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DVD: Follow ups, Sequels and Series No.1

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I don’t really like going back and reviewing sequels, or continuations of titles that I’ve already visited. Too often it feels like you’re just saying the same thing about the same things. But there are titles that I feel deserve a mention, so from time to time I’m going to be doing this kind of post, where I throw a good word out there for new stuff that continues on from other stuff that I’ve already given the thumbs up too… so here we go:

Richard Hammond’s Engineering Connections: Series Two.

To me it’s the mark of a great documentary when it keeps your interested, even when you’re not the slightest bit interested in the primary subject matter. Richard Hammond’s Engineering Connections is just such a series. Like the first series, this new set of six documentaries takes a look into the past, to see how seemingly unrelated technologies come together to help in construction of some of the worlds most magnificent creations: From the HMS Illustrious to the Sydney Opera House and the Guggenheim Museum. Along the way Hammond again takes the opportunity to use as much ‘boy science’ as he can to demonstrate these technologies. Said demonstrations typically involve hurtling a large object — often one not particularly designed to be hurled — or detonating something. Usually when you describe something as “more of the same” it’s considered a bad thing, but being the same as something as great as the first season of Engineering Connections is meant as a complement. [source]

James May’s Big Ideas.

Like his Top Gear alumni, Richard Hammond, James May has found success in hosting a series of intelligent and entertaining documentaries. Recently I wrote about another of his series, James May’s Toy Stories. Although the two series are unrelated, Big Ideas is on par with with Toy Stories. Unlike Toy Stories, Big Ideas deals with big boy toys, rather than actual children’s toys. It investigates where the line where science fiction and reality cross. When will we get out flying cars? How far along is cyborg technology, robotics and artificial intelligence? And where are our unlimited powers sources? With the same wide eyed enthusiasm, and wit that made his previous series so entertaining May travels the globe seeking answers to these questions. My only complaint about this series, is that there isn’t more of it! [source]

Death Note: Relight 1 & 2

It’s no secret that Death Note is one of my favourite anime titles, but even I have to admit that the series — while fantastic — was a long and complicated journey. With Relight 1 & 2 the whole Death Note series has been condense into two nice, easy to swallow, DVD releases. Death Note is the story of a Japanese student (Light Yagami) who come into possession of a note book which has the power to kill anyone whose name is written in it. Light becomes obsessed with the power granted to him by the notebook and is soon the subject of an investigation, led by the worlds greatest detective, a mysterious youth who goes by the name ‘L’. Surprisingly, even distilled Death Note remains complex, but despite having been edited down from almost forty hours worth these specials still manage to feel very complete. If you’re interested in catching up on one of the best anime series of recent times or just want to revisit it, but suffer from the fear of commitment that any 38 episode series presents, then these two DVDs are for you. [Relight1] [Relight2]

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume 06

Again, it’s no secret that ATHF is still my favourite in an ever growing list of fantastic Adult Swim animated series. After six season Aqua Teen Hunger Force shows no signs of either letting up, or making sense any time soon. It’s virtually impossible to tell people unfamiliar with ATHF what the hell this show is even about, beyond the basics: Three anthropomorphic food products — A sleeve of fries, a meatball, and a milkshake — have misadventures. Seldom is there anything that will even remotely pass as a plot in these episodes, but somehow there’s a consistency that holds everything together. As I heard somewhere the other day “There’s a pattern here… it’s completely random! That’s the pattern!” Perhaps that’s the formula being applied by the ATHF creators. Whatever the case, this show is utter nonsense and I love every moment of it. [source]

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