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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for August 6th, 2013

August 7th, 2013

Like it usually is during the summer, this week is rather soft on home market. Granted, there is one wide release that did very well at the box office, Oblivion, plus a couple of limited releases that did well to earn a serious measure of mainstream success, The Place Beyond the Pines and Mud. However, there are also some releases in the top twenty that are definitely filler. Usually, once you reach exercise videos, there's nothing worth talking about. Of course, if I used that rule this week, there would be almost nothing on this week's list. Mud is likely the best release and the DVD or Blu-ray is worth picking up, but I'm still waiting for the screener to review and I hate awarding something Pick of the Week if the screener is late. Because of this, I'm going with another late release, Burn Notice: Season Six, as Pick of the Week. It arrived more than a month late, but it was worth the wait.

Adventures in Zambezia - Buy from Amazon: DVD for Blu-ray Combo Pack
This digitally animated film was made in South Africa for about $20 million, but while it was released in theaters in many markets, it is coming out direct-to-DVD here. The reviews are few and far between, but it looks mostly average.

Aftershock - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A group of tourists try to survive the aftermath of an Earthquake. The reviews were weak and it went nowhere at the box office, but it should find a more receptive audience on the home market.

Antiviral - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I'm still waiting for the screener to this release. The reviews were good, but not great, but I choose to remain cautiously optimistic.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Action Jackson, Battlestar Galactica: 35th Anniversary, Berserk: Golden Age Arc II - Battle for Doldrey, Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail, A Boy and His Dog, Cavalcade, The Earrings of Madame De... (Criterion Collection), The Garden of Words, Haganai: I Don't Have Many Friends, Ishtar, Lucas, The Pagemaster, Passenger 57, Silver Streak, Swamp Thing, and Wing Commander
As always, there is an eclectic mix of secondary Blu-ray releases. A Boy and His Dog might be the most intriguing, but it is certainly not a mainstream film.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Storm Surfers 3D
Only one 3D release this week, and it is a documentary.

The Borgias: The Third Season - DVD or Blu-ray
One of two series based on the Borgias and their rise to power. This one was canceled after three seasons due to low ratings / high production costs. This is especially frustrating, as there was a planned four-year arc for the show.

Born to Royalty - Buy from Amazon
I could care less about the Royal Family, by only by the smallest margin. That said, they do certainly seem popular these days as I read a newspaper story that said the new baby could bring in $370 million in merchandize sales.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 11th of June.

Burn Notice: Season Six - Buy from Amazon
Season seven will be the last season for Burn Notice, but the season six DVD arrived more than a week late. This show has been very reliable in terms of quality, but it slipped a little bit in season five. Did it rebound this season? Check out our review for my opinion.

Charlie Chan: Collection - Buy from Amazon
I'm torn over these movies. On the one hand, the film was progressive for its time showing a strong Asian lead, which was rare. On the other hand, it is whitewashed casting, which is a little cringe-worthy today. I would really love to see these films remade with proper casting. If you are a fan, then you will really want to grab this box set. It's a good deal for four movies.

Community: The Complete Fourth Season - Buy from Amazon
I might get a screener for this release. The show has a small, but dedicated fanbase who love the quirky, self-referential comedy. This does make it hard to get into if you haven't watched the full series.

Disney Triple-Shot
Oliver and Company - Buy from Amazon
Robin Hood - Buy from Amazon
The Sword in the Stone - Buy from Amazon
This week, three more films from Walt Disney Animated Classics series make their debut on Blu-ray. They are not among the best Disney has made over the years, but are they worth picking up on High Definition? Check out our review to find out.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 13th.

Dragons: Riders of Berk - Buy from Amazon: Part 1 and Part 2
This is not the first Dreamworks movie turned into a TV show. How to Train Your Dragon was the best movie of the bunch, but is the TV show as good as the movie? Read our review for my opinion.

Duck Dynasty: Season 3 - Buy from Amazon
Reality TV. Moving on.

Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A Canadian movie about an artist who moves to a small town to recharge his creative juices and teach an art class. One of the people he meets is Eddie, who during the day is your average art student, but at night becomes a sleepwalking cannibal. The reviews were only mixed, but it could find a cult audiences.

Freaked - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Co-written, co-directed, and starring Alex Winter. It is a bit of a cult film with limited mainstream appeal. Worth checking out if you are a fan of Alex Winter or a fan of the stranger side of cinema.

Fridays: The Best Of - Buy from Amazon
A sketch comedy show that ran for three seasons starting in 1980. The show has some really talented people on it and at one point it had better ratings than Saturday Night Live. However, the network messed with their schedule and this show was one of the casualties that resulted. This is the first time the show as been released on DVD, but it is only a Best Of release and not a full season. Additionally, not all of the episodes are there in their entirety. On the one hand, I would much prefer full season sets. On the other hand, that might not happen if this DVD doesn't sell well.

Gunsmoke: The Ninth Season - Buy from Amazon: Volume One or Volume Two
This is a good show, if you are a fan of Westerns, but there are so many seasons it seems like a daunting task to buy them all.

Magic Magic - Buy from Amazon
One of two Tourists in Trouble films on this week's list. This one has a better cast, a more interesting plot, and much better reviews. It is also the smaller of the two releases, so it will likely struggle more to find an audience.

Method for Beginnings - Buy from Amazon
One of two exercise videos in the top twenty new releases for the week. That's a sure sign it is a slow week.

Midsomer Murders: Set 22 - Buy from Amazon
After more than twenty releases, there's nothing more that needs to be said about this TV show. If you like British police procedurals, then it is worth picking up, despite the high price-per-minute.

Mud - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of the biggest limited releases of the year. It is also one of the best-reviewed wide releases of the year. Additionally, its DVD / Blu-ray is loaded with extras. So it is easily the Pick of the Week, right? Not so fast. I'm still waiting for the screener.

My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of a handful of new releases where I'm still waiting for the screener.

Mythbusters - Buy from Amazon
I loved this show, but it has been a while since I watched an episode.

Nickelodeon: Rootin' Tootin' Wild West - Buy from Amazon
I previously reviewed this release when it was a Walmart exclusive.

Oblivion - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This will likely end up the best selling new release of the week, but there's also no other wide release making its home market debut this week. It will obviously benefit from the lack of competition, but is it worth checking out by its own merits? Read our review to find out.

On the Road - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Based on the novel by Jack Kerouac, which has long been considered unfilmable. Its reviews suggest that the transition from classic novel to film wasn't a smooth road. It is not a disaster and if you are interested in the book, or perhaps the cast, it is worth checking out. That said, a rental will be enough.

The Place Beyond the Pines - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of the biggest limited release hits of the year. It also earned excellent reviews. There not a lot of extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray (audio commentary track, deleted scenes, and a short featurette). This prevents it from being a pick of the week contender, but it is still absolutely worth picking up.

Political Animals: The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
A TV-miniseries that aired last summer on the USA network. It earned good reviews, but not great reviews, and it earn good ratings, but not great ratings. (The ratings were not strong enough to turn it into a full series.) Worth checking out, especially if you are a fan of the cast and / or political dramas.

The Sapphires - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This limited release earned stunning reviews and did relatively well in limited release. It didn't live up to my expectations, but hopefully that will change on the home market. Unfortunately, the extras are a little light. There's a making of featurette, interview with the original The Sapphires, and a featurette on the music. Still worth picking up, but not quite Pick of the Week material.

Smash: Season Two - Buy from Amazon
This show earned good reviews during its first season, but they fell apart during season two and it was quickly canceled.

Storm Surfers - Buy from Amazon: DVD or 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack
A documentary about a group of surfers who travel the world chasing storms, so they can surf on the massive waves. The reviews are amazing and it did really well at the box office, at least for a documentary. If you are a fan of surfing or extreme documentaries, then it is worth picking up.

Strike Back: The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is the third season of this British spy action series. I know the package says season two, but that's because the first season wasn't aired here. The show has earned good reviews, but very few people have seen in stateside. (It airs on Cinemax, so that's to be expected.) Extras include audio commentary tracks on four episodes, which is enough to make it worth picking up for fans of the show. If you haven't seen it yet, but like spy action thrillers, it is worth checking out.

To the Wonder - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Terrence Malick's second film in three years. Plus he has another three films coming out in the next two years. This is incredibly fast paced for a director who only made four films in 32 years at the start of his career. Unfortunately, this film's reviews are the weakest in his career. If you really like the director, then it is worth checking out, but for most fans, a rental will be enough.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 23rd of July.

Trance - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Any movie with Danny Boyle at the helm has high expectations, both in terms of quality and box office numbers. It didn't live up to those expectations. Was it a weak movie? Or did it just suffer from great expectations? Read our review to find out.

West of Memphis - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about the West Memphis Three, three boys convicted for killing three boys and who spent nearly 20 years behind bars. This is not the only documentary to deal with this case, but the reviews were incredible and if you like documentaries about failures in the justice system, it is worth checking out.


Filed under: Video Releases, Oliver & Company, Robin Hood, The Sword in the Stone, On the Road, Trance, Oblivion, West of Memphis, To the Wonder, Zambezia, Mud, Storm Surfers 3D, The Place Beyond the Pines, Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal, Antiviral, The Sapphires, Aftershock, Magic Magic, Danny Boyle, Terrence Malick, Alex Winter