New Video // 2003 // 529 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 1st, 2010
War is hell.
The Internet sensation gets a jumbo full series release, and the good news is it's not just for fanboys.
But if you're a Halo-lover, you'll be in heaven. Back in 2003, some fans decided to produce an online series using the in-game assets of Halo: Combat Evolved; their quirky little project quickly rocketed to viral success. Now, five seasons and 100 episodes later, the epic saga detailing the fight between the Red Team (heroes) and the Blue Team (hapless twits) over who gets to claim the worthless canyon of Blood Gulch lands on six discs.
This is funny stuff. It might take some time to get into and the scent of "Gee, this seems like it was made by massive video game nerds" lingers, but don't let the Spartan armor and grenade lobbing fool you: Red vs. Blue is legit.
I knew I was going to like this from the beginning, when we meet a pair of red soldiers standing on their base, one of them asking "Why are we here?" the other offering a reply steeped in existential philosophy, when the first soldier clarifies he was only asking why they were wasting time in a stupid canyon, defending a base nobody wants.
This simple gag opens up nearly nine hours of outer space shenanigans, involving ghostly possession, sentient battle tanks, talking grenades, mentally challenged aliens, unpredictable teleporters, surprise pregnancies, poorly driven Warthogs, sniper rifles, and copious use of the word "dumbass." Like I said, you can't escape the geek element.
While the comedy might be more sophomoric than your average New Yorker cartoon and the potty mouth dialogue our heroes and idiots employ is akin to what you'd hear, ironically, on Xbox Live, there's no denying the guys behind Rooster Teeth productions have moves. Nine hours is a lot of runtime and to the show's credit there always seem to be big laughs around each corner. Sure, it may be best suited for bite-sized digestion (as it was originally intended anyway), but fella those are some tasty bites.
What's more, this set is loaded. Each of the five seasons receives its own disc, transferred in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen (attractively, too; an achievement considering these were all sequences taken from an Xbox raw feed) and given 2.0 stereo mixes. And there are a ridiculous amount of extras. Season discs sport audio commentary, deleted scenes, special videos, outtakes, character profiles, and PSAs; while an additional disc opens it up even further with loads of behind-the-scenes footage, never-before-seen clips, interviews, promo spots, and the two Xbox LIVE miniseries "Out of Mind" and "Recovery One." I can not fathom how a fan of this franchise can walk away disappointed. Well...it didn't come in a Spartan helmet.
You don't have to be a gamer to appreciate the lunacy.
Not Guilty. Where's Donut?!
Review content copyright © 2010 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: New Video
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 529 Minutes
Release Year: 2003
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Episode Commentaries
* Deleted Scenes
* Bonus Videos
* XBox Miniseries
* Official Website