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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Adventure > Animation > Comedy > Anime > Fantasy > Creature > Monsters > > Martial Arts > Death and Return Of Superman 4K (2019 set with Toy/DC Comics 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays (incl. Superman: Doomsday) w/Blu-ray*)/FCLC: Progressive (2019/Adult Swim DVD*)/Kung Fu Monster (2018/Well Go Blu-ray)

Death and Return Of Superman 4K (2019 set with Toy/DC Comics 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays (incl. Superman: Doomsday) w/Blu-ray*)/FCLC: Progressive (2019/Adult Swim DVD*)/Kung Fu Monster (2018/Well Go Blu-ray)/Lost City Of The Jungle (1946/Universal/MVD/VCI Blu-ray)/Scooby Doo!: Return To Zombie Island (2019/DVD/*all Warner)

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

Here's the new group of child/family fantasy/action releases, including a big upgrade on on a certain DC Comics saga...

The Death and Return Of Superman 4K have all been combined as a new expanded release for the 4K format and starts with The Death Of Superman Blu-ray/DVD I reviewed at this link...


Then this new 4K release also adds Reign Of The Supermen, which we covered as a Blu-ray/DVD set here...


Then as a surprise bonus 4K disc, we also get Superman: Doomsday which we reviewed on DVD a while ago at this link...


So now the whole saga without having to wait or put up with shorter presentations is finally here in one set, one of the best 4K sets to date and both DC and 4K fans can be very happy. Though this can get surreal and there are parts I did not buy as much as others (the young teen Superman is a little odd versus what we got in the comic book), this is all well done and melds together well. This is easily now the best way to take it all in.

Extras include the Steel figurine, plus (as explained by the press release) Long Live Superman - Superman is a symbol for hope across the world. Hear the story of how the Man of Tomorrow will always be the hero we need today, The Death of Superman: The Brawl That Topped Them All - Experience the battle between Superman and Doomsday like never before as creators of the iconic comic and the new film explore the nuances of ''The Greatest Fight'' with the help of a martial arts expert, Lex Luthor: The Greatest Nemesis - Evil Genius. Archenemy of Superman. Misunderstood hero? This documentary will look at one of the most renowned villains in literature and debate his ethics and motivations throughout his publication history and as the calculated anti-hero of Reign of the Supermen. We'll also explore how Lex Luthor is emblematic of technology without limit, often demonstrating what effect unbridled power, resources, and influence can have on humanity. We'll discuss the affinity for storytellers to associate Lex Luthor and with the field of science as they challenge our morals and integrity with real world issues such as cloning and what can happen if science fiction became science reality and several From the DC Vault: Legion of Superheroes, ''Dark Victory: Part 1'' and ''Part 2'', Superman: The Animated Series, ''Heavy Metal'' and Justice League Unlimited, ''Panic in the Sky''.

FCLC: Progressive (2019) is the sequel to the hit anime FLCL as Haruka returns in her never ending chase to capture Atomsk the Pirate King. However, Haruka is no longer alone, along with Jinyu and the Medical Mechanica corporation they are all after the power of Atomsk. Hidomi a 14 year old girl and her friends finds themselves in a battle that could destroy her entire hometown, but can they trust Haruka or Jinyu?

Hidomi is a 14 year old girl and she has been dreaming of the end of the world and she has been transforming into a robot fighting various doomsday machines, but all she really wants is to confess to her love to her classmate Ide. Haruka and Jinyu show up out of nowhere and start targeting Hidomi, placing her life and her friends in danger. Secret of Atomsk is he manifest only those pure of heart and their 'love' grant them his powers (temporary). Both Haruka and Medical Mechanica want Atomsk's awesome powers. Jinyu seems oppose to Haruka and has her own agenda, but like always Haruka will do anything to possess the power of Atomsk including threaten people Hidomi cares about, which is also the trigger at the same time to her transformations.

FLCL blew away the anime community when it first debut, but after watching the second season it felt like they lost some of it cool, the 'robots' weren't as cool as season one, it was just more silly. Also in order to understand Season 2, you had to had watch season 1. The series reuses a lot of the soundtracks and songs from Season 1. Extras include trailers, but should have offered more.

Andrew Lau's Kung Fu Monster (2018) wants to be some kind of family film with a little character that crosses E.T. with a Gremlin, but it is a little more violent and even sadistic early on and its sense of a bit of anger and mean-spiritedness just keeps surfacing for no reason throughout (starting with the title character being whipped with a chain that leaves deep cuts on his body, through his hair!) and this is dubbed 'not rated' so I was watching thinking who this was really meant for.

The title character exists in a far past and is one of a few that has been captured and imprisoned, but he escapes with the help of an officer who sees him as kind and gentle, but he turns out to have superpowers that include martial arts and some other humans would prefer to control or kill him. This is not for children and probably not for pre-teens, though I was no fan at any age and thought it was too derivative of everything we've seen before. Now you can judge for yourself.

A trailer, teaser and two brief interview clips are the only extras.

Lewis D. Collins and Ray Taylor's Lost City Of The Jungle (1946) is another unintentionally funny Universal Saturday Morning Serial, but also one of their last as TV killed these productions. It is about good guys & gals racing against bad guys to find an element that can stop nuclear radiation from spreading, the only way to fight an atom bomb. Too bad the villains are scheming the good teams deaths at least several times a chapter.

At this point, the studio was recycling all kinds of footage from past productions and that was common to begin with, but here it is a sign that these productions were starting to take their low budget course and unless TV did not exist yet and the studios making them (also Columbia and Republic) started to come up with something new and a little more money, they were on their way out.

Of course it also has politically incorrect moments, but the unknown actors are helped out by turns from Lionel Atwill and Keye Luke, so its all worth a look when you have the time. Jane Adams and Russell Hayden lead the cast.

A trailer, Photo Gallery and essay inside the paper Blu-ray sleeve with a Patrick McCabe essay are the only extras.

Finally we have Scooby Doo!: Return To Zombie Island (2019) which is the worst release in the ongoing franchise since the gang met the WWE, mocking the original show again (which becomes tiresome, insulting and kills watching this to begin with) then trikes to move onto a zombie story (they were at this island before?) and this one just drones on for 80 long minutes. I'd like to say this was fun or worked, but it did not and unless you are a super-serious fan, skip this one.

A few trailers and episodes of newer Scooby series are the only extras.

The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.78 X 1, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition images on both Superman discs look fine, with rich color, some good detail and warmth that all previous editions lacked. We'd see that these animated films received very limited release in theaters and the 4K shows us that even going back to Doomsday, these presentations must have been impressive. The regular 1080p Blu-ray of Return looks good, but no match for the 4K overall.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Monster is an HD shoot that has its share of motion blur and the CGI work is included in this, but some of the color is good and might look better in 4K.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image transfers on Jungle can show their age, but that is typical of just about all the serials we've covered in all formats over the years, with age of the materials used a factor. This is still the best you'll see any of these chapters outside of a good 16mm or 35mm print.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on both FLCL and Scooby look about as good as they can in the older DVD format, but I could only see FLCL getting Blu-ray or 4K treatment and they both offer lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mixes that are as good as they can be for the older, compressed format. FLCL fares better.

The Superman and Monster discs all offer DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes, so DC/Warner saw no reason to upgrade the sound on any of the animation and it works out fine, but Monster was Dolby Atmos 11.1 in theaters, so this is a mixdown and Well Go must be saving the 12-track for a potential 4K release.

That leaves Jungle with PCM 2.0 Mono sound that shows the age of the serial's audio fidelity, but despite some flaws here and there, it is not bad throughout.

- Nicholas Sheffo and Ricky Chiang (FLCL)


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