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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Slapstick > Superhero > Satire > Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet: The Complete Season Eleven (1962 - 1963) + The Complete Season Twelve (1963 - 1964/both MPI DVD Sets)/Raymond Griffith: The Silk Hat Comedian w/Paths To Paradise (1925

Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet: The Complete Season Eleven (1962 - 1963) + The Complete Season Twelve (1963 - 1964/both MPI DVD Sets)/Raymond Griffith: The Silk Hat Comedian w/Paths To Paradise (1925) + You'd Be Surprised (1926/Undercrank Blu-ray)/Shazam!: Fury Of The Gods 4K (2023/aka Shazam 2/DC Comics/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

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

Now for a diverse new set of comedy releases...

We start with more upgraded editions of a TV sitcom classic. The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet: The Complete Season Eleven (1962 - 1963) and The Complete Season Twelve (1963 - 1964) as the entire series continues to get a rollout of two DVD sets at a time as these links will attest to:

Season One & Two DVD Sets


Season Nine & Ten DVD Sets


The series had more than hit its stride by this time with Ricky Nelson a fully-established teen idol, but the show had a huge viewing audience of all ages and they knew how to take an idea or two and know how to run with it. Besides the actors (family and not) totally in their roles by now, amusing episodes included one about a secret agent, others about school, work, travel or how just trying to buy a simple thing is never simple. It seems like an imagined U.S. for some, but for many, life was at least partly like this. Once I started watching, I started remembering them all and forgot how fun or funny some of them in particular were. Nice they are coming back.

There are no extras.

Raymond Griffith: The Silk Hat Comedian is a new release with brand new music score by Ben Model, featuring the too-long forgotten comedian (later a major movie producer) and only so many of his films have survived. Fortunately, two of the more interesting ones have been saved for the most part and are here on the same Blu-ray disc. Both are also worth seeing.

Paths To Paradise (1925) may have a reel missing (reconstructed from surviving screenplay materials) but is still a very amusing and sometimes outright funny with Griffith playing a 'high class' crook trying to do a simple robbery in high society, all of it backfiring and his suave failings result in some chaos worth checking out. As a comedy and mystery heist piece, it is very effective for what they are doing here and detective film fans will also want to catch this one. Betty Compson also stars.

You'd Be Surprised (1926) has Griffith play a police coroner (the potential suspects do not know who he is at first) trying to solve a murder at a fancy mansion. I liked this one just a little more and not just because it was a more complete print, though who knows what might be missing from Paths visually. Still, this is the kind of comical murder mystery that put both genres on the map and is a must-see for serious film fans. Dorothy Sebastian also stars.

I knew of Griffith and his work (no relation to D.W.) but not enough and if I have seen any of his work, it was eons ago and in low definition at best. I know I have never seen is work form any photochemical film print and after this double feature, hope to see more. That makes this one of the most historically important releases of the year.

The only extra is a new 2023 featurette entitled Raymond Griffith: Silent Comedy's Silk-Hatted Secret, which runs 12 minutes and is loaded with a huge bit of information on this forgotten comic genius.

Lastly, Shazam!: Fury Of The Gods 4K (2023) is of one the last few remnants of the live action big budget mess of what DC Comics / Warner Bros. projects were before the company historically was bought out and rebranded by new owners Discovery. The film is essentially a side mission for these side DC characters, and lives within the Zack Snyder created DC movie universe. The film is unable to escape this feeling that it came out a few years too late, and didn't do well at the box office upon its initial drab February release with a lightning fast push to streaming three weeks after its theatrical release and well before this disc even thought about came out, which is sadly becoming the norm nowadays and an easy way for the studio to recoup their cash in record time.

The film stars Zachary Levi, Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, rising star Rachel Zegler (Westside Story remake and upcoming Hunger Games prequel), and Adam Brody. David F. Sanberg, who directed the first film, returns as well at the helm of a film that['s obviously geared towards the younger crowd.

If you enjoyed the first Shazam film, then you may get a little bit more enjoyment out of this which brings back the same cast of teens from the first round, and centers on Billy Batson, a teenage orphan who was given the powers of a god Shazam by an ancient wizard, and who is able to pass the God-like superhero powers down to his core group of orphan friends who, by all shouting the word 'Shazam' in unison, transform into adult versions of themselves with superhero tights and capes included. In Fury of the Gods, Shazam in the midst of a life crisis and the world of modern mankind is threatened by two ancient Goddesses (Mirren and Liu) who steal a missing magical staff from a museum, and attempt to take over Earth with its limitless power. Its up to Shazam and his Super-Friends to stop them before it's too late and the Justice League is nowhere in sight!

This has (as expected) painfully predictable middle school humor, sophomoric writing that includes a teen confused about his sexuality that feels out of place, a wealth of standard looking popcorn munching inducing Visual FX, and of course underused star power (Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu) that are there for the paycheck. But there is a clever nod to Special Effects legend Ray Harryhausen hidden within (a Cyclops-style character is highly reminiscent of one of Ray's classic creations from the Seventh Voyage of Sinbad), and a scene where Skittles (yes, the candy) are used to defeat a foe.

This superhero sequel takes little to no risks and follows the cookie cutter mold of the genre down to a T, going as far as (SPOILER), trying to salvage the pain and tie it into the greater Zack Snyder DC movie universe by having superstar Gal Gadot show up as Wonder Woman in the final act. A cameo that's really the best part of the movie sadly, but feels as if she was simply standing in front of a green screen for a few lines and the rest was shot with a body double, which was likely the case. Did they think we wouldn't notice? Well, this viewer at least did. Lastly, Zachary Levi tries way too hard in this role as Shazam and lacks the comedic timing of Ryan Reynolds or Chris Hemsworth in their respective goofy superhero counterparts. The character isn't completely unlikeable, but can't escape this feeling that the jokes overstay their welcome, and admittedly feel forced from scene one.

Special Features:

Director's Feature Length Audio Commentary with David F. Sandberg

SHAZAM! Let's Make a Sequel featurette

The Rock of Eternity: Decked Out featurette

The Shazamily Reunion featurette

The Zac Effect featurette

The Sisterhood of the Daughters of Atlas featurette

Pay By Play: Scene Breakdown featurettes

Ben Franklin bridge collapse

Rooftop battle of the gods

Unicorn ride in Philadelphia

Epic showdown at the baseball stadium

The Mythology of Shazam! featurette

Deleted Scenes, Alternate & Extended Scenes.

If Shazam shows up again in the rebranded DC movie universe, let's hope that he's part of a super-team of stronger characters and not the main focus as he was with this. Why they chose to make this film over a solo follow-up to Cyborg, another Batman film, or another of the massive library of DC characters is likely due to the nightmare that was Snyder's Justice League, and the inner power struggles of (hopefully fired) nameless studio executives. Hopefully this will be one of the last mediocre outings from DC for a while prior to Mr. James Gunn's takeover, however, Blue Beetle (which is due soon as we post) doesn't look to be much more promising than this was if not worse.

Though they have been issued in improved Blu-ray editions (we think the odds of 4K edition in these cases are slim, as interesting and nice as that would be) here's our coverage of the classic version of the character, starting with the the all-time great Saturday morning chapter play movie serial
The Adventures Of Captain Marvel (1941):


And one of the greatest live-action Saturday morning TV series of all time, Shazam!: The Complete Live Action Series (1974 - 1976):


Now for playback performance. Shazam!: Fury Of The Gods 4K is presented in a 2160p HEVC/H.265, 2.39 X 1, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image and an audio track in English, lossless Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown (both 48kHz, 24-bit) for older systems), and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 depending on your home theater specs. A 1080p Blu-ray version is also included. The film looks and sounds fine on 4K UHD disc as one would expect from a film of this budget and there is nice detail on the characters both real and digital. The sound mixes are solid as well and pack a punch depending on the power of your home theater set-up.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image transfers on the Griffith Blu-ray come from 2K scans of the original, surviving, archival 35mm materials, nitrate and acetate. Though these can show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film (rare as that was, if that) and some of the best-looking silent films from the 1920s on Blu-ray now. Of course, Paramount was the second-biggest studio then and a combination of their money and lab work did not hurt. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is again used for the brand new scores that are solid, but the older compressed format holds back the sonics of the hard work and fine music added to these films.

Then we have the 1.33 X 1 black & white image on all the Ozzie episodes, looking better than you'd think and look as good as similar TV releases of the time (The Lucy Show, Honey West, etc.) so the Nelson Family must be very happy that their preservation efforts paid off. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also just fine, though I still bet you could get more out of the soundtracks with lossless sound.

- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (4K)



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