It’s bleak week for home entertainment releases enlivened only by the second (and perhaps final) season of the BBC’s Dirk Gently series, the first Blu-ray edition of Glen Murakami’s 2003 Teen Titans animated series, the 8th film in the Saw series, plus a disastrous film about a man-made mega-storm that is far less interesting than an anime series about the consequences of an ill-fated scheme to terraform Mars.


There are very few releases in the TV category this week, but two out of the three are very interesting, especially Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Season 2 (BBC, 360 min., $29.98, BD $34.98), which includes all ten episodes of the second (and quite possibly the last) season of the BBC/Netflix series based on Douglas Adams’ comic sci-fi detective series.  While Season One was all about body swapping, Season 2 is a full-out fantasy saga as forces from a fantasy realm find a path to Earth.

Out on Blu-ray for the first time this week is Teen Titans: Season One (Warner Bros., 282 min., $21.99), which contains the first 13 episodes from Glen Murakami’s 2003 animated series.  The first season of this underrated series concentrated on Robin.

This week’s lone vintage release is the academic drama The Paper Chase, Season 4: The Final Season (Shout Factory, 270 min., $22.97).

Theatrical Films

Slim pickings this week--the most successful of Tuesday’s releases was Jigsaw (Lionsgate, “R,” 91 min., $29.95, BD $39.95, 4K $42.99), the eighth film in the “torture porn” Saw series, which takes place a decade after the death of the Jigsaw killer.  While there is enough slicing and dicing here to please fans of the series, there’s not much of a story in this film that didn’t do well with either the mainstream critics (just 34% positive on Rotten Tomatoes) or genre aficionados (Bloody Disgusting gave the film just 2.5 stars).

Also less than stellar is Geostorm (Warner Bros., “PG-13,” 109 min., $29.98, BD $34.97, 3D 59.99).  Producer Dean Devlin took up the directorial reins in this disaster film about the struggle to save the planet from a massive storm created by malfunctioning climate-controlling satellites put in place to make up for man-made global warming.  Plagued by reshoots, this $120 million film earned just $33.6 million at the box office and received just a 13% approval rating on RT.

Faring far better with the critics (but not audiences), was Thank You For Your Service (Universal, “R,” 109 min., $29.98, BD $34.98), which tries to do for Iraq War vets what The Best Years of Our Lives did for World War II vets with a special emphasis on PTSD and the difficulties that it presents as soldiers attempt to reintegrate into society.  Thank You For Your Service garnered a 76% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but the film, due to the difficulty of its subject matter and the general unpopularity of Iraq War movies, earned only $9.4 million at the box office—perhaps it will get the exposure it deserves in the aftermarket.

Also well-reviewed by critics and shunned by audiences was Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Lionsgate, “R,” 121 min., $19.98, BD $24.98), the director’s follow-up to The Lobster.  A fine cast headed by Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman helped this elliptical, occasionally absurdist film earn a 79% positive rating on RT, but the movie, which won the best screenplay award at Cannes, only earned $4.3 million worldwide.


This week’s top release is Terra Formars, Part 1 (Viz Media, “TV-MA,” 325 min., BD/DVD Combo $59.99), which contains the 2014 science fiction anime based on the manga by Yu Sasuga, that takes place on a Mars where plans to create a livable environment by releasing algae and cockroaches has gone horribly wrong.

Also of interest is Ace Attorney: Part 1 (Funimation, “TV-14,” 325 min., BD/DVD Combo $64.98), which includes the first 13 episodes of the 24-episode 2016 series from A-1 Pictures that was streamed by Crunchyroll, and is based on the first two games in Capcom’s video game in which defense attorney Phoenix Wright does battle with DA Miles Edgeworth in an alternate world with a souped-up judicial system in which cases must be decided within three days.

Also due out on Tuesday is Typhoon Noruda (Sentai Filmworks, “TV-PG,” 26 min., BD $19.98), a short film about a group of students trapped by a giant storm, who not only have to save themselves, but maybe the planet as well.