The Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 3
(1948 - 1949/Paramount/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Teddy
Pendergrass: If You Don't Know Me
4K (2019/Universal Ultra
HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B Sound: C+/B/B Extras:
D/C/C+ Main Programs: C+/B/C+
Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
next new releases offer past music from several eras and more...
new Blu-ray release of Popeye
The Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 3
(1948 - 1949) is the first time we have ever looked at any Popeye
(animated or otherwise) in High Definition after covering him on a
dozen DVD releases over the years. Outside of some good film prints
I have been lucky enough to see over many years, this is the best I
have seen the character on home video to date (need to catch up with
those older sets, black and white classics included) and you can
really enjoy them more when you can see them much more as originally
this point, it was Famous Studios (Paramount's successor to the
Fleischer Studios) producing the shorts and though they had fallen
into a safe, formula for children of all ages (some political
incorrectness included), the quiet victory at this point is that he
was still popular post-WWII and represented an Americana that was one
of the inspirations for the Allies to win the war effort, so he
remained popular for decades to come and these were among the shorts
with color TV firmly in place by the early 1970s that syndication
played to death, so seeing them looking so good restored is a plus.
stands out here including at least one song a short, but that was par
for the course in so many animated shorts at the time and are fine
for what they are, though we get three different color formats (see
below) this group was produced in and it is great Warner Archive
continues to issue these on Blu-ray. The animators and voice cast
are up to the stories energy-wise and this is worth your time if
are sadly no extras.
Pendergrass: If You Don't Know Me
(2019) is a remarkable story of one of the great soul vocalists who
used to front (but not get credit for) lead singing on all the hits
of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, but was not getting his money
or credit, despite being at the great record label Philadelphia
International Records (aka PIR), so he went solo and had a great run
until mysterious bad things started happening to him.
hits kept on coming as he eventually surpassed his Blue Notes success
(Melvin threatened his life not to leave, but he left just the same)
and stayed at PIR. The albums and tours were selling big until 1982,
when he was in a mysterious car accident where e became paralyzed
after wrecking his huge Rolls Royce. Apparently, the brakes 'failed'
but until then, he was having the kind of soul success previous
encountered by Al Green (who found religion around that time) and
Marvin Gaye (who had a falling out with Motown and was just about to
make his comeback) so he was on such a roll, he would have been
joining Prince and Michael Jackson on the charts.
members, band members, backup singers, industry people and the great,
legendary writing team of Gamble and Huff are among the interviewees
added to all the great vintage film and video footage from various
archives that make this one of the must-see music documentaries of
also have the only recording (live) of Pendergrass singing a song
that could have been a huge hit for him had he cut and released it as
a single, Lionel Ritchie's ''Lady'',
which became a big across the board hit for Ritchie's friend Kenny
Rogers, though both could have had big hits at the same time on it.
Too bad things ended sooner than they should have, though Pendergrass
had a solo comeback and a few more hits before his injuries caught up
with him fatally. No one has been charged with murder of any kind,
though there are no statute of limitations on murder.
only glaring omission is his hit duet with a new solo singer just
starting out in the business: Whitney Houston. ''Hold
did well and even had a music video, plus it was a remake of a solo
song that Diana Ross had just cut for her 1982 album Silk
under the title ''In
and was not a hit single. It was his last pop chart triumph.
include an Original Theatrical Trailer, additional interviews
(including musicians who worked with Pendergrass), 5 deleted scenes
we have Danny Boyle's Yesterday
(2019) which he made after his falling out with the James Bond
producers (taking one big 1960s 'B' over another, but I doubt he'll
be making a Batman film anytime soon) is a one-joke movie where an
ambitious musician who loves music and The Beatles (Himesh Patel) and
discovers when he wakes up one day that the band never existed. At
first, he thinks it is an elaborate gag, but soon learns something
else is going on. But what?
he can perform their songs and claim he created them, which starts to
go over so well that a greedy music promoter (the great Kate McKinnon
as funny as ever) wants to sign him and put him over the top. He is
falling for his girlfriend (Lily James) and starts to wonder if this
is going to all work out.
that can be amusing and if you love the band's music or go for the
approach, you'll like this film more than I did, but instead, it is
an alternate universe take on The Beatles like the spoof The
(reviewed elsewhere on this site) that I liked better, but you still
have to be in the mood for since it is not for everybody. Ed
Sheenan, the U.K.'s top music writer and arguably biggest new act
(save Adele) is here playing himself, but that did not add much to it
except for being another gag. Now out in the 4K format, see it if
you're really interested or skip it and I did not think it worked as
a romantic comedy either.
(from the press release in part) include
an Alternate Opening, Playing
- The re-interpreting of the Beatles songs was a huge undertaking for
newcomer Himesh Patel. Learn how he spent months learning to play
the songs perfectly as the production decided to take the more
challenging route of recording the musical numbers live on set. Soul
- Beyond the music and the laughs, the film is, of course, a love
story. This piece looks at the relationship between Jack & Ellie
and the actors playing them. A
Conversation with Richard & Ed
- Long-term friends Richard Curtis and Ed Sheeran have a funny and
informal chat about the making of YESTERDAY, Ed
Sheeran: From Stadium to Screen
- Acting in his first major role, Ed Sheeran reflects on his
experiences making the movie, Agent
of Comedy: Kate McKinnon
- Kate McKinnon shares how eager she was to play the role of "Debra
Hammer" while the cast and crew reflect on the fun and energy
that the queen of improvisational comedy brought to the set and Gag
Reel on the 4K disc, plus
an Alternate Ending, Deleted Scenes, Corden
- Includes deleted performance by Himesh Patel ''Something'', Late
for School, Nutters Italian Ice Cream, Sortisimus, Moscow Audience,
Alexa, A Gonk, W Hotel, Jack Calls Ellie, Hilary in the Mirror, Nick
and Carol and Hazel's Selfie. Live
at Abbey Road Studios
- Watch Himesh Patel perform "Yesterday",
Want To Hold Your Hand",
at Abbey Road Studios, "Yesterday",
Want To Hold Your Hand"
- Richard Curtis and Danny Boyle, two of the most successful British
filmmakers, team up for the first time and a Feature Commentary with
Director Danny Boyle and Writer/Producer Richard Curtis.
2160p HEVC/H.265, 2.35 X 1, HDR (10+; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced
Ultra High Definition image on the HD-shot Yesterday
is the best performer here, if not by a huge margin, with better
color and more warmth than the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition
image on the regular Blu-ray, which is a little duller by comparison.
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Teddy
can show the age of the vintage materials used, like old analog NTSC
videotape and some film clips that could use some work, but other
footage looks better and new interviews and footage are HD-shot.
1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on Popeye
can also show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior
a transfer to all previous releases of the short animated films. The
ones that were originally issued in 35mm
dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor have the best color and an edge
in color range, but we get some older 2-strip Cinecolor shorts
(sometimes these were issued to save money while the actual short was
produced in better color, but apparently not here) and the rarely
used but interesting Polacolor by Polaroid (different from their
later Polavision home movie film format, in its Super 8 size), the
latter two less expensive than Technicolor.
is the best I have ever seen non-Fleischer Popeye
cartoons look, though high quality, these late 1940s shorts are no
match for the originals, yet have more money in them than the
underrated 1960s TV color shorts. Its great these films have been
restored as best as possible and I hope all the theatrical animated
shorts series get the same respect and treatment, especially since
they tend to look better than most people have seen them in decades.
for sound, both discs of Yesterday
offer Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) which
works best for the music, of course, but also arena scenes, though as
usual, Boyle does dialogue-based work and we get plenty of that here.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Teddy
is loaded with interviews and vintage audio, but when the music kicks
in, this sounds good. I should add that sometimes, the music sounds
exceptionally strong and made me wonder where the lossless audio
releases 0of his work is digitally.
has DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mixes for all 17
shorts offered, but they are older theatrical optical monophonic
sound and show their age, yet this is the smoothest, cleanest and
clearest we are ever likely to hear them. I cannot imagine them
sounding much better.
order the Warner Archive Popeye
Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive