It’s not often that an original creation for the internet crushes servers and becomes a worldwide sensation. Of course, when such a project involves Joss Whedon, all bets are off – and when that project turns out to be the brilliant Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, well, you just have to sit up and take notice.
The story – Billy, a.k.a. Dr. Horrible [Neil Patrick Harris], wants to win the heart of Penny [Felicia Day] and join the Evil League of Evil, but the conceited superhero, Captain Hammer [Nathan Fillion] keeps getting in way… on both fronts – is simple, twisted and thoroughly entertaining. It may take a dark turn, but Whedon has been subverting people’s expectations ever since Brain-Dead Poets Society, the episode of Roseanne in which ultra-jock Darlene had to read a poem she’d written – in public! So, the thing is, nobody should have been surprised.
Written by Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, Dr. Horrible gave us a ninety-minute ride in only forty-two minutes. It had drama, it had comedy, it had pathos… it had a villain named Bad Horse – who was really a horse! And songs! Really marvelous songs! Goose pimple songs! The project made a number of important television’s top ten lists, despite never actually having been broadcast on television [TIME ranked it #4!].
The DVD release, from New Video, presents Dr. Horrible for general release for the first time [it was an Amazon.com exclusive for five-and-a-half months months]. On it we get the uninterrupted mini-epic; an spiffily informative and entertaining audio commentary by the creative team and the cast; the hilarious Commentary! The Musical – the cast and crew sing songs about their roles, rather than the actual production; three featurettes: The Making of Dr. Horrible: “The Movie,” “The Music” and “What Just Happened?”; the Top Ten Applications to the Evil League of Evil [videos] and a list of dozens of dishonourable Mentions; the Teaser trailer, and four Easter Eggs [of you count the DVD credits as an Easter egg – and which you’ll have to find yourself – I’m not going to spoil your fun!].
I should just take a moment to warn you, don’t miss the opening disclaimers and legalese. Just sayin’…
Grade: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog – A+
Grade: Features – A+
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