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ADV Films presents
ReBoot #2: The Net (1997)

"Our mission was to seek out new game cubes and new applications. We boldly went where no Spectral had gone before."
- Captain Robert Cursor

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: February 22, 2002

Stars: Sharon Alexander, Paul Dobson
Other Stars: Long John Baldry, Ian James Corlett
Director: Nicholas Kendall, Ezekiel Norton, Dick Zondag

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (some violence, a death)
Run Time: 01h:29m:37s
Release Date: January 23, 2001
UPC: 702727013423
Genre: anime


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B+A-A- C-

DVD Review

Over the course of reviewing two previous ReBoot DVDs, I have really developed some affection for the series. When it was on network TV in the early 1990s, I found it only sporadically entertaining, but the third season, which aired on the Cartoon Network, took the series to new heights of story and character complexity. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a "deep" show, but the scripts go far beyond most conventional children's shows in terms of continuity and intricacy of storytelling. The best part, though, is the fact that it functions on two levels. It is great entertainment for kids, with lots of humor and action (and morals to impart, some better handled than others), but adults will appreciate the tongue-in-cheek references to computer trivia and the rampant instances of film and television homage (what other kids show could, in the space of four episodes, spoof Star Wars, Star Trek, and The Prisoner?).This volume once again centers on Enzo Matrix, the de facto star of the third season. When he left the computer city of MainFrame in the past volume, he was a boy. But he became trapped in the games, unable to get home, and the accelerated time there has caused his growth to speed up. With his companions AndrAIa and Frisket, he searches for both a link to the Net (which will lead them home), and for his friend Bob (who, in the previous season, was lost in cyberspace, betrayed by the villain MegaByte, who was a fixture during the first two seasons and the latter part of this one). This disc contains episodes 5-8 of this 16 episode set.Episode 5: IconsMatrix and AndrAIa land in a system on the brink of destruction. It seems there are no Guardians to protect against the intruding games, and thus, the entire place is shutting down. The two decide to help, training a group of local screw-ups so they'll be able to save their homes. Keep on the lookout for some neat references, including Mars Attacks! aliens in the opening scene, and a nod to Braveheart. Also amusing, and sure to go over the kids' heads, are dialogue references to A Few Good Men (In the game the User says "I want the tooth!" and a character replies "You can't handle the tooth!") and The Wizard of Oz (A binome asks, "Are you a good User, or a bad User?")Episode 6: Where No Sprite Has Gone BeforeOur heroes land in a system that is struggling to ward off the games. It seems that, originally, all the life in the area was in the form of formless clouds of sentient energy; when the games came, some transformed into Sprites to save the system. Now, though, these beings feel they are oppressed by their forebearers, forced to do all the work of defending the city. The messages here are surprisingly subtle for such a program, and the resolution realistically recognizes the time involved in healing the wounds of racism. On a lighter note, the episode title clearly indicates a Trek parody, and there's some great stuff, including a Spock-like character, and Captain Robert Cursor, who talksjust. Like. James.... T. Kirk.Episode 7: Number 7Matrix and AndrAIa this time enter a game that, it seems, contains an exact duplicate of MainFrame, and they aren't sure if they are home or not. When they "reboot" into their game characters, they are surprised to find themselves transformed into their enemies from MainFrame, Megabyte and Hexidecimal. Matrix is forced to face his past and discover what he truly fears may be within him. This entire episode is an inspired parody of The Prisoner, and it's all very well done, though lacking some of the humor of the typical installment.Episode 8: The Episode With No NameFinally, Matrix and AndrAIa land in a system with access to the Net and the promise of a way home. First, however, they must deal with renegade Gaurdians, who have restricted Net access and imprisoned all who oppose them. It seems the whole Guardian network, save Matrix and the still-missing Bob, have been infected by a virus called Daemon (setting up the fourth season). There are also nods to the cantina scene in Star Wars (listen for the music), The Six Million Dollar Man, and the great name of a nightclub: the Bar Mid Rift. Hee!Overall, this is a nice collection, indicative of the overall quality and tone of the series. Sci-fi fans are sure to find a lot to like here, and I wish there were more episodes available on DVD. Alas, Universal holds the rights to seasons one and two, with no plans for a release, and season four is at least a ways away, if ADV decides to release it at all.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The transfer on this volume is typical of the other two in the series that I reviewed: excellent. Colors look very rich, and the transfer is very clean, presenting the rendered images without obvious intrusion of edge enhancement or artifacting. Black level is good as well. I did notice some slight aliasing in a scene or two, but certainly nothing to get too worked up about.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: One of the best things about ReBoot is that the producers don't treat it like a typical TV show. That's certainly true when it comes to the audio mix. The front soundstage is very wide for a release of this type, with nice separation between the main channels and quite a few directional effects. Surrounds don't play much of a role, but the mix doesn't suffer for it.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Farscape, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gasaraki, Generator Gawl, Lost Universe, ADV on DVD Promo
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Animation Test
  2. Character Bios
  3. Character Gallery
  4. Concept Designs
  5. Game Guide
Extras Review: There's actually a nice set of extras (by anime disc standards), and there's even more here than on other ReBoot discs. The menus are quite nice, and fully animated (with talking characters), which is a nice touch. Selecting Game Guide from the extras menu gets you a top ten list of the rules that govern games in the ReBoot universe; this is actually quite helpful in understanding why and how the characters have to participate in them. Character Mainframe leads you to another menu, with selections for a brief animation test (for the spider-like creatures from episode four), some character bios (for six different characters), a character gallery (featuring four characters), and concept designs (four screens).There's also the familiar ADV trailer gallery, this time with spots for Farscape, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gasaraki, Generator Gawl, and Lost Universe, plus the ADV on DVD Promo, which highlights some of their banner material. Sadly, no subtitles or captions have been included.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

Another great addition to the ReBoot series, this DVD presents four typically entertaining episodes of the show. Let's hope that ADV, which released the complete third season of the show on four DVDs, eventually releases the fourth season (which recently completed its run on the Cartoon Network).

 


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