“Blended” and “Jersey Shore Massacre” Lead Week’s Blu-Ray Releases

An Adam Sandler comedy and a horror film inspired by a popular MTV series lead new Blu-Ray releases for the week of August 25.

Blended – Widower Adam Sandler and divorcee Drew Barrymore go on a bad blind date, then find themselves and their respective children stuck together on vacation at an African resort in this romantic comedy. Along the way, their mutual dislike turns into something more positive. Terry Crews, Kevin Nealon, and Bella Thorne co-star.

At its core, Blended is a sweet-natured, if unremarkable, story about the difficulties of joining two families together. While it has some undeniably affecting moments, the movie is ultimately undone by the inclusion of Sandler’s trademark lowbrow humor. The fat jokes, gay jokes, and crotch injury jokes are woefully out of place here, and they often impede on the more sincere moments. It’s far from Sandler’s worst film, but it’s no Fifty First Dates either.

The Blu-Ray comes with a short feature on Sandler and Barrymore reteaming for a third time, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and several behind-the-scenes segments.

Jersey Shore Massacre – Imagine if the cast members of MTV’s Jersey Shore were dropped into a Friday the 13th sequel. Now imagine that idea is even worse than it sounds. You’ve just envisioned Jersey Shore Massacre.

This low-budget production, executive produced by Jenni “JWoww” Farley, is filled with bad acting, atrocious writing, and an uncomfortable hatred of women, as evidenced by the sexually-tinged violence committed against them. It’s quite frankly stomach-churning, likely to leave the viewer feeling unclean. Avoid this film at all costs.

Bonus features are a making-of documentary, some music videos, an offensive short film called Fat Camp Massacre, and a brief segment making light of the apparent real-life mental health issues of one of the supporting players.

Belle – Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral (Matthew Goode) looking for love in a society that attempts to marginalize her. After meeting a young vicar’s son, she also becomes an advocate for the end of slavery in England. Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson co-star.

Critics raved about this period piece, which has an 83% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Bonus goodies include a look at the true story on which the film is based, a still gallery, and a piece celebrating Mbatha-Raw’s breakout role.

Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return – This animated sequel to The Wizard of Oz gained notoriety when it opened last May for having one of the worst wide-release debuts in history. Dorothy (voiced by Lea Michele) goes back to Oz to save her friends from a villain known as The Jester (Martin Short). Dan Aykroyd, James Belushi, Bernadette Peters, and Kelsey Grammer also provide voices.

Supplements are shorts pertaining to the legacy of Oz and the film’s music, plus a singalong, a downloadable activity sheet, and the original theatrical trailer.

Also coming out this week are Criterion’s special edition of All That Jazz, Scream Factory’s release of the fun 1973 chiller The Legend of Hell House, the sluggish, low-budget apocalyptic fright flick Aftermath, and season four of the hit AMC series The Walking Dead.

What are you planning to buy or rent on Blu-Ray this week? Let us know your picks in the comments section.

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Author Profile: Consumer Expert Mike McGranaghan

Mike McGranaghan is the film critic for The Aisle Seat. His film writing can also be found at Film Racket and Daily Grindhouse, and his reviews are heard weekly on the radio stations of Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation. He is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Online Film Critics Society, as well as the author of two books, "Straight-Up Blatant" and "My Year of Chevy."

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