DVD and Blu-ray Releases for August 26th, 2014

This is not a good week for new releases on the home market. For one thing, the biggest first-run release is Blended (DVD or Blu-ray ComboPack) which is also one of the worst movies of the summer. There are many TV on DVD releases that helped pick up the slack somewhat, but it still feels like a shallow week. As for Pick of the Week contenders, there are not many. The Normal Heart (DVD or Blu-ray) and Belle (Blu-ray) are the two most likely candidates, but I kind of want to give it to Gravity Falls: Even Stranger (DVD). In the end, I went with The Normal Heart.

Austin & Ally: Chasing the Beat - Buy from Amazon: DVD
The first of two Disney channel live action TV shows on this week's list. I know I'm not in the target demographic here, but this is not one of the best shows in the genre.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 12th.

Bears - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray Combo Pack
The latest DisneyNature nature documentary. Like the most of the rest of these films, this one is edutainment, but which end of the spectrum does it fall? And is it worth picking up? Read our review for my opinion.

Belle - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray
I'm still waiting for the screener for this release. The film earned great reviews and is one of the few limited releases to reach $10 million so far this year. Definitely worth picking up and might be a pick of the week contender. Won't know for sure till the screener arrives.

Blandings, Series 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD
A BritCom with a great cast, but the reviews have only been mixed and the price-per-minute is way too high.

Blended - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray ComboPack
One of the worst reviewed summer films and it struggled at the box office. There are a lot of extras listed on the DVD and Blu-ray, but they are mostly two or three-minute long featurettes, so it is a case of quantity, not quality. Just skip it.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Aftermath, All That Jazz, Cast a Giant Shadow, Heaven's Lost Property Forte: Season 2 Classic, High School Confidential, Kinmoza: Complete Collection, The Legend of Hell House, Moribito - Complete Series, On the Beach, Queen Margot, Vengeance is Mine, Watamote: The Compete Collection, and What's New Pussycat
Quite a collection of secondary Blu-ray releases. There are several classic titles here that are worth picking up, including a few Criterion Collection releases.

Breathless - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A British drama about medicine in the 1960s. The reviews are good, but like so many British imports, the price-per-minute is really high.

Criminal Minds: Season 9 - Buy from Amazon: DVD
I've previously reviewed this show and while it is well made, there are just far too many TV shows in the genre for this one to stand out.

Deadbeat: Season One - Video on Demand on Amazon
Deadbeat is a TV show that first aired on Hulu and now can be bought on DVD as a Target exclusive or seen on Video on Demand elsewhere. Is it worth watching? And is the DVD worth picking up? Check out our review to find out.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 5th.

Divergent - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
The first installment in the Divergent franchise. It earned enough to keep the studio happy, but will it keep fans of the books happy? Will those who have never read the novels be interested in the movie? Read our review for my opinion.

The Double - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Jesse Eisenberg plays both Simon and James, two men who look identical, but who are polar opposites when it comes to their personalities. Simon lives a timid life, but when James is hired at the place he works, he is amazed how much alike they look, something no one else notices. The reviews are excellent, while the extras are good enough to be worth picking up, but not good enough to be a Pick of the Week contender.

Elementary: Season Two - Buy from Amazon
I previously reviewed this show and thought the first season was well executed, but lacked a hook that was unique enough to set it apart. Is that the case for season two? Has it gotten better? Or is it still failing to stand out from the crowd? Check out our review for my opinion.

The Equalizer The Complete Season 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD
The Equalizer opens in theaters in a month, so it is a smart plan to release the original TV series on DVD this week. This is the second of four seasons from the show's original release and I suspect season 3 will come out when the movie hits the home market. This is great news for the fans, as the first season came out in 2008 and they've waited long enough to get more releases.

Good Luck Charlie: So Long Farewell- Buy from Amazon: DVD
One of the better live action Disney channel shows. It lasted nearly 100 episodes, which is a lot longer than most similar TV shows last and fans will want to grab this DVD A.S.A.P.

Gravity Falls: Even Stranger - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Great show. This cartoon will entertain kids and a lot of adults like myself. ... Or perhaps calling myself an adult isn't 100% accurate. The DVD is definitely worth picking up, but I would really like full-season sets.

Haven: Complete Fourth Season - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
A TV series based on a Stephen King novel. The reviews are mixed and there have been a lot of similar shows in this genre.

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film earned some of the worst reviews of the year for a wide release. Many critics complained that it looked and felt like a Direct-to-DVD release, not a theatrical release. There are almost no extras on the DVD or Blu-ray, so its value is even lower.

Leslie Sansone: Mix & Match Walk Blasters - Buy from Amazon: DVD
There's an exercise DVD in the top ten best-selling new releases for the week. That's a sign of how slow it is.

The Love Punch - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Good cast, terrible reviews. Even if you like the cast, there are better options out there.

Murder in Suburbia Complete Collection - Buy from Amazon: DVD
A British police procedural focusing on two female detectives. It earned good reviews, but only lasted two seasons on the air. The price-per-minute is high, but this is true of nearly all British imports.

The Musketeers: Season One - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A BBC adaption of the classic Alexandre Dumas novel. Unfortunately, the reviews are mixed and there are too many options for fans of this story.

The Normal Heart - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A TV movie about the early years of the AIDS crisis. The film earned amazing reviews and even picked up an Emmy win along with eight other Emmy nominations. There is only one extra on the DVD or Blu-ray, a ten-minute behind-the-scenes featurette.

Now and Again - Buy from Amazon
I know what it is like to have loved a show that was canceled after one season and wanting to see it again. Dead Last is one such show I mentioned this week. Will fans of the show want to pick up the DVD? Will those who have never seen the show want to give it a chance? Read our review to find out.

Portlandia: Season 4 - Buy from Amazon: DVD
I heard great things about this show's first and second seasons, but I heard season three was a mess. So it is a bit of a surprise to see its reviews for season four. Even so, the show is a little too quirky for its own good and that might turn off some people.

Revenge: Season 3 - Buy from Amazon: DVD
I'm still waiting for the screener for this season. Given its ratings, the fourth season might be its last, so it will be interesting to see how it goes.

Sons of Anarchy: Season 6 - Buy from Amazon: DVD and Blu-ray
This season, this show earned its weakest reviews so far. It was still a good show, but no longer a great show. Extras include audio commentary tracks on two episodes, a few featurettes, deleted scenes, outtakes, etc. Still worth picking up for fans, but I'm sure they are a little worried about the seventh and final season.

Trust Me - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Clark Gregg wrote, directed, and stars in this movie. He plays a talent agent who needs to make Lydia a star, or his career will be over. The reviews are only mixed, but I really like a lot of the cast, so I might try it out.

TV on DVD Full Series Megasets - Buy from Amazon: The Twilight Zone 80s: The Complete Series and Welcome Back Kotter
You can tell when Christmas shopping season starts, because TV on DVD Megasets start getting released. Both shows only lasted three seasons, so the price-per-minute for these sets are not great, especially Welcome Back Kotter.

The Walking Dead: Season 4 - Buy from Amazon: DVD and Blu-ray or Limited Edition Blu-ray
Even most fans of this show will admit the quality is weaker than the first season. That said, it is still a huge hit for the network and the biggest selling new release of the week.

Young and Beautiful - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Marine Vacth plays Isabelle, a 17-year old virgin who has sex once and becomes a whore, literally. The virgin/whore dichotomy is not true and destructive, while this movie takes it way too literally. This could explain why it only earned good reviews and not great reviews, while it struggled at the box office.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-08-26