Mill Creek Entertainment was out with news this week relating to its first wave of August price-to-collect DVD and Blu-ray product offerings.
Leading the way on Aug. 1 is the six-disc collection of The Secret World of Alex Mack, starring Larisa Oleynik (The Baby-Sitters Club, 10 Things I Hate About You, Third Rock from the Sun, etc.) as an ordinary junior high school kid with super powers.
This ahead-of-its-time series ran for four seasons (a Nickelodeon production) and generated a total of 78 episodes.
Alex lives with her parents and older sister in the fictional town of Paradise Valley, Arizona, which is dominated by the Paradise Valley Chemical Plant, run by the sinister Danielle Atron (Louan Gideon). It is here that a secret weight-loss concoction has been developed, GC-161, and it will become the source of Alex’s many powers (for example, she can turn herself into a blob of mercury — think: the T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day).
While heading home from school one day an incompetent truck driver (John Nielsen) loses control of truckload of 50-gallon drums containing GC-161, nearly runs poor Alex over and slams into a fire hydrant. One of the drums is damaged, covering Alex in goo and the gushing water both spreads the nasty stuff all over Alex and eventually washes away the evidence as well.
She soon realizes that the chemical bath has given her an odd assortment of “super powers,” which she is not really willing to use to their full extent as she is just trying to fit into junior high school. These super powers, along with Atron’s attempts to track down the kid (the truck driver never reveals Alex’s secret) to experiment on her are the main story arcs.
Darris Love is Alex’s best friend, Ray … and Jessica Alba got her start in this series as Alex’s junior high school rival.
Also on the Aug. 1 release calendar are both DVD and Blu-ray editions of director Kevin Connor’s 2006 pirate adventure mini-series, Blackbeard, starring Angus Macfadyen (as Robert the Bruce in Braveheart) as the legendary West Indies English pirate who terrorized the seas with his 40-gun frigate, “The Queen Anne’s Revenge.”
This presentation is part-fiction, part-fact, filmed in Thailand, with an elaborate set constructed specifically for the series and populated with cast members that include Richard Chamberlain, Mark Umbers, Jessica Chastain, Stacy Keach and Rachel Ward.
Rounding out the Aug. 1 DVD selections is the two film set titled Matrimony Double Feature, (priced at just $9.98) which includes director Bud Yorkin’s 1967 comedy, Divorce American Style, teaming Dick Van Dyke with the late Debbie Reynolds as the always-fighting Harmons, and director Fielder Cook’s 1968 film release of How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life, which Dean Martin and Stella Stevens.
And Aug. 1 also will see the release of the three-disc, 40-episode animated collection of Jumanji: The Complete Animated Series, which is timed to take full advantage of the media hype surrounding the forthcoming Christmas theatrical release of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, starring Dwayne Johnson.