Megasets - Buy from Amazon: Burn Notice
Only one Megaset this week, but it is one of my favorite shows on TV at the moment.

Una Noche - Buy from Amazon
Two friends living in Cuba must flee the country and travel by raft to Florida. The film's reviews were 81% positive, which is fantastic, but it failed to find an audience in theaters. It should do better on the home market, except that it is coming out on Christmas Eve.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2013-12-16