This week’s home entertainment offerings include a superb horror thriller starring Patrick Stewart, a wonderful cinematic swath of 1980s nostalgia sensitively served by Richard Linklater, the second season of the whip-smart, brainy TV series iZombie, a special Card Wars Adventure Time disc with an exclusive playable card, a chance to collect the first season of a cartoon series based on comics created by Frank Miller and Geoff Darrow, and the first season of Colony, one of the most interesting near-future sci-fi TV series to debut in recent years.

Theatrical Movies

This week’s best offering is a superior genre film, the horror movie Green Room (Lionsgate, “R,” 93 min., $19.99, BD $24.99).  Starring Patrick Stewart, Imogen Poots, and the late Anton Yelchin (who gives another excellent performance in a major role), Green Room is a taut, smart thriller written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier that pits a diabolical club owner (extremely well-played by Stewart) against a down-on-their luck punk band, “The Ain’t-Rights,” who accidentally witness something backstage at the isolated club in the Oregon backwoods.  Don’t just take my word for it, Green Room has an excellent 91% positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

Also of great interest is Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some (Paramount, “R,” 116 min., $29.99, BD $39.99), a nostalgic, slice-of-life drama that follows the members of a Texas college baseball team in the 1980s.   After his ambitious Boyhood, Everybody Wants Some might appear at first glance to be “weak tea,” but as usual with Linklater there is a depth and a gentle narrative flow to the characterizations that make this “coming of age” drama far richer than most of cinematic accounts of adolescents in the 1980s that we have seen so far.

There has been a resurgence of “faith-based” movies at the box office in the past few years, and while Miracles From Heaven (Sony, “PG,” $30.99, BD $34.99) is not one of the best, it does feature an excellent performance by the underrated Jennifer Garner as a mother determined to do whatever she can for a daughter who is stricken with an incurable disease.

The movies made from the YA Divergent novels have not been as successful as many other YA adaptations, so the studio’s decision to split the final volume of the series into two movies was at once both greedy and suicidal.  The Divergent Series: Allegiant (Lionsgate, “PG-13,” 120 min., $30.99, BD $39.99) earned only $66.2 million at the domestic box office, and it largely wastes the talents of a great cast that includes Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Octavia Spencer, and Naomi Watts.  Stretching the final volume into two films didn’t please either the critics, who gave the film only 13% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, or audiences, who have made this installment the lowest earning effort in the franchise so far.

For those who enjoy art movies there is The Dark Horse (Broad Green, “R,” $26.99), a wonderful New Zealand film about a chess champion who suffers from bipolar disorder, but still manages to pass his passion for the game on to the local kids, giving them an alternative to gangs and crime.


This week’s top release is iZombie: The Complete Second Season (Warner Bros., 804 min., $39.99, BD $39.98), which includes all 19 second season episodes of Rob Thomas’s delicious take on the Vertigo comic book series.  Bonus features include deleted scenes as well as a video of iZombie Panel at San Diego.  The smartest (and funniest) of the latest wave of comic book-inspired TV series, iZombie remains a true delight, and the “true” descendant of Thomas’s classic Veronica Mars.  Warners has also released the first season of iZombie in high-def (mrsp is $39.98), and the visual quality of this show does come through splendidly in the BD format.

For gamers this week’s most interesting offering just might be Adventure Time, Vol. 12: Card Wars (Warner Bros., $18.98), which includes the “Daddy Daughter Card Wars” episode along with 14 other especially selected Adventure Time episodes plus an exclusive card that is playable in the Adventure Time: Card Wars—Doubles Tournament Game (see “Elaborate Rollout for Adventure Time: Card Wars—Doubles Tournament”).

But for others the best thing due on Tuesday is Big Guy and Rusty the Robot: Season 1 (Sony, 190 min., DVD-R, $30.99), which collects the 6-episode first season of the Saturday morning cartoon series (1999-2001) based on the Dark Horse comics by Frank Miller and Geoff Darrow.  Let’s hope Sony makes the final 20 episodes of Big Guy and Rusty available soon, but that will probably depend on how many folks order the first season, which will be available only on “Video on Demand” (customers must contact Sony and order their sets, which will be made to order in the DVD-R format).

Meanwhile fans of modern science fiction might well opt for Colony: Season 1 (Universal, 420 min., $39.98), which collects the 10-episode first season of the USA series that centers around a couple living in a near-future Los Angeles that is under control of extraterrestrial invaders.  With plenty of elements that correlate with modern life, Colony is a smart, thought-provoking series that just debuted this January, but, which has already earned a coterie of devoted fans including Stephen King.

The only other new series due this week is the Canadian-produced horror thriller, Slasher: Season 1 (Shout Factory, 480 min., $19.99, $27.99).

Kid-targeted programs of note include the animated My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic—Season 5 (Shout Factory, 570 min., $34.99), and the live-action Power Rangers Dino Charge, Vol. 3: Breakout (Lionsgate, 92 min., $14.98).

Vintage series (like The Big Guy & Rusty, see above) are increasingly being released only on DVD-R made to order editions that are based largely on consumer orders.  Such is the case with the animated Saturday morning show, Histeria! The Complete Series (Warner Bros., DVD-R, 1124 min., $59.99), the Sanford & Son spin-off Grady: Season 1 (Sony, 220 min., $30.99), but not with the excellent CBS drama series The Defenders: Season 1 (Shout Factory, 1686 min., $44.99), or the hugely over-exposed Emergency: The Complete Series (Universal, 6642 min., $149.98).


This week’s releases include a new edition of the 2007 Kyoto Animation hit, Lucky Star: The Complete Series & OVA (Funimation, BD/DVD Combo, $64.98), a 8-disc collection of the slice-of-life comedy about four high school girls that is based on the four-panel comic strip manga by Kagami Yoshimizu and is now available for the first time on Blu-ray; the harem romance drama, A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd Complete Collection (Funimation, 300 min., Subtitles Only, BD/DVD Combo $49.98), which collects the 12-episode 2014 series from Hoods Entertainment that is based on a visual novel; and the Yatterman Night: Complete Collection (Funimation, 300 min., Subtitles Only, $44.98), a 12-episode 2015 anime from Tatsunoko Productions (Macross).

Releasing anime series without English dub tracks is increasingly common, even though “major” releases typically have typically gotten a dub.  Now the trend appears to be moving away from providing English dubs—witness the Rin-Ne: Collection 1 (Sentai Filmworks, 325 min., Subitles Only, $49.98, BD $59.98), which collects the first 13 episodes of a 50-episode (ongoing) anime created by Brain’s Base and based on a new manga series by Rumiko Takahashi (Ranma 1/2, Inuyasha).  It is notable that Viz Media, which publishes the Rin-Ne manga, and which released both the Ranma and Inuyasha manga and anime series, passed on the Rin-Ne anime, and that such a major anime series is getting a subtitles-only release.

And then there are the series that are available only in their English-dubbed format like Pokemon the Series: XY Kalos Quest—Set 1 (Viz Media, $26.98).

This week’s re-releases include the Strawberry Marshmallow: Complete Collection (Sentai Filmworks, 130 min., Subtitles Only, $49.98, BD $59.98), which collects five OVA episodes previously released here in 2007 and 2009 as two separate releases; and the Robotics: Notes Complete Collection (Funimation, BD/DVD Combo $34.98), which was also previously released in two parts in 2014.