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 11, 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 11 is again pretty weak for major movie releases but makes up for it with a bunch of amazing TV on DVD and Blu-ray releases like Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, The Knick: The Complete 1st Season, Scandal: The Complete 4th Season, and Person of Interest: The Complete Fourth Season. In movie releases, the best are digital only releases (Mad Max: Fury Road and Walt Disney Animation Studios: Short Films Collection) or poorly reviewed movies (Hot Pursuit). Documentaries are better with two major releases in I Am Chris Farley and I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story.
August 11 Major Movie Blu-ray and DVD Releases:
Mad Max: Fury Road (Digital)-Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the highest-rated films of the summer (and probably the most highly regarded major release of the season) and even though I have never watched any of the previous films in the series, I really look forward to watching it (as well as its predecessors). Unfortunately it is only available as a digital release for now (the Blu-ray and DVD both come out on September 1), but if you can’t wait for September to come (or you prefer to buy digitally) you can finally watch it at home this week. I usually put digital only releases further down the list but this was easily the biggest movie release of the week (even with it just being digital). I personally prefer physical media and I will definitely be waiting for it to be released on Blu-ray and DVD.
Hot Pursuit (Blu-ray, DVD, Digital)-Even though it graded out at a whole 8% on Rotten Tomatoes, Hot Pursuit is probably still the second biggest movie release of the week (it isn’t a particularly big week for movies on Blu-ray and DVD). Despite having two funny co-stars (Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara), Hot Pursuit has pretty much no humor. That’s a pretty big problem for a comedy to have.
Police Story: Lockdown (Blu-ray, DVD, Digital)-Police Story: Lockdown is a 2013 stand-alone film in the action crime thriller franchise. While all of the other entries in the Police Story franchise at least got respectable reviews, Lockdown only has one fresh review on Rotten Tomatoes (compared to six negative reviews) and appears to have barely even made it to America (it took a year and a half to get here and only got a limited release when it did).
Unfriended (Blu-ray, DVD, Digital)-Surprisingly a decent film (according to the reviews at least), Unfriended is a found-footage film that takes place on computer screens. This may sound extremely boring and a bit like a cash grab but the film is supposedly actually scary and original. It definitely was successful, raking in 54 times its budget ($1 million budget, $54 million gross).
Walt Disney Animation Studios: Short Films Collection (Digital)-This release comes out a week early digitally (the Blu-ray comes out next week). It’s a collection of the following Walt Disney Animation Studios short films: Frozen Fever (a Frozen “sequel”), Lorenzo (originally intended to be a segment in the never released Fantasia 2006), Get a Horse! (the first Mickey Mouse short in almost twenty years), Oscar winners Paperman and Feast, John Henry, The Little Matchgirl, How to Hook Up Your Home Theater (first Goofy solo short film in over forty years), Tick Tock Tale, Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa, The Ballad of Nessie, and Tangled Ever After.
The French Lieutenant’s Woman: Criterion Collection (Blu-ray, DVD)-The French Lieutenant’s Woman is a 1981 film starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons based on a novel of the same name. The film is about two different affairs, one a Victorian romance between a palaeontologist and a complex and troubled woman and the other between the two actors playing those characters. As usual, the best part of Criterion Collection releases is the special features. The French Lieutenant’s Woman includes a new digital restoration with an uncompressed soundtrack, an introduction to the movie by film scholar Ian Christie, interviews with the stars and crew of the film, an episode of The South Bank Show featuring the director (Karel Reisz), the trailer, and an essay by film scholar Lucy Bolton.
August 11 TV on DVD and Blu-ray Releases:
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (Blu-ray, DVD)-Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is a well-received British historical fantasy miniseries (seven episodes) that just finished airing. The show is set in England at the beginning of the 19th century but in an alternative version of history where magic is real and accepted, but rarely used. It currently has an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes with 22 of the 25 reviews being positive. Everything about Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell sounds great and with it being just a seven episode miniseries, I will definitely be watching it (and reviewing it) as soon as possible.
The Knick: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray, DVD)-The Knick is a Steven Soderbergh directed Cinemax series that began last year (the second season is scheduled to begin on October 16). Clive Owen stars as a doctor at a fictionalized version of the Knickerbocker Hospital during the early twentieth century. Just like Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, The Knick got extremely good reviews (88% on Rotten Tomatoes with 51 fresh reviews).
Person of Interest: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray, DVD)-Back when Person of Interest first went on the air, I actually watched a few episodes (I used to watch everything Bad Robot ever made) but while I thought it was a decent show, I eventually gave up on it. I kind of regret doing so because I have heard a lot of good things about the subsequent seasons. I really want to get caught up on it but with it only getting a 13 episode order for season five (and being held as a mid-season replacement), I’m guessing the show is on its last legs and about to get cancelled. At this point, I might as well wait for the show to end and binge watch it afterwards.
Hell on Wheels: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray, DVD)-While not as critically acclaimed as the past two entries on this list, Hell on Wheels still has received generally positive reviews throughout it’s first four seasons (it’s just more of an underrated show that a lot of people have never heard of). It’s a western television show (airing on AMC) about the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad across the United States in the mid 1800’s. The fifth season (which is already airing) will be the series’ last. I’m not sure why Entertainment One decided to wait until after the next season had already started airing to release this set but they finally have released it.
Scandal: The Complete Fourth Season (DVD)-Another week, another big Shonda Rhimes show DVD release. While I have never seen an episode, I know it’s a show I need to watch down the road.
Clue Club: The Complete Animated Series (DVD-R)-Note that this is a DVD-R release, which should work on most standard DVD players but will not last as long or be as high of quality as a regular DVD. Also, you can only order it from Warner Archive or Amazon.com. Clue Club is a 1976 Saturday morning cartoon with a very similar plot to Scooby-Doo. The show features four young adults and children who open a private investigation agency and solve mysteries with the help of their two talking hounds (Woofer and Wimper). If it wasn’t made by the same company (Hanna-Barbera Productions), Clue Club would be considered an obvious ripoff.
Dig: Season 1 (Blu-ray, DVD)-Dig is a USA Network mystery/thriller series created by Tim Kring (of Heroes fame) that aired from March to May this year. In the series, an FBI agent in Jerusalem stumbles upon an ancient conspiracy while investigating a murder of an archaeology student. Unfortunately, Dig was pretty poorly reviewed with just a 30% on Rotten Tomatoes. Still, the concept is interesting enough that I will probably give it a try sometime down the road.
The Jeffersons: Season Eight (DVD) and Maude: The Complete Second Season (DVD)-Two old classics getting new season set releases this week (though both have already been released via Complete Series releases).
MythBusters: Collection 13 (DVD)-I used to watch every episode of MythBusters but nowadays I just watch the ones I can and do something else while watching them (there’s just too much filler in the show). I do still enjoy the show (especially Adam’s awesome personality), just not as much as I used to. I really wish the show would be released in proper season sets but since that clearly isn’t going to happen, I’m just glad the show is actually still getting released on DVD. Collection 13 tackles myths like “can balloons protect you in a car crash?,” “does the smell of fear actually exist?,” and “what exactly tastes like chicken?” James Cameron helps Adam and Jamie with a Titanic myth and the collection also includes “Explosions From A to Z,” highlighting some of the best explosions the show has created.
Shark Week: Dominating the Deep (DVD)-Featuring the ten Shark Week episodes (over 8 hours worth of content) from 2013, Shark Week: Dominating the Deep includes the following episodes:
- Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives
- Return of Jaws
- Voodoo Sharks
- I Escaped Jaws
- Spawn of Jaws
- Top Ten Sharkdown
- Great White Serial Killer
- Alien Monster Sharks
- Great White Gauntlet
I’m not sure why it took two years to release the Shark Week content from 2013 but I guess it’s better late than never.
Last Days of the Nazis (DVD)-Last Days of the Nazis is a four and a half hour series that aired on History Channel in April. Based on The Futon Critic, it appears that only one of the three episodes actually aired (though the site could be wrong). Information about the series is very sparse (I can’t even find out for sure whether it is a documentary or scripted show) but obviously the show is probably about the last days of the Nazis.
Operation Wild (DVD)-Operation Wild is a three episode documentary series that aired on PBS in July about veterinary teams from around the world that use groundbreaking operations to save the lives of animals in some of the most remote places on Earth.
Garfield Holiday Collection (DVD)-Garfield Holiday Collection includes five television specials; A Garfield Christmas (1987), Garfield’s Thanksgiving (1989), Garfield’s Halloween Adventure (aka Garfield in Disguise, 1985), Garfield on the Town (1983), and Garfield in Paradise (1986). While all five specials on this DVD were released back in 2004 and 2005 (on three separate sets), those releases are now out of print (though they are not very expensive to buy used).
Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue: The Complete Series (DVD)-While I was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan and I watched a lot of kids programming as a child, I never really watched Power Rangers. Even though I’m guessing I won’t really enjoy it that much (since I don’t have any nostalgia for it), I do want to give the show a try at some point. Lightspeed Rescue is the series that aired in 2000 (eighth season overall for the Power Rangers franchise) for forty episodes. This season was actually released as part of a Power Rangers: Seasons 8-12 set back in 2013 but this is the first time you can just buy the season separately.
Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Legendary Battle – Extended Edition (DVD)-A special extended edition of the final episode of Power Rangers Megaforce (aka Power Rangers Super Megaforce).
2 Broke Girls: The Complete Fourth Season (DVD) and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The 16th Year (DVD)-Two major releases TV on DVD releases that I have next to no interest in. I’m not really a fan of procedural crime dramas but at least Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is actually a good show unlike 2 Broke Girls (which I always had to rush to turn off after How I Met Your Mother because of how unfunny it is).
Other August 11 TV on DVD and Blu-ray Releases:
- Animals Gone Wild: Season 2 (DVD-R)
- Awesome Animals Collection: National Geographic Kids (DVD)
- Blaze and the Monster Machines: High-Speed Adventures (DVD)
- The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes – The Ultimate Collection (DVD) (Available only from Time Life)
- Coming Out: Saison 2 (aka Coming Out: Season 2) (DVD)
- Denver the Last Dinosaur: Volume 1 (DVD)
- Denver the Last Dinosaur: Volume 2 (DVD)
- Kendra on Top: The Explosive Third Season (DVD)
- Miles From Tomorrowland: Let’s Rocket! (DVD)
- Octonauts: Search & Rescue (DVD)
- Super Why: Cinderella & Other Fairytale Adventures (DVD)
- WWE: The Very Best of WCW Monday Nitro Vol. 3 (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Zack & Quack: Quack to School (DVD)
August 11 Anime Blu-ray and DVD Releases:
The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors & Hostel Behavior: Complete Collection (DVD)-In Kawai Complex, a high school freshman gets to enjoy living on his own in a boarding house (because of his parents’ job transfer).
Haikyu!!: Collection 2 (Blu-ray, DVD)-Collection 2 features the final twelve episodes of the original Haikyu!! series (Haikyu!! 2 begins in Japan in October). I’m not really a volleyball fan but as a sports buff (especially football and hockey), I’m guessing the various sports anime series will be good choices for early series to watch as I start getting into anime.
Captain Earth: Collection 2 (Blu-ray, DVD)-Captain Earth is about a high school student who pilots a giant robot to protect Earth from an invading alien force. Not particularly original but this week is pretty light on anime releases.
Other August 11 Anime Blu-ray and DVD Releases:
August 11 Documentary Blu-ray and DVD Releases:
I Am Chris Farley (Blu-ray, DVD, Digital)-While I never got a chance to watch him on SNL, I used to love Chris Farley’s films as a child. Even though I know most of them aren’t exactly considered “good” films, they were definitely entertaining. In particular I loved Beverly Hills Ninja (I was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan so of course I would be into ninja movies as well) and Almost Heroes (his second-to-last film). If you want to try the film before you buy it, I Am Chris Farley is airing on Spike TV from 9-11 PM EST tomorrow (Monday, August 10, 2015). I love documentaries and I love Chris Farley, so of course I’m going to watch this film.
I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story (DVD, Digital)-The other big documentary release of the week, I Am Big Bird is a look at Big Bird himself, Caroll Spinney, who has played the character for 45 years (even at 80 years old he has no intention of stopping). Critics love it (it has an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes with 53 fresh reviews) and this is exactly the type of documentary I love to watch.
Soaked in Bleach (DVD)-Soaked in Bleach is a documentary about the death of Nirvana front-man Kurt Cobain from the eyes of the private investigator hired to track him down days before he was found dead. The private investigator (Tom Grant) has done his own investigation and thinks that foul play may have occurred. While this is a somewhat interesting concept for a documentary, only three of the ten reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are positive.
Frontline: Secrets, Politics, and Torture (DVD)-Secrets, Politics, and Torture is an episode of the PBS series Frontline which took a look at the CIA’s top secret interrogation program. While the agency says it was very effective in combating terrorism, the Senate torture report from December 2014 says differently.
Alien Skies: Mass UFO Sightings (DVD)-I know that alien documentaries are a dime a dozen and most of them are poorly made and usually make pretty dubious or unlikely claims, but I actually love to watch them (along with all types of paranormal documentaries). I don’t necessarily believe most of them (I am interested in the paranormal and do believe in some of it but I’m pretty skeptical of most evidence I’ve seen) but they can be entertaining in a cheesy B-movie kind of way. Alien Skies: Mass UFO Sightings is about the various UFO sightings over the years where hundreds if not thousands of people witnessed the event.
Other August 11 Documentary Blu-ray and DVD Releases:
- Amy Winehouse: Inside & Out – Documentary & Interviews (DVD)
- Arnold Schonberg: Pierrot Lunaire (DVD)
- Brandon Flowers and The Killers: The DVD Collection (DVD)
- Izzy Young: Talking Folklore Center (DVD)
- The Rescue of Jerusalem: A Battle of Belief (DVD)
August 11 Other Movie and Special Interest Blu-ray and DVD Releases:
Patch Town (DVD)
Hunting Elephants (DVD)
Eclipse Series 43: Agnes Varda in California (Uncle Yanco, Black Panthers, Lions Love (…and Lies), Mur Murs, Documenteur) (DVD)
New to Blu-ray Releases: The People Under the Stairs: Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray), The Monster That Challenged the World (Blu-ray), Hellfighters (Blu-ray), Still of the Night (Blu-ray), Dead Silence (Blu-ray), The January Man (Blu-ray), The Front Page (Blu-ray, DVD), War-Gods of the Deep (Blu-ray, DVD)
Other August 11 Movie and Special Interest Blu-ray and DVD Releases:
- 20 Features Horror Collection (DVD)
- 3 Epic Adventures: The Way Back/The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box/Day of the Falcon Triple Feature (DVD)
- 30 Nightmare Movies: Volume 2 (DVD)
- 72 Hours (DVD, Digital)
- Aloha (Digital)
- Alto (DVD)
- Blood Cells (DVD)
- The Changing of Ben Moore (DVD, Digital)
- Deranged Killers: Stories of Psychos, Sex and Slaughter (DVD)
- Division III: Football’s Finest/Wild Cherry Double Feature (DVD)
- Felt (Digital)
- Find a Way (DVD)
- Frat Brothers/Note to Self Double Feature (DVD)
- Goldie Take a Stand!: Golda Meir’s First Crusade (DVD)
- Goodnight for Justice: Triple Feature (DVD)
- Gurov & Anna (DVD)
- Halloween III: Season of the Witch (Blu-ray) (Re-Release)
- High School Horror Double Feature: Bloody Homecoming/Varsity Blood (DVD)
- Horror House on Highway 6 (DVD)
- I Think My Babysitter Is an Alien (DVD)
- I-Lived (DVD)
- Joe Louis Walker: Live in Istanbul (DVD)
- Kenny Rogers: We’ve Got Tonight – Special Collector’s Edition (DVD)
- Lalaloopsy: Band Together (DVD)
- LEGO DC Super Heroes: Justice League – Attack of the Legion of Doom! (Digital)
- LEGO Friends: Friends Together Again (DVD)
- Ludovico Einaudi: Live in Verona – In a Time Lapse Tour (DVD)
- Max Steel: Go, Turbo! (DVD)
- May Allah Bless France! (DVD)
- New Mommy Fitness: How to Get Your Body Back – Functional Post-Pregnancy Exercises With and Without Your Baby (Digital)
- Northmen: A Viking Saga (Blu-ray, DVD)
- Paradise Broken (Digital)
- Poltergeist Activity (DVD, Digital)
- Preggoland (Blu-ray, DVD, Digital)
- Psychotronica Double Feature Volume 4: Jungle Girl and the Slaver and Wild Women of Wongo (DVD)
- The Rain Killer (DVD)
- Richard Gere Triple Feature: Shall We Dance?, Dr. T & the Women, and The Hoax (DVD)
- Sir Ivan: I Am Peaceman (DVD)
- Stations of the Cross (Digital)
- Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Tales (DVD)
- Strawberry Shortcake Very Berry 2-Pack: Berry Big Help and Berry Friends Forever (DVD)
- Strawberry Shortcake Very Berry 2-Pack: Bloomin’ Berry Garden and The Berryfest Princess Movie (DVD)
- Strawberry Shortcake Very Berry 2-Pack: Bright Lights, Big Dreams and Berry Bitty Mysteries (DVD)
- Strawberry Shortcake Very Berry 2-Pack: The Glimmerberry Ball Movie and Berry Best Friends (DVD)
- Strawberry Shortcake Very Berry 2-Pack: Puttin’ on the Glitz and Jammin’ with Cherry Jam (DVD)
- Strawberry Shortcake Very Berry 2-Pack: The Sky’s the Limit Movie and Fun Under the Sun (DVD)
- Where Hope Grows (Digital)
- Zombie Resurrection (DVD)