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This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Dallas Buyers Club, Escape Plan ...

Feb. 4, 2014by: John Law

This week: We live in the age of McConaughey. Also: Vintage Bronson, the spawn of Happy Days, and Arny & Sly together again.

► With DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, Matt McConaughey got the Oscar nomination he should have gotten last year for Magic Mike. In this true story, also up for Best Picture, he plays a homophobic cowboy given the news he has HIV and 30 days to live. Suddenly an outcast with his friends and family, he starts smuggling in unapproved drugs, and starts selling them to other HIV patients. Jared Leto is up for Best Supporting Actor as a transgender woman who benefits from his supply. If DiCaprio doesnt get whats long overdue this year, it could be McConaughey walking away with the Oscar.

► When Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor, we all worried he wouldnt make movies again. Now that hes making movies againno one cares. ESCAPE PLAN was his second huge flop since the comeback began, as even the dream team with Sylvester Stallone fizzled (had this movie come out in 1986, it would have been bigger than the Super Bowl). Stallone plays an engineer who tests the escapability of prisons, and when hes wrongly incarcerated he needs the help of a fellow inmate (Arny).

► Rom-com king Richard Curtis goes sorta sc-fi with ABOUT TIME, in which Domhnail Gleeson discovers he has the family knack for time travel, so he uses it to help his dads friend out from a disastrous opening night at the theatre. But in so doing, he erases his blind date with Rachel McAdams, forcing him to try and find her from scratch. Some fun Back to the Future complications ensue, though of course you can nitpick the plot holes all night. Curtis does commentary to try and explain some of them.

► Dont let the fact its 40-years-old fool you DEATH WISH is still a bad-ass little movie with stuff thats brutal to watch today. A grimy classic that made Charles Bronson an icon (he never did anything remotely as good again), its one of the quintessential New York movies of the 70s, before it got cleaned up (Im positive this flick had something to do with it). After Bronsons wife is killed and his daughter raped by muggers, he snaps and starts cleaning up the streets himself. The vigilante message was ripped by critics at the time, but the film struck a nerve with audiences as the U.S. crime rate rose. Avoid all the terrible sequels, this is the only one that matters.

► There was a brief time in the early 80s when Erin Moran stopped being the dorky kid sister on Happy Days and was suddenly a hottie. So they paired her up with co-star Scott Baio, who was already a Teen Beat regular, and made the unholy spin-off JOANIE LOVES CHACHI. I can distinctly remember the night it premiered and Baio sang that rancid theme song in the introit was already dead to me. No amount of Fonzie cameos could save it. It somehow ran for two seasons before joining TVs list of all-time blunders.

► For whatever reason Paramount has stopped releasing Happy Days on DVD (Season 4 in 2008 was the last one) but LAVERNE & SHIRLEY keeps chugging along. Even bad Laverne & Shirley, for which Season 7 qualifies. This was the second season of the ill-fated move from Milwaukee to Burbank, and the last full season with Cindy Williams, who bolted Season 8 after two episodes. While theres a sporadic reminder why this was TVs #1 show for awhile, the scripts are repetitive and drained of all their old charm. But Williams and Penny Marshall were such an iconic pair by this point, even a dog season like this finished #20 in the ratings.

► Its hard to explain why some terrible horror movies become classics. Take the Evil Dead rip-off NIGHT OF THE DEMONS, which was awful in 1988, is still awful now, but somewhere in-between came to be regarded as some sort of landmark horror flick. Enough to get a souped-up special edition from Shout! Factory with commentaries, new interviews and TV spots. The unrated blu-ray includes more Linnea Quigley, which cant be a bad thing.

► A group of power-hungry people during a time of war backstab and manipulate everyone in their quest for the throne. This, uh, seems a bit familiar. But the British series THE WHITE QUEEN is based on a historical novel about three women fighting for the reins of England during the Wars of the Roses in the 15th century. At least one critic found it less historically plausible than Game of Thrones and that show has dragons.

Also out this week:

CLICK HERE FOR A FULL LISTING OF ALL THE COOLEST DVD RELEASES OF THIS WEEK AND THE REST OF THE YEAR!

SO WHAT DVD/BLU-RAYS ARE YOU GUYS STOKED ABOUT THIS WEEK?!

Source: JoBlo.com

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4:13PM on 02/04/2014
Definitely Death Wish. Probably picking up Dallas Buyers Club and Escape Plan as well. EP was a fun cheesy throwback, nothing more, nothing less. I enjoyed it for what it was.
Definitely Death Wish. Probably picking up Dallas Buyers Club and Escape Plan as well. EP was a fun cheesy throwback, nothing more, nothing less. I enjoyed it for what it was.
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10:42AM on 02/04/2014
Death Wish.....great film!!! About Time sounds like it could be worth a look too.
Death Wish.....great film!!! About Time sounds like it could be worth a look too.
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11:31AM on 02/04/2014
About Time was so damn boring...I kept asking "When is this going to be over?!".
About Time was so damn boring...I kept asking "When is this going to be over?!".
10:38AM on 02/04/2014

Dallas Buyers Club is already out on DVD?????

I saw it last week in the theaters and it's still showing in them as well.
I saw it last week in the theaters and it's still showing in them as well.
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10:27AM on 02/04/2014

ABOUT TIME - 8/10.

Is it unoriginal and a little longer than it should be? Yes, but it's also funny, touching and superbly-acted.

While I don't always agree with critics, I do when it comes to animated movies. So I'll probably hate FREE BIRDS. I saw enough of Sly & Arnold together in THE EXPENDABLES 1 & 2, so it won't be enough to enjoy ESCAPE PLAN. I might check it out to see if it's a fun throwback, or if it fails like THE LAST STAND. Either way, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB is the priority.

I really like DOWNTON
Is it unoriginal and a little longer than it should be? Yes, but it's also funny, touching and superbly-acted.

While I don't always agree with critics, I do when it comes to animated movies. So I'll probably hate FREE BIRDS. I saw enough of Sly & Arnold together in THE EXPENDABLES 1 & 2, so it won't be enough to enjoy ESCAPE PLAN. I might check it out to see if it's a fun throwback, or if it fails like THE LAST STAND. Either way, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB is the priority.

I really like DOWNTON ABBEY, but I didn't like GOSFORD PARK. So I don't know if I'll enjoy ROMEO & JULIET with Julian Fellows' new dialogues.
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8:11AM on 02/04/2014

ANGRY MUCH?

While Escape Plan did bomb it's still a fun movie. The reviewer here is quite snappy with most of his comments. It may help us to be inspired a bit like the Death Wish review. I am sure there were more movies released that can be reviewed than the ones that annoyed him the most. just saying.
While Escape Plan did bomb it's still a fun movie. The reviewer here is quite snappy with most of his comments. It may help us to be inspired a bit like the Death Wish review. I am sure there were more movies released that can be reviewed than the ones that annoyed him the most. just saying.
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9:51AM on 02/04/2014
Um ... what? I'm not 'reviewing' the thing, I'm pointing out it flopped, which is surprising considering the pent-up demand for Schwarzenegger to make movies again. This is a column looking at the week's main blu-ray/DVD titles - whether I 'like' them or not is insignificant. If you want an opinion-free rundown, just read the back of the box.
Um ... what? I'm not 'reviewing' the thing, I'm pointing out it flopped, which is surprising considering the pent-up demand for Schwarzenegger to make movies again. This is a column looking at the week's main blu-ray/DVD titles - whether I 'like' them or not is insignificant. If you want an opinion-free rundown, just read the back of the box.
11:59AM on 02/04/2014
Wasn't just talking about the Escape Plan review here, just overall. I doubt I need you to tell me what I should and shouldn't watch but at the end of the day it would help if it's more than a few snappy comments.
Wasn't just talking about the Escape Plan review here, just overall. I doubt I need you to tell me what I should and shouldn't watch but at the end of the day it would help if it's more than a few snappy comments.
12:56PM on 02/04/2014
Dekard, there's a section for reviews. This one is just to sum up the new releases. The writer alays indicate which movies he has seen. For the ones he hasn't, he can't say much about them. And it'll take him a couple of days to rent the movie and review it. That's why the CAPTAIN PHILLIPS review wasn't posted until today.
Dekard, there's a section for reviews. This one is just to sum up the new releases. The writer alays indicate which movies he has seen. For the ones he hasn't, he can't say much about them. And it'll take him a couple of days to rent the movie and review it. That's why the CAPTAIN PHILLIPS review wasn't posted until today.
1:02PM on 02/04/2014
Thanks Vits, understood.
Thanks Vits, understood.
7:35AM on 02/04/2014
I'm sad Escape Plan bombed. It wasn't the huge action blowout everyone assumed the first true Arnold/Sly pairing would be, but it was a fun movie. I'll be getting that and Witchboard (an 80s horror cheesefest if you couldn't tell from the title), also out in a special edition from Shout!/Scream Factory.
I'm sad Escape Plan bombed. It wasn't the huge action blowout everyone assumed the first true Arnold/Sly pairing would be, but it was a fun movie. I'll be getting that and Witchboard (an 80s horror cheesefest if you couldn't tell from the title), also out in a special edition from Shout!/Scream Factory.
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7:06AM on 02/04/2014
DBC- Best movie of the year.Great acting,well written and well directed
DBC- Best movie of the year.Great acting,well written and well directed
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7:05AM on 02/04/2014
DBC- Best movie of the year.Great acting,well written and well directed
DBC- Best movie of the year.Great acting,well written and well directed
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2:32AM on 02/04/2014
Dallas Buyer's Club, About Time, and Escape Plan for me this week.
Dallas Buyer's Club, About Time, and Escape Plan for me this week.
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2:25AM on 02/04/2014
Dallas Buyers Club, Escape Plan, About Time and particularly Death Wish for me.
Dallas Buyers Club, Escape Plan, About Time and particularly Death Wish for me.
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