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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Videogames > Comedy > TV > Venture Bros – Season 3 (Warner Blu-ray + DVD)

Venture Bros – Season 3 (Warner Blu-ray + DVD)

 

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

 

 

Venture Bros is by far one of the best adult animated series to ever hit the airwaves.  The series is a slick, smooth, and witty blend of pop culture coupled with old fashion comic book action.  The First Season of the series was a bit more light hearted and comical than Seasons Two or Three; allowing the viewer to jump in at any point, but doing an excellent job of establishing a character base.  The elements that seemed unimportant or trivial in Season One, however, are amazingly transformed into the mythos that has kept the series so strong in Seasons Two and Three.  Whereas Season One did seem pretty light as far as back story, Seasons Two and Three made up for that ten fold.  Season Two had fans clawing for more as their jaws hit the floor with every revealing episode and Season Three showed no signs of slowing down on that front.

 

Season Three kicks off where Season Two left off; jumping right back into some of the characters’ back stories.  Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of Destiny discusses the events that surrounded Phantom Limb, Dr. Girlfriend, and The Monarch.  The episode is brilliantly executed as it is packed to the brim with backstory and witty dialogue; whereas the “laugh out loud” moments are minimal in episode one, the back story, wit and dry humor more than make up for that.  Home is Where the Hate Is dives more into Sgt Hatred (Dr. Ventures new ‘Arch Enemy’) and how The Monarch is not dealing with that so well.  The episode also reveals Hank and Dean’s budding relationship as they team up with The Monarch’s henchmen 21 and 24 against Dr. Girlfriend’s, Murderous Moppets.

 

The Invisible Hand of Fate takes us on another nostalgic adventure as a flashback explains how Billy Quiz Boy got his robotic hand and lost his eye; also revealing some other crucial information on Brock Samson, Pete White and Phantom Limb.  Amazingly the tale blends together elements from past seasons and new information to be revealing but have the same flawless situational humor.  One of the funniest episodes (though not the most informative) of the season is The Buddy System, which introduces a new character named Dermott to the series.  The episode starts as Dr. Venture hosts a day camp for boys, using some of his Pop’s old research centers to ‘educate the children.’  Whereas it becomes apparent that Venture is just trying to make a quick buck, the events lend themselves to tons of humorous moments.  In Tears of a Sea Cow, The Monarch after having been sworn to stop arching Dr. Venture was assigned Dr. Dugong as his new arch enemy; in a fit of rage in the opening sequence, however, Monarch rather abruptly and viciously kills Dr. Dugong (all in all hilariously executed).  I could go on all day about these episodes, but the truth of the matter is that as Season 3 progresses you need to know more and more about the previous seasons and information revealed this season.  For me to go any further would spoil a ton.  Season 3 ends on a similar note that Season 2 did with huge body counts, a three party battle, and the series forever being changed.  I am not quite sure if this season’s finale was as good as Season 2’s, but only Season 4 can string it all together.  GO TEAM VENTURE!

 

The series busts at the seams with pop culture references.  From the Hardy Buys too Johnny Quest to every facet of nerdom that we all love so much.  The series has been amazing since day one and if you have yet to enjoy the pleasure that is Venture Bros now is the time to jump on in.

 

The thirteen episodes that composed the third season are as follows:

 

Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of Destiny

The Doctor is Sin

Home is Where the Hate Is

The Invisible Hand of Fate

The Buddy System

Dr. Quymn, Medicine Woman

What Goes Down, Must Come Up

Tears of A Sea Cow

Now Museum, Now You Don’t

The Lepidopterists

Orb

The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together: Part 1

The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together: Part 2

 

 

]There are many new and old animated series alike that deserve the High Definition treatment, but Venture Bros. was a great choice to start with.  The series appearance on Blu-ray is both amazing in picture and sound presentation.  The picture is presented in a 1080p VC-1 encoded 1.78 X 1 Anamorphic Widescreen that demonstrates a very noticeable upgrade from the standard definition release on DVD.  The colors are bright and fluid with inky blacks that make each image ‘pop.’  Also with the series transfer to Blu-ray we can now see the highly detailed backgrounds in their full glory.  The animation stylings of the series do lead to a few small problems with the cell shaded characters now always looking well blended with their highly detailed backdrops and the fine line art is too noticeable at times.  With that said, those are only minor gripes and the series looks amazing on Blu-ray and is a clear, crisp upgrade from the Anamorphic Widescreen of the DVD.  The Blu-ray’s Dolby TrueHD sound presentation is equally impressive as the dialogue crisply takes over the center channels and the musical scores and ambient (action) noises envelop the rest of the surrounding speakers.  The full range of the surround is never used with the exception of a few huge action sequences, but the sound is great nevertheless.  The voice acting is great and the music (composed by J.G. Thirwell) impressively takes center stage this season to highlight the series undying and many talents.

 

The extras this season are amazing as ever as the creators demonstrate time and time again why the series is the way it is.  The extras start with 13 brilliantly tangential commentaries from Publick and Hammer as they discuss everything under the sun (many times not having anything directly to do with the series).  They discuss fan message boards, hair pieces, sugar cubes, MySpace, Tetris high scores, Star Wars references and so much more chaos that it is insanely interesting to hear.  Also included are twelve High Definition deleted scenes created with Storyboard art work and though they are rough at best, they are a nice compliment to they already radiant series.

 

The one “feature” that Blu-ray fans get to indulge in that is NOT on DVD is Volume One of J.G. Thirwell’s Venture Bros. soundtrack [Can be purchased separately].  The soundtrack (as all music on the show is) is amazing and fun to listen to.

 

Another notable feature on this set is the amazingly creative cover and internal art work on the box.  The DVD and Blu-Ray each appear as a mock-up Classic Atari box with the internal art featuring the Venture Bros. characters in “real-life” forms.  It is fascinating how much work has gone into these box sets’ art work; showing how truly important the series is to the creators.

 

Venture Bros. is above and beyond the best animated series on television today.  The series has only evolved into an amazingly serene blend of pop-culture, witty dialogue, and growing mythos with time with no slowdown in sight.  There have been internet rumors that the series will end with season 4 or season 5, but if the series stays as good as it has been there seems to be no reason to deprive the world of such brilliance.  The DVD is good to own if you have nothing else, but the Blu-ray looks and sounds amazing; just giving one more reason for every fan to upgrade.

 

 

-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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