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, Well Go USA and Warner Bros. All thoughts are our own. If you would like to submit physical media for review, please contact us at editors@myentertainmentworld.ca.

 

Wednesday: Season 1

Blu-ray

Shows made for streamers don’t make it to home release often enough so it’s thrilling to see Netflix smash Wednesday hit the shelves with a $29.98 Blu-ray edition. A bit more effort to add special features would have been appreciated especially considering the style of the show and the history of the source material but Wednesday is still a key entry from a substantial media franchise that should be a part of your collection.

 

Rick and Morty: Season 7

Blu-ray

We’ve been over this, if you’re in you’re in on Rick and Morty at this point and you need to buy this set (though I will say that Warner Bros is pretty consistent with these releases so waiting for a box set might not be the worst strategy). Season seven is the first without Justin Roiland but I assure you you will not be able to hear the difference and now you can enjoy this fantastic show without thinking about him at all; what a gift. The Blu-ray is priced at $34.99 in Canada which isn’t terrible considering how generous it is with special features but I still might recommend the jump down to DVD for $10 less.

 

Migration 

Blu-ray + DVD

Excellent bonus features including both additional content AND behind-the-scenes content elevate the home release of the latest kids adventure from Illumination (the Despicable Me people). I personally couldn’t stomach this one on account of the birds (I hate birds) but normal people should find it delightful so if your collection has a kids section, go for it.

 

Babylon 5: The Complete Series

Blu-ray

$120 feels steep for any home release these days, especially with no special features (why?? This show is perfect for retrospectives on story, effects, style, and cultural impact!), but I love a complete series and this seminal sci-fi show is essential if that’s your collection niche.

 

Barbenheimer

Blu-ray + Digital/Blu-ray + DVD

Warner Brothers & Universal have released the Blu-ray discs of the contrasting hits of the summer (sold separately, obviously, they actually have nothing to do with each other). Barbie is the bigger must-have because it’s both more iconic and simply a better film but a collector should probably invest in Oppenheimer as well, especially if you have a robust biopics section or are a Nolan person (I’m not but to each their own). Both sets have decent special features.

 

Air

Blu-ray

This vapid drama about the origin of Nike’s Michael Jordan collab is beneath the taste and ability of its usually dependable director Ben Affleck (he’s got the most fun role onscreen at least, but that’s not saying much). Zero special features push this dud over the line as do not buy. If you must have it, at least do it the honour of inclusion in the Chris Messina section I know you’re building on your shelf; he deserves it and is the only interesting thing about this movie.

 

Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas 

DVD

This cheesy but sweet holiday movie musical set behind the scenes at a holiday TV special is heartwarming but silly. Stacked with guest stars and with a making-of to sweeten the deal, the DVD is still a little too pricey for what it is at $25CAD but feel-good Christmas movies rarely get a home video release so if they’re your jam I won’t begrudge you investing in this one.

 

Mercy Road

Blu-ray

I personally am not a huge fan of Blu-ray over DVD unless it has extra special features (this doesn’t), especially when the price jump is a full 50% (from $20 to $30CAD) but if you’re an action fan this pulpy title from Well Go USA is an interesting twist on the Taken formula.

 

Crocodile Island

DVD

This one comes down to taste. I can see someone else really loving the over the top craziness of this wild adventure on a desert island full of giant flesh-craving monsters. Personally, the so-bad-it’s-good thing doesn’t appeal so I’d give the $20 movie-only disc a pass but if you’re a fan of campy Chinese cinema with wild ADR and giant predators, go for it.

 

Rick and Morty: The Complete Seasons 1-6

Blu-ray

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

DVD

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 

AND

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.