DVD and Blu-ray Releases for August 12th, 2014

It's a slow and shallow week on the home market. Not only are there no prime releases, we quickly run into filler as we look down the list of best selling new releases on Amazon.com. The biggest release of the week is Muppets Most Wanted, which is one of nine reviews on this week's list. It is also the best release of the week and the best choice for Pick of the Week. Next week should be more interesting, as TV on DVD season begins.

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad and Fun and Fancy Free - Blu-ray Combo Pack - Buy from Amazon
A two-for-one, or technically a three-for-one, if you include the bonus film, The Reluctant Dragon, which is a bonus feature. Are the films included any good? And is the overall package worth picking up? Check out our review for my opinion.

Batman: Assault on Arkham - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
One of the best selling new releases of the week and it should be, as D.C.'s animation wing is amazing at putting out quality release after quality release. Extras include two featurettes, a preview for the next movie, and several episodes of various D.C. cartoon series.

Bears - Blu-ray Combo Pack - Buy from Amazon
The latest DisneyNature documentary did incredibly well with critics, but I'm not sure the studio is particularly happy with its box office numbers. Granted, $17.77 million is a lot of a documentary, but almost no documentaries open in nearly 2,000 theaters, so this is not a box office result worth bragging about. Extras include a quartet of featurettes and a music video. It is worth picking up for fans of nature documentaries.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
I previously reviewed this movie when it came out on DVD. Now that it is coming out on Blu-ray, is it worth picking up again? Read our review to find out.

Bitten: Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon
There are too many supernatural shows out there to deal with and this one's reviews are not strong enough to make it stand out.

The Blacklist: Season 1 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
James Spader stars as a former FBI man who went rogue, but who returns to help the FBI catch the most dangerous criminals around. The reviews were excellent and the series was a big hit for NBC, a network that really needed a big hit. There are audio commentary tracks on three episodes, as well as a ton of short behind-the-scenes featurettes. It is definitely worth picking up.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: The Avengers, Breathe In, The Children's Hour, Fantasista Doll: Complete Collection, Favorites of the Moon, From the New World: Collection 2, Love Streams (Criterion Collection), Mr. Majestyk, OMG! Volume 2 - The Top 50 Incidents in WCW History, Out of the Past, Proxy, The Unforgiven, and Viva Las Vegas 50th Anniversary
Not a lot of prime secondary Blu-ray releases this week that caught my attention. Whenever Criterion Collection puts out a Blu-ray, it is worth a second look, while there are some older classics here as well.

Boredom - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about one of the most common human experiences ever: Boredom. Can the filmmaker turn a movie about boredom into something that is worth checking out? Read our review for my opinion.

Christmas Releases - Buy from Amazon: Coming Home for Christmas and Pete's Christmas
Two Christmas releases. Arg.

Dancing in Jaffa - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about a dance class in Israel where Jews and Palestinian children dance together. The reviews are fantastic and fans of human interest documentaries should at least check it out, if not buy it.

Devo - Men Who Make The Music/Butch Devo & The Sundance Gig - Buy from Amazon
Two concert films featuring DEVO. If you are an old school fan of the band, then this is for you.

Elvis: That's the Way It Is - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Normally this would be a release I would only include in the secondary Blu-ray releases category, but it is a slow week and we could all use some more Elvis in their lives.

Filth - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
James McAvoy stars as a Scotland Yard cop, a very corrupt cop, who is looking to get a promotion and will do whatever it takes to get it. The reviews are good, but not great, while the extras are limited to a behind-the-scenes featurette. It is still worth checking out, but it is only worth picking up if you are a fan of the lead.

Frankie and Alice - Buy from Amazon
The film was shot in 2008 / 2009 but only got a token Oscar-qualifying release in 2010 before coming out in theaters earlier this year. It earned terrible reviews and disappeared quickly. Maybe if you really like Halle Berry, it is worth a rental, but that's it.

Gunsmoke: Season - Buy from Amazon: Volume One and Volume Two
Great show, but it is so expensive to buy.

Hateship Loveship - Buy from Amazon
Kristen Wiig has starred in a few of Indie movies lately that have earned mixed reviews, or worse, and failed to find an audience in theaters. This isn't as bad as Girl Most Likely, but it isn't a good showcase of her talents either.

A Haunted House 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
One of the worst films of the year. Skip it.

Hercules - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
When this film came out, Disney animation studio was losing its shine and this film underperformed at the box office. Did it under-perform because of its quality? And is the Blu-ray worth the price? Check out our review for my opinion.

Locke - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This movie almost sounds like a dare, like someone said, "I dare you to make a movie set in a car where the lead actor talks to people on the phone the whole time." Were the filmmakers able to turn that setup into an engaging film? Read our review to find out.

Looney Tunes: The Platinum Collection 3 - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Chronological collections. I want chronological collections and won't spend another dime on these till we get some.

The Marx Brothers TV Collection - Buy from Amazon
A three-disc, ten-hour long box set of some TV rarities from The Marx Brothers. If you are a fan of the comedy troupe, then this is must have. If you've never seen anything they've done, it's an introductory course.

Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers - Blu-ray Combo Pack - Buy from Amazon
A direct-to-DVD release that is coming out on Blu-ray for its 10th anniversary. Direct-to-DVD films don't have a good reputation, but will this be one of the rare exceptions? Or is there a reason it wasn't released in theaters. Check out our review to find out.

Muppets Most Wanted - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This is the biggest release of the week, but is it also the best? Read our review for my opinion.

Power Rangers Megaforce: A Battle to the Finish - Buy from Amazon
I'm still waiting for the screener for this TV show to show up. This is one of the best installments in the long-running franchise, so I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Rage - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Nicolas Cage stars in this movie, which is a bad sign. Worse still, critics are complaining that the movie is bad in a dull way. Skip it.

The Railway Man - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film feels like busted Oscar-bait. The reviews were good and the film made more than $4 million in limited release, but considering the subject matter and the cast, I would have thought it would have been released during Awards Season. The only extras are an audio commentary track and a making of featurette. Even so, it is a solid rental / lean purchase.

Summer in February - Buy from Amazon
This period piece looks great and there is some strong acting in it, but it is just a dull script.

Tarzan - Blu-ray Combo Pack - Buy from Amazon
This film was the last 2D animated film from Disney to open in first place and the last of their 2D films to be a box office hit. Is it also a critical hit? Check out our review to find out.

Note: This Blu-ray makes its home market debut on the 19th.

Toy Story of Terror - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I misfiled this Blu-ray and accidentally reviewed it a week early. What is it like? And is the Blu-ray worth picking up? And isn't is too early for Halloween? The answer to that last question is yes. As for the other two, read our review to find out.

Turtle Power: Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Buy from Amazon
A documentary on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, which has been around for roughly 20 years now, and given the weekend box office results, it is still going strong. It is also part of this week's box office prediction contest.

Young Justice: The Complete First Season - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
A good show, but it only lasted two seasons on TV. The first comes out on Blu-ray this week and I assume the second will follow shortly.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-08-11