After an invaluable contribution of nearly eight years running this weekly column, Senior Writer Mat Brewster is stepping away and will be greatly missed. Rather than leaving readers around the world in the dark about what new titles are available to purchase, we'll do our best to fill the void created by his absence.
Perusing the list of new titles on sale this week, there was little doubt as a member of Generation X that I would be picking The New Scooby-Doo Movies: The (Almost) Complete Collection from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. As much as it was fun watching the Mystery Machine gang solve mysteries, my favorite iteration of the series is The New Scooby-Doo Movies, which saw Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, and Velma team up with famous guest stars. There were 24 episodes created, which featured celebrities as themselves (such as Don Knotts, Jonathan Winters, and Sonny & Cher); celebrities voiced by imitators (The Three Stooges and Laurel & Hardy); and fictional characters (such as Batman and Robin, the cast of Speed Buggy, and the Addams Family). Reportedly, an appearance right conflict with the creators of the latter is why this is almost a complete collection. This set is available on Blu-ray and DVD, and fellow Gen X-er Shawn Bourdo has our review.
For those who previously bought the 2005 DVD release The Best of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, which contained 15 episodes, there is The Best of The New Scooby-Doo Movies: The Lost Episodes on DVD, which contains eight episodes and will create an (almost) complete collection.
Also out this week that looks interesting.
The Venture Bros: Season 7: I have been a fan of the series since the beginning, which started as a spoof of adventure series like Johnny Quest, but quickly expanded into the Great American Novel of animation TV as it tells the story of the Venture family led by former boy adventurer/now scientist and inventor Dr. Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture and his young-adult twin sons Hank and Dean. They, and all those around them in this universe that is densely populated with superheroes and villains, are doing their best at getting by in the world.
This season, the Monarch, former nemesis of Dr. Venture, strives to get reinstated as a supervillain under the authorization of the Guild of Calamitous Intent and wants to work his way up to Level 10 status. There is also a stunning revelation about his identity that will surely have ramifications in Season 8. Although the creators have only produced seven seasons over fifteen years, taking their sweet time to get things right, this latest season saw an episode increase up to ten, two more than the previous two seasons.
The Man Who Laughs: Flicker Alley, in partnership with Universal Pictures, is presenting a new 4K restoration of this 1928 silent film, which is notable for the appearance of Conrad Veidt's Gwynplaine, whose appearance inspired DC Comics' the Joker.
The Andromeda Strain: Arrow Video is releasing this 1971 sci-fi thriller directed by Robert Wise about scientists investigating a deadly alien organism. It is notable for being the first film adapted from author Michael Crichton.
Batman and Toy Story on 4K: Although I am not a 4K user at this point, I couldn't help but notice that this week sees the release of the four Batman movies starting with pair directed by Tim Burton and the first three Toy Story movies. Steve Geise will be covering the Batman movies for us.