The Doom That Came To Gotham 4K
(2023/DC Comics 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray*)/Cocaine
Blu-ray w/DVD)/Primal: The
Complete Second Season
(2022/Adult Swim/Cartoon Network/*both Warner)/Redline
Wolf 1 & 2 (1966,
1967/Film Movement Blu-ray)
Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B+/B+ & B-/B/B-/B- Sound:
B+/B+ & B-/B/C+/B- Extras: C+/B/C/C-/B Main Programs:
a set of new genre releases that deal with animals, humans and
on the DC Comics / graphic novel by Hellboy creator Mike
Mignola and comic legend Richard Pace, Batman:
The Doom That Came To Gotham 4K
(2023) is a dark 1920s-based Lovecraftian Batman tale unlike
any other Dark Knight story you've ever read or seen. And that's a
good thing especially if you like H.P. Lovecraft.
in the DC Elseworlds alternate time-line, the film
reimagines Bruce Wayne's origin story and features both classic and
new villains for the Dark Knight to face. This is one of the better
animated DC feature films that I've seen in recent times, and could
be a very awesome live action film some day in the right hands,
particularly if (former Mike Mignola collaborator) Guillermo Del Toro
was at the helm. But us nerds can only dream!
Giuntoli (Grimm, A Million Little Things) reprises his
Batman: Soul of the Dragon role as the voice of the Dark
Knight along with Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling
Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Gideon
Adlon (Legion of Super-Heroes) as Oracle, Karan Brar (Jessie,
Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise) as Sanjay "Jay"
Tawde, Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator, The Frighteners) as
Kirk Langstrom, Darin De Paul (Mortal Kombat Legends &
Overwatch franchises) as Thomas Wayne, Brian George (Seinfeld)
as Alfred, Jason Marsden (Young Justice, A Goofy Movie)
as Dick Grayson & Young Bruce Wayne, Navid Negahban (Homeland,
The Cleaning Lady) as Ra's al Ghul, Emily O'Brien (Days of
Our Lives) as Talia al Ghul & Martha Wayne, Tim Russ (Star
Trek: Voyager) as Lucius Fox, William Salyers (The Regular
Show) as Cobbelpot & Professor Manfurd, and Matthew Waterson
(The Croods: Family Tree) as Jason Blood / Etrigan.
ancient evil from another dimension is being ushered into the
1920s-era Gotham City thanks to a mysterious cult that ties back to
Bruce Wayne's origins. Batman must solve the history of Gotham's
creation, which is oddly in line with several dark entities all
obedient to this ancient Cthulhu-type creature that's trying to break
in. One character that gets an interesting spin in this tale is
Oswald Cobbelpot, which I won't spoil, but is tied heavily to Wayne's
father. The story is clever, original, and does a good job of
altering Batman lore in a more fantastical sci-fi manner than the
The Doom That Came To Gotham is presented in (what looks like an
upscaled) 4K (2160p) on 4K UHD disc with HDR10, an HEVC / H.265
codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and an audio track in
lossless, English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 sound. Also included
is a 1080p Blu-ray version of the film with similar widescreen and
audio specs, but a more compressed image. The animation style
overall for this film is in line with other DC animated productions
and has a clean look similar to the animation style of the 1990s
Batman: The Animated Series. Overall, the art is pretty close
in design to the graphic novel, but missing Mignola's signature art
style. It's a shame there isn't some way that they could animate
these films to match the comic art style to a more exact point so
that it would basically be the artwork from the page come to life.
However, they seem to have to always fall back on this similar
animation style for all of these more mature DC animated films.
Shadows of Gotham (new featurette)
a Feature-Length Audio Commentary: Filmmakers and storytellers,
including producer/co-director Sam Liu and screenwriter Jase Ricci.
Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham is one of the best
entries in the DC animated library and certainly worth checking out!
Let's hope one day DC is crazy enough to make a live-action version
of this! I'd be first in line!
/ Filmmaker Elizabeth Banks sits back in the director's chair for the
silly Cocaine Bear (2023), which is loosely based on true
events. The outrageous horror / comedy shows us what happens when a
grizzly minding his own business comes across discarded cocaine that
previously fell from a plane crash and of which belongs to a messy
drug dealer played by the late screen legend Ray Liotta in one of his
final roles. Any unlucky person who comes across this drug fueled
creature ends up in desperate peril and the film goes to great
lengths to show just goofy things can get, and it all mostly works.
this is probably Banks' best film to date, and seems like she had
more creative freedom than she did on that awful Charlie's Angels
reboot from a few years ago (reviewed elsewhere on this site, but it
was not worse than Full Throttle!)
course, a real 500-pound feral bear wasn't used and it's obviously
digital, and there are some pretty fun moments that you would come to
expect from a film with this title. It doesn't hold back or
sugarcoat much, it's just a wild tale with a little bit of
inspirational family themes thrown in for good measure. That being
said, the film is what you expect it to be and delivers on its
promises of being crazy, silly, popcorn munching fun and nothing
film stars Keri Russell, Margo Martindale, Alden Ehrenreich, and
O'Shea Jackson Jr to name a few.
Bear is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with
an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a
lossless, English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) mix,
which brings the film to life and looks and sounds great and is up to
the standards of the aging format. Sadly, Universal pulled another
fast one and didn't come out the gate with a 4K UHD release, much as
they did with M3gan recently, which is reviewed elsewhere on
this site. Speaking of aging formats, a DVD version in standard
definition, anamorphically enhanced and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1
mix, is also included.
and Extended Scenes
Roads Lead to Cokey: The Making of Cocaine Bear
Bloodbath: Dissecting The Kills
a Feature-Length Audio Commentary
Bear is pretty fun, and I think did pretty well overall upon its
release. It is certainly better than Snakes On A Plane, which
was a better title than it was a movie. Elizabeth Banks proves that
she can direct a fun movie here, and I wouldn't be surprised to see
more drug fueled animal movies on the horizon.
The Complete Second Season
(2022) returns for an decent sophomore season, but it is not a show
for everyone. We covered the previous debut season at this link:
caveman/dinosaur journey continues and it has some good moments, but
it is hard to keep something that plays like a silent movie going for
long this long and expect it to work. The over-simple animation is
by choice, so why does it seem a step backwards from the likes of
1970s animated TV shows like the Filmation Tarzan
and Hanna-Barbera Valley
Of The Dinosaurs? The
results are, like this series, mixed for me, though I was not
expected Fantasia either. You can read about the older releases
elsewhere on this site.
I can only recommend this for fans only or for those who start with
the First Season. Otherwise, you might get bored quickly.
the oversimple animation, the 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition
image looks about as good as it can and the mostly-dialogueless
soundtrack is here in DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes (people talk in only the last two
chapters). It is comparable to the first set, but nothing
extraordinary here otherwise and performance-wise.
only extra is the featurette Genndy
Tartakovsky's Primal: Inside The Evolution.
Cheng's car racing thriller Redline
(2007) has finally arrived on Blu-ray after many years, a film we
reviewed on DVD eons ago at this link:
thoughts and feeling on the film remain the same, aging oddly and
badly as the Fast & Furious films have become beyond lame,
yet you don't see many imitators like this anymore. Now, its a curio
for unexpected reasons, but if you are interested,
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the
age of the HD-shot materials used, getting better color and a more
slid look, but it is still too soft throughout and that is the price
they pay for not shooting on film at the time when HD was still a
lame option. Worse, the original DVD has a DTS soundtrack and here,
we get a very lossy Dolby Digital
5.1 mix instead of a lossless upgrade that is just very weak and
aged. A shocking choice, it hurts a film that needs all the help it
repeats the few extras of the old DVD.
we have Hideo Gosha's Samurai
Wolf 1 (1966) and 2
(1967) has the title character (Isao Natsuyagi) dealing with a
corrupt town and then a gold-mining scheme in these two genre entries
stemming from the classic films Akira Kurosawa originally made on the
subject, though the history goes much further back. These are hardly
dramas or documentaries.
it is at the point the genre was adding too much comedy and not just
because Leone's Spaghetti Westerns were so groundbreaking and
popular. The choreography is better than the recently-reviewed
Shanghai Joe, but the comedy seems odder here too for some
reason. No doubt there is hard work here, but this double feature is
for samurai film fans only. At least it is in print for you to
1080p 2.35 X 1 black and white, digital High Definition image
transfers can show the age of the materials used, shot
in ToeiScope, they can be a bit on the weak side Video Black-wise and
some of that faintness can cut into detail, definition and depth.
Otherwise, they look good, but that
is a little more than annoying. Both Japanese PCM 2.0 Mono, on the
other hand, are much better than expected and these two films will
likely never sound better, so that's a plus.
include a solid 20-Page booklet on the films with a new essay by
Robin Gatto, author of Hideo
Gosha, cineaste sans maitre,
while the disc adds Outlaw
Director: Hideo Gosha
featurette with Tomoe Gosha and a feature-length audio commentary
track by Chris Poggiali, co-author of These
Fists Break Bricks.
Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (4K, Bear)