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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Teens > Sports > Basketball > Relationships > Fantasy > Action > Videogames > Cowboys > Drama > Road M > Boogie (2021/Universal Blu-ray)/Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete 4K (2005/Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Mackintosh and T.J. (1975/MVD Blu-ray)/Thundarr The Barbarian: The Complete Ser

Boogie (2021/Universal Blu-ray)/Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete 4K (2005/Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Mackintosh and T.J. (1975/MVD Blu-ray)/Thundarr The Barbarian: The Complete Series (1980 - 81/Warner Archive Blu-ray Set)/Tom & Jerry: The Movie (2021/Warner Blu-ray)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Thundarr Blu-ray set is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

Now for a new selection of family releases...

We 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.

Can 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.

We should also note that the film has the late Bashar 'Pop Smoke' Jackson, who died very young before this managed to be released.

Extras include Digital Copy, plus the disc adds an 'in-theater trailer' and three behind the scenes/making-of clips.

Tetsuya Nomura's Final 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 link:


With 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.

Extras include Digital Copy, while the disc adds On the Way to a Smile - Episode: Denzel Animated Film, Reminiscence of FINAL FANTASY VII Original Story Digest, Reminiscence of FINAL FANTASY VII Compilation Story Digest, Legacy of FINAL FANTASY VII Featurette and Trailers.

Marvin Chomsky's Mackintosh and T.J. (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.

Though 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.

Extras 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.

Warner Archive have brought a lot of fun content back into circulation, and they've done it again with the release of Saturday morning sensation Thundarr The Barbarian: The Complete Series (1980 - 8). Written by comics great Steve Gerber (Defenders, Man-Thing) and designed by legendary artists Jack Kirby (Fantastic Four, X-Men, New Gods, 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.

While 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.

The 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 fans.

There 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 rarely distract.

Thundarr 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 classic.

Finally 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.

Too 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.

Extras include Digital Copy, plus the disc adds seven Making Of featurettes, Deleted Scenes and a Gag Reel.

Now 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 4K 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.

The HD-shot 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Boogie 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 has a 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.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on the Thundarr 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.

The 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.

To 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)


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