Thundercats (2011): The Complete Series – “Complete” is a bit of misnomer here, as the show was planned to go another season, but did not last. It’s a real shame, too, because in the episodes I managed to catch, it appeared to be the Battlestar Galactica of cartoons – a revisionist take superior to the original in jettisoning most of the cheese and altering canon significantly, but true enough in spirit to win over old fans. My impression is that those people who actually saw it agreed – but there were not enough of them, and Bandai made a mess of the toy line, with resources spread over multiple scales, and an overemphasis on the flimsiest and smallest.
Like the Masters of the Universe 2002 cartoon, it will probably catch on with fans on disc, while frustrating all those who watch that the story can never be allowed to deliver on everything it sets up.
Batman: The Complete TV Series – We just covered this two hours ago. Pay attention, you.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions – 13 of what were intended to be the final 22 episodes got made, and have now been rescued. Good thing too, as they include some crucial plot details to the entire saga that shed new light on Yoda, Qui-Gon and Master Sifo-Dyas. Oh, and Jar Jar too. But it’s not as bad as you think.
Sailor Moon Season 1, Part 1 – For those of you who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing that you will like.
Monty Python Live: One Down, Five to Go – If you missed this summer’s big reunion show, either live in England or broadcast in theaters, here’s your chance to see the veteran sketch pranksters (including the late Graham Chapman via video) perform the best bits, interspersed with elaborately staged song and dance numbers based on their catchiest tunes. Probably more of a rental than a purchase; after all, if you want to own these skits, why not buy the originals? But we’ve loved these guys over the years, and you’re obviously going to be curious enough to watch at least once.
Gamera HD Bundle Collection – 11 giant turtle movies, along with one of the funniest Amazon miscategorizations I’ve ever seen:
UHF: 25th Anniversary Edition – Weird Al at the peak of his powers, making a movie that wasn’t exactly a hit at the time, but has stayed near and dear to our hearts and helped make Michael Richards a comedy star. I have not been able to find out what makes this a special anniversary edition, but here’s hoping it at least contains the commentaries and deleted scenes from the DVD. It’s probably too much to hope for a featurette explaining how Victoria Jackson became batshit insane.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 – The supposed Empire Strikes Back of cartoon dragon movies, this sequel neither ends on a cliffhanger nor lets the villain off the hook, but it does get deeper into familial issues, kill off at least one major character, and feature an amputee hero. Toothless still moves and growls like your favorite pet, while kaiju-size “Bewilderbeasts” dwarf their surroundings for some epic battles. Better in 3D than not, it is nonetheless a solid entry in a kids’ franchise that is actually trying something new. Just watch – in 20 years, this will be the thing they try to reboot in live-action or something.
I Am Santa Claus – Morgan Spurlock presents a documentary starring Mick Foley, in which the dentally impaired former WWE champion interviews professional Santa Clauses. That’s a weird enough idea to pique my interest.
True Blood: The Complete Series – Okay, so…time to binge watch, or shall I continue to ignore this vampire show as I always have?
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Want to confuse your boner? Show it Angela Lansbury when she was a young hottie in this classic adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s literally ageless story.
Dolls – Before Puppet Master, Subspecies or any of the umpteen subsequent direct-to-video movies he made featuring tiny things that kill, Charles Band was a producer on this 1987 Stuart Gordon film about toys possessed by damned souls. Did this kickstart some kind of switch in his head and begin a sort of mania, or did he merely see how incredibly cheaply frightening dolls could be made? Watch and learn. Maybe.
Side note: how the hell did anyone ever think Punch and Judy shows were appropriate for kids? The two grossly deformed married psychopaths who beat each other with sticks always creeped me the hell out as a kid…and every other goddamned birthday party I’d go to had a magic show that ended in that particular puppet performance. Either that or a creepy ventriloquist act. Our parents were crazy.
Iceman – Donnie Yen and his three evil brothers are thawed out from the Ming Dynasty to begin their battle anew in the present day. Cool, man.
Those are my top choices. What might you be picking up today?