Judge Dan Mancini is busted.
Our review of Mythbusters: Big Blasts Collection, published December 22nd, 2008, is also available.
Jamie Hyneman: Give me a break.
Who are the Mythbusters? Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage are science geeks who had successful careers as practical special effects technicians on feature films before they ever achieved television fame. Hyneman's film credits include Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and The Matrix Reloaded, while Savage worked on the likes of A.I.: Artificial Intelligence and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. The Discovery Channel launched Mythbusters in 2003, a show in which the demented scientific duo subject urban legends and other myths to the scientific method. Hyneman and Savage are joined by a three-member build team that takes on myths of its own: model builder Tory Belleci, sculptor Kari Byron, and electronics expert Grant Imahara.
Each 43-minute episode of Mythbusters explores two or three myths drawn from a variety of pop culture sources. This Volume 4 collection explores everything from Internet viral videos, to superhero absurdities, to the persistent rumors that Neil Armstrong's one giant leap for mankind was a government-funded hoax. The two disc set contains a hodge-podge of 12 episodes from the series:
• "Western Myths"
• "Big Rig Myths"
• "Viewer Special"
• "Superhero Hour"
• "Lead Balloon"
• "MacGyver Myths"
• "NASA Moon Landing"
• "Viral Hour"
• "Phone Book Friction"
• "Water Stun Gun"
Mythbusters' greatness is in its perfect blend of inquisitive intelligence and knuckleheaded tomfoolery. While the team goes to rigorous lengths to devise and execute sound experiments that bust or confirm the various myths they investigate, they also go out of their way to ensure that the show entertains on a primitive "guys like to watch mayhem" level. Okay, so an automobile's airbag can't possibly launch a Slim Jim into a car thief's neck, but that doesn't stop the Mythbusters crew from using an accurate skull replica, ballistics gel, and an air cannon to test the force and velocity necessary for a thin piece of metal to pierce bone. Okay, so two cars driving in opposite directions can't overcome the friction holding together a pair of phone books with their pages interleaved. Can two Sherman tanks get the job done? Mythbusters is every bit as cool as it is educational.
On top of the show's fine mix of science and adolescent hijinks, it also delivers a likable cast that play well off of one another. Jamie Hyneman's tight-lipped, walrus-mustached reserve is perfectly balanced by Adam Savage's boundless and sometimes brash energy. Tory, Kari, and Grant are an affable team that delivers an enjoyable cocktail of intelligence, wit, geeky resourcefulness, and I-love-my-job enthusiasm. The earnest inquisitiveness of the five Mythbusters makes for infectious (and educational) entertainment.
Shot on video, Mythbusters looks decent on DVD but not excellent. Colors are mostly accurate, though occasionally a bit washed out. Detail is acceptable, but doesn't match the broadcast quality on Discovery HD. Audio is a perfectly functional though not particularly dynamic Dolby Stereo. There are no extras.
Want to know whether cockroaches can survive a nuclear blast, or if men really have walked on the moon? I won't spoil it for you. Pick up this set.
The awesomeness of Mythbusters is confirmed.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Discovery Channel
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