New on Blu-ray
“Wilson” (20th Century Fox DVD, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99; also available on VOD)
Director Craig Johnson’s movie version of Dan Clowes’ outstanding graphic novel “Wilson” loses a lot of what was unique about the book, converting a complex study of an extroverted misanthrope into a quirky underdog comedy. But Woody Harrelson is terrific as the title character: a heavily opinionated, mildly delusional man who reconnects with his ex-wife (Laura Dern) and goes looking for the teenage daughter (played by Isabella Amara) she gave up for adoption. It’s nowhere near as thorny as the comic, which was more willing to make readers feel uncomfortable with its antihero; but the film is generally funny and energetic, and stands up just fine on its own.
Special features: Deleted scenes and featurettes.
“The Bad Batch” (available June 23)
Promising cult filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour follows up her acclaimed “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” with the more challenging — but no less artful — “The Bad Batch,” a post-apocalyptic odyssey that’s low on thrills and heavy on atmosphere. Suki Waterhouse plays a young woman who’s branded by the government as socially undesirable and sent to live in a lawless desert, where she’s beset by cannibals and hedonists. The cast is filled with well-known actors (including Jim Carrey, Keanu Reeves, and Jason Momoa), making the heroine’s journey through a future American wasteland more colorful. As with Amirpour’s debut, plot is kept to a minimum here, replaced by striking images and set-pieces that are absolutely mesmerizing, even when they don’t go anywhere.
TV set of the week
“Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete Series” (Time-Life DVD, $249.95)
When “Laugh-In” debuted as a regular weekly comedy/variety series on NBC in January1968, it quickly became a cultural phenomenon by finding the sweet spot between the hip, mod style that young people loved and the hoary old vaudeville gags that could appeal to Nixon’s “silent majority.” The “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete Series” box set is a fascinating trip through a tumultuous time in American show business, when the industry’s old guard fought to stay relevant without surrendering to the rising generation. The six seasons’ worth of material here makes for a remarkable document of some amazing entertainers — including a young Goldie Hawn and Lily Tomlin — and the kind of mile-a-minute, kaleidoscopic approach to TV that still influences everything from commercials to kiddie shows to music videos.
Special features: Bloopers, interviews and a cast reunion special.
From the archives
“The Paul Naschy Collection” (Scream! Factory Blu-ray, $79.97)
Scream! Factory caters to connoisseurs with its latest Blu-ray box set, collecting five gory, sexy fright-flicks starring “the Spanish Lon Chaney,” Paul Naschy. The film’s titles alone — “Horror Rises from the Tomb,” “Vengeance of the Zombies,” “Human Beasts,” etc. — indicate what to expect from “The Paul Naschy Collection.” These movies were intended as drive-in/grindhouse fodder: dubbed, edited and distributed around the globe under dozens of different names. But Naschy (also a screenwriter and occasional director) was a genre buff, and even as he was pumping out multiple splatter pictures a year, he fought to make sure that each one was creepy, stylish, sensational and weird enough to appeal to hardcore horror-hounds.
Special features: Scholarly commentary tracks, deleted scenes and alternate takes.
Three more to see
“Car Wash” (Shout! Select Blu-ray, $27.99); “The Marseille Trilogy: Marius/Fanny/César” (Criterion DVD, $99.95; Blu-ray, $99.95); “Railroad Tigers” (Well Go USA, $24.98; Blu-ray, $29.98; also available on VOD)