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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for February 1st, 2011

February 1st, 2011

There's still a lull when it comes to first-run releases on the home market with no major, or even midlevel hits coming out this week. In fact, the best-selling release according to is Alice in Wonderland on Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack, which is a contender for Pick of the Week. The other major contender is Let Me In on Blu-ray, which failed to find an audience despite impressing critics almost as much as the original did. I'm going to give the honor to Let Me In, but both are worthy contenders.

The Abbott and Costello Show: Who's On First? - Buy from Amazon
Six episodes from the classic show, including the one that features their most famous skit. I'm not a huge fan of Best Of TV on DVD releases, but is there enough value here for more casual fans of the duo? Won't know till the screener arrives.

Airwolf: Season Four - Buy from Amazon
The first season of this show was one of the first DVDs I reviewed, and I did not like it. By season four, it had been canceled by CBS, moved to a cable channel, saw its production budget sliced to just a fraction of what it was before, and most of the cast was gone. As a result, even hardcore fans of the show should hesitate before picking up this DVD. Even if you loved the show as a kid and like the first few seasons, watching what it became might be too much to take.

Alice in Wonderland - Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack - Buy from Amazon
Just last year an Unanniversary Edition DVD was release, but was the 60th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray worth the extra wait? Read our review to find out.

Bad Boys - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
This is the 1983 prison drama with Sean Penn and not the more famous buddy cop film of the same name. While it is lesser known, is it worth discovering? Check out our review to find out.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
The direct-to-DVD sequel to Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Clearly this film is aimed at fans of the first film, but will it satisfy them? Check out our review for my opinion.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: 10, An Affair to Remember, Alice in Wonderland, All About Eve, Bad Boys, Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2, Big Momma's House: Gift Set, Boys Don't Cry, Chain Letter, Conviction, Hatchet II, Highlander: 2-Film Set, Hurricane Season, Jillian Micheal: 30 Day Shred, Let Me In, Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey, Monsters, Never Let Me Go, Night Catches Us, Pleasantville, Ray, $hopping, The Tillman Story, Welcome to the Rileys, A Woman, A Gun, and A Noodle Shop, and You've Got Mail
Quite a list of Blu-rays coming out this week, including several that I reviewed and / or will review, assuming the screener arrives late. While not every release on this week's list is worth the scratch-resistant coating on the Blu-rays, there are a couple that were contenders for Pick of the Week, as well as a large number that are worth picking up.

Chain Letter - Buy from Amazon: R-Rated DVD, Unrated DVD, or Blu-ray
Opening a horror film in limited release is always a risk. This movie is a perfect example of why that is. Despite have a lot of recognizable names in the movie, its opening per theater average was nothing short of disastrous. The reviews don't suggest it deserved a whole lot better, while the home market releases are devoid of special features. Unless you are really into the torture porn genre, it's safely skippable.

The Client List - Buy from Amazon
Jennifer Love Hewitt stars as a mother who, when financial times become desperate, turns to prostitution to pay the bills and feed her family. It's a TV movie based on real life events, which should be a warning for most. It's not a bad movie, but it only earned mixed reviews with some calling it entertaining fluff, while others were less generous. If you like the lead, or Cybill Shepherd, who plays her mother, then it is worth checking out.

Clifford: The Big Red Dog: Best Buddies - Buy from Amazon
While the show ceased production many years ago, it is still on the air and entertaining a lot of kids. Will this DVD provide enough such entertainment for fans? Read our review to find out.

Conviction - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Obvious Oscar Bait, but while Hilary Swank earned a SAG nomination, it was mostly ignored during Awards Season. Meanwhile, it never really caught on with moviegoers, earning roughly half of its rather low budget. Did it derserve better? Won't know for sure till the screener arrives.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 25th of January.

Denis Leary & Friends Presents: Douchbags & Donuts - Buy from Amazon
Denis Leary leads a group of four comics in this special concert that was set up to raise money for his charity, The Leary Firefighters Foundation. Will it make you laugh? Or is the best you can say, "It's for a good cause."? Check out our review for my opinion.

Note: These DVDs were re-released on the 18th of January.

Dora the Explorer - Buy from Amazon: Dora's Birthday Adventure, Big Sister Dora, Super Babies, and Super Silly Fiesta
A quartet of Dora DVDs were re-released recently. So what episodes do they have to offer? And are they worth the money? Read our review to find out.

Garrow's Law: Series One - Buy from Amazon
A courtroom drama inspired by a pioneering lawyer in 18th century England. The TV on DVD release is doing extremely well on the sales chart, at least according to It's not surprising given some of the reviews I've seen.

Giulia Doesn't Date at Night - Buy from Amazon
Valerio Mastandrea stars as Guido, a writer who is bored with his career, his marriage, his life. He becomes intrigued by his daughters swimming instructor, Valeria Golino as the titular Giulia. I might get a screener for this film, which would be a treat, as I'm a fan of Valeria Golino and have been since Hot Shots. (I once watched that movie roughly 30 times in a single month. I didn't have cable and that was the only thing I could watch till the cable guy showed up.)

Hatchet II - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I reviewed the original when it came out a few years ago, so I'm looking forward to reviewing the sequel, but the screener is running late.

Let Me In - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Let the Right One In was one of the best movies from 2008 that I reviewed. When it was announced it would be remade, I was a little concerned, but the reviews were outstanding. Too bad that didn't translate into box office revenue. The DVD does have an audio commentary, deleted scenes, a trio of making of featurettes, and more and it is worth picking up. Meanwhile, the Blu-ray upgrades the audio commentary track to a picture-in-picture track and it is worth paying extra for. This is a contender for Pick of the Week.

Mean Girls 2 - Buy from Amazon
A direct-to-DVD sequel to Mean Girls. The original was excellent, but the phrase, "direct-to-DVD sequel" tends to lower expectations. Unfortunately, the screener is late and there are not a whole lot of reviews online, so I can't give an informed opinion yet.

Monsters - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Two-Disc DVD, or Blu-ray
This film reportedly cost just $15,000 to make, although that was $15,000 for the equipment and $500,000, if you include travel, supplies, and everything else. Still for a movie that cost $500,000, it earned quite strong praise and did pretty well for a genre that normally doesn't thrive in limited release. The Special Edition DVD / Blu-ray is loaded with extras, including an audio commentary track, two hours pf making of featurettes, more than an hour of interviews, etc. Meanwhile, the Blu-ray actually costs less than the DVD. Easily worth picking up.

Never Let Me Go - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Another Oscar Bait movie on this week's list that didn't live up to expectations, either with critics or with moviegoers. Some have said the novel it is based on is rather unfilmable, but was this the case? Or was it unfairly overlooked? Check out our review to find out.

Night Catches Us - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The film earned excellent reviews and an Independent Spirit Award nomination, but opened the same weekend as Black Swan, so it was overshadowed. Extras on the DVD and Blu-ray include a making of featurette, deleted / alternate scenes, and more. Definitely worth checking out for most, picking up for many.

Pokemon: Arceus & The Jewel of Life - Buy from Amazon
Yes, they are still making these movies, even if they only go direct-to-DVD here. The latest arc has better animation and feels like a real movie, instead of an overstuffed TV episode like the ones that were shown in theaters here. If you are a fan of the franchise, it's worth checking out.

The Prowler - Buy from Amazon
Written by Dalton Trumbo and directed by Joseph Losey, both of whom were blacklisted during the Red Scare of the 1950s. Both men made multiple films that are widely considered classics, and while this film is good enough to be part of that list, it is mostly forgotten. That should change now that it is finally getting its DVD debut.

Saturday Night Live: Best Of... - Buy from Amazon: Chris Farley and John Belushi
I got these reviews done last week and you can read the review for the Best Of Chris Farley here and the Best Of John Belushi here.

Skin - Buy from Amazon
A white couple living in apartheid era South Africa have a kid, who turns out to be black. The film is based on a true story and earned amazing reviews, but never really found the audience it deserved. Hopefully that will change on the home market, but I don't know if it is worth a rental or a purchase, and won't till the screener arrives.

The Tillman Story - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
When Pat Tillman quit a lucrative career with the NFL to join the army after 9/11, many called him a hero, especially after he was killed in Afghanistan. However, the official story soon unraveled and it was revealed that he was killed by friendly fire. This documentary shows the story of the coverup of those events and efforts his family went through to uncover the truth. The film earned excellent reviews and it even picked up a PGA nomination. The DVD and Blu-ray come with a companion piece on Pat Tillman's life and the overall package is worth picking up.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 25th of January.

The Traveler - Buy from Amazon
This film arrived a day late, but I was able to get the review online early last week. Is the film with checking out for Val Kilmer fans? Or does it have more appeal than that? Or perhaps less? Read our review to find out.

Virus X - Buy from Amazon
A group of scientists think they are working on a vaccine to prevent a possibly pandemic, but in reality are working to create one, so the company that hired them can get rich selling medicines. However, when the Virus X strain gets loose in their lab, they have just three days to find a cure before it kills them. Not a bad setup, but how's the execution? Check out our review for my opinion.

Welcome to the Rileys - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of several films on this week's list that you could legitimately call Oscar Bait. This one earned mixed reviews while it never came close to making an impact at the box office. Now it is coming out on a nearly featureless DVD and Blu-ray. Call it a rental, but with a full set of features, it could have been more.

A Woman, A Gun, and A Noodle Shop - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A Remake of Blood Simple by Yimou Zhang, who had previously made House of Flying Daggers, Jet Li's Hero, and more. I was hoping this would be a really good movie, given the source material and the director. It was not good and you should stick with the original.


Filed under: Video Releases, Big Momma's House, You've Got Mail, Ray, Big Momma's House 2, Pleasantville, Boys Don't Cry, Bad Boys, All About Eve, Shopping, Alice in Wonderland, Skin, Hurricane Season, 10, Let Me In, The Traveler, Chain Letter, Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2, Never Let Me Go, Conviction, San qiang pai an jing qi, Welcome to the Rileys, Monsters, The Tillman Story, Hatchet II, Night Catches Us, Mean Girls 2