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Home Market Releases for January 19th, 2016

January 20th, 2016

The Martian

It was a slow week with only a handful of significant releases. However, that was good news for me, because it allowed me review the screener that arrived late. That screener was for The Martian, which was as good as I had hoped it was and it is the Pick of the Week. It is not the only new release that was in contention for that title. Both Adventure Time - Stakes! (DVD) and All Things Must Pass (DVD or Blu-ray) were in the running.

3D Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: Everest
Just the one 3D release this week, but it was a first-run release, which means it is a better week than most.

Adventure Time - Stakes! - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Adventure Time is one of the best cartoons on Cartoon and Marceline the Vampire Queen is my favorite character, so this is a blind buy for me.

All Things Must Pass - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A documentaries about Tower Records. Its reviews are Oscar-worthy, but it didn't pick up a nomination. It didn't even make it to the short list. Still worth picking up and a contender for Pick of the Week.

Continuum: Season 4 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
The Canadian show starred Rachel Nichols as a cop who travels back in the past in order to stop the dystopian future she lives in. The reviews are good, but it never truly found an audience on Syfy and it ended after four seasons. It is certainly worth checking out.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
This film came out on VOD on the 5th, but makes its DVD / Blu-ray debut this week. The film earned outstanding reviews and picked up some some major Awards Season Nominations. Is it as good as its record would indicate? Or was the film a little too real for me? Check out our review to find out.

Everest - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack
Video on Demand
Not one of Universal's biggest hits of the year. It was expected by some to be an Oscar contender, but its reviews were merely good. On the other hand, it did make over $200 million worldwide on a $65 million budget, so it could break even during its initial home market run. Its extras are good, but not great. It's a solid purchase, but not a Pick of the Week contender. The 3D Blu-ray is $30, but if you have a 3D setup, this is a great movie show it off.

Gilda: Criterion Collection - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This film turns 70 years old this year and it is a classic based on its age and its quality. The Criterion Collection release includes an audio commentary track, featurettes with a film historian, a 2010 featurette on the film, and a look at the star, Rita Hayworth.

A Girl Like Her - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Jessica and Avery used to be best friends, but something happened to the two of them and now Avery is the most popular kid in school and is bullying Jessica. The film's reviews are good, but not good enough for limited release. Hopefully that will change on the home market, because it has an important message.

The Guardian - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray
It has been two decades since I've seen this movie, but I remember liking it. The reviews suggest either my memories are faulty, or I'm in the minority.

The Ice Pirates - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is a bad movie. This is a really bad movie... but I love it. I'm sorry.

Inside Llewyn Davis - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This is an amazing movie and Criterion Collection puts out great releases. However, this is a double-dip for a film that's barely two years old.

Jem and the Holograms - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
One of the biggest bombs of the year. It was a very loose adaptation of the 1980s cartoon of the same year, but they changed the main character from a woman who helps run a record company and an orphanage to a YouTube star. They got rid of nearly all of the plot points that were in the cartoon and reduced the film to a big break / cost of fame movie. You can see why some fans were upset. It is not as bad as its box office numbers would indicate, but it still isn't good.

Learning to Drive - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley earned most of the praise in this predictable, but charming film. It did well for a limited release earning $3 million, but it is only coming out on DVD this week. That's too bad, but it is still worth picking up.

Note: This Blu-ray made its home market debut on the 12th.

The Martian - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Video on Demand
The screener arrived just a tad late, but was it worth it? Did it live up to its reputation? Read our review to find out.

Samurai Pizza Cats Complete Series - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray
I've mentioned this show in the past. It is based... no, that's not the right word. It is a reworking of a Japanese cartoon. When the show was to be adapted for an English audience, the localizer got the animation, but no dialogue and no transcripts. They had no idea what the show was about, so they came up with their own dialogue and story to go with the animation. It is a strange origin for a show, but it is incredibly funny. It has already come out on DVD, but this is a SD-Blu-ray release. In other words, it is the standard definition show on a single Blu-ray disc. All 52 episodes. One disc. I really like this idea and I think it would work for other TV shows that can't benefit from being upscaled to high definition, because the source material isn't up to the task. A lot of shows in the 1980s and 1970s were shot on video and the source material just isn't high resolution enough to upgrade to 1080p, but it would still be nice to have a full season (or two) on a single disc. A full seven-year run could fit on three discs.

Stonewall - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Roland Emmerich isn't know for making historically accurate movies and this film is part of the reason why he has that reputation.

Straight Outta Compton - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Video on Demand
This film nearly doubled initial expectations, becoming one of the top 20 biggest domestic hits of 2015. The reviews are incredible, but the extras are average. Definitely worth picking up, but not quite a contender for Pick of the Week.

Video on Demand - Buy from Amazon: All Mistakes Buried, Asteroid: Final Impact, Batman: Bad Blood, Brahmin Bulls, Foreign Land, Freeheld, Girlz 4 Life, Isn't It Delicious, Monkey Up, Our Brand Crisis, Sensoria, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Spectre, and Terminus
The two biggest VOD releases of the week are Spectre and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, both of which I'm hoping to review. (The screener for Snow White has already arrived. I'm still waiting for Spectre.)

Woodlawn - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
One of the best faith-based films in recent years. It also earned nearly $15 million at the domestic box office, which is again a great result for this type of film. On the downside, there are no extras on the DVD or Blu-ray. That's not an uncommon occurrence for a faith-based film.

Filed under: Video Releases, The Guardian, Spectre, Everest, The Martian, Straight Outta Compton, Learning to Drive, Jem and the Holograms, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, A Girl Like Her, Stonewall, Woodlawn, Rita Hayworth, Patricia Clarkson, Roland Emmerich, Ben Kingsley, Rachel Nichols, Olivia Olson, Hunter King, Lexi Ainsworth