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Case Number 03013

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The Jeff Corwin Experience

Artisan // 2003 // 100 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Adam Arseneau (Retired) // June 18th, 2003

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All Rise...

The Charge

Crazy people shouldn't be carrying snakes.

Opening Statement

From the popular television show on Animal Planet, Jeff Corwin goes from exotic locale to exotic locale, searching out the world's most beautiful and exotic creatures, hooting and hollering the entire way. Part Crocodile Hunter, part bad stand-up comic, part mental health clinic visitor's pass, adults and children alike will no doubt be entertained by Jeff Corwin as he explores, educates, and entertains.

Facts of the Case

In "Costa Rica: The Arribiatta," Jeff goes to, believe it or not, Costa Rica, and picks up a lot of snakes and poison dart frogs, while helpfully providing falsetto voices for the animals he picks up. At a fevered pace, Corwin takes us from dolphins and whales to sea turtles and anteaters, providing interesting information about the animals and the ecosystem against the stunning and exotic backdrop of Costa Rica.

In "The Amazon: Goin' Bananas," Jeff heads off to the Amazon basin, where he finds many more animals to annoy and irritate as well as annoy and irritate all involved with his comedy shtick slapstick. Animal victims include: the largest freshwater fish in the world, a red-faced uakari monkey, electric fish, lots of bananas, and monkey frogs, which, I admit, are really cool—they jump all over his face, and you would absolutely love to have like sixteen hundred of them at your disposal at any time, just jumping all over the place.

Also, watching a sloth crap. I sh*t you not.

The Evidence

The ethos of the show is this: one can best experience nature by having a twit go stomping through a fragile ecosystem with a crew of six cameramen, lighting experts, and sound men, dragging an endangered species out of its home, and sticking it with poles and sticks, yelling things like "Crikey!"

This, of course, is the Crocodile Hunter school of thought on animal entertainment television shows, the similarities of which I am sure is just a coincidence.

I mean, the guy goes looking for snakes in Costa Rica, tramping through the rain forest with a big pole, with low-cut sneakers. Who would've thought somebody sharper than Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, actually exists? At least he's more cowardly, though—his constant whining and hollering and scared little noises keeps you entertained, as well as his moments of self-reflection when he picks up a deadly snake ("What are you doing, Jeff? What are you doing? What are you doing?")

Now that's comedy.

And it makes for a very enjoyable show, in all honesty. Animal stress and common sense aside, these pseudo-nature family shows are entertaining for both adult and child alike, and I found myself fairly pleased by the presentation as a whole.

The disc quality is very good. Presented in the native 4:3 aspect ratio of most television shows, the transfer is clean and sharp. Colors come across full and balanced, with blues and greens balancing nicely.

The sound, mixed in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround, comes across fairly balanced on location shots—ambient noises are clear and come across well, dialogue is articulate and clear, with the exception of some overdubs that come across too heavy in the low range. If Jeff Corwin were threatening your life, or being a villain, or doing dastardly deeds, the effect would be fantastically ominous—as it stands, it just sounds bizarre hearing a gigantic booming voice talking about rivers in Costa Rica.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

Who is this Jeff Corwin guy? He goes from calm, rational, factual statements to wild-eyed rambling, terrible bad accents, and horrible gangster impressions. The Crocodile Hunter is consistent, at least—this guy's all over the map. You get the feeling that his medication kicks on and off during actual shots. They must keep the camera on this guy 24 hours a day, just to see what inane things he says.

Also:

"Crikey! An endangered sea turtle! These are one of the most fragile and endangered animals in the world! And they really hate it when you pick them up out of the water and put them in the boat…like this!"

"Whoa, look at that sucker squirm! They really really hate it when you take this metal tong and stick it in their mouths…like this!"

"These turtles lay beautiful eggs in the sand, and they fry up beautifully. But boy, do they ever hate it when you reach in and steal their eggs…like this!"

'Nuff said.

Closing Statement

With no subtitles, extras, or features of any kind, two episodes per disc seem rather thrifty—the addition of an extra episode per disc would feel like more of a worthy purchase for your dollar; or, at the very least, maybe an extra feature or two. Still, for good family entertainment, the host is fairly engaging (when he calms down), the show is honest and entertaining, the episodes are educational and enjoyable, and the DVD presentation is more than adequate.

Everybody but Steve Irwin should enjoy the antics of Jeff Corwin.

The Verdict

The court hereby orders Steve Irwin and Jeff Corwin to undergo relationship counseling for a period of no more than six months.

The court commends Artisan on a job well done, but requests the consideration of providing an additional episode per disc to achieve true success.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 70
Audio: 70
Extras: 0
Acting: 50
Story: 75
Judgment: 70

Perp Profile

Studio: Artisan
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 2003
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Documentary
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• None








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