Patrol: The Complete First Season
4K (1984/4K Ultra HD
The Complete Fourth Season
(2018 - 2019/Blu-ray/*all Warner/**both DC Comics)/The
Ultra HD Picture: B Picture: B/B-/B & C+/B/B- Sound: B/B
& B-/B & B-/B/B- Extras: C/C+/C+/C+/C- Main Programs:
next are a set of franchises that have been around for a while, two
with new starts and one that wants to be a new start, but falls
start with Doom
Patrol: The Complete First Season
(2019) finally bringing to life the team that came out of the second
great era of DC Comics that began in the early 1960s (they first
appeared in 1963 and some have accused Marvel Comics of using them as
a model for The X-Men) and continued to surface in variant groupings
since. 56 years later, they finally get a TV series, a live action
incarnation that brings us the underrated Brendan Frazier back to the
screen, here as Robotman, Matt Bomer (who almost played a big screen
Superman at one point) as Negative Man, Diane Guerrero as Crazy Jane,
April Bowlby as Elasti-Woman and Timothy Dalton (longtime, great
Shakespearian actor and two-time James Bond) as The Chief, who brings
Greg Berlanti wave of DC Comics TV shows are as well-defined as any
other major era of DC anywhere and to his credit, he knows this
original group of shows he has successfully launched and made hits
has peaked in its current form, so this series is a bit more comical
and self-deconstructive than many of the other shows, but they have
been as important as the feature films and animated productions in
bringing the DC characters to life in ways that work for a mass
audience and sometimes offer more.
have not been as big a fan of the shows overall, yet they are well
done and consistent enough to understand why they are hits and
succeed, so though I think this show is too humorous and a little too
derivative of things we've seen before, I like the idea he is digging
into characters that are overdue to get their due and the talent he
has attracted obviously agrees.
get 15 episodes altogether and they are off to a good-enough start.
I'd like to see the show get darker, take some risks and dig into the
comic catalog of their appearances to make it a richer show. If they
can somehow sign more talent that is as good as what they have
brought together here, this could develop into something amazing no
one is expecting. We'll see.
include Digital Copy, a paper episode guide inside the Blu-ray case,
Unaired Scenes and a Gag Reel.
Dante's Gremlins 4K (1984) was a huge hit in its time, was playing on
Christmas nostalgia while trying to be more of the same and features
some of the best puppet work of its time, from the little cute Gizmo
creature to the title characters he and duplicates of himself can
unfortunately become. Some things about this film (the puppets would
be digital, some aspects might be considered a little too politically
incorrect) would not happen if the film was made today, but it is
also a time capsule of a commercial cinema gone by already and of a
commercial 1980s cinema we will never see again.
Galligan plays a local young bank teller trying to have a better life
and works hard at it, including a potential relationship with a lady
friend (the underappreciated Phoebe Cates), keeping things good with
his family and dealing with an angry rich lady in town (Polly
Holiday) who wants to get rid of his beloved dog! He lands up
getting Gizmo as a present, but is given three rules on how to care
for him, including not getting him wet, or he will multiply. Of
course, it all goes wrong and the madness begins.
the biggest fan of the film, it has some good moments and a good
supporting cast (including Hoyt Axton, Judge Reinhold and Keye Luke),
but Gizmo was not developed enough (though any similarity to E.T.,
or Muppet characters was always welcome) and the film just runs on
its one-note sense of humor, which it has the energy to do in this
case. It still has its share of missed opportunities (which its
sequel never figured out) and it has aged oddly, not as fun as you
might remember it and some parts more dated that others. Still, it
was long overdue for a home video upgrade and it took 4K to finally
make that happen.
Digital Code, Filmmakers' Commentary with Director Joe Dante,
Producer Michael Finnell and Special Effects Artist Chris Walas, Cast
Commentary with Director Joe Dante, Zack Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Dick
Miller, and Howie Mandel, Gremlins:
Behind the Scenes Featurette,
Additional Scenes with Commentary, Photo Gallery, Theatrical
Trailers, Additional Scenes, Cute.
Clever. Mischievous. Intelligent: Making Gremlins,
Gremlins: The Gift of the Mogwai (motion comic), The Last Gremlin
(motion comic), From
Gizmo to Gremlins: Creating the Creatures
with Hoyt on the set of Gremlins.
(2019) is the fifth feature film to feature Ernest Tidyman's somewhat
underrated series of novels. The second to feature Samuel L.
Jackson, it is easily the most comical and humorous of a series
(including an underrated TV series) not known for humor outright. It
is much better than the first Jackson film, which I was still
shockingly disappointed at (even wasting Christian Bale!) and was
surprised this film even happened.
time out, we have a flashback with Shaft (Jackson) and a woman in his
life (Regina Hall) who happen to have a baby and get attacked while
arguing in a car. Shaft saves them, but it is the last straw in
their relationship and she is gone... with their son. Flash forward
to now and he (Jessie T. Usher) is now a tech expert for the F.B.I.
when a military buddy of his is killed, one who had just sobered up,
suddenly found dead of an overdose. He suspects otherwise and
investigates. A mutual friend (Alexandra Shipp) who likes him was
also the dead man's friend and wants answers.
young Shaft Jr. cannot figure it all out, he turns to his estranged
dad and the culture clash begins. Though some of this works, we've
seen this cop/buddy/out of water thing in dozens of films and Jackson
did it well in Die
but the result here is barely more hit than miss with some
politically incorrect language and a criminal plot that is only so
engaging. Thus, the directing is not bad and cast likable and
melding well, but one could argue that it is not a serious or even
'real' Shaft film (or is that 'for real'?), so this one is only for
include Digital Code,
Dig It? The Making of Shaft
(in both formats, and only on the Blu-ray:), A
Complicated Man: The Shaft Legacy - Part One: A Bad Mother Born,
Complicated Man: The Shaft Legacy - Part Two: No Questions Asked,
Complicated Man: The Shaft Legacy - Part Three: A Legend of His Time,
Deleted Scenes that are not bad and a Gag Reel
The Complete Fourth Season
(2018 - 2019) continues the adventures of Superman's cousin that has
finally become a hit after Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) arrives to
save National City, et al. Our coverage of the previous season tends
to also demonstrate the love fans have for the show...
this writer does not think the show is fully effective, plus I still
consider Helen Slater so good in the role that the fact she was in
such a bad film remains one of the biggest missed opportunities in
big screen cinema history and also sad that the appearance of the
character on Superman:
The Animated Series
was not more often or led to a spin-off of its own. The character so
this is only the very first step in giving her the respect and
on-screen storytelling she deserves. More than a few longtime
diehard fans might agree, but Benoist looks the part and gives it all
she has, so that is primarily why the show is a hit.
24 episodes are here on four Blu-ray discs and it remains a decently
include Digital Code, paper episode guide inside the Blu-ray case,
plus the discs add a Gag Reel, Deleted Scenes and three Behind The
Scenes featurettes on par with previous sets. Note that The Flash
and Arrow have cross-over episodes here.
and least is Giorgio Serafini's The
(2019) with Dolph Lundgren as the title character, a man whose rough,
traumatic childhood is compounded by the violent loss of his wife and
child, so he goes on the kill in this formula revenge piece that is
we've seen to the point of no return and even for one of his
B-movies, Lundgren seems a little bored and like he is going through
drones on for a long 87 minutes, is not that well made or directed,
the cast even seems lost and the result is a release you are better
off losing track of. For hardcore fans of Lundgren only.
only include Digital Copy, if that actually counts.
2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.85 X 1, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra
High Definition image on Gremlins is the best presentation
here, but can be grain-heavy and is not always outstanding for a film
that was made available in 70mm blow-ups, but it is the look of the
film and there are a few demo shots above our letter grade. However,
it looks far better than the Blu-ray with its old 1080p pressing at
1.85 X 1 that tends to be very soft and the color is not as good.
Patrol and Supergirl are here in 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital
High Definition transfers with good color consistency in line with
previous DC Comics TV releases of this era and save the overly fast
flying in the latter show, the visual effects are not bad. Both are
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Shaft
is also an HD production (the first for the franchise) and it is not
bad, having some good shots and some early 1970s styling early on it
eventually skips. Not very memorable overall visually, but well shot
for what it is. The anamorphically
enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on the DVD is much weaker and sometimes hard
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Trackers
can show motion blur and detail issues throughout, though maybe part
of it is style, there are too many such issues to pass off as such
and on larger screens, this will be harder to watch. Color is fair,
but definition co9uld have been better.
for sound, Shaft is the only one offering Dolby Atmos 11.1
(Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) sound, so Gremlins did
not get an audio upgrade. Though hardly demo material, the sound has
its moments in action sequences, but the use of various soul, R&B
and Rap/Hip Hop tracks throughout tends to be a bit more interesting
on the Blu-ray, while the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 does not deliver as
well being a far cry from the Atmos mix.
has its old, dated Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix on its old regular Blu-ray
edition, but the new 4K disc has a clearer DTS-HD MA (Master Audio)
5.1 lossless mix that sounds fresher and clearer, likely sourced from
the old 70mm 4.1 Dolby soundmaster that used older Dolby A-type
analog noise reduction. The sound was considered good for its time,
including the Jerry Goldsmith score, but it has not aged as well as
other films from the time.
both have decent DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on all
of their episodes, so no major issues there and again, is consistent
with the other DC TV shows in production, but the DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Tracker
is not very consistent in soundfield and flat more often than
expected with too much talk for its own good. On better home theater
systems, it will be even more trying sonically.