This week’s home entertainment offerings include Edgar Wright’s most successful film to date, Sophia Coppola’s well-received Southern Gothic period drama The Beguiled, the ill-conceived Will Ferrell laugher, The House, and the first release from the new Justice League animated series.
Things are getting interesting in this category, especially with the release of Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver
(Sony, “R,” $29.98, BD $34.98), a music-infused caper film that can’t help but make the viewer wonder what Wright’s version of Ant-Man
would have been like. Baby Driver
has been a breakthrough film for Wright, the first of his movies to earn over $100 million here in North America, and it is definitely one of the very best genre films of 2017 so far.
Also of great interest is Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled
(Universal, “R,” 187 min., $29.98, BD $34.98), a remake (of sorts) of the 1971 film directed by Don Siegel that starred Clint Eastwood. In contrast to Siegel, who told the story from the point of view of a wounded Union soldier who finds refuge in a Mississippi girl’s academy, Coppola narrates the saga from the point of view of the girls and teachers at the school.
Far less successful is The House (Warner Bros., “R,” 120 min., $29.98, BD $35.99), which stars Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler. This film wastes the talents of its stars, and is easily one of Ferrell’s worst efforts, earning just a 14% positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and earning just $25.5 million at the North American box office in spite of a major ad campaign.
Also due on Tuesday is the horror movie Wish Upon (Broad Green, “PG-13,” 95 min., $36.95, BD 44.95), which found favor neither with critics (18% positive on RT) nor with audiences as it earned just $13.8 million here in North America.
The best vintage release of the week is Michael Curtiz’ adaptation of Jack London’s The Sea Wolf
(Warner Bros, 100 min., BD $21.99). Perhaps the best adaptation of any of London’s novels, The Sea Wolf features a towering performance by Edgar G. Robinson as the power-mad Wolf Larsen, and great supporting work from John Garfield, Ida Lupino, and Alexander Knox. Produced in 1941, there is no denying the political overtones in the film’s portrait of the Nietzsche-spouting fascist sea captain, who rules by sheer terror.
TV Shows on DVD
Many of this week’s releases either contain Christmas-themed material, like A Very Brady Christmas
(Paramount, 93 min., $!0.99), which collects the 1988 reunion holiday movie featuring the sitcom’s original cast; or the 1990s sitcom Frazier: Christmas Episodes
(Paramount, 178 min., $13.99); the classic 1950s blue collar sitcom, The Honeymooers: Christmas Laughter
(Paramount, 156 min., $16.99); or the live-action, comic book-based Sabrina: The Teenage Witch—Christmas Episodes
(Paramount, 127 min., $13.99; or the excellent Canadian-produced police procedural, Murdoch Mysteries: Once Upon a Murdoch Christmas
(Acorn Media, 89 min., $24.99, BD $24.99)—or they are “complete series” sets that are geared for holiday gift-giving like the adult animated series from Comedy Central, Drawn Together: The Complete Collection
(Paramount, $22.99); the prime time soap Dynasty: The Complete Series
(Paramount, $118.99); the underrated Chris Rock sitcom, Everybody Hates Chris: The Complete Series
(Paramount, $33.99); the four-season CW period drama Reign: The Complete Series
(Warner Bros., $89.99); plus for the kids there are some “double season” Power Rangers
collections, including the Power Rangers Dino Charge Double Season Collection
(Lionsgate, 892 min., $24.98); the Power Rangers Megaforce Double Season Collection
(Lionsgate, 892 min., $34.98); and the Power Rangers Samurai Double Season Collection
(Lionsgate, 892 min., $24.98); and the 1990 animated show, Dink, the Little Dinosaur: The Complete Series
(Warner Bros., 477 min,, DVD-R, $29.98).
In amongst all this holiday chaff is the first release from the new Justice League Action
animated series, Justice League Action—Season 1, Part 1: Superpowers Unite
(Warner Bros., $18.84), and the latest season of the popular Nickelodeon series SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 9
(Nickelodeon, $22.99); and a Halloween-themed single-disc Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs: The Series, Spooktacular
(Sony, 45 min., $9.99).
This week’s top offering from overseas is The Last Kingdom: Season 1 (Universal, 482 min., $39.98), a historical series based on Bernard Cornwell’s series of novels, The Saxon Stories.
This week’s top release is ReLife: Season 1
(Funimation, 325 min., BD/DVD Combo $64.98, Ltd. Ed. $84.98), which collects the 13-episode TMS series from 2016 that is based on the seinen
science fantasy/romance web manga by Yayoiso about an underachiever who takes a “look younger drug” and goes back to high school determined to get it right the second time around. The limited edition comes in a collectible box and includes eight art cards.
Another new anime from 2016 is Space Patrol Luluca: The Complete Series (Funimation, 104 min., BD/DVD Combo $29.98). Produced by Trigger, this series aired in Japan as part of Ultra Super Anime Time, a 30-minute programming block that features chapters from three different anime series—hence the 13 episodes of Space Patrol Luluca only equal 104 minutes—or eight minutes a piece.
Also due this week are the latest installments of some long-running series including One Piece: Season 9, Voyage 3 (Funimation, 300 min., $34.99), which includes episodes 541-552 of the rollicking pirate saga; and D Gray Man: Season 3, Part 1 (Funimation, 325 min., $39.99) contains 13 more episodes (#52 to 64) of the 103 episode series from 2006-2008. A new D Gray Man series, Hallow, aired in Japan last year, so it’s great that rest of the original series is being released here.
Previously released as separate sets, Amagami SS and Amagami SS+ (Sentai Filmworks, 925 min., BD $79.98) are available together at a reduced price, and the same is true of the Persona 4: The Animation Complete Collection (Sentai Filmworks, 670 min., BD $89.98), which includes previously released anime based on the PlayStation 2 video game Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4.