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Flash Gordon: Limited Edition Ultra HD 4K (1980) - 4k UHD Review

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Flash Gordon: Limited Edition Ultra HD 4K

Emperor Ming the Merciless (a very FUN Max von Sydow) of the planet Mongo is bored.  In the famous opening of Flash Gordon, he admits of his boredom and decides to play with Earth and causes widespread destruction . . . like floods, heavy winds, and a hellish barrage of flaming meteors.  Good thing that Flash Gordon is here to save every one of us!

"This science fiction soap opera has everything you could possibly want from an intergalactic story that is based on a 1930s comic strip serial"


The years have been very, very, VERY kind to the colorful exploits of Flash Gordon (Sam J. Jones), Prince Barin (Timothy Dalton), Prince Vultan (Brian Blessed), and that hollow stump with a crazed scorpion-like think inside it.  And do I even need to tell you how good Ornella Muti as Princess Aura looks in 4K?  No, I do not.  

Complete with a soundtrack by Queen and ripe Technicolor colors, Flash Gordon, produced by Dino De Laurentiis, absolutely ROCKS with the surest of groan-inducing beats as the camp hits EVERYONE square in the face and leaves a smile plastered on all faces everywhere.  

Offbeat and firmly ingrained in my brain thanks to many viewings as an adolescent, Flash Gordon REMAINS a cinematic treat for the eyes, the ears, and the funny bone.  This science fiction soap opera has everything you could possibly want from an intergalactic story that is based on a 1930s comic strip serial.

And now, this space-aged romp is turning 40, so what better way to celebrate its birthday then with a party in 4K?!?!?!  Flash Gordon: Limited Edition Ultra HD 4K

Written by Lorenzo Semple Jr and Michael Allin, Flash Gordon is directed with ceremonial POP and COLOR-stance by Mike Hodges (Get Carter) as Flash (Sam J. Jones), a famous quarterback for the New York Jets, finds himself in space along with travel agent Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) and Dr. Hans Zarkov (Topol).  They are prisoners of Emperor Ming the Merciless (Sydow) of the planet Mongo and, through a series of crazy Wizard of Oz-like events, manage to play football with little people, get killed and resurrected thanks to the seduction efforts of Princess Aura, get their brains reprogrammed (but not really), communicate telepathically, and ride rocket cycles!  Whew!

With crazy villains like Peter Wyngarde as General Klytus and Mariangela Melato as General Kala all failing to stop the revolt led by Flash, an entire population of oppressed peoples join this football player against the wicked Ming and the results - complete with a city in the clouds and tons of hawkmen taking to the skies to stop the now-tarnished efforts of Ming to rule over all that he sees - couldn’t be ANY more insane.

This director-approved limited edition release includes a brand new 4K restoration by Studiocanal from the original camera negative approved by director Mike Hodges, a 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible), optional 5.1 and 2.0 stereo DTS-HD Master audio, a booklet featuring new writing on the film by critics and film historians including Neil Snowdon, Dennis Cozzalio, John-Paul Checkett, A.K. Benedict, and Kat Ellinger illustrated with original stills, a fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork, six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions, alternative posters and promotional images, and Limited Edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais.

Highly quotable and endless entertaining, Flash Gordon is made new again thanks to this release from Arrow Video!

5/5 beers

Flash Gordon: Limited Edition Ultra HD 4K

4K UHD

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Arrow Films
Available on Blu-ray
- August 18, 2020
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray DiscSingle disc
Region Encoding: 4K Blu-ray: Region free; 2K Blu-ray: Region A

Merciless Emperor Ming (Max von Sydow) decides to wreak havoc on Earth in a moment of cruel boredom. Boarding a rocket as a means of escape, star quarterback Flash Gordon (Sam J. Jones), Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) and Dr. Hans Zarkov (Topol) find themselves on Mongo. Taken prisoner Flash must save Dale from becoming Ming’s concubine, avoid the amorous intentions of Ming’s wicked daughter Aura (Ornella Muti) and unite the warring Kingdoms of Mongo.  With endlessly repeatable dialogue, inimitable camp style, the sonic stylings of Queen and a delightful band of characters and actors playing them it’s no wonder Flash Gordon has become one of the most beloved sci-fi spectacles of its era with directors such as Edgar Wright, Taika Waititi and Seth MacFarlane paying tribute to it in their work.

Video:

This limited edition release includes a brand new 4K restoration by Studiocanal from the original camera negative approved by director Mike Hodges, a 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible) was used and the results are absolutely stunning with bright, piercing colors and the sharpest of black levels leading the way.  Skin tones are perfect, costumes are shimmering and rich, and the details in the sets reveals limitations in the budget and the glory of the technicolor processing.  This release is yet more proof that Arrow Video is absolutely killing it with their 4K restorations.  Every single moment of this 1080p transfer - framed in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio - is glorious with crisp colors, strong black levels, and a searing palette that absolutely crackles with moments of comical aspect of science fiction cheese.  The 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer is up there in quality with a crystal clear and detailed image. 

Audio:

You have two options for the sound: a blistering (while limited) 5.1 assault to the ears or a 2.0 stereo DTS-HD Master audio which thunders with booming bass and killer rock tunes.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • See special features

Special Features:

This director-approved limited edition release includes a brand new 4K restoration by Studiocanal from the original camera negative approved by director Mike Hodges, a 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible), optional 5.1 and 2.0 stereo DTS-HD Master audio, a booklet featuring new writing on the film by critics and film historians including Neil Snowdon, Dennis Cozzalio, John-Paul Checkett, A.K. Benedict, and Kat Ellinger illustrated with original stills, a fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork, six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions, alternative posters and promotional images, and Limited Edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais.

DISC 1 - FLASH GORDON & SPECIAL FEATURES (ULTRA HD 4K BLU-RAY):

  • Archival audio commentary with Mike Hodges
  • Archival audio commentary with Brian Blessed
  • Interviews with actors Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Brian Blessed, Queen icon Brian May, composer Howard Blake, and poster designer Renato Casaro
  • Behind the Scenes of Flash Gordon - an archival documentary on the making of the film
  • Archival interviews with Mike Hodges, screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr., comic book artist Alex Ross
  • Lost in Space: Nic Roeg's Flash Gordon - a new documentary program exploring the version Roeg (The Man Who Fell to Earth) had originally planned to make with producer Dino De Laurentiis
  • Gremlin's Finest Hour - an episode from the animated Flash Gordon TV show written by J. Michael Reaves from November 1982
  • Deleted scenes and original endings - prop collector Bob Lindenmayer discusses dropped sequences and sequel ideas
  • 35th Anniversary Greenroom featurette - Mike Hodges meets the cast for the first time since filming at the 35th anniversary reunion
  • 35th Anniversary Reunion featurette - the cast and crew discuss Flash Gordon
  • Entertainment Earth on Flash Gordon merchandise
  • Storyboards gallery
  • Stills gallery
  • Original Trailer
  • Easter Eggs

DISC 2 - LIFE AFTER FLASH & SPECIAL FEATURES (LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE) (BLU-RAY):

  • 2017 feature length documentary by filmmaker Lisa Downs on the rollercoaster life of Sam J. Jones since his role in Flash Gordon, featuring the main cast and crew as well as a host of fans including Stan Lee, Robert Rodriguez, Mark Millar and more!
  • Sam J. Jones - a variety of interviews and featurettes including coverage of a script read from the Chattanooga Film Festival, Sam discussing his career in Mexico, his "prayer walk", and more
  • Melody Paintings Extended - actress Melody Anderson talks about her love of painting and talks about various pieces displayed in her home
  • Topol - a variety of interviews with the actor on his collections, awards and charity work
  • Brian Blessed - the actor recounts amusing stories about Flash Gordon
  • Late, Great Wyngarde - actor Peter Wyngarde discusses his experiences filming Flash Gordon and his relationship with Mike Hodges
  • Deep Roy - the actor raps about ambition and recounts an amusing story about Eastbound & Down
  • Alex Ross Talks Early Art - the artist talks about Flash Gordon and the many pieces of art he created for it from childhood to modern day
  • Tell Me More About the This Man Houdini - actor Rich Fuller and Jason Lenzi, founder of toy brand Bif Bang Pow, discuss a scene from Flash Gordon
  • Comic Con early draft - A featurette looking at the phenomenon that is Comic Con, featuring interviews with attendees and a host of regular talent including Sam J. Jones, Rich Fulton, Jason Mewes, Michael Rooker, Claudia Wells, and more
  • Interview with Lisa Downs - the director of Life After Flash explores her motivation to make the film and experiences during the production
  • Life After Flash on the Road - a variety of featurettes on the film travelling to various festivals and production including Q&A excerpts with the Flash Gordon cast, behind-the-scenes footage, Kickstarter funding video
  • Trailer

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

5/5 stars

Flash Gordon: Limited Edition Ultra HD 4K

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
111 mins
Director
: Mike Hodges
Writer:
Lorenzo Semple Jr.
Cast:
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max von Sydow
Genre
: Action | Sci-Fi
Tagline:
Get ready to kick some Flash.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I had no idea how small time I was until I met you."
Theatrical Distributor:
MGM
Official Site: https://www.thehustle.movie/
Release Date:
May 10, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 20, 2019.
Synopsis: Don't empty my mind! Please, I beg you! My mind is all I have! I've spent my whole life trying to fill it!

Flash Gordon: Limited Edition Ultra HD 4K

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