This week’s home entertainment offerings include David O. Russell’s low key, but fascinating Joy starring Jennifer Lawrence, plus the dystopian teen drama The Fifth Wave, the unusual Holocaust thriller Remember, and the complete science fiction TV series Lexx.

Theatrical Movies

It’s a very slim week for releases with nothing much of consequence except for David O. Russell’s Joy (Fox, “PG-13,” 124 min., $29.98, BD $39.99), a comic biopic about Joy Mangano, a struggling Long Island divorcee, who invented the Miracle Mop and became a millionaire, but not before having to overcome all sorts of obstacles from both the business world and her personal life.  Jennifer Lawrence, who won a Golden Globe for her role as Joy, gives one of her better performances, and is ably supported by a cast that also includes Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, Diane Ladd, Dascha Polanco, Virginia Madsen, and Edgar Ramirez.

Also out this week is The Fifth Wave (Sony, “PG-13,” 112 min., $26.99, BD $34.98), an adaptation of the dystopian teen novel by Rick Yancey, which stars Chloe Grace Moretz (Hit Girl) as a teen trying to save her younger brother in the midst of a series of alien invasions.  Critics compared The Fifth Wave very unfavorably with other teen dystopian adaptations like The Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and Divergent, and gave The Fifth Wave a lowly 17% positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

For those who like the romantic novels of Nicholas Sparks, there is The Choice (Lionsgate, “PG-13,” 112 min., $29.95, BD $39.99), which has all the requisite elements of his dramas, handsome young lovers, a looming tragedy, plenty of sentiment, and a sun-drenched Southern setting.  Critics found this tenth adaptation of a Sparks novel wanting (just 11% positive), but then critics apparently have a congenital bias when it comes to romance films.

Remember (Lionsgate, “R,” 94 min., $19.98, $24.98) is a Nazi-hunting thriller with a twist, the films hero (extremely well played by Christopher Plummer) is a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor with memory loss, who receives a package from an old wheelchair-bound friend who enlists him to kill the concentration camp guard who wiped out their families and is now living in the U.S.   Director Atom Egoyan may be a little too flamboyant at times, but Remember is an interesting take on the revenge drama that earned a 70% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


The only contemporary shows out on Tuesday are the post-apocalyptic TNT drama The Last Ship: The Complete 2nd Season (Warner Bros., 440 min., $39.98, BD $49.98), and a single-disc, 7-episode collection of the French-produced Nickelodeon cartoon series Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir (Shout Factory, 132 min.,$14.98). 

Vintage TV releases (in descending order of interest to geek viewers) include Lexx, the 1997-2002 Canadian/German science fiction series that aired on SyFy (or Sci Fi as it was known then), the 1980s copter drama Airwolf: The Complete Series (Mill Creek, 3,400 min., $44.98, BD $99.98) and Airwolf: Season 1 (Mill Creek, 589 min., $9.98), which features a near catatonic performance from Jan Michael Vincent that nicely balances the scenery-chewing antics of co-star Ernest Borgnine, the 1980s sci fi car series Knight Rider: Season 1 (Mill Creek, $44.98), the 1980s sitcom Mad About You: The Complete Series (Mill Creek, $69.98), and the stylish 1980s cop saga Miami Vice: Season 1 (Mill Creek, 800 min., $14.98).

The one overseas release is a good one, The Brokenwood Mysteries: Series 2 (Acorn Media, 367 min., $59.99), a sort of New Zealand Midsomer Murders with a pair of mismatched detectives sorting through an array of colorful characters in four feature-length mysteries set against the spectacular beauty of New Zealand’s North Island.


Those who enjoy classic anime may well want to check out Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation (Right Stuf, 297 min., $49.98), a series of three compilation films that were put together in 2005-2006 using Yoshiyuki Tomino’s classic 1985 mecha series Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam.  Also due on Tuesday is Gundam Evolve (Right Stuf, 120 min., $24.99), which includes 15 short films produced starting in 2001 that are set in different Gundam universe timelines, feature a mix of animation styles, and often present side-stories (omakes) featuring classic Gundam characters—which makes Gundam Evolve a disc that the hardcore Gundam fan will want to have.

Re-priced re-releases include A Little Snow Fairy Sugar (Sentai Filmworks, 650 min.,$39.98), a 24-episode 2001 series from J.C. Staff that was previously released here by Geneon, and issued in two parts by Sentai in 2009, and is now available at basically half-price, the Azumanga Daioh Complete Collection (Sentai Filmworks, 650 min., $49.98), which includes all 150 five-minute episodes produced by J.C. Staff in 2002 that are based on four-panel manga series created by Kiyohiko Azuma, and was previously issued by Sentai in 2008, and the Gasaraki Complete Collection (Right Stuf, 625 min., $39.99), which includes all 25 episodes of the 1998-1999 Sunrise mecha, which was previously released here by ADV, and then re-released by The Right Stuf in 2012.