DVD and Blu-ray Releases for August 5th, 2014

The first weekend of August isn't a bad weekend, at least in terms of box office numbers. Divergent earned $150 million domestically, but wasn't able to win over critics. The only wide release coming out this week that earned good reviews was Oculus, but its reviews were much better than its box office numbers were. It is certainly worth picking up, but not a Pick of the Week contender. For that honor, we have two choices. Firstly, there's Phantom Of The Paradise - Collector's Edition - Blu-ray Combo Pack, which is a cult hit that turns 40 years old this year. Then there is The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits, which may or may not be coming out on DVD or Blu-ray this week. It was a close call, but in the end I went with The Legend of Korra.

Anna - Buy from Amazon
A movie about a detective who travels in other people's memories and his latest assignment is the titular Anna. It is an interesting idea, but the execution is flawed.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: 12 O'Clock Boys, Freezing: Season One, The Full Monty, I'll Follow You Down, Ironclad: Battle for Blood, Love Lab: The Complete Collection, The Man Who Knew Too Little, Ninja Apocalypse, Patrick, Short Peace, Simple Minds: Celebrate - Live From the SSE Hydro Glasgow, The War Around Us, and Yuyushiki: Complete Collection
There are not a lot of secondary Blu-ray releases on this week's list. Of those, The Full Monty is the the best.

Californication: Season Seven - Buy from Amazon It is not uncommon for me to get screeners for releases I didn't request. Sometimes when they show up, I put them in the review pile. Other times I stick them in the prize pile. My gut told me to put this TV on DVD release on the prize pile. I decided to review it, because it is the final season. Was my gut right? Read our review to find out.

Community: Season 5 - Buy from Amazon
I'm still waiting for the screener for this release. I hear the dream of Six Seasons and a Movie isn't yet dead, so fans should be happy.

Divergent - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Shailene Woodley stars in this adaptation of a dystopian Young Adult novel. After the success of The Hunger Games, Lionsgate upped the production budget for this film and it paid off, more or less. The reviews were mixed, but it earned $150 million domestically and $267 million worldwide. I'm still waiting for the screener for this film and since it is a holiday where I live on Monday, it might not arrive in time to review it for next weekend. Hopefully I like it more than the average critics, while the extras on the DVD and Blu-ray are average for a first-run release.

Doctor Who: Series Four - Part One - Buy from Amazon
Stop it! Stop releasing and re-releasing so many Doctor Who DVDs. Even the most diehard fans would have trouble keeping up with all of these DVDs coming out.

Dragon Ball Z: Season 6 - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
One of the most popular Anime series around. It dips into self-parody a little too often for my liking.

Dream Deceivers - Buy from Amazon
A 1992 documentary about the trial of Judas Priest where they were sued for allegedly putting subliminal messages into their songs that caused two fans to try to commit suicide. I might get a screener to review. I remember the trial when it first happened, but I don't remember any of the details.

God's Not Dead - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A faith-based film that is clearly aimed at the choir and no one else. This led to a surprisingly strong box office, but terrible reviews. You are either in the target audience and don't care what I think, or you are not in the target audience and you've already moved onto the next release.

Ladies and Gentlemen, My Name is Paul Heyman - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A nearly nine-hour look at Paul Heyman. Who? He's a big name in the Professional Wrestling world, which explains why I didn't know who he was. It doesn't really explain why this is the fifth best selling new release on Amazon.com's chart.

Last Tango in Halifax: Season 2 - Buy from Amazon
A British drama about two people in their seventies who are widowed and who reconnect after being in love with each other as teenagers. The show has earned amazing reviews, but like most British imports, the price-per-minute is really high.

Note: This Blu-ray may or may not have come out on the home market on the 1st of July.

The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
According to Amazon.com, this came out on the 1st of July. According to the people who send the Blu-ray to me, it comes out this week. Since the screener didn't arrive till last week, I hope the latter date is the right one. If it is late, was it worth the wait? Is it as good as the first season? Check out our review for my opinion.

Lego Ninjago: Rebooted - Battle for New Ninjago - Buy from Amazon
Normally this would be filler, but it is a slow week and there's not much else to talk about.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 22nd of July.

Next Goal Wins - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about the American Samoan soccer team, which holds the record for worst loss and went 30 years without a win. Will this film appeal to fans of soccer? Will it appeal to those who are not fans of soccer, or of sports in general? Read our review for my opinion.

Oculus - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The best-reviewed wide release on this week's list. Unfortunately, it earned less than $30 million at the box office. Extras on the Blu-ray include an audio commentary track, deleted scenes, making of featurette, and the original short film it is based on. If you are a fan of the genre, it is worth picking up. I'm not sure it is a Pick of the Week contender, on the other hand. I'm hoping to get a screener and I will know more if / when it arrives.

Perry Mason: Movie Collection: Volume 3 - Buy from Amazon
The next six TV movies in the Perry Mason franchise come out this week. It is very likely that it will be cheaper to buy them individually when they come out. But will they be worth the wait? How do these movies compare to the ones that have already been released? Check out our review to find out.

Phantom Of The Paradise - Collector's Edition - Blu-ray Combo Pack - Buy from Amazon
One of the stranger releases on this week's list. This is the 40th anniversary of the cult film, which was not praised by critics and ignored by moviegoers, at least when it came out. Now it is considered a classic and this Blu-ray release is loaded with extras, including a ton that's new for the Blu-ray. It is easily worth picking up and a contender for Pick of the Week.

Ping Pong Summer - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A limited release that earned mixed reviews and opened below the Mendoza Line. Normally I wouldn't have mentioned it, but it is a slow week. Extras include an audio commentary track and a making of featurette, which is fine for this type of release.

Sofia the First: The Enchanted Feast - Buy from Amazon
I've reviewed this series in the past and thought it was much better than most similar shows aimed at the same age group. The price-per-minute is good and if there are any extras, that would be a bonus.

Top Gear 21 - Buy from Amazon
Normally this release would be filler, but it is a slow week.

Transformers Cybertron: The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
After the Transformers cartoon ended in North America, it continued in Japan for a few more series. I've reviewed one of these series in the past and I liked it, but I can't comment in any more detail than that for this one.

VeggieTales: Celery Night Fever - Buy from Amazon
I wish I got VeggieTales releases to review. With a name like this, I have to see it.

Without Warning - Blu-ray Combo Pack - Buy from Amazon
There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, so it's lesser known than most other teenage slashers from that era. Even so, it is in the top ten new releases for the week, according to Amazon.com.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-08-04