(1954/Holy Terrors/Juno/MVD DVD)/Missing
Link (2019/Fox Blu-ray
(2019/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)
C+/C+/B & C+/B & C+ Sound: C/C/B & C+/B & C+
Extras: C-/D/C+/C+ Main Programs: B-/C/C+/C
are the latest children/family releases...
Cafe (2019) is a
much-needed new show from Nickelodeon arriving for the first time on
DVD, seven episodes (including a longer debut) has the cast of fairy
(all female) opening up a bakery and that turns out to be tougher
than they imagined. It is an amusing idea, but the writers keep it
simple enough for its young audience, so don't expect anything too
use of color is not bad, if not spectacular, but the show eventually
settles into its own formula and we'll see if they play it safe or
try something more in future shows. There are no extras on the
discs, but our copy included four food recipes on two full color
Thompson's Child's Play
(1954) has nothing to do with the killer doll movie series, but is a
British comedy about a group of children who try to make an atom
bomb. An Attempt to launch some kind of franchise similar to The
Gang, the kids here are
dubbed The Holy Terrors,
but it just did not take hold.
Juno Selects has issued this film on DVD in the U.S. and it is not
bad, but not funny enough overall to be the anchor of any series,
though it does have a few amusing moments and a cast that is not bad.
They have a limited budget, but put it to good use.
we get no extras, this is a curio for some because this is the first
feature film of the great, now legendary British actress Anneke
Wills, who we were lucky enough to interview a few years ago at this
was only 11 years old when she made this and it has been turning up
on TV in the U.KJ., so she let her fans know this is one of her
favorite early roles and though she did turn up in many feature
films, she really made it big as a TV icon working on some of the
greatest shows in U.K. history. You may find it funny and so may any
children you know, so try it out if so inclined.
conclude with two CGI animated theatrical feature films that had
mixed box office results, but tried to do something different.
(2019) has Hugh Jackman voice a British traveler seeking adventure
and discovery in other parts of the world, when he runs into the
title character (Zack Galifainakis, who happens to speak) who calls
himself Mr. Link! From there, you get some of the usual jokes, but
the surprise is they become friends and even more surprising is how
ri9ch this is with a British atmosphere and other Britishisms that
you would not see hardly anywhere else.
while escaping being a one-joke release, it stays on the course it
takes and while it is amusing at times, does not try to be much
funnier than subtly so. At least it does not insult the audience
much, especially children, but there is more to do here (guess they
were hoping for a sequel, so you never know) and other voice talents
that help out include Emma Thompson, Steven Fry, Zoe Saldana and
(as the press release explains) include an audio commentary by Chris
Butler, Creating Mr. Link, Bringing the Final Battle on the Ice
Bridge to Life, Animation Inspiration w/optional Commentary by Chris
Butler, VFX Breakdown Reel - Realizing the Potential of Stop Motion,
Oh What a Mystery: Pulling the Camera Back on Missing Link's Magic,
Making Faces, Inside the Magic of Laika and Gallery x 24 Images.
based on the toy line, UglyDolls
(2019) takes us into the world of stuffed animals and how some became
the title characters, but this one tries to be a musical with a story
by Robert Rodriguez, though others try to supply the music. The
results, though visually colorful, are very mixed and do not add up
like they might have had the release not tried to go so overboard.
voice cast includes Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monae, Blake
Shelton, Gabriel Iglesias, Wanda Sykes, Bebe Rexha, Emma Roberts and
Pitbull, so that is an interesting mix that you might not see live
action. Like all the unusual combinations of ideas, we just do not
get the synergy we should have and it is not from not trying, but
maybe some script changes, reconsideration of some or all of the
songs (none stuck with me) and maybe a few voice cast changes could
have made a difference. Instead, you get a curio sure to get a few
talking, but this is a long 88 minutes.
on this Sing-Along Edition (per the press release) include a
Sing Along Tease - A small taste of the big fun the Sing-Along
Edition provides, Fun with the Cast of UglyDolls - Watch the
cast of UglyDolls play fun games that showcase their unique talents,
Making UglyDolls - A closer look at the music behind the film
and the talented voice cast that brings these rich characters to life
and Theatrical Trailers.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Cafe
1.33 X 1
black & white image transfer on Child's
look good for the format, but the sound (lossy
Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on Cafe,
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Child's
are a little lower and weaker than expected, so be careful of high
playback volumes and volume switching.
1080p 2.35 X 1 AVC @ 32.5 MBPS digital High Definition image transfer
on Link and 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image
transfer on UglyDolls on their respective Blu-rays are the
playback champs here and look good enough that you wonder why there
is no 4K version of either. Their anamorphically
enhanced DVD versions are not bad and as good as the other DVDs here,
but can pale in comparison to the Blu-ray versions.
may offer Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 on older systems) versus
a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix on UglyDolls,
but they are even in playback quality, suggesting the former was not
necessarily considered for such 12-track treatment during production.
Their DVD versions both offer lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes that are
better than the stand-alone DVD releases here, but they both sound
limited versus their lossless Blu-ray versions, more tracks or not.