The monstrous man-baby creation of Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer marches on, this time with an epic so mind churning...SOOO earth shattering for a geek's fragile psyche..they had to split it into two parts. This season (in my opinion) saw the most visible evolution of several characters in the series from central characters to those that were once introduced for a single episode, now thrust into more prominent roles. Point of fact, this has to be the thickest season as far as the number of characters used and their importance to each episode. That alone is something to be applauded! For the uninitiated, here's a brief overview...
Boy adventurer Rusty Venture is now a grown, pill popping super-scientist living in the colossal shadow of his world changing deceased father, struggling to keep money in the bank and raise two kids while expending as little effort as possible. Think Johnny Quest pushed into their far later years, not quite as agile of mind and body as they used to be, peppered with allusions to popular comic book characters and story lines and riddled with Hanna Barbera characters perverted and left to their own devices for far too long. Oh and penis jokes. Characters include Mother Fucking Brock Samson (yes, you say the whole thing..because I said so), the kill crazy family body guard, Billy Quizboy, the diminutive lisping genius with the extra large cranium, Shore Leave, sassy male agent of Sphinx, Dr. Orpheus, the necromancer next door, Sgt, Hatred, the reformed pedophile body guard and....David Bowie. Unfortunately, not the REAL Bowie, but it may as well be.
This season left me rolling on the floor in hysterics on more than one occasion with story lines that questioned the side kick/ boy adventurer dynamic and the traumatic mental damage that lifestyle leaves behind, the pure fun of going along with a film noir story line even though the kid acting it out is a little loopy and more important than all of this, the answer to a burning question. The Rusty Venture: slightly perverse sex act or blatantly disgusting, 2 girls and a cup worthy sex act? ALL QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED!! The show even takes you into the homes of the villains as they concoct their insidious, often asinine plots. If you are a fan of super hero comics, classic action cartoons or really awesome, slightly offensive sex jokes, this is the show for you. The show even strikes an oddly touching chord now and again before making your drink of choice shoot out your nose involuntarily. It's just an excellently crafted production through and through. Be warned though...some of the content is not for the faint of heart. One episode sees the Tarantino-esque lifespan of the most coveted comic in the history of Marvel Comics..and its inevitable demise at the hands of the Venture family. Sure, this is only a cartoon...a mantra you'll have to keep repeating to yourself as you witness the horror. Our friend Lori was shown this episode and try as she might to keep things in perspective, the visions still haunt her to this day. Observe...
I brought up this virtual torment at a Q&A session and was told to apologize on their behalf but to remind her that it is a cartoon, and therefore, never really happened. They'd "never dick around with it on camera if they actually owned it". They also thank you for being one of the 8 people to get that joke.
The REAL news with this release is the stunning BLU-RAY transfer! Cartoons look brilliant on Blu-ray with clarity miles ahead of the original broadcast. It's amazing that we live in a time when you can get a movie or TV show on Blu-ray and have it look better than the first time you saw it. As icing on the cake (that is the feast for your eyes) is the option to view the episodes, uncut, with all the dirty words plugged back in. My buddy Pete suggested that the bleeping might make the show funnier but after 2 episodes, you can't deny the comedy behind The Monarch continually shouting the word FUCK!! Its not the word itself but the inflection the character puts on it that makes it that much more enjoyable. ..And on that note..a Monarch keychain voice box with him saying a series of curses and maybe "But he's in Depeche Mooooode!!" would rule. You'll also get commentary for each and every episode from Doc and Jackson, though this is less "everything you ever wanted to know about this episode" and more "bits about Venture brothers and life that popped into our ADD addled brains during taping" sort of sessions. Still, they are extremely enjoyable and will be treasured by any fan of the show. BUT WAIT! That's not all!! You also get deleted scenes, some of which are merely vocal tracks set to story boards but others are fully realized bits of animation clipped from shows. The bulk of these are little jokes they probably cut for time, but there is one extra that provides a sort of alternate ending for some of the nastier characters in the show!
Venture Brothers Season 4 on Blu-ray is a must buy for even the casual VB fan. Top notch quality, hours of extras and all the dirty words your juvenile braincells can handle make this the perfect purchase on March 22nd. If you are just getting into the show, Season 4 may leave you with a small mountain of questions that can only be answered by back-tracking, but I could see why the story line, as a complete and individual performance would be highly enjoyable regardless. The bottom line...get it! Meet me back here this Tuesday and we'll celebrate the release with some VB interview bits I've never run before.
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