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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Animation > Biography > Independent Filmmaking > CG > Superhero > TV > Superhero > Comedy > Adventures In Plymptoons (Documentary/Cinema Libre DVD)/Iron Man Armored Adventures – Season Two, Volume Two (Gaiam Vivendi DVD)/Super Hero Party Clown (Cinema Libre DVD/All 2012)

Adventures In Plymptoons (Documentary/Cinema Libre DVD)/Iron Man Armored Adventures – Season Two, Volume Two (Gaiam Vivendi DVD)/Super Hero Party Clown (Cinema Libre DVD/All 2012)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: B-/C-/C-     Main Programs: B-/C+/C-



Here are three new titles that cover a few subjects popular right now: comedy, animation and superheroes….



The great independent animator Bill Plympton is the subject of the new documentary

Adventures In Plymptoons, directed by Alexia Anastasio.  If you are unfamiliar with his instinctive, unique, great artworks, you can get an idea from two different reviews of the following DVD releases of his work at these links for…


Plymptoons – The Complete Early Works Of Bill Plympton DVD



Dog Days/Guns On The Clackamas DVDs



Running 85 minutes, this is a good, informative program that has plenty of clips and interviews with everyone from Terry Gilliam to Ralph Bakshi to those working for, grew up with and related to the subject.  Unfortunately, this also wastes time far too often being jokey and silly when there is more to say and ask about the man and his work.  Otherwise, it is worth your time and I was glad to see it.


Extras include Bill Plympton Day clip, a bet between Plympton and friend Gus Van Sant, Trailers and Deleted Scenes.



One thing Plympton does not bother with is computer animation, but it is all over the place and that includes the latest installment of the unique CG series Iron Man Armored Adventures, back with the Season Two, Volume Two DVD single that continues what has been one of the few distinct CG shows, but the series is starting to show signs of wear.  If you are unfamiliar with the show, try these links to get you up to speed:


Season One Blu-ray/DVD Import



Season Two, Volume One DVD



Titanium Man and Dr. Doom (with a slightly different look) are among those who show up this time, but the show is starting to run out of energy and new places to go.  Fans will be happy, but I was saddened to see the TV grind start to catch up with the show.  We’ll see where it goes next.  Brief Titanium Man and Dr. Doom artwork are the only extras.



Last and unfortunately least is the would be comedy Super Hero Party Clown, a very predictable, formulaic comedy about a guy who dresses as a Spider-Man-like superhero for children’s parties and lands up wanting to be with a female who has a big guy interested in her and not a fan of him.  It is one of those cases where he is somewhat of a bully, but not totally and she is not sure about him, so the part-time hero impersonator has a chance to be with her if things would just go his way.


He looks like he belongs in Kick Ass, but this is never funny and though it is not smug, it just goes on and on and on.  I was bored and unless you are a superhero fanatic, I doubt you’ll like it much better.  Extras include Alternate Takes and a faux clip for a ‘movie’ version of the actual hero in the story.



The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on all three DVDs are about even all originating on simple HD video and that includes softness, motion blur and other detail limits.  They are watchable (the Plympton shorts look the best of all) but don’t expect any extraordinary and the Iron Man CG looks decent, but looked better on Blu-ray.  The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Iron Man is not much better than the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the other DVDs, so expect adequate performance at best from all.




-   Nicholas Sheffo


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