Five theatrical films that debuted in the fall of 2016 are due out on disc this week, including Gavin O’Connor’s The Accountant, Peter Berg’s Deepwater Horizon, the latest Kevin Hart stand-up comedy concert film, and the micro-budgeted superhero film Max Steel, plus new seasons of Homeland, Mr. Robot, Bones, and a lower-priced DVD complete set of Star Trek: Enterprise.
Personally I have had just about my fill of “highly-functioning autistic” characters, a psychological character trope that is to our era what schizophrenia (The Three Faces of Eve) was to the 1950s and 60s. A further potential problem with The Accountant is the movie’s all too evident “gun porn,” which could put off some, but then there are the rest of us who can’t fail to be impressed by the movie’s array of high tech sniper rifles (and there’s even a M134 Minigun). Suffice it to say that The Accountant, with its body count and headshots, is targeted at the modern action movie fan, not the faint of heart.
Kevin Hart fans will want to see the film based on his 2015 stand-up tour, especially since, in addition to his stand-up routine, the comedian concocted a wild framing story featuring Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, and Ed Helms. Kevin Hart: What Now? (Universal, “R,” 194 min., $29.98, BD $34.98) earned $23.8 million at the box office and a stellar 76% positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
Two other fall 2016 releases are due on Tuesday, Peter Berg’s Deepwater Horizon (Lionsgate, “PG-13,” 97 min., $19.99, BD/DVD Combo $39.99, 4K $29.99), an action-packed film based on one of the world’s greatest man-made disasters, the Gulf oil spill; and Nate Parker’s Nat Turner slave-revolt saga The Birth of a Nation (Fox, “R,” 120 min., $29.98, $39.99). Like last year’s 12 Years a Slave, Parker’s The Birth of a Nation is a necessary antidote to decade after decade of Hollywood’s sanitized depictions of slavery in films like Gone With the Wind, and to the racist themes of D.W. Griffith’s 1915 Klan-glorifying The Birth of a Nation. Critics generally applauded Parker’s film, which earned a 72% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes (151 positive reviews versus 49 negative), though a controversy stemming from an incident in the director’s past has kept the film from getting a lot of Oscar buzz.
TV on DVD
There are some very interesting TV on DVD offerings this week starting with the commercial cable hit Homeland: The Complete Fifth Season (Fox, 550 min., $39.99, BD $49.99), which stars Clare Danes, whose character Carrie Mathison is no longer working for the CIA in Season Five. While the focus shifts a bit in Season Five, tension remains high and the clever plot folds in all sorts of real world events (the rise of ISIS, the Syrian War, Vladimir Putin, Edward Snowden, and the Syrian refugee crisis).
Also of interest are Bones: The Complete 11th Season (Fox, 800 min., $39.98), the penultimate season of the saga of a forensic anthropologist (well-played by Emily Deschanel) and her FBI agent husband (the always reliable David Boreanaz); Lena Dunham’s edgy slice-of-contemporary-urban-life saga Girls: The Complete 5th Season (HBO, $24.98, BD $34.98); Broad City: Season 3 (Comedy Central, 210 min., $26.98), the Comedy Central series produced by Amy Poehler; the bookish fantasy series The Librarians: Season 2 (Sony, 421 min., $30.99); and the historical fantasy series Sleepy Hollow: Season 3 (Fox, 770 min., $39.98).
Kids offerings include the Nickelodeon series Miraculous: The Tales of Lady Bug and Chat Noir, Vol. 3: Be Miraculous (Shout Factory, 154 min., $14.98), which contains 7 episodes on one disc; and the live-action Power Rangers Dino Charge: Season 2, Vol.1 Roar (Lionsgate, 232 min., $14.98), which contains 10 episodes.
Mecha fans will also find a new edition of a classic series available on Tuesday, Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (Right Stuf, 180 min., $29.95), which collects the six-episode OVA series from 1989, the first OVA series in the Gundam franchise—and one which ran on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim back in 2002, when the late night programming block was dominated by anime.
Also available on Tuesday is The World God Only Knows: Ultimate Collection (Sentai Filmworks, 1000 min., $79.99, BD $89.99), which collects the three 12-episode anime series produced by Manglobe (as well as some OVAs) based on the teenage romcom/parody manga created by Tamiki Wakaki. While the elements of this saga, demon girls and game-obsessed glasses-wearing otaku, are overly familiar to anime fans, there is some real humor here along with the fan service and other familiar elements of the genre.
Also due on Tuesday is the subtitles-only Beautiful Bones: Sakurako’s Investigation Complete Collection (Sentai Filmworks, 300 min., Subtitles Only, $49.98, BD $59.98), a mystery anime that aired in 2015 and is based on a series of light novels by Shion Ota about a beautiful young forensic anthropologist who solves mysteries with the aid of a teenage boy. Anime fans looking for something a little different won’t be disappointed by this intriguing mystery series.