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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for May 31st, 2011

May 30th, 2011

It's getting to be that time of year again when the cable networks debut the new seasons for their summer shows. As a result, there are a lot of TV on DVD releases coming out to help promote the new season. One of the biggest such shows is True Blood, which just arrived on my desk. Clearly, it takes longer than an afternoon to review a full season TV on DVD release, so the review will have to wait; however, given the competition, there is an excellent chance it will be the Pick of the Week. Its main competition is the Stanley Kubrick: Limited Edition Collection Blu-ray and it really is down to a coin toss between the two.

Biutiful - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's fourth film, all four of which have earned at least one Oscar nomination. It also stars Javier Bardem, who picked up his third Oscar nomination. On the other hand, it earned the weakest reviews for the director and his smallest box office numbers. So is it an Oscar-worthy film, or a borderline effort? Read our review for my opinion.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: American Graffiti (Special Edition), Barry Lyndon, Big Jake, Biutiful, The Cat O' Nine Tails, A Clockwork Orange, David Byrne: Ride Rise Roar, Drive Angry, Legend, Lolita, A Man Called Horse, MusiCares Tribute to Neil Young, Once Upon a Time in the West, Passion Play, Rio Lobo, Rookie Blue: Season One, Stanley Kubrick: Limited Edition Collection, True Blood: Season Three, Undertow, WWE: Extreme Rules 2011, and Yu Yu Hakusho: Season One
The best selling Blu-ray of the week is True Blood: Season Three, which either means TV on Blu-ray releases are finally going to see breakout success, or it's a bad week on High Definition. Since the biggest first run release is Drive Angry, which barely cracked $10 million at the box office, it's probably the latter. There are quite a few catalogue releases on this week's list as well, some of which I was able to review, others where I'm still waiting on the screener. (Once Upon a Time in the West, for instance.) Overall, it will likely be another bad week for sales.

3-D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Drive Angry
Drive Angry broke the record for lowest grossing 3D wide release, but for fans of the Grindhouse aesthetic, it is worth picking up. On the other hand, there's not a lot of people in that group, apparently.

Drive Angry - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray, or 3d Blu-ray
After completely bombing at the box office, it appears Drive Angry will find a more receptive audience on the home market. It would almost have to. But does it deserve to find a wider audience? Or was it rightfully ignored? Check out our review to find out.

John Wayne Blu-ray Double-Shot: Big Jake - Buy from Amazon and Rio Lobo - Buy from Amazon
Two more films from The Duke are coming out on High Definition this week, but are they second-tier releases? And if so, are they still worth picking up? Check out our review to find out.

Kaboom - Buy from Amazon
Written and directed by Gregg Araki, who previously made the critically acclaimed Mysterious Skin. This film was not as well received. If you are a fan of his previous films, it's worth checking out, but start with a rental first.

A Man Called Horse - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
The third western Blu-ray review of the week. A Man Called Horse is certainly different than the average western from the era, but is different better? Read our review for my opinion.

MusiCares Tribute to Neil Young - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A tribute to Neil Young featuring such acts as The Dave Matthews Band, Booker T., Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, and many more. Absolutely worth picking up, and since the Blu-ray is just $1 more, it's clearly the better deal.

Nickelodeon: French Bilingual DVDs - Buy from Amazon:
The Backyardigans:
Robin Hood the Clean, Escape from Fairytale Village, and Movers and Shakers
Spongebob Squarepants: Home Sweet Pineapple and Tide and Seek
Another set of five Nickelodeon DVDs are being re-released this week, but this time in French Bilingual form. Unlike last time, I haven't previously reviewed most of these, so what episodes are found here and are they worth picking up? Check out our review to find out.

Passion Play - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of the worst-reviewed films of the year, and a bomb at the box office. It is now being released on a featureless DVD and Blu-ray, but unless you are looking to mock the movie, it isn't even worth renting.

Psych: The Complete Fifth Season - Buy from Amazon
James Roday and Dule Hill stars as crime-fighting partners in this comedy / mystery show. James Roday plays Shawn, who pretends to be a psychic while solving crimes with his highly trained sense of perception. He was trained by his father, Henry, who is now in charge of the consultants for the Santa Barbara Police Department, which means work is a little scarce. (His father doesn't exactly approve of his job.) This means he has to look a little further for work. This show balances the humor and the thrills very well and fans will certainly want to pick up the four-disc set right away.

Queen to Play - Buy from Amazon
This film opened in limited release with reviews that were good, but not great, and earned an opening per theater average that was likewise good, but not great. It is the French-Language debut for Kevin Kline, so if you are a fan of his and French cinema, it is worth checking out.

Rookie Blue: The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Missy Peregrym stars as a rookie cop just out of training school. The cast also includes Gregory Smith, Charlotte Sullivan, and others, and it is a good summer show. Not award-winning material, but entertaining enough.

SGU: Stargate Universe: The Complete Final Season - Buy from Amazon
I should be getting a screener for this show shortly; however, since it won't ship till tomorrow, it might not arrive before the weekend.

Stanley Kubrick: Limited Edition Collection - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A nine-movie, ten-disc collection from Stanley Kubrick. I was hoping to get a screener for this releases, but it appears that won't happen now. That's too bad, as it is Pick of the Week material. Also of note, some of the films are coming out on single releases, including A Clockwork Orange, Lolita, Barry Lyndon, etc., but the box set is the much better deal.

Swamp People: Season 1 - Buy from Amazon
It's Deadliest Catch, but featuring alligator hunters. There are just too many similar shows out there for this one to stand out.

True Blood: Season Three - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Just a quick note that the screener has arrived and I will get to the review A.S.A.P.

Undertow - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A married fishermen deals with loss when his gay lover dies and returns. It was Peru's official entry for the Oscars and while it didn't earn a nomination, it would not have been a surprise if it had.


Filed under: Video Releases, American Graffiti, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, Legend, Lolita, Big Jake, Biutiful, Drive Angry, Kaboom, Contracorriente, Passion Play, Joueuse