Shazam: Origin (The Adentures Of Captain Marvel) - Billy Batson
Overview - Editing the possibly whitest bread of all serials, “The Adventures Of Captain Marvel”, must have been a labor of love for Mr. Batson. Indeed, for those familiar with this show, this was doubtless irresistible. For those unfamiliar, this was a very good Republic effort, the sort they excelled at.
Video - 1920 X 1080 AVC. The print of this is sharp, really sharp, superior to my Laserdisc. Transitions between scenes are well done. I wondered about this, since cliffhangers are notorious for “cheats”. The editor has worked through all those, hurrying from worrisome moment to reaction and follow-thru by characters.
Audio - 125 kbps, AAC 2-Channel stereo. No subs (unnecessary). The sound is reflective of 1941 Hollywood. Dialogue crystal clear, if looped it was professional. Music compressed, mayhem easily identifiable.
Narrative - The series remains bookended in Siam, near Burma. Ha ha. This Siam appears to be the Khyber Pass between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The terrain, the attire of the riders. The youthful audience of the 40’s would never know, and modern viewers must take this section in stride and understand. Afterward, the story plays out as the sinister Scorpion and his henchmen acquire the deadly lenses, one by one.
Enjoyment - I liked this a lot. Despite prevailing habits, serials were never meant to be binged. They are too busy, and much of the fighting grows repetitive. I watched in three 40” chunks. The plot cleverly keeps you guessing about the identity of Mr. Scorpion.
This was entertaining, and I can recommend this to families with children. It is black and white, however, and there are deaths. Not to the level of current television fare.