This week is pretty bad on the home video front. The titles are not all that exciting and the home video releases are not filled with anything to write home about.
Of course, each of the films we mention in this breakdown has a niche market that should give it some purpose on shelves. If you are a fan of Blue Sky animation or uplifting true stories, this might be the week for you.
In addition, if you own a 3D TV, Rio will add a new title to your collection and the animation is quite stunning. Read our breakdowns of each of this week’s home video releases below.
The following titles can now be found on DVD and Blu-ray:
Rio – 20th Century Fox made nearly $500 million worldwide in theaters during Rio‘s run and should make even more with a glorious Blu-ray release. It reached theaters with a variety of reviews, some good and some bad, but Blue Sky should be proud of the global take and this week’s generally awful options on home video should put it at the top of the list.
The home video release is stunning. It has pristine video and audio transfer and showcases the animation in the best light possible. Do whatever it takes to hear this release in surround sound because few movies utilize all five speakers so well.
The bonus features are plenty, but the substance is limited. Kids with small attention spans can enjoy the supplements as you won’t get see much over the 10-minute range.
- Deleted Scene – Fruit Stand
- Explore the World of Rio
- Saving the Species: One Voice at a Time
- The Making of Hot Wings
- The Real Rio
- Boom Boom Tish Tish: The Sound of Brazil
- Carnival Dance-o-Rama
- Welcome to Rio Music Video
- Tiao Cruz – Telling the World Music Video
- Rio de Jam-eiro Jukebox
- Postcards from Rio
- Angry Birds Rio
- Theatrical Trailer
Soul Surfer – The only positive thing to say about Soul Surfer, aside from the real-life inspirational story on which it is based, is the overall good work on the CGI missing arm. It’s a tough task to accomplish, but the filmmakers got it right for the most part. Some moments show problems, but there is CGI in nearly every scene.
The colorful photography of this film shines on the home video release and gives us a reason to watch Soul Surfer at home. The uplifting tale might not cut it as a film, but the story looks gorgeous and sounds great on Blu-ray.
This release’s strong point is in its additional features. When the original story first ran on news outlets, it was a guaranteed movie-in-the-making. Thankfully, the filmmakers have added a 30-minute documentary and some other behind-the-story featurettes to give us the full story.
- Deleted Scenes
- The Making of Soul Surfer
- Surfing for the Screen: Inside the Action
- Becoming Bethany
- Heart of a Soul Surfer Documentary
- Bethany Hamilton on Professional Surfing
Eastbound and Down: Season 2 – One of HBO’s raunchiest shows is filming its third season right now, but sends season two to DVD and Blu-ray this week.
As Kenny Powers makes his way to Mexico, the story gets even grittier and a little bit more fleshed out. The home video is relatively bare and should only be considered by those who love the show.
- Invitation to the Set: Behind the scenes footage
- Big Red Cockfighting: Featurette exploring the relationship between Powers and his rooster, Big Red
- Deleted Scenes
- Audio Commentary
VERDICT: Buy only if you love the show.
Conan the Barbarian & Conan the Destroyer – Whether you love or hate these Conan movies, there is one reason you need to own these: the audio commentary. We put the Conan the Barbarian commentary at the top of our list of 10 Great Audio Commentaries.
Having said that, if you already own the DVD of these films, you won’t find many new features on the Blu-ray. It’s an okay transfer, but really just exists for those of you who want to add to your Blu-ray collection. I cannot stress enough how hilarious the audio commentary is (on multiple levels).
- Audio Commentary
- Conan Unchained: The Making of Conan
- Art of Steel: Sword Makers and Masters
- Conan: From the Vault
- Special Effects
- The Conan Archives
- Deleted Scenes
- Theatrical Trailers
VERDICT: RENT for the commentary.
Better Off Dead – One of the classic romantic comedies of the ’80s that helped bring John Cusack to the forefront of the movie scene is now on Blu-ray. It doesn’t really have much of a place in the format and the only reason to own it is if you absolutely love mid-80s romantic comedies.
The bonus features make any money spent on this title a skeptical purchase. While the movie may entertain, this doesn’t serve the buyer much in terms of additional features. In fact, it has absolutely nothing – aside from a trailer.
Paul, Your Highness and Super headline next week’s new releases that should be more up your alley. In addition, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Dazed and Confused finally reach Blu-ray. Compared to this week, next week is a fantastic one.
Come back every Tuesday for more on the week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases.
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