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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for September 21st, 2010

September 20th, 2010

Some of the summer blockbusters are starting to filter their way onto the home market, but this week's list is still dominated by TV on DVD releases like Castle: Season Two, Modern Family: Season One, and 30 Rock: Season Four. All three of which were in contention for Pick of the Week, as were The Secret in Their Eyes on Blu-ray and Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue on Blu-ray / DVD Combo. In the end I went with Modern Family: Season One on Blu-ray.

30 Rock: Season Four - Buy from Amazon
No longer the dominate force at the Emmys. This season 30 Rock earned 15 nominations, but was shut out on awards night. Then again, earning 15 nominations is still impressive and the show has to be seen as still one of the best on TV. Extras are phenomenal with audio commentary tracks on nearly half the episodes, a bonus episode from Ace of Cakes that is related to 30 Rock, behind-the-scenes for a couple episodes, deleted scenes, etc. Absolutely worth buying and a clear contender for Pick of the Week.

American Beauty - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Very few people will argue that this show isn't excellent. However, the question here is whether or not it is worth picking up on Blu-ray or if the old DVD is fine. Check out our review for my opinion.

Being Human: Season Two - DVD or Blu-ray
With the Canadian remake entering production, it's the perfect time to release season two of the British original on DVD / Blu-ray. Like many similar imports, it is expensive on a per-minute basis, but it is worth picking up for fans of supernatural shows set within our world.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: (Untitled), American Beauty, Being Human: Season Two, Bored to Death: Season One, Calvin Marshall, Charade, The Experiment, Human Target: Season One, Modern Family: Season One, Ondine, The Peacemaker, Robin Hood, The Secret in Their Eyes, The Secret of Moonacre, Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Season One, Stomp the Yard: Homecoming, Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue, Triple Dog, and Vigilante
Not a great list of Blu-ray releases, but at least we have one $100 million first run hit, Robin Hood. There are also some strong selling older releases (American Beauty); direct-to-DVD releases (Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue); and TV releases (Modern Family). Call it a solid selection, but not one that is bound to break records.

Bored to Death: Season One - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A Film Noir comedy about a struggling writer, Jason Schwartzman, who decides to become a private eye. The show also stars Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson, plus it has a list of guest stars that would put most Hollywood blockbusters to shame. This created such high expectations that the show itself was almost guaranteed to be a letdown, and in some ways it was. Perhaps it takes a few episodes to find its groove, but overall season one is worth checking out. Additionally, there are plenty of extras with audio commentary tracks, making of featurette, location tour, deleted scenes, etc. Worth picking up, but not a contender for Pick of the Week, but if the show continues to grow, that could change next season.

Castle: Season Two - Buy from Amazon
One of the best new shows from the 2008 - 2009 TV season, but could it keep up the quality level throughout its first full season? Check out our review for my opinion.

Community: Season One - Buy from Amazon
NBC has had a rough few years, and while this show barely cracked the top 100 in the ratings, it started building an impressive word-of-mouth by the end of the season. Hopefully the screener will arrive soon so I can judge for myself.

Desperate Housewives: Season Six - Buy from Amazon
After that leap in time, I gave up on the show. However, will the show please fans who stuck with it? Read our review to find out.

The Experiment - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A remake of the German film, Das Experiment, which in turn was based on the Stanford Prison Experiment, which showed human beings are about a weekend away from becoming complete psychopaths, if that is the expectation placed on us. This is an amazing story to tell, but unfortunately the movie fails to live up to its source material. The original is also flawed, but better.

Fantomas: Five Film Collection - Buy from Amazon
A silent era collection of the five-film Fantomas franchise. These films helped create a lot of the crime thriller elements that are still standard to this day. If you are fan of movie history, it's worth checking out. And it is hard to argue with that price for five movies.

Gamera Double-Feature Double-Shot - Buy from Amazon: Gamera Vs. Gyaos / Gamera Vs. Viras and Gamera Vs. Guiron / Gamera Vs. Jiger
When it comes to Kaiju movies, a.k.a. Japanese creature features, there are two levels of popularity. There's Godzilla and then there's everything else. Gamera is the most popular among the "Everything else" camp, but while the giant turtle was featured in a dozen movies, the quality went from "among the best in the genre" to "ugh" very quickly. Does it make that decline here? Read our review for my opinion.

He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown - Buy from Amazon
Good show, short running time, a little pricey. Plus, they are starting to put these out on Blu-ray, so it might be worth waiting on that.

The Hills: Season Six - Buy from Amazon
The show finally ends.

How I Met Your Mother: Season Five - Buy from Amazon
This show is not exactly a high-concept comedy, but it is a concept comedy, which means they tend to have a more limited shelf life. Is five years past its sell by date? Or is it still fresh? Read our review for my opinion.

Human Target: Season One - Buy from Amazon
Mark Valley stars as an assassin who falls in love with he latest target and decides to stop being an assassin and instead protect innocent people with a price on their head. It was a midseason replacement last year, so the three-disc DVD is a little pricey on a per-minute basis. It does have an audio commentary track, two making of featurettes, and outtakes, so for fans it is worth picking up. And if you haven't seen it, give it a rental. It has been earning good reviews.

Joseph Campbell: The Power of Myth - Buy from Amazon
The Power of Myth is one of the most important academic works of the 20th century, while this six-hour Bill Moyers is practically essential viewing for fans of Joseph Campbell or Bill Moyers. Even if you are not, it is worth checking out.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Season 11 - Buy from Amazon
Good show, weak DVD releases, limited replay value, syndicated 24 hours a day. Unless you are a completist, I can't recommend buying this DVD.

The Legend of Bruce Lee - Buy from Amazon
The story of Bruce Lee told in a 50-episode TV series, then compressed into three hours. Will it work? Read our review to find out.

The Locksmith - Buy from Amazon
Anslem Richardson stars as Mike, an ex-con turned locksmith. One day he gets a call from Margo (Ana Reeder) who locked her keys inside her apartment. However, after letting her in, he realizes he just helped her break into her boyfriends' apartment so she could look for evidence that he's cheating on her. This is not good news, as with his criminal background, an incident like this will cost him his job, at the very least. Margo then offers to make sure no one finds out, if he can help her learn if her boyfriend is cheating or not. I might be getting a screener for this movie, but if not, it looks like it could be a solid rental, if not more.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 24th of August.

Lost: Season Six - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
It took a bit longer than expected, but the Blu-ray screener for the final season of Lost finally showed up this past week. However, was it worth the wait and did the show end on a high note? Check out our review for my opinion.

Max & Ruby: Everybunny Loves Winter - Buy from Amazon
When writing this blurb, I was tempted to write nothing by "Review!" a bunch of times. Those that have seen the show and know Max's temperment would likely have gotten the joke. But the rest of you would have thought I'd lost my mind. Review!

The Mentalist: Season Two - Buy from Amazon
One of the best police procedural shows on TV, and that's a crowded market. Here Simon Baker plays a man who used to pretend to have psychic powers, until an offhand remark on a talk show brought him the attention of a serial killer. Now he works with the cops to solve cases, and to track down said serial killer. Worth checking out and with extras that include a making of featurette, deleted scenes, and podcasts on how to read people, its worth buying over just renting.

Modern Family: Season One - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of the best new shows from the 2009 - 2010 network season, if not the best. Where will I rank it? Read our review to find out.

Mythbusters: Collection 6 - Buy from Amazon
Great show, but put out full season sets.

Ondine - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Colin Farrell stars as a fisherman who catches a mermaid, at least that's what his daughter thinks she is. The film earned good reviews, but not great reviews, while it never really found an audience during its limited release. This explains why there's not much in terms of extras on the DVD / Blu-ray, but since the Blu-ray is only $18, it also a bargain compared to most limited releases.

The Peacemaker - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
Dreamworks SKG's first movie. However, the fanfare surrounding the new studio overshadowed the movie itself and it wasn't a big hit. 13 years later, will the film be able to survive now that it doesn't have to live up to the title of "First"? Check out our review to find out.

Petty Blue - Buy from Amazon
I've never been a fan of NASCAR, but if this documentary can win me over, it would almost assuredly be worth picking up for fans. Is that the case? Check out our review to find out.

Robin Hood - Buy from Amazon: Single-Disc DVD, Two-Disc DVD, or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack
This movie made more than $300 million at the worldwide box office, which is hardly a small amount. However, it likely cost more than $300 million to make and advertise, so it will still need a strong showing on the home market to break even. Does it deserve to? Won't know for sure till the screener arrives.

The Secret in Their Eyes - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film. It was also one of the biggest limited release of the year, earning more than $6 million despite never seeing its theater count hit 200. Extras on the DVD and Blu-ray include an audio commentary track, making of featurette, and audition tapes. That's not bad for a limited release and lifts it to a solid purchase.

The Secret of Moonacre - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I know very little about this film, as the screener is on it way. Hopefully it will get here soon.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Season One - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This TV show earned mixed reviews with many people complaining it had too much sex and gore and not enough story. Others liked it for exactly that reason. There are plenty of extras, including extended episodes on the Blu-ray only, which is good news, because this is not a cheap set to buy. (Like many cable shows, the season was only 13 episodes long.

Stomp the Yard: Homecoming - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The original was savaged by critics but went on to be a big hit at the box office, especially compared to its production budget. So a sequel was inevitable, even if it is just direct-to-DVD.

Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo
One of the best direct-to-DVD franchises around. In fact, the first two didn't feel like direct-to-DVD films. However, can they keep up this high quality level for the third film in a row? Check out our review to find out.

Triple Dog - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The name is Triple Dog, as in "I triple dog dare you!" A group of teenagers have a sleepover, their game of dares escalates and secrets are revealed. It stars Brittany Robertson, Scout Taylor-Compton, as well as Alexia Fast, Carly McKillip... it was at this point when I was reading the cast list that I realized the film was Canadian, which explains why I never heard of it before. With almost no reviews online, it's a bit of a blank slate, but maybe I'll give it a rental.

Two and a Half Men: Season Seven - Buy from Amazon
It's a sitcom. One of the highest rated sitcoms on TV, but for me, it is still just a sitcom.


Filed under: Video Releases, Calvin Marshall, Robin Hood, Ondine, El secreto de sus ojos, Stomp the Yard: The Homecoming, Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue