Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Music > Folk > CableTV > Concert > Flight Of The Conchords – The Complete Collection (2007 – 2009/HBO DVD Set) + Arj Barker – LYAO (DVD/CD Set/Warner Music)

Flight Of The Conchords – The Complete Collection (2007 – 2009/HBO DVD Set) + Arj Barker – LYAO (DVD/CD Set/Warner Music)


Picture: C+/C     Sound: B-     Extras: B/C-     Episodes/Concert: B/B-



Though it did not become one of their long-running hits, the HBO series Flight Of The Conchords is the kind of show a network otherwise might not have tried and it has its moments throughout its two-season run.  Created by James Bobin, Jemaine Clement (Despicable Me) and Bret McKenzie (Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!), Clement and McKenzie play the two leads who happen to have the same first names, now here in a Complete Collection DVD set.  Loosely based on a BBC radio comedy, the two play a music duo trying to make it in the declining music industry.  It does not help that they play a genre that peaked in the early 1970s: Folk.


They also come from New Zealand, but are not even achieving the success New Wave/Rock/Pop band Split Enz briefly did in the U.S., so we get their trials, tribulations and encounters in New York City for better and worse.  The comedy works on a laid-back level, but also has up-energy moments that punctuate the show throughout its run.  There are side character like the obsessed fan named Mel (Kristen Schaal) and pawn shop broker and personal adviser to the duo, Dave (Arj Barker), this all leads to vicious enclosing circles for them instead of new people they want and need to meet to grow as an act find commercial and critical success.


Of course, it may be a sitcom convention that they do not succeed or the show would suddenly become interesting and that may be one of the reasons they could not get it to work in the long term, but I like the casting, performances and chemistry.  At least it is an intelligent show with character development and all 22 hour-long shows are consistent in this.


Extras include a 2005 concert DVD of the Conchords performing called One Night Stand, while the two season sets in its larger box include Outtakes, Deleted Scenes, Dave’s Pawn Shop Commercials, New Zealand Consulate Meetings with Murray & Greg (supporting actor co-stars Rhys Darby and Frank Wood from the show) and Flight Of The Conchords: On Air Documentary feature.


Barker is a stand-up comedian and during the run of the show has released several programs, including a DVD/CD set of a concert he released as LYAO.  He is actually funny on his own left to his own devices and the hour-long show has some smiles and a few laughs.  Both versions are just fine, but there are really no extras and the paper pullout tells us little, though this was taped at the Pantages Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image in all cases are produced in digital High Definition video, though the One Night Stand concert is 1.33 X 1 and is not bad as well as on par with the anamorphic programs.  For the TV episodes, they can be soft, but are not bad and a Blu-ray version would likely produce better images, but we still get some detail issues and motion blur.  The One Night Stand concert is about as good, but the LYAO image is weaker, has staircasing, weak color and aliasing errors throughout.


The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Season One of the series and the One Night Stand concert have some surround information, but the Dolby Digital 5.1 on Season Two is better enough to sound like a modern TV production.  The PCM 2.0 16/44.1 CD Stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 DVD mixes on LYAO are the best overall, though the Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the LYAO DVD is weaker than expected.


Something tells me we have only just begun to hear from the cast and crew of these projects and we’ll be talking about these releases more and more as time goes on.  Catch them now and be ahead of the game.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com