DVD and Blu-ray Releases for March 18th, 2014

It's a good week / bad week on the home market. The good news is there are four films coming out this week that earned some level of Awards Season buzz. The bad news... there are four films coming out this week that earned some level of Awards Season buzz and they scared away the competition. Two of those four films are strong enough to be contenders for Pick of the Week, Frozen on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack and American Hustle on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack. Unfortunately, I'm still waiting for the screeners for both of those movies, so I'm not sure which of those two is the Pick of the Week. Fortunately, the screener for 12 Years a Slave arrived and the Blu-ray is Pick of the Week material.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 4th.

12 Years a Slave - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film earned nearly perfect reviews and the Best Picture Oscar last night. Is this film as good as its accolades? Read our review for my opinion.

American Hustle - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
One of the best-reviewed wide releases of 2013, it was also a major player during Awards Season, although it didn't win many awards it was nominated for. I might get a screener, but I'm not sure. The extras include a making of featurette and some deleted scenes, which isn't great for a film that earned close to $150 million domestically and a hair over $250 million worldwide. Still, it is worth picking up and a contender for Pick of the Week.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Atlantis: Season One, The Black Stallion, The Chaperone, The Flesh and Blood Show, Frightmare, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Inside Out, Legendary, Mysterious Skin (Director's Special Blu-Ray Edition), The Reunion, The Slumber Party Massacre, The Stuff, Swerve, That's What I Am, To Love Ru: Season 1, Upotte Complete Collection, and The Wrath of Vajra
As usual, there is an eclectic mix of secondary Blu-ray releases on this week's list, including several horror movies. Two of these, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Stuff are the two that I'm most intrigued about.

Contracted - Buy from Amazon
A woman has a fight with her girlfriend and goes out drinking. She's drugged and raped and worse still, she contracts an STD. It's not just any STD, but a body horror level STD. The reviews were mixed, but I might be getting a screener, so I hope it is better than its Tomatometer Score would indicate.

Devious Maids: Season 1 - Buy from Amazon
Marc Cherry's latest TV show is an American remake of a Mexican soap opera, which was in turn inspired by Desperate Housewives, which was made by Marc Cherry. And the circle of life is complete. Its reviews are good, but I'm not in the target audience to judge for myself.

Doc McStuffins: Mobile Clinic - Buy from Amazon
The latest Doc McStuffins DVD hits the home market this week. How does it compare to DVD releases for other TV on DVD releases? Check out our review to find out.

The Dukes of September Live - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A concert DVD reaching the top ten. That's a sign it is a shallow week on the home market.

Flashpoint: Final Season - Buy from Amazon
I only got a chance to review one season of this Canadian cop show, but I liked it. It's too bad it was canceled, but it had a good run.

Frozen - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This film won the Best Animated Feature Oscar and was one of the best reviewed wide releases of 2013, animated or otherwise. It was also one of the biggest hits, having recently reached $1 billion worldwide and could still reach $400 million domestically. Unfortunately, the screener hasn't arrived yet, so I don't know if it is truly Pick of the Week quality. It is at the very least a contender, even if there are few to no extras.

Here Comes the Devil - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A horror film that opened in limited release with mixed reviews overall, but stronger reviews among genre critics. Do I agree with the score on Rotten Tomatoes? Or do I agree with the horror critics out there? Read our review to find out.

The Horror at 37,000 Feet - Buy from Amazon
A TV horror movie from the 1970s. Given the low budgets for TV movies and the strict standards they had to follow in terms of standards and practices so no gore and very little horror. It's not going to be scarey, but it could be very entertaining. Or it could just be dull. Which is it? Check out our review for my opinion.

Jeff Dunham: Achmed Saves America - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
An animated movie based on one of Jeff Dunham's puppets. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, so it is hard to judge the film. I suppose if you are a fan of his stand-up routine, it is likely worth a rental.

The Jungle Book 2 - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Originally made for Direct-to-DVD, the film was upgraded to a theatrical release during production. Was this a wise move? Or is this really Direct-to-DVD quality? Read our review for my opinion.

Kill Your Darlings - Blu-ray Combo Pack - Buy from Amazon
Daniel Radcliffe plays Allen Ginsberg. The film earned overwhelmingly positive reviews and crossed $1 million at the box office. Extras on the Blu-ray Combo Pack include an audio commentary track, Q&A session, deleted scenes, etc. Worth picking up.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
One of four films on this week's list that earned some measure of Awards Season buzz. This one was the smallest at the box office and the weakest with critics. In fact, it earned less than overall positive reviews. It still earned a few major Awards Season nominations and it picked up a Golden Globe for best original score. Extras include an audio commentary track and three featurettes, including a tribute to Nelson Mandela. It is worth checking out for most, picking up for some.

Peppa Pig: My Birthday Party - Buy from Amazon
A TV on DVD release for preschooler. It reached 11th place on the Amazon.com new release chart, which is a sign that it is a really shallow week on the home market.

Reasonable Doubt - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A lawyer hits a homeless man while driving drunk and takes off. When another man is charged with killing the man, the lawyer fights to get him acquitted. After he success, he learns this man is a serial killer and indeed killed the victim and now is targeting the lawyer and his family. It is an interesting setup, but the reviews were terrible and it went nowhere at the box office. Extras include deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurette, and interviews.

Saving Mr. Banks - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The fourth Award Season player on this week's list. The film earned great reviews and did earn Awards Season buzz, but it was nearly shut out for Oscar nominations. The only extra on the DVD is a deleted scene. There are a couple more deleted scenes on the Blu-ray, as well as a making of featurette and a sing-along with the crew on the final day of shooting. It is worth picking up for sure, but not quite a Pick of the Week contender.

WWE: Signature Sounds: The Music of the WWE - Buy from Amazon
What is this? Also coming out this week are a bunch of movies the WWE has made over the past several years, like The Chaperone on Blu-ray, That's What I Am on Blu-ray, Legendary on Blu-ray, and others.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-03-17