CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.
Blu-Ray Review: ‘The Venture Bros.: 3rd Season’ Continues to Rock in HD
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0
CHICAGO – Adult Swim’s “The Venture Bros.” is the best show you’re not watching. As clever as “South Park,” “Family Guy,” or “The Simpsons,” “The Venture Bros.” is a hilarious dissection of the history of adventure animation like “Jonny Quest”. With a commentary on every episode, gorgeous video and audio, and twenty minutes of deleted scenes, “The Venture Bros: Season Three” is a must-buy for TV animation fans.
The title characters of “The Venture Bros.” are Hank and Dean Venture, the dopey kids surrounded by chaos of living life in the Venture family with their legendary father Dr. Thaddeus “Rusty” Venture and their infamous bodyguard Brock Samson.
The Venture Bros.: 3rd Season will be released on Blu-Ray on March 24th, 2009.
Photo credit: WB/Adult Swim
To this viewer, the kids seem loosely modeled on The Hardy Boys and other naive investigators of that literary era, but the show plays off decades of adventure books, shows, and movies with increasingly ridiculous yet hilarious storylines and super-villains like Monarch (who, of course, dresses like a butterfly), the deep-voiced-but-female Doctor Girlfriend, and numerous other members of “The Guild of Calamitous Intent”.
It may be the first season on Blu-Ray, but don’t start with the third season of “Venture Bros.” Start at the beginning with the great season one and the even-better season two.
Clearly, I adore “VB” but the third season is actually the weakest to date. Fans should still include it in their collection, especially in such a great release, and it’s still one of the better-written shows on television, but chapter three was a slight step down. (A fourth season reportedly starts this fall.)
The Blu-Ray release of “The Venture Bros: Season Three” is gorgeous. All thirteen uncensored episodes are displayed in widescreen HD with their original 2.4:1 aspect ratio and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. They look and sound amazing.
Aside from the great video and sound, what’s most remarkable about season three of “Venture Bros.” on Blu-Ray are the special features including a commentary by the creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer on every single episode. And they’re hilarious. The first track alone, with it’s unbelievably funny discussion of the Clint Eastwood stinker “The Eiger Sanction” and spoilers for the rest of the season (because you should be watching it all before you listen to a commentary), is worth the purchase price. It’s damn funny.
An informative-and-funny commentary on every HD episode is more than most TV fans get, but WB isn’t done with “The Venture Bros.,” throwing in nearly twenty minutes of deleted scenes (all of which are just in pencil drawing or sketch form but do include voice work) and an entire music CD of the score of the show.
If you’re just reading about “The Venture Bros.” for the first time in this review, DON’T buy this Blu-Ray. Go back and start with the first two seasons. If you’re already familiar with Brock, Rusty, Dean, and the gang and are wondering if the season three delivers what fans of the show deserve, you will not be disappointed.