Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar brings a close to the universe that Dethklok conjured up all those years ago. It's a fantastic farewell with some amazing new music and tons of laughs and a few tender moments. The 1080p HD image and the DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix are both great. The one bonus feature is worthwhile too. Highly Recommended!
The animated television show Home Movies was one of the wittiest and sweetly funny shows about a young kid who wanted to make movies. The title character was Brendan Small (who was based on the show's creator of the same name). After four seasons on Adult Swim came to a close, the real Brendan Small got to hang out more with his friend Tommy Blacha where they attended a ton of heavy metal concerts inspiring their new venture together Metalocalypse. Even with its early cancellation after only four seasons, the rabid fanbase inspired numerous metal musical albums, comic books, and more. While no new seasons aired, there was an hour-long episode that was made to finish off the series, but the fans still clamored for more. Adult Swim wasn't hearing it, but HBO knew there was money to be made and fans that were still in love with this show, which is why the world now has a feature-length film titled Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar to round out this franchise for now.
Small and Blacha sure had a hit on their hands even back in 2006 when this series started. These creators had the creative fortitude to know that metal fans would stick with a show dedicated to the satire of the heavy metal genre like a Jedi would stick to Star Wars, (Yes, Mark Hamill is in both). Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar picks up where its previous 60-minute outing left off has Nathan Explosion going through the wringer romantically and personally as he is tasked to write the world's most excellent song to save the planet. This is a page right out of Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, but all still feels quite fresh due to the insane stakes and humor that come along with the universe of Metalocalypse.
With this final outing, at least for now, Small and Blacha allow for some great fan service to previous seasons and some wonderful new music which will no doubt be on their fifth studio album that will actually be released at the same time as this film does. But the kudos go so far into the creators and the voice cast's hands as they were able to sell a show for so many years and garner such a mega-following of fans that would ordinarily be sized down to only a few people who like heavy-metal music to a large number of the population and made it mainstream where they packaged it up with merchandise for people of all ages. That's a milestone for the heavy-metal and doom-metal music genre and the animation itself.
The film plays with its varying degrees of comedy, where the start of the film explores some of those early season examples of jokes. As the film plays out, the comedy slowly goes off the wall into one of the most fantastic and absurd endings that are satisfyingly fitting to the Metalocalpyse brand. Not only that, the laughs, and amazing music is accompanied by some actual heartfelt emotion that will bring fans a lump in their throats at times. Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar is the closure that fans and creators alike wanted all along. Newcomers will be lost in the story here, so it's advised that the previous 60-minute film be viewed before starting this one. All hail, Dethklok, and Metalocalypse.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar riffs its way to Bl-ray + Digital Copy via Warner Bros. The disc is housed inside a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork is a stained glass mural of the band which is quite cool. There is an insert for a digital copy and a foldable poster. The poster is the same artwork as the cover of this release.
Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar comes with an amazing looking 1080p HD transfer and keeps in line with its animated roots. The color palette looks great with tons of browns, greens, reds, purples, and every other color of the spectrum. Background colors contrast nicely with the action on the screen. There is a somewhat hazy visual to the style of animation, but that's not a compression or video issue, that's a style choice. The black levels are rich and inky while the white levels are well-balanced. The detail is simple and smooth and the animation runs fluidly. There are no big problems that plague this release.
This release comes with a DTS-HD 5.1 audio track that sounds phenomenal. The bass hits hard during the song cues and music selection that has a grizzly rumble to it. It's rather immersive in the bigger action sequences wor when songs are being performed. Sound effects are boisterous and always travel fluently through each speaker. The ambient noises give way to those smaller sounds and background noises. Dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow. The music though is the shining star here. There are no major issues with this audio presentation.
There is only one bonus feature here which is sad there isn't more given this is the series finale. But the content is great.
Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar is a wonderful sendoff to the characters and music of this universe. Fans will no doubt be happy with what the creators have done here. The 1080 HD video looks great and the DTS-HF 5.1 audio track sounds amazing. The one bonus feature is worth watching. Highly Recommended!