"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
This week, Japan’s cult hit Battle Royale finally hits American shores, the Muppets merrily march home, and Robert Rodriguez’s pulpy first American feature makes it to DVD.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Battle Royale: The Complete Collection (Blu-ray & DVD)
You know what this is. I know you know: This beautiful, brutal piece of pop-culture lore — it’s about a busload of school kids dropped on an island and forced to kill each other for a television audience — has never been (legally) available to U.S. consumers. Luckily for us, the similarly themed Hunger Games has reminded people that there’s money to be made, and they’ve corrected that oversight. So count your lucky stars and get to watching some underage homicide.
The Muppets (Blu-ray & DVD)
Like a dose of nostalgia pumped straight into your system, Jason Segel’s refreshing of Jim Henson’s classic characters works on almost every level you can imagine. It’s funny, toe-tappy, sappy and heartfelt.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Blu-ray & DVD)
Can’t say you’ll watch this flick and feel warm-and-fuzzies when you’re done, but if you’re a David Fincher fan and like your heroines strong yet damaged, you’re in luck.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Season Two, Part Two
My sadness that this show was canceled by Cartoon Network is only compounded by the ass-backward way that Warner is releasing this Bat-wonderfulness on disc. Still, I’ll take what I can get.
Lexx: The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons (DVD)
Because we need more sci-fi series featuring oversexed characters getting into bizarre space adventures. Since we aren’t getting any, this’ll have to suffice.
Russell Mulcahy’s Tale of the Mummy (DVD)
There was a time, after 1986’s Highlander, when Mulcahy was genre cinema’s director du jour. Unfortunately for him, that jour didn’t last all that long, and one of his last big theatrical releases was this mummy flick, which had the good luck of landing Christopher Lee for the cast — and the bad luck of following the Brendan Fraser series.
Robert Rodriguez’s Roadracers (DVD)
Before Sin City, before Grindhouse, even before Desperado, Rodriguez directed this made-for-Showtime hot-rod movie, starring David Arquette and Salma Hayek. There are rebels involved. Unclear if they had causes.