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Member's Reviews

Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam, a review by addicted2dvd


     Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam (2010/United States)

Warner Home Video
Director:Joaquim Dos Santos
Writing:Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam: Michael Jelenic (Writer), Jerry Siegel (Original Characters By), Joe Shuster (Original Characters By), C. C. Beck (Original Characters By), Bill Parker (Original Characters By) The Spectre: Steve Niles (Writer) Green Arrow: Greg Weisman (Writer) Jonah Hex: Joe R. Lansdale (Screenwriter), Justin Gray (Story By), Jimmy Palmiotti (Story By), Phil Noto (Story By)
Length:63 min.
Rating:Rated PG-13 : Violence and Some Sexual Content
Video:Widescreen
Audio:English: Dolby Digital: 5.1
Subtitles:English, French, Spanish

Stars:
Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam
Zach Callison as Billy Batson
James Garner as Shazam
Josh Keaton as Punk
Danica McKellar as Sally
George Newbern as Superman/Clark Kent

The Spectre
Gary Cole as Jim Corrigan/The Spectre
Alyssa Milano as Aimee Brenner
Jeff Bennett as Foster Brenner/Peter McCoy/Flemming
Rob Paulsen as Drew Flynn/Lt. Brice/Deandre
Jon Polito as Police Captain

Green Arrow
Neil McDonough as Green Arrow/Oliver Queen
Malcolm McDowell as Merlyn the Magnificent
Steve Blum as Count Vertigo
Grey DeLisle as Black Canary
John Di Maggio as Merc #1
Ariel Winter as Princess Perdita

Jonah Hex
Thomas Jane as Jonah Hex
Linda Hamilton as Madame Lorraine
Jason Marsden as Young Man and Bartender
Michael Rooker as Red Doc
Michelle Trachtenberg as Bar Girl

Plot:Extras:
  • Bonus Trailers
  • 4 Bonus Cartoons


My Thoughts:
This is a collection of four superhero animated shorts... the Superman/Shazam! one being the headliner of the set. Out of these four shorts I only seen one before. That being The Spectre which was on the DVD release for Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. I do also have Jonah Hex on the release for Batman: Under the Red Hood... but I haven't watched that DVD yet. And promised I would save it for this weekend because Brittany don't want me to watch that one without her. While the other three has been on other animated movie releases... they are extended versions on this release.

Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam
As I said... this short is the headliner of the set. Running about 24 minutes. It was good to see Captain Marvel in something again... as he has been a childhood favorite of mine from the '70s TV series that was coupled with The Secrets of Isis. Unfortunately there is little choices for this character on DVD. I do also have the old movie serial... and a single episode DVD of the series from the '70s I mentioned.... which you can't even buy it was a bonus disc in another TV Show set... I forget which but probably The Secrets of Isis: The Complete Series. This short gives us another origin story for Captain Marvel. And it has the youngest Billy Batson I ever seen. But I enjoyed it all the same. This short alone was worth the price I paid for the DVD (Approx. $6).

The Spectre
This short clocks in at 13 minutes. Before seeing this short I was completely unfamiliar with The Spectre. But I enjoyed the character quite a bit. I also was pleasantly surprised that this short has 2 big names in it with Gary Cole and Alyssa Milano. I especially enjoyed the final kill of the short. Definitely worth watching... but I liked the first short a little better. Unlike the first one... this short is more story based then action based. Not that it is lacking in action, but the first was almost all action.

Green Arrow
Green Arrow runs for 12 minutes. Maybe it is because I am much more familiar with the character... but I enjoyed this one almost as much as I did Superman/Shazam! It is also almost all pure action much like the first.

Jonah Hex
The running time for this one is 13 minutes. For this one we of course go to the old west. This is the first time I saw anything with Jonah Hex... and I enjoyed it very much. I really liked the style of the character. And must admit this short makes me curios about the live action movie that is out. This short has a couple more familiar names in Linda Hamilton and Michelle Trachtenberg.

Over-All Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this disc as a whole. My favorite short on the disc remains Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam. My least favorite being The Spectre... though that one is still enjoyable as well. I thought it was a good touch to add episodes from animated series where the stars on the shorts were guests on the episodes. For Jonah Hex we got the episode Showdown from Batman: The Animated Series/ For The Spectre we got The Chill of the Night from Batman: The Brave and the Bold. For Green Arrow we got Initiation from Justice League Unlimited and for Shazam! we got Clash also from Justice League Unlimited. The only other extra on the disc is a trailer for the show Batman: The Brave and the Bold. I would say if you are a fan of the animated superhero releases you would enjoy this collection of shorts as well. I would recommend it.

My Rating:
Out of a Possible 5


(From What Movies I Been Watching on January 6th, 2012)

Member's Reviews

The Birds, a review by Jon


The Birds (1963)
4 out of 5




As beautiful blonde Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) rolls into Bodega Bay in pursuit of eligible bachelor Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor), she is inexplicably attacked by a seagull. Suddenly thousands of birds are flocking into town, preying on schoolchildren and residents in a terrifying series of attacks. Soon Mitch and Melanie are fighting for their lives against a deadly force that can't be explained and can't be stopped in one of Hollywood's most horrific films of nature gone berserk.

This could be Alfred Hitchcock's most unusual film, although perhaps it's even stranger that such a taut horror comes from Daphne Du Maurier (Rebecca). Although he had already handled horror in Psycho, that was really a logical extension of his thrillers. The Birds on the other hand is more typical of the paranoid sci-fi b-movies of the 50s, with a small town facing an absurd threat that can't be explained. So they don't! The closest they come is a great scene in a cafe as the townsfolk argue over the reasons for the birds strange behaviour. It's like a high class Twilight Zone with some classic moments and a wonderful atmosphere that borders on post-apocalyptic.

It stars Tippi Hedren in her first role and she's very good as the Paris Hilton of her day, but that side of the story comes across as a bit odd. The first part is about her pursuing Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) to Bodega Bay on a sort of whim, and the absurd lengths she goes to get two Lovebirds to his little sister after a brief meeting in a San Francisco pet shop. The story is about the dangers of complacency, so a bored socialite having no purpose in life heralding the attacks is ironic, but certainly not obvious. It is very witty though and her scenes with Taylor are great fun. He provides substantial support, along with the superb Jessica Tandy who brings another level of class to the whole production.

There's a sense of heightened reality from the start in Hitchcock's most consistently colourful film since The Trouble With Harry, with the sound design unusually prominent (overdone tyre screeching, etc) in place of an entirely absent score and used to grating effect when the birds start attacking. Those attack scenes are all brilliantly and indulgently staged with some very clever "yellow screen" effects. The moment when the gas station blows up is a highlight and followed with a wonderful aerial shot. Other stand-outs are the quieter scenes, like Jessica Tandy finding the body with the eyes pecked out in a fantastic three step zoom and her strangled scream shortly after conveys more terror than Wes Craven has ever managed in his entire career. The crows gathering on the climbing frame behind Hedren and the resultant attack on the kids is incredible, outdone only by the last act, with a frenzied, claustrophobic attack on one character followed by the classic final shots, most brilliantly parodied in a Simpsons episode!

Now I look again, I think this rather unassuming bit of fun has proved to be very influential. The aerial shot and Tandy's scream, notable again for there being no theme, in particular contribute to an atmosphere you can pick up on elsewhere, like in Jaws maybe, whose story mirrors this one very closely in many respects.

This is a classic, simple horror that still has the power to turn your stomach in knots.



(From Alfred Hitchcock Marathon on January 2nd, 2010)

Member's TV Reviews

Firefly Marathon, a review by Tom


10. War Stories
Writer: Cheryl Cain (Writer)
Director: James Contner
Cast: Nathan Fillion (Mal), Gina Torres (Zoe), Alan Tudyk (Wash), Morena Baccarin (Inara), Adam Baldwin (Jayne), Jewel Staite (Kaylee), Sean Maher (Simon), Summer Glau (River), Ron Glass (Shepherd Book), Michael Fairman (Adelai Niska), Katherine Kendall (Councillor), Rolando Molina (Bolles), John Dunn (Torturer), Michael A. Bentt (Viktor), Adam Pilver (Vanilla Husband), Johnny Shakespeare (Torture Victim), Jason Van (Man)

A great episode. It's fun how the crew react when Inara brings a female client on board (Jayne: "I'll be in my bunk" :laugh:)
I have no problems with the sudden appearence of Wash's jealousy. I thought it was fitting. And for the first time we see River in action, which is a great scene.

Rating:

(From Firefly Marathon on March 6th, 2010)