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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Spoof > Radio > British > Action > Superhero > TV > Alan Partridge (2013/Magnolia Blu-ray)/Legends Of The Super Heroes (1978/DC Comics/Hanna Barbera/Warner Archive DVD)

Alan Partridge (2013/Magnolia Blu-ray)/Legends Of The Super Heroes (1978/DC Comics/Hanna Barbera/Warner Archive DVD)

Picture: B-/C Sound: B-/C+ Extras: C- Main Programs: C

PLEASE NOTE: The Legends Of The Super Heroes DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

Here are two of the oddest franchise comedy releases of late...

Declan Lowney's Alan Partridge (2013) is a theatrical feature based on the long-running fictional talk show and radio personality of the title as played by Steve Coogan. Well known in Europe, et al, but hardly in the U.S. though the BBC has issued Coogan as the character on DVD such as this set of Coogan's works we covered at this link:


This was a chance to have the character break wide, but that did not happen and the reason is because the script is weak. A new corporation bent on being flashy is taking over Partridge's radio station, but he will do anything to keep his job including throwing his longtime radio host friend (Colm Meany) under the bus. This backfires after that friend is fired and invades an employee party with a shotgun and takes hostages.

There are a few chuckles outside of that perpetually unfunny situation, but this is very disappointing and plays more like a package deal than a comedy.

Extras include an AXS-TV promo clip, Behind The Scenes and Making Of featurettes.

Legends Of The Super Heroes (1978) offers two of the oddest programs ever made from a DC Comics property, along with the ever-bizarre Superpup pilot. Hanna Barbera was riding high on their Justice League cartoon TV hit, Superfriends!, so they decided they'd follow the 1970s funny superhero subcycle and do two cheaply videotaped comedy specials (that thankfully did NOT become a TV series) with a surprising number of name talents and several alumni of the 1960s live-action Batman series (a massive hit in syndication at the time) including Adam West as Batman, Burt Ward as Robin and Frank Gorshin as The Riddler!

Also impressively signed here are comedian Charlie Callas as Sinestro, Howard Morris (who had played a Batman villain before) as Shazam!/Captain Marvel villain Dr. Sivana, Jeff Altman (soon of the infamous Pink Lady & Jeff series) as The Weather Wizard, Ruth Buzzi as Aunt Minerva, Burt Reynolds troop regular Alfie Wise as The Atom and Pat Carroll as Hawkman's mother. They were joined by Gary Owens narrating both shows, Bill Nuckols as Hawkman, Garrett Craig as Captain Marvel, Mickey Morton as Solomon Grundy, Gabe Dell as Mordru, Howard Murphy as Green Lantern, Rod Hasse as The Flash, Ed McMahon hosting the second show and an unknown Marsha Warfield in a scene makes this the oddest of curios.

So is any of it funny? Not really. A laugh track plagues both and is so badly added that the bad comic timing of the writing is outdone by the bad timing of how the recycled laughs are edited into the dialogue. All the animation studios were doing live action work to save money and make quicker profits; this aired on prime time TV. However, the makers were too self-amused for our own good, massive talent was wasted and you have to see how bad these are to believe it. Too bad they did not have better ideas. Instead, they have a pair of weird duds that look as if Sid & Marty Krofft had the DC licenses and wanted to match the Star Wars Christmas Special for ineptness in the worst possible way. You have too see them to believe them.

A small bloopers reel of about 10 minutes that somehow survived is the only extra.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Alan is an HD shoot that is not awful, but not great. The look is dull and uninspired as well as not necessarily as good as TV episodes of the same, but it is better than the 1.33 X 1 image on Super which has haloing, aliasing errors (and we are not counting the bad analog video effects) and an rough image too often despite color accuracy. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Alan is well recorded and dialogue based (not joke based is not used) and rarely takes total advantage of the multi-channel possibilities, while the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on

You can order the Legends Of The Super Heroes DVD by going to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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