Better than Streaming: Night Shift Blu-ray coming out on October 5, 2021

Welcome back, fellow geeks, movie buffs and fellow Blu-ray/4K Blu-ray collectors!

If you are nostalgic about 1980s Hollywood or you if you are discovering more of the said era for your Blu-ray collection, then you might be interested in the 1982 comedy Night Shift which is coming out on October 5, 2021 on Blu-ray format via the Warner Archive line of Warner Bros. Night Shift Blu-ray can be ordered right now online.

The cover.

What exactly is Night Shift? For one thing, it was one of the older films directed by Ron Howard (the same guy behind Solo: A Star Wars Story) and starred the famous Henry Winkler (Happy Days) and a very young Michael Keaton (Batman in 1989). Posted below is its synopsis according to Blu-ray.com…

Chuck (Henry Winkler) has given up life as a stockbroker because it was too stressful. Now, he works an easy gig as a night shift attendant at a New York City morgue. His co-worker, Bill Blazejowski (Michael Keaton), on the other hand, is always looking to make a quick buck. When Bill finds out that Chuck’s prostitute neighbor, Belinda (Shelley Long), needs a place to do her work, he convinces Chuck to turn the morgue into a brothel where they can work as her pimps.

Posted below are key details of Night Shift Blu-ray from its Blu-ray.com page.

Video

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio

TBA

Subtitles

None

Discs

Blu-ray Disc

Single disc (1 BD)

Playback

2K Blu-ray: Region A

I personally never saw Night Shift, not even on cable TV. The movie received an overall positive reception from movie critics and Keaton won the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor. Henry Winkler meanwhile was nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical at the Golden Globe Awards. To say the least, I find this upcoming Blu-ray release interesting and for those of you who have gotten sick and tired of modern-day Hollywood being dominated by socialists, social justice warriors (SJWs), Marxists, naked Communists and liberals, Night Shift could provide you much needed relief.

The movie poster.

In ending this piece, posted below is classic trailer of Night Shift. Anyone who loves the film or is nostalgic about the 1980s should watch it.

For more entries of my Better than Streaming series of articles, check out my pieces on The Beastmaster 4K Blu-rayThe Transformers: The Movie 4K Blu-rayMortal Kombat 2021 4K Blu-raySpace Jam 4K Blu-rayV: The Original Miniseries Blu-ray (read my retro review), V: The Final Battle Blu-rayHighlander 4K Blu-rayThe Suicide Squad, Super Dimension Century Orguss Blu-ray, Unbreakable 4K Blu-ray, Injustice 4K Blu-ray, The Suicide Squad 4K Blu-ray, Terminator 2: Judgment Day 30th Anniversary 4K Blu-ray, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within 4K Blu-ray and Mad Max Anthology 4K Blu-ray.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

If you wish to join a group of movie enthusiasts and talk about cinema, visit the Movie Fans Worldwide Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/322857711779576

A Look Back at X-Men 2099 #7 (1994)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, fans of the 2099 universe of Marvel Comics, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we revisit the X-Men 2099 comic book series by focusing on the seventh issue. If there is anything that makes the series of Marvel’s futuristic mutants distinct from other Marvel 2099 monthly series, it is the fact that it shows more of wasteland of America which easily reminds me of the Mad Max movies.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at X-Men 2099 #7 (1994), published by Marvel Comics in 1993 with a story written by John Francis Moore and drawn by Ron Lim.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the middle of an abandoned town with the X-Men in battle with the Freakshow. Xi’an fights their leader Breakdown while his teammates struggle with the other members of the Freakshow. Already infected by one of the Freakshow members, Eddie is suffering severe pain even in his metallic form.

The fight suddenly ends when an old lady fires a blast with her rifle. It turns out she is Breakdown’s superior and she is precisely whom the X-Men have been searching for…

Quality

In the heat of battle.

As one of the early stories showing the X-Men of 2099 exploring the American wasteland, this is a well-written piece of work by John Francis Moore which is expected. While it has the usual superhero elements of spectacle and special moves, discovery and exposition are easily the most obvious elements of the story. What I like most about this comic book is that it reveals more of the history about the mutants’ struggle to survive not only with the harshness of the wilderness but also with dealing with rejection from the people who are not mutants (which symbolizes prejudice). This also reveals that the mutants are still searching for a fabled place called Avalon which could be a better destination for all mutants to live in.

As the narrative about the past gets emphasized, the creative team added some elements of emotion and concern on the X-Men visually. This makes a lot of sense since the mutants are clearly searching for purpose and trying to make the most out of their current situation in the hope of having a brighter future. This is similar to the original X-Men and yet X-Men 2099 has its distinct style and concept about mutant survival.

Conclusion

At an abandoned old town that has government secret facilities.

X-Men 2099 #7 (1994) is indeed a good comic book to read. As the X-Men of the far future encounter more people in the wasteland, the discoveries they get impacts them and their efforts to survive. As discovery and exposition are strong elements in the story, the comic book is definitely not your typical good-versus-evil superhero story. The strong writing by John Francis Moore and his approach on expanding the world of 2099 America to the readers really made this comic book a solid read.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men 2099 #7 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $30 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $90.

Overall, X-Men 2099 #7 (1994) is recommended!

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Dazzler #3 (1981)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, comic collectors, 1990s culture enthusiasts and fans of Marvel Comics! After a very fine start, things really went downhill with the story and presentation in Dazzler #2. That comic book had Dazzler (then a hot new property for Marvel Comics) completely overshadowed by the big mix of established Marvel superheroes fighting opposition elements. To say the least, Dazzler #2 was a major letdown, a very big disappointment and anyone who loves Dazzler should avoided it.

Will we see Dazzler presented much better in the next issue? We can find out in this look back at Dazzler #3, released in 1981 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Tom DeFalco and drawn by John Romita, Jr., and A. Kupperberg.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Dazzler (not wearing her face paint) participating scientific test conducted by Fantastic Four leader Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic at his team’s headquarters in New York. Dazzler has been converting every nearby sound into radiance and she’s beginning to sense her limitations. The test was done to determine Alison Blaire’s mutant capabilities. Also present were Johnny Storm, Ben Grimm and Sue Richards. Johnny reads a newspaper report about the United Nations’ plan to display the crown jewels that once belonged to their deadliest enemy Dr. Doom.

Afterwards, Dazzler meets her boss at his office and learns that she will be one of the openers at the benefit concert of UNICEF which is supposed to help her with her music career. The next morning, she decides to visit her old home where her father lives in. Over at the Bavarian Alps, Dr. Doom gets informed that among the jewels set to be displayed at the Unite Nations is the Merline stone. This compels him to make a move…

Quality

Dazzler versus Dr. Doom!

When compared to the disaster of issue #2, this comic book’s story is indeed an improvement as it has the expected superhero storytelling formula intact. The good news here is that the character development on Dazzler has returned and there is once again the strong emphasis on her relevance with the people of New York with regards to her being both a superhero and a musician.

The story moved at a moderate pace and it is clear that the creative team took the necessary steps to gradually build up the plot leading to the inevitable encounter between Dazzler and the Fantastic Four’s most definitive enemy (and Marvel Comics’ iconic villain). Take note, however, that the Dazzler-Dr. Doom conflict here is only the beginning.

As this story is more focused on Dazzler, you will get to see an early look at her tainted relationship with her father who desired her to become a lawyer like him, plus there is some focus on the behind-the-scenes development in one of the big events involving her. When it comes to spectacle, there is a right amount of it here which makes this comic book more fun to read than the previous issue.

Conclusion

A look at the business side of the music industry that Alison Blaire/Dazzler is involved with.

Dazzler #3 (1981) is indeed fun to read and the creators succeeded in developing Alison Blaire more while delivering the good stuff. While the match-up between her and Dr. Doom looks awkward from the surface, the strong writing justified it and all along Dazzler never looked like she was out of place being with Marvel’s iconic supervillain.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Dazzler #3 (1981), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $28 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $60.

Overall, Dazzler #3 (1981) is recommended.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Better than Streaming: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within 4K Blu-ray coming out on November 16, 2021

Welcome back, fellow geeks, film enthusiasts and Blu-ray/4K Blu-ray collectors!

All those who love the 2001 computer-generated movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within should be aware, and excited, that it will be released in a 4K Blu-ray combo on November 16, 2021. 4K Blu-ray collectors who have not seen the said movie will have their chances to add it to their collection and the good news is that it can be ordered online right now!

The 4K Blu-ray combo cover.

Posted below are key details of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within 4K Blu-ray combo from its Blu-ray.com page. Take note that as of this writing, it is not yet clear if the visuals will be native 4K or upscaled 4K.

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

HDR: HDR10

Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio

TBA

Subtitles

None

Discs

4K Ultra HD

Blu-ray Disc

Two-disc set (2 BD)

Digital

Digital 4K

Digital copy included

Playback

4K Blu-ray: Region free

2K Blu-ray: Region A

Posted below are the special features and technical specs of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within 4K Blu-ray

  • HDR PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
  • BRAND NEW DOLBY ATMOS TRACK + original theatrical 5.1 audio
  • Original Special Features:
    • Two Feature-Length Commentaries
    • Interactive Documentary: The Making of Final Fantasy
    • Original Opening
    • Aki’s Dream Reconstruction
    • On the Set with Aki
    • Character Profiles
    • Vehicle Scale Comparisons
    • Compositing Builds
    • Joke Outtakes
    • The Gray Project
    • Theatrical Trailers

I first saw Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within on a Friday night at the local theater in July twenty-o-one. While social media was not yet common back in those days, the movie still was hyped a lot through the Internet and traditional media.

As for the theatrical experience, I found the movie to be not so engaging mainly due to the story’s pacing (note: it was directed by Final Fantasy series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and Motonori Sakakibara), the sentimental stuff within the script, the not-so-interesting characters and the lack of true connection between the vocal performances and the motion-captured moves of the digital characters. Being one of the first major movies to be fully made with computer-generated images (CGI) complete with digital human characters and the approach to achieving photo-realism, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was indeed a flashy and fancy looking picture but it really did not have much to appeal to me with regards to my interest in cinema and even with Final Fantasy games. The movie ended up being hollow for me personally.

For the newcomers reading this, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was a tremendous box office failure and it led to the closure of Square Pictures. Still the movie could find new life in 4K Blu-ray format and I know it has its own following of dedicated fans. Perhaps the fans of Ming-Na Wen, Alec Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, James Woods, Ving Rhames, Peri Gilpin and Steve Buscemi would be interested to experience the movie in 4K.

For more entries of my Better than Streaming series of articles, check out my pieces on The Beastmaster 4K Blu-rayThe Transformers: The Movie 4K Blu-rayMortal Kombat 2021 4K Blu-raySpace Jam 4K Blu-rayV: The Original Miniseries Blu-ray (read my retro review), V: The Final Battle Blu-rayHighlander 4K Blu-rayThe Suicide Squad, Super Dimension Century Orguss Blu-ray, Unbreakable 4K Blu-ray, Injustice 4K Blu-ray, The Suicide Squad 4K Blu-ray and Terminator 2: Judgment Day 30th Anniversary 4K Blu-ray.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

If you wish to join a group of movie enthusiasts and talk about cinema, visit the Movie Fans Worldwide Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/322857711779576

Better than Streaming: Another 4K Blu-ray of Terminator 2: Judgment Day coming out December 6, 2021 (for the British market)

Welcome back, fellow geeks, film enthusiasts and Blu-ray/4K Blu-ray collectors!

If you are based in England and you love the works of Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron, as well as the bastardized Terminator film franchise, then you might be interested in the just announced new 4K Blu-ray of Terminator 2: Judgment Day coming from StudioCanal which you can order online right now for £60.00. It is set for a December 6, 2021 release as of this writing.

Coming out this December.

To be more specific, this newest 4K Blu-ray of the 1991 blockbuster film is a commemorative edition highlighting its 30th anniversary.

Posted below are key details of Terminator 2: Judgment Day 4K Blu-ray combo from its Blu-ray.com page.

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)

HDR: HDR10

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

English: Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles

English SDH

Discs

4K Ultra HD

Blu-ray 3D

Blu-ray Disc

Five-disc set (1 BD-66, 2 BD-50, 2 LPs)

Packaging

Slipbox

DigiPack, Inner print

Playback

4K Blu-ray: Region free

2K Blu-ray: Region B

And here are details of the special features and technical specs from the Blu-ray.com announcement…

  • PREVIOUSLY COMPLETED 4K RESTORATION OF THE FILM
  • T2: Reprogramming The Terminator documentary (including exclusive interviews with James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong and many more) – 55 mins
  • 2 Feature Commentaries; 23 Members of Cast & Crew (1993)/Director James & Co-Author William Wisher
  • The Making of T2 (1993)
  • Seamless Branching Of The Theatrical Version (137 mins approx.)
  • Special Edition Version (154 mins approx.)
  • Extended Special Edition Version (156 mins approx.)
  • 2 Deleted Scenes With Audio Commentary
  • Trailers – T2:3D (2017)
  • T2 Theatrical Trailer ‘This Time There Are Two’/’Same Make New Mission’/’Building The Perfect Arnold
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature

Extra stuff and fine packaging aside, the above-mentioned “PREVIOUSLY COMPLETED 4K RESTORATION OF THE FILM” confirms that the new 4K Blu-ray will not have a brand new remaster which alone concerns me as a collector and fan of the movie. I’ve read Blu-ray.com’s review of the previous 4K Blu-ray of Terminator 2 (the product released by Lionsgate Films) which rated its 4K video quality with a score of 2.5 out of 5 while the 2K video quality was rated 3/5. In that same review, it was mentioned that there was a near absence of film grain and an altered color palette resulting “a kind of greenish-teal tone to several scenes that never had them before.”

Personally I’m not too confident about this upcoming release from StudioCanal. The picture quality for 2K and 4K viewing should be nothing less than excellent. As for you movie fans and Blu-ray collectors reading this, you will have to do your analysis before making the crucial decision to buy this 4K Blu-ray of Terminator 2.

For more entries of my Better than Streaming series of articles, check out my pieces on The Beastmaster 4K Blu-rayThe Transformers: The Movie 4K Blu-rayMortal Kombat 2021 4K Blu-raySpace Jam 4K Blu-rayV: The Original Miniseries Blu-ray (read my retro review), V: The Final Battle Blu-rayHighlander 4K Blu-rayThe Suicide Squad, Super Dimension Century Orguss Blu-ray, Unbreakable 4K Blu-ray, Injustice 4K Blu-ray and The Suicide Squad 4K Blu-ray.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

If you wish to join a group of movie enthusiasts and talk about cinema, visit the Movie Fans Worldwide Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/322857711779576

A Look Back at Flashback (Super NES)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from playing Flashback: The Quest for Identity and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

We live in an age in which software exclusivity defines not only the relevance of game consoles but also nature of the entire video game industry right down to the many varied communities of very avid fans (and fanboys).

While the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES or Super NES) and Sega Genesis each had their own exclusive games back in the 1990s, there was one particular game that was made for and released on not just one, not two but rather on more than fifteen different platforms – both consoles and computers – starting with Amiga way back in 1992. That game is none other than Flashback: The Quest for Identity which I first played on our Super NES back in 1994.

The cover of the game box.

For the newcomers reading this, Flashback was a 2D side-scrolling adventure game in the form of a cinematic platformer (note: similar to Prince of Persia and Out of This World) with a strong flavor of science fiction. It was cinematic in the sense that all the in-game animation were rotoscoped resulting unique smoothness combined with hand-drawn backgrounds and the computer-generated cutscenes were used in key parts of the game as the story progressed. Flashback on SNES in America even came with a Marvel Comics-published Flashback comic book and on the rear of the SNES game box were the words “The first CD-ROM game in a cartridge!”

A Flashback remake was released in 2013, followed by a port of the original game released on Sega Dreamcast in 2017, and a remastered version got released for varied platforms in 2018.

I got to play that game at a time when I have not even started playing Final Fantasy II (AKA Final Fantasy IV), Final Fantasy III (AKA Final Fantasy VI) and other great role-playing games (RPGs) of the Super NES. I also remember that Flashback was a nice change of pace for me after playing Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Flashback: The Quest for Identity, released on Super NES in 1993 by U.S. Gold and developed by Delphine Software International.

The start and options screen.

Early story

The story begins with Conrad running away from two armed persons chasing him. He flies away riding a solo vehicle but those chasing him (riding a huge vehicle) managed to get close and blast his vehicle causing to crash into the forest.

Sometime later, he wakes up and accidentally pushes a mechanical cube to fall down. He climbs down to reach it and activates it. The cube displays a holographic video of himself telling him that he recorded it without remembering it. As Conrad watches, he learns that he must contact a friend named Ian who can explain important things to him.

After viewing the message, Conrad sets off to find his way out of the jungle and somehow get to Ian in New Washington…

Game design and quality

You have to pay close attention to what’s going on, what items do you have and what the in-game prompts tell you.

This game is not your typical fast-paced, action-oriented 2D side-scrolling adventure in which you move from left to right to progress. As it is a cinematic platform game by design complete with very specific controls, players will have to be patient, adaptive and strategic in order to learn how exactly you can control your character, what moves will be executed (and when to execute). For one thing, the very fluid 24 frames-per-second animation on your character limits you in terms of control as timing is required.

To do things properly, you have to execute specific controls. To ascend on a lift, you press Up and the Y button. To do a small jump, have your character stand still and then press Up and Y button. To go down on level (on foot, no lift), stand by the edge of a level then press Down and Y button. To run and hang on to a higher floor automatically, have your character stand still, press Right and Y button, press Y button (once your character moves) and watch him pull it off. With controls like these, the usual 2D platforming approach is out of the question. In my experience, these controls are indeed challenging but never impossible to learn and eventually I got proficient with the controls as I played more.

The in-game animation for the characters are very good and there is also a sensation of weight with your character. Falling straight down from a very high place is a big no-no.

Apart from character controls, you don’t just move Conrad from one screen to the next…you also should do key objectives along the way apart from engaging in action scenes (read: shooting). That being said, you must watch out for icons that appear on screen when your character steps on a particular spot that requires interaction. For example, if you stop by a terminal, an icon will appear serving as a prompt to start the interaction. Another example is when your character steps on the same spot as an item located at which you can pick up once prompted.

More on the action on the screen, you will encounter armed enemies as well as high-tech machines (including floating drones). To overcome them, doing straightforward shooting is not recommended as you have to be strategic before firing a shot. You have to learn how each enemy or machine moves, how much physical space is available right there and how you can maximize your limited time and space to overcome them. In fact, you will also be compelled to take advantage of whatever seconds you have while the enemies’ animation (between moves) take place. There will also be times when you need to have your character armed with the gun before jumping to a lower level where an armed enemy is located and on the lookout. Coming down armed gives you an advantage to shoot first at the enemy who

Considering the 24 frames-per-second animation, you will have to time your moves carefully, especially during moments when you face an armed enemy.

Apart from shooting, you can also use grenades which requires opening your inventory to select a grenade and then do your timing and calculation of the distance in order to pull of a successful throw and explosion. You can also throw stones to distract enemies or to apply weight on key platforms in order to open mechanical doors.

With regards to the quality of gameplay, Flashback is enjoyable but only if you get over its rather high learning curve with regards to the controls which themselves serve as the game’s advantage and even as a disadvantage. In addition to being patient and strategic, you will really have to pace yourself, think more and get used to the rather slow pace of the game in relation to its cinematic platformer design. I should state that as you keep progressing, there will be places, or new obstacles or new enemies that will compel you to change your tactics in order to overcome them. Anyone who is used to playing 2D side-scrolling games the fast and easy way might find the high learning curve and pacing of Flashback a turnoff but if they are willing to learn, adjust and pace themselves, only then can this game’s gameplay be really enjoyed.

Cut scenes like this move at a sluggish pace which shows the limitations of the SNES and cartridge technology.

As for the visuals, the obvious highlight here is the 24 FPS animation which is the result of rotoscoping and careful visualizing (note: observe those alien humanoids who morph into moving blobs). The rotoscoped animation, however, would not have been that effective had the quality of the art used for the backgrounds been made of lower quality. I can say that the background artworks here look pretty good even by today’s standards. The standout among them were the background artworks of Morph’s home planet which really looked very alien and creepy at the same time. What hurts this particular version of Flashback is the lackluster (read: choppy) frame rate whenever the computer-generated cinematic cutscenes (obviously they were meant for more powerful PCs) play which, in my experience, took me out of the story. There were also bouts of slowdown during the gameplay, especially when you encounter enough enemies that were animated sophistically.

With regards to narrative, Conrad is literally your avatar to learn, discover and interact with the many elements of the universe he is part of. There is obvious influence that the game makers took from the movie Total Recall as they crafted Conrad to be someone who lost his memory, moves on to regain it and do a lot of things as he realizes his true purpose and what is really at stake. Unlike Total Recall’s protagonist, Conrad himself is not too interesting mainly due to the way the in-game story was structured. Just play as Conrad and do what needs to be done to complete the game.

When it comes to understanding the narrative, you will have to do lots of reading. You will spot and read the short description of the prompts that appear. You’ll also have to read the on-screen text whenever your character talks with someone during the levels of the game. And there are the captions shown during the slow animated cutscenes.

Conclusion

The background artworks during the late stage of the game are great and truly creative with science fiction in mind.

I can clearly say that Flashback: The Quest for Identity on Super NESis fun and engaging mainly to those who are willing to adjust themselves to it. If you don’t have patience, if you are not willing to think while playing, if you cannot pace yourself and if you are not willing to learn all the specific controls of the game, then you should not be playing Flashback. It is a cinematic platformer and that should tell you that you will need to adjust to enjoy it.

Overall, Flashback: The Quest for Identity on SNES is recommended.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Better than Streaming: The Suicide Squad 4K Blu-ray coming out on October 26, 2021

Welcome back, fellow geeks, film enthusiasts and Blu-ray/4K Blu-ray collectors!

What I mentioned would happen has indeed happened! Warner Bros. officially announced that James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is coming out on 4K Blu-ray on October 26, 2021 and the good news is that its visuals are native 4K! As of this writing, pre-orders have yet to start but you can visit the DC Comics movie’s Amazon page to anticipate it.

This is what the 4K Blu-ray combo box looks like.

Posted below are key details of The Suicide Squad 4K Blu-ray combo from its Blu-ray.com page.

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)

HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10+

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Original aspect ratio: 1.90:1

Audio

English: Dolby Atmos

English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1

Subtitles

English SDH, French, Spanish

Discs

4K Ultra HD

Blu-ray Disc

Two-disc set (1 BD-100, 1 BD-50)

Digital

Digital 4K

Movies Anywhere

Packaging

Slipcover in original pressing

Playback

4K Blu-ray: Region free

2K Blu-ray: Region A

The back of The Suicide Squad 4K Blu-ray combo.

And here are details of the special features and technical specs…

  • DOLBY ATMOS AUDIO TRACK
  • Gag Reel
  • Gotta Love the Squad
  • The Way of The Gunn
  • It’s a Suicide Mission Scene Breakdown
  • My Guns Bigger Than Yours Scene Breakdown
  • Harley’s Great Escape Scene Breakdown
  • The Fall of Jotunheim Scene Breakdown
  • Starro: It’s a Freakin Kaiju!
  • Bringing King Shark To Life
  • War Movie Retro Trailer
  • Horror Movie Retro Trailer
  • Buddy-Cop Retro Trailer
  • Directors Commentary by Director/Writer James Gunn
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes
  • Optional English SDH, Latin Spanish, Parisian French, Castilian Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish, Teleugu, Hungarian, Tamil, Hindi, Italian, Greek, Romanian, Polish, Finnish, Danish, and Canadian French subtitles for the main feature

I personally am excited about The Suicide Squad 4K Blu-ray combo’s release. Where I am located at, local cinemas have remained closed since March 2020 and as I want the best possible home viewing experience, I deliberately avoided streaming. Definitely my money will NOT go to HBO Max nor HBO Go to watch The Suicide Squad (which has lots of scenes filmed with IMAX cameras and the IMAX footage is better viewed on Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray disc than streaming).

As of this writing, The Suicide Squad is the most exciting 4K Blu-ray release for the month of October. As far as DC Comics movies on disc format goes this year, I’m more excited for the James Gunn-directed movie than the recently released Zack Snyder’s Justice League 4K Blu-ray.

For more entries of my Better than Streaming series of articles, check out my pieces on The Beastmaster 4K Blu-rayThe Transformers: The Movie 4K Blu-rayMortal Kombat 2021 4K Blu-raySpace Jam 4K Blu-rayV: The Original Miniseries Blu-ray (read my retro review), V: The Final Battle Blu-rayHighlander 4K Blu-rayThe Suicide Squad, Super Dimension Century Orguss Blu-ray, Unbreakable 4K Blu-ray and Injustice 4K Blu-ray.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

If you wish to join a group of movie enthusiasts and talk about cinema, visit the Movie Fans Worldwide Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/322857711779576

Better than Streaming: Injustice 4K Blu-ray coming out on October 19, 2021

Are you an avid fan of DC Comics and its superheroes? To be more specific, if you love Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Aquaman and the Justice League, there is something new coming in 4K Blu-ray format very soon.

I’m not talking about the Zack Snyder’s Justice League 4K Blu-ray release for the American market. I’m talking about the Injustice 4K Blu-ray which is set for an October 19, 2021 release and you can order it online right now. This new release is about the DC animated feature which includes voice performers Janet Varney as Wonder Woman, Justin Hartley as Superman and Anson Mount as Batman to name a few.

Coming out on October 19, 2021.

Posted below is an excerpt from the studio’s official description of Injustice…

Inspired by Injustice: Gods Among Us, NetherRealm Studios’ popular video game, and the best-selling DC graphic novel based on the video game, Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year One by Tom Taylor, the animated film Injustice finds an alternate world gone mad – where The Joker has duped Superman into killing Lois Lane, sending the Man of Steel on a deadly rampage. Unhinged, Superman decides to take control of the Earth for humanity’s own good. Determined to stop him, Batman creates a team of like-minded, freedom-fighting heroes. But when Super Heroes go to war, can the world survive?

Posted below are key details of Injustice 4K Blu-ray from its Blu-ray.com page.

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

HDR: HDR10

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Audio

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

French: Dolby Digital 5.1

Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles – English SDH, French, Spanish

Discs

4K Ultra HD

Blu-ray Disc

Two-disc set (2 BD)

Digital

Digital copy included

Playback

4K Blu-ray: Region free

2K Blu-ray: Region A

And here are details of the special features and technical specs…

  • HDR PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
  • Adventures in Storytelling – Injustice: Crisis and Conflict (New Featurette) – The storytellers behind the new Injustice animated film discuss how all the intense drama and unabashed action was brought to life.
  • DC Universe Movies Flashback
    • The Death of Superman
    • Reign of the Supermen
  • From the DC Vault
    • Justice League – Injustice For All, Part I
    • Justice League – Injustice For All, Part II
  • Optional English SDH, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, and Danish subtitles for the main feature

Personally, I never got to play any of the Injustice video games nor was I able to read any issues of the related comic books. Still, I find this DC animated feature interesting mainly due to its core concept. As for its 4K Blu-ray release, the extra stuff looks interesting although it remains to be seen if the animated feature’s visuals will indeed be native 4K or upscaled 4K. Here is hoping it will be native 4K.

For more entries of my Better than Streaming series of articles, check out my pieces on The Beastmaster 4K Blu-rayThe Transformers: The Movie 4K Blu-rayMortal Kombat 2021 4K Blu-raySpace Jam 4K Blu-rayV: The Original Miniseries Blu-ray (read my retro review), V: The Final Battle Blu-rayHighlander 4K Blu-rayThe Suicide Squad, Super Dimension Century Orguss Blu-ray and Unbreakable 4K Blu-ray.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

If you wish to join a group of movie enthusiasts and talk about cinema, visit the Movie Fans Worldwide Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/322857711779576

A Look Back at Dazzler #1 (1981)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, comic collectors, 1990s culture enthusiasts and fans of Marvel Comics! Previously, I reviewed Uncanny X-Men #130 which was the first appearance of Dazzler who went on to become one of the most notable new characters of Marvel Comics in the 1980s. After appearing in Uncanny X-Men #131 and Amazing Spider-Man #203, Dazzler became more prominent among all of Marvel’s superheroes as the publisher launched an all-new monthly series featuring her. There is more to that than meets the eye, however.

In his article titled “Dazzler and Me”, Danny Fingeroth wrote: Marvel decided to tray an experiment with the relatively new “direct market” – comic book shops. It was decided that Dazzler #1 would only be available in comic book shops, not at traditional newsstands.

Dazzler #1 sold over 400,000 copies.

Even the top-selling comics of the era sold perhaps 250,000 copies. So, the first issue, anyway, was a major hit.

Apart from the confirmed commercial success of the comic book, it is a wonder if it is still good to read by today’s standards. To find out, here is a look back at Dazzler #1, published in 1981 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Tom DeFalco and drawn by John Romita, Jr.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Dazzler running away from four armed men who had been following her since she left the disco. She finds herself corned at the dead end of an alley as the men approach her. While pretending to be reaching for her make-up in the bag, Dazzler grabs and activates her portable radio which plays music. With the music turned on, she uses her power to convert it all into a dazzling display of light and color which makes the men disoriented.

While swinging nearby, Spider-Man notices the display of light but before he begins his approach, Dazzler makes her move to knock two men out. Another man fires his gun and his bullet ricochets until it hits the portable radio stops the music and Dazzler’s lights altogether leaving her vulnerable once again…

Quality

This page alone establishes Dazzler as a person struggling to make ends meet.

As far as telling a Dazzler story goes, this comic book is the complete package and it’s got very solid writing! Apart from showing what happened to her after her appearances in the Uncanny X-Men and Amazing Spider-Man series, this comic book formally introduces Dazzler in her civilian identity as Alison Blaire and thanks to efficient writing, it also reveals threads of her past and how her mutant powers manifested. Not only that, readers will get to see the title character as a typical person who is struggling to make ends meet even though she does her best with entertainment as a career.

Strangely, the focus on Dazzler is relatively light in content and the result is several pages of Marvel universe-related filler which shows several other characters like Captain America, Iron Man, Storm, Wolverine and others present with little to no connection with the title character. The X-Men scene is a nice touch as it will remind readers about Dazzler’s first interaction with them.

As a teenager, Alison Blaire’s power begins to manifest during this particular event in her life.

To build-up the first challenge for Dazzler, this comic book has the Enchantress as the villainess and ironically it also had some room of character development for her. Clearly this was done not only to build up anticipation for the next issue but to make readers root for Dazzler some more. In retrospect, the Enchantress would later emerge as an important figure in 1984’s crossover storyline Secret Wars.

Conclusion

The scene involving the X-Men is a nice touch as it connects with Dazzler’s previous interaction with them.

While it is indeed a product of the early 1980s carrying influences from the 1970s New York club scene, Dazzler #1 (1981) is still fun and engaging to read. Clearly this comic book is a must-have for anyone who loves Dazzler and it should be entertaining enough for geeks who love the 1980s and the Marvel-related crossovers of the time. Very clearly, this comic book succeeded in introducing and developing Dazzler as a person (as opposed to being a super hero) and the background story established fits in nicely with the character’s first appearance in Uncanny X-Men #130. Very clearly, there is a lot more to Dazzler than her unique super power and her disco look.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Dazzler #1 (1981), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $70.

Overall, Dazzler #1 (1981) is highly recommended!

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Amazing Spider-Man #203 (1980)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, 1980s culture enthusiasts, comic book collectors and fans of Marvel Comics! Previously I reviewed Uncanny X-Men #130 (1980) which was the first appearance of Dazzler who eventually became a popular figure for Marvel Comics in the 1980s. Before the company published a monthly comic book series featuring her, Dazzler made another appearance in an issue of the Amazing Spider-Man which was released just a few months after her debut. This, of course, led to a crossover with the iconic webslinger himself.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Amazing Spider-Man #203, published in 1980 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by Keith Pollard.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins during a night in the city where a swinging Spider-Man gets distracted by fast skating Dazzler who is being followed closely by a streak of light. After Spider-Man speculates about the possible return of Will-o-the-Wisp, he decides to intervene and pulls Dazzler off the road and to himself above. Dazzler faints suddenly.

A short while afterward, Dazzler wakes up and starts talking with the webslinger. In response to the mention of Will-o-the-Wisp’s name, she claims to not knowing what he was talking about. As their talk goes on, Dazzler hears music from the street which strengthens her. Using the small mirror globe she is wearing, Dazzler hits Spider-Man with a blast of light pushing him off the building…

Quality

The crossover between Dazzler and Spider-Man is the main feature of this comic book.

This is one fun crossover between the iconic Spider-Man and the brand-new Dazzler. Marv Wolfman wrote a story that not only followed the further adventures of the webslinger, it also gave readers more to see and learn about Dazzler who just had her unexpected adventure with the X-Men months earlier (in Uncanny X-Men #130 and #131). By connecting this story with those two X-Men comic books, it really looked like just got back home in the city only to get chased by streaking light. The interactions between Dazzler and Spider-Man were entertaining. While Dazzler is a known entertainer among New Yorkers, it was the webslinger who remains the big, popular local figure which is clearly reflected in the singer’s verbal exchange with him.

The villain in this comic book, Lightmaster, is pretty cartoonish visually but his super power and high intelligence do make him look threatening. I like the way the story was crafted with concepts that link Lightmaster with Dazzler. Both of them are connected with light and while Dazzler is able to absorb sound like a form of energy and create light beams, Lightmaster has the means to tap on her power and use it for his advantage. There is also another capability of Lightmaster’s which I will just leave unrevealed and you who read this should find out about it.

Conclusion

Lightmaster enters the scene.

Amazing Spider-Man #203 (1980) is a very old yet fun comic book that fans of Spider-Man and Dazzler will enjoy. Not only does it have a meaty encounter between the two, it also succeeds in chronicling Spider-Man’s life both in costume and as civilian Peter Parker. Going back to Dazzler, there is not much character development for her here but that is understandable as such emphasis was only waiting to happen in her own monthly comic book series.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Amazing Spider-Man #203 (1980), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $94 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $150.

Overall, Amazing Spider-Man #203 (1980) is recommended.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com