This week feels like an anime overload, with three titles dropping into stores (and one live-action anime adaptation). But Sean Bean shows up to inject some accented steel, while Merlin and Sliders deliver some boxed-set magic.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Redline (DVD & Blu-ray)
It’s tempting to look at Redline as some kind of Speed Racer clone, what with the futuristic cars and the insanely dangerous races a handful of crazy-ass drivers run. But while that Wachowski opus, and the anime series before it, were meant for kids, Redline is most definitely for grown-ups. And the animation swirls and undulates, with what feels like an almost jazz-esque improvisatory brilliance.
The Adventures of Merlin: The Complete Third Season (DVD)
It’s like Smallville, but for Arthurian legend. Young Merlin, wee Arthur, grumpy old King Uther, saucy Gwen and scheming Morgana: They’re all here and preponderously attractive.
Sliders: The Fifth and Final Season (DVD)
Ever wonder what it might look like if someone made a TV show and no one cared? Well, you’re in for a treat, because that’s pretty much what happened with the final season of Sliders. What began as a pretty-diverting Quantum Leap-ish show that visited a different alternate Earth every episode kind of devolved into an unrecognizable mishmash as it changed networks, creative overseers and cast members. Rumor has it that the network executives tasked with approving the final season’s episodes didn’t even read the scripts. Sounds like must-see viewing to me.
Age of Heroes (DVD & Blu-ray)
Hey, it’s got Sean Bean in it. And he’ll probably die. But any opportunity to watch Lord Eddard Stark blast mofos away with a giant gun, before he meets his inevitable demise, is one worth seizing.
First Squad (DVD & Blu-ray)
A World War II-set movie that pits superpowered Russian teenagers again undead Teutonic knight Nazis? Where have you been all my life?
Journey to the Center of the Earth (Blu-ray 3D)
If your idea of a rockin’ time is having Brendan Fraser waving his hands in front of your face, then maybe this is a good idea. And, given that Journey to the Center of the Earth grossed some $240 million worldwide, you’re not alone.
Gantz II: Perfect Answer (DVD & Blu-ray)
This is a live-action adaptation of the manga and anime — about mostly dead people forced to play some kind of real-world multiplayer game in which they have to kill aliens with big frakking guns. I’m assuming that many of those same things happen here.
Princess Resurrection Complete Collection (DVD)
Okay, I haven’t seen this one, but from what I can gather, some poor kid dies and then gets brought back to life to serve as a bodyguard for some mystical royal family of pseudo vampires who kill other monsters. I think.