(2022/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/My
The Sailor: The 1960s TV Cartoons by Fred M. Grandinetti
(2022/BearManor Media Books)
B- & C/C+/X Sound: B & C+/C+/X Extras: C- Book:
B+ Main Programs: C+
for some family-friendly fare, including a few throwbacks....
Carolin and Channing Tatum's Dog
(2022) is a tale of a young man and his dog to be, if he can help him
out. In this case, Tatum plays an Army Ranger and the title animal,
capable of serious attacks and trained to do so, but they have to go
to a funeral and the ranger has to tame the dog as much as he can.
Comical and not bad, it is the kind of film and TV material we used
to see into the 1970s and Tatum is one fo the only stars who could
actually pull off this kind of material as few actors can recapture
the kind of actor we used to have more of who could fit the bill.
101 minutes, the film became a surprise hit, only solidifying Tatum's
return as one of the biggest and most bankable movie stars around,
even with the COVID break and a film that did not have a big budget
or big expectation. Instead, it is one of the surprise hits of the
last few years and shows he knows his audience, filmmaking and what
works. It was on the predictable side for me, as I had seen this
kind of thing dozens of times, but that was long ago. The remarkable
thing here is he saw a quality story to tell that had not been told
for decades and made it work because producers of all kinds of
feature films have lost sight of the basics too often. Without
needing to be any kind of masterpiece, Dog
is the kind of quiet triumph we don't see enough of and its nice it
got made and found an audience.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is an all-HD
digital shoot that is a bit soft throughout and not because of some
style choices. The Blu-ray disc disappoints, though the
enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on the DVD is much poorer. The DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is more like it with a consistent
soundfield and well recorded enough, but the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1
is just plain weak.
Copy and a trailer are the only extras.
CGI animated market is still too hot for any company that can afford
to get one done not to try and make one. Victor Glukhushin's My
(2021) is one of the more interesting of this lower-tier set of
productions, again using the voices of Pauly Shore and Jon Heder
The True Story)
as the name voices.
an ambitious-if-odd plot, a princess (Haylee Duff) is unhappily set
to marry a crazed mailman (!?!) who also wants to rob something rare
from a nearby forest that does not belong to him, she teams up with
some newly-made friends there to stop him. Then, we get more twists,
turns and a few more unexpected (or odd) things, but I will not ruin
them. The makers essentially seem to think taking on Shrek
by coming up with a wackier script will work. In a few ways, it
does, but not though to make it as grand. Still, this might find an
audience, because it is not much worse than those played-out hits
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image looks as good as it can for
this older format and though it is not the most state-of-the-art CGI
work out there, it does well with what it has and color is not bad,
while the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is well-recorded enough.
Probably would sound better lossless.
include a trailer.
a new book on one of the most popular comic strip heroes of all time.
The Sailor: The 1960s TV Cartoons
by Fred M. Grandinetti (2022)
is yet another solid, indispensable volume on the classic character
by one of the world authorities on the subject, but there is as much
love as knowledge here as Grandinetti
(who we will disclose has reviewed Popeye disc releases for us over
the years) covers one of the most underrated, under-documented and
key eras of the character on any screen.
rare information and illustrations, Grandinetti attention to detail
and being thorough is impressive as usual, finally settling the
record straight on how the already insanely popular and iconic
character landed up with another massively successful and profitable
era as an evergreen character that people still love and know.
Besides all the comic strips, comic books and memorabilia made of him
and his cast of supporting characters, he was also a huge hit in a
remarkable well-animated series of hit black and white theatrical
cartoons made the the legendary Fleischer Studios (Betty Boop,
Superman) and even some longer early color ones before the Fleischer
Brothers suddenly parted ways. Paramount, their distributor,
continued making them under their name and the Famous Studios name,
moving into full color and the money kept pouring in until they were
concluded in the 1950s as TV arrived.
owner King Features saw syndication of those cartoons making a mint
in reruns nationwide that did so well, they decided to create a new
cartoon series for television and spend the extra money for them to
be in color, even though color TV did not exist yet! This paid off
as the new shows were a huge hit, on their own or paired with other
programming, then color TV started to arrive by mid-decade and the
rest is history. The show was in constant play all over the country
into the 1980s (!!!) as new comic strips, comic books, more toys,
more memorabilia and even the Robert Altman live-action musical
film with Robin Williams hit the big screen. Popeye was even ahead
of the Marvel and DC Comics superheroes making it to the small screen
in new adventures.
book does into full detail on how this all happened, how it took six
animation studios from all over the world to deliver the hundreds of
shorts that were eventually produced, how these shows became the
debut of characters from the comics Fleischer and Paramount never got
around to licensing or using in all their hundreds of theatrical
cartoons and though the animation could vary between studios, the use
of color was and remains impressive and the result was groundbreaking
of all, the episode guide covering every single episode produced is
massive, epic and library-reference quality in its depth and detail,
some fans of Popeye will love and fans of other such characters may
be a bit jealous of. Grandinetti
has done some stunning research here and it will give you a new
respect for both television animation and Popeye himself. Very, very
impressive work for a book that is also a lot of fun to read. Once I
started, I could not stop.
the years, we have reviewed all forms of Popeye animated adventures
including these 1960s releases, but only on DVD so far, so we expect
their long-overdue arrival on Blu-ray is imminent, especially since
Warner Archive has been issuing the theatrical cartoons in great sets
that show off the amazing work that went into all of them. Having
the Popeye rights as we post, we hope to see those upgrades soon, but
having this book in advance of their arrival means we'll get even
more out of those releases and that makes Popeye
The Sailor: The 1960s TV Cartoons
one of the best pop culture book of the year easily. Highly