With the fall TV Season almost upon us, the once moribund “TV on DVD” category is hopping again this week with the latest seasons of The Walking Dead, American Gods, Arrow, Star Wars Resistance, plus the TV movie, LEGO DC Batman: Family Matters--aided by contributions from other categories including the intriguing super-antihero saga Brightburn, and an anime series from Studio Ghibli directed by Hayao Miyazaki’s son Goro.
TV on DVD
No category of disc releases has been hit harder by the slump in DVD and BD sales than “TV on DVD,” but this week for a change there are some really great offerings including the comic book-based The Walking Dead: Season 9
(Anchor Bay, $70.98, BD $80.99). While the premiere of Season 9
was the lowest rated debut in franchise history, TWD is still the #1 cable show on Sunday night, and remains hugely popular. Season 9
basically adapts material from issues 127-144 of the Image Comic book series, which recently ended with issue #193 (see “The Walking Dead Comes to an End This Week
Other releases of great interest to geek viewers include the second season of the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel, American Gods: Season 2
(Anchor Bay $34.98, BD $34.07), and the DC Comics-based Arrow: The Complete Seventh Season
(Warner Bros., $29.98, BD $44.98), the penultimate season the CW series that began the shared DC TV universe that also includes The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow,
, plus the animated CW web series, Vixen
, and Freedom Fighters: The Ray.
For Star Wars
fans there is Star Wars Resistance: Season 1
(Disney, 462 min., $24.99), which collects the first season of the anime-influenced, 21-episode, CGI series that ran on Disney XD, and which begins six months before the events in The Force Awakens
, and crosses over with events from the film. Season 2
, which will debut on October 6, continues the action and crosses over with the upcoming Rise of Skywalker
Also due on Tuesday is the LEGO DC: Batman: Family Matters
(Warner Bros., Not Rated, $19.98, BD $24.98). This ninth LEGO/DC film is a direct-to-DVD “movie” that finds the Caped Crusader battling a blocky Red Hood in a story that mixes comedy and adventure.
Other new TV on DVD releases include: the Kurt Sutter-produced Mayans M.C. Season 1 (Fox, $29.98), the CBS police drama Blue Bloods: Season 9 (Paramount, 923 min., $55.98), the networking-hopping police comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 6 (Universal, 387 min., $39.98), the CBS crime drama NCIS: New Orleans: Season 5 (Paramount, $55.98), and the high-powered police procedural S.W.A.T.: Season 2 (Sony, 979 min., $39.98).
None of this week’s movie releases was remotely a hit, but there are some interesting offerings including the James Gunn-produced superhero/horror film Brightburn
(Sony, “R,” 90 min., $30.99, BD $34.98, 4K $39.98). Brightburn
is a sort of super-antihero saga with a Superman-esque origin story of an alien baby with strange powers adopted by a farm family—but with a big difference, this super-powered alien is evil.
Other films due on Tuesday include The Hustle
(Universal, “PG-13,” 94 min., $29.98, BD $34.98) a remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
with Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson essaying the roles formerly played by David Niven and Marlon Brando in the 1964 film Bedtime Story
, and by Steve Martin and Michael Caine in the 1988 remake Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
; the canine-centric tearjerker A Dog’s Journey
(Universal, “PG,” 109 min., $19.99, BD $22.98), which itself is a sequel to the better 2017 film A Dog’s Purpose,
but which still should appeal to dog lovers; and the teen drama The Sun Is Also A Star
(Warner Bros.,”PG-13,” 100 min., $19.98) about a young couple about to be torn apart when one of the lovers’ family is slated for deportation.
For fans of documentaries there is John Chester’s The Biggest Little Farm
(Universal, “PG,” 92 min., $19.98, BD $24.98), a well-photographed story of the director and his wife’s quest to give up the city and live sustainably on a farm that doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties such a task affords.
The anime pick of the week is Ronja: The Robber’s Daughter
(Shout Factory, 650 min., BD $49.98), which collects the 26-episode 2015 anime co-produced by Studio Ghibli and directed by Hayao Miiyazaki’s son Goro. The anime is based on the book Ronia, The Robber’s Daughter
by Astrid Lindgren. Gillian Anderson narrates the series, which has streamed on Amazon Prime, and has won several animation awards in Asia.
This week’s new releases also include Free: Dive to the Future Limited Edition (Funimation, 300 min., DVD & Blu-ray $84.98) the third season of the sports anime (swimming) from Kyoto Animation. The Limited edition includes a full color art book as well as special art cards featuring the series’ main characters.
Other items due on Tuesday include the dubbed-only Pokemon: Diamond & Pearl, The Series
(Viz Media, DVD, $44.98), a massive 7-disc collection of the popular 51-episode tenth season of the Pokemon
anime; a new English dub of the 2012 sci-fi romcom from J.C. Staff, the Waiting in the Summer Complete Collection
(Sentai Filmworks, 300 min., BD $69.98); and a Steelbook Blu-ray re-issue of another popular series, The Big O: 20th Anniversary Steelbook Edition
(Sentai Filmworks, 650 min., $79.98).