Wow!  What an excellent week for DVDs.  No fewer than seven new features are hitting shelves with even more TV series coming to disc as the fall TV season approaches.

And these aren’t pushovers either.  Sunshine Cleaning, “House”, “Californication”, Duplicity, and “NCIS” all explode onto shelves alongside the three worst DVDs of the week and some interesting special editions.

Check it all out below…



Normally, a trailer for a film gives away far too much.  Whether it’s Cast Away showing us Tom Hanks’ escape from the island or the countless comedies that reveal all their best jokes in an endlessly repeated TV spot, previews often give us more than we want.

In the case of Adventureland, it was completely the opposite – the trailer gave away so little it was almost to the point of deception.  It was heavy on the Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader scenes, but light on just about everything else, giving the impression of a Superbad-esque comedy when instead it was a teen drama in the vein of a heavier John Hughes flick.

So when you go out to buy this DVD, be forewarned.  It isn’t quite what you expect.


Starring: Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. It may finally be true – movie stars no longer matter.

How else do we explain the dreadful box office for a comedy/romance/thriller starring Julia Roberts and supposed mega-star Clive Owen?  It’s not like it wasn’t advertised well, it’s not like it didn’t bow in 3500 screens, everything should have worked for this movie.

xcept people no longer seem to care who’s in a movie.  Maybe it’s years of critics saying it’s the director that matters – not the actor.  Maybe it’s the TMZation pop culture, that no longer keeps celebrities on a pedestal as something mysterious, we see them so often for free why would we pay to see them?

Whatever the reason for the collapse of the Hollywood star vehicle, most people will probably first see

Duplicity when they buy the DVD.

Sunshine Cleaning

Starring: Amy Adams, Emily Blunt and Alan Arkin

It’s strange the way Hollywood tries to replicate success.  They see one thing happen well once and decide that’s the only way to do it.

Take the case of Sunshine Cleaning, a charming-looking film that hardly any people ever knew was available to see.  Why?  Because when it was heavily promoted it was only available in four or five cities, then suddenly it rolled out wide just as everybody had stopped caring about it.

This doesn’t sound like a good idea does it?  But that’s the way you have to release indie comedies these days because Little Miss Sunshine and My Big Fat Greek Wedding found great success with this tiered release strategy and nobody wants to go against something that worked well a few times.

So many people across the country were left wondering when a movie they liked as a preview would actually come out in their hometown and when it finally did nobody cared anymore.

Luckily, they can still enjoy this movie on DVD.



californicationalp8-25-09“Californication” – Season 2

Now that we’re at the height of another “Entourage” season, many people outside Southern California watch it and think they’re getting a glimpse of the real Los Angeles.

If they really want to see what life is like in La-La Land, they need to check out this bit of fun filth from Showtime.  “Californication” does what “Entourage” doesn’t, it strips through the phoniness and the glitz and the even more phoniness to find the real sandy and smoggy sun-soaked grime that is Los Angeles.

Plus, it’s very funny.  So it’s got that going for it, which is nice.  Check out the second season on DVD.


  • “Adventures of Robin Hood″: Complete Series – Buy Now
  • “House”: Season 5 – Buy Now
  • “Lie to Me”: Season 1 – Buy Now
  • “Life”: Season 2 – Buy Now
  • “NCIS”: Season 6 – Buy Now
  • “One Tree Hill”: Season 6 – Buy Now
  • “Samantha Who?”: Season 2 – Buy Now
  • “Scrubs”: Season 8 – Buy Now
  • “Smallville”: Season 8 – Buy Now
  • “thirtysomething”: Season 1 – Buy Now
  • “Wiseguy”: Season 1 – Buy Now


Billy Jack Collection

It complete contrast to the release schedule of Sunshine Cleaning is the way the second film in this series was released.

Yes, it doesn’t seem like a borderline racist series of movies that seem more out-of-date than The French Connection could be revolutionary, but Billy Jack was the first movie to launch a massively wide opening with several theaters in the same market and all across the country coming in one weekend.

Of course, now we’ve gone back on an amazing precedent that let a ludicrous series of films about a real salt-of-the-earth guy defending hippies become a phenomenon.  Enough of one for a special four DVD set.


  • The Last Days of Disco: Criterion Collection – Buy Now

Horrible Straight-To-DVD Release of the Week

Three terrible movies, three new DVDs. Which is the worst? Cast your vote and tell the world!

The nominees are:

BootCampALP8-25-09Boot Camp

The Case to Vote for It: This is a very strange kind of torture porn movie. Rather than pretty kids absent-mindedly going into a small town to be brutalized, they’re now misfits sent to one of those disciplinary boot camps, to get brutalized. Okay, so maybe it’s like every single other torture porn movie, except this one was made in 2007 and is now finally coming out. Directly to DVD. That’s not good.

Fast Lane

FastLaneALP8-25-09The Case to Vote for It: Don’t you just hate it when you hit the streets of LA to steal a few cars, only to discover there’s another gang with the exact same plan that night, and now you have to get yourself into an all-night war to see who will control the car thievery raquet in the City of Angels.

Well, so do the stars of this straight-to-DVD treat.

Taken in Broad Daylight

TakenInBroadDaylighALP8-25-09The Case to Vote for It: If you’re ever captured by James Van Der Beek, the only way you can ever feel safe is to know that the guy from “Reading Rainbow” is hot on his tail.  Right?