The following is a list (and short description) of all of the major movies, TV shows, anime, and documentary Blu-ray, DVD, and digital releases for the week of August 4, 2015. At the end of each section (movies, TV shows, anime, documentaries, and other/special interest), there is also a complete list of all the Blu-ray, DVD, and digital releases that I know of for the week that didn’t make the cut (in alphabetical order). Clicking on any links (or the box art) will bring you to the Blu-ray or DVD’s Amazon.com page where you can get more information about the release and/or order it. If you buy something using the links provided, a small percentage of your purchase comes back to us to help keep Geeky Hobbies running.
We here at Geeky Hobbies are always looking to try and review as many new Blu-rays and DVDs as we can so if you are involved in the promotion of any of these releases and would like to see it reviewed on this blog, contact us and we’ll most likely be willing to review it.
The week of August 4 is very heavy on quality TV on DVD/Blu-ray and documentary releases. My top picks for the week include Orphan Black: Season Three (the must-see of the week), How to Get Away With Murder: Season 1, The Affair: Season 1, Space Brothers: Collection 4, A LEGO Brickumentary (unfortunately only available as a digital release for now), The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin, and I Dream of Wires.
August 4 Major Movie Blu-ray and DVD Releases:
The Divergent Series: Insurgent (Blu-ray, DVD, Digital)-While nowhere near as successful of a franchise as The Hunger Games (like Lionsgate probably hoped for) and with significantly worse reviews (Insurgent only got a 30% on Rotten Tomatoes, down from the still mediocre 40% for Divergent), Insurgent has done pretty well at the box office. While I personally don’t care for it (it sounds too much like a ripoff to me), this is still definitely the biggest movie Blu-ray and DVD release for the week.
Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem (Digital, Coming Soon on Blu-ray and DVD)-This film is getting an early Amazon digital release on August 4, the Blu-rays and DVDs will arrive two weeks later on August 18. Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem is a sequel to Animal Instincts, which was just released two and a half months ago. While the original film doesn’t have a lot of reviews online, the ones that are available are relatively positive. Monster Mayhem takes place on Halloween night, where the Dark Knight has to take down a gang of baddies led by The Joker before they can release a computer virus that will take down all of Gotham City’s technology. In addition to Batman, the film also stars Green Arrow, Cyborg, Nightwing, and Red Robin.
Far From the Madding Crowd (Blu-ray, DVD, Digital)-Based on the book of the same name, Far From the Madding Crowd is a romantic drama about an independent and beautiful woman who attracts the attention of three very different suitors; a sheep farmer, a handsome Sergeant, and a rich and mature bachelor. While romantic dramas are definitely not for me, the film did get a very good 85% on Rotten Tomatoes (on 136 reviews) and I’m sure it’s great for it’s target audience.
The Salvation (Blu-ray, DVD, Digital)-Mads Mikkelson stars in the most recent attempt to bring back the traditional Western film. The Salvation has received solid reviews (69% on Rotten Tomatoes), thanks mostly to Mikkelson’s performance, but supposedly doesn’t really add anything new to the genre.
Night and the City: Criterion Collection (Blu-ray, DVD)-While Night and the City was previously released as part of the Criterion Collection way back in 2005, this is the first time the film has been released on Blu-ray in any form (and it is also being re-released on DVD). In addition to the new 4K digital restoration, this release also appears to have added an alternate 101-minute British version of the film (which doesn’t appear to have been on the previous release).
Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead (Blu-ray, DVD, Digital)-Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead is supposedly Mad Max meets zombies. While you would think that that kind of a film concept would just be a money grab, it actually did pretty well with critics (77% on Rotten Tomatoes).
August 4 TV on DVD and Blu-ray Releases:
Orphan Black: Season Three (Blu-ray, DVD)-I loved the first two seasons of Orphan Black but I prefer to watch TV shows when they come out on Blu-ray and DVD (especially serialized shows like this). It is so much more fun to watch the entire season straight through instead of waiting for the next episode each week but the only problem is avoiding spoilers. Since I’m afraid of getting spoiled, I have no idea what the main storylines of this season are and I am not going to look them up for this post either.
For people who have never heard of Orphan Black, it’s a Canadian science fiction series about clones. Tatiana Maslany got a well-deserved Emmy nomination (for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series) for playing about a half-dozen different characters (who often impersonate each other as well, so she often plays a character impersonating another one of her clones). If you love science fiction and are looking for something different in the genre (instead of the usual space operas and superhero shows), I highly recommend Orphan Black but since it is heavily serialized you should definitely start with seasons one and two. If you buy one Blu-ray or DVD this week, I would choose Orphan Black: Season Three (as long as you’ve watched the other seasons).
How to Get Away With Murder: Season 1 (DVD)-Shonda Rhimes’ latest monster hit, How to Get Away With Murder is about a law professor and five of her students who become involved in a murder plot. While I dislike most legal dramas and other crime shows, when they are serialized like this, I usually like them. I didn’t watch any episodes of the first season (I don’t really watch much live television) but How to Get Away With Murder definitely interests me.
The Affair: Season 1 (DVD)-The Affair is a Showtime drama about the ramifications of a waitress’ affair with a teacher married to his childhood sweetheart. The series stars Ruth Wilson, Joshua Jackson, Dominic West, and Maura Tierney and explores each character’s perspective. The first season was critically acclaimed and helped The Affair win the Golden Globe for Best Television Series – Drama this year.
The Comeback: Limited Series (DVD)-After almost ten years off the air, The Comeback made an…ahem…comeback late last year on HBO. The second season features Valerie pitching a pilot to reality TV titan Andy Cohen from Bravo. This release contains the original thirteen episodes from the first season as well as the new season. I watched the first season several years ago and remember it being a moderately funny mockumentary but I haven’t watched the new season yet.
Strike Back: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray, DVD)-Until I researched the show for this post, I had no idea Strike Back was similar to 24. Since I love 24 (and really hope FOX does order another season as has been rumored), I really need to give this action military series a chance. The third season is the highest rated on Metacritic (though with fewer reviews) but the upcoming fourth season (or fifth for people in the UK) will be the last.
Murdoch Mysteries: Season 8 (Blu-ray, DVD)-Murdoch Mysteries (known as The Artful Detective in the United States), is a Canadian crime/period drama about a police detective working in Toronto around the turn of the twentieth century. However, this detective uses methods that were unusual at the time (like fingerprinting, blood testing, and surveillance). The eighth season features episodes about hunting down Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with Bat Masterston, searching for the Holy Grail, and a pair of episodes about women’s general suffrage.
Last Tango in Halifax: Season 3 (DVD)-Last Tango in Halifax is a romantic drama that doesn’t star hot twenty-somethings in love triangles. Instead, it is a British series about two childhood sweethearts who had been apart for 60 years before they reunited over Facebook, fell and love, and got married. Aww. In a medium full of ageism (not too many TV stars play characters over the age of 50), this makes Last Tango in Halifax pretty original. In addition, all three seasons have gotten strong reviews.
I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season 2 (Blu-ray)-I Love Lucy is really expensive to buy on Blu-ray but supposedly the restoration of the first season was fantastic. I know I would never upgrade a DVD set you can easily buy for $10 to Blu-ray for another $80. Unless you are a huge fan of the show and need it right away, I would suggest waiting since the first season is already down to about $40 new.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: Season 1 (DVD)-Previously only available as part of a Complete Series set or digital release, this is the first time that The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is being released in season sets on DVD.
The Wild West With Ray Mears (DVD)-A BBC Four production titled How the Wild West Was Won with Ray Mears in England, this Acorn Media/Athena release features Mears retracing the steps of the original Western settlers and the various deadly hazards and problematic terrain they had to survive. Maybe it makes me a boring person, but I will admit that I love stuff like this.
America’s Test Kitchen: Season 15 (DVD)-America’s Test Kitchen is a PBS half-hour cooking show that has been airing since 2001. The fifteenth season had 26 episodes featuring themes such as “The Italian Vegetarian” and “Chicken and Rice Get an Upgrade.”
Rick Sebak’s Summer Fun (DVD)-Although oddly released towards the end of summer (why not in May or June?), Rick Sebak’s Summer Fun is a compilation of four hour-long travel documentaries that aired on PBS in the late ’90s. Throughout the documentaries, Sebak travels the United States on the hunt for the perfect ice cream parlor (An Ice Cream Show), old-fashioned amusement parks (Great Old Amusement Parks), hot dog places (A Hot Dog Program), and classic beach boardwalks (Shore Things). Even though these documentaries are most likely pretty outdated at this point (some of the places documented probably don’t even exist since these were made almost twenty years ago), this is right up my alley.
Dead End Express (DVD-R)-Note: This release is a DVD-R, which will play on most standard DVD players but may not last as long as a regular DVD or be as high of quality (since they are printed on demand). Dead End Express is a National Geographic series about the brave men who risk their lives delivering supplies to people living off-the-grid (by bush plane, snowmobile, dog-sled, pack horse, or any other method necessary) and the obstacles they have to overcome to get them there.
Madeline: The Complete Collection (DVD)-This is the first time that every episode of Madeline will be available on DVD. Even though it is going for just $11.99 on Amazon right now, Mill Creek Entertainment not only included the six original specials produced by DiC Entertainment and the 33 episodes of the original series, but they also included all 26 episodes of the 2000-2001 series The New Adventures of Madeline as well. That’s a pretty great deal for Madeline fans.
A Bunch of Munsch: The Complete Series (DVD)-Another Mill Creek Entertainment release, A Bunch of Munsch: The Complete Series includes all thirteen episodes of the show as well as a bonus episode from The Busy World of Richard Scarry.
Other August 4 TV on DVD and Blu-ray Releases:
- Beetle Bailey: Complete Cartoon Collection (DVD) (Re-Release)
- The Busy World of Richard Scarry: The Complete Series (DVD) (Re-Release)
- The Country Mouse and the City Mouse Adventures: 26 Mice Tales Around the World (DVD)
- Dora & Friends: Doggie Day (DVD)
- Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Double Length Adventures (DVD)
- Masada: The Complete Epic Mini-Series (DVD) (Re-Release)
- Peppa Pig: School Bus Trip With Scholastic Mini Book Gift Set (DVD)
- Resident Advisors (DVD)
- Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show: Season 3 (DVD) (Previously Available as a Complete Series Release)
- When Sharks Attack: Season 2 (DVD-R)
- Wicked Tuna: Season 4 (DVD)
August 4 Anime Blu-ray and DVD Releases:
Space Brothers: Collection 4 (Blu-ray, DVD)-I really need to catch up on Space Brothers, I have heard nothing but good things about the anime. Containing episodes 39-51 of the series, Collection 4 features an arc about an accident that strands the pair on the moon far from their base.
Pokemon the Series: XY – Set 1 (DVD)-I haven’t watched Pokemon in ten years (I’m still a fan of the video game series) but I’m tempted to start watching it again, even though I’m sure it’s still as cheesy and repetitive as it used to be. Problem is, I only have approximately 700 episodes to catch up with it.
Turn A Gundam: Part 2 DVD Collection (DVD)-This is technically a re-release but the original sets are ridiculously overpriced on Amazon. This is a much more reasonable $34.99 six-disc set featuring the second half of Turn A Gundam (episodes 26-50).
Sakura Trick: Complete Collection (DVD)-Sakura Trick is an anime series about two schoolgirls who were inseparable best friends during middle school (and always sat next to each other) who wind up seated far away from each other once they get to high school. To make their friendship extra special and permanently seal it, they decide to kiss and suddenly become more like girlfriends than just friends.
Please Twins!: DVD Collection (DVD)-Please Twins! is about an orphan who was left with only a childhood picture of himself and another person in front of a house. He believes the other person is his long lost twin sister. When he discovers his old home (from the photograph), two young girls show up at his house claiming to be his long lost sister and they both move in with him. He must figure out which one of the girls is his sister and which one is the love of his life (because of course the other one just happens to be his soul mate).
Other August 4 Anime Blu-ray and DVD Releases:
- Nightmare Campus: DVD Collection (DVD) (Re-Release)
August 4 Documentary Blu-ray and DVD Releases:
A LEGO Brickumentary (Digital)-Even though I’m too cheap to buy any sets, I love all things LEGO. This is only available for now as a digital release (a DVD has been announced but no release date is available). Unfortunately, the reviews are pretty average (just a 53% on Rotten Tomatoes) but I love documentaries and I love LEGO so this is still a must-watch for me (probably when the DVD is released).
The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin (DVD)-While I doubt its sustainable as an actual currency, Bitcoin is a fascinating topic that I am definitely interested in. The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin features a computer programmer named Dan who is obsessed with the cryptocurrency. The documentary takes a look at the world of Bitcoin, from the entrepreneurs and startups that use it to the competitive mining market (where every last upgrade you can make to your hardware matters). I haven’t seen it but since the topic is fascinating, I’m sure this is a great documentary.
I Dream of Wires (DVD)-I Dream of Wires (also known as IDOW) is an independent documentary film about the resurgence of the modular synthesizer and why it’s again being used by some of today’s musicians. The documentary includes interviews with musicians like Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails), Gary Numan, Carl Craig, and others.
PBS Documentaries: Humanity From Space (DVD, Digital), American Masters: Louisa May Alcott – The Woman Behind Little Women (DVD), and Frontline: The Trouble With Chicken (DVD)-As usual, the week sees a handful of PBS documentary specials. This week, it’s a look at humankind’s ascent from hunter-gatherer to the dominant species (Humanity From Space), an American Masters documentary about the author of Little Women (Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women), and a special about Salmonella (Frontline: The Trouble With Chicken).
Patterns of Evidence: Exodus (Blu-ray, DVD, Digital)-A documentary twelve years in the making, Patterns of Evidence: Exodus is an in-depth look at an archaeological investigation in Egypt that attempted to corroborate the Exodus story in the Bible.
Famous Nathan (Digital)-Famous Nathan is a documentary about Nathan Handwerker, founder of the iconic Nathan’s Famous hot dog restaurant. The director is Lloyd Handwerker, Nathan’s grandson which could be a blessing (he knows his family’s history better than anyone) or a curse (the documentary could be biased and/or pretty much a commercial for the company). However, the documentary sounds very interesting and I hope I get a chance to watch it sometime down the road. Unfortunately, it is only being released digitally for now.
Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll (Digital)-With a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes (fourteen fresh reviews), Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll looks like a very good look at Cambodian music and how it was almost destroyed along with the rest of the country because of war and genocide. Like Famous Nathan, this documentary is only being released on digital video for now.
Antarctic Edge: 70° South (DVD)-Antarctic Edge: 70° South follows a team of scientists who have been researching climate change in the West Antarctic Peninsula for over twenty years.
Message From Hiroshima (DVD)-Star Trek’s George Takei narrates this look at life and culture in the city of Hiroshima before the first atomic bomb went off. The documentary includes testimonials from hibakushas (survivors) and former residents of the city as well as computer-generated recreations of the restaurants, stores, and other sights and sounds that were lost.
The Nightmare (Blu-ray, DVD)-The Nightmare is a documentary/horror film about sleep paralysis, a phenomenon that effectively traps people somewhere in between the sleeping and waking states and keeps them totally unable to move while still being aware of their surroundings. Many people are even subjecting to disturbing sights and sounds which they can’t do anything about (including commonly seen shadow men). The Nightmare sounds very interesting to me and it got a very solid 71% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Other August 4 Documentary Blu-ray and DVD Releases:
- Ancient Alien Theory: The Ultimate Collection (DVD)
- Kick Like a Girl (Digital)
- The Rapture: The Beginning of the End (DVD)
- Venom (DVD)
August 4 Other Movie and Special Interest Blu-ray and DVD Releases:
Lindsey Stirling: Live From London (DVD)-I absolutely love Lindsey Stirling’s music and I have many of her songs on my Spotify playlist. Her pop, hip-hop, and electronic dance music played using a violin makes for an amazing mix of styles. Also, since she dances and adds some choreography to her performances, unlike other concert DVDs it won’t just be footage of her standing by a microphone and singing.
Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story (DVD)-Based on the web series Marble Hornets (which is about Internet legend Slender Man), Always Watching is a horror film about a news team from a small town that stumbles upon a box of video tapes inside a locked closet. They for some reason sense a story and take them back to their studio to research them. While trying to figure out the story, they keep seeing a faceless figure in a black suit appear in the footage and when he starts appearing in their own lives (always standing quietly and watching them as Slender Men tend to do), the crew realizes they must solve the mystery before it’s too late.
El Chapulin Colorado (DVD)-El Chapulin Colorado is a Mexican comedy series about a superhero who is constantly messing up (catching innocent people and letting criminals go or saving someone’s home but destroying everything in it). Bumblebee Man from The Simpsons was based on him. I have no idea which episodes are in this release or how it compares to the previous releases in the series, but it sure sounds funny to me (this is the first time I’ve even heard of the series).
New to Blu-ray Releases: Free Willy (Blu-ray), InnerSpace (Blu-ray), Blast From the Past (Blu-ray), Big House U.S.A. (Blu-ray)-Somehow, Free Willy had yet to be released on Blu-ray until this week. The other new to Blu-ray releases this week are InnerSpace (a mix of sci-fi, comedy, romance that is supposedly so zany that it actually winds up being a good movie), Blast From the Past (a 1999 film about a scientist and his wife and son who live in a bomb shelter for 35 years before sending the son up to the surface to a strange, new world), and Big House U.S.A. (a criminal and four other bad apples hunt for ransom money he had earned years ago).
B-Movies: 3-Headed Shark Attack (DVD), Lake Placid Vs. Anaconda (DVD), 10.0 Earthquake (DVD)-I guess a 2-Headed Shark Attack wasn’t enough because a sequel named 3-Headed Shark Attack is coming out this week (I’m sure to cash in on the Sharknado craze). For cheesy B-movie fans, this week you can also see a giant crocodile fight a giant anaconda (Lake Placid Vs. Anaconda) or watch a giant earthquake devastate Los Angeles (10.0 Earthquake).
Burying the Ex (DVD)-Burying the Ex is about a nice guy and his beautiful girlfriend who move in together. However, the girlfriend turns out to not be the type of person he thought she was. However, he is terrified of breaking up with her until a freak accident kills her. The guy finds another great girl but his ex returns from the grave and is determined to get him back, even if she has to turn him into one of the undead to do so.
Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run Original Movie (DVD)-A handful of Looney Tunes characters (including the rarely seen Lola Bunny from Space Jam) attempt to track down a flower that can turn anything invisible. While the concept for this original movie doesn’t sound phenomenal, it’s great to see the Looney Tunes back in action again.
Shooting the Warwicks (DVD)-Shooting the Warwicks is a satire comedy film about a new reality show called “Meet the Warwicks,” in which a random family is put under 24 hour surveillance without their knowledge. However, the family that was picked winds up being very boring so the producer decides to introduce some conflict to the family himself. The family starts to break apart and the producer will stop at nothing to make the series finale the best in television history.
Other August 4 Movie and Special Interest Blu-ray and DVD Releases:
- 5-Movie Termination Collection (DVD)
- 6-Movie Fantasy Collection (DVD)
- 7-Movie Jurassic Collection (DVD)
- 9-Movie Fantasy Adventure Collection (DVD)
- Adult Beginners (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Alpha and Omega: Family Vacation (DVD)
- Any Day (DVD)
- Appetites (DVD)
- Baby Moses, Jonah, and Other Bible Stories: Volume 2 (DVD)
- Barely Lethal (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Black & White & Sex (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Black & White: The Dawn of Assault (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Black Box (DVD)
- Blackbird (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Brother’s Keeper (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Child 44 (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Chocolate City (DVD)
- Covenant and Promise: Volume 2 (DVD)
- Craft Crabs and Other Inspired Adventures: Volume 1 (DVD)
- Creation and Genesis: Volume 1 (DVD)
- The Dead Lands (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Designer Pups (DVD)
- Do You Believe? (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Dog Days of Summer 8 Kids Film Collection (DVD)
- Doomsday (2015) (DVD)
- El Chavo del Ocho (DVD)
- Essential Shatner: The William Shatner Masterpiece Collection (DVD)
- Every Secret Thing (DVD)
- Foreign Intrigue (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Freetown (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Gallows Road (DVD)
- A Good Day to Die (2015) (DVD)
- Gregg Allman Live: Back to Macon, GA January 14, 2014 (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Haunted (Blu-ray)
- He Ran All the Way (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Hood (DVD)
- I Survived a Zombie Holocaust (Digital)
- Inner Demons (DVD)
- Into the Grizzly Maze (DVD)
- Jackie & Ryan (DVD)
- James Spader Triple Feature: The New Kids, Storyville, Alien Hunter (DVD)
- Kitty Wells and Johnnie & Jack (DVD)
- A La Mala (DVD)
- The Last Survivors (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Leslie Sansone: Walk to the Hits All Time Favorites (DVD)
- A Little Chaos (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Little Loopers (DVD)
- Lo Mejor de Chespirito (DVD)
- Madame Bovary (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Manchester United Season Review 2014-15 (DVD)
- Phantom Halo (DVD)
- Pixies (DVD)
- Pressure (DVD)
- Ride (2015) (DVD)
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police: 4 Movie Collection (Trail of the Mounties, Where the North Begins, North of the Border, and ‘Neath Canadian Skies) (DVD)
- Seashore (DVD)
- Single in South Beach (DVD)
- Sommernachts Konzert 2015/Summer Night Concert 2015 (DVD)
- Stand (DVD)
- Storm Fear (Blu-ray, DVD)
- TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Charlie Chan (Dark Alibi, Dangerous Money, The Trap, and The Chinese Ring) (DVD)
- TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Esther Williams Volume 2 (Thrill of a Romance, Fiesta, Pagan Love Song, and Million Dollar Mermaid) (DVD)
- TKO Boxing Triple Feature: Requiem for a Heavyweight, Golden Boy, The Joe Louis Story (DVD)
- Toolbox Murders 2 (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Tormented (DVD) (Re-Release)
- Triple Play – Baseball Triple Feature: Safe at Home, Kill the Umpire, The Jackie Robinson Story (DVD)
- TT Isle of Man 2015 Review (Blu-ray, DVD)
- UFC 185/UFC 186 (DVD)
- Wasp (DVD)
- When Calls the Heart: Heart of the Family (DVD)
- The White Storm (DVD)