The Complete Series
(1960 - 1966*)/Grant
(2020 Mini-Series/Lionsgate DVD)/Legends
Of Tomorrow: The Complete Fifth Season (2020/DC
and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
Season 6, Volume 1
(2019 - 2020/MGM/*all Warner Blu-rays)
B/C+/A-/C+/B/B- Sound: C+/C/A-/C+/C+/B Extras:
B-/D/B/C-/C+/C+ Main Programs: B-/B-/A-/B-/C/C+
next group of TV shows includes a big classic, some new, continuing
hits and more...
start with one of the all-time animated favorites, The
Flintstones: The Complete Series
(1960 - 1966) that became the first prime time evening animated TV
series ever made and landed up being a hit on the then third-place
and newest of the TV networks, ABC. The American Broadcasting
Company was smart enough to keep trying to do different things than
the other networks, which eventually made it the second-ever network
to be number one (CBS was always so from the beginning despite strong
competition) and late led to innovations like the TV mini-series and
had a young new company after great success for the MGM Studios and
were trying to make their mark in TV and the animation world. This
show was aimed at adults and children (one of the first to have jokes
for both audiences) and until The
decades later, was the longest running prime time animated series
ever. The the animation was simpler and less expensive than what
they made at MGM (the thick black lines became thinner as analog TVs
became larger and moved to color) or elsewhere, the simple style only
enhanced the idea that they lived in the past.
inspired by The
a TV show that bombed when it first was shown, though it was also a
series of many skits, the show eventually developed its own ideas,
quirks, jokes, situations and characters that were all its own and
when looking back on this original show, you can see how later
revivals were far more aimed at children. The one aspect that has
aged oddly are having animals work as machines or free labor, which
has a ring of truth when it comes to early humans, but does not age
well in the current era of animal rights that started a few years
after this show debuted.
Reed and Jean Vander Pyl voiced Fred and Wilma Flintstone, Bea
Benaderet voiced neighbor Betty Rubble for most of the series, but it
was the already legendary Mel Blanc (whose Warner Animation contract
had folded, so he was freelance now, et al) voiced Barney Rubble and
many other characters on the show. The chemistry worked and soon,
Flintstone pet Dino was joined by two children, Pebbles Flintstone
and inexplicably ultra-strong Bamm Bamm Rubble.
of the visual gags still work, the humor can be very funny (even with
the canned laughs, pre-recorded laugh track; guess they could not
find the voice work without it for this release) and it can even be
some stereotypes can show up and surface (Reed got to reuse his fake
Italian voice from the hit radio show Life
a good few times here) and the writers managed to come up with 166
half-hour shows. Major movie stars of the day (Ann-Margaret, Tony
Curtis) turned up as stone-aged variants of themselves to great
effect, the show constantly made fun of the latest trend, teen fads
and Rock Music in some of its funniest moments and the show subtly
also spoofed Americana of the 1950s and 1960s. Despite some flaws,
things that have not aged well and repetitiveness, the show is a
classic and holds up well enough, even with ambitious revivals and
the two live-action theatrical films that went all out to imitate the
show. The huge fan following includes how expensive collectibles
from the show to the mid-1970s have shot up in value and tells us the
diehard fan base it has that should never be underestimated. The
show is loved unconditionally for a reason, partly because it bridged
two decades of family TV through its transition to the realism of
another show that owes a bit to The
bottom line is these six season were able to create a totally
palpable world that was pure fantasy, but fun and iconic results are
inarguable. Nice to see it finally on Blu-ray, which took longer
than many expected.
1080p 1.33 X 1 image looks great and though the art might be simple
and the budgets limited, the color on each episode is better than
you'd think. These are also really clean and clear without looking
phony or scrubbed. I am not happy they only have lossy Dolby Digital
Mono sound, as lossless would have been better, especially helping
the jokes and sound effects, but it is fine otherwise.
are many and include two movies featuring the series cast, albeit
with only lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, Mono on the first, Stereo on
the latter. We previously reviewed both at these links:
Man Called Flintstone
DVD (a theatrically-released movie)
& WWE: Stone Age Smackdown!
you also get The
The Lost Pilot, How To Draw The Flintstones, Carved On Stone: The
Flintstones Phenomenon, Songs of The Flintstones album, All About The
Flintstones, Wacky Inventions, Bedrock Collectibles: Collecting All
Things Flintstone, The Flintstones: One Million Years Ahead Of Its
Time, First Families Of The Stone Age, Hanna-Barbera's Legendary
Music Director Hoyt Curtin, The Flintstones Meet Pop Culture
Great Kazoo - From A To Zetox.
up is the semi-documentary TV Mini-Series Grant
(2020) co-produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and runs 256 minutes in
two-parts, telling the story of how General Grant rose to fame
against the odds and what the results of that were. Like too many
such historical shows of recent times, unknown actors play the parts
so we think (somewhat) we are seeing history, though the acting and
writing and character development is always mixed at best and a
little of this can go a long way.
these are relatively inexpensive to produce versus an actual biopic
or totally dramatic mini-series ands they'll continue to be made
despite anything lackluster about them. This was a little more
energetic than the usual ones we've seen in recent years and though
not great or greatly memorable, you could do worse.
are no extras.
saving the multi-verse and combining all the worlds, The Legends
continue protecting the timeline and world from dangers (and
congress). But just when they think it's safe and over, they didn't
realize by combining the worlds The Fates have returned ...and they
don't like how the Legends have been messing with the timeline. Now,
The Legends must find and collect the pieces to the Loom of Fate
before The Fates completely rewrite history in Legends
Of Tomorrow: The Complete Fifth Season (2020).
Legends are a group of misfit heroes that don't fit into history, but
instead they can protect history and the timeline of history. On
their space faring time ship The Waverider, they are joined by other
cameo heroes throughout time, including the dark arts master John
Constantine who is trying to resurrect Astra's mother who being
manipulated by Hell and The Fates are secretly manipulating her and
Hell, and they believe that human free will was a mistake.
all the DC TV series, Arrow,
is the most versatile series because each episode can happen at any
time and any place. As the season progress, they are joined by other
hero characters in crossovers from other series and while the
original cast of characters have changed, it is amusing to watch how
the new cast heroes go about saving the world. And with all the
crossovers, the characters often break the 4th wall and make
references to modern pop culture too. Brendan Frasier adds to the
fun and you can find out more about the show and its characters in
our reviews of past seasons elsewhere on this site.
include post production theater, more fun moments, unaired scenes,
gag reel and a Crisis
on Infinite Earths
special, included on many of the other DC season sets we have covered
this time include:
on Infinite Earths: Hour 5
- The entire multi-verse has been saved and combined, but not
everyone was saved The Legends morn their dead.
- To protect The Legends from Congress, the Legends invite a TV crew
on the Waverider to documentary their adventures.
Me, Kiss Me, Love Me
- Behrad's sister becomes the newest Legend to join the team.
- The Legends gets stuck in a high school slasher horror episode.
Mick finds out he has a daughter.
Head of Her Time
- Legends must save the world from an undead Marie Antoinette.
- The Legends must save modern day Hong Kong from Genghis Khan.
- Ray proposes to Nora, but can he survive her father?
v Juliet: Dawn of Justness
- The Legends must save Shakespeare and so that he can write Romeo
- Zari learns about her past life. Mick connects with his daughter.
Great British Fake Off
- Zari and Constantine go search for the pieces of the Loom of Fate.
- The Legends discovers they need Gods to control the Loom of Fate.
- The Legends challenges a Greek Party God for the Goblet of
Immortality (for a day) in beer pong.
- The Legends find themselves in a zombie apocalypse.
One Where We're Trapped on TV
- The Legends get trapped on TV sitcoms.
- The Legends face off with the Fates in the final showdown.
(2019) is a dramatic mini-series about a TV game show scandal. Not
the one from NBC in the 1950s (as told in Robert Redford's mixed
feature film Quiz
a few decades ago, but on the U.K. version of Who
Wants To Be A
That was later a huge U.S. hit hosted by the late Regis Philbin.
With a million pounds, British sterling on the line, the temptation
is too great when a woman wants to be a contestant, then her Army
husband gets picked instead. When he wins big and early, it is an
event, until the scandal kicks in that he may have cheated.
script assumes you have not heard of the show and like all hits (this
one was a prime time hit on both sides of the Atlantic, then there
are the hit daytime versions) might fall out of the public eye if it
is not in syndication or being produced later. Michael Sheen,
Matthew McFadyen and Sian Clifford lead the cast very convincingly
and I am surprised this scandal and this program are not more well
known in the U.S. Could it be some kind of censorship?
include A Look At The Series, Constructing The Set, Michael Sheen as
Chris Tarrant and Introducing Charles and Diana Ingram.
not a classic of any kind, Tom
and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
(2007) has been issued on Blu-ray years after we covered the DVD at
was not a fan of the program at the time and it has not improved with
time, though not aged too badly for what it is. It is now part of an
even larger glut of mostly forgettable Christmas programs that should
have never been made (making that Pac
special look somehow better by default) and the 79 minutes still seem
a bit long. For fans only.
include Digital Copy and two more holiday antics with the cat and
mouse team: Tom
and Jerry: The Night Before Christmas
and Jerry: Santa's Little Helpers.
we have Vikings:
Season 6, Volume 1
(2019 - 2020) which has outlasted competitors like Game
and has had as many twists and turns with some early cast members now
gone. The show still takes its audience seriously and it is still
enough of a hit that it is still in production, but so much has
happened since the debut season that even beginning to explain where
we are now is almost impossible. Bjorn Ironside is now a hero and
are sick of tyrant Ivan, who now travels to Russia and meets the
equally evil Prince Oleg.
characters continue to plot against each other and anything can
happen, but unless you watched most or all the previous seasons, it
is easy to get lost. There are 10 episodes altogether and at least
fans will be likely to love it. I thought it was not bad, but not
too memorable. Save history buffs, try binging from the beginning.
include the longer International Versions of all the episodes, plus
Deleted Scenes, The Creator's Audio Commentary on Best
Legacy Of Lagertha
for playback performance, The
1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on all
episodes of The
can sometimes show the age of the materials used, but the color
fidelity, its richness and fullness is a revelation for anyone who
has never seen the show on a high-quality 16mm or 35mm film print and
will shock most viewers. It easily makes it superior to all previous
releases of the show in all older video formats. Unfortunately, like
the live-action Blu-ray releases of the Adam West Batman
and Linda Carter Wonder
series on Blu-ray, Warner has sadly decided to use older, lossy Dolby
Digital 2.0 Mono sound and though Flintstones
is the oldest show and the sound can be more sonically limited from
its old optical mono origins, this would still sound better if it
were lossless. At least the sound is not too problematic otherwise.
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on Legends
is as good as any presentation here, even just topping previous
seasons and has the same smart color as the other DC Comics TV series
currently in production, while the DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on each episode is very
impressive and has great soundfields.
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Tom
is a definite improvement on the DVD version of Nutcracker
we saw years ago, but it still is not up to the Technicolor
brilliance of their old, best MGM theatrical short films. Still, it
at least is consistently good-looking for what it is and yet, we get
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound like the old DVD. Why no
upgrade here? Sad.
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on Vikings
episodes are plastered with all kinds of digital visual work and that
includes more softness and some motion blur, neither of which anyone
would want to see, but that is how it looks and disappoints a bit.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on each show are only
surpassed by Legends sonically of all the releases here, helping to
make the image limits more bearable.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Grant
is also plastered with its share of so-so digital visual work, but it
is softer than it should be and the format does not help, while I was
shocked that the only soundtrack we get is rather weak and soft lossy
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. Especially with DiCaprio involved, why no
the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Quiz
looks fine, but it is also soft at times, part of which is the
transfer and part of it is this format, but it at least has lossy
Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and that makes it more involving by default.
Nicholas Sheffo and Ricky Chiang (Legends).