In movies, Man of Steel leads off, with the latest retelling of the Superman legend. This one snuck past me in the movie theaters, so I am looking forward to this additional opportunity to check it out. The martial arts offering this time is Ip Man: The Final Fight, also known as Ip Man 4. This pretty much completes his life story, and it is appropriate that it is filmed in Hong Kong, since that is where he lived out his later days. I believe this is the first one that actually talks about his most famous student, Bruce Lee. I missed this one because it was only in my local movie theater for a single week before it was gone, but before China bought the AMC movie chain a few years ago, these kinds of movies were a lot harder to find on the big screen at all. If you are an H.P. Lovecraft fan and looking for some good comedy, you will want to watch Grabbers. This is basically what happens when the Deep Ones invade Ireland, but are terminally allergic to alcohol; the populace rallies at the pub, pitchforks and torches in hand! I missed this one because it would have involved a drive to NYC, or one of the 5 other major cities in the US it played in. And for animated silliness, Dreamworks Animation’s Turbo is also coming out to disc. I missed this one because the trailers and plot line just didn’t grab me, but now that it will be on one of the cable channels or available to stream on one of my services at no additional cost to me, I will check it out.
In TV, Stan Lee’s Superhumans: Season Two continues to be the only comic book based superhero reality show I know of. Plus, it runs on the History Channel 2, which is the part of the whole A&E family of cable stations that gives you some great Sci-Fi/Fantasy based programming. I am not sure if I can count the other two TV releases as being on TV, since they were only available on various streaming services such as Crunchyroll, but both RWBY: Volume 1 and Red vs. Blue: Season 11 will be on disc this week. They are both the products of the fertile minds over at Rooster Teeth, who keep cranking out some of the most innovating animations using products that pretty much anyone with a computer can pick up for under a hundred dollars.
In Anime I normally don’t talk about re-releases unless something truly good has become rare, and this one missed the rare part but is dead center for the truly good. Akira: 25th Anniversary Edition is the definitive release of the Anime that made North America, and most of the rest of the world, realize that they needed to take this art form seriously. This digitally restored HD version of the movie includes both the 1988 and 2001 English audio dubs as well as a Japanese soundtrack with subtitles, and a ton of other extras. Since my own copy is SD, that alone means I need to upgrade. If you haven’t seen this feature length film before, you can watch it online at Funimation for free, and you really ought to do so; this is the production that changed everything about how North America viewed Japanese Science Fiction and Pop Culture.
Maken-Ki! Battling Venus is the complete series (at least until someone decides to finance another season) in a single box set. It is the story of a combat school where the you train with a magic object that gives you powers, called a Maken, and where the women outnumber the men 3 to 1, because they are three times as deadly. Our protagonist is a boy who can’t figure out how to get his Maken to work, and it is a race between getting kicked out of school with failing grades or getting killed by his pretty schoolmates. Being made by the team that did Ikki Tousen, you can expect a lot of fan service, predominately during the combat sequences.