With the nearest open movie theaters likely in the next state (and scary), many fans look to home entertainment more than ever. If the kids are quarantined at home also, purchases, rather than rentals, start to look better and better for the inevitable repeat viewings. But with so many, it’s hard to know where to begin or what to afford. In this ongoing series, Superhero Hype takes a look at some of the better deals Amazon.com has running as of publication time. Please note that all deals are subject to change or sell out at any time based on supply and demand. These are the deals for July 28.
Everyone pretty much agrees Keanu Reeves won Comic-Con@Home, right? With a retrospective on Constantine and a much-touted panel about the next Bill and Ted movie, the once and future Neo remained a star of cyberspace. But before his most excellent adventures with Alex Winter continue, get caught up on the last two. Find out who from history best adapts to ’80s malls, what horrors await in Hell, and why San Dimas high school football rules! Both films include commentaries from producer Scott Kroopf with Alex Winter, and writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon. Station!
Despite cheap-looking animation, as one might expect from He-Man’s home studio Filmation, the Star Trek animated series boasts top-notch writing, and most fans consider it canon. Freed from the need to build sets, the series often includes aliens and settings that could not have plausibly existed in live-action on a TV budget. Most of the original cast — as many as Filmation’s scant funds allowed — returned to the original Enterprise bridge. And along the way, encountered adventures far more cerebral than your average Saturday morning cartoon. Even though it was the first Star Trek series to win an Emmy, for Outstanding Entertainment – Children’s Series, the show never feels dumbed down for kiddies. It’s $38.62 for 22 episodes across three discs.
You know what ol’ Jack Burton always says. Even if he sometimes forgets. Kurt Russell’s dim-bulb, would-be hero made the least amount of box office coin compared to his other John Carpenter collaborations, but his appeal lasts. Sucked into a world of ancient Chinese gods and demons, Burton proves hopelessly out of his depth, needing his Asian friends to save him — and the day — at all times. Yet it’s the blowhard trucker who gets the credit (but not the girl, whom he turns down flat at the end). Kids can enjoy the adventure; adults dig the meta-commentary about our stereotypical and skewed views of heroics through western filters. The collector’s edition includes commentary and much more, for a low $14.96.
Most everyone agrees that David Lynch’s Dune doesn’t exactly qualify as a perfect film. Yet it’s fascinating enough that nobody seems to forget it. Cramming as much of Frank Herbert’s hefty tome into a single film as possible, this heavily stylish movie relies on time jumps and far too much voice-over. But what likely sank it at the box office is that it’s far more cynical than it appears. When Kyle MacLachlan’s Muad’Dib finally triumphs, it’s terrifying rather than exhilarating. With Denis Villeneuve’s two-parter on the way, catch up on this gleefully weird first attempt for $9.99.
Deep Space Nine flat-out rules, and Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), who combines Picard’s intellect with Kirk’s aggression and big hand gestures, is the best captain. Debate this in comments, but it’s true. DS9 was the first Trek show to radically depart from the Wagon Train in space model, but it’s still the best to do so. Set in a space station above a recently liberated planet and next to a space conduit filled with godlike aliens, the show regularly dealt with war, colonization, and the tolls and moral compromises it takes. By the final two seasons, it became a full-on serial, with regular cliffhanger endings and major character deaths. Due to the expense of remastering special effects for HD, it probably won’t go to Blu-ray any time soon. But $89.35 for a set of 47 DVDs (yes, 47) seems like a hell of a deal while we wait.
The greatest dream and worst nightmare of any video gamer has to be (a) getting to use those arcade skills in real life and (b) learning the real space invaders actually want them dead. That’s what happens to young trailer park teen Alex in this ’80s hit. The extremely primitive CG by today’s standards broke new ground at the time, while the storyline helped lonely game nerds dream of being heroes. For $7.99, this should be required viewing.
A planet of swords, cyclopses, kingdoms, and giant spiders gets invaded by a gigantic teleporting fortress full of aliens with laser rifles. Only a hero who can wield a magic, bladed boomerang throwing star can save the day! And somewhere in the supporting cast, Liam Neeson and Robbie Coltrane got their early acting breaks. Yes, Krull is every bit as amazing as the fake vintage VHS cover on this particular Blu-ray release. And Star Trek fans might remember star Ken Marshall as Deep Space Nine‘s recurring double-agent Mr. Eddington.
Before Tom Cruise was THE Tom Cruise, he tried his hand at fantasy heroics, saving a unicorn from a demon with the help of a weird pointy-eared kid. What everyone remembers, though, is Tim Curry as the Lord of Darkness, a Satanic villain with horns bigger than his actual head. It’s a fascinating Ridley Scott mess with multiple cuts on the same $9.99 disc. See which one you prefer.
Turn around. Look at what you see, ee-eee-ee, ee-eee-ee, ee-eeh…That earworm title song just ever goes away; nor should it. Author Michael Ende didn’t much care for Wolfgang Peterson’s adaptation of half of his book, but it’s about as good as could have been done with ’80s visual effects. Notably, several sequels and subsequent tries failed to measure up. In a fantasy word being destroyed by readers’ lack of imagination, one hooky-playing boy and his in-book avatar must prevent all stories from being replaced with nothing. And yes, this movie also traumatized an entire generation with that scene where Artax the horse gives into depression and drowns in a swamp. Trigger warning.
Space. The…finalfrontier. These…arethevoyages…of the starship…Enterprise. Everyone reading this should know the rest. $60 for every original episode in HD.