After a bunch of slow weeks the pace of home entertainment offerings picks up this week with the release of the latest installment in the biggest horror film franchise of all time, plus the first season of the densely-populated DC Comics-based series Legends of Tomorrow, a Twin Peaks-infused take on the teen heroes of Archie Comics, the latest season of Once Upon a Time, and a great collection of vintage Sheena TV series and movies.

Theatrical Films

This week’s top release is Alien: Covenant (Fox, “R,” $29.98, BD $34.99, 4K $39.99), Ridley Scott’s stylish attempt to reboot the science fiction horror franchise.  The critics gave Alien: Covenant a solid 70% positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences were more measured, and the film earned only $74 million here in North America, though stiff summer competition certainly didn’t help.  Still, if you like the first two Alien films, you will find much to enjoy in Alien: Covenant, which stays very much in mode of its predecessors.

The Hispanic audience is one of the key movie-going groups in the American market, and How To Be A Latin Lover (Lionsgate, “PG-13,” 115 min., $29.99, BD $39.99) stars Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez along with Anglo stars Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, and Rob Cordry in a comedy that was released here in both English and Spanish versions in an interesting crossover attempt to exploit both the U.S. and Mexican markets.

Everything, Everything (Warner Bros., “PG-13,” $29.98, BD $39.99) is a solid adaptation of a Y.A. romance novel about a teenage girl who lives as a shut-in because of an auto-immune disorder.  This heavily melodramatic saga will appeal to teens, but is likely a little too cheesy for older viewers, though the young leads, Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson are talented and appealing.

The Case for Christ (Universal, “PG,” 113 min., $24.98, BD $29.98) is one of the latest in the growing stream of faith-themed films, though not one of the most successful, earning just $14.3 million. Still this story of an atheist journalist who finds faith got high marks from both Christian commentators and those who saw the film.


This week’s top release for comic book fans is Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Second Season (Warner Bros., $39.99, BD $44.98), which contains the 17-episode second season of the live-action CW series that spun off from Arrow and The Flash that features Firestorm, Atom, White Canary, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Heat Wave, Captain Cold, and so many other DC Comics heroes and villains that some feel the series is overstuffed with characters, though others appreciate seeing many of DC’s B-list characters interpreted by an excellent cast.  This release includes a great “crossover” featurette along with coverage of the 2016 Comic-Con panel.

Other comic book fans might be interested in Riverdale: Season One (Warner Bros., 555 min., $39.99, BD $39.99), the CW series that treats Riverdale like Twin Peaks, turning it into a gothic teen mystery that presents familiar Archie Comics characters in a new more modern context.  Riverdale is a very self-reflexive series that toys with the squeaky clean 1940s soda fountain/Andy Hardy source material in ways that can be highly amusing, if not taken too seriously.

Also of interest is the Fables-like Once Upon a Time: The Complete 6th Season (Disney, 946 min., $45.98, BD $79.99), which features a town (Storybrook, Maine) peopled with familiar fairy tale characters.

The best of the rest of contemporary TV series due on Tuesday is Bull: Season 1 (Paramount, $49.99), which features Michael Weatherly (NCIS) as a “trial consultant” based on the early career of TV talk show host Dr. Phil, who used his psychological insights to aide clients in the fine art of jury selection and manipulation.

For those who are interested in financial crime there is the Showtime series Billions: Season 2 (Paramount, $39.98), which is based on the legal battles of a U.S. Attorney (based on Preet Bharara, who was recently fired by President Trump) and an unscrupulous hedge fund manager (based on Steven Cohen of S.A.C. Capital Advisors).

Other contemporary shows include the NBC series The Blacklist: The Complete 4th Season (Sony, 945 min., $45.99, BD $55.99); the solid family sitcom The Middle: The Complete 8th Season (Warner Bros., 496 min., $34.98); and the Scott Bakula-starring NCIS: New Orleans: The Third Season (Paramount, $49.99).

Animated releases include Jumanji: The Complete Animated Series (Mill Creek, 880 min., $14.98), which contains all 40 episodes of the cartoon series based on the live-action movie that aired from 1996-1999; and The Powerpuff Girls: Volume 2, The Last Donnycorn (Warner Bros., 132 min., $14.97), which contains 12 episodes of the new Powerpuff Girls series that debuted in 2016.

The vintage series of most interest to comic book fans is Sheena: Queen of the Jungle—The Movie and the TV Series (Mill Creek, 1631 min., $19.98), which contains the 1984 Sheena movie starring Tanya Roberts, plus all 35 episodes of the TV series starring Gena Lee Nolin that aired in 2000 and 2001, and five episodes of the 1950s Sheena TV series starring Irish McCalla.

Other vintage shows include the Mary Tyler Moore spin-off Rhoda: Season 4 (Shout Factory, 600 min., $34.98) and the 1974 police procedural Police Story: Season 2 (Shout Factory, 1095 min., $34.99).

The only show from outside the U.S. due this week is another interesting police procedural, the Canadian series, Murdoch Mysteries: Season 10 (Acorn Media, 864 min., $59.99, BD $59.99), which is set in Edwardian Toronto, and features a fascinating episode about the great Toronto fire of 1904.


This week’s offerings include two releases from long running popular series, One Piece: Season 9, Part 2 (Funimation, 300 min., $39.98), which contains episodes 529-549 of the rollicking pirate saga based on the manga by Eichiro Oda; and Fairy Tail: Collection 9 (Funimation, 625 min., $54.98), which contains episodes 188-212, which have been previously released in 12-episode collections.

Also new this week is Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma (Sentai Filmworks, 600 min., $79.98,  BD $99.98), which contains the first 24 episodes of the 2014 anime from J.C. Staff that is based on the cuisine-happy comedy manga series from Yuto Tsukuda.  This series was simulcast on Crunchyroll, but is being released on disc for the first time.

Kids may enjoy Digimon Adventures tri (Shout Factory, 96 min. $14.98, BD/DVD Combo $24.97), which is the second in a series of six feature-length episodes created by Toei Animation in 2016 as part of an ongoing 15th Anniversary tribute.   This release is available in a dubbed English language version only.