"Red Vs. Blue" is an internet series that is filmed using the "Halo" video games (and as the sequels of the original game have improved graphically, so has "Red Vs. Blue".) While the series has improved technically over the seasons (thanks to technical improvements in the sequels and the use of additional effects), the writing was outstanding from the outset and has improved further in the years since, as the series has added richer plots and surprisingly effective moments of drama.
Of course, there's also the occasional action sequence, although the humor of much of the series (especially the original run of 100 episodes) is that two separate groups supposed to be fighting each other rarely fight and when they do, they do so quite unsuccessfully. The voice acting is also top-notch, giving the characters personalities strong enough to more than overcome the fact that the characters lack expressions.
For those unfamiliar with the series, it consists of two main teams - Red and Blue. Red features "Patton"-ish Sarge, lazy Grif and Sarge's insecure "yes man", Simmons. The Blue team consists of irritable Church, lovably stupid Caboose and womanizer Tucker. Most of the action throughout the original series took place in the "Halo" multiplayer maps "Blood Gulch" (a long, boxed in canyon) and "Coagulation" (update of "Gulch"), although other maps throughout the series have also been used to create the world of the show.
The brilliance of the earlier series was that it managed to turn "Halo" into something along the lines of "Office Space" ... in space, as the characters stared the entire series asking, "Do you ever wonder why we're here?" The dialogue-heavy earlier seasons eventually gave way to more action and slick CGI-animated sequences in the middle of the in-game stories and humor. While the action is exceptionally well-choreographed and the stories remain well-told, I still haven't quite gotten used to "Red Vs Blue" - something that used to be so simple - having blaring song tracks behind some scenes.
While the series remains entertaining, one can make the argument when comparing the primitive earlier seasons that "less may be more." Given the quality of the writing and how joke-dense the series (especially the earlier, less action-packed seasons), I'm surprised the creators of the series haven't been pushed to write a network comedy, as I'd love to see the Rooster Teeth crew provide their take on the traditional sitcom.
"The Best Red Vs Blue DVD Ever. Of All Time." allows fans to relive and newcomers to catch-up with the series via an award show format going over some of the best moments over the show's many years, with the awarded segments selected by the RVB community.
These include segments like "Best Quotes" and bring back some old favorite characters that haven't been seen for a while, such as the color-blind Sister ("What's the grey guy talking about?") and Gamma. Other categories include best villain, best Caboose moment, worst effects, best AI and best fight. The presentation speeches and some other minor material is new (and occasionally pretty funny), but the remainder of the show is a clip reel.
While the act of releasing a "best of" and calling it "Red Vs Blue: The Best DVD Ever. Of All Time" may seem like a colossal cash grab, fans shouldn't worry: at $4.99, it's only a relatively minor cash grab. Fans may enjoy having a lengthy highlight reel around to go through some of the show's best moments, but what the DVD works better as is as a cheap way to introduce someone else to the series.
Approx 149 minutes + extras.
VIDEO: "Red Vs. Blue" is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Presented using various "Halo" games and CGI, the series looks quite nice, with sharp details and a clean, smooth look. Colors appear bright and well-saturated, while no edge enhancement or other issues are seen.
SOUND: Clear, well-recorded stereo.
EXTRAS: No extras (aside from promos for other RT offerings), which is rather unusual for a Rooster Teeth DVD. While some deleted awards scenes or other cutting room floor material would have been nice, I suppose the price is still right for the DVD.
Final Thoughts: "The Best DVD Ever. Of All Time" certainly isn't the best "Red Vs. Blue" offering (although it does qualify as "The Cheapest Ever. Of All Time."), but it's a great introduction to the series for those who aren't familiar with this highly entertaining web series. At $4.99 it's cheap enough for fans who want to have it to skip through highlights, but it's best for those new to the show.