Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete 4K
(2005/Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Mackintosh
The Barbarian: The Complete Series
(1980 - 81/Warner Archive Blu-ray Set)/Tom
& Jerry: The Movie
Ultra HD Picture: B Picture: B Sound: B Extras:
C/C/C+/D/C Main Programs: C+/C/C+/A/C
Blu-ray set is now only available from Warner Bros. through their
Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
for a new selection of family releases...
start with Eddie Huang's Boogie
(2021) in a release that might be written off as 'urban' or the like,
but is more of a film about family than you might expect as Alfred
(Taylor Takahashi) is a young man who might be able to become a big
basketball star, yet he is not even in college yet and needs to get
there to move forward. We get some comedy and no bad cliches, but
the script only has so much new to offer, so it is the
better-than-expected acting of the cast and decent editing and
directing that help it move past screenplay limits.
he get out of high school with good grades, handle his new girlfriend
and anyone challenging him on the court all at the same time? Maybe.
I liked more moments here than expected, but it only does os much
with its 90 minutes. Still, iit is somewhat ambitious and a nice
change of pace that is trying to work, which is more tan I can say
for some releases we have had to sit through of late.
should also note that the film has the late Bashar 'Pop Smoke'
Jackson, who died very young before this managed to be released.
include Digital Copy, plus the disc adds an 'in-theater trailer' and
three behind the scenes/making-of clips.
Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete 4K
(2005) arrives just months after the newer Kingsglaive
installment of the series was issued in 4K, which we reviewed at this
apparently 26 extras minutes of plot information, unless you are a
diehard fan of this franchise, which is from the video game world,
you will be rather lost in its plot of fantasy genre inner-connected
worlds and battles for peace and war. It also barely had any
connection with the other 4K release, so you had better be a big fan
or be willing to learn about this fictional universe quickly. For
what is there, we have seen much of this before in other fantasy
releases, including anime, so there was little new here. Also, the
box claims 1,000 scenes were 'revised' so purists might actually have
issues with this edition, so beware.
include Digital Copy, while the disc adds On
the Way to a Smile
Animated Film, Reminiscence of FINAL FANTASY VII Original Story
Digest, Reminiscence of FINAL FANTASY VII Compilation Story
of FINAL FANTASY VII
Featurette and Trailers.
(1975) has the veteran journeyman director bringing back one of the
biggest of all cowboy stars for his last romp. Roy Rogers has had
dozens of hit films, songs and even hit radio and TV programs, not to
even consider costumes, toys, comic books and other memorabilia. As
a traveling cowboy riding across country to get more work involving
horses, et al, hee also has a moral center and when he starts working
with a teen runaway interested in the same thing, a sort of road trip
film begins. However, it take ssome other crime drama turns in
between Rogers getting in some good moments.
not too memorable, it is a quality work with some ambition that will
make fans happy and has aged well enough. Rogers still has the star
power and presence, so that shines through well enough and the rest
fo the cast gives it their best. Competently and professionally
handled, it is not bad and worth a look for those interested. Joan
Hackett also stars.
include Original Theatrical Trailers, Original On-Set Footage,
Interview with Billy Green Bush, Lone Pine Cast Reunion with Clay
O'Brien, Andrew Robinson & Larry Mahan and a feature-length audio
commentary track by O'Brien & Robinson with a narrator.
Archive have brought a lot of fun content back into circulation, and
they've done it again with the release of Saturday morning sensation
The Barbarian: The Complete Series
(1980 - 8). Written by comics great Steve Gerber (Defenders,
and designed by legendary artists Jack Kirby (Fantastic
etc.) and Alex Toth, Thundarr
was produced by studio Ruby-Spears Productions. It originally aired
for two seasons on ABC from 1980 - 1981, then was picked up and aired
in reruns by NBC in 1983. Featuring the voice talents of Robert
Ridgely (Thundarr), Nellie Bellflower (Ariel), and Henry Corden
(Ookla), the show masterfully blended science fiction and fantasy
elements into a far future post-apocalyptic setting.
the show developed an instantly devoted following of young viewers,
it inspired precious few toy or merchandise tie-ins during the time
of its original airing. Without those commercial elements to drive
interest, it failed to last, and eventually vanished from Saturday
morning television. Each of the twenty-one total episodes was
generally self-contained, and featured Thundarr, master of the
amazing energy blade he calls the Sunsword, Ariel, a powerful
sorceress, and Ookla, a hirsute and mighty-thewed ally. This trio
travels the wastelands of a futuristic North America ravaged by a
comet millennia ago. The world is strange and filled with menaces.
Evil wizards blend science and sorcery to deadly effect. Marauding
mutants roam the lands terrorizing tribes of desperate survivors.
plots are repetitive, but always entertaining. The trio must overcome
a wizard's plan, acquire some item, or save some innocent from peril.
Nellie Bellflower's Ariel was notable for a couple of important
reasons. She is clearly animated as a person of color, and while she
sometimes needs rescuing, she more often employs her formidable
magical talents to save her companions. Strong women of color were
in short supply on Saturday mornings in the 1980s, so Ariel deserves
her due as a trailblazer in this regard. The show's producers relied
on crafty writing from Mr. Gerber and his crew, and brilliant designs
from Mr. Kirby and Mr. Toth. They did cut corners elsewhere. Some
scenes are reused, and the show's three main voice talents often
voice a number of other characters in the same episode. This
sometimes leads to a bit of confusion with misplaced dialogue, but
this is rare. While violent, the show is never gory, and will make
excellent fare for parents to watch with a new generation of young
are no extras on this three-disc set. Perhaps one day we may see a
set that features interviews with the surviving creators and
previously unseen designs and plans. The picture quality does look a
bit threadbare on modern, high definition screens, but these defects
inspired a generation of comic book creators, role-play game
designers, and animators. While its run was short, it has cast a
long shadow in the world of popular culture. In an entertainment
world constantly in search of new ideas and the next big thing, can
the return of Thundarr be far away? If it does happen, let us hope
the new creators deliver something as special as the content from
this set. In the meantime, let's celebrate the availability of this
in the latest of the periodic revivals of a popular animated cat and
mouse team, Tim Story's Tom
& Jerry: The Movie
(2021) is a moderate hot that brings the duo into the hip-hop age,
with decent CGI bringing them into the live-action world. Eventually
set around a hotel and sporting a human supporting actor cast that
includes Chloe Grace Moritz, Michael Pena, Rob Delaney and Colin
Jost, the film revives the many routines from the duos past and also
some of the associated classic characters.
bad the script is extremely thin and the actors are given nothing
major or memorable to do. It did not have to be that way, but the
makers and studio settled for safe formula and though that pays off
commercially, this is not a memorable revival by any means. If you
see it, don't have high expectations.
include Digital Copy, plus the disc adds seven Making Of featurettes,
Deleted Scenes and a Gag Reel.
for playback performance. The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.78 X 1, HDR (10;
Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on Fantasy
should one the best playback p3erformer here, but there are some
strange glitches and issues throughout the disc that hold it back
from being as good as the previous Fantasy
release and disappoints, though I only expected to much from an older
CGI production. Thus, the less-tampered with regular 1080p Blu-ray
is just as good as not as annoying. Both have lossless Dolby Atmos
12-track upgrades that have a few highlights, but also show the
limits of the mix at the time.
HD-shot 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on
and 1.85 X 1 on Jerry
are well shot enough and consistent, so they have no issues and are
as smooth as they can be. Jerry
lossless 12-track Dolby Atmos mix which is not bad, but again,
nothing spectacular, but it was at least conceived that way when the
film was being planned. Boogie
has a DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix that has its moments, but dialogue
is sometimes not as clear as it ought to be, though it might be a
budget issue too.
1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on the
episodes impresses with better color than expected (only those who
have seen better film prints of the series or premium stills will not
be surprised) and detail as good as can be expected for a TV animated
production of its time. It compares well with the older color
animated TV shows Warner Archive has already issued on Blu-ray, so
fans should be happy. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mixes also fare very well
and rarely have harmonic distortion, especially like we encountered
on a few animated Warner Archive releases of late, the age of the
series notwithstanding. This will likely never sound better either.
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on Mackintosh
was shot on 35mm film and looks very impressive from a new 4K scan of
the original camera negative, so much so that it will surprise those
with low expectations and since it is a independent film from the
period, when many films do not always look at their best, it will
shock some too. The PCM 2.0 Mono is also very strong and clear, so
much so that you will wish it was at least simple stereo. The
combination is one Rogers fans will be thrilled about.
order the Thundarr
Warner Archive Blu-ray set, go to this link for them and many more
great web-exclusive releases at:
Nicholas Sheffo and Scott Pyle (Thundarr)