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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for November 23rd, 2010

November 22nd, 2010

This Friday is Black Friday, but there's a lull on the home market with not a whole lot of great releases. (This is the usual pattern for Thanksgiving.) The biggest hit coming out is The Expendables, which should top the chart, while there are a number of smaller releases that are in contention for Pick of the Week. The best of these is Metropolis: The Complete Metropolis, which comes out on Blu-ray this week after being released on DVD last week.

7th Heaven: The Final Season - Buy from Amazon
Even most fans of the show will admit that it lasted a couple seasons more than it should have and by the final season it had run out of steam. That said, completing your collection isn't a crazy idea.

12 Men of Christmas - Buy from Amazon
The screener for this movie just arrived. And by just arrived, I mean it was part of the late afternoon delivery. You will have to give me a couple days to get to it, but I'm actually looking forward to seeing it, mainly because it has Kristin Chenoweth in it.

America Lost and Found: The BBS Story - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon
A seven-movie collection from Criterion Collection that includes a wide array of movies. How many box sets can you think of that have the Monkees and Jack Nicholson. This set is only coming out on Blu-ray this week, but the DVD comes out next month. However, the Blu-ray is the better deal and if you are a fan counter-cultural filmmaking, it is worth grabbing.

BearCity - Buy from Amazon
Didn't this come out last week?

Beauty and the Beast - Two-Disc Diamond Edition - Buy from Amazon
Buy the Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack that I previously reviewed. The High Definition edition only costs $3 more, and it comes with the DVD, so it's clearly the better deal.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: America Lost and Found, Countdown to Zero, Deadwood: The Complete Series, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, Eat Pray Love, The Expendables, The Family That Preys, Fire & Ice: Dragon Chronicles, Flipped, Human Weapon: Season One, The Hunting Party, I'm Still Here, Madea Goes to Jail, Madea's Big Happy Family, Madea's Family Reunion, Megafault / 2012: Supernova, Metropolis: The Complete Edition, The Nature of Existence, The Pillars of Earth, Salon Kitty, The Search for Santa Paws, and Why Did I Get Married?
Not a great week for Blu-ray releases, at least in terms of blockbusters, and The Expendables should have little trouble topping the sales chart. There are a few other releases that are more interesting, including Metropolis and a couple documentaries. There is also a whole series of double-shots, starting with...

Blu-ray: Double-Shots - Buy from Amazon: Angel Heart / Johnny Handsome, Black Mask / Forbidden Kingdom, Chaos / Back Job, Crank / Crank 2, First Blood / Rambo, Rambo: First Blood: Part II / Rambo III, Running Man / Red Heat, Terminator 2 / Total Recall, and Universal Soldier / Lock Up
With The Expendables coming out, Lionsgate is releasing nine double-shot Blu-rays featuring practically everyone from the main cast of that film. There are not exactly a lot of Oscar winners here, but fans of the cast should be ecstatic over the choices, while the price of $11 for two movies is hard to top.

Christmas Releases - Buy from Amazon: 12 Men of Christmas, A Nanny for Christmas, The Search for Santa Paws (DVD) and The Search for Santa Paws (Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack)
Just the three releases, one of which I reviewed, one of which I will review, and the other that is least interesting.

Countdown to Zero - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A documentary about nuclear weapons and the problems caused by their proliferation, including some near disasters that have taken place in the past. The reviews were very strong, but this is not the most cinematic documentary you will see. The message is strong enough to trump the lack of pizzazz and it is worth picking up. Meanwhile, the Blu-ray only costs 10% more than the DVD, so even though it doesn't have any additional extras, it is still worth the upgrade.

The Disappearance of Alice Creed - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Gemma Arterton stars as the titular Alice Creed, who is kidnapped and held for ransom, but she has a connection with one of her captures and uses that to try and turn the table on them. The film's reviews were amazing, but it wasn't able to translate that into box office success. Hopefully it will perform much better on the home market, even if the extras are on the light side with just an audio commentary track, extended scenes, and storyboards. The Blu-ray has no additional extras, but only costs $4 more, which is acceptable. Call it a solid purchase with the High Definition release worth the extra money.

Eat Pray Love - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Julia Roberts stars in this film of self-discovery. It missed expectations with critics, but it earned $200 million worldwide (more or less). The DVD only has a 4-minute interview, so it was clearly made for renting only. However, the Blu-ray has several additional featurettes, a music video, and it is BD-Live enabled. At $20, it's worth picking up, if you are part of the target demographic. On the other hand, I, despite liking Julia Roberts, will give it a pass.

The Expendables - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy Combo Pack
Still waiting on the screener for this one, but given its box office results, it obviously has a lot of fans. Not only did it open with more than $30 million, but it lasted long enough in theaters to cross $100 million in total. There are plenty of extras on both versions, while the Blu-ray gets a Picture-in-Picture upgrade making it clearly the better deal. If you grew up on these films, it is at least worth checking out, but I won't know if it is worth buying till after the screener arrives.

Fire & Ice - Dragon Chronicles - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of many screeners that I'm still waiting on this week. It's got dragons and Amy Acker in it, so it can't be all bad, but I have to wait for the screener before I can comment any further.

Flipped - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy Combo Pack
This film opened in limited release in early August with plans to expand wide. That didn't happen. However, it's not a bad movie and it deserves to be seen by a lot more people. The DVD has very limited extras and it is worth a rental, while the Blu-ray has a few additional featurettes, which lifts its value to a solid purchase.

I'm Still Here - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A mockumentary following Joaquin Phoenix as he has a mental meltdown. The film's reviews are only mixed, but a lot of critics were more concerned with whether or not the film was real, rather than the quality of the movie. Some argued that if it was real, then it was a fascinating look at the life of a celebrity, but if it was fake, then the entire act was a shameless publicity stunt. But I agree with Ben Mankiewicz on this one. If it were real, then the filmmakers would be awful, as they were seeing this guy self-implode and no one around him was organizing an intervention. Since it is fake, it's funny watching a guy growing a mountain man beard, pretending to rap, and observing people's reaction to this. Sure, Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck were in on it, but most of the rest of the people in the movie were not. There are not a whole lot of extras on either format with just an audio commentary track and some deleted scenes, while the Blu-ray is actually cheaper than the DVD, at least on it is. I would rate it as a solid rental, leaning toward a purchase.

Metropolis: The Complete Metropolis - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This classic came out on DVD last week while the Blu-ray comes out this week. It was a must have last week, and since it is a much slower week this time around, it is a contender for Pick of the Week.

Murder, She Wrote: Season 12 - Buy from Amazon
Twelve seasons. That's so rare for a fictional show. Outside of news / sports / game shows, it is incredibly rare for a show to make it past a decade, but the show's run finally comes to an end on DVD. If you have been buying the show up to this point, there's no reason to stop now, as the show never ran out of steam. However, if you haven't been buying the seasons individually, wait for a Full Series Megaset, which should come out this time next year.

The Pillars of the Earth - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A TV miniseries about the building of a 12th century cathedral, and all of the politics and sex that goes into making a house of worship. The 8-part series cost $40 million to make and it was a big hit overseas, while it is placing very high on the Amazon sales chart. There are not a lot of extras on the DVD or Blu-ray, but the latter only costs about 10% more.

The Nature of Existence - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Two-Disc DVD, or Blu-ray
A documentary on the meaning of life from the same director that made Trekkies, which was about Star Trek fanatics. The earlier film earned better reviews, but that makes sense as Star Trek is a lot more important, in the grand scheme of things. The Two-Disc DVD and the Blu-ray are loaded with additional footage nearly doubling the length of the documentary and are worth picking up, while the former is actually cheaper than the equivalent DVD.

The Search for Santa Paws - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This could be described as part of the third incarnation of the Air Bud franchise, as it doesn't even have an appearance from the Buddies, but is that a detriment or a selling point? Check out our review for my opinion.

Note: This DVD made its home market debut on the 2nd.

The Trial - Buy from Amazon
Matthew Modine stars as a lawyer trying to deal with a family tragedy, and failing, when he is ordered to take over a capital murder case. This is the second movie based on a Robert Whitlow novel and while it is a little more grounded that the first, okay a lot more, will it be as compelling for his fans? Check out our review to find out.

TV Series Megaset - Buy from Amazon: Batman Beyond, Deadwood (Blu-ray), Space Precinct, and The Tudors
Also coming out this week is Six Million Dollar Man, but you have to buy it direct from Time Life. I might get a screener of that one to review, along with Space Precinct and / or The Tudors. If one of them shows up, I'll be happy. If all three show up, I'll be pissed. It gets stressful when my late pile is larger than my upcoming pile. And since I've never been late with a review when the screener arrived on time, it looks bad.

Tyler Perry Collection - Buy from Amazon: Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea's Family Reunion, Why Did I Get Married?, The Family That Preys, and Madea Goes to Jail
Five Blu-rays from Tyler Perry. ... These arrive on time but I'm still waiting for the Apocalypse Now Blu-ray screener. Anyhoo... Check out the review of these five movies here, while fans of the filmmaker might also be interested in Madea's Big Happy Family: The Play on DVD or Blu-ray.

Wagon Train - The Complete Season Two - Buy from Amazon
A lot of people are complaining about the price of this DVD, and at $80 for one season, it is high compared to a lot of concurrent shows. However, back when this show was made, seasons tended to have a lot more episodes, while each episode tended to be longer in length. So on a price-per-minute basis, this is about right, as its running time is roughly twice the average concurrent hour-long season.

The Winning Season - Buy from Amazon
Sam Rockwell heads the cast of mostly up-and-comers in this film that earned some strong pre-release buzz, but wasn't able to translate that into ticket sales. It is worth checking out, or was it rightfully ignored? Read our review to find out.


Filed under: Video Releases, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Total Recall, Madea Goes To Jail, Madea's Family Reunion, Why Did I Get Married?, Rambo III, The Forbidden Kingdom, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, First Blood, Rambo, The Running Man, The Family That Preys, Universal Soldier, Red Heat, The Bank Job, Crank, Lock Up, Angel Heart, Crank 2: High Voltage, Johnny Handsome, The Hunting Party, Metropolis, Chaos, Black Mask, The Expendables, Flipped, Megafault, The Winning Season, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, The Trial, Fire and Ice, Countdown to Zero, Eat Pray Love, The Nature of Existence, I'm Still Here, The Search for Santa Paws