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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Adventure > Animals > Superhero > Action > Time Travel > Supernatural > Magic > TV > Cabl > Teen Titans: Lookin' For A Fight (2019/DVD/*both DC Comics/Warner)/X-Men: Dark Phoenix 4K (2019/Marvel/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

Curious George: Royal Monkey (2019/Universal DVD)/DC's Legends Of Tomorrow: The Complete Fourth Season (2018 - 2019/Blu-ray*)/Paw Patrol: Ready Race Rescue (2019/Nickelodeon DVD)/Teen Titans: Lookin' For A Fight (2019/DVD/*both DC Comics/Warner)/X-Men: Dark Phoenix 4K (2019/Marvel/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

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

Now for a mix of child/family releases that are a bit mixed themselves...

Curious George: Royal Monkey (2019) is the latest release of the popular book character in a new animated released being dubbed a movie, lasting about 87 minutes and he travels to a royal land to possibly become royalty! Though it is amusing and has some good moments, I thought there were more missed opportunities than usual for how good this animated series has been over the last few years, but the idea of doing 'a movie' sometimes comes with this bad idea of having a set of slow moments to make it seem more serious or more 'important'' but it slows this one down.

This could have been shortened a bit or more ideas added, but we get an uneven result and it could have been better, but it could have been worse. Wonder if this will hold up in repeated viewings for younger viewers?

A free small sheet of stickers are the only extra.

Though it is not as discussed as much, DC's Legends Of Tomorrow: The Complete Fourth Season (2018 - 2019) has its following, but because it is dealing with a set of lesser-known characters, forget it. The addition of Constantine should have made the show take off, but it has become a bit muddled instead. Additionally, the concept of Magic is so overdone that it makes the writing drag and the time travel aspects are just not handled very well.

Thus, this is for fans only as much as any DC series in production right now, but fans are still watching it, so its working for them apparently. At least this set looks good.

Extras include Digital Copy, a small paper episode guide in the Blu-ray case, while the discs add Unaired Scenes, a Gag Reel and two Making Of featurettes: Season Four Post Production Theater and Legendary Storytelling.

Paw Patrol: Ready Race Rescue (2019) is the latest Nickelodeon DVD on the franchise, also claiming to be a movie, but this time, it only runs 44 minutes, so the race car tale here where the team helps a name racer is more like a double episode than a movie, so it is really pushing it to call it anything more. It fair, but that also makes it one of the shortest (if the the shortest) Paw DVD to date, so this too is for fans only and Nickelodeon should have added some extras. Just expect more of the same, but a little less here.

There are no extras except Digital Copy.

Now the Teen Titans have no one left to fight, they are left to their own devices, including having an ice cream social with H.I.V.E.. Robin must find ways for team building activities for the Titans and get the team to work together in a talent contest. As they journey into space they expected to fight Apocalypse, but instead find themselves in a property dispute. Starfire continues to learn Earth culture from Beast Boy and Cyborg but ends up with a hilarious lesson in history in Teen Titans: Lookin' For A Fight (2019).

As you may know, the Teen Titans are a group of super powered (except for Robin) sidekicks whom usually fights other minor bad guys in the DC universe. But with few fights, little to do and even less responsibilities they now search for another use for their powers. Together they strive to be a team, but it seems like their goals are now to drive their leader Robin up the wall. Now most of the time their greatest enemy is boredom and they seek ways to have fun and (maybe) learn something.

Teen Titans GO used to be a lot more fun, about a group of super powered teens going on adventure and fighting bad guys, but now the series seem more like comedy, making fun of body humor, American culture (from the '80s) with minor factoids. It feels like the writers of the series were trying too hard to be funny, educational and entertaining to the audience. Sadly the series no longer have the original spirit of the series, it lacks a plot and the characters have no character growth, each episode is only 5 minutes long and it is just comedy for comedies sake.

There are no extras.

Lastly, and I mean lastly, Simon Kinberg's X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) where a young Jean Grey goes out of control and the team (in their earlier years) have to find a way to stop and save her. Since it is a flashback story, there is zero suspense and the script is so cliched that all of the combined telekinesis of the team in its decades of history could not fix it. If anything, it fells like lawyers at Fox told them to make another film so they did not lose the franchise's rights to Marvel and Disney, but Disney bought Fox as this was in production, so this misery will now finally end.

It is stunning how very, very predictable, flat and boring it all is, from its writing, to its directing to even a likable cast (including Michael Fassbinder, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Holt, Jessica Chastain, Sophie Turner and James McAvoy) even seem a little bored and just picking up a paycheck as even all the visual effects seem like cliches and as if they were recycled from every other CGI film we've seen. Then, its 114 minutes never knows when to end, a problem when you never really get off the ground.

Almost as soulless as the infamous X-Men 3, even Kinberg cannot get as absolutely hideously awful as Brett Ratner, but he sure gets close as this one drones on and on and on and on giving mind control a bad name. As this is likely the ned of this era (make it stop...) expect Disney to relaunch the franchise with a whole new cast in the next few years. This one really ended with Logan.

Extras include Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker:

Edwards Air Force Base

Charles Returns Home

Mission Prep

Beast MIA

Charles Says Goodbye

Rise of the Phoenix: The Making of Dark Phoenix (5-Part Documentary)

Scene Breakdown: The 5th Avenue Sequence (digital only!)

How to Fly Your Jet to Space with Beast

Audio Commentary by Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker

The 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10+; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on X-Men is the best-looking presentation on this list, but it is not always pure 4K as many of the visual effects and some other elements do not look 4K all the way, but color and some detail is better than the passable 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image which is a little weaker and harder to watch by comparison.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Legends is actually a little better looking than the regular X-Men Blu-ray with more consistent color and warmer presentation overall.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on all three DVD releases are c0onsistently good for the format, all animated and just fine for what they are.

As for sound, the Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) lossless mix on X-Men is also the best sonically and though there's nothing new or demo-worthy here, it has some good moments that engage all the tracks, if not groundbreakingly so. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix on the regular Blu-ray version is not bad, but lacks some of the range of the Atmos, as expected.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Legends is about consistent enough in soundfield as typically all the DC live-action TV shows have been in the last decade or so. Again, nothing groundbreaking, but professional at least.

All three DVDs offer lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and Titans might have a bit of an edge, but they are otherwise about even sonically, though the other two might be holding back being too loud for younger audiences.

Please note that the Warner and other titles are provided to us by each company in screener form (press copies received free of charge as a courtesy so they can be reviewed, often before street date) so they can be thoroughly reviewed by approved sources like ourselves.

- Nicholas Sheffo and Ricky Chiang (Titans)


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