June 26, 2018
Great edit. I liked the serial when I bought the discs a while back, and the very impressive special effects and production values, both for the time, and in comparison with some other super hero and pulp serials of the time ("Batman and Robin," 1949, take a bow). There's a charming mix of goofiness and naivete (not least with Billy Batson) and compelling narrative. Like all serials, it suffered from the format's cliff-hangers, repetition and excessive exposition, and padding. Now we have a sleek movie that holds up amazingly well, respects the source material and really captures a world -- its frankly better than some of the cheesier low-budget Marvel and DC films of the 1970s-1990s (e.g. "Generation X," "Steel," the Captain America run) not to mention some of the more recent bigger budget misfires ("Ghost Rider," Jonah Hex," "Superman Returns"). My only wish is that editor would give some of the other 1930s and 1940s pulp and super hero serials the same treatment!