This week’s home entertainment releases include a fascinating/cerebral/ Lovecraftian science fiction film you may not have heard about, a superior neo-noir thriller that also may have eluded your attention, plus another convoluted noir with a stand-out performance from Margot Robbie, and the first season of the well-reviewed DC Comics-based superhero series Black Lightning.
While there are no huge releases this week there are some very interesting films led by The Endless
(Well Go USA, “Not Rated,” 111 min., $24.98, BD $29.98), a fascinating film from the directorial team of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead that is set in the same world as their earlier film Resolution
(also worth seeing). If you like the kind of science fiction movie that will have you discussing it with friends for hours after you watched it, The Endless
with its combination of Lovecraftian horror and Phillip K. Dick philosophical tropes, is sure to please.
Also of great interest is Gemini
(Universal, “R,” 96 min., $22.98, BD $29.98), a stylish neo-noir that features a stand-out performance by Lola Kirke as a personal assistant who has to clear her name after her starlet boss is murdered. Gemini
has a strong (for the genre) 78% positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and director Aaron Katz delivers plenty of interesting visuals to push the film’s convoluted plot along.
A couple of other films due out on Tuesday have much lower critical ratings, but they are still likely of interest to some. Margot Robbie fans in particular will want to check out her performance in Terminal
(Image Entertainment, “Not Rated,” 90 min., $29.96, BD $29.97), another neo-noir with a convoluted plot, though this one is so scattershot that it is primarily responsible for the film’s pitiful 23% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Simon Pegg and Mike Myers also star in this narrative mess that is memorable primarily for Robbie’s strong performance. Another thriller, In Darkness
(Lionsgate, “Not Rated,” 101 min., $24.99), which was written and directed by Anthony Byrne, follows a blind pianist who becomes embroiled in a complex and dangerous narrative when here neighbor is murdered.
Also receiving poor reviews (23% positive on RT) was yet another thriller, Tyler Perry’s Acrimony (Lionsgate, “R,” 120 min., $29.99, BD $39.99), which, nevertheless will appeal to the director’s fans, especially because of the powerful performance of Taraji P. Henson as a loyal wife who takes revenge on her ex-husband.
TV on DVD
This week’s top release is Black Lightning Season 1
(Warner Bros., 780 min., $29.98, BD $39.98), which collects the 13-episode CW series that stars Cress Williams as the African-American DC superhero created by Tony Isabella. This saga of a retired superhero who comes back to combat gang violence introduced a lot of real-world elements into the CW superhero world, and Season 1 has a 97% positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
All the other TV on DVD offerings of interest come from overseas. Those who enjoy realistic UK drama filled with both humor and heartbreak should check out Girlfriends
(Acorn, 294 min., $39.99), which contains all six episodes of the series written by Kay Mellor about three lifelong friends who reunite in the face of serious problems., while those who enjoy Doc Martin
, might want to check out the Australian “fish-out-of-water” medical drama The Heart Guy, Series 2
(Acorn, 479 min., $59.99), which has more than its share of eccentric characters.
One of this week’s most interesting releases, at least for those who enjoy science fiction anime, is Clockwork Planet: The Complete Series
(Funimation, “TV-14,” 300 min., BD/DVD Combo $64.98), the 12-episode 2017 Xebec adaptation of the light novel by Yuu Kamiya that is set in a “clockpunk” world with the entire planet run by fantastic clockwork inventions.
Thanks to exposure on Adult Swim this week’s most popular release is Hunter x Hunter: Set 4
(Viz Media, “TV-14,” 625 min., BD $49.98), which presents, in glorious high definition, 25-episodes of the classic 2011 reboot of the anime series based on Yoshiro Togashi’s action-packed manga. This set includes episodes 51-75 covering the end of the “Phantom Troupe” arc and the entire “Greed Island” arc.
Also very intriguing are Kenka Bancho Otome: Girl Beats Boys: The Complete Series (Funimation, “TV-14,” 96 min., BD/DVD Combo $34.98), which collects the 2017 series from A-Real that is based on Chie Samada’s shojo manga about an orphan girl, who takes the place of her twin brother at a tough high school where she rises to leadership of the teenage yakuza; Sakura Quest: Part 1 (Funimation, “TV-14,” 325 min., BD/DVD Combo $64.98), which includes the first 13 episodes of the 25-episode original slice-of-life/character comedy anime produced by PA Works in 2017 about a young college grad, who finds a job promoting tourism for an economically-challenged rural village full of colorful characters; and Grimoire of Zero: Complete Collection (Sentai Filmworks, “TV-14,” 300 min., BD $69.98), which contains the 2017 anime series from White Fox based on the award-winning fantasy light novel series by Kakeru Kobashiri.
Though it is not an anime, the Prison School Live-Action Television Series (Funimation, “TV-MA,” 225 min., Subtitles Only, BD/DVD Combo $49.98) is based on the manga by Akira Hiramoto (published here by Yen Press) that spawned an anime from J.C. Staff in 2015 as well as the 9-episode 2015 live-action TV series.