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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Satire > Action > Musical > Metalocalypse: Season 3 (2009/Blu-ray) + The Venture Bros: Season 4 – Volume 1 (DVD) + Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job: Season 4 (DVD) + Freaknik: The Musical (DVD/Warner/Cartoon Swim releases)

Metalocalypse: Season 3 (2009/Blu-ray) + The Venture Bros: Season 4 – Volume 1 (DVD) + Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job: Season 4 (DVD) + Freaknik: The Musical (DVD/Warner/Cartoon Swim releases)


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



Adult Swim, as mentioned quite a number of times on this site, is a powerhouse for creative and inspiring animation.  Recently released on DVD and Blu-ray are some of the networks top rated series and one new one added to the mix.  On Blu-ray for the first time we have Metalocalypse, the animated series that chronicles the exploits of the most powerful metal band in the world, Dethklok.  Returning to DVD is Venture Bros for its amazing 4th Season (at least the first half), as well as Tim & Eric: Awesome Show Great Job: Season 4.  Finally, we have Freaknik: The Musical, which is a special created by T-Pain is association with Williams Street and Carl Jones.


Metalocalypse: Season 3 (Blu-ray)

Let me start by saying that on a daily basis you will never find me listening to death metal; more likely The Beatles or some other choice tunes from my iPod.  But with the insane amount of uninspiring music on radio today, coupled with the fact that most is merely a repeated beat more suited for a dance club; the music of Metalocalypse is a breath of fresh air.  Sure the tone is dark and sadistic, as well as loud as heck, but at least it is musical and creative.  In a Spinal Tap type way, Dethklok has grown into a global sensation; holding sold out concerts and chart topping records.  As previously mentioned Metalocalypse follows the world’s most powerful band (on this show) as they go through their daily activities.  We get to experience the full spectrum of their insecurities, narcissism, and overall loss of touch with reality.  Not only is the band insanely popular, but they generally rule the world as their records/merchandising sales fuel the economy; even if they are completely unaware of that fact.  The band is constantly under surveillance by the world governments and the target of many secret plots (not to mention assassination attempts).  Each season we delve deeper into the psyche of the members of Dethklok; constantly adding layers onto the once unassuming series.


The series started out simple enough, but has since grown into a phenomenon; with detailed story arches, major back stories, and plenty of continuity.  I think the series (that I was hesitant about at first) will only get even better with time.  Season 3 is definitely the best yet and as it premieres on Blu-ray it reminds us of how truly awesome the series has become.


The technical features on this animated series are not what as I expecting.  The series is wonderfully animated, yet this feature is lacking in the one area it most definitely should not, sound.  The picture is presented in a 1080p VC-1, 1.78 X 1 widescreen that is the best the series has ever looked and for lack of better words is stunning.  For a devilishly dark series, the animation is full of vivid colors and life.  The blacks are deep and inky, framing every scene with ease as we gets blasts of reds, yellows, and blues.  The flash animation style lends itself greatly to Blu-ray and with the exception of a few soft scenes; this Blu-ray’s image is flawless.  The sound is a different story.  The audio presentation is a 5.1 Dolby True HD (should have been DTS) that lacks power and is only mildly immersive.  For a series that centers on ear pounding tunes, this track is weak and fails to fully use the speakers’ range.  The directionality is lacking, as is much atmosphere.  In the end, I was expecting much more from Metalocalypse with this Blu-ray release; only the second Adult Swim series to get that treatment.


The extras are impressive offering fans a series of featurettes to enjoy, composed of many awesome deleted scenes and great music videos.  The following are included:

  • Deleted Scenes
    • Dimmu Burger Drive Thru
    • “Places” with Face Bones
    • Furniture
    • Immortal Records
    • Klokateer Recruitment videos 1-4
    • Escort Videos
    • Drunk
    • Snacks
    • Two Swedish Dads (extended cut)
  • Nathan Reading Shakespeare’s Othello
    • 40 minutes long in all, this extensive featurette has Nathan running through the classic in his own…unique…way; with plenty of comments and interjections.
  • Dethklok Music Videos (one of the best features)
    • Bloodlines
    • Dethsupport
    • The Gears
    • Burn to the Earth
    • Black Fire Upon Us


Venture Bros: Season 4 – Part 1

In my previous review of Venture Bros I sung its praises to no end and nothing has changed for this first half of Season 4.  The creators of this timeless series have produced such a wide array of characters and back story, I just can’t see how this series would end.  There is so much left to know, for every question answered there are 12 more put in its place.  Doc Hammer and the rest of his crew have constructed one of the best and most vivid animated series with Venture Bros and it will surely go down as a classic


Hank, Dean, Brock, The Monarch and Rusty are all back to cause havoc all over the world, but mostly just trouble for each other.  Season 4 (generally) picks up where Season 3 left off with some characters dead, others leaving, and others stepping onto the scene.


The studio made a very odd choice in splitting up Season 4 into two parts.  First off, Season 4 had many troubles getting off the ground; production issues caused a mid-season hiatus that forced audiences to wait months for new episodes to air.  On top of the hiatus, Season 4 – Part 1 does not even contain the season’s best episodes; some are ok, some are amazing, and others are downright confusing.  Don’t misunderstand, the series continues to be amazing, but does not always shine as brightly as it should in this first half of Season 4.


Now that the entire season has aired I can say that the second half makes up for Part 1’s shortcomings and if nothing else makes them all too clear.  The first half of Season 4 *SPOILER ALERT* has Brock Samson replaced by Sergeant Hatred as the Venture Compound body guard, while Brock has taken on more “secretive” ambitions.  Dean and Hank are coming into their own and Rusty…well he is still Rusty.  On the other side of the pond, The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend are still having their issues (Venture related and otherwise), while 21 has become a complete (yet insane) badass.


The comic book, classic rock, and obscure 1980’s references are free flowing as ever this season.  Captain Sunshine and Wonderboy arrive in a funny parody of that plays off the odd Batman and Robin dynamics; funny to note it is the famous Kevin Conroy who voices Captain Sunshine.


What Season 4: Part 1 delivers is more character development and back story that Part 2 will finish up in an epic manner.  Overall, it is a great season starter that I assure only improves in Part 2.


The extras are very nice and totally cater to the fans.  Bonus features include the following:

  • Audio Commentaries on all eight episode (hosted by Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer)
    • The commentaries are fun, though a bit confusing at times.  That confusing vibe (we find out later) is because the creators recorded the commentaries out of order.
  • Deleted Scenes (add little to the season)
  • Venture Bros Season 4 Comic Con trailer


To read my extensive look into Venture Bros: Season 3 please follow the link below:





Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job: Season 4

Are they insanely creative? Yes.  Do they have a humungous fan base? Yes. Do I always get it? No.  I have reviewed pretty much every Tim and Eric release to date, but I still flounder on whether the duo are avant garde geniuses or complete morons.  If nothing else they have found an undying fan base that has followed them from the TV to sold out live performances.  I get my fill of them here on DVD and I assure you that is plenty.


Tim and Eric: Season 4 continues to deliver insane sketches, multiple personalities, off color jokes and a plethora of fake television ads.  Not only do fans love them, but it seems they have a host of celebrity friends that are lining up to get on the show. The likes of Peter Stormare, Josh Groban and even John C. Reilly all guest star this season to play along with Tim and Eric’s insanity.


Some sketches are creative and funny, whereas (most) others are idiotic and present nonsense for the sake of nonsense.  I continue to hope it does not last much longer.  Four seasons may not seem like much, but Tim and Eric is draining to watch as it leaves you perplexed and questioning what you are even viewing.  And let me tell you; it never gets any better.  Creative perhaps, but surly idiotic.



If you love Tim and Eric than the extras are just icing on the cake as they deliver a treasure trove of Awesome Show goodness.  The extras included on this DVD set are as follows:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Extended Scenes
  • Bloopers
  • Behind the Scenes for Restaurant Fart, The Cast of “Tennis”, Zillionaire, and “Road Trip Dummy”
  • Karaoke
  • AwesomeCon 2009
  • Pusswhip Gangbang Performing “Brownie Mountain” in Concert


Freaknik: The Musical

Freaknik is a flash animated feature that stars a variety of musical personalities.  The film starts with some teenagers at a party (Kid N Play) when an elderly man (Li’l Wayne) tells them the tale of Freaknik.  Apparently Freaknik had the biggest and best party of all time, when it was cut short by the police who killed Freaknik.  The group of teens and the old man bring back the Ghost of Freaknik (T-Pain).  Freaknik decides to hold a best rapper contest with the prize being a lifetime supply of clothes, money and hos.  A group of young rappers from Florida hears of the contest and head to Atlanta to compete.


The animated feature follows the Sweat Tea Group as they travel from Florida to Atlanta and their many pit stops along the way.  We see them get into and out of tricky situations.  This racially charged film parodies many black personalities including that of Al Sharpton, Oprah and even OJ Simpson.


The film was fun enough, but with the plethora of rappers featured throughout the feature (along with music) I felt a bit lost as I am not up on the rap scene.  The most popular rappers I could pick out and older references were fun, but the variety of new acts and voice talents were lost on me.


So if you are a fan of rap and Adult Swim then this is the animated feature for you.  I found the whole feature to be lacking in intelligence and not as humorous as other Adult Swim presentations.  Its take on African American Culture is simple and even at some points insulting, but the creators get away with it as it is a ‘rap-centric’ feature.  It lacks the classic and insightful comedy of features like that of The Boondocks.

The Technical Features:


The DVD technical features on Venture, Tim & Eric, and Freaknik are all over the board, with Venture Bros standing out as having better picture and Tim and Eric as being intentionally bad.  With the Third Season of Venture Bros having been released on Blu-ray and the complete 4th Season having been announced to be getting the same treatment for the Spring 2011, it is no surprise that the series has a one up on the competition.  The picture on Tim and Eric is as intentionally bad as ever presented in a frustrating and gritty 1.33 X 1 full screen image that does not add to the experience as it just piles onto an established annoyance.  Once again, the colors are weak with dull blacks and an overall soft image.  The sound is somewhat better than the picture in its Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound presentation, but like the previous seasons’ sketches the sound quality varies as Tim and Eric purposely distort and disrupt the media (like the picture), making it hard to say what is good and what is bad.  Freaknik’s picture is also a 1.33 X 1 full screen, but unlike Tim and Eric the animation is crisp, clean and clear with admirably bright colors and dark inky blacks. The Sound on Freaknik is a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound that I was expecting more from, especially being a highly musical based feature, but often times the presentation felt flat and did not utilize the bass nor full speaker range.


Venture Bros animation has always had a classic style to it and presents wonderfully here on DVD.  Though it looked better on Blu-ray in Season 3 the 1.78 X 1 image here on DVD is nice, with solid blacks and a vivid color palette.  The image is consistently crisp and clean, but lacks what the stunning visuals that Blu-ay offered; including the fact that this DVD features slight pixilation from time to time.  The sound is a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround mix that is better than expected, giving some additional atmosphere other than the dialogue projected from the front.


Overall, I love Adult Swims line-up and as long as they keep producing series like Venture Bros I will be happy.


-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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