Vs. Two-Face (2017/DC
Comics/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/Spider-Man
Studios/Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Superman:
The Movie Extended Edition/Special Edition
(1978/DC Comics/Warner Archive Blu-ray Set)
Ultra HD Picture: A Picture: B & C/B+/B Sound: B &
C+/A/B Extras: C+/B/B Films: C+/B/B
The special Superman:
Blu-ray set with the very long Extended
is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive
series and can be ordered from the link below.
of the decline or death of the Superhero genre are exaggerated, false
and to the contrary with these three new key releases...
(2017) is the sequel to the animated Return
Of The Caped Crusaders
film (reviewed elsewhere on this site) that once again reunited Adam
West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin. Spoofing the show and
overplaying the camp aspect a bit, the first release was enough of a
hit for a sequel, but it would turn out to be West's last time a the
Caped Crusader, passing away not long after this production.
time out, we get the very first appearance of Harvey Dent and
Two-Face in the West/Ward version of the franchise, in part because
Two-Face was considered too graphic for mid-1960s prime time
television, so the alternative False Face character (which I liked)
was invented and the character did not surface live action
legitimately until Tommy Lee Jones brought him to life in Joel
Schumacher's slightly underrated Batman
(replacing Billy Dee Williams, who would have had the role if
Schumacher had not replaced Producer Tim Burton as director).
first meet up with Batman talking to Catwoman (Julie Newmar) when he
should probably know better, but as Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson,
soon have to good back to their 'normal' lives as Wayne continues to
back new District Attorney Harvey Dent. But soon, a crazy plot to
harvest the evil of Gotham's top arch criminals will backfire and
Dent will become the split-personality villain Two-Face.
is at least as good as the first animated film, flaws and all, having
fun with the wealth of great things the original series had going for
it. The old rouge's gallery of villains are brought out in larger
numbers than you would expect (where more than one actor played the
role on the show, the artists use the Frank Gorshin model for The
Riddler and Eli Wallach for Mr. Freeze) and that is a plus here.
However, the biggest surprise is William Shatner, voicing
Two-Face/Harvey Dent and really delivering better than you might
imagine. He pulls it off in unexpected ways, making this the
adventure the TV networks could no longer censor. Cheers to the new
voice actors doing their best to impersonate the great actors who
played the villains, Chief O'Hara, Commissioner Gordon, Alfred and
again, this was West's last Batman outing, a character that may have
held him back in his career later (he was almost cast as James Bond
for a minute and was disappointed to not at least have a cameo in the
but did so much more work most people have not seen (Robinson
Crusoe On Mars,
reviewed on Criterion Blu-ray elsewhere on this site, or as a sex
education teacher in Tommy's school on the 1970s TV series classic
and had more talent than people will ever realize he had.
was one of the great gentlemen actors from a Hollywood that has been
too lost for the good of us all, with West never being thanked or
appreciated enough for what he had done. By making Batman work, he
refreshed and renewed comic books, the Superhero genre, American Pop
Culture and in the long run, it saved Hollywood's fortunes.
moment of silence please for a very talented, classy performer and
man who made a real difference in the best possible way....
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on the Blu-ray is solid
and colorful like the previous animated film, even if some animation
is crude (sometimes intentionally so) with a well-recorded and mixed
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless soundtrack that is a pleasure
to hear. The anamorphically enhanced DVD was slightly softer than I
would have liked, with its lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 passable, if not
great for the old, now dated codec.
Wonderful World of Burt Ward
(featurette) spotlighting Burt Ward's life away from acting,
particularly his many benevolent activities, and his lifelong
devotion to the health and welfare of dogs, The
Adam West Tribute Panel/2017 Comic-Con International 2017
at the 2017 Comic-Con International in San Diego where a panel
celebrated the life and times of the late Adam West, the legendary
'Bright Knight.' Fans laughed, cried and cheered as actress Lee
Meriwether (Catwoman from the 1966 Batman
feature film), director/writer/actor Kevin Smith, actor/radio
personality Ralph Garman, producer James Tucker and moderator Gary
Miereanu captivated the audience with anecdotes and tales about Adam
West and, finally, actors Burt Ward and Julie Newmar, in separate
clips, discussing various aspects of their lives, ambitions and
is arguably the most popular comic book character in the world, or at
least in terms of Marvel Comics characters. While Sam Raimi's first
two films (Spider-Man
(2002) and Spider-Man
(2004., both reviewed elsewhere on this site) starring Tobey Maguire
and Kirsten Dunst to name a few) were solid installments that helped
make the comic book film genre as popular (and taken as seriously by
fans) as it is in today's pop culture world gone amok. Infamously,
the third film (2007's Spider-Man
also reviewed on this site) in Raimi's series was a rushed critical
flop and a far cry from its comic book origins. It did, however,
rake in boat loads of cash and while Raimi and his crew decided to
pursue other avenues, it became clear that in order for the character
to live on, he would have to get a fresh start.
in 2012, Sony decided to reboot the franchise a few years later with
Marc Webb's The
Amazing Spider-Man 1
with Andrew Garfield taking over the role as the web-slinger.
Needless to say, the reviews from fans and critics were mixed on
those installments, as the studio decided to take a darker approach
with the character after the success of Christopher Nolan's The
Dark Knight Trilogy.
Fast forward to 2016 and Marvel Studios and Disney are the leader in
commercially successful comic book films with two Avengers
films, trilogies for Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor (his third
installment is about to be released only weeks from this posting).
the pairing of Spider-Man with all of his comic book counterparts
onscreen seemed like a no-brainer for fans, the legal battles over
the character were complex and lasted for several years (with several
companies before James Cameron's Spider-Man came and went unmade).
Then one glorious day on the internet, genre movie websites broke the
world wide web with reports that Sony and Marvel/Disney had finally
made a deal to bring Spider-Man home, so to speak, with a new
multi-picture deal for the character to appear in Captain
America: Civil War
(2016) where he aids the all star Avengers cast in an epic showdown.
At first the addition of the character was meant to be a surprise for
fans, as the studio even went as far as to leave him off posters and
even erased him out of shots of the trailers until the film was
released in theaters. However, Hollywood is not as it used to be,
and the beans were spilled months ahead of time online. Still, fans
enthusiastically see the films no matter what.
being said, Civil
really needs to be seen before you see this film to get a better
sense of how the character fits into the world and where we are in
the timeline of the narrative. Relative newcomer Tom Holland steps
into the role of Peter Parker and lends his unique psychical talents
to the character and captures the character's sense of youthful
excitement towards meeting real-life superheroes. Even though he's
British in real life (as was Garfield), he plays an American well and
also channels a young Michael J. Fox is in approach to the character.
by Jon Watts (who had independent film success with 2015's
achieved overnight success with this and adapted to the Hollywood
studio system well. He even recently signed on to direct the second
installment. The huge cast of Spider-Man
(2017) is packed full of stars which includes Marisa Tomei (as a
younger, sexier Aunt May), Michael Keaton as the villain Vulture
(which hasn't been seen on film prior), the multi-talented rising
star/musician (known as Childish Gambino) Donald Glover (who is soon
be young Lando in the Star
directed by Ron Howard), acclaimed young actor Tony Revolori (Wes
Grand Budapest Hotel)
and pop culture darling Zendaya (who got her start in Disney
Channel's sitcom Shake
to name a few.
course several characters from the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
make cameos which includes (Iron
Director) Jon Favreau returning as Happy Hogan, an obligatory Stan
Lee cameo (he pops up in every Marvel movie somewhere and I love
that!), Chris Evans' Captain America, Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts,
and Robert Downey Jr. as a major supporting role as Spider-Man's
mentor, Tony Stark/Iron Man.
throwback to John Hughes films from the '80s in a sense, Spider-Man
follows Peter Parker (Holland) as he struggles with his dual life as
a mild-mannered nerdy teenager in High School and his trail-and-error
blossoming into his infamous super-hero alter ego. Having gotten a
taste of the action on a grand scale during the events of Civil
Parker is now bored with his normal teen life and can't help but
daydream about officially joining the Avengers.
being a little reckless in the line of duty despite his well
intentions, Stark decides to take away Parker's new suit, taking him
a few giant steps back on his Superhero progression. Meanwhile, as
laid out in a great opening sequence, a disgruntled city worker going
by the name of Vulture (Keaton), has made his own 'under the radar'
business by stealing and distributing alien weaponry left behind
after the Avengers' intergalactic battles the world over - a plot
point that would likely happen in the event that this universe
actually existed. Crafting his own villainous alter ego with
impressive military-grade armor and leading a gang of thick-headed
thugs, Vulture decides to test the emerging Spider-Man in an epic
technological face-off that even Iron Man may be unable to help him
an effort to make this new version of Spider-Man different than
previous cinematic incarnations, Marvel Studios decided to make their
Spider-Man a mid-high school student not yet concerned about college.
Most importantly, Marvel Studios decided to skip over the
character's tragic origin story of his Uncle Ben dying and how he
came to acquire his unique senses and abilities. Much like Batman,
it seems like all prior Spider-Man movies couldn't help but dwell way
too long on how he became Spider-Man, where in this film we get to
skip over what we already know. Much like The
Parker has to use webbing tech as opposed to the more 'natural'
webbing protruding from his body as seen in Raimi's version. The
costume design itself is a bit closer to the comic version that fans
have come to know and love, aside from the addition of limited
Stark-tech that includes enough bells and whistles to make James Bond
established in Civil
Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) is the one who discovers Parker and gives him
his first real techno-suit and the chance he needs to be a big league
hero. Some fans grumbled about this change to the character's
upbringing upon the film's release, but ultimately it works well in
the narrative of the MCU and doesn't feel forced. It also allows
Robert Downey Jr's aging character to be a sort of father figure to
Parker and makes him more impactful to the narrative than doing his
usual same old schtick amidst sharing the screen with other strongly
developed characters. Marvel Studios also smart to leave out the
tired Green Goblin/Harry Osbourne storyline that both previous
cinematic installments hit its audiences over the head with one time
too many. Of course, Osbourne is to Spidey what The Joker is to
Batman so he will have to show up eventually, but it's still nice to
see the change in direction here.
in stunning 2160p HEVC/H.265, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD
Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image 4K Ultra High
Definition on the new 4K UHD disc format with a 2.39:1 widescreen
aspect ratio and a powerful 11.1 Dolby Atmos lossless sound mix, this
is the most solid cinematic experience you can get of the film at
home at this time. Don't fret if you can't quite afford the Atmos
setup yet, as the English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) mix sounds
fine and is presented on the disc in various language tracks. The
best theatrical presentations included 11.1 Atmos, Auro
11.1, IMAX 11.1 and Sonix DDP.
compared presentation-wise to (also included) 1080p high definition
Blu-ray, the attention to detail in the film's character and
production design is more evident. Everything down to the lines of
fabric on Spider-Man's suit, the metallic Iron Man armor, this way of
seeing the film is the most accurate to the filmmaker's original
vision and leaves little to be desired. Also included is a Digital
(highly compressed) UV copy of the film that will REALLY show you the
impressiveness of the 4K UHD transfer!
new score by Michael Giacchino isn't bad, but not as memorable as
Danny Elfman's iconic themes heard in the first Raimi installments
and besting Hans Zimmer's weird experimental score heard in The
Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Giacchino, who rose to fame thanks to J.J. Abrams, is becoming the
next John Williams in terms of genre film score composers having
outdone himself with the score to last year's Star
Wars: Rogue One
and Marvel's Dr.
Unlike Williams though, Giacchino's work can be hit and miss with
some of his tunes sounding a bit derivative of the work that came
before it. This sense of deja vu is felt in the Homecoming
score, which doesn't necessarily stick out aside from a fun rendition
of the classic Spider-Man theme in the opening title sequence.
set is packed with extras, which includes:
Spidey Study Guide
Vulture Takes Flight"
Watts: Head of the Class"
And Cons of Spider-Man"
with Cap: Captain America PSAs
Spidey Study Guide
not the strongest entry in the extensive Marvel Cinematic Universe,
proves to be a fresh take on a classic character. Boasting an
intelligent script and top notch special effects, Homecoming
was also a commercial and critical success despite the overall drab
box office numbers in Summer 2017... an impressive feat considering
it had to compete against DC's Wonder
in the box office, then it straight up stole the target audience away
from the latest Transformers
film. This is no doubt a relief to Sony, who didn't come out on top
Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Would they have gotten the same success had Spidey not joined the
Avengers roster? Likely not.
course, Holland's Spidey will return in next year's Avengers:
and in his own spin-off films for the foreseeable future. What other
plans Sony has for the Spider-Man universe at this point remains a
little unclear as they also recently announced a (supposedly R-rated)
Venom film with Tom Hardy in the near future that could go either
way. While Hardy's Venom will likely not cross over with Holland's
Spidey, it will be interesting to see if multiple cinematic
interpretations of the same characters (and universes) can hold up
when pitted against each other in the box office.
the end of the day, Homecoming
looks great on 4K UHD, a format that Disney recently embraced with
the impressive presentation of Marvel's Guardians
of the Galaxy 2.
I'm sure they will issue all of the previous films gradually on the
new format in the months or (hopefully not) years ahead or in some
super expensive boxset. However, regardless of what format you watch
this film on, whether you're a diehard fan or just a casual one, it's
hard to disagree that there isn't a lot to love here.
The Movie Extended Edition/Special Edition
only one year after the original Star
in theaters, Richard Donner's classic Superman:
(1978) wowed audiences of all ages with its groundbreaking special
effects in an effective origin story of the Man of Steel. Of course
now, Superhero films are the norm but back when this film was
originally released, there weren't many for audiences to geek out
over. The film shows its age in many instances, but the unmistakable
energy and creativeness of the production still is and always will be
magnificent to watch.
the film has been released numerous times over the years, this new
Blu-ray set features the Extended
(the longer television edit, now widescreen here) and Special
versions on two Blu-ray discs from Warner Archive for the first time.
The TV edit is a stunning forty minutes longer than the theatrical
release making it a must see for fans. Most of these scenes were
included on previous versions of the film on DVD and Blu-ray as
Deleted Scenes supplemental material only. In this edition, these
scenes have been edited back into the feature film to present it as
it was originally broadcast on ABC back in 1982 over the course of
Christopher Reeve as Superman, the film features an all star
supporting cast in Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Terence Stamp, Margot
Kidder, Trevor Howard, Glenn Ford, Ned Beatty, and Jackie Cooper to
name a few. With a screenplay by Mario Puzo (The
and an iconic score by John Williams, this timeless feature will
stand the test of time despite new interpretations. To fans who
aren't as familiar with the series, there were three original sequels
to this film (with the second installment being the only one worth
revisiting), Bryan Singer's mediocre Superman
(2006) which served as a continuation of this cinematic timeline.
Kent (Reeves) is an orphan alien child from an obliterated planet
known as Krypton. Sent to Earth by his Father Kal-El (Brando), Clark
lives an honest life under the guidance of kind farmers Jonathan
(Ford) and Martha Kent (Phyllis Thaxter), and grows into a
respectable man despite his superhuman powers. Discovering his own
origins and molding into the hero he's destined to be, Clark becomes
Superman. Moving to Metropolis, Superman falls for a beautiful
reporter named Lois Lane (Kidder) and faces off against the
villainous Lex Luthor (Hackman).
new 1080p HD transfer of both versions of the film are presented in
the original 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio (shot in 35mm anamorphic
Panavision) with great care done to better the overall look of the
film. The sound mixes are similar but a bit different with an
English 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless track (for the Special
and a 2.0 DTS-HD MA Stereo track (with some distortion in parts, for
with Pro Logic surrounds that revitalize the film's intricate mix and
classic score. A 4K edition of the theatrical release has since been
Features (on the Special
by Director Richard Donner and Creative Consultant Tom Mankiewicz
Flight: The Development of Superman
Superman: Filming the Legend
Magic Behind the Cape
disc is hours of entertainment on a classic and definitely a welcome
edition to any cinephile or comic book fan's movie collection.
Hopefully, a 4K UHD version (of the Original
cuts at least) of the film will be available in the near future but,
we can only speculate at this point.
order the Superman
Warner Archive Blu-ray set, go to this link for that and many more
great web-exclusive releases at:
James Lockhart & Nicholas