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6 Teaser trailer
The Simpsons - Bart Wars
20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment .
R4 . COLOR . 88 mins .
PG . PAL
Some marketing droid at 20th Century Fox obviously has the title Director of Compiling Episodes of The Simpsons. Considering the haphazard job they’ve done thus far, they’re very lucky to be employed.
Bart Wars is another somewhat dubious effort that makes its way to little round shiny disc thingy after an extended time floating about the VHS market (for the younger readers, while ‘VHS’ may be three letters like ‘DVD’, it’s old, decrepit and crap, will never become retro-cool and you really need not be concerned with it.) The thrust is that these episodes are Star Wars related, however save for the first, featuring a guest spot from Mark Hamill, there’s no obvious link at all. Memo to that DoCEoTS; Do or do not. There is no try…
Mayored to the Mob (season 10):
Homer Simpson. Man in Black.
A riot at the astrotastic Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con leads to Homer saving both Mayor Quimby and Luke Skywalker from a horde of rampaging nerds. Impressed, Quimby employs the Simpson patriarch for bodyguard duties; when a school milk scandal being perpetrated by Fat Tony and his gang of rats is subsequently uncovered he is well and truly needed.
"Welcome futurists, cyberphiles and the rest of you dateless wonders." – Mayor Quimby
Dog of Death (season 3):
A Clockwork Orange... dog.
Springfield has lottery fever – however as always the Simpsons miss out, and what’s worse is that Santa’s Little Helper requires an expensive operation. So the family all have to make certain fiscal sacrifices. A healed SLH escapes one night for a series of great adventures, ends up at the pound and is adopted as a new attack dog by one Monty Burns…
"No, you got the wrong number – this is 912." – Chief Wiggum
The Secret War of Lisa Simpson (season 8):
Let's do it again!
After a Bart prank sends a sonic wave of destruction through Springfield, the decision is made; Disneyland is the only place for him. Rather than the happiest place on earth, however, this is a codeword for military school. Needless to say Bart is far from thrilled, however Lisa relishes the opportunity for some structured learning…
"Since you attended public school, I’m going to assume you’re already proficient with small arms." – Rifle range instructor guy
Marge Be Not Proud (season 7):
The Bonestorm effect...
The coolest video game ever is out – Bonestorm – and Bart wants it badly. So badly, in fact, that he obtains a copy via four-finger discount. Caught by the Try-N-Save store detective, he’s told never to return, however Marge wants a nice family photo for Christmas from guess where… Discovering her son is a thief, Marge becomes shattered and distant…
"Shoplifting is a victimless crime – like punchin’ someone in the dark." – Nelson Muntz
All the laws of TV animation apply here – again. The later episodes scrub up well with little in the way of claggy interlopers making their way screenwards, while the third season episode Dog of Death is the visual poor cousin, although many would argue it’s the best story included here so ultimately it’s a bit of a balancing act. It seems somehow superfluous declaring that it’s all presented in 4:3, however there may be one or two stragglers out there who will be interested to hear such news, so that’s why I typed it.
Doldiddilyolby stereo with added surroundy goodness is the order of the day audio-wise, which means our Flanders alarm isn’t working too well…
There isn’t an awful lot of rear sonicness, with the front two channels delivering the bulk of the sound. Still, if it were inverted we’d all have to sit backwards and look over our heads so it would be rather challenging for all but the most yogarific. Synch is good for a cartoon, as always the music is brilliant and… we’re just milking things more than the Legitimate Businessman’s club now, so enough said.
A series of six trailers for the first two series sets on DVD and four older compilations will be familiar to those who have been keeping up with these newer collections, however this time there’s a bit of a bonus. It’s a sub-five minute featurette boldly entitled The Making of Bart Wars, which in actual fact is an incomplete collection of Star Wars referencing clips from throughout the many years of The Simpsons.
Everybody wants their pound of Star Wars flesh, so the release of this ultimately irrelevant compilation comes as no real surprise. On the positive side, it does offer three episodes not available elsewhere on DVD, so those desperate for ad-free Simpsonified entertainment may very well be happier than a freshly-oiled droid.
And for those eating whilst watching it, remember: use the forks!
Jack & Sarah "Proving that simplicity is no obstruction to brilliance, this is an ultimately sweet (but not sickeningly so) tale that gives all those bigger English films out there a more than respectable run for their money... "