Tagged: Shout Factory

The Law Is A Ass

Bob Ingersoll: The Law Is A Ass #399

AS A LAWYER, RALPH BELLAMY WAS INDEFENSIBLE

It’s a good thing this story wasn’t part of the actual series. Otherwise we might not all be here right now.

I’m so old, I watched Perry Mason first run not on the reruns playing on every channel this side of C-SPAN. But it’s not why I became a lawyer. Perry Mason was unrealistic. A murder trial every week where the real murderer was dumb enough to sit in the courtroom and watch. No, Perry Mason didn’t make me want to become a lawyer. The Defenders did.

The Defenders was a show about a middle-aged attorney – played by E.G. Marshall – and his fresh-out-of-law-school son – played by a young, pre-permed Robert Reed. Although the show had some murder mystery episodes, most dealt with some of the complex and serious issues of the time; abortion, religious intolerance, capital punishment, civil rights, conscientious objectors… Come to think of it, those are still some of the complex and serious issues of the time.

I was young. I didn’t always understand The Defenders, but I liked it immensely. See for yourself, a DVD set of the first season is available from Shout! Factory.

The lawyers from The Defenders first appeared in a two-part episode of the anthology series Studio One in Hollywood called “The Defender.” Walter Preston (Ralph Bellamy) and son Kenneth (a young, and not-yet-needing-the-hell-toupée William Shatner) were defending Joseph Gordon (Steve McQueen), who was on trial for murdering a woman during a robbery. Father and son argued over how best to defend the man.

I knew about “The Defender” but had never seen it. Until I found it as a special feature on the aforementioned Shout! Factory DVD set. Now I have seen it.

And wish I hadn’t. Because it was stupid!

The actual pilot episode for The Defenders used the same basic story. The Prestons were representing a man accused of felony murder. Father thinks he’s guilty. Son doesn’t. They argue over how to defend him best. But The Defenders did the story much better.

How was it better? Well, let’s start with Walter Preston.

Wait! Actually, let’s start with the SPOILER WARNING! I’m about to reveal all the important plot points of “The Defender.” If you don’t want all the important plot points of “The Defender” revealed, you might want to stop reading. END OF SPOILER WARNING

Okay, now let’s start with Walter Preston. Walter was a jaded lawyer who took one look at his client and decided Gordon was guilty. Okay, that part’s not so stupid. Lawyers do that all the time. The stupid part was Walter decided his guilty client only deserved a competent defense but not one good enough that the jury might actually acquit him. Walter even refused to use the “guy” Kenneth found who might have been able to secure an acquittal.

Walter violated every legal ethic there is. And maybe even a few that aren’t but should be. Particularly the one requiring a lawyer to represent his client zealously. Walter was required to do everything he could to obtain a result that was in Gordon’s best interests instead of going through the motions with a defense that was just good enough to lose.

Kenneth, strangely enough, wanted to do the job properly and, you know, get Gordon acquitted. Kenneth was young, idealistic and didn’t understand the concept of being more jaded than a Chinese jewelry store. Kenneth even wanted to use the “guy. Walter didn’t. They argued. A lot!

Then Walter had a conversation with Francis Toohey, the prosecuting attorney played by a still-hirsute Martin Balsam. Toohey never cared whether defendants were guilty or innocent. They’d been indicted and Toohey was paid to get them convicted. So that’s what he did. Not caring whether some of them might actually be innocent was how he slept at night.

Toohey’s attitude angered Walter. It should also anger other prosecutors. See, the first ethical cannon for a prosecutor is that a prosecutor should seek justice, not convictions. If a prosecutor feels a defendant is not guilty, the prosecutor should not prosecute. And he shouldn’t not think about a defendant’s possible innocence, just so he can sleep at night.

Walter was so enraged he decided he should actually do his job and try for an acquittal. Toward that end he used the “guy.”

The state’s key witnesses were two eyewitnesses who testified they saw Gordon coming out of the victim’s apartment at the time of the murder. Nothing else connected Gordon to the crime. Maybe it was my legal training; my plotting experience from being a writer; or my many, many, many years of watching television clichés, but I knew who the “guy” was as soon as Kenneth mentioned him back in the First Act of Part One. I spent two hours waiting for a “surprise” conclusion I knew was coming since the first act. It was kind of like watching an M. Night Shyamalan movie, but with better directing.

You probably know who this “guy” was, too. But let’s play it out anyway. The show did.

Walter called the two eyewitnesses back to the stand and had them look at trial table. He asked them, “Are you sure this is the man you saw coming out of the apartment?” Both answered yes. Then Walter revealed the big Gotcha. The witnesses didn’t identify the defendant. Gordon was in the back of the courtroom. They identified this “guy” that Kenneth found who looked like Gordon and who they put at the defense table during some courtroom confusion to fool the eyewitnesses.

I had a few problems with this resolution. First the actor playing the “guy” looked nothing like Steve McQueen. When this episode aired, I was only 4 and I looked more like Steve McQueen. Neither witness should have been fooled into identifying the “guy” by mistake.

Second, Gordon never made bail. He was still in jail and was brought into the courtroom by guards and bailiffs. How did Walter and Kenneth swap Gordon out for the “guy” without any of the bailiffs or guards, who were supposed to be watching Gordon at all times, seeing what they did?

Third, what Walter was doing was so freakin’ obvious, both eyewitnesses should have seen through it and answered, “No that’s not the man I saw coming from the apartment. He’s in the back of the courtroom, where you tried to hide him.”

The case ended when the judge directed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty, because he found the eyewitness testimony to be unreliable. That probably wouldn’t happen in real life.

In real life, a judge would let the trial go to the jury first and see what it did with the case. If it came back not guilty, all was well. The judge wouldn’t have to look soft on crime by acquitting the defendant. If the jury returned a guilty verdict, then the judge could grant a motion for acquittal non obstante veredicto; a fancy Latin way of saying, I find the defendant not guilty notwithstanding the verdict, because the evidence wasn’t sufficient to support a conviction.

That’s the way it would probably have happened it real life. But I can’t blame the show for not going that route. This two-part drama that was full of legal inaccuracies and some outright silliness had already gone on long enough. This quick end to the story was its way of putting it out of our misery. Consider it mercy killing.

Come to think of it, mercy killing was another complex topic handled much better on The Defenders.

Tweeks: MLP Spooktacular Pony Tales Ushers in Halloween

chicken_pie_by_keinzantezuken-d4dj64iNow that it’s officially autumn, we’re ready to jump right into Halloween.  Thankfully, Shout! Factory has just released Spooktacular Pony Tales, a collection of six My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episodes (along with extras like pumpkin stencils & a sing-a-long!) to help us ease into probably the best holiday ever!  Of course, we’d watch Pinkie Pie in a chicken costume any time of year.

REVIEW: Wolverine: Weapon X – Tomorrow Dies Today

MKWolvXCover300dpiThere have been so many titles featuring Wolverine and so many stories told about him that writers find themselves forced time and again to dip into parallel realities or alternate futures to find fresh sources of conflict. There was the well-received Old Man Logan by Mark Millar a little while back and before that, there was Jason Aaron’s Wolverine:” Weapon X storyline “Tomorrow Dies Today”. The latter has been adapted as part of the Marvel Knights line of motion comics, released on DVD this week from Shout! Factory.

Marvel_Knights_Animation_Wolverine_Weapon_X_Tomorrow_Dies_Today_still_7The story is adapted from Wolverine: Weapon X #11-15 and predominantly features Captain America with cameos from a variety of X-Men. The primary antagonist is Deathlok, who has been around since 1974 and is only now become well-known thanks to his appearances on ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. With Wolverine in X-Men Days of Future Past next week and Agents having its season finale tomorrow, the release is incredibly well-timed.
A major fault in this particular adaptation is that it makes tons of references to previous events in the Marvel Universe comic book continuity without explanation to the non-comic fan. We open with Logan and Steve Rogers going out drinking to celebrate Cap’s return from the dead in the wake of the Civil War storyline. Cap talks about Logan’s role with the Avengers and so on but mass audiences expected to watch this have no clue what is being discussed. More context from the screenwriters would have been nice.
Marvel_Knights_Animation_Wolverine_Weapon_X_Tomorrow_Dies_Today_still_13While they’re out drinking, a host of Deathloks has been sent back in time to eliminate targeted people who will either give birth to or grow up to become super-villains that will ruin life as we know it. Roxxon, the ever-present evil corporation whenever Oscorp isn’t available, has been responsible for this and one by one, Marvel’s mightiest heroes have fallen except Wolverine, who still wants to fight despite the loss of his hands. Linking the two eras is Miranda Bayer who has been receiving psychic warnings from her future self.
There’s a lot of fighting and things blow up. We see various heroes come to Wolverine’s aid and all sorts of Deathloks appear indestructible. And of course, the story reaches its climax, another potential future threat is resolved and life goes on as usual.  A key problem with these stories is that we have seen so many alternate futures for the mutants, starting with Days and continuing for the last 30 years is that they have lost their sense of urgency. Solve this future and some other dark, deadly future will be presented whenever the writers get stuck for an idea.

Marvel_Knights_Animation_Wolverine_Weapon_X_Tomorrow_Dies_Today_still_11Aaron does a fine job in the comics making this work and his pacing is fine. On the other hand, the 64-minute motion adaptation leaves out sub-text, characterization, and just feels written by the numbers. The story arc was illustrated by Ron Garney and was transformed into a motion story by Canada’s Atomic Cartoons. Maybe they were rushed or the budget was cut but the work here is choppier and more static than earlier offerings. Additionally, the same action is shown for several seconds as characters talk to one another, the worst sin even 2-D animation can commit.

The vocal cast is also limited meaning people have to perform multiple roles and it shows, further weakening the storytelling.

The story is accompanied by a bonus feature, 14 minutes of Ron Garney talking about his work on the storyline and seeing it adapted and opening his eyes to the possibilities of motion comics. Interestingly, he admits to talking 5-6 weeks to draw a story which finally explains his inability to remain on a monthly for long. His extolling the virtues of a motion comic also sounds like a testimonial and doesn’t sound entirely convincing.

Alan Spencer’s Bullet in the Face gets Collected by Shout!

Bullet in the FaceGet ready to journey into the intriguing, neo-noir universe of Brüteville, a dystopian city where high-octane thrills, gangster mayhem, and a generous dose of subversive, satirical bent collide!  On January 21, 2014, Shout! Factory will unleash the outrageous action-comedy cult hit BULLET IN THE FACE: THE COMPLETE SERIES on DVD.  Creator and executive producer Alan Spencer (Sledge Hammer!) developed the series with producers and executive producers Jesse Prupas and Evi Regev of Muse Entertainment and Just For Laughs Television. All-star cast includes Max Williams (Night of the Living Dead) as Gunter Vogler, Neil Napier (Riddick) as Lieutenant Karl Hagerman, Jessica Steen (NCIS) as Commissioner Eva Braden, and Kate Kelton (Haven) as Martine Mahler, alongside special guest stars Eddie Izzard (Valkyrie, Ocean’s Thirteen) and Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight, The Expendables) as notorious crime lords. Featuring special audio commentary by Alan Spencer, BULLET IN THE FACE: THE COMPLETE SERIES DVD is priced to own at $19.97 SRP.

 

Fun and Mayhem in Brüteville!

Violent criminal Gunter Vogler (Max E. Williams) is a sociopath. He hates everyone and everything. When a bloody jewelry store robbery goes awry and he is shot by his accomplice and girlfriend, Martine (Kate Kelton), he eventually wakes up in a hospital having received a face transplant. Gunter now has the face of a police officer he had killed earlier and as payback, the police tell him he now has to work for them and fight crime. 

With old friends becoming his new foes and enemies turning into allies, Gunter suffers an identity crisis that has him seeking revenge against the entire human race. Law enforcement thought that with Gunter in their ranks, they were fighting fire with fire, but instead, Gunter is scorching the Earth. He is a one-man wrecking crew, a raging inferno carrying a police badge. He’s also a man on a mission to reunite with the woman he loves, Martine, who gave him the ultimate parting shot…a “Bullet in the Face.”

Co-starring Eddie Izzard as Tannhäuser, an agoraphobic criminal with a flair for the dramatic, and Eric Roberts as Racken, an old school, mob boss with a complete disregard for human life, BULLET IN THE FACE is a gruesome satire much darker then creator Alan Spencer’s previous series Sledge Hammer!.

Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1)/2013/Color/135 mins.

Win a Copy of Marvel’s Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United

IMH Box ArtIn case you missed it, Marvel’s Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United was released last week and we’ve got one giveaway package of the Blu-ray Combo Pack along with an exclusive Iron Man MiniMate courtesy of our friends at Shout! Factory.

In order to win, tell us who would win a fight — Iron Man or the Hulk — and why. Your entries have to be received by 11:59 p.m., Saturday, December 14. Open only to readers in the United States and Canada. The judgment of ComicMix‘s judges will be final.

Synopsis:                         

Marvel makes history again with one of the greatest Heroic team ups in the universe. Hulk’s brute strength and Tony Stark’s high-tech intellect come together to create a powerful duo necessary to face off against one of the most dangerous enemies.

When “Zzzax,” a seemingly invincible, energy devouring monster threatens to destroy the planet, these two Avengers are mankind’s only hope. Alone, neither can defeat the awesome power of Zzzax. As a team, they just might have a chance – if they can find a way to work together without smashing heads before time runs out!

Packed with explosive action, loaded with bonus features and presented in groundbreaking Marvel CG Animation, Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United is a must-own movie event that will blow you away!

Iron Man MiniMate InfoVoice Cast:                       Adrian Pasdar (TV’s Heroes, Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man) and Fred Tatasciore (TV’s Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man)

Supervising Creative

Director:                           Eric Radomski (TV’s Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man, Batman: The Animated Series)

Supervising Director:      Leo Riley (TV’s Mad, The Rickey Gervais Show)

Writer:                              Henry Gilroy (TV’s Animatrix, Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond) and Brandon Auman (TV’s Iron Man: Armored Adventures, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes)

Executive Producers:       Alan Fine (Marvel’s The Avengers, Thor, Iron Man 2), Dan Buckley (TV’s Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man, Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.) Joe Quesada (TV’s Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man) and Jeph Loeb (TV’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Bonus Features:              

Marvel “Inter-missions”

Marvel puts a humorous twist on their old-school original animated series. What better way to take a break from fighting villains than hitting pause and enjoying a little comedy with Marvel Mash-Ups.

Marvel Team-Up with Ryan Penagos and Joe Q.

Super Heroes are larger than life on their own. But when they join forces with another, they become a force to be reckoned with.  Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada, joins Ryan Penagos (Agent M) in an intimate and lively one-on-one conversation about these Marvel Team-Ups.

Rating:                              PG
Feature Run Time:           72 minutes
Aspect Ratio:                    1.78:1
Audio:                               Dolby Digital Surround Sound: English 5.1 – Spanish 5.1 – French 5.1
Languages:                       English, Spanish, French
Subtitles:                          English: ESL, English: SDH, Spanish, French

Wolverine vs. Sabertooth Motion Comic Comes to Blu-ray January 14

Wolverine vs SabretoothAt the start of the New Year, Marvel fans are invited to witness one of the most ferocious battles in the Marvel Universe. The superstar team of writer and Executive Producer Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Artist Simone Bianchi (Astonishing X-Men) team up to deliver the thrilling comic book action adventure WOLVERINE VS. SABRETOOTH. This pulse-pounding story captures the biggest rivalry of the Marvel Universe in Marvel Knights Animation’s WOLVERINE VS. SABRETOOTH DVD, debuting for the first time on home entertainment shelves nationwide on January 14, 2014 from Shout! Factory.

This highly anticipated Marvel Knights Animation adventure boasts unparalleled storytelling combined with rich visual animation and insightful bonus content. This deluxe DVD is collected in a unique comic book style packaging that bridges the comic book to DVD concept. Marvel Knights Animation’s WOLVERINE VS. SABRETOOTH DVD is priced to own at $14.97 SRP.

An exclusive behind-the-scenes bonus content feature provides an intimate and retrospective look at the development and production process of this amazing story. Marvel Knights Animation remains true to the heritage of panel-by-panel graphic storytelling, boasting groundbreaking illustrations, sensational soundscapes, and of course, the explosiveness of the mighty Marvel universe. Behind every image and every word lies the genius of Marvel’s celebrated creators.

Synopsis

Superstars Jeph Loeb (TV’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Simone Bianchi (Astonishing X-Men) team up for the biggest, best and, quite possibly, last battle between Wolverine and Sabretooth! These sworn foes have been locked in an endless grudge match that goes back longer than either can remember – or even imagine. The key to victory is eons old, and it’s certain to rock their world. Think you’ve seen Marvel’s fiercest go toe-to-toe before? Those were just warm-ups!

Bonus Features Include:

Brand new retrospective featurette includes interviews with Jeph Loeb and Simone Bianchi.

Total Feature Running Time: +/- 66 minutes

REVIEW: Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk

Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk DVDThere was tremendous excitement over Lost’s Damon Lindelof making his Marvel debut with the Ultimate Wolverine vs. Ultimate Hulk miniseries. The writer, at the height of his popularity, was paired with Leinil Francis Yu so anticipation was running rampant. The first issue arrived and there, the behemoth literally tore the Canadian mutant in half – something we’d never seen before. The second issue ratcheted things up and then….nothing. At least not for threel years and by the time we got the final issues in 2009, few cared. The momentum and excitement was long gone and could not be recaptured.

Marvel Knights’ Motion Comics saw the potential here, and adapted the story into a multi-part serial totaling about 1:10 and for a change, did a good job casting well-matched vocal performers for the two lead roles.

The entire story is now collected on Shout! Factory’s release, Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, this Tuesday. Picking up on previous threads, Bruce Banner and alter-ego was hiding out in Tibet letting the world think him dead. Instead, uber-suspicious Nick Fury knows better and hires Wolverine to go finish him off.

They talk, they fight, they dream and we get various cameos from the rest of the Ultimates universe. Perhaps the most significant event to come out of this fairly thin story was the introduction of Jennifer Walters, a scientist work on the Super-Soldier research and becoming that world’s She-Hulk.

Yu’s artwork is never short of gorgeous and he fits in nicely with the more realistic-looking Ultimates world, coupled with Dave McCaig’s excellent color art. Unfortunately, the Motion Comics approach does their work a disservice. If anything, the movements are jerkier than previous productions and the actions are stiff or off-kilter. The concept does a good job with special effects and transitions but when you’re asking two-dimension artwork to try and gain motion, things are limited. The entire concept of Motion Comics appears to have come and gone, especially with digital productions, such as Madefire’s offerings, introducing a new generation of animated fare.

The sole bonus feature is a 7:26 look back from Supervising Producer Kalia Cheng and Yu, which is interesting but far from informative.

REVIEW: Starzinger: The Movie Collection

StarzingerWithout realizing it, I grew up exposed to the earliest anime, shows like Astro Boy and The Amazing Three and Kimba the White Lion. It was a quiet invasion overshadowed by louder, more colorful and kinetic American animation on Saturday mornings and classic Warner cartoons on weekday afternoons. As a result, I missed the next great era of American anime such as Space Battleship Yamato and Robotech. It certainly developed a large following in the 1970s and 1980s with the airwaves packed with these shows. In fact there were so many that several shorter-run series were packed together as Force Five. The Wednesday show was known as Spaceketeers and ran for 26 episodes, edited down from 73 episodes and never quite concluded the story.

Now, Shout! Factory has taken the series, which was edited into three different films by Toei in 2009 and is releasing them on disc. The new version was written and directed by William Winckler, no stranger to adapting anime for American audiences given his earlier work on Tekkaman. Starzinger the Movie Collection is 326 minutes of an earlier era of anime and definitely has its fans. Sadly, I’m not among them.

Princess Aurora is a young human surrounded by a trio of cyborgs en route to the Great King planet to restore the Galaxy Energy. Apparently, the Great King’s aging Queen is causing this disruption throughout the universe and balance needs to be restored or life as we know it comes to an end.

The series is based on a serial that first ran in Terebi Magazine with art by Gosaku Ohta, but gained far greater notoriety in animated form (which ran in 1978-1979) thanks to the work done by Leiji Matsumoto, best known for his Captain Harlock work. In both cases, the story is a science fiction updating of a Ming Dynasty story, Journey to the West with Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, now a naïve, teenaged girl.

The original 16th century antecedents were further twisted out of shape when the Japanese was translated into English and the brutal editing shifted the story to that of a mission to the Dekos Star System to stop peaceful beings from being turned into evil mutated lifeforms. A good portion of the story shows Jan Kugo, Sir Djorgo, and Don Hakka, think the Three Musketeers (Spaceketeers, get it?), protecting the Princess during the 30,000 lightyear journey to the source of corruption.

If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because the classic Chinese tale also served as inspiration for Dragon Ball and Saiyuki among others. By taking the core story and using elements in each of the three parts, this structurally works as a trilogy and the voice cast — Paul Oberle (Zombrex: Dead Rising Sun), Kyle Rea (The Mythical Detective Loki), and Chase Masterson (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) as Queen Lacet – do a serviceable job.

While the actual animation and design work is fine, it’s also not terribly imaginative nor do the episodes really do anything with the characters so there is little growth over the journey or depth to the characters. If you’re not a diehard anime fan, this grows tedious very quickly.  Still, for those who worship Matsumoto’s work, this becomes a must see production.

REVIEW: Wolverine: Origin

wolverineorigin1

In 2000, Bill Jemas arrived at Marvel and began a long process of pulling the company out of bankruptcy. He tapped Joe Quesada to give up running the Marvel Knights imprint and take over Marvel Comics as its Editor-in-Chief. It was a fresh beginning and break from some truly bleak creative years. There was a new atmosphere that said anything was possible which was made manifest with the launch of the Ultimate line of comics.

Sometime that year, Jemas and Quesada held a creative summit and the topic of Wolverine’s origin came up. Shrouded in mystery and misdirection, it was a tale no one dared to tell, which was catnip to Jemas, who was more interested in stirring the pot as creatively and as commercially as possible.

Although discussed with writer Paul Jenkins that year, nothing much was done about it, percolating in the background. In the spring of 2001, when I arrived, Bill and I were informed there was a projected budget shortfall and something had to be added to the schedule to fill the large gap. At that moment, necessity sparked invention and the project was jumpstarted.

Origin, launched in the fall, delivered on its promise. Top talent told a story that fans had been waiting to learn and it was poignant, moving, and exciting. It was not at all what fans expected, which was good. The miniseries sold a ton of copies, made up the budget gap and then some, establishing new lore in the Marvel Universe.

A powerful story, it was a logical step for it to be added to Marvel Knights’ Motion Comics, and released on disc today from Shout! Factory.

Jenkins pulled elements from his childhood to tell the story of poor James Howlett, a sickly child living in19th Century Canada. To keep him company, his father, John Howlett, Sr., brings the redheaded orphan, Rose, to the plantation and they become best friends. Their play dates were extended to Dog, the battered son of the groundskeeper, Thomas Logan. All seemed idyllic but it was far from it, with Thomas’ cruelty, the near madness of James’ mother Elizabeth, who never quite recovered from her eldest son John’s death. As time passes, tensions mount until Thomas comes to rob the mansion and take Elizabeth, with whom he may have had an affair, away with him. When John intervenes, he is shot to death before all three children. The traumatic incident ignites James’ latent mutant powers and the claws pop for the first time, forever changing his life.

It’s a powerful story, honed to near perfection by Jenkins with enough input from Quesada and Jemas to earn them shared story credit. What helped make the miniseries ever better was the artwork from Any Kubert. He leapt at the assignment and then labored over it all summer and that fall, crafting his pencils to such richness that they need not be inked. That gave the story a unique look which was then layered with the watercolor art of Richard Isanove. The Photoshopped color was subtle and meticulous, making him a true collaborator with Kubert. Coupled with the symbolic covers by Quesada and Isanove, it was truly special event.

Unfortunately, Kubert’s lifelike artwork is marred when figures are asked to go from static to kinetic, making this one of the weaker motion comics efforts. The painterly imagery was never intended to move like this and it shows, with awkwardly positioned heads or arms. Thankfully, the vocal cast, usually a weak point on these discs, is above average. The 66 minute, six chapter, story actually would have benefitted more from a proper score than limited motion.

The Blu-ray disc comes complete with two nice extras, the first is a 12:48 look back by Jemas, Quesada, and Jenkins that goes back to the creator summit and how the story came together. The second piece continues the story and over the 14:50, those three are joined by Kubert and Isanove, discussing their visual approach to Jenkins’ story and how each learned to enhance their storytelling. Both pieces make for a good look at the creative process at a key moment in the modern Marvel era.

Luc Besson’s Animated The Extraordinary Adventures of ADÈLE BLANC-SEC

ABSKidsBRPS300dpiThis summer, let your imagination run free. Journey into an awe-inspiring world of action fantasy and visual wonder with popular French comics heroine Adèle Blanc-Sec as she leaps from the pages to the screen! On August 13, 2013, Shout! Factory, in collaboration with EuropaCorp, invite families and the young-at-heart across America to be captivated by one of the most highly anticipated international motion pictures of all time when Luc Besson’s THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF ADÈLE BLANC-SEC unleashes on DVD and on two-disc BLU-RAY COMBO PACK. The Blu-ray combo pack allows viewers to enjoy THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF ADÈLE BLANC-SEC on the platform of their choice and includes spectacular movie presentation on Blu-ray, DVD and a digital copy of the movie compatible with PC, MAC, iTunes, iPhone and AppleTV.

Brimming with heart-pounding action, breathtaking cinematography and visceral special effects, this acclaimed feature illustrates the magical power of moviemaking, and delivers wildly entertaining cinematic adventure filled with humor, incredible action, mystery and lush Parisian period details that the whole family will enjoy! Both Blu-ray combo pack and DVD editions offer English and French audio tracks, English subtitles. Insightful bonus features take viewers behind- the-scenes as director Luc Besson and the cast share their passion in bringing this timeless tale to the screen. Available in stores nationwide, THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF ADÈLE BLANC-SEC Blu-ray combo pack is priced to own with a suggested retail price of $24.97, and $14.97 for the DVD. THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF ADÈLE BLANC-SEC The Director’s Cut Edition Two-Disc Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack will arrive in stores this Fall 2013.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec Two-Disc Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (BLU-RAY + DVD + DIGITAL COPY)

Directed and produced by world renowned filmmaker Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) and adapted from Eisner Award winner Jacques Tardi’s celebrated French classic comic book series, this movie features a stellar cast of Louise Bourgoin (Anne Fontaine’s The Girl From Monaco), Mathieu Amalric (Quantum of SolaceThe Diving Bell and the Butterfly), Gilles Lellouche (Love Me If You Dare), Jean-Paul Rouve (La Vie En Rose), Jacky Nercessian (Le Grand Voyage), and  Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly).

SYNOPSIS

The year is 1912. This is the story of an intrepid young reporter Adèle Blanc-Sec and her quest for the power of life over death. Her journey would take her to distant lands to face many dangers beneath the sands. She will go to any lengths to achieve her aims, including sailing to Egypt to tackle mummies of all shapes and sizes. Meanwhile in Paris, a 136 million-year old pterodactyl egg on display in the natural history museum has mysteriously hatched, and the creature subjects the city to a reign of terror from the skies. But nothing fazes Adele Blanc-Sec, whose adventures include many more extraordinary surprises…

BONUS FEATURES

  • Making-of featurette
  • Music featurette
  • Deleted Scenes

EXCLUSIVE TO TWO-DISC BLU-RAY COMBO PACK

Movie presentation on Blu-ray, DVD and a Digital Copy of the film

Technical Information – BLU-RAY Combo Pack

Street Date: August 13, 2013

Running Time: 107 minutes

Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen, 1080p 2.35

Language: English, French

Subtitles: English

Sound: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

ON DVD

Technical Information – DVD

Street Date: August 13, 2013

Running Time: 107 minutes

Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35

Language: English; French

Subtitles: English

Sound: 5.1 Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital