DVD Releases for April 8th.

The Last Detective, set 4 Peter Davison. Two-disc set with five episodes. Extras: Interview with Peter Davison, Leslie Thomas bio and booklist, and cast filmographies. (Acorn Media)

Things are looking up for “Dangerous” Davies. Sure, he still gets the least promising cases in the Willesden constabulary. And he still gets little more than mockery from his colleagues. But his wife Julie (Emma Amos) has taken him back—even though she has to share a house with his quirky, freeloading chum, Mod (Sean Hughes, The Commitments).”

Personally, I will always connect actor Peter Davison with Doctor Who, but he does a nice job here as a mild mannered police officer that always seems to get the short end of the stick.

Lions for Lambs (2007) Dir.: Robert Redford; Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Michael Pena. Extras: commentary by director Robert Redford, “The Making Of Lions For Lambs,” “Script To Screen” and “United Artists Legacy” featurettes and the theatrical teaser and trailer (UA/MGM).

“Robert Redford, Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep deliver “three knockout performances” (Vue Weekly) in this powerful, provocative thriller that explores the consequences of taking a stand. An idealistic professor (Redford) in California attempts to inspire a student to do more with his life, while a charismatic Senator (Cruise) in Washington D.C. pitches a new Middle East war strategy to a probing TV journalist (Streep). And halfway across the world, two of the professor’s former students are trapped behind enemy lines in Afghanistan, fighting for freedom—and their very lives. As the tension mounts and the bullets fly, these Americans will change each other’s lives and the world in ways they never could have imagined.”

Not a great film, but Robert Redford is at least taking a step in the right direction after so many cinematic turkeys (Legal Eagles, Indecent Proposal, Up close and Personal, The Last Castle, Spy Games…ok, not awful, but not good.)

Matlock: Season One (1986) Andy Griffith Seven-disc set with 25 episodes, $30.00. (Paramount).

“Matlock is a legal drama series starring Andy Griffith as defense attorney Ben Matlock – a Harvard-educated, fiery southerner who charges $100,000 a case to brilliantly defend his clients by finding the real killer.”

In 1986, Andy Griffith returned to television, after a 17 year absence, to star in Matlock. Since I am not a senior citizen, I have never actually watched the show. But Bradley, an 80 year-old man in a 26 year-old’s body, is delighted to have the opportunity to see Matlock again and will be offering up a review in the near future.

Perry Mason 50th Anniversary Edition Four-disc set with 12 exceptional episodes of the classic TV series starring Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper; fourth disc contains bonus features; $39.99. Extras: “Perry Mason Returns” TV movie, Perry Mason talent test, “The Case of Earle Stanley Gardner” featurette, syndication promos, Charlie Rose interviews with Raymond Burr, Raymond Burr on “Person to Person” in 1958, interview with Barbara Hale, photo gallery, more. (Paramount).

“Perry Mason is an attorney who specializes in defending seemingly indefensible cases. With the aid of his secretary Della Street and investigator Paul Drake, he often finds that by digging deeply into the facts, startling facts can be revealed. Often relying on his outstanding courtroom skills, he often tricks or traps people into unwittingly admitting their guilt.”

This set has certainly set off a firestorm within the Perry Mason fan community. It is sort of a “greatest hits” package with some nice extras. Why is it upseting them? For one, the 50th anniversary apparently was last year. Also, the actual season releases have been a bit sparse with the extras. Much of these featurettes could have been included in the regular releases instead of forcing fans to double-dip.

But big fans will want this set for these extras, as they are a strong collection including vintage interviews and appearances on various shows as well as some new interviews with Barbara Hale and Arthur Marks.

There Will Be Blood (2007) Dir.: Paul Thomas Anderson; Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciaran Hinds, Kevin J. O’Connor, Dillon Freasier. Available as a single disc and in a two-disc set. Extras: “The Story of Petroleum,” “15” — a slideshow of vintage photos selected by Paul Thomas Anderson and set to the musical score created by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, deleted scenes, “Dailies Gone Wild.” (Paramount).

“A sprawling epic of family, faith, power and oil, THERE WILL BE BLOOD is set on the incendiary frontier of California’s turn-of-the-century petroleum boom. The story chronicles the life and times of one Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), who transforms himself from a down-and-out silver miner raising a son on his own into a self-made oil tycoon. When Plainview gets a mysterious tip-off that there’s a little town out West where an ocean of oil is oozing out of the ground, he heads with his son, H.W. (Dillon Freasier), to take their chances in dust-worn Little Boston. In this hardscrabble town, where the main excitement centers around the holy roller church of charismatic preacher Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), Plainview and H.W. make their lucky strike. But even as the well raises all of their fortunes, nothing will remain the same as conflicts escalate and every human value – love, hope, community, belief, ambition and even the bond between father and son – is imperiled by corruption, deception and the flow of oil.”

There will be Blood is a good film made great by Daniel Day-Lewis’ fantastic performance. Really a film that needs to be watched by anyone that considers themselves a fan of good cinema.

It is available both in one-disc and two-disc sets, but I have to say that the two-disc is not as loaded as I would have thought. I will share my thoughts on this and more in my review, which should be up on Thursday.

For more DVD releases and info, check out our DVD Calendar.