We’re still physical media devotees round these parts with lots of room in our hearts and on our shelves for DVDs, Blu-rays, and even the occasional VHS (an old beat up copy of The Truman Show and our trusty VCR recently rescued a social event when rain ruined our outdoor screening). In that spirit, we’re sharing the details of a few new home entertainment releases for collectors who are still into that kind of thing.
Review copies were provided by Universal, and Warner Bros. All thoughts are our own. If you would like to submit physical media for review, please contact us at email@example.com.
Rick and Morty: The Complete Seasons 1-6
I’m always torn about recommending a physical media purchase with a really high price point ($120 for this one) but if you’re a dedicated DVD collector, I really think this is one you should have. Not only is the set rich with special features (a Dan Harmon specialty) but the episodes themselves have a ton of rewatch value. I wouldn’t normally suggest buying a complete set before a series is done airing but the firing of creator Justin Roiland marks a clear break between seasons 6 and 7 and there’s no saying how long the show will run from here (it’s renewed at least through season 10) so I say go for it.
Succession: The Complete Series
Ok, don’t yell at me, but I probably wouldn’t buy this set. If you’ve already got the other seasons, go ahead about pay your $30 for season four. But if you’ve somehow not seen Succession, even though this complete series isn’t too badly priced at $80, I’m gonna be contrarian and say meh. I mostly feel confident in this take because there’s so much noise on the other side so I’m unlikely to persuade someone who is actually all that interested, but to those of you who aren’t really interested but are feeling the pressure because your friends keeping using inherently stupid phrases like “best show ever”- I’m here for you. There is no such thing as a Best Show Ever and, if there were, your friend who only watches like 3 shows and they’re all on HBO is not in a position to correctly identify it for you. Succession is fine, it’s good, it’s whatever. I hereby let you off the hook.
Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar
Blu-ray + Digital Code*
If you live in the venn diagram of metal heads + animation fans, this feature is for you despite the astounding $40 price point for the Blu-ray (*and the digital code doesn’t even work in Canada!). The band from the adult swim series is back for a new adventure with some big name voice actors and memorable music. If this is your thing, have at it; it’s not mine.
Babylon 5: The Road Home
4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital Code*
Another animated movie spun off from a TV show and available at a crazy price ($45 for the 4K combo, again no digital code for Canada), I’m a little bit more behind this one on. The set has stronger special features (including an audio commentary, the gold standard special feature) but it’s also more likely to be a collectible based on the following of the original series.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Power-Up Edition on Blu-ray + DVD
One of 2023’s great cinematic delights was also one of its great surprises. I did not expect this video game adaptation to be nearly as thoughtful, sharp, heartfelt, and genuinely funny as it was. But the movie is a thrill, packed with easter eggs for fans but earning every joke and building an engaging story worth seeing even if you weren’t raised on the franchise. The soundtrack is killer and the vocal performances (especially Jack Black as Bowser) are A+. The film artfully navigates expected pitfalls both small (like Mario’s weird fake Italian voice) and large (damsel in distress syndrome) and is generally a joy. This release is priced a little high, as most Blu-rays are these days, but it’s a worthy movie for the collection and comes with some fun special features (plus one stupid one where Anya Taylor Joy teaches leadership skills?).
The Venture Bros.
Complete Series on DVD
Radiant is the Blood of the Baboon Heart movie on Blu-ray
Venture Bros. is a seminal piece of adult animation content and its 82-episode box set ($122.99 CAD) would be a worthy addition to any animation collection. The special features on this set are great but they are all previously available so only invest in this set if you don’t already own any of the other Venture Bros releases or you’ll be getting some redundancies. The film is less of a vital collector’s piece than the show and is priced at a whopping $39.99 so the bang for your buck is definitely with the DVD complete series release rather than the Blu-ray movie (note the digital code that comes with the Blu-ray does not work for Canada, which stinks but is unfortunately not uncommon).
Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin
The Complete First Season on DVD
Pretty Little Liars is a fascinatingly overlooked franchise that just keeps keeping on even if no one’s ever paying it any attention. Each show in the PLL interconnected (but not THAT interconnected) universe tells a different story in a different town and, most interestingly, exists in a slightly different genre context. Original Sin (which has annoyingly been retitled “Summer School” for the upcoming second season, seemingly abandoning intergenerational trauma as a key theme) plays in the world of classic horror as a new set of untrustworthy hotties deal with the franchise’s signature melange of secrets and torment and cute boys (the DVD release sports just two special features and one of them is all about them boys ;)). At $29.98, it’s a fair deal for the 10-episode first season if you’re a PLL fan.
A Man Called Otto
Blu-ray + Digital
This by-the-book feel-good adaptation is replacement level Tom Hanks and the home release isn’t much more necessary with its so-so making-of featurette and deleted scenes. If you loved this movie, by all means it won’t do any harm on your shelf. Also useful if you’re building a Hanks shelf. Otherwise I mostly suggest this as a good gift for your aunt.