This week’s home entertainment releases include the first film in Universal’s Dark Universe, the only superhero film of the summer that wasn’t a big hit, plus new seasons of geek favorites The Big Bang Theory, Empire, Orphan Black, and Doctor Who.

Theatrical Movies

The highest-grossing release this week is The Mummy (Universal, “PG-13,” 220 min., $29.98, BD $34.98), the first film in Universal’s Dark Universe, a cinematic world that will be shared by rebooted versions of Universal’s famous movie monsters.  The problem with The Mummy, which received only a 16% positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes is the that film can’t make up its mind if it’s a traditional horror film or another Tom Cruise action picture, and a relatively strong supporting cast (and considerable cash) was wasted in the process.

Like The Mummy, the animated Captain Underpants (Dreamworks, “PG,” $29.98, BD $36.99, 4K $44.99), which is based on Dav Pilkey’s popular kids book series, was a box office disappointment here in North America, though this film does deliver the goods for its underage target audience, which means plenty of potty jokes at the expense of overwrought adult characters. 

The critics liked Trey Edward Shults’ post-apocalyptic horror film It Comes At Night (Lionsgate, “R,” 92 min., $19.98, BD $24.98) giving it a sterling 88% positive rating on RT, but audiences were lukewarm to this old school scarefest, which is about as bleak as this kind of end-of-the world horror film can be, though it’s definitely worth checking out on disc, especially for anyone who enjoys contemporary horror and suspense films.

For those who enjoy “art movies” there is Beatriz at Dinner (Lionsgate, “R,” 103 min., $19.98), which stars Selma Hayek as an immigrant of modest means and John Lithgow as a billionaire real estate mogul, who interact uncomfortably at a dinner party in LA.  The critics generally liked Beatriz at Dinner, giving the film a 76% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but then critics are predisposed to enjoy squirmfests like this.


There are lots of releases of interest to geek TV viewers including the most popular sitcom of our era, The Big Bang Theory: The Complete 10th Season (Warner Bros., $34.99, BD $39.99); the fascinating rap music melodrama Empire: The Complete 3rd Season (Fox, $39,99); the clone-centric science fiction series Orphan Black: Season 5 (BBC, $29.98, BD $34.99); the alien abduction comedy People of Earth: The Complete 1st Season (Warner Bros., 214 min., $21.99); Mike Judge’s spot-on high tech satire Silicon Valley: Season 4 (HBO, $14.97, BD $18.94); and the caustic political satire starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus Veep: The Complete Sixth and Final Season (HBO, $14.97, BD $18.94).

Also of great interest is Doctor Who: The 10th Series, Part 2 (BBC, 300 min., $24.98, BD $29.98), which includes the final six episodes featuring Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor.  The one caveat here is that the entire Tenth Series will be available in November.

Other contemporary shows that are due out on Tuesday include the NBC legal drama Chicago Justice: Season 1 (Universal, 556 min., $28.76); the NBC/Dick Wolf police procedural Chicago PD: Season 4 (Universal, 1,110 min., $28.76); the ABC Sitcom The Goldbergs: The Complete 4th Season (Sony, 518 min., $26.99); the CBS action series Scorpion: Season 3 (Paramount, $48.98); and the uplifting ensemble drama series This Is Us (Fox, $39.98).

Animated TV on DVD offerings include the anime-esque, DC-based Teen Titans Go, Season 4, Part 1: Recess Is Over (Warner Bros., 2 discs, $18.94); The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tales of the Turtles Vol. 2: Wanted (Nickelodeon, 1 disc $16.99); the single-disc Transformers Prime: Ultimate Rivals (Shout Factory, 110 min., $14.97); LEGO Nexo Knights: Season 3—Storm Over Knighton (Warner Bros., Single Disc, $19.98); and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic—Fluttershy (Shout Factory, Single disc, 110 min., $14.98).

Vintage TV offerings include the 1990s sitcom Coach: The Complete Series (Mill Creek, 4,400 min., $69.98); the 98-episode Rod Serling-produced Night Gallery: The Complete Series (Universal, 2,034 min., $59.98); the 2001 TV movie Voyage of the Unicorn (Mill Creek, 173 min., $14.98).

The most interesting offering from overseas is the Australian legal drama Rake: Series 3 (Acorn Media, 462 min., $39.99), a clever comedy/drama about a brilliant lawyer, who is a very flawed human being.


This week’s offerings include Tamako: Love Story (Sentai Filmworks, 85 min., BD $39.98), the 2014 anime movie from Kyoto Animation that is a sequel to the 2013 Tamako Market TV anime series and continues the subtle, sweet slice-of-life comedy.

Another very interesting anime release is Chihayafuru Part 1 (Sentai Filmworks, 625 min., $79.98, BD $99.98), which collects the 25-episode Madhouse series from 2011-2012 that is based on Yuki Suetsugu’s josei manga about a girl who wants to become an elite player in competitive Kurata, a traditional Japanese card game that has about 20,000 serious players in Japan where, because of the agility and feats of memory involved, it is considered a sort of sport.