Saturday 26 September 2009

DVD Reviews

Robot Chicken: Season Two
Revolver Entertainment
Available from 28th September
Review by Brad Harmer

I’m not sure what more there is to say about a show like Robot Chicken. It’s quite possibly the most Emotionally Fourteen television show ever created, featuring a mish-mash of comic book, sci-fi and eighties movie characters having wacky and crazy adventures all over the shop. This compilation features The Care Bears engaging in an act of genocide; Lindsay Lohan in Highlander; The Foo Fighters teaming up with Mr. T so that they really can go and “fight some foo’”; and Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig in what may be the best 8 Mile parody yet.

Like all good sketch shows, the pieces come thick and fast, so when there is a dud one, it’s over and gone in a flash – forgotten about, and on to the next one. What’s more, I honestly can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud at a show so much.

Written by actor/comic Seth Green and former Twisted Toyfare Theatre writer Matthew Senreich, Robot Chicken became the most popular show on Adult Swim, and is the single best source for geek guffaws this side of

I don’t know how, but Robot Chicken also manages to get a celebrity cast that would make The Simpsons flush with envy. Regular cast members are Zac Efron, Scarlett Johansson, Ashton Kutcher, Seth McFarlane, Vince Vaughn, Christian Slater and Snoop Dog. And both Corey Feldman and Corey Haim star in a sketch featuring themselves as superheroes.

Oh, yeah, and this disc features Bruce Campbell saying “I’m Bruce Campbell, and I’ve got morning wood.”. Buy it.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Lots. Including Lindsay Lohan engaging Hilary Duff in a sword fight to the death because “there can be only one” teen idol.
Sex/Nudity: Occasionally a robot bumbles into shot and has sex with something. I don’t know what it means, but that doesn’t stop me from laughing like a complete moron.
Swearing: A fuckton.
Summary: An excellent compilation of some hilarious sketches that deserves pride of place in the DVD collection of any of the Emotionally Fourteen. 10/10

Thanks to our friends at Revolver Entertainment, we've got two copies of this DVD to give away to you! For your chance of winning one, send us an e-mail to
with your name and postal address before midday on Wednesday 30th September (UK time). The first two names drawn out of the electronic hat will win a free copy of this action-packed DVD.

The ROBOT CHICKEN Season 1-3 box set and ROBOT CHICKEN Season 2 are both out on DVD on Monday September 28.

You can order Season 2
here, or buy the Season 1-3 box set here.

Visit the Robot Chicken website at

I Love You, Man
John Hamburg
DreamWorks Live Action

Review by Blake Harmer

I admit that when I first heard about this film I wasn’t holding out much hope for it to be any good. The plot is pretty typical for a romantic comedy and it follows the same predictable story pattern that you will have come to expect, as well as the same twist ending we’ve seen in a hundred films like this. However, despite my initial assumption that this was going to be a large pile of bum, I was pleasantly surprised that this was enjoyable.

The plot revolves around Peter Klaven, a Real Estate Salesman who has just got engaged to Zooey. However, the problem is that Peter is such a ladies man and always concentrated on girlfriends that he never really made any male friends. So, without really knowing anyone to make his best man, Peter sets out on a quest to make new friends. However, it is only after some bad choices, Peter gives up and then meets and befriends Sydney, who he meets at a Real Estate Open day where he’s trying to sell Lou Ferrigno’s (TV’s The Incredible Hulk to anyone that doesn’t know) house. But will Peter’s new friendship with Sydney cause problems with Zooey, or will Sydney become Peter’s best man and they live happily ever after?

As you can tell, this comedy’s plot is so clichéd it’s unbelievable, even down to the typical cult celebrity cameo. However, the film does turn out to be really good. The comedy comes thick and fast with some excellent cringy moments. The acting is good and there are some good quotable one-liners in the film. To be honest though, the best part of the film has to be the appearance of Rush. And any cameo that shows the two leads becoming friendlier whilst jamming together and playing Tom Sawyer is a bonus point in my book.

There are downsides to this film though, and it’s not just the films unoriginality. I did feel that some elements of the plot were too long drawn out whilst others were resolved too quickly. However, see past these points and assume it is just part of the romantic comedy formula and what you have here is a thoroughly enjoyable film.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Only one slightly comical act of violence when Sydney tries to fight Lou Ferrigno. I’ll let you guess how it ends.
Sex/Nudity: None.
Swearing: Fair amount of swearing and sexual references, but used in a comical fashion rather than just lots of swearing for the sake of it.
Summary: This is a fun romantic comedy and you could watch much worse films than this. Fans of the genre will enjoy it. This is probably a 7 out of 10 film...but then again, this film does have Rush in it. 8/10

Deathnote: Complete Series Box Set
Tetsuro Araki, Shusuke Kaneko
Manga Entertainment

Available from 28th September
Review by Blake Harmer

I am happy to report that this is probably one of the best Anime TV series I have ever seen, rivalling other greats such as Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex with its ingenious storytelling and characters without being as complex with as high a budget behind it.

Firstly the premise is original and creates an excellent supernatural crime thriller setting. Light Yagami is the son of the chief of police and is studying law. He is a top student with great prospects, but is bored out of his mind until one day he stumbles across a notebook called the "Death Note". The “Death Note” came from the realm of the Shinigami (or Gods of Death in English), and has the power to kill people in any way he desires by writing their name in it and how he wants them to die. With the Death Note in hand, and under the watchful eye of Ryuk, the Shinigami who dropped the “Death Note” in the Human world and who can only be seen by people who have touched the Deathnote, Light decides to create his perfect world, without crime or criminals. However, Once criminals start mysteriously dropping dead one by one, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer, and a battle of wits, deception and logic ensues...

As you can see, the plot adds a nice twist to most crime stories, especially in the way that the Death Note has a certain control over people's actions leading up to their death, so as long as Light stays one step ahead of L, he is able to avoid getting caught, and the series ends up being an incredibly tense game of cat and mouse, where you are waiting for one of them to make the first and fatal mistake.

If I could mention any problems with the series is that the animation isn’t as great as other series such as Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex or Appleseed: Ex Machina, but then again this is a series where the main emphasis is telling a hugely engaging story rather than looking overly pretty. The animation isn’t bad, it’s just average in comparison to other higher budget anime series.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Not heavily violent, but some of the death scenes are quite gory, but made to look realistic, rather than over the top. Most of the emphasis is in the clever way Light has arranged the death to occur rather than the death itself.
Sex/Nudity: None to my recollection, which is quite surprising for some anime.
Swearing: A fair amount.
Summary: An excellent anime series that is essential to anime lovers and fans of supernatural fiction in every way. It is deviously clever and entertaining from start to finish, and although it is retailed at £60, it is for 37 episodes, and a collector's art book, not to mention the fact that it is significantly cheaper than buying the individual DVD volumes. Buy it now! 10/10

1 comment:

  1. 'this comedy’s plot is so clichéd it’s unbelievable'

    -- No offence, Blake, but what the Hell are you talking about? Have I missed a fuckton of films where the plot was that a guy who doesn't have any male friends starts going out on 'man-dates' in order to find a best man in time for his wedding or does this film actually have a pretty original premise and you've got your head up your bum? I mean, O.K., if you ignore the premise and focus on the narrative structure, it has a lot in common with other movies (and not just romantic comedies) but criticising that is like criticising a movie's plot because it can be broken down into three acts...

    Now I feel like I've been too harsh on you. How can I compensate? Er, would you like a backrub?