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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Vol 4
Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Vol 4
Warner Bros. // Unrated // December 6, 2005
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ian Jane | posted November 26, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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P R I N T
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The Movie:

A milkshake named Master Shake, a box of French fries named Frylock, and a wad of meat named Meatwad live in New Jersey, next door to Carl, their grumpy human neighbor. Together, they are Aqua Teen Hunger Force, though honestly why they're actually called this isn't really important as they don't spend much time underwater nor do they actually fight hunger. Whether or not they're teens or not is debatable. At any rate, they've been entertaining those of us with cable on The Cartoon Network's Adult Swim program for a couple of years now and gone on to gather a sizable cult following. What we have now is the fourth compilation of episodes from The Cartoon Network/Warner Brothers, in the form of Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume Four, compiling thirteen brilliant episodes of the show over two DVDs.

None of it really makes any sense at all, but all of it is damn funny anyway even if it's really difficult to explain to anyone who hasn't seen it just exactly why that is…

Disc One:

Video Ouija: When Meatwad becomes obsessed with his interactive Ouija Board video game, Master Shake decides to kill himself so that he can go into the game and mess with Meatwad. His plan backfires when he gets stuck in the after life with a screaming baby and Frylock has to bring in a witch doctor to bring Shake back to the land of the living.

Unremarkable Voyage: Frylock creates a shrinking/enlarging ray that Shake and Carl want to use to enlarge their 'Johnsons.' Eventually Shake hijacks it forces Meatwad and Carl to battle, American Gladiator style. Meatwad eats a microchip, thinking it's food, and Frylock has to try and get it out of him. Shake vomits a lot.

Mooninites 3: Remooned: The Mooninites swipe Uncle Cliff's moon-disability check and head to Earth to try and cash it so that they can go on a spending spree. They try and get Shake to cash it, then Meatwad who uses Carl's ID, but no one will touch it. Meanwhile, Shake is trying to get Meatwad to break a new record for how long he can stay inside a microwave while it's turned on, without realizing that Frylock has reversed the direction in which the rays emit.

Gee Whiz: A billboard for the local guns and ammo store makes the news when some of the locals see the face of Jesus in the butt of the gun. Frylock explains that they shouldn't refer to him as Jesus, but as something less offensive, like Gee Whiz. Shake's world is rocked when Gee Whiz turns out to be, in fact, Ted Nugent – but Carl is stoked.

eDork: When Shake buys himself a new eHelmet so that he can text message people, he thinks he's the coolest kid on the block and gets Carl in on the game. Soon though, all the accessories that he needs to keep things moving start to drag him down and Carl becomes obsessed with internet farm porn.

Little Brittle: Little Brittle is the latest rapper to catch Meatwad's attention. Frylock is convinced that it is once again MC Pee Pants, returned from Hell to enact some sort of money making scheme but Meatwad thinks that this time it's different until he and Frylock go to visit the geriatric rapper in the old folk's home.

Robositter: Sarah Silver guest voices as the Robositter, a creation of Frylock's that he hopes will aid he and Shake in watching after Meatwad while they go out and get jobs to buy food. When the Robositter takes on the qualities of a real teenage girl, however, things get ugly.

Disc Two:

Mooninites 4: The Final Mooning: The Mooninites show up one more time to scam Earthlings into buying their cheaply made Moon Master merchandise by conning them into believing that they've won a challenging video game that proves they are true warriors. Shake, Carl, and Meatwad all fall for it, and Frylock has to try and get rid of them.

The South Bronx Parasite Diet: Carl and Meatwad get into a competition to see who can lose more weight first. Carl takes on a huge lead when he subscribes to the South Bronx Paradise Diet, that is in fact the South Bronx Parasite diet.

Dusty Gozongas: A local stripper (voiced by someone who sounds suspiciously like Scott Thompson of The Kids In The Hall) named Dusty shows up to fix the gas main and throws Shake and Carl into a tizzy. Shake puts a plan into motion that he hopes will get him laid, but Carl's on the scene first with his own ideas.

T-Shirt Of The Dead: While at the museum of history, Shake steals a t-shirt that holds the power to let he who wears it think or do anything that he wants. He washes it, as it 'smells like ass' but it shrinks and the only one who can fit into it is Meatwad, who demonstrates some strange abilities and even stranger desires.

Hypno-Germ: When Shake picks up some strange germs off of a toilet seat at a rest stop off of the highway, he starts to hallucinate and see strange things coming out of the walls in the house. Frylock injects shake with some Mexican jumping beans who battle it out with the Hypno-Germs by way of some terrible off-Broadway play acting.

Spacegate World: The ATHF guys head off on vacation and Meatwad leaves Carl in charge of his dolls while they're gone. While they're gone, Carl starts to bond with the dolls as he goes about his day-to-day business of calling up girls he knew while he was in high school and watching aerobics on television. When he heads over to the ATHF house, he discovers a strange spacegate in their basement, and can't resist seeing what lays beyond it…

The DVD

Video:

Well, seeing as it's a cartoon originally intended for television broadcast it makes perfect sense that this DVD is presented 1.33:1. Colors look nice and while the animation on the show is rather basic, there's a fairly high level of detail. There are a few edge enhancement issues in a couple of the episodes as seems to be common with animation on DVD, but aside from that, the episodes all look pretty nice and there aren't any compression artifacts and the image is nice and clean from start to finish.

Sound:

For the DVD release, The Cartoon Network has given Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume Four a pretty solid Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix. Rears are used mainly to fill in the soundscape a bit and add some depth to the proceedings. Dialogue is more or less constrained to the center channel while the left and right speakers are mainly used for effects, music, and background noise. Not much to complain about on this mix. The subwoofer hits at just the right points and dialogue is always easy to follow and balanced well against the effects and music tracks. It isn't going to be your new demo disc for your home theater system but it sounds just as good as it needs to sound, maybe even a little bit better. Optional subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

Extras:

Here's what else you'll find tucked away in the strange menu screens of this fantastic two disc set…

First up is a section called Funny Pete Stuff, which is a fantastic collection of thirteen promo spots for the series. The first two spots feature the Mooninites rapping over clips from the show, this one is followed by a public service announcement style spot from Carl. After that we get three different variations on the live action Master Shake commercial, followed by two different variations on a gyrating go-go dancer commercial, one of which features an old man rapping the ATHF theme. From there we head into four spots that feature the writers of the show sitting at a table brainstorming while the same go-go dancer gyrates in the corner. After that we return to the old man rapping, this time with two girls at his side, and we finish things off with a commercial where the three members of ATHF sing a calypso song as Meatwad bursts into flames.

San Diego Must Be Destroyed 2004 is a three minute promo spot done up for the San Diego Comic Convention in which Master Shake raps about Adult Swim programming only to be interrupted by the Mooninites who show up to rock their own special brand of heavy metal and promote their own Spacecataz. Speaking of which…

The Spacecataz feature is all of the intros from the thirteen episodes in this set packaged all together with a proper ending added on. If you want to know how it all ends between the Mooninites and their newest foes, check this out. You won't be sorry as the results are pretty funny.

Raydon is a strange little short film about a man and his home improvement woes and how things take a turn for the bizarre when he hires a strange man to take care of the problem for him who turns out to be some sort of superhero. At eleven minutes in length it never overstays its welcome, and it proves to be pretty amusing in its own strange way.

F-Art is a twelve minutes slideshow of fan art set to music inspired by the series. There are a ton of cool and not so cool images in here and it makes for an entertaining time killer. It's also worth checking this out just to hear that music that's contained in this segment.

The Faces In Front Of The Throats That Make The Voices That Speak Into The Microphone is, as you might guess, a little behind the scenes documentary that shows the voice actors in action as they prepare to deliver and then record their lines for the show. It's pretty interesting and a little odd to hear the voices coming out of their mouths when they're so instantly identifiable with their animated counter parts, which makes this one kind of neat to check out.

Send Us Money For This is essentially just a quick two minute clip of the supposedly upcoming ATHF movie – it contains one really brief clip but is comprised mainly of text screens.

If that weren't enough, almost each and every one of the episodes in this set comes with a an optional commentary track from the creators of the show (Mooninites 3: Remooned, Robositter, The South Bronx Parasite Diet, and T-Shirt Of The Dead are sadly commentary free, but hey, nine out of thirteen isn't bad, right?). As you would probably expect after watching the episodes in the set, these commentary tracks are pretty loose and pretty funny but in addition the humor you'll find in here, there are also some interesting insights into the making of the show. Everyone involved in the series seems to get along really well and have a good time with their work and their oddly contagious enthusiasm adds something to these discussions. There's a lot of background noise going on during some of the recording sessions which is kind of distracting but the material makes up for it, even when it drifts completely off topic and starts covering how much fan mail characters on Space Ghost would receive.

The whole package is wrapped up nicely in some odd animated menus set to some cool music, and each disc contains a Play All feature that executes that command very literally (saying anymore would ruin the joke). All of the extras, save for the appropriate commentaries, are on the second disc in the set (which explains why it has less episodes on it than disc one).

Final Thoughts:

One of the funniest and just plain 'out there' shows on television continues to receive excellent treatment on DVD courtesy of Adult Swim/Warner Brothers. The commentaries add to the fun and some of the other supplements are a nice touch as well but the real reason to pick this set up is for the sheer wealth of comedy gold contained in the episodes that comprise Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume Four. If you couldn't already tell by this point, the set comes highly recommended!

Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.

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