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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Satire > TV > The Venture Bros. - The Fifth Season (2013/Warner Bros/Adult Swim Blu-ray)

The Venture Bros. - The Fifth Season (2013/Warner Bros/Adult Swim Blu-ray)

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



For those who are familiar to our site, they will recognize that I have sung the praises of The Venture Bros time and time again; well, nothing has changed!

The Venture Bros is as wonderful as ever; returning to thrill audiences with its off brand of humor, stunningly intricate storylines, and pop culture/superhero references galore!

If you are just finding out about The Venture Bros, take a step back and proceed to Season One. Whereas each episode is relatively self-contained, filled with wonderful humor and action; the fact remains that the series has created this epic world that references itself constantly. Even longtime fans such as myself are lost at times as the references come slickly and quickly.

This season has the Venture boys Dean and Hank coming more into their own, breaking away from The Venture Compound, dear ol' dad, and even bodyguard Brock Samson. The series manages to take itself to the next level as characters who had seemingly little to do with each other in the past are now consistently interacting; bringing heroes, villains, secret agencies, and other assorted monsters to each other's doorsteps (often quite literally).

The insanity that occurs this season was worth the two year wait it took to get new episodes; offering some of the best moments the series has ever seen. The episodes may be individually marked, but collectively the season feels like one giant overarching episode with a constant to be continued aura. I can't exactly put my finger on what The Venture Bros is other than self-aware and a continuous homage to failure. Whereas, each character is more content with themselves this season you can't help but sense that the world of The Venture Bros is coming to a boiling point and something catastrophic is about to occur that drags them all back together.

The technical features of The Venture Bros in its 5th Season (3rd release on Blu-ray) are again not outstanding, but are a vast improvement over the shaky Complete 4th Season release. The picture is a 1080p, 1.78 X 1, VC-1 Encode even as the box lists it as a 2.40 X 1 image. The disorder that existed in the previous two Blu-ray releases continues here, just not at the same blatant, chaotic levels. The art itself is stunning with bright colors, dark/framing/inky borders, and nice direction; but the issues of banding, odd vertical lines in certain scenes, and a general sloppiness leaves the presentation at times distracting. The sound is somewhat better as the 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track gets the job done without many hiccups, but a DTS track for this epic series would have cleaner and better suited. The dialogue comes through stunningly crisp and clear, also demonstrating a solid bass, and dynamic panning effects; but nothing that will knock your socks off.

The extras are minimalistic to say the least; offering up eight (8) audio commentaries that are interestingly lively, but that is about all. Other extras include about 6 minutes of Deleted Scenes that neither add nor detract from the series and a Fax my Grandson improv moment with voice actor Larry Murphy that is somewhat entertaining.

Though the studio and/or creators don't put much effort into the technical features, the packaging is always awesomely fun. This time around the box art (slip case) plays on the classic Hardy Boys book cover art, featuring (seemingly) hand painted art of a pterodactyl latched onto The Venture Jet with the boys inside.

The Venture Bros is as great as ever and when new episodes arrive they pass by all too fast; leaving the viewer wanting more. Here on Blu-ray you can relive every crazy moment; and perhaps even help refresh your memory on all of those moments where they make a reference from 3 seasons ago.





- Michael P. Dougherty II


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