Venture Bros – Season 3 (Warner Blu-ray + DVD)
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
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.
thirteen episodes that composed the third season are as follows:
Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of
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 Family That Slays Together,
Stays Together: Part 1
The Family That Slays Together,
Stays Together: Part 2
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
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.
“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.
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