The first comic book movie from the summer of 2011 hits DVD on Tuesday. While the grosses for Sony’s Priest are the lowest of any of the comics-based movies, so was its budget and Priest will lose a lot less money than Warner Bros. expensive Green Lantern misfire. This week’s other offerings include an interesting science fiction series from the U.K., and an altogether superior adaptation of a 19th Century literary classic.
Theatrical Movies
The manhwa-based Priest (Sony, “R,” $30.99, BD $35.99) was widely considered a flop, but the $60 million movie has earned $76.6 million worldwide, so it might have a chance to at least break even if it does well on DVD. Sony didn’t do the film any favors by moving its debut date numerous times and then plopping it down in the middle of a highly competitive month of May, which is typically not kind to horror movie releases anyway, much less a science fiction/western/horror hybrid. The film’s design is excellent and the action is non-stop so there’s a good chance that a lot of horror movie fans will enjoy this film if they get a chance to see it.
Altogether better, though no less Gothic (in a more traditional sense), is Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre (Universal, “PG-13,” $29.98, BD $34.98), a superior adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s Victorian classic.  Michael Fassbender, who played Magneto in X-Men: First Class, is Rochester, while Mia Wasilkowska (Alice in Wonderland) is great in the title role. Those who enjoy solid literary adaptations will love this Jane Eyre.
The Conspirator (Roadside Attractions, “PG-13,” 122 min., $29.95, BD $39.99) is based on the true story of Mary Surratt who ran the boarding house where the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln was planned (“She kept the nest that hatched the egg” in the parlance of the time). There is a lot of historical relevance in this film, which shows how judicial corners can be cut in the wake of a national tragedy, but director Robert Redford doesn’t manage to infuse much life into the proceedings. Still this is a powerful film simply because of its unblinking look at an unsavory episode in American judicial history.
The rest of this week’s offerings are a mixed bag indeed. Something Borrowed (Warner Bros., “PG-13,” $28.98, BD $35.99) is a mindless romcom (it earned just a 15% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes) that wastes the talents of Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, and John Krasinski, while The Grace Card (Sony, “PG-13,” $26.99) is a “faith-based” film (not that there’s anything wrong with that), which unfortunately never rises above the level of an after-school special, but both of these films are near masterpieces when compared with the awful misfire that is Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil (Anchor Bay, “PG,” $14.98, BD $34.98), which could muster a rating of just 11% positive on Rotten Tomatoes.
The top American releases are animated including Batman: The Brave and the Bold-Season 2, Part 1 (Warner Bros. 450 min., $19.98). This series, which debuted in 2008 features “team-ups” with Batman engaging with other members of the DC universe.  Batman: The Brave and the Bold has a noticeably lighter tone than previous Batman animated series, but is no less interesting to Batman collectors.  Also out on Tuesday is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season 9 (Lionsgate, 176 min., $14.98), which contains all 8 episodes of the ninth season of the original TMNT animated series that debuted in 1987. This marks the debut of these episodes on DVD—and the original TMNT series is not currently airing in the U.S.
Another release of special interest is Voltron: Defender of the Universe—The Legend Begins (Vivendi, 180 min., $12.99), which contains the first seven episodes of the original classic Voltron animated series from the 1980s.  There is a new live-action Voltron movie in development and a new Voltron Force cartoon series airing on Nicktoons. Another single-disc release out this week is Fanboy and Chum Chum: Brain Freeze (Nickelodeon, 88 min., $16.99), which collects 4 episodes of the popular Nickelodeon series.
The top American live-action offering is Dexter: The 5th Season (Showtime, 618 min., $54.99, BD $64.99), which collects the most recent season of the popular series about a sympathetic serial killer. In Season 5 Dexter goes from happily married man to guilt-ridden single dad, but he still has to maintain his normal-guy demeanor in order to indulge in his compulsion to kill.
For those who enjoy their mayhem in campier form there is Elvira Movie Macabre: The Brain That Wouldn’t Die & The Manster (E1 Entertainment, 183 min., $14.93) and Elvira Movie Macabre: The Terror & Eegah! (E1 Entertainment, 180 min., $14.93), both of which provide a Grade B horror movie double feature larded with Elvira’s wonderfully snarky commentary.
Charlie Sheen fans facing withdrawal after the “winning” star’s Two-and-One-Half Men implosion can find solace with Spin City: Season Five (Shout Factory, 510 min., $29.93). After Michael J. Fox’s Parkinsons disease worsened, he had to leave the show and was replaced by Charlie Sheen—and the show posted its lowest ratings in history.
The best TV offering of the week is the innovative British science fiction series Outcasts (BBC, 400 min., $34.98 BD $34.98), a smart and occasionally compelling 8-part science fiction drama series set in the year 2060 on the fictional planet Carpathia, the so-called “Goldilocks” planet, which has been colonized by humans fleeing the destruction created by nuclear war on earth. While Outcasts has received more than its share of critical brickbats, lost two-thirds of its initial viewership, and was cancelled after one season, it did develop a cult following and is worth watching, if only for the purpose of comparison by those who enjoyed the similarly-themed new Battlestar Galactica series.
The only other U.K. release is Gavin & Stacey: The Complete Collection (BBC, 570 min., $79.98), which includes all 20 episodes of the romantic comedy drama, which won a slew of BAFTA and British Comedy Awards.
It’s another light week for anime releases with the best offering being Night Raid 1931 Complete Collection (Sentai Filmworks, “17+,” 400 min., $59.98, BD $69.98), a fascinating espionage series set in China in 1931. Night Raid 1931 is not without controversy, though it contains many ahistorical elements such as the development of an atom bomb in Asia, it also makes reference to a number of actual historical events including the Mukden incident, which is shown from the Japanese perspective and is unlikely to please those of Chinese origin. This 14-episode series, which aired in Japan in 2010, is well-produced and quite different from most anime released here in subject matter and hence quite interesting.
The only other release this week can hardly be considered anime, but is a truly international production. Hero: 108 Season 1 DVD 2 (Viz Media, All Ages, 150 min., $14.97) is a flash-animated Cartoon Network series created by Yang-Ming Tang, animated by Mike Young Productions in Los Angeles, and loosely based on the classic Chinese novel Water Margin, the saga of 108 outlaws during the Song Dynasty.