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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for March 13th, 2012

March 13th, 2012

There are two themes this week. The first is Awards Season. There are no fewer than half a dozen Award Season players on this week's list, although one was a late review. Speaking of late reviews, that's the other theme on this week's list, as there are no fewer than eight releases on this week's list where I'm waiting for the screener to arrive. (This includes Wizards which arrived on Monday; however, screeners need to arrive by Friday if I'm to get the review done on time.) Unfortunately, there's a lot of crossover among these two groups and a few Pick of the Week candidates are late. For instance, My Week with Marilyn and Melancholia fit into both groups. Other screeners I'm waiting for that could be Pick of the Week are Wallace & Gromit: World of Invention and the aforementioned Wizards: 35th Anniversary Blu-ray, while The Guild: Season Five was up for that honor as well. However, in the end I went with The Descendants on Blu-ray Combo Pack.

Absentia - Buy from Amazon
A low budget horror film that is earning good reviews, but I've seen more than a few mentioning that the DVD cover doesn't fit with the tone of the movie. It's more atmospheric than anything else, but that's a positive in my mind.

The Adventures of Tintin - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack
When the Oscar nominations were announced, this film was considered one of the biggest snubs. After all, it won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature. However, 74% positive reviews is not really Oscar-worthy and some critics said there was too much action and not enough heart. That said, 74% positive is still better than most films earn, especially those aimed at families. I don't know what extras are on the DVD or Blu-ray, because the screener hasn't arrived yet, but given the reviews, it's worth at least a rental.

Bag of Bones - Buy from Amazon
A TV mini-series based on the book by Stephen King. Despite the great cast, it only earned mixed reviews, so unless you are a hardcore fan, it's only worth a rental. If you are more neutral toward Mr. King, then you can skip this one.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: American Pie, American Pie 2, American Wedding, Five Element Ninjas, The Last Temptation of Christ, Mardock Scramble: The First Compression, Nature: Raccoon Nation, Triad Trilogy, and Virgin Witch
The list of secondary Blu-ray releases are dominated by American Pie films. But besides those films, it is a really short list.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Adventures of Tintin, Happy Feet Two, Kung Fu Panda 2, and The Three Musketeers
It's a busy week on 3D with three wide releases coming out concurrently with their DVD and Blu-ray releases, and another delayed release. Unfortunately, two of the three new releases bombed in theaters, while the delayed release will likely have much weaker sales as a result. I can see releasing the 3D a week or two early, to encourage people upgrading, but not a few weeks late.

The Descendants - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
This film was one of the major Awards Season players and while it wasn't able to convert many of its nominations into wins, is it still one of the best films of the year? And if so, is the DVD or Blu-ray worth picking up? Read our review for my opinion.

Doctor Who - Buy from Amazon: The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Three Doctors, The Face of Evil, and The Robots of Death
Four Doctor Who stories are getting a re-release this week. All four are great stories, while there are a few new extras here, but they are a double-dip, so take that into account.

Fresh - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about food and how it is important to be closer to your food source, even if that means growing some of it yourself. It is an important topic, but a few critics noted we've seen this subject done before.

Grimm's Snow White - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Wow. There is a flood of Snow White movies coming out on DVD and in theaters over the next few months. This movie was made by The Asylum Home Entertainment, which has a terrible, terrible reputation. However, I've actually read positive reviews for the film online, so maybe it's one of the studios hits.

The Guild: Season Five - Buy from Amazon
One of the first webseries to really have breakout success, and it is still one of the best. Like the previous seasons, this one is a Pick of the Week contender.

Happy Feet Two - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack
Happy Feet came out five years ago and was a huge hit. The sequel was not. In fact, it was a massive miss, as it earned less worldwide than it cost to make. Add in P&A budget and the exhibitioner's share, and the studio will likely lose a bundle here. It wasn't a great movie, but it is better than its box office numbers.

The Killing: Season One - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This TV show got off to a great start and early reviews and word-of-mouth were great. Then the season ended. To say people were unsatisfied with the season finale is an understatement. However, I won't be able to tell you if I agree or not till the screener arrives.

Melancholia - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film earned some Awards Season buzz, but its reviews were not quite strong enough to produce wins. It's worth checking out, but I won't know if it is worth picking up till the screener arrives. I have high hopes.

My Week with Marilyn - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
One of several releases on this week's list where I'm waiting for a screener. Like many releases on this week's list, this one was an Awards Season player, albeit one of the smaller ones. It did get enough notice to earn a couple Oscar nominations, but it wasn't able to convert many of the major nominations into wins. Hopefully the screener will arrive soon, because it looks like a great movie.

Neverland - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A British mini-series based on Peter Pan but is more of a prequel. It earned mostly good reviews, but I'm still waiting for the screener to judge for myself.

Scooby Doo! Music of the Vampire - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
The latest DVD release for this long, long running franchise. They continue to be popular with its target audience as parents who grew up on the show are introducing it to their kids.

Stuck Between Stations - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Video on Demand
Two people reunited after a decade and spend the night getting to know each other. It's a simple setup, but does it create a compelling movie? Check out our review to find out.

Superjail: Season Two - Buy from Amazon
An animated series from the Adult Swim lineup. I like a lot of other shows that have been a part of this group, but this one is too weird for me.

The Swell Season - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about the real life romance that developed behind-the-scenes of the making of Once and how that film's success tested the relationship between its two stars. The film earned great reviews, but failed to find an audience in limited release. Hopefully that won't happen on the home market.

Note: This DVD / Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 14th.

Take Shelter - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film was a secondary Awards Season player. It was earning impressive buzz, but was too small to be noticed by enough people. Now that it is on the home market, should people give it a try? Should they buy it instead of just renting it? Read our review to find out.

The Three Musketeers - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack
Domestically, this was one of the biggest bombs of the year. It cost $90 million to make and brought in just over $20 million. It did pull in $120 million internationally, so if it does well on the home market and tertiary markets (hotels, airlines, etc.) then it could eventually earn a profit. Is it worth checking out on the home market? I won't know till the screener arrives. Given its Tomatometer Score, I'm not hopeful.

Wallace & Gromit: World of Invention - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I'm a big fan of this franchise, but I've haven't seen this particular show, so I'll have to wait till the screener arrives to comment. Hopefully it will get here really fast.

Wizards: 35th Anniversary Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Just a quick note, this screener arrived, but it arrived late. I'll get to the review A.S.A.P. Also coming out this week is Coonskin, which is a less well known and more controversial Ralph Bakshi film.

Women on the Sixth Floor - Buy from Amazon
A stiff French couple find their lives changed when they hire and interact with a Spanish maid. The film earned good reviews, but not great reviews. If you are a fan of French cinema, then it is still worth checking out.

Young Adult - DVD or Blu-ray
Yet another film that earned some Awards Season buzz prior to release. However, despite earning overwhelmingly positive reviews, it was mostly ignored. Was this unfair? Won't know till the screener arrives. I am really looking forward to this film.


Filed under: Video Releases, American Wedding, American Pie, Wizards, The Last Temptation of Christ, Kung Fu Panda 2, Happy Feet Two, American Pie 2, The Adventures of Tintin, The Three Musketeers, The Descendants, Young Adult, My Week with Marilyn, Melancholia, Take Shelter, Les femmes du 6ème étage, The Swell Season, Absentia, Stuck Between Stations, Scooby Doo! Music of the Vampire