Soon To Be Classics

Thursday, February 23, 2006

DVD Bait and Switch

I haven't purchased a DVD in a while, and I certainly won't be buying any new ones with the current "bait and switch" schemes that the film studios are into right now.

Case in point: Marvel Comics is introducing a line of direct-to-DVD feature length animated films. The first is "Ultimate Avengers" which is based on the nicely drawn (but badly written) comic series that's run over the last couple of years. It's a VERY adult version of Marvel's premiere super team and none of the characters are particularly likeable. (Note, Henry Pym (Giant Man) attempts to murder his wife, the Wasp, with bug killer during a domestic abuse incident. Yes, this is what passes for comic writing these days.) Anyway, this movie was touted as having "amazing animation and story that captures the best selling comic line". That alone almost made me want to buy it.

And then I started seeing clips. The animation is no different than anything you'll see today on Saturday morning TV. There is certainly nothing innovative like the the WB's "Batman" from the early 90's or Cartoon Network's "Samurai Jack". Rather, it is very typical 18fps "Japanicrapimation". Plus, the trailer has has Thor pulling Captain America from some wreckage and him saying "thanks!" under the narration "..if they could just learn to work together, they just might save the world!" At that moment, I had horrible flashbacks to the 1970's "Superfriends". I suspect that in this movie, the Hulk is capturing aliens by throwing a stack of tires on them.

The reviews from the genre websites haven't been much kinder. Marvel really had to dumb this one down to make it mass appeal. Imagine taking Kill Bill and trying to make it into a cartoon you'd buy for your kids.

But the actual film isn't the bait and switch. The DVD released two days ago and is retailing between $12 and $14. This morning, on ICV2.COM, it was announced that the film, in it's entirety, will be broadcast on Adult Swim on March 11th.

Now, to be fair, I haven't seen this yet as I tend to wait for reviews anymore. Based on that, it's good that I can just Tivo this with no monetary investment. Had I actually not seen the trailer or read the reviews, I might have purchased this based on the hype. Then, I would have been pissed seeing this show up on basic cable less than a month later. So I dodged the bait and switch. I'm glad they pulled this on the first one, because Marvel is doing a whole line of direct-to-DVD films over the next couple of years. Now that they've tipped their hands, I'll know what to expect.

And if you're looking for another DVD bait and switch, talk to anyone who purchased the first DVD release of Sin City. I dodged that one too, thankfully.


  •'s a cartoon man. They should soooo make a Thundercats movie.

    By Blogger TheGirard, at 7:02 AM  

  • That thing with the stack of tires sounded cool.

    By Blogger Shocho, at 8:56 AM  

  • I, too, was shocked when I saw that on ICV2 this morning. Seems way too early to be 'giving' it away.

    By Blogger DanBojo, at 12:32 PM  

  • I can't wait for ultimate spiderman and ultimate x-men. Those better be awesome.

    By Blogger DEATH_BY_MONKEYS, at 5:45 PM  

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