DVD and Blu-ray Releases for September 2nd, 2014

It is officially the start of Christmas shopping season, sort of. It is also the first day of school for a lot of children, so there are not a lot of new releases coming out this week. Draft Day is the biggest first-run release of the week and while its reviews were good, it likely won't appeal to most people. There are also a ton of TV on DVD releases coming out this week, but the only two I'm interested in are It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season 9 and New Girl: Season 3, and in both cases I'm waiting for the screener. As for Pick of the Week Contenders, only Night Moves - DVD or Blu-ray and Years of Living Dangerously - The Complete Showtime Series - DVD come close. In the end I went with Years of Living Dangerously.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: 14 Blades, Blood Lad: The Complete Series, Casper, Connie Talbot: Beautiful World Live, Fate / Kaleid: Complete Collection, Firestarter, For No Good Reason, Gatchaman Crowds: Complete Collection, Godzilla Vs. Megalon, Hal - The Movie, Heavenly Sword, The People Under the Stairs, The Return, Under the Electric Sky, The Watcher, and White Noise
There are quite a few secondary Blu-ray releases this week, including some catalog titles, but nothing that really stands out. Also coming out this week are the nine discs from The Essential Collection, but they are much more expensive individually, so I would stick with the box set.

Bonanza: Official Seventh Season - Volume One & Two - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Bonanza is a great show, but the screener arrived unannounced and my weekend was simply too busy with other work to squeeze it in. So it will be the featured prize in this week's box office prediction contest.

Cabin Fever: Patient Zero Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
The first film in this franchise was good, but not great. By this installment, the quality is at the level of the average Direct-to-DVD horror film. Additionally, there are no extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray.

Chicago Fire: Season Two - Buy from Amazon: DVD
One of NBC's biggest hits and the network doesn't have a lot of hits, so it is no wonder they made a spin-off. Reviews are mixed, but like I said, it is a big hit for NBC. There are not a lot of extras, just a behind-the-scenes featurette, webseries, and two episodes from Chicago P.D.

Chicago P.D.: Season One - Buy from Amazon: DVD
A spin-off from Chicago Fire, which is the TV show above this one. I can't remember a previous TV show that had a spin-off this soon. The reviews are mixed and the only extras are two episodes of Chicago Fire. It is only worth picking up if you really like Chicago Fire.

The Corrupted: The Lovecraft Horror - Buy from Amazon: DVD
I love Lovecraftian mythos and Call of Cthulhu is still one of my favorite RPGs of all time. (I backed the recent Kickstarter.) However, most movies on the subject are just bad. This particular one is a low-budget Canadian flick, so I might pick it up out of patriotic duty.

Crossbones: Season 1 - Buy from Amazon: DVD
John Malkovich stars as Blackbeard the pirate. This should be a great TV series, right? Sadly, it's not. It is still good, mainly due to John Malkovich's performance. However, it could have been amazing with a few improvements and in some ways, that makes it worse than if it were just bad.

Dinosaur Train: Buddy's Halloween Adventure - Buy from Amazon: DVD
It has been a while since I reviewed this show, but it is one of the best shows aimed at this target demographic.

Doctor Who: Series Four - Part Two - Buy from Amazon: DVD
There are simply too many releases for this show to justify buying them.

Dracula - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is the 1979 version starring Frank Langella as the titular vampire and Laurence Olivier as his nemesis, Van Helsing. Despite the cast, the reviews are only mixed. Additionally, there are not a ton of extras with just an audio commentary track and a making of featurette. If you like the Dracula story, then it is worth checking out, but I'm not sure it is worth picking up.

Draft Day - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
The reviews were good, but not great. The box office numbers, on the other hand, were really bad. This explains why the extras on the DVD consist of just a couple of items, while the Blu-ray has a couple of exclusive extras. If you like football enough to follow the draft, then this film is worth picking up, but that's as enthusiastic as I can get.

Grey's Anatomy: Season 10 - Buy from Amazon: DVD
I've reviewed a couple of seasons of this show in the past and it is far too much of a soap opera for my tastes.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season 9 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I'm still waiting for the screener for this show. I liked season 8 and I hope this season is just as good.

Jillian Michaels Beginner Shred - Buy from Amazon: DVD
There's an exercise DVD on the first page of new releases, which is a clear sign that it is a shallow week.

The League: Season 5 - Buy from Amazon: DVD
A TV show about some obsessive Fantasy Football Players. The reviews started out weak, but have been better the past season. This could be because the critics who didn't like the first season stopped watching the show.

Line of Duty, Series 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD
A British police procedural, and like most such releases, it is earning amazing reviews, but the DVD is very expensive on a price-per-minute basis. I know I say this every time, but that's because it is true so often. I'm sure there are bad British mysteries, but they don't bother to import those.

Moms' Night Out - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film earned awful reviews and barely reached $10 million at the box office. The DVD and the Blu-ray are not devoid of extras, but there are not enough to lift the film to a rental, not unless you are a hardcore fan of faith-based films.

New Girl: Season 3 - Buy from Amazon: DVD
I'm still waiting for the screener for this release. I hope it gets here soon, because I liked season two.

Night Moves - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of the best-reviewed releases on this week's list. Sadly, it failed to find an audience in limited release and this resulted in it coming out on a featureless DVD / Blu-ray. If it had the usual suite of extras (audio commentary track, making of featurette, deleted scenes) then it would have been a Pick of the week Contender.

The Originals: Season 1 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
A spin-off of The Vampire Diaries. The reviews are weak, with most critics saying it won't appeal to most people who are not already fans of The Vampire Diaries. The extras are better than most TV on DVD releases coming out this week, but that doesn't compensate for the reviews.

Person of Interest: Season 3 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This is a police procedural that is well made, but doesn't do enough that is unique to stand out in the crowd. There are enough extras on the DVD and Blu-ray to not feel bare (audio commentary track, featurette, outtakes, etc.) but not enough to really stand out either.

R.L. Stine's Mostly Ghostly: Have You Met My Ghoulfriend? - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
I previously reviewed a couple of the DVDS from this show. As far as horror for kids is concerned, this is one of the best options.

They Came Together - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I think the screener is on its way. I may have forgotten to send in my request. The film is a parody of romantic comedies, which is a genre I like, so I'm cautiously optimistic. Some of the critics complained that the film followed genre conventions too closely and the film is not as funny as it could be as a result. That said, it still earned overall positive reviews.

TV on DVD Full Series Megasets - Buy from Amazon: Transformers: Beast Machines
Only one Megaset this week, but it is a good one.

Universal Classic Monsters - Buy from Amazon: DVD
A 21-disc, 30-movie collection. It's a great deal, but I have to think a Blu-ray collection isn't that far behind. There already has been a Blu-ray collection, The Essential Collection, but it wasn't as complete.

Years of Living Dangerously - The Complete Showtime Series - Buy from Amazon: DVD
A nine-part, nine-hour documentary series about climate change. 58% of California is in the highest level of drought. It is so bad, that they are thinking about adding a fifth level to describe droughts. The reviews have been excellent and it even won an Emmy for best documentary. It is certainly worth picking up.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-09-02