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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Ben 10: Alien Force, Vol. 4
Ben 10: Alien Force, Vol. 4
Warner Bros. // G // September 1, 2009
List Price: $14.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Danny Cox | posted March 22, 2010 | E-mail the Author
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The Series

Cartoons seem to have gotten overly complicated in the past decade as there just appears to be far too much going on. Things were simple when we were kids in the eighties and our Saturday mornings were filled easy to follow patterns that rarely ever strayed from their course. Remember He-Man? Big pansy guy that had rich parents and could secretly turn into an identical dude, but in different clothes, and battle bad guys to save his planet. What about Captain N? Video game playing kid gets sucked into the Nintendo world, teams up with a few familiar good guys, and then battles it out with the bad guys. Not to mention the fact that he used the Nintendo Zapper as an actual gun which we have all pretended to do at one point or another. Today's cartoons just seem far too complicated at times and that holds rather true for animated series like Ben 10.

To be perfectly honest with you, I had never seen a single episode of this series before but thought a chance could be taken to check it out. I'm always hoping to find a cartoon or two that might be able to hold a candle to the days of old and entertain me. Having to do a little bit of a background check though on Ben 10 to understand what would be appearing on my television was totally necessary. It appears as if Ben is a simple young kid that just happened to stumble upon an alien crash site while on vacation with some of his family out in the woods. As he investigates the site, he gets something called an Omnitrix that attaches itself to his wrist and appears to be permanently stuck there. A little fiddling around with the device shows that he can use it to transform into one of ten alien life forms with the touch of a simple button. His cousin Gwen and his grandfather Max help him figure out how to use this new power for good and so that Ben also doesn't end up killing himself. Things have gotten a bit hairier for our hero though since he originally found the Omnitrix as the lives of his cousin and grandfather are in even more danger as he fights throughout the universe.

The episodes included in this volume of the animated series are the first five from the second season and they're honestly not too bad. After sitting down and finally figuring out what the series is all about; it's a surprisingly decent cartoon that isn't nearly as complicated as just reading about it. Trying to do my research and understand the series before watching it was my fatal mistake because that made me see things as a bit overwhelming and just too convoluted. Truth be told, Ben 10 is easy to follow and quite entertaining for not only kids but adults as well. Once you realize that the aliens are simply split up into "good" or "bad" with Ben being able to lead himself into battle by transforming, then you've got it all locked up tight. Each story is quite fun and makes for a bit of a nostalgic feel as if I'm watching cartoons twenty years ago.



Episodes

~ Darkstar Rising: The team gets tricked into getting themselves arrested when seeing some suspicious activity, but has much bigger troubles to deal with after an evil new villain named Darkstar arises.

~ Alone Together: Ben is accidentally zapped to a desert planet with a Highbreed commander. Instead of fighting as they normally do; they must work together if they're to ever get back where they belong.

~ Good Copy, Bad Copy: Ben is forced to deal with a doppelganger of sorts as an evil alien impersonates him in hopes of getting his hands on the Omnitrix. If he does, he will get rid of Ben once and for all so that it can be his forever.

~ Save The Last Dance: Ben is losing all control over the Omnitrix and can't stop transforming into the alien known as Big Chill. Kevin and Gwen are ready to go to the school dance but must put off their plans in order to help Ben before it is too late.

~ Undercover: Cooper is kidnapped and the DNAliens that captured him wants him to build a strange and mysterious archway.

I'd appreciate a little help though if fans of the series could offer it up. My research has found out that there is a series called Ben 10 and one called Ben 10: Alien Force, which is what this review deals with. What did it change?

The DVD

Video

These five episodes of Ben 10: Alien Force are presented in 1.33:1 Full Frame format and look as if they were transferred exactly from the Cartoon Network to DVD. I found no real problems with the transfer at all though as the picture is sharp and colors look great all around.

Sound

Sound for the volume comes through in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound and it also is more than adequate for the material at hand. All dialogue can be heard just fine without any of the music of sound effects ever becoming overbearing. Subtitles in English are available for the hard of hearing, but nothing for those that speak other languages.

Extras Extras

Ben 10: Alien Swarm Characters Sneak Peek - A quick look at each of the four main characters that will appear in the live-action version of the series. (1:36)

All Said And Done

Ben 10: Alien Force is a good cartoon, but it certainly will not be for everyone. Those that have no interest in aliens or constant battles may want to give it a look-through first before going out and actually purchasing it. A rental will also let you know if it's worth shelling out $10-12 for each volume when in time you know they'll release a full season set for probably only a couple bucks more and include everything. While it's a fun series that has honestly caught my attention; I'd recommend everyone take a little precaution before buying if you've never checked it out before. Rent It.

Danny lives in New Orleans with his dog and writes plenty in way of movies, sports, NCIS, Crime TV, and life over at Examiner, IP Movies, and Associated Content. If you're looking to keep up with all he does though, there's always Twitter or Facebook.
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