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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Adventure > Drama > Battle > Comedy > Horror > Monster > Fantasy > Magic > Romance > Large > Captain Marvel (2019/Marvel/Disney 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Frankenstein 1970 (1958/Allied Artists*)/Golden Arrow (1962/MGM/*both Warner Archive Blu-rays)/Lost In Space: The Complete First Seaso

Captain Marvel (2019/Marvel/Disney 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Frankenstein 1970 (1958/Allied Artists*)/Golden Arrow (1962/MGM/*both Warner Archive Blu-rays)/Lost In Space: The Complete First Season (2018 revival/Fox Blu-ray Set)/Sagrada Reset: Complete Collection (2017/Sentai Blu-ray)



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



PLEASE NOTE: The Frankenstein 1970 and Golden Arrow Blu-rays are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.



Here's a new group of genre releases, but before we get started, a primer for those unaware or even confused about who Captain Marvel is, or was. In the late 1930s, Fawcett Comics wanted to get in on the superhero genre and even loved how popular Popeye was. Taking a cue from Superman, they created the original character with that name. All a young newspaper seller name Billy Batson had to do was say 'Shazam!' and he became the character. The result was a massive hit at the newsstand with unique villains, other members of the Captain's family and tie-ins that also sold very well. Captain Marvel Jr. even influenced the look of a new kind of singer in Elvis Presley.


Republic even made a Saturday Morning Movie serial of the character and it is considered one of the greatest ever made (reviewed elsewhere on this site), but DC Comics thought he was too much like Superman, managed to prove this in court and not only got the character, but brought about the end of the the entire Fawcett Comics company!


In the 1960s, Marvel Comics invented their own Captain Marvel, but the character and costume did not catch on, then DC revived Captain Marvel/Shazam! with a new comic book series tied into a huge hit live action series with the Filmation Company on the CBS-TV network and that also led to new toys, new fans and a later animated series by the early 1980s. Marvel Comics revived their own Captain Marvel and he was a moderate hit with a look that worked and though not as successful, well done.


The Captains at the two largest comic book companies would resurface here and there, but Marvel sued DC saying they were Marvel, owned the Marvel name and needed to stop calling their Captain Marvel 'Marvel' anything. When this was recently settled in Marvel's favor, he simply became Shazam! and that will be his name from now on.


But in one last twist, Marvel Comics (lacking female heroes?) decided to not have a male Captain Marvel (for now) for their growing line of movie studio characters and decided that his comic book companion from the 1970s, the dynamic (and similarly outfitted) Ms. Marvel would become Captain Marvel for the late 2010s and that is where we stand now.



The new film Captain Marvel (2019) just starts all over again and forgets 80 years of superhero print history (et al) with Brie Larson as a military pilot who accidentally finds herself in an outer space civil war, superhero mega-war and with powers she cannot believe she has. With all the madness happening in flashback and now, she has plenty to find out and learn fast. She has forgotten some of what happened and we start piecing together the past with her as we both (re)learn what happened and how she got to where she is, but time is tight and who knows what will happen next.


Jude Law, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Annette Benning and Samuel L. Jackson as an earlier version of Nick Fury lead the cast in a film that goes on a bit longer than it needs too, does not have enough of a new look to stand out and plays it safe as Larson is well cast looking like the earliest drawings of her character, whose original identity is Carol Danvers. Part of the problem is that it needs to fit into the current Marvel films, so it cannot go out and have its own look like Aquaman or Wonder Woman, but money is still on the screen.


Because of its timing in the Marvel films series and this particular cultural moment, the film did as well as Wonder Woman in the worldwide box office, has some fun and added fans with characters to the universe, but it is a film with some issues just the same. Having co-directors (Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck) means the film lacks some focus and vision. Like Wonder Woman, Danvers discovery of her powers is not handled with the wonderment, amazement or good thought it could have been. The film has too many down spots, but the introduction of a cat in the plot turns out to be an unexpected plus, but I will say no more there.


Disney has issued this as a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Blu-ray set as expected and 4k is the only way to go to see this one, so we'll get into the technical playback below.


Extras include Digital Copy, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, a feature length audio commentary track, Big Hero Moment, Origins Of Nick Fury and The Skrulls & The Kree featurettes.



Made in 1958 and starring Boris Karloff, the unusual Frankenstein 1970 is unearthed and remastered on Blu-ray in a web-exclusive thanks to Warner Archive. Perhaps a pre-cursor for the infamous Nosferatu extension, Shadow of the Vampire, there is a film crew making a fictional horror film within the fictional horror film here as well.


Instead of playing the monster this time around, Karloff plays the Mad Doctor who is also a Igor character of sorts. Reportedly, this low budget monster flick used almost all of its budget to secure Karloff, and this ended up being one of his last performances. While the acting (aside from Boris) and the story is a bit stale, this is an interesting Franken film that fans should check out.


Frankenstein 1970 also stars Tom Duggan, Jana Lund, Don 'Red' Barry, Charlotte Austin, and Irwin Berke. Directed by Howard W. Koch, the longtime producer who became a good journeyman director.


Baron Victor von Frankenstein (Karloff) has suffered at the hands of Nazis punishment for not cooperating with them during World War II and now lives in exile. Horribly disfigured, he nevertheless continues his work as a scientist. Needing funds to support his experiments, the Baron allows a television crew to shoot a made-for-television horror film about his monster-making family at his castle in Germany. However, the crew ends up stumbling across some of Frankenstein's deadly experiments and all hell breaks loose.


Special Features include an Audio Commentary by film historians Charlotte Austin, Bob Burns, and Tom Weaver.



Next up is a fantasy comedy with Tab Hunter as a dashing bandit in the Middle East who may have found powers he could not have imagined in Antonio Margheriti's The Golden Arrow (1962), an Italian production MGM backed hoping for some kind of hit, but oddest of all is that it is in the expensive-to-shoot large-frame format Technirama, one of the last films to use the format and the last of only four MGM ever was involved with. Seems like a lot of trouble and expense for making what is a B-movie, but Hunter was a big star at the time and this made sense to enough executives that it got made.


To win the hand of a beautiful princess, the man who deserves her must shoot the title bolt through a series of open circles, not hit them and hit the bullseye, which seems impossible. Most of the men are oafs and few can barely pick up the arrow, but our hero does and hits the mark, only for a massive fight to follow. What follows are bad visual effects (especially bad matte work), animation, a magic trio shows up to help him and more magic is ahead, even if it is unconvincing.


The non-Arab actors playing Arabs is more painful to watch than ever, the production design and costumes are certainly a plus, but this also gets very campy very quickly (even if you don't know much about Hunter in real life) and the writing is never coherent enough to make us suspend disbelief in the ideas of magic the film presents. It is also short at 91 minutes, so one might think it was longer considering the format used, but I cannot see where more footage would have helped.


This results in one of the widest of curios and Warner Archive has restored this as well as possible for Blu-ray as can be expected. Some of this will at least look good on a big screen HDTV or Ultra HDTV, but the film is a silly mess aimed at children apparently, despite a few adult moments. You can also see why Hunter was a real movie star and was able to carry this, despite its many flaws.


An Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra.



Next up is the new 2018 revival of the hit Irwin Allen TV series from the 1960s. Lost In Space: The Complete First Season is still about the Robinson Family and company getting lost with their Jupiter 2 space ship and the adventures that result, but despite a good cast that includes Toby Peters, Parker Posey and as a new character, Bill Mumy, who looks half his age and secretly may have found a fountain of youth (being in a rock band?) that is is not going to be sharing with anyone anytime soon. At least the cast is likable, but a new series had to get away from the hideous 'no one pays their electric bills in space' look of the horrendous feature film the 1990s, yet could not expect to be a retro imitator of the 1960s series.


So what did the makers do? Still stuck with a variant of that lame movie and the results are a very dull show that has people trying to make it work, but working against a foundation of failure that also makes it look and feel like everything we've seen before and too much of late. We get a new robot, but like the rest of this, you forget anything about it as soon as it is over, so it is amazing that it was renewed for a second season. Also, why is this show and the older movie stuck on the second theme song for the series John Williams composed? There is nothing wrong with the original theme. In this age of electronica, no one has the brains, heart, soul or guts to remake the original in a clever way that might make this seem more ambitious.


We get 10 episodes on three Blu-ray discs, so that is about as much room as they need without being more compressed and anyone who lands up liking this revival will be happy with that at least.


Extras include Deleted Scenes, an ugly and unnecessarily colorized version of the ''No Place to Hide'' Unaired Pilot Episode from the Original Series (Blu-ray Exclusive) that plays much better in black and white not available here, Bill and Max: Lost and Found in Space, Bill Mumy Visits the Jupiter 2, Designing the Robot and a Sizzle Reel.



In the small town Sakurada, there is a big secret, nearly everyone has special abilities/powers. You would think the ultimate power would be to turn back time and fix things, but Misora Haruki as one slight problem, she can't remember what she needs to fix when she travels back in time. That is until she she teams up with Kei Asai, who has the ability to remember all the timelines they have ever been in. Together, the work as the 'Service Club' helping people and saving lives ...but when you are 'resetting' time there is always cause and effect in Sagrada Reset: Complete Collection (2017).


Misora Haruki has the ability to turn back time, however her time limit is only 3 days, she can have only one 'save point' at a time ...and she can't remember why she traveled back in time. That is until she meets and teams up with Kei Asai, who's ability is to remember everything. Alone their powers aren't much, but together they are able to help others and change fate. They are recruited into their school's 'Service Club' to help solve problems, from lost cats to even bring back the dead. However, the club is closely monitored by a shadowy agency known only as the 'Bureau'. The Bureau's purpose is monitor all those with powers in town and to make sure no one is abusing their powers.


But with Misora and Kei's powers, are they being tested or is someone trying to use them for their powers? As Misora and Kei work together they DO help other people with powers including a girl who can make anything disappear, a girl who can talk to cats, a girl who turned into a ghost, etc... BUT each case or 'job' seem testing them, Kei uncovers a plot where someone or something is planing to either steal everyone's powers or to forever seal them away.


This series was like a mix of X-Men (minus all the fighting) with The Butterfly Effect and solving mysteries. Each case starts off with a 'normal' day but then when they 'reset' each time there are slight variations of the same/previous day, proving the smallest things can cause large changes for the future. However, with a power that can change the future, in the hands of the wrong people that power could become the most dangerous ability of all. Extras include clean opening and closing animation and trailers.



The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 2.35 X 1 HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on Captain Marvel is the best here as expected, though it is not perfect, but offers more detail, color range and depth than the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition Blu-ray also included, which is watchable enough, but lacking in several shots.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Golden Arrow was shot in the large frame format Technirama, one of the last films to do so, but is in a 35mm reduction presentation here. The image can be waxy at times and detail challenging, but color can be as impressive as anything on the list and some shots look really good. However, there are no major demo shots here, so when it is a representation of a 35mm dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor version of the film, that is with limits.


Frankenstein is presented in 1080p black and white high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 (for the first time) and an English: DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless, this is certainly the best that this film has ever looked or sounded. Even considering its low budget, the film has held up pretty well over the years and is definitely worth checking out in this Blu-ray edition.


The 1080p 2.00 X 1 AVC @ 20 MBPS digital High Definition image transfer on new Lost In Space episodes look too much like the awful feature film and cannot compete with the best-looking episodes of the original 1960s show. It looks good enough in many shots, but not enough for this viewer.


That leaves the 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Sagrada Reset is the better of the two TV series here and as good as any Blu-ray with great color, detail and depth throughout.


As for sound, Captain Marvel has a decent Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) lossless mix that will not always stun, but has a good enough flow about it, while the Blu-ray offers a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mixdown that is just fine, if not as complete, but works well enough.


Frankenstein is addressed above, so we next have the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Lost In Space that is good, but not very memorable or stunning, especially as this is more dialogue-based than you might expect. The feature film was praised for its sound mix, but it needed FAR more help in other places.


The Japanese DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes on Sagrada is a bit of a disappointment despite a great picture, just not being very lively or delivering the best sonics. Too bad it is not in 5.1 or higher, as that would have helped.


That leaves the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix on Golden Arrow sounding a little better by default, but one wonders if this one ever had any kind of stereo track.



To order either of the Warner Archive Blu-rays, Frankenstein 1970 and Golden Arrow, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


http://www.wbshop.com/



- Nicholas Sheffo, Ricky Chiang (Sentai) and James Lockhart (Frankenstein)

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


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