Star Wars: The Clone Wars – A Galaxy Divided (2008)
|Genre(s): Action / Adventure / Animation / Science Fiction|
|Warner Brothers || NR - 90 minutes - $19.98 || March 24, 2009|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-03-29|
Writer(s): George Lucas (created by)
Cast: Matt Lanter, James Arnold Taylor, Ashley Eckstein, Corey Burton (voices)
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“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” made its debut via a theatrical release in 2008, what was just a massive pilot episode to launch the series. While the movie didn’t do great business, it still manages to haul in $35 million on an $8.5 million budget.
Let me preface this by saying I am not a Star Wars fan, in fact, science-fiction general doesn’t interest me that much. I have enjoyed the films very much and can appreciate what George Lucas did, but even I have to say this DVD release is a disgrace. Let me also say, that the rating only applies to the quality of work at hand which actually isn’t that bad.
This DVD has the first four episodes of the animated series. From the back cover synopsis:
In the first chapter, Yoda’s top secret mission becomes a battle for survival, pitting the Jedi Master and three clone troopers against enemy assassin Asajj Ventress and her massive droid army.
Episodes 2 to 4 track the colossal – and deadly – warship Malevolence. Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker leads a clone squadron attack against the destructive vessel, damaging but not destroying it. When Padme Amidala and C-3PO fall into a trap and are taken hostage aboard the ship, Anakin and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi boldly infiltrate it in the hope of rescuing the prisoners (Movieman Note: $5 says they die) and destroying the Malevolence from within.
02. Rising Malevolence
03. Shadow of Malevolence
04. Destroy Malevolence
Actually, for the limited material at hand, these four episodes weren’t that bad. Even as only a casual observer of the Star Wars world, I was entertained from beginning to end (the episodes can be viewed individually or with the “Play All” option).
The style of animation isn’t very pretty but certainly distinguishable from other animated series on television and is cartoonish enough to keep kids entertained. The stories are also well written, never going overboard with kid-friendly jokes (though there are plenty) but still fun to watch for both adults and kids alike.
The voice actors, no one really recognizable, although looking over their resume on IMDb shows a talented bunch with plenty of experience from animated television series to video games. All of them do fine in their roles, some perfecting the inflections of their live action counterparts (like Count Dooku).
Now, while technically the four episodes provided are fun to watch, I must say that anyone remotely interested in this series should hold out for the season set rather than shelling out $3 per episode. This is a DVD that will no doubt land on a bargain shelf at Wal-Mart some day, and even then, I still would get the season one DVD rather than this. Normally, I like to keep cost out of a review, especially in terms of a title’s quality but while the 90-minutes or so are entertaining, this is an obvious cash grab.
That’s right zero, nada... No features are on this disc at all! Alright, give us less than 90-minutes material and nothing to go with them.
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
For some odd reason, we’re still getting non-anamorphic widescreen transfers. Why? These four episodes are presented with a 1.78 aspect ratio and while the back of the case does indeed state “Presented in a format preserving the aspect ratio of its original television exhibition”, was there a reason they couldn’t at least made it anamorphic? I’m fairly certain this was how the show aired, but if you’re going to milk the fans for more money, can’t you do it in style?
In any case, we also get Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. The audio for this is acceptable and at least the studio didn’t just throw a stereo track to add salt to the wound.
This release is like a cheeseburger minus the cheese, ketchup, mayonnaise, oh and bun. Thankfully the burger wasn’t completely dried out but still just doesn’t taste right. Wait until the inevitable season set to be released and THEN spend your hard earned cash.