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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for May 10th, 2011

May 9th, 2011

While summer is the busiest time of year at the box office, it's the weakest time of year on the home market. That said, this week isn't bad with a few high profile releases. Unfortunately for me, I'm still waiting on the screeners for several of these. As far as the best of the best is concerned, there are a few contenders for Pick of the Week, including the pair of Doctor Who releases. But in the end I went with The Illusionist on Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack.

AC/DC: Live At River Plate - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This concert release is selling extremely well on both DVD and on Blu-ray. There are also versions that come with a large or extra large T-shirt, but they only come with the DVD, not the Blu-ray.

Almighty Thor - Buy from Amazon
Thor has already earned close to $250 million worldwide, so there's no surprise that the home market will be inundated with releases aimed at taking advantage of that success. Some of them are official Marvel releases, like Thor: Tales of Asgard, which I hope to review shortly. Others are crap rip-offs like this one and should be avoided at all costs.

Bhutto - Buy from Amazon
Just a quick note about this release. I hope to get a screener shortly, but it might be a couple weeks.

Black Death - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of two films focusing on the Plague that came out this year. This was the smaller of the two films, but did it deserve to do better? Check out our review for my opinion.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: AC/DC: Live at River Plate, Alien, Aliens, Aliens3, Alien: Resurrection, Black Death, Blue Valentine, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Chobits: The Complete Series, Flicka 2, Hang 'Em High, The Hit List, The Horse Soldiers, I Saw the Devil, The Illusionist, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Master and Commander: Far Side of World, Misfits, No Strings Attached, Patton, Rocky, Some Like it Hot, Something Wild (The Criterion Collection), The Terminator, The Usual Suspects, and WWE: WrestleMania 27
It's a very busy week for Blu-ray releases, but a lot of them are from second tier studios flooding the market with budget releases. Cutting those out gives us a lot clearly picture of the true strength of Blu-ray market this week. Looking at this list, there are no prime releases, that is to say there are no films that you really want to see in High Definition. There are a couple first run releases, plus some limited releases of note, but given their various target audiences, I don't see them being really strong sellers on Blu-ray. There are also some catalogue titles on this week's list of note, including the Alien series coming out separately, while screeners for Some Like It Hot, The Usual Suspects, Rocky, and others are on their way.

Blue Valentine - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A late entry in last year's Award Season, it did earn excellent reviews and even an Oscar nomination. It also earned close to $10 million, which is huge for a limited release. Extras on both the DVD and the Blu-ray include an audio commentary track, deleted scenes, a making of featurette, and a short. It's worth picking up, while the Blu-ray is just 12% more than the DVD, so it is clearly the better deal.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 22nd of February.

Carmo, Hit the Road - Buy from Amazon
Yes, this review is a few months late. However, in my defense, the screener didn't arrive till April. Was it worth the wait? Check out our review for my opinion.

Cougar, Inc. - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film has a first time director and a cast with a lot of name recognition. That certainly does make one curious, but is it worth checking out? Read our review to find out.

Doctor Who - Buy from Amazon: Story 55: Terror of the Autons or Story 74: Planet of the Spiders
Two Jon Pertwee era Doctor Who stories are coming out this week, including the one that introduced The Master and the one that transitioned into the Tom Baker era. As such, both are must haves for their historical significance. They are also good stories in their own right, Add in the extras and these easy recommendations, and even contenders for Pick of the Week.

Home Improvement: The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
The complete series in a cool collector's case. This would make a good Christmas gift, so it's a little strange that it's being released this time of year.

I Saw the Devil - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A revenge flick that is not for the faint of heart. But will those who get through it be thankful that they did? Or will they wish they hadn't bothered? Read our review to find out.

The Illusionist - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
One of three Oscar nominated Animated Films this year, and while its reviews were significantly weaker than the other two nominees, it's hard to argue that it was undeserving of the nod. Extras include several making of featurettes focusing on different aspects of the production, which is enough to lift the film into contention for Pick of the Week. Interestingly, there's no DVD or Blu-ray option, but one Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack. This is not unique, but it is certainly not common either.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 26th of April.

Jolene - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Jessica Chastain has more than half a dozen major roles in films that are opening over the next year or two, but Jolene was her first starring role. Is it a breakout performance, or will it be little more than a footnote in her career? Check out our review for my opinion.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
Still waiting on the screener for this release, but since it doesn't come out till Friday, it has a few more days to arrive on time. I would be shocked if it is not the biggest selling DVD / Blu-ray of the week, even with the shortened sales week.

McMillan & Wife: Season 3 - Buy from Amazon
Part of a rotation of murder mystery shows shown by NBC in the 1970s. This four-disc set has six 90-minute episodes, which means this DVD is either very expensive for TV on DVD or relatively cheap for TV movies.

No Strings Attached - DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
It's been a busy year for Natalie Portman with an Oscar win and no less than three wide releases so far, plus another limited release. I'm still waiting on the screener for this release, but it did beat expectations with critics and moviegoers, so I'm optimistic.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 12th of April.

Plastic Planet - Buy from Amazon
A documentary about the world's reliance on plastic and the negative issues associated with that. Is it an effective look at the subject? Or will it just leave you frustrated? Check out our review to find out.


Filed under: Video Releases, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Patton, Some Like it Hot, The Usual Suspects, Something Wild, The Misfits, Hang 'em High, Flicka 2, Carmo, Blue Valentine, No Strings Attached, Jolene, Bhutto, Akmareul Boatda, Black Death, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Cougars Inc., Plastic Planet