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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Horror > Teens > Superheroes > Animation > Literature > Hair > TV > Daphne & Velma (Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/LEGO DC SuperHero Girls: Super-Villain High (Warner DVD)/Peter Rabbit 4K (Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Sunny Day (Nickelodeon DVD/all 2018)

Daphne & Velma (Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/LEGO DC SuperHero Girls: Super-Villain High (Warner DVD)/Peter Rabbit 4K (Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Sunny Day (Nickelodeon DVD/all 2018)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B & C/C+/B+/C+ Sound: B & C+/C+/A- & B+/C+ Extras: C/C/C+/D Main Programs: C/C+/C+/C+

The latest child releases are all of known characters, save a newly launched TV show that hopes to be a hit...

Suzi Voonessi's Daphne & Velma is a new partial revival in live action of the Scooby-Doo franchise, but instead of the theatrical atrocity we suffered through years ago, it imagines an earlier time before they met the famous dog and his male counterparts. Velma Dinkley (Sarah Gilman) and Daphne Blake (Sarah Jeffrey) happen to be at the same school for gifted students that deals with the latest technology. They land up becoming a proto-Laverne & Shirley as they start looking into odd happenings on their own.

The directing is no problem, but the script is not that great, which is a shame because Gilman and Jeffrey are cast well together, have chemistry and if they could get a better script next time, this could launch into something fun and formidable that would exceed the target audience. We'll have to see what happens. If you're curious, see it.

Extras include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other cyber iTunes capable devices, while the discs add three Behind The Scenes/Making Of featurette clips and Gag Reel.

LEGO DC SuperHero Girls: Super-Villain High continues the successful launch of taking all the female DC heroes and female villains and putting them with the amusing premise that they went to school together versus their actual origins. With that said, the past entries have been amusing, the concept a hit and this short 78-minutes film gives them the LEGO world treatment complete with all of its physics-defying rules. The result is a little sillier than expected, has a few chuckles, but does not always make the most of its short time, so quitting when they did was likely a good idea.

Of course, the idea that they are in LEGO form has some admitted charm, but I can still say there are more than a few missed opportunities here. Still, it is worth a look just to see what they did if you are interested as the super gals start finding they cannot hold their own against the super villainesses.

Six mini-featurettes are the only extras.

Peter Rabbit has been a famous children's story for generations and now has his own feature film in Will Gluck's new comedy. Peter Rabbit (2018) fuses lifelike digital animation with live action much like the Alvin and the Chipmunks films. The result here is an over the top, cartoonish romp that isn't too similar to the innocence captured in the original children's books.

For modern young audiences, they will likely be entertained as there is plenty of pop culture references, modern music, and fast paced chase sequences to keep kids entertained. For the adults, there's the occasional sexual innuendo and jokes that the kids aren't likely to pick up on as is the case for many of these PG 'family friendly' films.

Peter Rabbit features an all-star cast which includes Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne, Sam Neill, and the voices of James Corden, Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley, and Elizabeth Debicki to name a few.

Peter Rabbit and his small group of animal friends have a common enemy - Mr. McGregor (Neill), an elderly man who vows to keep them off his property and out of his garden full of delicious veggies. When Old Man McGregor dies suddenly, his relative (Gleeson) ends up moving onto the property after getting fired from him high paying job and quickly kicks all of the 'vermin' to the curb. Upon his arrival, young McGregor becomes smitten with a cute artist neighbor lady (Byrne) who has an affection for the rabbits and the wildlife, the one thing that McGregor hates. But once the lady starts showing McGregor some affection, the rabbits start to become jealous and an all out war between both sides sets out to win her affections.

A digital copy is also included.

Special Features...

"Flopsy Turvy" Mini Movie

Shake Your Cotton-Tail Dance Along

Mischief In The Making

Peter Rabbit succeeds in being essentially a live action cartoon but is stronger in its opening acts as opposed to its later ones. At some points it feels like a Home Alone movie with rabbits where once again the adult is the bearer of physical harm for the sake of humor.

Finally we have Sunny Day, a new Nickelodeon series with three gals who run a beauty shop, cutting hair the best they can, dealing with everything from making the world more beautiful, to lovable animals to even princesses. The shows here run 90 minutes-long, a good introductory disc for the show, but it did not stick with me (though I know I am not the intended audience).

On the other hand, the animation style where the visuals are like paper cut-outs at times is a interesting choice (does that really match haircutting though?) and we'll have to see how that plays out. Sunny is the lead female, by the way, but the title is trying to imply more.

There are no extras.

As for playback performance, Peter Rabbit is presented in a 4K 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image in its original 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio. Paired with the nearly flawless image is a Dolby Atmos 11.1 lossless track that is most impressive indeed and helps capture the lavish sound design in the film. Also on the discs are tracks in a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown. Most noticeable on the 4K version are more detail on the digital creatures themselves and lifetime realistic environments that almost pop out of the screen as opposed to the also included 1080p Blu-ray disc with similar specs.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Velma is also not bad, offering better color range than you might expect and is pleasant to watch, making it the best performer here after the Rabbit discs, but its anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 DVD image is the softest on the list, even behind the LEGO and Sunny DVDs. Those two look about as good as they can for the format and that leaves almost all these releases up to the playback quality you'd expect.

As for sound, the Velma Blu-ray has a pretty good, if not spectacular DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix that is clear, well-recorded enough and well mixed. That is lost a bit on the DVD versions lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track, but is matched well by the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes on both the LEGO and Sunny DVDs.

- Nicholas Sheffo & James Lockhart (4K)



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