This week’s home entertainment offerings include the underrated Brad Bird film Tomorrowland, one of the best indie films of the year (Dope), plus a chance to grab all of the original Heroes series before the new series starts, and more of the stylish re-imagined Ghost in the Shell: Arise.

Theatrical Movies

This week’s theatrical releases include the Blu-ray debut of Disney’s animated 1992 hit Aladdin (Disney, “G,” 90 min., BD $39.98), plus a much more modern Disney offering that wasn’t nearly as successful.  Tomorrowland (Disney, “PG,” 120 min., $29.98, BD $39.98), was one of 2015’s bigger box office bombs, but this visually stunning film is actually better than its 50% positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes would suggest.  Director Brad Bird (The Incredibles) aimed high, and though Tomorrowland is at times narratively challenged, this film enshrines an optimism and positive outlook that is refreshing as all get out, given the current state of the cinematic world. 

But perhaps this week’s most interesting offering is Rick Famuyiwa’s Dope (Universal, “R,” 208 min., $29.98, BD $34.98), a great coming-of-age saga about a very smart Black teen that manages to avoid the stereotypes of African-Americans that infest so many films.  Don’t be put off by the title of this film, which was a Sundance winner and has a stellar 87% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


It’s still quite a ways until Christmas, but there are quite a few “Complete Series” sets debuting this week, including Heroes: The Complete Series (Universal, $74.98, BD $99.98), which makes the original NBC 2006-2010 series available (at a lower price) just in time for the debut of the revived Heroes series, and the Elmore Leonard-based Justified: The Complete Series (Sony, $149.98, BD Collector’s Edition $215.98) that includes all six seasons of action-packed, character-driven series.  The Collector’s Edition comes with a “Justified Flask” as well as a commemorative book.   

Equally interesting for some (though it has been available before) is another crime drama with a twist, Dexter: The Complete Series (Paramount, 5092 min., $99.98), which includes all 96 episodes of the saga of a forensic expert, who just happens to be a very successful serial killer.  Other sets of interest include a vintage duo, The Bionic Woman: The Complete Series (Universal, 2977 min., $74.98) and The Six-Million Dollar Man: The Complete Series (Universal, 5630, $129.98).

Another prestigious series, which just ended its highly successful run, is now available in a “Complete Series” edition.  Mad Men: The Complete Collection (Lionsgate, $209.98, BD $209.97) comes with a couple of whisky glasses as well a full color book that holds the discs.  There has been an increasing number of really great TV series in recent years, but none have plumbed the depths of the hollow center of the American success story more deftly than Mad Men, whose protagonist Don Draper is the Jay Gatsby of the 1950s and 1960s.  For those who have been collecting the seasons of Mad Men right along, there is Mad Men: The Final Season (Lionsgate, $38.97, BD $39.97).

Contemporary series due on Tuesday include the post-apocalyptic drama The 100: The Complete 2nd Season (Warner Bros., $39.98), the Psycho-based horror series Bates Motel: Season 3 (Universal, 468 min.,$44.98, BD $49.98), and the serial killer drama The Following: The Complete 3rd and Final Season (Warner Bros., $39.98, BD $44.98).

The lone animated release is a good one, The Regular Show: The Movie (Warner Bros., $14.98) in which the show’s two slacker protagonists, Mordecai and Rigby save the universe by thwarting a “Timenado.”

In many ways the most interesting vintage release is The Saint: Seasons 1 & 2 (Timeless Media Group, 1989 min., $44.99), which features Roger Moore (pre-James Bond) as Simon Templar, the show’s eponymous hero, who is more or less a modern day Robin Hood.  This 1960s series is one of the best incarnations of The Saint, and features all sorts of interesting guest appearances by actors like Oliver Reed, Julie Christie, Honor Blackman, and Shirley Eaton.


This week’s top release is Ghost in the Shell Arise: Borders 3 & 4 (Funimation, 110 min., BD/DVD Combo $39.98), which continues the “reimagining” of the Masamune Shirow’s classic cyber thriller.  The Arise series features new character designs, and will definitely appeal to those who enjoyed earlier incarnations (both TV and movie) of what remains one of the most influential anime and manga properties of our time.  The “Borders” are short movie length (55 min.) episodes.  Borders #3 Ghost Tears finds Batou and Motoko try to stop a terrorist group whose symbol in Scylla (after the mythological sea menace), while in Borders #4 Motoko and Public Security Section 9 attempt to thwart a virus known as “Fire Starter” that is a danger to any and all computer networks.

Also of great interest is a 2013 series from Kyoto Animation, one of the most interesting and innovative of all the anime studios. The Beyond the Boundary: Complete Collection (Sentai Filmworks, 300 min., $59.98, BD $69.98, Collector’s Edition $179.98) includes all 12 episodes of the supernaturally-inclined urban fantasy anime series.  The Collector’s Edition includes full color booklets, postcards, character glasses, trading cards, a poster, and keychain.

Those who enjoy J-Pop might very well want to check out the Samurai Jam—Bakamatsu Rock Complete Collection (Sentai Filmworks, 300 min., $49.98, BD $59.98), which includes all 12 episodes from the 2014 Studio Deen anime based on the Japanese video game produced by Marvelous AQL that is set in the mid-19th Century at the end of the Shogunate.