This week’s home entertainment releases include 2017’s most popular animated film (so far), the latest seasons of The Simpsons and Fargo as well as the revived Twin Peaks, and the third season of the new Sailor Moon series.

Theatrical Releases

This week’s top release is the animated sequel Despicable Me 3 (Universal, “PG,” 90 min., $29.98, BD $34.98, 4K $39.98), which is (so far) the only animated film of 2017 to earn over a billion dollars.  Kids will find DM3 to be just as entertaining as the first two films (and close to Minions), but the franchise is beginning to wear thin with adults—and DM3 in fact did worse in North America than its predecessor (though better in the rest of the world).  Bottom line is, if you enjoyed the first two DM films, you will probably like DM3, but if the previous DM films’ scattershot humor bothered you at all, you might want to pass on this one.

For action film fans there is American Assassin (Lionsgate, “R,” 112 min., $29.98, BD $39.99, 4K 42.99), a well-acted, but clichéd saga of a man seeking revenge against the jihadist who killed the hero’s girlfriend during a terrorist attack in Ibiza.

Horror movie fans have the Australian film Better Watch Out (Well Go, “R,” 89 min., $24.98, BD $29.98), a grisly psychological thriller that is made all the creeper by its villain, a cruelly clever 12-year-old psychopath, who torments his 17-year-old babysitter.  A 91% positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes indicates that this is a better than average horror film effort.


There are very few TV releases this week, but there are three with definite geek cred including The Simpsons: The Complete 18th Season (Fox, 481 min., $49.98) still the “gold standard’ for primetime TV animated series; Twin Peaks: The Third Season A Limited Event Series (Paramount, 1030 min., $63.98, BD $84.98), which contains the 18-episode 2017 series that is just as “slow, creepy, and weird” as the original (which is why this reviewer likes it); and Fargo: Year 3 (Fox, 520 min., $39.98), the latest season of Noah Hawley’s black comedy, which features excellent performances from Ewan McGregor and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

Vintage TV releases include the comedy Alice: The Complete 6th Season (Warner Bros., DVD=R., 635 min, $34.98); and another vintage sitcom, One Day at a Time: The Complete Series (Shout Factory, 5130, min., $129.99).

The only release from overseas is Midsommer Murders: John Barnaby’s First Cases (Acorn Media, 1,301 min., $79.99), which contains 14 previously released, feature length English village murder mysteries that feature Neil Dudgeon as John Barnaby, the detective cousin of Tom Barnaby (John Nettles), who starred in the first 13 Midsommer Murder series.  Dudgeon, who has now appeared in six seasons of the beautifully shot mystery series, has brought his own understated wit to the comedy-inflected mystery show (as well as one of the cutest canines on the small screen).


Limited Edition
This week’s top release is Sailor Moon Crystal: Season 3 (Viz Media, “TV-14,” 325 min., $ 39.99, BD $69.99, Ltd. Ed. $79.99), which includes episodes 27-38 of new series from Toei that follows Naoko Takeuchi’s Sailor Moon manga much more closely than the original Sailor Moon anime series.  The Limited Edition includes a deluxe case, a full-color art booklet, English cast interviews, and three full-color art cards.

Another item of interest is Mob Pyscho 100: Season One (Funimation, “TV-14,” 300 min., BD/DVD Combo $64.98, Ltd. Ed. $84.98), contains the 12-episode 2016 series from Bones that is based on the supernatural/action/ comedy Web manga created by ONE about an 8th grade boy with psychic powers.  The Limited Edition includes double-sided art cards, a dimple wall cling, a metal spoon, and character stickers.

Also new this week is Taboo Tattoo: The Complete Series (Funimation, “TV-MA,” 300 min., $64.98), which contains the 12-epsode 2016 J.C. Staff series based on the action/adventure manga by Shinjiro that is licensed here by Yen Press; the idol comedy Love Live! Sunshine: Season one (Funimation, “TV-14,” 325 min., BD/DVD Combo $64.98), which includes the first 13-episodes of multi-media project from the music label Lantis and anime powerhouse Sunrise Animation; and the re-priced One Piece Collection 21 (Funimation, “TV-14,” 600 min., $34.98), which includes 24 previously released episodes (492-515) at a much lower per-episode cost.

Another new to North America release is the 2013 anime film Initial D Legend 1: Awakening (Sentai Filmworks, “TV-14,” 60 min., BD $39.98), which is based on the old school street racing manga by Suichi Shigeno.

The Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East Complete Collection (Sentai Filmworks, “TV-14,” 650 min., BD $99.98) includes two series that were released separately before, and the Clannad Complete Collection (Sentai Filmworks, “TV-PG,” 1,225 min., $149.98) includes all 49 episodes from the various Clannad series, which have been released before, but not individually.

Another re-release is the seventh Pokemon anime series, the Pokemon Advanced Challenge Complete Collection (Viz Media, “TV-Y7,” 1300 min., $54.97), which contains all 52 episodes of the series that aired in Japan in 2003-2004.