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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Adventure > Comedy > Trucks > CGI > Cable TV > Science Fiction > Fantasy > Alien > Family > Batman and Harley Quinn (2017/DC Comics/Warner Blu-ray wDVD and Toy set)/Blaze and the Monster Machines: Wild Wheels - Escape To Animal Island (2017/Nickelodeon DVD)/E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982/

Batman and Harley Quinn (2017/DC Comics/Warner Blu-ray wDVD and Toy set)/Blaze and the Monster Machines: Wild Wheels - Escape To Animal Island (2017/Nickelodeon DVD)/E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/LEGO Nexo Knights: Storm Over Knighton (2017/Warner DVD Set)/Sesame Street: Trick Or Treat On Sesame Street (2017/Warner DVD)



Picture: B & C+/C+/A & B+/C+/C+ Sound: B & C+/C+/A & A-/C+/C+ Extras: B/D/B/D/C Main Programs: C+/C+/B+/C+/C+



And now for our next set of children's titles, including an all-time classic...



We start with the new feature-length Batman and Harley Quinn (2017) from the creators of Batman The Animated Series (reviewed elsewhere on this site) that brings Batman and Nightwing together with, instead of against for a change, the deranged villainess Harley Quinn when Floronic Man and her former BFF Poison Ivy have a sicker plan than Harley could ever come up with to replace humans with plant creatures that has missions of unstable elements. Harley has 'gone straight' pretending to be an impersonator of herself at a club (a real classic creation here) that out-hoots Hooters with all-waitresses playing oversexed versions of the female DC Comics line-up.


However, the circumstances are grave and Nightwing not only has to track her down there, but recruit her and she is not in the mood. A fight and much more ensue, but this eventually leads to a tenuous trio with Batman racing against time and force to stop the madness. There is much in this PG-13 production for its 74-minutes run, including more humor than it needed, but the big surprise to me was that it is one of the more 'mature' DC releases and the combination of sexual situations and language really make this a borderline R-rated release, so this is NOT for young children or even tweens. For what it is, its not bad, but it also just tries to do too much. I was amused at Ms. Quinn singing a Blondie classic (Debbie Harry's underrated influence goes everywhere!) and there are some fun moments here. However, the lack of focus also means there are a few missed opportunities.


A 4K 2160p version of this release has been issued, but we have not seen it yet, however, the 1080p 1.78 X 1 image is pretty colorful, good, consistent and stable as has usually been the case for most of these 'DC Universe' straight-to-video productions. The art is worthy of the original 1990s Batman series, though maybe not always as dark. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is the sonic equal of the image, with some fine mixing and engineering choices that put it above many live-action releases we've suffered through of late. The included DVD offers a lesser anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that are both compromised for the increasingly older format, but its passable for what it is.


Extras include Digital Copy and on both disc versions, A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Original Movie: A behind-the-scenes look at the next entry in the popular series of DC Universe Original Movies, featuring thoughts from the talented filmmakers and voice cast. The Blu-ray adds The Harley Effect (Featurette): Harley Quinn, has a deep history with the fans of the DC Universe. This featurette traces her humble roots from her creators, to those that portray her at Comic Book conventions. She is a symbol of strength and beloved by many, Loren Lester: In His Own Voice (Featurette): This documentary examines actor Loren Lester's legacy within Batman The Animated Series, Dick Grayson's character, and the popularity that surrounds Lester's interpretation of the Boy Wonder and From the DC Vault: Batman: The Animated Series - Harley and Ivy and Harley's Holiday. Our version also included an impressive, small figurine toy of Harley in the special packaging.



Blaze and the Monster Machines: Wild Wheels - Escape To Animal Island may have the longest title in the Nickelodeon DVD series of this franchise, but its only 89 minutes of more of the same show that has survived a live-action bomb variant and nothing new versus all the DVDs we've covered before. It delivers loud big cars in passable adventures, but not much else, so it is for fans only. That's fine, but runs the danger of getting stale. None of the DVDs have ben a stand out so far, so you know if you have one or a few, this adds little new.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo here is just fine, louder than you might expect at times, but on par with previous releases in the series. There are no extras.



Steven Spielberg's classic film, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982), gets a stunning new release in 4K high definition in celebration of its 35 year anniversary that is definitely worth the upgrade. I've seen this film tons of times and I have to say I'm pretty blown away with how good this new restoration looks. And yes, the infamous 'gun scene' is cut back into the 4K version. If you're a fan of the film, it will also be brought back to theaters for one day only in celebration of the release.


E.T. stars Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, and K.C. Martel. The film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy (now the head of LucasFilm) and written by the late Melissa Mathison.


After accidentally getting stranded on Earth, E.T. befriends a ten year old boy named Elliot (Thomas) who finds him hiding in this tool shed. Dealing with the divorce of his parents (including his iconic film mom Wallace), Elliot and his two siblings (a young Barrymore and MacNaughton) befriend the alien that ultimately changes their young lives. Once the Government becomes wise that the younglings are housing this alien being, they soon come on a mission to find and captivate him. It's up to Elliot and his gang of bicycle riding friends to save E.T. and help him return home.


The film is presented in 2160p 4K high definition with stunning detail and a near flawless presentation of the film on all fronts. Presented in its original 1.85:1 widescreen format and a new DTS:X Immersive Audio 11.1 track, the film sounds better than ever. Even though the Blu-ray got high ratings, there's another level of detail here that is photo realistic and more texture when look at in 4K resolution. Of course John Williams' iconic score is the highlight of the audio mix. The previous Blu-ray release of the film is also included, presented the film in 1080p high definition with the same widescreen and audio specs.


A distant cousin to Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind (which is also getting the 4K treatment this month), E.T. is a film that never ages or looses its magic. Captured at the height of his directorial career arguably, what Spielberg and his crew created here isn't easy to be replicated and would certainly not be made in the same manner now from a production standpoint if under his current lens.


A Digital UV copy is also included.


SPECIAL FEATURES:


The E.T. Journals

Steven Spielberg & E.T.

The Music of E.T.: A Discussion with John Williams

Designs, Photographs and Marketing of E.T

E.T. Designs by Production Illustrator Ed Verreaux

E.T. Designs by Carlo Rambaldi

Spaceship Designs by Ralph McQuarrie

Designs by Production Illustrator Ed Verreaux

Production Photographs

Marketing E.T. A Look Back

The E.T. Reunion

The 20th Anniversary Premiere

Deleted Scenes

Theatrical Trailer


Universal is releasing a few different versions of this set, one of which comes with the complete John Williams soundtrack, lenticular cover and of course, the Blu-ray disc itself. This is a great new transfer of the film in 4K that makes a classic film look better than ever, capturing Spielberg's vision with more clarity than originally thought possible. If you don't have a 4K setup, however, there isn't too much new from this release as opposed to the previous one from a few years back.



That leaves our final two releases, starting with LEGO Nexo Knights: Storm Over Knighton (2017) at least continues these adventures with the episodes in numerical order. LEGO recently ran into limits on their toy sales and shows like this that offer no new surprises does not help. Its not awful, but only does so much for fans or viewers. I guess there is some kind of continuing storyline, but even after seeing some older shows, I cannot remember the connection. This is a 2-DVD set, but has no extras.


We conclude with Sesame Street: Trick Or Treat On Sesame Street (2017) being released in time for the holiday I love because it turns off the most stuck-up people. The disc runs 75 minutes long, with The Sesame Street Dress Up Club episode and printable storybook 'Which witch is which?', so this is just enough of a complete package to keep children entertained and is the best of the three DVD releases here by as sliver. More impressive is that the energy here always feels more real and authentic than most in the field, so this ones a good bet.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 on LEGO and Street are good and colorful for the most part, just fine for the format, play well enough and have no major issues, which applies to t he lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on both, sounding good if not great by current sonic standards, but just fine for children.



- James Lockhart (E.T.) and Nicholas Sheffo

https://www.facebook.com/jamesharlandlockhartv/


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