There are some fun movies being released on DVD this week, starting with J.J. Abrams Super 8. That one should work on the small screen just fine, as outside of the train wreck itself and one pan of the battle across the town almost all of the scenes were shot with HDTV in mind, it seemed to me. Also out, Conan the Barbarian, which has noticeably more sex and violence than the Arnie versions. For the younger crowd, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World continues the franchise in its usual somewhat silly way.
From Japan we get Saki the Killer, which tells the twisted tale of the daughter of a Yakuza assassin who teaches art to killers. Finally, Tekken: Blood Vengeance is an entertaining 90 minutes of animated fun straight out of the game. It is being released two ways; as a stand-alone movie, and bundled with the new game Tekken: Hybrid. Looking at this group, it occurs to me it might have made more sense to group them by potential audience rather than list them in box-office results order.
In TV, the primary selection is Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series, but I find myself being aggravated by this one. They broke the airing of the season apart, with a gap in between large enough to run the new Torchwood series, one episode per week. When the first chunk finished running, they released Doctor Who: The Sixth Series – Part 1 on DVD, and if you shopped around you could pick it up for $21 or so. Not a bad deal at all, and lots of folks bought it. Likewise, when the second half was completed, they released Doctor Who: The Sixth Series – Part 2, and dropped the price of the first half to $18, with the stand alone Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol special running $8 or so. If you can buy all of the pieces for $48, why would you need the Complete Sixth Series as well, which costs $54 (again, assuming you shop around for the best deal). Because it includes extras missing from all previous versions, possibly?
Also in TV, Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman: Season 2 is an excellent science series that explores science fiction concepts the same way all the best authors do: by asking What If. If you haven’t seen this one I highly recommend it.
In western animation, the Marvel Knights Collection will be available in a single box set, if you haven’t already picked up the individual stories.
For Anime, Bakuman – First Issue is about someone driven to become a manga author, but is a bit more realistic than some series about the problems that kind of a goal needs to overcome. This set contains the first seven episodes. Also out, Fairy Tail – Combo Pack Part 1 seems to be about a young combat wizard team in typical quest game mode who may not be up to the challenge. At least, not without causing more harm than good. This box set contains the first 12 episodes of the series, but be warned there are over a hundred episodes already released, so you might want to watch a few online to give you an idea if this series is for you.
You would think a show with a title like Star Driver Part 1 would be about spaceships, but this one actually involves shrine maidens worshiping some giant mecha built for battle (ED: This one actually comes out next week). The most interesting of the animations out this week may be Coicent / Five Numbers!, which is two separate but equally strange OVAs. In one, a time traveling boy chases a deer and meets a girl who is herself pursued. In the other, 5 prisoners get loose from their cells, but the guards have disappeared and there appears to be no way out. Both of these short animations have gotten excellent reviews at various anime fests.