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4.7 out of 5 stars
The Venture Bros.: The Complete Season 4 [Blu-ray]
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Yeah, it sure is a drag that this season was split into 2 releases, even worse that after I pre-ordered volume 2, a short while later there was an announcement on Amazon that the entire season four would be released in Blu-ray on the very same day (to add insult to injury), but with a show I love as much as this one, I'll refrain from my usual tirades, rants, conspiracy theories, vitriolic cursing and death threats, bite the bullet and remind myself how fabulous the second half of this season was. Brock's back in all his glory, Sphynx plays an integral element with Hunter at the helm along with Shoreleave now an important and hysterical addition, Whitey and Billy feature prominantly, Molotov Cocktease and her comrades are back to up the ante, the Monarch is ever-present along with his henchmen and muse, the adorable yet husky-voiced Dr. Mrs. the Monarch, the Guild is fleshed out a bit more and the Triad is afoot and, somewhere in the midst of all this monumental madness, Team Venture manages to get a bit of screen time as well. On top of it all, the one hour season finale is probably one of Adult Swim's crowning achievements. I can't wait to see these episodes again. "Go Team Venture!"
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
This is an actual review of the product itself and not just the fourth season!

What you are getting is six plus hours of the Venture's hot new envelope pushing complete fourth season on one disc loaded with extras.

The set includes creator commentary on all the episodes, deleted scenes, and four more features: this is captain feature, all of the finale promos, comic con season four trailer, and lastly the lost season three cold open. - 10/10

The package art design features both the clean and bloody speed suits and comes in a regular BD digi-pack case. - 10/10

The BD disc menu is sleek and easy to use, it is one of my favorites BD menus of all time b/c it's simple and works. - 10/10

Not much is needed to be said about the sixteen episodes b/c they are the best and I loved the new season, but here is a list of the best episodes within this season:

"Blood of the Father, Heart of Steel"
"Self-Medication"
"The Better Man"
"Pinstripes & Poltergeists"
"The Diving Bell Vs. The Butter-Glider"
"Everybody Comes to Hank's"
"Bright Lights, Dean City"
"The Silent Partners"
"Operation: P.R.O.M."

The audio is good True HD, as I can actually hear all the different channels (layers/tracks) of audio, and subtle sound effects. - 9/10

The video is the only downfall of this BD, yes folks that is right.
The animation this season is the best and still looks very sharp and vivid on BD, but because artifacts show up often on the characters/backgrounds it's not perfect.
It's mostly three or four times an episode that someone's shirt will have a thousand blotchy boxes all over it. Maybe it's just my Sony HDTV, but I kind of doubt it since the season three BD has like maybe six scenes total with minor artifact issues. I get the feeling that this should have had a more accurate transfer, or maybe it needed to be two discs like it was going to be.
That is it, one minor (or very annoying depending on how much artifacts bug you) flaw in my opinion keeps this disc from being the best TV season BD ever. - 8/10

All in all this set is easily five out of five stars just as season 3 BD was, the creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer have really out done themselves with this new season, a huge special thanks should go out to them for all the hard work they have done. The next two seasons should prove to be very exciting for the Venture clan.

Go ahead and buy this BD now, or regret it later.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2013
If you're a Venture Bros. fan, this review is superfluous. You already own this DVD box set already (or the Blu-Ray version) or your mouse cursor is hovering over the "Add to Cart" button. Don't read any further, just push the button! This review is for people who haven't been turned on to this marvelous show yet. There are many things you need to know.

The Venture Bros. is one of the most intelligently-written shows in the history of TV. It is screamingly funny, it has amazing action sequences, it has probably the most complicated backstory in the history of complicated backstories, and it is a true labor of love. The show is ostensibly an hommage/parody of the old Jonny Quest action super-scientist cartoon genre, taking the perspective of "what if Jonny (Doc Venture in this show) grew up, inherited his Dad's super-science gizmos, realized he didn't have what it takes to be a scientist himself, and was angry and bitter about how he was treated as a kid?" And what if he had two clueless kids (the eponymous Venture Brothers) who have no idea what it's like not to live in a super-science compound? And what if he was surrounded by a bunch of other people as schmucky as he was, including lame super-villains, over-the-top macho secret agents, assorted hangers-on, and the occasional competent person who wonders what he's doing in the midst of all the chaos. But I can't do justice to the story in less than 20 pages; it's _that_ complex. It's worth it, though, because it's so interesting and the characters, despite their failures, are so appealing you want to know everything about them.

The other thing you need to know is that this is the cult show to end all cult shows. It is utterly uncompromising. The creators (Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer) assume you have watched all the previous seasons, and they delight in basing stories on minor plot points of earlier episodes that you've probably forgotten about even if you have seen them (the episode "Any Which Way But Zeus" is a good example of this). They also pepper each episode with hundreds of pop culture references ranging from very obvious to unbelievably obscure (part of the fun is trying to figure them out). So be warned: you need to watch the previous seasons (all of them!) before watching this one. Also, DVD is really the best way to watch the show, preferably on a computer. That way, you can rewind if you miss a reference or ten, and you can pause if you want to go online to the many Venture Bros. fan sites to figure out where you last saw such-and-such a character who just popped up out of nowhere. You'll also probably need to listen to the episode commentaries to really understand every last detail, if you're obsessive about this sort of thing. This sounds like a lot of work, and it is. It's actually kind of ridiculous how much time I've spent chasing down Venture Bros. references, but it's worth it because it makes the show that much more enjoyable. Season 4, part 1 is excellent, but part 2 really hits a new level of awesome, with almost every show being a classic (the one-hour finale in particular is jaw-dropping). Along the way, the characters that you know and love are given greater depth and you start to feel compassion for them (even the villains), even though they're still pretty much losers. In particular, we start to realize that Doctor Venture isn't just a failed super-scientist, he's also the product of horrible parenting from his famous super-scientist dad who warped him so much he's unable to function normally. And every other character has some kind of similar backstory explaining why they are the way they are.

I haven't given you many details about the episodes, both because it would take way too long and because I don't want to spoil the fun. If you like intelligently-written, clever, and amazingly twisted comedy, you will love this show. And watch out for that finale! It'll feel like the Secret President did a Rusty Venture on your Id!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Any fears that this superlative series would burn out after 2 or 3 outrageous seasons have proven to be unfounded; it's as great as ever and shows no signs of winding down.

Intelligent, clever, funny as hell, and full of surprises! I love it and look forward to more!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2011
The thing I like about this show is that although it is a very funny self parody for the genre of boy adventurers, evil villains, and the occasional her, is that it has actually developed its characters into real people that you care about. This (half) season is very solid and it brings the story forward. I only hope that when the sad day comes (because all good things end) that these guys are given enough time to prepare a series finale that fits this amazing show.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2014
If you've made it through 3 season of Venture Brothers, season 4 is probably worth picking up. The basic dynamic of the show has changed a bit, with several major characters becoming secondary, and many secondary characters becoming central to the story.

The jokes are, unfortunately, beaten to death. Whereas in the past Venture Bros was very good about dropping unexpected lines and references in and just letting them be funny, this season the writers seem determined to make SURE you did not miss a joke. They do this by repeating them over... and over... and over. At one point the characters THEMSELVES almost seem to notice this "We get it already! You've already told us that..." but that doesn't stop the same tired punchlines from showing up again and again.

The storylines become far more intricate this season. Instead of one-off episodes that can stand on their own merits, most of this season is tied with previous episodes in some way, and missing something early in the run can become a problem later on. You might consider this a plus or a minus depending on your own particular taste.

Overall I think I would recommend watching the season if you are already a fan of the show. The basic humor still holds up and it is certainly worth a chuckle or two. If you are iffy on Venture Bros to start with now might be a good time to call it quits.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2013
As an avid Venture Bros fan, this is a must have for your collection. As far as pros and cons, this is the only review I can write so far that has no cons.
It brings together everything you've seen in the previous seasons, and it's first older brother, Season 4, Vol. 1 finally shows the direction this show is going in, and I love it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2012
Always start with the first season. It only gets more ridiculous, and insane. I love the character development in this series, and it has many pop-culture references. Definitely a great buy for the intelligent owner!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
See my review on Volume One. All of the same comments apply.

At the end of season three I thought this show was done, Doc and Jackson had burned out and it wasn't going to be good any more - but they rescued it somehow, and season four is AWESOME. The writing sparkles, the animation looks great, and they avoided 99% of the mistakes they made last season.

There is a lot of cussing, but instead of being out-of-place and jarring like in season three, it works (except for the very last F-bomb, which still feels _wrong_ .. you'll know it when you hear it). Also in this season it really becomes obvious that too few voice actors are doing too many characters .. but these are minor flaws, overshadowed by how much sheer FUN I had watching this season.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2011
The Venture Bros. is that rarest of all beasts: a great show that actually improves with each subsequent season. Perhaps the thing I love most is that the characters do genuinely grow as people, as does our understanding of them. And just for once, no, that isn't merely a euphemistic way of saying that they learn the same tired old lessons about caring and sharing we have rammed down our throats in so many other shows. No. The characters in the Venture Bros. really do develop into more complex and interesting people. Horribly, deeply flawed people, but people nonetheless. People that we genuinely want to get to know better. People that, for all their faults, we may find that we have even come to like.

Parallel with this, the show's internal universe (the "Ventureverse" if I may) likewise grows into a more complex and interesting place. Fundamentally, this is a show that satirises the adventure comics and cartoons that so many of us grew up with - Johnny Quest in particular. The satire we find in the Venture Bros. is by turns cutting, affectionate, and even brutal, but always devastatingly spot on. Indeed, given that Cartoon Network actually has the rights to the Johnny Quest franchise, Johnny Quest himself, now fully grown up and profoundly traumatised by his bizarre upbringing, has regularly made guest appearances throughout this series. So it is fitting then that just like the shows it parodies, over time the Venture Bros. has developed its own extensive internal cosmology and pantheon of players. Here again, one of the things I love most about this series is that even the bit players emerge as credible, memorable people with their own agendas and stories. None are merely throwaway cardboard cutouts.

It is also interesting to compare the current generation of [adult swim] cartoons with the one that preceded it. The humor in Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Sealab 2021, for example, often stems from the characters being so absolutely selfish as to qualify as literally psychopathic. Similarly so for Robot Chicken. By contrast, in shows like the Venture Bros., things are less cut and dried. The characters are certainly not saints; in fact, to borrow a line I used in an earlier review I wrote for season one of Archer, "the characters are all selfish, petty, and utterly and completely venal: the three great ingredients from which comedy is made". This is not quite so true of the Venture Bros. as it is of Archer, but it is true enough nonetheless. But at the same time, we are no longer dealing primarily with characters entirely devoid of compassion or humanity. They may, to varying degrees, actively dislike and even resist their own tendency towards basic human empathy, but they are no longer simply psychopaths. The brutal abstract craziness of the older generation of shows is not entirely lost. Rather, we might say that much like the eponymous Venture brothers themselves, it has emerged from childhood and at least begun the process of integrating itself into a more complex and more fully grown up world.

Finally, no review of the Venture Bros. could be considered complete without mentioning this show's gloriously retro sense of style. Once again the show has much in common with Archer in that it's impossible not to notice the jet-age aesthetic. But whereas in Archer this comes across simply of a pop-art homage to the shows that inspired it, and which it in turn parodies, in the Venture Bros. the chosen aesthetic is far more of a two-edged sword. On the one hand, the show's creators clearly have a genuine affection for the style they affect, even as they mock its absurdities (try searching for images of Doc Hammer on the web sometime and check out his wardrobe). At the same time, in the Venture Bros., unlike Archer, we are very much aware that we are in a world that has moved on since this form of modernism was indeed modern. Concord-like aircraft and cheesy 1970s-style wood panelling become emblematic of a generation of inheritors; or dare I say, of two such generations. Of characters who have not built upon what they were given, but rather, have presided over its decline.

And so we end where we began: with the characters. Deeply flawed, deeply human. But if we ourselves are to take away any lesson at all from this series, it should perhaps be simply this: Tragically flawed as we all might be, it may yet be possible for us too to go forth into this no less flawed and no less tragic world of ours and have some ripping adventures of our own.

Go team Venture!

Theo.
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