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Home Market Releases for November 17th, 2015

November 17th, 2015

Rush: R40 Live

It's an off week of sorts. The biggest release is extended edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. In fact, there are five versions of this film that are near the top of the list. There are not a lot of other first-run releases on this week's list, which means we have to look to the classics for potential Pick of the Week contenders. Fortunately, there are plenty of those worth picking up. Leading the way is The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki on Blu-ray. It is expensive, but you get a lot for your money. There is another top-notch release this week, Rush - R40 Live on DVD or Blu-ray, which wins the coveted Puck of the Week for best Canadian release.

The Apu Trilogy - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
The first film in this seminal trilogy turned 60 years old this year, so it should come as no surprise that the trilogy is earning a Criterion Collection release. It is not surprising that the Blu-ray is loaded with extras and it is definitely worth picking up.

Chaplin's Essanay Comedies - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray Combo Pack
One of two silent film releases on this week's list. This one has all 15 short films Charlie Chaplin made for Essanay Film Manufacturing Company starting back in 1914. This includes alternative versions for a couple of these films. If you are a fan of the filmmaking pioneer, then this is a must have.

Christmas Releases - Buy from Amazon: Christmas Mix, Christmas with the Karountzoses, Christmas with the Karountzoses (VOD), Merry Ex-Mas, Noel, Renee Fleming: Christmas New York, Santa's Little Helper, Up on the Wooftop, Up on the Wooftop (VOD), and Zack and Quack: Christmas Crinkles
This is the second week in a row with a Wrestling Themed Christmas Movie. That's a strange genre.

The City of Lost Children: 20th Anniversary - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray
This is a film that I've been meaning to pick up for a while now. It's a Sci-fi fantasy film from France with a very distinctive style. This film earned great reviews, but not everyone liked the style. Extras include audio commentary track, making of featurette, interviews, and more. It is definitely worth picking up and a contender for Pick of the Week.

The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray
This is awesome. I want this. ... But it is over $200 and since I already own most of the movies Hayao Miyazaki has made during his career, I can't really justify it. On the other hand, it would make an excellent gift.

Deadly Prey - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
There are some who consider this film to be one of the best action / comedies of all time. Except it was supposed to be taken seriously. If you like unintentional comedy, you have to see this movie.

Faust - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Video on Demand
There have been a number of top-notch silent films to come out recently. This one is no exception and is widely regarded as a classic. The remastered film comes with multiple scores, a nearly hour-long documentary, and more. It is definitely worth picking up for fans of the genre.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack or Blu-ray Combo Pack with Figurine or 3D Combo Pack with Figurine
Video on Demand
The end of the franchise was good, but nowhere near as great as the earlier movies in the trilogy. This is also a double-dip release, which further hurts the value. Speaking of the franchise, there are also two franchise box sets coming out this week: Extended and 3D Extended.

In Cold Blood - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray
Video on Demand
This film is based on the book by Truman Capote and it is not only widely considered a classic, it is widely considered one of the first of the True Crime genre. The film is a Criterion Collection release, so it should come as no surprise that the Blu-ray release is loaded with extras. It is easily worth picking up and it is even a contender for Pick of the Week.

Jeff Dunham: Unhinged in Hollywood - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I'm not a fan of ventriloquism, so my opinion on Jeff Dunham is immaterial to those who are fans of the art form. His DVDs tend to sell really well compared to most comedy DVDs, so he clearly does have a lot of fans.

Jimmy's Hall - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray
Video on Demand
A movie about an Irish ex-pat who returns to his home after ten years in America. The reviews are great, better than its box office numbers were. Extras include an audio commentary track, making of featurette, and deleted scenes. That is enough to be worth picking up, but it is a busy week for Pick of the Week Contenders.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Video on Demand
This movie is an adaptation of the 1960s spy series. It earned good reviews, but it couldn't find an audience during its late summer release. Unless it is a massive hit on the home market, it won't break even. The extras aren't bad, with a handful of featurettes, but for most, I think a rental will be enough.

Meru - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
This documentary earned stellar reviews and pulled in more than $2 million at the box office. That's amazing for a documentary. That's amazing for any limited release. It did so well by combining compelling subject matter with amazing footage. If you are interested in extreme sports, like mountain climbing, then this is a must have.

Pitfall - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
A Film Noir about a man, Dick Powell, who is World War II vet. He's having trouble dealing with coming home, as his life has become too boring in his opinion. He spices things up with an affair, but that leads to other risky acts and eventually to murder. The film is not one of the best-known examples of Film Noir, but it is still outstanding. On the downside, the film is nearly 70 years old and it doesn't look and sound great. It deserves to be fully remastered, but that likely won't happen.

Queen: A Night At The Odeon - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
If you are a fan of Queen, then this concert is absolutely worth checking out. (If you are not a fan of Queen, you should be.) However, this is a SD Blu-ray, meaning the video is just standard definition. This is probably because the source material was standard definition and upgrading it would be impossible.

Rush - R40 Live - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
The Canadian progressive rock band Rush turned 40 last year. They might retire this year. They won't do any more major tours, but they may still record new music and go out and perform smaller shows. That's incredible longevity and there's a simple reason for that. Rush is easily one of the greatest bands of all time. If you don't own a concert DVD / Blu-ray from them, you need to.

The Stanford Prison Experiment - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Great film, but iffy source material. There have been many valid criticisms of the original experiment and the conclusions drawn. Many think it was the poor execution of the experiment that caused the abuse some "guards" inflicted on the "prisoners" and this is not part of who we are as humans. That said, 85% positive reviews are hard to argue with. On the other hand, the Blu-ray comes out in January, so you might want to wait for that.

TV on DVD Full Series Megasets - Buy from Amazon: Avatar, History War Collection, and McHale's Navy
I'm hoping to get a screener for Avatar. It will likely make an appearance in this year's Holiday Gift Guide.

Video on Demand - Buy from Amazon: 90 Minutes in Heaven, Ant-Man, Crumbs, Flutter, A Horse Tale, Jedi Junior, PlantPure Nation, and Trophy Kids
Ant-Man tops the list of VOD titles, by a large margin.

We are Your Friends - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Video on Demand
This film has the fifth worse per theater average for a truly wide release since the year 2000. Its reviews are not that bad, but it is a rental at most.

Filed under: Video Releases, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Ant-Man, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Jimmy's Hall, We Are Your Friends, Meru, Pitfall, Faust, Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Charlie Chaplin, Hayao Miyazaki, Dick Powell, Jeff Dunham, Truman Capote