The latest season of the edgy animated sci-fi/comedy series The Venture Bros. picks up from the ending of season four. The Venture family continue their battles against villain The Monarch (voiced by Christopher McCulloch), but also see some new villains emerge. The season takes them into the jungles of Central America to find Venturestein and to the Greek Islands. We start off with Rocky trying to build an energy shield that somehow turns into the Venture employees becoming four-armed mutants. They have former S.P.H.I.N.X. Member Gary in the Venture fold and he tries to reform the the group to do good, but accidentally reunites the original members of S.P.H.I.N.X. who decide to attack O.S.I..Meanwhile Hatred is convinced that Gary is still evil, and this latest episode is only more fuel to stoke his suspicions.
In all, it’s another funny season that continues to not only parody Jonny Quest and G.I. Joe, but also pop culture, with references to Game of Thrones and other hot (and hot button) topics of the moment. The animation as always is spot on and the action remains a good part of the show, but not the main event.
The fifth season’s guest voice talent includes Aziz Ansari, Paget Brewster, Bill Hader, Tim Meadows, and J.K. Simmons.
The Venture Bros. is encoded onto Blu-ray in the rare (these days) VC-1 codec at 1080p/24. The colors look vibrant and detail is crisp with little noise or banding, but I did notice a lot of motion artifacts in pans and the occasional softening of the image in some distance shots of the animation.
There’s nothing too special about the English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack that’s offered up here. It provides some mild ambience in the surrounds with the occasional discrete sound effect panned through the surround channels that, after such long periods of being so front-heavy, often seems out of place. Dialogue is clear and there’s a good bit of extension into the lower end, though nothing ground shaking.
We get audio commentaries, bonus specials, and some brief deleted scenes.
- Digital HD UltraViolet
- Audio Commentaries – Although it doesn’t seem to be listed anywhere on the packaging or the disc menu (at least that I noticed), audio commentaries are available for the episodes via the Audio button on your remote.
- Deleted & Extended Scenes (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:05:52)
- Fax My Grandson (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:14)
- Bonus Specials:
- A Very Venture Halloween (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:22:29)
- A Very Venture Halloween with Commentary
- From the Ladle to the Grave: The Shallow Gravy Story (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:11:45)
The Definitive Word
In its fifth season The Venture Bros. remains a hip and edgy (in this unedited Blu-ray release, it’s even edgier still) animated series that fits right in with Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block. These episodes breeze by, so get out the popcorn and pop them in for a quick binge viewing, you won’t be disappointed.
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