116 of 123 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2009
I just got my copy today and am absolutely thrilled. The comments by the previous reviewer as to the video quality are more a comment on the quality of the animation itself. I've had three different copies of the show prior to this DVD and if I'm understanding him correctly, the flaws he's talking about were always there.
I have a taped copy that I have made myself from when the show ran in a marathon after it finished airing the very first time. This one is taped on archival library quality VHS that holds up amazingly well (the tape cost $20 at the time in 1995). I also have another copy taped from the first airings on two separate regular VHS tapes and I have the store-bought tape that edited out 13 minutes of the show. I watched the hell out of the regular VHS tapes, but only watched the archival one a couple times and recently made a DVD transfer of it. I just finished watching the new DVD and comparing it to my archival DVD and am thrilled with these DVDs with just a couple of exceptions that I will address later.
As far as the picture quality, it looks stunning compared to all previous copies I had. I'm not watching it on a HDTV or an upconverting DVD player. Just a 32" Samsung and my 5-disc Toshiba player from several years back. But, the colors and sharpness have never looked this brilliant on this show. Yes, there are some animation flaws (like when Maxx is climbing out of the kitchen sink and there's a black line on the bottom of the water), but they have been there from the original airing. They are problems with the original source material and not these DVDs. I think some of the problems the previous reviewer mentioned might just be more obvious because the picture is sharper and cleaner. The bluriness of old TV airings on VHS tapes hide a lot of flaws, and this show was made for cheap.
Now, for people looking for negative things, there are just a couple. The music changes from the VHS tape are still here. Any instances of "I Wanna Marry a Lighthouse Keeper" have either been removed completely (like when Julie goes to the police station) or have been replaced with "I'm in Love with a School Bus Driver" (in every other instance). Also, the background song has been completely removed from when Gone attacks Glorie, and the songs have been replaced when Julie is first shown in bondage at Gone's factory, when Maxx is chasing the Isz through the city streets, and when the white Isz has climbed up and is spying on Julie through her window.
Also, two small edits still exist in this version. When Maxx is running away from Retquark'n at the beginning of episode 7, after he says "All I have to do now is reach it," the line "By Rikkirackk, I love to run. To make my legs stretch into the grass" has been removed so it just goes right into him saying "Run Run Run". Also, in episode 9, when Julie asks Maxx if he thinks they can be killed, and he says "Absolutely, I'm sure of it". Her, response "Now there's a happy thought" is missing.
Other than those music changes and the two small edits, these DVDs exactly match the broadcast versions I had taped.
Just a warning as well, both discs played fine on my older Toshiba player, but on my cheap $50 Sony DVD player, while the first disc played fine, the second disc "Special Features" menu will not come up. The episodes play fine though. Also, my computer will not even recognize these discs, even though it plays other homemade burned DVDs fine. Not a big problem, but I was just wanting to make some comparison screenshots for some friends.
All in all, if you're a big fan of the series and of the comics, like me, and have watched your old VHS tapes over and over again, buy these DVDs!! Buy them now! If you're looking for top notch animation to watch on a HDTV as reference quality animation or something, you'll want to skip it. This is not Blu-Ray anime.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2009
Well, the transfer quality (compared to either the old rips floating about online from the broadcast, that really good version someone authored as a DVD, and the bootleg DVDs from the VHS release) is fantastic. Not perfect, but definitely a massive upgrade from any previous version you own.
All episodes (including #8, the Hammerhead episode missing from the official VHS) are there, as is the recap episode. However, "I Wanna Marry a Lighthouse Keeper" is still missing, replaced with the in-house creation "I'm in Love with a School Bus Driver", which is a shame, but it's certainly not the first time a TV show has had music replaced (just look at Dawson's Creek...).
The discs, while being DVD-R, have high-quality gloss artwork on them, far better than any "at-home" options, and the slick is pretty professional and high quality as well.
Special features include audio commentaries on all episodes, and an interviews featurette.
Well worth it, even despite it's minor misgivings.
Oh, and the original MTV oddities head is on at least one episode, with full credits on all episodes (besides the re-cap, which was originally aired before episode 11).
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2009
I won't go into depth on the details of the show - chances are that if you're thinking about this DVD you already know of the show and love it!
I've been waiting years for a "MAXX" release on DVD, but I have to say I'm disappointed in this one. I can't say whether it's an issue with the show itself or the DVD, but the DVD is hard to watch at times. Aliasing ("Jaggies"), Rainbows and flickering are only some of the problems, but they're very noticeable and obvious throughout. Other problems popping up have been pixelation and color banding. The show just doesn't look nearly as good as it should have - it actually seems like a low resolution video (320x240?) being blown up to fit the screen without any cleanup or remastering (almost as if they just decided to "throw it out there"). The CG parts being much worse (more obvious) than the animated parts. I would say it looks better than the VHS I had years ago, but not the jump in quality you would expect on DVD (and the VHS was released 13 1/2 years ago!). I would give the video quality about a 6.5/10 by todays standards.
The disc DOES have a few extra features (interviews, commentary and a recap episode) - while not much, having commentary on each episode is great (I havent had a chance to listen to this yet - the commentary is by Sam Kieth (Creator), Gregg Vanzo (Director), Claudia Katz (producer), Seth Kearsley (storyboards/character layouts)). The interviews, while also a great feature, disappointingly seemed to be in non-anamorphic widescreen (4:3 letterboxed).
Also disappointing is the "Burn on demand" part of this product. While the packaging and labels are professional like any other store-bought DVD, these come on blue-backed discs (much like any DVD-R you can buy in stores) - the downside are that these don't last as long as professional pressed discs. Another big downside is that on my first set, the 2nd disc was badly scratched (if you've ever had a spindle of DVD-Rs, you've probably come across some that just look to be in terrible condition - that's how this one was). The replacement copy was much better, but the first disc had a few light scratches but also fingerprints on the bottom of the disc right out of the box. It just doesn't seem like much quality control went into these.
Overall a great show that I have to recommend as this is the only DVD available. I would have liked to see it be remastered in some way, but unfortunately that's just not the case here. The DVD extras are great, the bonus content is great, but the video appears poor on a 24" widescreen monitor (upscaled to 1080p by the PS3) - the effect was much worse watching on a 50" TV. SDTV will probably look fine, but this show just wasn't meant for the type of displays we use nowadays.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2010
Enough has been said here already about how fantastic a show "The Maxx" was (and is) when it first appeared on MTV back in 1995. I'm just here with a quick note about Amazon.com's "CreateSpace" program of "Burn-On-Demand" DVDs.
To be frank, I wasn't too thrilled with the idea of purchasing a DVD-R set, especially as I'd heard a bit too many reports of problems both online and from friends. But "The Maxx" was too hard too resist, so I decided to chance it and ordered my set in February 2010. When my set arrived, the two DVD-R discs were indeed the expected purple media - thankfully the transfers were more than satisfactory and the discs played without a hitch.
Until October, when I discovered that Disc 1 would no longer playback properly. The DVD-R media had obviously deteriorated in some manner, as my player was unable to properly track the show. At 21s into Episode #1, playback froze for a few seconds, then the disc skipped forward several minutes before playback resumed. After a few seconds, playback froze again, and the disc skipped forward a few minutes once more before playback resumed. This defect continued for most of Disc 1. It definitely wasn't a DVD Player problem, as all six of my players had the same problem with this disc.
MOD DVD-Rs purportedly "should" last as long as normal stamp-pressed retail DVDs (i.e., several decades at least). I didn't rent this set for short term usage only - I purchased it with the expectation that it would last for many years to come - so I felt that Amazon should replace my defective disc, especially since THEY were the manufacturer. Obtaining a replacement was no easy task; the customer service rep insisted I had to contact the manufacturer for replacement, that Amazon was not responsible... and refused to acknowledge that Amazon WAS the manufacturer. 45 min. later, after much frustration and repeated requests to speak with someone else who understand's Amazon's own CreateSpace "Burn-on-Demand" program, I was finally put on hold; the rep soon came back on and said my request had been approved. (About time...) A replacement set would be sent out to me shortly, and I would be receiving a new invoice, information and a return label in my email momentarily. I wonder tho... was I really getting a replacement, or was this rep just trying to get rid of me, since I stayed firm on my requests?
Two weeks later I knew the answer for certain. I never received a replacement, I never received any paperwork, and there was still nothing listed on my account that this replacement even existed. *SIGH*
I contacted Amazon again two days ago, expecting to have to go through this entire ordeal all over again. Thankfully, that was not the case at all. I spoke with a wonderful Customer Service rep, explained the situation, and she put me on hold while researching the matter. She was quickly able to corroborate my story, and obtained approval to send me out a replacement overnight... talk about good service!
I indeed received my replacement set yesterday. I opened it with the expectation that I'd just be swapping out the bad Disc 1 , but I got a rather interesting surprise... the replacement set of "The Maxx" did NOT come on purple-backed DVD-R media - these were silver discs. From all appearances, my set contains standard pressed single-layer DVDs - these even have a set of pressing codes stamped around the inner rim to denote the product ID, file dates and manufacturing info (MOD DVD-Rs don't have this sort of information, as it's pressed onto the disc during the stamper and injection molding phase; Disc 1 was dated 10/11/2010, Disc 2 10/10/2010). Needless to say, I was rather shocked at this revelation!
Oh, and before I forget... yes, they played perfectly.
There were only two physical differences I noted between the sets, as follows:
* UPC Product Code on the rear of the case -- the purple DVD-R set features the words "2 DISCS" above the UPC bar codes; the silver DVDs only have the bar codes.
* UPC Bar Code Box on the actual disc -- the purple DVD-Rs have a UPC Bar Code box printed onto the label side of each disc (at the bottom center); the silver DVDs have none.
Anyway, I obviously had a wonderful resolution to my problem.. and I felt that some of you other "Maxx" fans might also be interested in this info. Cheers!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2013
When The Maxx comic book series was first being released, I was fortunate enough to be at the age I could grab each sequential issue as they were released. When I found out MTV would be producing an animated version of these books, I was ecstatic. It was about the only thing I wanted to watch on television at the time, in MTV's heyday when they were still pushing boundaries and offering shows no other network would (or could).
The VHS release immediately found it's way into my collection and I loved it. Watching the episodes flow together just increased my viewing pleasure, my only gripe being that parts of some episodes had been cut out. VCRs were phased out and I went a long time without watching The Maxx. I bought a bootlegged DV-R from eBay and was met with a lot of disappointment. The sound was off, the quality was terrible and The Maxx had slipped into obscurity so long ago by this point I didn't think MTV would ever release an official DVD.
But they did. I was excited when I saw this available on Amazon and it too quickly found it's way into my hands. I sat down with some people who vaguely recalled the show (thanks to my prior obsession) and was once again all too excited to be watching The Maxx, in what appeared to be great quality. Then a couple episodes in, the disc messes up. I try the second disc, and it messes up a few episodes in as well. This on-demand approach to selling DVDs doesn't work. For one reason or another, they mess up. I've read complains by people that the cover art was messed up, the discs were physically damaged and I'm not alone in owning a copy that won't play all the way through.
Once again, I'm not sure if MTV will ever release a quality DVD version of the show. I don't blame Amazon, that's the nature of this type of product. I wish I could give it five stars because the show is spectacular. Visually stunning, the PERFECT voice actors for every character and the music couldn't be more suiting in every single scene. If you can find a copy that works, get it. For those of you who've ordered this particular product and didn't have any issues whatsoever, you're fortunate and I'm very jealous.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2011
I'm very happy they finally released this on DVD, but I'm disappointed in the format. The VHS release was fantastic because all episodes were merged into one long episode- nothing was omitted, just opening and closing credits. The DVD presents it as separate episodes- like it appeared on T.V. This is annoying because The Maxx episodes were only 15 minutes long- take out commercial and introduction and opening/closing credits and you get more like 12 minute episodes, so it's annoying to have to sit through the introduction and opening/closing credits every 12 minutes. They should release this format for the purists geeks, but also include the VHS version- one long episode.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2011
I found nostalgia wash over me when started watching the Maxx. I remember getting home late at night after working security and sitting down with a pizza and watching what Much Music (MTV In USA) had to offer, The Head, Aeon Flux, Spawn and the Maxx. The Maxx was dark and cerebral with a dash of over the top violence for good measure. It was one of my favorite shows.
The DVD of the Maxx is not bad picture quality considering when it was filmed (I think it was late 80's, early 90's), even the 3d stuff was not too bad. Remember even the simplest 3D at the time took 2 to 3 days to render unlike today when it takes 3 minutes. I enjoyed the commentaries and special features which gave some insight into the development of the show. Overall not a bad purchase and would recommend.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2009
When I had first typed up this review it was based on my previous experience with Amazon's on Demand and I noted the discs were not like the blue backed DVD's you would burn yourself. Upon delivery of my copy of The Maxx however I learned that sadly this is not the case this time around and want to apologize to anyone that purchased based on my information. I had previously ordered "Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog" and it was and still is advertised as an "On Demand" disc from Amazon, however the copy I purchased from Amazon looks just like any other silver backed DVD I have purchased in the past.
On to my review of this DVD, as others have said about having problems with the discs on one player but not on another I also encountered the same issue. My newer DVD-R player is having a hell of a time displaying the menus and not freezing up. However my other standard cheap-o no name brand player plays both discs just fine without any problems. As another review had noted I also can't get the discs to play at all in my PC which perhaps is due to some kind of copy protection or something. In regards to the picture and sound quality they are well within my range of acceptable quality for a show as obscure and old as The Maxx is and I would rate it at around 7.5 out of 10. The edits to the program's music and small bits of dialog that were made on the VHS release are still in place on this release but I have long ago learned to live with them. The good news is the episode that was trimmed from the previous VHS release is included here along with commentary tracks from Sam Kieth and the show's creators and a pretty well put together Featurette about the show's history and development.
Ultimately I am finally glad to own this classic favorite of mine on DVD. I am happy that the people that put their hard work into The Maxx will profit from my purchase but I am pretty far from being happy with the "On Demand DVD-R" nature of the release and I still long for a more acceptable official release to one day come.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2014
I originally purchased this item in 2009, as soon as it was released. I knew what I was getting into. Burned to DVD-R, self printed labels and cover, possible compatibility issues on computers. Some people consider the weird protection they added to these a restrictive form of DRM. I kind of understand that since they were unable to implement CSS, they tried something else. But I think trusting the customer, rather than losing functionality, would be a better model. Having said that, every PC I've played these in had no issues. And, since there was no encryption, I could make backups easily (in case the DVD-R deteriorates), even by drag and drop.
Here's the interesting part: someone bought me this same DVD set last week. Amazon is now shipping pressed, silver backed DVDs! They appear to be made in a factory in Mexico that produces other commercial DVDs, based on the branding. Unlike standard commercial discs, they are *not* CSS encrypted. This may mean that those of you who have trouble using their computers with MOD discs may not be in any better shape. But the discs should last longer. The case is also the standard, professional quality with an additional insert for disc 2 (see image). The outer cover is actually printed and aligned correctly (the spine was off on the DVD-R version. The on-disc printing is actually glossier on the DVD-R. DVD-R discs have a barcode on them, and their cases can be identified by the "2 discs" text above the barcode. Sorry for the potato quality photos - had flash issues.
I am speculating that the DVD sold well enough that Amazon began pressing them, as the pressing 'runs' would be large enough to save money over burning.
As for the release itself, there's not much to say that hasn't already been said. I certainly disagree with those who think the rips they got off kazaa in 2002 were of better quality. While these aren't absolutely perfect, as they're on single layer discs, they're not pushing the limit per disc too badly, and there isn't really much in the way of compression artifacts. I'm not sure why a few people complained about it not immediately playing the next episode. It does when you press Play All.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I suspect most of the people buying this know what it is, so I'll review the dvd release itself first. This DVD-R is a no-frills 2 disc collection of a series that ran on MTV Oddities.
The special features are essentially just the commentary and an interview. This disc includes a 15 minute or so interview with Sam Keith and the director which is interesting and the exact right length of time. It also includes a commentary on every episode by Sam Keith and some of the folks from Rough Draft. Honestly, the commentary is terrible. Sam Keith, while clearly a brilliant artist (just look at his work), gives an awful commentary. It's nice that they tried, though I suppose.
The Rough Draft people mostly just talk about how great the Maxx was or reminisce about working at Rough Draft. The commentary is basically a Maxx group masturbation session. They only occasionally talk about what's onscreen. I've only ever seen this before on some of the Stargate SG-1 commentaries after season 5 - where it seems like they'll grab everyone from gaffers to the pool boy so they can have a commentary for EVERY episode.
The Maxx commentary has the same problem - there are some really experimental things that weren't done in American animation before this show and they manage to mention maybe 1/10th of them. Instead they're talking about someone's nickname or something. You can't comment on every single episode or the commentary turns into a conversation between old friends. It has to, there's only so much one person does in creating each episode.
It's a relatively no-frills collection (vs. say the far superior Aeon Flux collection with 2 featurettes, shorts collection, shorts and good commentary, production art, etc) and on the whole while it looks better than VHS, it still only looks about VCD-quality and uses blue-bottomed discs and a cheap looking insert (which, taken together, is why I took off a point), but it's really nice to see MTV put it out since it's such a great show. If you're a Maxx fan or like anime or comics, buy it. I had no problems playing the DVD-R on my portable dvd player or xbox 360.
In case you don't know about the show, "The Maxx" is a show about a delusional homeless man moonlighting as a superhero who frequently escapes to a dreamworld called "the Outback" where he is more than a man and where the social worker that cares for him in the real world is the leopard queen that he cares for. The problem is, these worlds began to merge thanks to the actions of the villain, Mr. Gone and his mutant Iz.
It sounds a bit hokey, but the show is a lot of wacky fun and the visuals in this show are amazing. Unsurprising really, Sam Keith even admits in the interview he considers himself an artist first. Also purists should be happy - this show reflect the comic better than anything I've ever seen based on an American Comic. It's also, quite oddly for a comic, very psychological. The only downside to the show itself is that it ends abruptly (only 13 episodes X 15 minutes each for only 3 hours of show). It's really one of the best pieces of american cartoons for adults I've ever watched.
If you want to continue the story, this adapts episodes 1-11 (and I think 0 and 1/2, but don't quote me on that, haven't read it in a while), so you can read the rest of it in the comics after that.
Either way, definitely buy it if you're into the Maxx, anime, or comics. You'll love it. You'll probably at least like it if you're into surrealist art or psychoanalysis, too. The video quality's really not bad and I had no problems playing it. Price is reasonable too @$15. The only people I would caution against a purchase are the hi-fi snobs. Yes, it's not quite DVD quality, but really - who cares?