This ‘Wallet Busting’ Week In Discs: Jaws, The Raid, Kill List, Community, The Hunger Games and More

Welcome to This Week In DVD + This Week In Blu-ray = This Week In Discs! It’s a work in progress still, but we hope you enjoy. The entertainment industry appears to be celebrating our new baby by releasing a cinemetric ton of quality Blus and DVDs. Hope you’ve been saving your pennies…

As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it.

Father's DayFather’s Day (Blu-ray/DVD)

A young boy loses his eye to a sadistic madman after witnessing the murderous pervert rape and kill his father. Years later, Ahab is a pissed off, pistol-packing ex-con out for revenge and joined in his quest by a teenage (well, Porky’s kind of teenage anyway) street hustler and a young priest on a quest to send the demonic psychopath to the bowels of hell. In a week with The Raid, Kill List and Jaws all hitting Blu-ray why am I featuring this Troma release as my Pick of the Week? Because those titles have enough press behind them, and Father’s Day deserves some too. It’s gory as hell, foul as f*ck and funnier than any other movie featuring chainsaw-wielding strippers. If you can handle the bloodletting and copious nudity, both female and male (way, way too much male), then this is a four-disc special edition worth owning. You get the movie on Blu and DVD, a DVD of special features and a soundtrack CD. [Extras: Deleted scenes, Featurettes, Trailers, Short films by Astron-6]

Community Season 3Community: The Complete Third Season (DVD)

Pitch: For all the talk about Annie’s Boobs it’s Britta’s that get bared in Choke

Why Buy? The most entertaining students at Greendale Community College are back for a third year of the smartest comedy on television. Abed, Annie, Britta, Jeff, Pierce, Shirley and Troy bond, fight and have ridiculous adventures this season which includes the alternate dimensions of “Remedial Chaos Theory”, the Ken Burns-ish “Pillows and Blankets”, the Law & Order spoof “Basic Lupine Urology” and more. This show’s weakest episodes are often better than most shows’ best. [Extras: Commentaries, Deleted scenes, Gag reels, Featurettes]

Death Wish 3Death Wish 3 (Blu-ray)

Pitch: “I can’t do anything, I’m a cop…”

Why Buy? Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) leaves Los Angeles (and reality) behind to return to New York City, but his friendly visit quickly turns into a turf war with hilariously deadly hooligans. Part three of the franchise finally leaves Kersey’s family alone, mostly because they’re all dead already but also because this installment is less about personal revenge than it is ludicrous action. The dark tone of the earlier films is replaced with actual humor including playful musical cues, comical dialogue and a third act that turns a NYC neighborhood into a Mid-east war zone. [Extras: Trailer]

Happy Endings Seasons 1 and 2Happy Endings: Seasons 1 & 2 (DVD)

Pitch: Nary an Asian masseuse in sight, but it’s still a happy ending worth paying for…

Why Buy? It’s about six friends who enjoy hanging out being friends together! Don’t let the racist cover fool you, this is a fantastic show that burst onto the scene last year as one of TV’s three or four funniest sitcoms (along with Community, New Girl and maybe one or two others). The cast has ridiculously great chemistry(even after they traded out the Black Darrens), and they all do stupendous jobs delivering the show’s whip-crack brilliant dialogue exchanges. Jokes fly fast and loose, but even if you catch fewer than half you’ll still be laughing your asses off. Season 2 won’t be released on its own until October so pick it up now and enjoy.

JawsJaws (Blu-ray)

Pitch: You’re gonna need a Blu-ray player…

Why Buy? A great white shark sets its beady, black eyes (and enormous teeth) on the ocean-side town of Amity, and it’s up to the land-loving sheriff (Roy Scheider), a green marine biologist (Richard Dreyfuss) and a gruff and grizzled fisherman (Robert Shaw) to end the terror. Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic is as close to perfect cinema as any film could be, and its arrival on Blu-ray should mark it as a blind buy for anyone and everyone. The image and sound are incredible and vastly improved over any previous viewing you may have had, and the Blu also features the complete documentary, “The Shark Is Still Working.” Also available on DVD. [Extras: Making of, Restoration featurette, Deleted scenes and outtakes, Additional featurettes, Trailer]

Kill ListKill List (Blu-ray)

Pitch: A gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, a stick of butter, a claw-edged hammer…

Why Buy? A retired hit man finds himself in financial trouble and decides to take on one more high-paying job, but lest you think you know what happens next just know that you couldn’t be farther from the truth. Co-writer/director Ben Wheatley’s follow-up to his acclaimed Down Terrace mixes drama, thriller and something more into a violent, dark and creative film. Unsettling, brutal and creepy, this is the kind of movie that will leave you silent and smiling. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Commentaries, Interviews, Making of, Featurette, Trailer]

The Raid: RedemptionThe Raid: Redemption (Blu-ray)

Pitch: What goes up must be beat the hell down…

Why Buy? An Indonesian SWAT team enters a highrise building in search of the drug lord on the top floor, but they’re spotted and forced to fight their way up and down all thirty floors. Writer/director Gareth Evans and star Iko Uwais follow-up their debut, Merantau, with this wonderfully violent, near-nonstop actionpalooza. Guns, knives, fists and more fly with speed and ferocity as good guys and bad guys go toe to toe, and the result is a spectacular action film filled with brutally awesome fight choreography and bloodshed. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Commentary, Featurettes, Video blogs, Original musical score]

Death Wish 2Death Wish 2 (Blu-ray)

Pitch: Wrong place, wrong time… again. This franchise is essentially the Die Hard films for people who hate people…

Why Rent? Paul Kersey (Charles Brosnan) says goodbye to the Big Apple and moves to Los Angeles with his emotionally shattered daughter in tow, but the peace and tranquility doesn’t last long. His daughter is assaulted and dies, and Kersey once again finds himself hunting for vengeance. This is actually a pretty solid sequel that manages to keep the tone and emotional content intact even if it is essentially more of the same. A young Laurence Fishburne stars as one of the elaborately dressed gang members who only seem to exist in Hollywood. [Extras: Trailer]

Dexter 6Dexter: The Sixth Season (DVD)

Pitch: Oh brother what art thou…

Why Rent? Dexter (Michael C Hall) is Miami’s top forensic blood splatter expert, but he doesn’t let that get in the way of his passion for killing serial killers. Showtime’s series based on Jeff Lindsay’s novels centers its sixth season on the Doomsday Killer and Dexter’s introduction to religion and faith, and while it has its detractors I actually think the season was pretty good. There are some fun twists here, and for the first time you get the sense that the series (scheduled for two more seasons) is heading towards a conclusion. The only downside is that Showtime continues to offer up the weakest “special” features of any network… episodes of other shows? Lame. Also available on Blu-ray. [Extras: Interviews]

The Hunger GamesThe Hunger Games (DVD)

Pitch: Odd direction for Steve McQueen to take his sequel to Hunger, but I’m all for less Michael Fassbender wang…

Why Rent? The second highest grossing film of the year is the first part of a quadrilogy(?) about a near-future society where the central government makes representatives from different districts battle for celebrity and accolades on television. A girl named Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) becomes a star and sets in motion a revolution. This adaptation of the first book in Suzanne Collins’ bestselling trilogy is an entertaining enough adventure that seemed to appeal more to those who read the books than not, and there’s barely an original thread to be found here. Still, the action is well shot and suspenseful, and the cast (which includes Woody Harrelson, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks and Lenny Kravitz) is appealing. Also available on Blu-ray. (Note: This title actually releases on Friday, August 18th.)

Juan of the DeadJuan of the Dead (DVD)

Pitch: I can’t do better than the official tagline, so here ya go. “He’s Havana Killer Day…”

Why Rent? A virus hits Cuba that causes the island’s residents to turn into zombies, and it’s up to the country’s biggest slacker to save the day. Or at least make a profit trying. This low budget horror comedy is the Communist nation’s first horror film, but that doesn’t stop write/director Alejandro Brugues from turning out a winner. The budget hurts it sometimes, but the performances, wit and laughs more than make up for it. It’s surprisingly crass at times, but that just adds flavor. Do yourself a favor and take a peek behind the Cuban curtain with this little gem.

Paradise Lost 3: PurgatoryParadise Lost 3: Purgatory (DVD)

Pitch: But seriously, they could actually be guilty…

Why Rent? The third and final part of HBO’s documentary, nineteen years in the making, follows the fight for a new trial for the West Memphis Three based on new found evidence. The three (once) young men were convicted almost twenty years ago of the vicious murders of three little boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. There’s no denying the initial trial was a circus, and these docs have helped raise an immense amount of awareness about the case with the result being that the trio’s guilt came into serious doubt. The state of Arkansas saves the most inexplicable aspect of the entire case for the very end though. [Extras: Deleted scenes, Unreleased footage, Discussion, Interview]

Stallone CollectionStallone: 3-Film Collector’s Set (DVD)

Pitch: You’d be forgiven for having forgotten that Sylvester Stallone is actually a solid actor when he wants to be…

Why Rent? Just in time for the release of The Expendables 2: More or Less Expendable comes this three film look back at some of Sylvester Stallone’s better movies. It includes First Blood, Cop Land and Lock Up. The first two are incredibly good movies that entertain like crazy even as they show off Stallone’s acting chops. First Blood is the introduction of John Rambo before he became a cartoon action hero, and Cop Land sees a chubby Stallone struggling to keep up as a low level New Jersey cop sorely misjudged by corrupt detectives from NYC. The last movie, a prison escape romp, will have to be a surprise because I haven’t seen it yet. Also available on Blu-ray.

The Sword IdentityThe Sword Identity (DVD)

Pitch: Don’t hold your breath for The Sword Legacy

Why Rent? Two travelers arrive in a small town in China hoping to open a martial arts school, but the custom requires they fight the masters of the existing schools for the right to proceed. A case of mistaken identity results in the men being arrested and pursued instead, and the last one standing is forced to fight for far more serious stakes. This is a fun little movie that inexplicably received praise for its “realistic” fight styles. Not sure what the intention was but the result is a series of fight scenes that feel choreographed and dull instead of exciting. Watch it for the character humor, but laugh at the action.

Assassin's BulletAssassin’s Bullet (DVD)

Pitch: That much ass no wonder it’s shit…

Why Avoid? Robert Diggs (Christian Slater) left the FBI for a political position in Bulgaria, but when an unknown assassin starts eliminating high-level terrorists he’s called back to duty to help track down the killer. First question is why bother? Second question is do the filmmakers really think viewers are as stupid as Diggs apparently is? The assassin is clearly a woman, Diggs meets a woman and then he meets a mysterious second woman… and he can’t tell it’s the same mediocre actress in three different wigs? Add some weak action, a terribly fake explosion and a ridiculous ending and you’ve got this week’s first title worth avoiding. Also available on Blu-ray. [Extras: Behind the Scenes, Trailer]

Breathless GershonBreathless (Blu-ray)

Pitch: This is not the Breathless you’re waiting for…

Why Avoid? Lorna (Gina Gerson) is sick and tired of living in a trailer in the middle of Texas nowhere, and when she suspects her husband Dale (Val Kilmer) may have committed a recent robbery she takes him captive until he tells her where the loot is hidden. Too bad she accidentally blew his head off too. The first fifteen minutes of this (essentially) one-location black comedy are pretty damn funny, but it’s no coincidence that Dale dies around the 15 minute mark. The remaining cast, including Ray Liotta, Wayne Duvall and Kelli Giddish just can’t maintain the laughs and charisma after that point. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Commentary, Making of]

Death Wish 4: The CrackdownDeath Wish 4: The Crackdown (Blu-ray)

Pitch: Okay, who ordered the 99 minute anti-drug PSA…

Why Avoid? Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) heads back to Los Angeles (again), but when his girlfriend’s daughter dies of a cocaine overdose he sets out to rid the world of “drugs.” The film’s repeated efforts to preach the dangers of “drugs” grow tiresome in the first act, but thankfully Kersey soon starts taking random missions to kill players in the “drugs” game from a wealthy benefactor. The hilarity and comic relief of the 3rd film is gone, unfortunately, and instead the tone returns to the deadly serious. But without the personal dramas of the first two this one just feels like generic late-night fare. [Extras: Trailer]

Jay and Silent Bob Get OldJay and Silent Bob Get Old: Teabagging in the UK (DVD)

Pitch: Eesh, glad I didn’t have to pay for this one…

Why Avoid? Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes, his cohort in several films featuring the Jay and Silent Bob characters, have been doing live shows together for years. Essentially the two visit a university or concert hall and proceed to make funny with rehearsed anecdotes and (possibly) spontaneous comedy bits for a couple hours, and for years they’ve actually been pretty hilarious. This new two disc set of their UK appearances though feels more forced than usual though, and while the occasional laugh slips though you have to slog through a lot of uncreative cursing (and deteriorating comedic skills on Mewes’ part) to find them. [Extras: Additional talking]

The Snowtown MurdersThe Snowtown Murders (DVD)

Pitch: Does Australia not make light comedies anymore? That would be a nice change of pace…

Why Avoid? Jamie is a wayward teen with no real father figure in his life until his mother brings home John, a smiling, bearded guy happy to be a part of the family. Too bad he’s also a vicious killer who believes deviants, weirdos and those he simply doesn’t like deserve to die painful deaths. This is based on the true story of Australia’s worst murder spree, but it’s also incredibly boring, frustrating and ultimately pointless. Critics praised the uncompromisingly bleakness of it all, but unlike Animal Kingdom which also put a disaffected youth at its center the surrounding characters and events here are simply harsh and unappealing.

Also out this week, but I haven’t seen the movie/TV show, review material was unavailable, and I have no blind opinion:

Girl Walks Into a Bar
Glee: The Complete Third Season
La Promesse (Criterion)
The Life and Death of a Porno Gang
Rosetta (Criterion)
Sultry Assassin: Ninja Brainwash
Tonight You’re Mine

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What are you buying on DVD this week?

Rob is the Chief Film Critic of Film School Rejects. He doesn't eat cheese on weekdays.

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