Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My review of the Robot Chicken Star Wars Special DVD part 2

In my previous blog I told of how I came about the DVD, now on to the review...

I am not going to actually review the special itself (which isn't all that "special"-- don't get me wrong, the sketches are great as always, but it's nothing more than a half-hour version of the regular show, just focused on 'Star Wars' parodies... of which about a quarter of the running time is previously aired sketches). I see little point in reviewing the show because A) it has aired 317,000 times already, so most anyone reading this (if anyone reads it) will have already seen it if they were at all interested, and B) people have been blogging about this thing for months and months already-- I can't possibly add anything new or interesting... So, I am going to review the DVD itself.
First off, the sound sucks-- the dialogue is low so you have to turn it up, but the sound effects and music are loud as hell so you have to turn it down... I got tired of the up/down, up/down and finally just watched it with the subtitles on.
If you buy the DVD, you will pay about 15 bucks for 23 minutes... not worth it you say? Ah, but the commercials drilled into our heads that there are over two hours of special features and bonus material. Now if you are like me, you LOVE special features... sometimes I buy DVD's just because of the bonus material. If you don't care about such things, and aren't a completist, stick to watching it on TV-- you'll have plenty of chances...
The special features aren't all that special either unfortunately-- the sound quality on most is awful (they didn't wear microphones and recording audio on a camcorder is never good). They consist of:
"Chicken Nuggets" which is Seth Greene and the other creator (don't know his name, don't really care-- he's dull) doing sketch by sketch commentary... but because of the rapid pace of the sketches and the fact that some are less than a minute long, they do a video commentary where the action stops and you see the two of them telling you about the making of the show and such, which is great (if not all that informative), BUT it isn't automatic-- you have to click on an icon every time for this function, which is a drag (wow, what a sentence).
There is also an animation meeting where Seth Greene acts out the potential stories interspersed with cuts from the special itself-- pointless and boring unless you just love to see Seth Greene do stuff... This lasts about 6 1/2 minutes, but I didn't make it halfway through.
There are on-air bumps (actually some were not aired) promoting the special-- Adult Swim devoted an entire night to the special and between shows Seth Greene and company were "hosting"... don't waste your time unless you just want to see guys who are acting like drunken frat boys who don't know they are on camera.
There are trailers for the show, which is fine, but again, they have been shown to death on Adult Swim...
There is a semi-interesting behind the scenes special that last about 7 minutes, but it really isn't all that informative-- it focuses more on how they got Lucas to agree to let them do it in the first place.
Deleted scenes... what a joke-- they are merely (poorly drawn) storyboards with dialogue and sound effects laid over them).
Alternate audio-- five scenes where they show you a still from a sketch and you hear the voice actor improvising... I didn't make it through the second one.
There is a cool 19 minute featurette on the production design of the show... It shows them making the sets and models while Seth and the production designer provide audio commentary.
Also, they have a 3 minute "time lapse" feature where you see the animators doing the stop-motion animation... this is really interesting for about 30 seconds.
Photo gallery-- these are always dull but they spiced these up by adding (non funny) captions and playing annoying music... don't bother.
And what should have been the coolest feature was too dang short to be worth a darn-- they have panel discussions where Seth and company do Q&A sessions about the special... even though they show clips from different panels, this only runs about 6 minutes and barely covers anything. There had to be a ton more footage.
Add to this the menus on the DVD-- loud and annoying music plays the whole time...
Like I said, unless you've just got to have the DVD for your collection, watch the TV version instead... it has all that is worth watching anyway.
Well, I need to run... the 'Robot Chicken Star Wars Special' just went off 5 minutes ago and will be coming on again in 5 minutes-- let's go watch it.

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