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Case Number 27546: Small Claims Court

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Black Dynamite: Season One (Blu-ray)

Warner Bros. // 2014 // 220 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // July 7th, 2014

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All Rise...

Judge Patrick Naugle is a jive-talking pimp with a bad attitude.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of Black Dynamite (published February 16th, 2010) and Black Dynamite (Blu-Ray) (published January 29th, 2010) are also available.

The Charge

He's on the case.

The Case

Get ready for action! Get ready for adventure! Get ready for motherf-ing Black Dynamite! Follow along as tough talking, strut walking, lady loving Black Dynamite (Michael Jai White, Spawn) helps to right some wrongs with both his mouth AND his fists! From training to go into space with OJ Simpson to battling a horde of Michael Jackson aliens, Black Dynamite fights crime in the 1970s with the help of Cream Corn (Tommy Davidson, In Living Color), Honey Bee (Kym Whitely, Transformers: Dark of the Moon), and Bullhorn (Byron Minns). Get your afro on and dig out your bellbottoms, it's time to get funky with Black Dynamite: Season One!

I was not one of the people overly impressed with the 2009 film Black Dynamite. A parody of various blaxploitation films from the 1970s (including anything starring Issac Hayes or Jim Brown), it followed along the same lines as Keenan Ivory Wayans's I'm Gonna Git You, Sucka (except it was a lot less funny). Black Dynamite was a big enough hit that it was spun off into a Cartoon Network series on their Adult Swim programming block.

Although I didn't really like the live action film, I have to admit to being a bit charmed by the Adult Swim series. The series is essentially a lot of animated silliness, punctuated by action sequences that are equally as ridiculous. Black Dynamite is rife with oddball characters, most of them directly associated with the 2009 film. Tommy Davidson, Byron Minns, Kym Whitley, and Michael Jai White (as the title character) all reprise their roles from the film. The actors work here is exaggerated, which is what the material requires—nothing in this show is taken the least bit seriously. The dialogue is quick and frequently funny, if sometimes a bit too foul mouthed (you can only hear animated characters swear for so long before it becomes taxing).

The episodes range from mocking pop culture ("Whatcha talkin' 'bout, Willis?") to celebrating the holidays—Black Dynamite style, of course—to battling President Richard Nixon (who was also the nemesis in the live action film). Although it's not as scattershot as Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Black Dynamite doesn't follow much of a linear storyline. When the show flashbacks to the main character at an elementary school spelling bee and he still has a thick moustache, you know they aren't taking the mythology very serious. Clearly the show was designed to hang gags off of, and little else.

For those who think Black Dynamite is a fun cartoon for kids, think again. The show is filled with more F-bombs than Goodfellas, and the characters frequently talk about women being whores and hoes. The show straddles the line of good taste, sometimes blowing right past it and giving it the middle finger as it leaves. One episode deals with Cream Corn becoming good friends with a pre-teen Michael Jackson, who turns out to be a foul mouthed megalomaniac extraterrestrial who swears like a sailor and beats Cream Corn to a pulp (the fact that Jackson is deceased makes it a bit more dubious). If you've ever wanted to see an animated version of Michael Jackson moon-walking straight out of the womb while still connected to his umbilical cord, here's your chance.

Each of the 10 episodes included on this set are presented in 2.40:1 widescreen in 1080p high definition. Black Dynamite is a very colorful show that features above average animation, a cross between a comic book and a Hanna-Barbara series. The transfer is clear any defects or imperfections ad should please fans of the show. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track is a fairly aggressive mix, mostly when the funky music kicks in. Dialogue, music, and effects are all clearly distinguishable. Also included on this disc are English, French, and Spanish subtitles.

Bonus features include the original pilot episode (which is only eleven minutes long); a very short behind-the-scenes featurette; audio commentaries on five episodes featuring Michael Jai White, Minns, Tommy Davidson, Carl Jones, and Kym Whitley; and a digital copy of the series.

I tend to have a very skewed and absurd sense of humor, which is exactly the kind of comedy style Black Dynamite: Season One revels in. The show is disposable entertainment at its finest, meant to be watched, laughed at, digested quickly, and passed just as fast. There isn't a lot to it, but it did make me chuckle more than once, and for that I can recommend this to anyone who likes their humor truly scattershot.

The Verdict

A motherf-ing hoot!

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 87

Perp Profile

Studio: Warner Bros.
Video Formats:
• 2.40:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
Audio Formats:
• DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
• DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (French)
• DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (Spanish)
• English (SDH)
• French
• Spanish
Running Time: 220 Minutes
Release Year: 2014
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Action
• Animation
• Blu-ray
• Comedy
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Pilot Episode
• Commentary
• Featurette
• Digital Copy
• UltraViolet Download


• IMDb

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