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Home Market Releases for February 16th, 2016

February 15th, 2016

The Kid

There's no major release this week. I was tempted to give Spectre the Pick of the Week honor, but the screener arrived too late to get the review done over the weekend. None of the big releases are worth the Pick of the Week title. There are a number of smaller releases that are worth considering for Pick of the Week, including The Kid, which tops the list.

On a side note, this week's list is a little shorter than I would have liked, because the people who run Amazon are morons. They've changed the New Releases page, again, making it even harder to find a list of new releases for the week. Additionally, there are some films, like Black Mass, that weren't on the list of releases for this week before the changes were made. I understand why physical stores reorganize every once and a while, because if people have to walk to the store to find something, they are more likely to buy something else on a whim. However, these people physically walked to the store, so if they don't buy what they came for, it will be a wasted effort. On the other hand, people go to Amazon by clicking a button. Making it harder to find new releases for that week won't make it more likely they will buy something else. It means they are more likely to not buy anything at all.

The 33 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Obvious Oscar-bait. It is a drama based on real-life events. Sadly, the reviews are mixed and it bombed in theaters. The only extras are a couple of featurettes. If you are interested in the story or like the cast, then it is worth a rental. However, that's as enthusiastic as I can get with my recommendation.

Black Mass - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Video on Demand
Johnny Depp moved passed his "funny hat and strange affectations" and back to actual acting. The film's reviews are very good, but it struggled in theaters. It didn't bomb, especially for a September release. However, it is going too need help on the home market to break even. The DVD only has one featurette, which means it is only worth a rental. The Blu-ray has a couple more and that lifts it to a purchase. That said, it is not a contender for Pick of the Week.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A PBS documentary about the Black Panthers. The film earned just over $500,000 in theaters, which is great for a documentary, while its reviews are more than 90% positive. Definitely worth picking up for fans of documentaries and even a Pick of the Week contender.

Girls: Season Four - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
The halfway point for this series' run. Season five begins next Sunday, while the show is renewed till its seventh and last season. This past season, the show earned its weakest reviews, but they are still 83% positive on Rotten Tomatoes. That's impressive. Extras include audio commentary tracks on seven of the ten episodes, deleted scenes, making of featurettes, and more. Definitely worth picking up and even a contender for Pick of the Week.

I Confess - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
A priest hears the confession of a murderer, only to become the lead suspect in that murder. It is an Alfred Hitchcock film, but while it has great reviews, it is not one of the directors most well-known films. Still worth picking up for fans of the director, or of the genre in general.

The Iron Giant - Buy from Amazon: DVD
Video on Demand
Why isn't this movie on Blu-ray yet? It's a classic. If you don't have it on DVD already, then it is a must have.

The Kid - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
Charlie Chaplin's classic silent film featuring his most famous character, The Tramp. This is a Criterion Collection release, so it comes as no surprise that the Blu-ray is loaded with extras. It is easily worth picking up and a contender for Pick of the Week.

Labyrinth of Lies - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
A Germany film set in 1958 that focuses on a young prosecutor who had a novel idea: "We should prosecute Nazi war criminals, even if that means bringing up elements of our nation's recent past we would rather bury." The reviews are good and it did well for a Foreign-Language film at the domestic box office. Extras include an audio commentary track, Q&A session, and deleted scenes. Worth picking up, but not a contender for Pick of the Week.

My Science Project - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray
This Blu-ray is selling really well compared to most other new releases this week. It bombed when it came out in 1985 and its reviews are bad. It was in the top five best selling new release for the week the last time I checked. It is cheap at just $7 for a Blu-ray.

Peaky Blinders: Season Two - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A BBC series about gangs in 1920s Britain. The reviews are excellent, but this is a six-episode DVD / Blu-ray release.

Speechless - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray
I like this movie a lot more than most critics do, because I really liked the chemistry between Geena Davis and Michael Keaton. On the other hand, it has been a while since I've seen it and maybe my memory is fooling me.

Steve Jobs - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Video on Demand
This film had the best theater average for a film that opened in 2015. However, when it expanded wide, it bombed. The reviews are great and Michael Fassbender has picked up a number of major nominations for his performance. I think it struggled in theaters, because Steve Jobs just isn't an interesting enough person to have a movie about. Not even the average iPhone buyer is that interested in his biography. Extras include two audio commentary tracks and a three-part, nearly 45 minute making of featurette. Worth picking up if you are interested in the subject, but I don't think there's a major audience for this movie.

Togetherness: Season 1 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A TV series by the Duplass Brothers. It's an HBO show, but not one of their bigger hits. The reviews are excellent, but the show never saw its ratings hit 500,000 people during the first season. It dropped below 300,000 twice during its eight-episode run. Extras include behind-the-scene, interviews, and more. Definitely worth picking up and even a Pick of the Week contender.

Trumbo - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand
Bryan Cranston plays Dalton Trumbo, a screenwriter blacklisted because he refused to name potential communists to the House Un-American Activities Committee. He wasn't officially allowed to work, but he was so talented that the studios found ways to hire him off the books. This is an Oscar-bait movie, but the reviews were merely good and not great. The only extras are two featurettes. It's enough to be worth picking up, but not enough to be a contender for Pick of the Week.

TV on DVD Full-Series Megasets - Buy from Amazon: The Andy Griffith Show, The Brady Kids, Bump In the Night, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Sister Sister
There are five Full-Series Megasets on this week's list. Odd. There's usually not that many, unless it is the heart of Christmas Shopping season. This includes Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which I've previously reviewed.

Video on Demand - Buy from Amazon: Asthma, Creed, The Danish Girl, The Fear of Darkness, Hatched, K-9 Adventures: Legend of the Lost Gold, Punk's Dead: SLC Punk 2, Room, Sand Castles, Theeb, and This is Not a Robbery
Creed is the biggest VOD release this week. Room is arguably the best. Both are worth owning on Blu-ray and worth the wait.

The Vincent Price Collection III - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray
Vincent Price made some amazing movies over his career. That said, by volume three, the average quality here is a little suspect and only the more dedicated fans will want to spend $50 for this four-sic Blu-ray.

Filed under: Video Releases, Spectre, Black Mass, Trumbo, Im Labyrinth des Schweigens, Steve Jobs, Creed, The 33, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Charlie Chaplin, Johnny Depp, Bryan Cranston, Geena Davis, Mark Duplass, Michael Fassbender, Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Keaton, Vincent Price, Jay Duplass