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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for September 3rd, 2013

September 3rd, 2013

It's a really slow week on the home market. There's only one first-run release of note, Now You See Me, while the best-selling TV on DVD release is from the CW, The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Fourth Season. That doesn't mean there are no new releases worth picking up. In fact, there are a couple of contenders for Pick of the Week. Blancanieves is one such contender, but while the DVD or Blu-ray is worth picking up, I think the target audience is a little too limited for Pick of the Week. Instead, that honor goes to From Up on Poppy Hill on Blu-ray Combo Pack.

Blancanieves - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A "modern" re-telling of the Snow White fairytale, set in the 1920s and in the Spanish world of Bullfighting. The reviews are award-worthy, but it is a black and white silent film, so its target audience is rather limited. If you are part of that audience, then it is definitely worth picking up.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Akb0048: Season 1, Arthur Newman, Creepshow 2, Elfen Lied: Complete Collection, Five Dolls for an August Moon, The Fugitive, Hard Target, Hells Angels on Wheels, Idle Hands, Marnie, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie, Sudden Death, and The Theatre Bizarre
There are a number of secondary Blu-ray releases coming out this week, including a few that are worth picking up. Of those, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie is on the top of my list. I also have a soft spot for Sudden Death, as there are not a lot of action films with a hockey theme out there. There are a lot of multi-feature bargain releases coming out this week that are not worth mentioning.

Bomb Girls: Season One - Buy from Amazon
A Canadian TV series about a group of women who work in a bomb factory during World War II. The show started out as a mini-series, but earned a second season due to strong ratings. However, those ratings were not strong enough for a third season. Definitely worth checking out, on the other hand.

Cockneys vs. Zombies - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
With a name like Cockneys vs. Zombies, you know you are not looking at an award-worthy film, but at best a B-movie. The reviews are very good compared to most similar films and if you are a fan of the genre, it is worth checking out.

Criminal Minds: The Eighth Season - Buy from Amazon
There are simply far too many police procedurals on TV at the moment and I dropped this one, and others, from the ones I watch. I need the characters to be charismatic before I will watch it and in this show I don't get that.

Da Vinci's Demons: The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A TV show about the fictional life of Da Vinci. The show's reviews are good, but not great, and if you are a fan of historical accuracy, you should stay far, far away.

Empire State - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Given the cast, I don't think this film was meant to go direct-to-DVD. However, given its reviews, I'm not surprised this was the result. To be fair, there are only two reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, so it is too soon to tell for sure, but they are both negative. The extras are not bad, so maybe if you like the cast and the genre it is worth a rental.

The English Teacher - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-Ray Combo Pack
Julianne Moore stars as an English teacher who tries to help a former student deal with a failed writing career. The film's reviews were only mixed and it struggled in limited release. Extras include a making of featurette and a deleted scene, which is enough for a rental, but that's it.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 20th of August.

Epic - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack or 3D Combo Pack
The first digitally animated family film of the summer. Most analysts were not expecting a lot, but it topped $100 million like I predicted. This is still not a lot for the genre, so the question remains. Does it live up to its name? Or is it just mediocre? Check out our review to find out.

From Up on Poppy Hill - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
The latest release from Studio Ghibli to make its way here. It pulled in $1 million in limited release, which is a record for the local distributor. Can it live up to the previous Studio Ghibli releases? If not, is second-tier Studio Ghibli still better than most films? Read our review for my opinion.

Haven: The Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of several recent TV shows that deal with the paranormal, specifically paranormal investigators. The reviews are only mixed, but it has lasted three seasons with a fourth on the way, so clearly there are some fans out there.

The Iceman - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film earned good reviews, but not great reviews, while it did good business in limited release, but not great business. On the other hand, it stars Michael Shannon, so I'm interested in seeing I, but with just a single featurette, a rental will be enough.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season Eight - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Our contest is currently on, but the review will have to wait till the screener arrives.

Jillian Michaels Yoga Inferno - Buy from Amazon
According to, this is in the top five new releases for the week. That just shows you how slow the home market is this week.

The League: Season Four - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A TV series about a group of fantasy football players. I'm not big into fantasy football, so this show holds little appeal for me. That said, if you are into fantasy football or improvisational comedy, it is worth checking out.

The Lords of Salem - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
The last from Rob Zombie only managed mixed reviews and opened below the Mendoza Line before quickly disappearing. On the other hand, the reviews were on par with other Rob Zombie films, so perhaps his fans will want to check it out on the home market.

Now You See Me - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This film was a surprise $100 million hit this summer, despite earning mixed reviews. Extras on the DVD include an audio commentary track and making of featurette. The Blu-ray has these, plus plenty of deleted scenes and a featurette on the history of stage magicians. It's worth checking out, but there are better films with the same subject matter, so I'm not sure it is worth picking up.

The Office: Season Nine - Buy from Amazon
This show earned amazing reviews, for much of its run. However, the later seasons didn't live up to its earlier seasons and a lot of fans left. It's probably best that it didn't continue beyond this point.

Parks and Recreation: Season Five - Buy from Amazon
This TV show earns great reviews, but like most NBC shows, it has struggled in the ratings. The fans will love to pick up this DVD, but it seems unlikely that people will discover it now.

Person of Interest: Season Two - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
A reclusive billionaire helps the government deal with terrorism by building a super computer to analyze the vast amount of surveillance and predict terrorist acts. When it begins to predict more mundane crimes as well, he hires a group of people to stop those as well. The show was a hit right out of the gate, but last year rose into the top five on the overall ratings. Very impressive. Extras include an audio commentary track on one episode, behind-the-scenes featurette, and outtakes.

R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour - Buy from Amazon: Volume Five and Volume Six
One of the better kids shows on TV at the moment. The horror anthology is a big step up from R.L. Stine's previous show, especially in terms of budget, while there are a number of strong guest stars on each DVD. Fans should be happy to buy these DVDs, but I would like full season sets.

Regular Show - Fright Pack 4 - Buy from Amazon
I'm still waiting for the screener for this show to arrive. It has earned a lot of praise and has a number of fans, both young and old. I think if you are a fan of Adventure Time or Gravity Falls, then it is worth checking out.

Revolution: The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
I'm not sure about this show. Its premise is simple. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where all electricity was disabled. Here's the thing, your nervous system works on electrical, as well as chemical signals. So if something happened to fry all of the batteries, for instance, it would also kill our brains. The overall reviews were good, but not great, and the TV show's ratings fell nearly 50% from its premiere to the season finale. Likewise, the extras are good, but not great. If you are a fan, it is worth picking up, but if you didn't see it last year, wait for the ratings for season two to come it. If it continues to drop, it will be canceled shortly, and I don't know if you want to get into a show where all of the questions will go unanswered.

Scandal: The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon
A TV show starring Kerry Washington as the owner of a crisis management firm, who is considered the best fixer in Washington. The reviews were good for season one, but they improved a lot in season two and it climbed nearly 20 spots in the ratings. It should climb even higher this season, as it ended on a high note.

Sharknado - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is a really bad movie, but it was made to be a really bad movie that is entertaining in how it is bad. And in that regard, it works.

Slightly Single in L.A. - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film was made in 2009 but only got a release this week, and it's direct-to-DVD. That lowers expectations. However, there are many films I've reviewed that I had low expectations that I enjoyed. Will this be one of them? Read our review to find out.

Spartacus: War of the Damned - The Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The third and final season of this show. It earned some of the best ratings ever for Starz, but the reviews were more mixed. "Guilty pleasure" is a term you will see often. The DVD has a few making of featurettes, while the Blu-ray includes extended episodes and audio commentary tracks, so it is clearly the better deal.

Stories We Tell - Buy from Amazon
Sarah Polley has won a number of awards for her acting, writing, and directing. This film was her first documentary, but with 95% positive reviews, I hope it won't be her last.

TV on DVD Full Series Megasets - Buy from Amazon: Jesse Stone: The Complete Set
The only TV on DVD complete series Megaset set this week is actually a collection of TV movies. I think I'm getting a screener to review, but if so, it is late.

The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Fourth Season - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
The most popular show on the CW, although that's not saying much, as it fails to reach the top 100 overall. Extras are okay with a making of featurette, deleted scenes, outtakes, etc., but without audio commentary tracks, it seems a little light. It is still worth picking up for fans, but not Pick of the Week material.


Filed under: Video Releases, Kokuriko-zaka Kara, Epic, Now You See Me, Stories We Tell, The Lords of Salem, The Iceman, Blancanieves, The English Teacher, Cockneys vs. Zombies, Empire State, Slightly Single in L.A., Julianne Moore, Sarah Polley, Michael Shannon, Kerry Washington, Rob Zombie