Just as there haven’t been a lot of great movies released in theaters so far in 2018, the home entertainment market offerings have been similarly anemic, but there are some items of interest this week, especially the fire-fighting drama Only the Brave, and there are some interesting TV offerings including the latest season of Homeland, a “mostly complete” Ren & Stimpy set, and The Complete Duckman.
This week’s most successful film at the box office (and that is not saying much) is A Bad Moms Christmas (Universal, “R,” 105 min., $29.98, BD $34.98), a holiday sequel to the R-rated 2016 comedy hit Bad Moms. A Bad Moms Christmas has twice the moms as the mothers of the three protagonists of Bad Moms (played by Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn) show up for the holidays. Unfortunately twice the moms doesn’t equal twice the laughs, but there are some raunchy yuks here—and the three principals are very good at this sort of comedy.
A far better film is the downbeat real life drama Only the Brave
(Sony, “PG-13,” 134 min., $30.99, BD $34.99), which tells the story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite team of firefighters who battled the Yarnell Hill fire in 2013. A great cast that includes Josh Brolin, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly, Taylor Kitsch, and Miles Teller, solid effects, and a compelling narrative make Only the Brave
, which earned a strong 88% positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the best firefighting movies since Backdraft.
George Clooney’s black comedy Suburbicon
(Paramount, “R,” 105 min., $25.95, BD $31.98) is a genre-melding mess that tries to blend a murder mystery with a satire of suburbia and an examination of segregation in housing. Wasting the talents of a solid cast led by Matt Damon, Suburbicon
is one of Clooney’s worst directorial efforts.
Less disappointing, but far from perfect, is LBJ
(Sony, “R,” 97 min., $17.99, BD $19.99) a biographical film directed by Rob Reiner that stars Woody Harrelson as the 36th President. Reiner’s film, which tracks Johnson’s career from his unexpected ascendancy to the Presidency through the passage of the historic Civil Rights, which finally put an end to most forms of public segregation, is similar in scope (and in its look at the arm-twisting nature of politics in a democracy) to Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln
, but far less successful. A heavily made-up Harrelson plays Johnson as crafty and lusting for power, but tempering his ambition by directing it toward laudable (in the case of the Civil Rights Act) goals.
TV on DVD
The only contemporary series due out on Tuesday is Homeland: The Complete Sixth Season
(Fox, $39.98, BD $49.98), which being released now to coincide with the debut of Season Seven
on Showtime next Sunday. Season Six
, which stars the always brilliant Clare Danes, takes place in the interval between the election and inauguration of the nation’s first female president.
All the rest of this week’s offerings are “vintage” series, and among the most interesting of these offerings is War of the Worlds: The Complete Series
(Paramount, 2005 min., $35.98), which collects all 43 episodes of the 1980s series that was based on the classic 1953 War of the World movie (using the same Martian war machine designs).
Also of great interest (though this material has been around for quite some time at higher prices) is The Ren and Stimpy Show: The Mostly Complete Collection
(Paramount, $26.98), which contains over 100 wacky Ren and Stimpy episodes. This is not the long-promised “Ultimate Ren & Stimpy Collection,” rather it is a re-packaging of the nine previously-released Ren & Stimpy discs, which were previously issued in 3-disc “season” sets.
Other animated offerings of interest include the Disney channel girl superhero saga Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Chat Noir
(Shout Factory, 540 min., $24.95) and Duckman: The Complete Series
(Paramount, 1575 min., $35.98), which includes all 70 episodes of the adult animated sitcom that was based on Everett Peck’s Dark Horse comic book series. The Duckman
TV series featured the voice of Jason Alexander in the title role and the series aired from 1994-1997.
Other vintage releases include the venerable Norman Lear sitcom All in the Family: Seasons 1-5
(Sony, 2400 min., $49.99); the Tom Hanks-starring sitcom Bosom Buddies: The Complete Series
(Paramount, 929 min., $29.98); the legal drama The Guardian: The Complete Series
(Paramount, 2972 min., $49.98); and the 2006 mini-series The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb
(Mill Creek, 171 min., $14.98).
This week’s only offering from overseas is Taboo: Season 1
(Echo Bridge, 475 min., $49.99, BD $59.99), a gripping 19th Century drama starring Tom Hardy.
This week’s top “fan service” release is Keijo!!!!!!!!: The Complete Series
(FUNimation, “TV-MA,” 300 min., BD/DVD Combo $64.98, Ltd. Ed. $ ), which contains all 12 episodes of the 2016 series from Xebec that is based on Daishi Sorayama’s manga about a fictional all-female sport where women on floating platforms attempt to push their competitors into the water using only their breasts and buttocks. The Limited Edition
includes a pin-up calendar of Keijo stars, a 20-page artbook, and 6 OVAs.
Also due on Tuesday is Pokemon the Series: XYZ, Series 2
(VIZ Media, TV-Y7, 600 min., $24.98), which includes the final 24 episodes of the 47-episode nineteenth series of Pokemon
, which aired on the Cartoon Network in 2016 (it was the last Pokemon
series to run on the CN).