I can’t speak from experience, but I would venture a guess that the optimal state in which to watch Aqua Teen Hunger Force is while stoned. I mean, it would explain a lot. The fast food items as characters, who used to pretend to fight crime and now just putter around the house. The mostly extraterrestrial or hell-spawn arch-rivals who want to foil their plans of pretending to fight crime and/or puttering around the house. The part where they never pay rent. And Carl.
So imagine the moral dilemma that was foisted upon at least some of the fans when it was announced that there was a movie in the works. A movie for theaters. And more specifically, a colon movie film for theaters. Well, good luck smoking the pot in your local Carmike. But if you did, and you managed to catch the Aqua Teen’s movie while you were at it, then you probably had a pretty decent time that you can almost remember. If you didn’t, then the experience can now be magically recreated in your personal domicile (or that of your neighbor. Skeeter’s basement rules, man!).
I’m mentioning the pot/reefer/ganja/doobie/roach experience quite a bit here, because it’s the only reason I can come up with for some of the plot choices in the film. I’m assuming this group is their target audience, and therefore certain story and continuity concessions were made in order to reach them in their most receptive state. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that a piece of exercise equipment would be the catalyst for destroying the world. And that a milkshake, a box of fries, a wad of meat, two bi-curious Plutonians, a robot from thousands of years ago, a mad scientist who has killed himself several times over, and a couple of eight-bit loving Mooninites would all come into contact together. And in the end, learn a little something about themselves.
Actually, that plot is pretty much par for the course in Aqua Teen land. And that’s why you either love it or ignore it. If you love it, then keep reading, because there’s more! If you’re utterly confused right now and thinking that some of that pot might be a better use of your time (and let me make it clear that Blogcritics does not endorse firing up the bong. And parents, this is the perfect time to go see what your delinquent children are getting in to), then this movie isn’t the best starting point for making anything at all any more clear. So instead of reviewing the film, I will now be devoting the bulk of my time to explaining some of the key differences between the afore-mentioned movie film for theaters version, and this new and expanded movie film for plastic disc posterity version.
Let it be known that there are two discs in this release. Not one, as that would be woefully inadequate. And neither three, as that would just be showing off. But two. Two discs.
The first disc contains the actual movie, which I’m sure will come as quite a relief to many of you. They did include it! But you’ll be even more relieved to know that the mountain of extras also begins here. To either augment or distract you from the film proper, there is a commentary track included and recorded by a host of random individuals (do you notice a trend here?). The cast includes a hilariously rambling Patti Smith, Todd Hanson from The Onion, Dana Snyder (Master Shake), and film animator Fred Armisen. It has all the focus of the munchies at 4am. And at times it’s more entertaining than the actual film. There are also some trailers included, as well as the token “behind-the-scenes” featurette. As an aside, is the word “featurette” ever used in the world when it’s not in reference to DVD extras?
So the first disc is more or less what you would expect. But the second disc is where fans will more than likely pay more attention.
The main feature of the second disc is an alternate and rough-pass version of the movie. Probably thirty percent of the content is different, so it’s worth the time to watch. Unfortunately, much of the deleted version is better than the final cut. But fortunately, it’s here for perusing at your leisure. And if the rough version is too rough, it’s included in a bonus television episode made up of completed versions of the deleted movie content. And it also is much funnier than many of the “real” episodes over the past couple of years. There are also additional deleted scenes, most in the form of extended takes that were trimmed down for the film. And the best part? The fake endings to the movie, in all their cliche-mocking grandeur.
Rounding out the second disc are several music videos and making-of band recording sessions. The soundtrack is largely made up of fist-pumping, hair-extension metal, but if that’s not your thing then there’s also one featuring Cameo. A few live-action extras wrap up the disc, the main one of interest being a mock interview of Dana Snyder by Bob Odenkirk.
I’ll go ahead and play my hand here. I’m one of the many fans of the show who thought the quality dropped significantly with season four. This movie hasn’t reversed my decision, but it wasn’t that bad either. Definitely slowed to a crawl towards the last third, though. But at least in this new form I can just watch some of the other material instead. There’s plenty of it and much of it is more entertaining than the actual movie. Hardcore fans of the show will find this set a justifiable necessity. Casual fans of the show shouldn’t be expected to buy and collect stuff, but might find much of the content amusing. Those who have never liked the show will not have their opinion reversed with this installment, but should probably explain why they’re still reading this article.
So if you and Skeeter don’t have plans this Saturday (and who are we kidding, you don’t have plans), then pull that baggy out from under the couch cushions (which we’re sure only contains items for monitored and medicinal purposes) and roll your own evening of obscure randomness. Aqua Teen style.