This week’s home entertainment releases include Takashi Miike’s blood-soaked adaptation of Hiroaki Samura’s innovative Blood of the Immortal manga, the most successful family drama of 2017, a film notable primarily for one of Denzel Washington’s very best performances, two animated features inspired by the 1960s Batman TV series, plus the Filmation Superman and Batman shows from the 1960s and 1970s, every episode of Doctor Who featuring the 12th Doctor, as well as the first season of the gritty HBO period drama The Deuce.
Also of interest, chiefly because of the masterful performance by Denzel Washington, is Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Sony, “PG-13,” 122 min., $30.99, BD $34.99), a legal drama written and directed by Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler). Unfortunately Washington’s excellent work, which brings out all sorts of facets of a very complex character, won’t receive the praise it deserves, because of the film’s messy, lifelike, meandering narrative.
TV on DVD
Also of interest for collectors is The New Adventures of Superman/New Adventures of Batman Double Feature (Disney, 615 min., $19.98), which collects all 68 six-minute Superman shorts produced by Filmation from the 1966-1970 plus the 16-episode Batman series that aired in 1977.
A couple of vintage shows are of special interest to geek viewers. All 103 episodes of the legendary Canadian sketch comedy series The Kids in the Hall: The Complete Collection (Mill Creek, 2,700 min., $69.98) are available in this 12-disc collection, and then there is the reissue of the classic Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume 7 (Shout Factory, 390 min., $44.99) in which the MST3K crew make merciless fun of Hercules Unchained, The Killer Shrews, Hercules Against the Moon Men, and Prince of Space.
Other animated TV offerings include Ben 10: Season 1, Vol.1: Villain Time (Warner Bros., 143 min., $14.97); Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie (Nickelodeon, 66 min., $13.99), and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic—Escape Into Friendship (Shout Factory, 110 min., $14.98).
Other vintage releases include the police drama Adam-12: Season One (Universal, 648 min., $22.98); the groundbreaking 1950s police procedural Dragnet: Season 1 (Universal, 434 min., $34.98); the forensic police drama Quincy, M.E.: Season 1 (Universal, 335 min., $22.98); and the sexy sitcom Three’s Company: The Complete Collection (Lionsgate, $76.98).
Also due on Tuesday is Akiba’s Trip: The Complete Series (Funimation, “TV-MA,” 325 min., BD/DVD Combo $64.98), which includes the 13-episode Gonzo series from 2017 that is based on the Akiba’s Trip video game. This fan service-filled sci-fi comedy finds its otaku protagonist in the midst of a sort of vampire-like plague in which cosplaying “bugged ones” roam the streets of Akihabara inflecting people right and left until our hero and his friend discover that the “bugged ones” can be destroyed by ripping their clothes off and exposing their bodies to sunlight.
An adventure comedy of a different sort is Food Wars: The Second Plate (Sentai Filmworks, “TV-14,” 325 min., $59.98, BD $69.98, Premium Box Set $169.98), which contains the 13-episode J.C. Staff series from 2016 that like its 2015 predecessor is based on the manga written by Yuko Tsukuda. The Premium Box Set includes a special booklet, a collectible plate, an exclusive pin, art cards, and a bandana.
Other releases include Fairy Tail: Collection 11 (Fumimation, 650 min.,$54.98), which includes episodes 240 to 265, which have already been released in 13-episode sets, and the 2016 Pokemon-esque Monster Hunter Stories: Ride On—Season 1, Part 1 (Funimation, “TV-7,” 300 min., BD/DVD Combo $64.98).
For Pokemon fans, Pokemon the Movie: I Choose You! (Viz Media, “TV-Y7,” 98 min., BD $24.98), the twentieth Pokemon film produced by OLM, is a very interesting proposition since it is basically provides an alternate continuity for the original Kanto League story arc that launched the hugely popular anime.