Tuesday, July 6, 2010


"Klytus, I'm bored. What plaything can you offer me today? "

Universal has just recently re-released one of my favorite movies - Mike Hodge's 1980 space opera FLASH GORDON - on high-definition Blu-Ray disc.

Based on the classic newspaper adventure strip by Alex Raymond, the film is a gleefully campy, joyously tongue-in-cheek interplanetary fantasy that never fails to leave me with a satisfied smile.

This new HD edition is, to all intents and purposes, identical to their 2007 "Saviour of the Universe Edition" standard DVD in every way but technically, and I reviewed that here at the Late Show when it came out. You can read that detailed review here.

Where this edition differs from that previous DVD release is in format, obviously. The new Universal Blu-Ray disc sports a stunning, high-definition, 1080p 2.35:1 widescreen transfer, apparently from the same, remastered 2007 source, and as gorgeous as that looked, it benefits further from the bump up to HD. The colors are vibrant, detail is astounding, and the presentation looks superior to any previous home video releases, and light-years better than it did in theaters in 1980. Audio options are a robust 5.1 DTS Master Audio and 2.0 Dolby Digital. Bonus features are identical to the "Saviour of the Universe" DVD - interviews with screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr. and comic book artist/FLASH-fan Alex Ross, the original theatrical trailer and the complete first chapter of the 1936 FLASH GORDON movie serial with Buster Crabbe and Charles Middleton. Well, it doesn't include the "teaser" for the abominable short-lived SyFy FLASH GORDON television series that was on the '07 DVD, nor the Alex Ross art cards that were included in the DVD, but otherwise, the supplements are the same.

As FLASH GORDON is one of my all-time personal favorites (and I don't need to justify myself to you, mister), upgrading to Blu-Ray was pretty much inevitable. If you're a fan of the film and are HD-equipped, you'll probably want to pick it up, too - especially if you don't already own the "Saviour" DVD from three years ago. It's the best home video version of the movie to date.

Highly recommended.

BUY: Flash Gordon [Blu-ray]