Showing posts with label Comedy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Comedy. Show all posts

Wednesday... Reviewed!

Shout out to Warner Bros Discovery for providing a copy of this show to review. My opinions are my own.

Right out of the gate, this show gained my interest thinking it was going to place Wednesday and Pugsley in a high school setting that challenged them to navigate through token school life, but then things shifted after something entertaining occurred. Does it hold up from this point? Let's find out.

Story: So that... thing that Wednesday pulled off at school to avenge Pugsley got her the boot, but not the students who kicked it all off (you know how that usually goes)... but her move to a new school took her from the ordinary to the abnormal via Nevermore Academy.

Wednesday goes into this season with smoke for her parents. It mainly seems like it's aimed at her mom (Morticia), but... her dad is getting that work as well. She seems to be a rebel with... causes she feels is noble. She doesn't believe in being a housewife, which I was like... is this going to be one of those show that revolves around that type of narrative with an Addams Family theme wrapped around it. It definitely remains tucked in the show... but it isn't oversaturated to the point that it commandeers the show. Thank goodness. A message is one thing, using it as a crutch instead of showcasing originality is something else... and Tim Burton didn't allow his name to be fuel for a dumpster fire.

But yeah... Wednesday doesn't just have a problem with that type of notion, she also doesn't believe in social media, she doesn't believe in cell phones... and just seems to be anti-anything that she feels would annoy her (which isn't far off from Wednesday). It's carried as a badge of honor by Wednesday to represent that she doesn't allow others to define her.

I would've loved to see how things played out at the traditional school, but the deeper I got into the various chapters... the show got even better. I don't really see the comedy aspect (unless it's dry dark comedy... until the family graces the screen), but the mystery... yes! I'd even call it a thriller to an extent as Wednesday tries to find the truth about a book that dates back centuries... and appears to be tied to the Addams family and their history in Jericho. The past doesn't just tie in Wednesday's ancestor, but also her dad... (Gomez) who had the local sheriff convinced that he was a killer.

So you have that aspect placing them opposite sides, plus the drama that takes place at the academy and Jericho in general. It almost feels like a cross up between The Outsider + Star Girl + Bones... featuring Thing. I was actually trying to see if Thing was doing sign language, which in part he was... and fun fact, it's a form of ASL that I use (called Signed English). Signed English is finger spelling with one hand but at a fast past that allows you to hold a conversation (with deaf individuals and the hearing impaired).

Overall, this is a really good show, despite the pace picking up closer to the finale. With over 6 billion minutes poured into the show in its first five days, it's safe to say that others feel similar outside of curious viewers (who watch the trending suggestions).

Fun fact: This is Netflix's most popular English TV series of all time. That's the power of flexing your creativity in a way that viewers appreciate.

Visuals: Visually speaking, you get a lot of dark vivid scenes in this film. They're broken up with the sunny days around town, but certain areas still deliver that darkness despite the sun shining. This show captures plenty of mid shots, closeups, with low angles and high angles tucked in (i.e. the balcony scene involving Gomez, Principal Larissa, and others). One of my favorite shots was Wednesday and a classmate climbing into the spiraled cave. I won't say anymore about that, but it was a nice angle.

Audio: Wednesday is served up in DTS-HD Master Audio, as well as Dolby Digital 5.1. 
I listened with both surround sound speakers and... 1More S50s. The quality audio makes this series even better, and it's easy to point out the sounds when the action kicks up... but subtle sounds like Lurch walking across the floor or Thing breaking someone out of a cop car sounds great too. Proper placement and quality sounds go such a long way and I appreciated what was done here. I watched the finally a few times just to hear it over again, especially when all hell broke lose and things got a little... electrifying (that sounded sweet on the headphones).

Price: Price: Pricewise you can get... Wednesday on DVD for $24.98 & $29.98 on Blu-Ray. Is it worth it? Yes, you get multiple elements that give you the feel of a thrill ride to a degree, plus the mystery aspect, plus the love interest(s) that some viewers crave even if Wednesday doesn't exactly know how to show it in a way we deem normal, but... she's an Addams (what can ya can about it, huh?). You get over 480 minutes in the 2-disc Blu-ray that serve up 8 well-rounded episodes that feel like a long movie. These episodes move you closer to the finale with ease... because they're easy to binge watch thanks to the cliffhangers. The ending also leaves the door open for another season. Personally, I would've celebrated the success of the first season with a special edition disc that included a Thing keychain.

Story 5

Visuals 5

Audio 5

Price 5

5 out of 5 Cool Points

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Smiling Friends: The Complete First Season... Reviewed!

Before I jump in, I'd like to give a shout-out to Warner Bros for supplying a copy of this show for review. My opinions are my own.

I can't lie, this is one... weird show, but it has a certain charm that I'll explain in this review. Regardless of the charm, is it worth the buy? Let's jump in and find out!

Story: Like many of you, I'm an avid fan of animated comedy shows and I think that if you're looking for a left-field show, the Smiling Friends... delivers. The show's title represents just that, a group of employees working for the Happy Smile Corporation that sends them out on assignments to deliver... smiles. (Tada!)

You will find that Charlie & Pim are primarily going out on these... deliveries (hehehe) I know some of you may be wondering how a show like that could actually hook someone, but... you'd be surprised because you're taking on various challenges to get someone to smile. It's not just going to someone's home to deliver a good joke, the adventures vary. Episodes 1, 6, and 8... showcase the variety perfectly. 

Episode 1 is an attempt to get a suicidal man to reconsider living (yeah... this show is sooooo not for kids). Episode 6 takes Charlie and Pim and a medieval adventure, and Episode 8 takes Charlie to... h-e double hockey sticks.

Regardless of the varying adventures, one thing that keeps all the episodes cohesive is the situational comedy they extract from these scenarios. They apply realistic reactions to an animated world and dial up the crazy with twists that you might not expect. By the way, episode 9 is freaking gold, and if you've traveled with a group of friends... you may find yourself watching this one the most and encouraging others to check it out.

The personalities and mannerisms of the characters are on full display in episode 9 and I honestly feel like that type of episode should close out each season of this show. Doesn't have to be the exact same episode, but full-on quirks showing nuances and all that good stuff that showcases life off the clock. It doesn't exactly have a progression from what I saw, but I'm fine with it... at least for now. Good stuff.

Visuals: The visuals of this show dial up the... weird. I don't mind, but it's not as appealing as having a fully cohesive art style that stands out. The Champloo of animations is what this show stands on in the looks department, so maybe they're hoping that it will be strong enough to build an audience of fans long enough to fall in love with the storyline. Which is a safe bet for fans of Adult Swim.

One thing I do appreciate about the animation is the fact that they could have gone full 3D animation, but they went with hand-drawn animations for the most part.

Audio: To be honest, I didn't notice anything memorable about the sound effects. Not to say they were bad, but I experienced some suspense during episodes like episode 4... in terms of the sound effects but my focus was on the comedy. The audio is delivered in DTS-HD Master Audio & Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.

Price + Extras: Smiling Friends season 1 comes in at $24.99 on Blu-ray & $19.99 on DVD. Not bad, but... I'd probably go with the DVD and save the $5 on this one.

I think the Smiling Friends Brazil art would've been a fantastic poster to package along with this season and the trend could've continued with each season based on that final episode or something.

The extras include:

  • Episode 9 - The Smiling Friends Go To Brazil
  • Episodic Commentary

Story 5

Visuals 3

Audio 5

Price 5

4.5 out of 5 Cool Points

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The Venture Bros.: Radiant is the Blood of the Baboon Heart... Reviewed!

Before I jump in, I'd like to thank WB for supplying us with a copy of 
this movie for review. My opinions are my own.

The film starts off with Brock and his OSI (Office of Secret Intelligence) squad searching for Hank who was last pinged in Queens, NY. Despite the serious intro, it wasn't long before humor was inserted. Next thing you know... bang (action) an explosion occurred down the street that Brock and his OSI squad ran to investigate... that left Dean concerned about Hank as the attention shifted. This was before the intro, but it served up two of the many scenarios you will experience in this film. 

Does 'The Venture Bros.: Radiant is the Blood of the Baboon Heart', deliver enough oomph to hold my interest from beginning to end? Let's find out!

Story: This all-new original film is clean and serves up a solid storyline with multiple moving parts. One of the cogs in this film is the situation between Dr. Venture & the Monarch. The Guild of Calamitous Intent is giving the Monarch a cold shoulder because they're questioning his relationship with Dr. Venture. They want to make sure they aren't close, which makes me think back on the show and something that occurred. Let's just say the Monarch's wife (Sheila) had to get DNA from Dr. Venture for verification of sorts. That's a smaller cog, but it still matters because they're bumping heads based on her being a... councilwoman for the Guild. It's a busy film, so you will have to pay attention, but... the machine that makes up 'The Venture Bros: Radiant is the Blood of the Baboon Heart' has multiple cogs that will keep you interested from beginning to end.

Another cog includes Arch, a competing organization for baddies... being led by someone close to... (Malcolm) the Monarch & Dr. Venture. There is another cog related to this cog too, that represents the Monarch, and it's connected to the Guild & Arch. Speaking of Arch, the leader's outfit gives me G-Force vibes to a certain degree (I like it).

Hank & Dean have a few shared cogs as well, but I'll let you experience those yourself. Going back to Dean being concerned about Hank, Dr. Venture isn't concerned because it's typical for him to run off. The Doc is more concerned with his product line that's about to launch in order to pull his company back from the brink of going belly up. The writers found a way to connect Dr. Venture's cog to Arch also and the results are... out of this world!

There wasn't a part of this film that I had an issue with, and I enjoyed each side story (I'm telling you, there was a crap load of cogs in this machine). I think one of my faves is Dean's and his side story with Jefferson & Dr. Orpheus (man)... badass... badass... badass (shout out to Wesley Snipes and to the writers). Hank's adventure was solid too, which was a very smart approach based on what occurred to him.

Fun fact: Wesley Snipes is on my list of favorite actors.

You will see Hank in more ways than one... just remember that he's on a journey to find himself, but even someone on his path is a huge cog in more ways than one. This doesn't even serve up everything that occurred and what was said regarding one-liners + the finale... with a twist wrapped up in true Venture Bros. style. You will figure out the title of the film once it's said and done... and it doesn't x future movies off the list, so they should keep em coming (why not?)!

By the way, watch past the credits.

Visuals: Visuals are solid and look polished. I didn't look at this and get the feeling that I was watching a 'Made for TV' movie. They did a great job, see for yourself:

Audio: When it comes to the audio in this film, it gets two thumbs up. It's served up via DTS-HD Master Audio in 5.1 surround sound, which you hear right off the bat with Hi-Res headphones and surround sound systems. Do you know how some films and movies require you to really listen out for spatial audio? That's not the case here and it makes it even more lively (even the car scene with Mr & Mrs Monarch made me feel like was in the vehicle with them... especially while wearing the headphones). I used 1More SonoFlow headphones with DTS Surround enabled, as well as Logitech 5.1 Surround Sound. Both are solid options for this film (I've watched it several times).

Price + Extras: Pricewise... The Venture Bros.: Radiant is the Blood of the Baboon Heart comes in at $19.99 SRP for Digital and $29.98 SRP for Blu-Ray + Digital (which is the better option). We always try to get you the lowest price possible, so click the links and save. I don't have a problem with the Blu-Ray+Digital price, but I'd suggest taking $5 off the digital (luckily you can save even more for either at the links).

Special Features:

Commentary by co-creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer

Jackson and Doc Answer Fan Questions (Commentary)

Hodgman and Friends (Featurette) - John Hodgman digs deep with Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer to learn more about the making of Radiant is the Blood of the Baboon Heart and untold tales about their series. Fans will eat this up.

By the way, you see the poster, right? That's included, but... back when I did the review of The Venture Bros.: The Complete Series, I complained that there should have been something like a poster added as a plus to sweeten the pot. I presented it to the team (shout out to Jamie for sharing my thoughts), and it might be a coincidence... but a poster's included with this. Either way, it's a win for the fans!

The Digital version drops today & you can grab it on Blu-Ray... July 25th!

Story 5

Visuals 5

Audio 5

Price 5 (this is based on the Blu-Ray+ Digital we received)

5 out of 5 Cool Points (Easy 5)

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