A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters For DVD

May 30, 2010

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters For DVD

This is undoubtedly the strangest thing we own.

There. That’s my review.

Well… okay… I suppose I should write maybe a little more than that.

Thousands of years ago, when my wife and I lived in Pennsylvania, Cartoon Network started a late-night television experiment called “Adult Swim.” In the original line up there was Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law, The Brak Show, Sealab 2021 and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, as well as re-runs of Space Ghost Coast to Coast. We watched it every time we had a chance and bought many a DVD of shows. Sadly, The Brak Show was canceled and Birdman ended after four seasons. Aqua Teens, however just never ends. It wasn’t on for a while, but then it came back, and every once in a while when we randomly flip past Cartoon Network around midnight we see an episode that we’ve never seen before.

Aqua teens is a sort of filthy stream-of-consciousness series of eleven minute cartoons about a trio of animated foodstuffs (a shake, some fries, and a ball of meat) and their hapless neighbor Carl and all the random stuff that happens to them. It involves minimal animation (which is part of its appeal – they find all kinds of clever ways to use the same animation cycles in new ways.) It’s impossible to describe to anybody, really. It’s easier to pop in a DVD and just show a couple of the episodes. And since they’re so short (Just long enough to occupy the space between two ad breaks) it’s easy to consume them in mass quantities. They’re kind of the unhealthy greasy fast-food equivalents of television episodes. All the flavor but none of the nutrition.

I can’t really explain why I enjoy Aqua Teens. We own four or five DVD sets of episodes, and pull them out to watch them once in a while when we need something quick for a laugh. I don’t have the excuse of being a college age pot-head – which is what they imply is the target audience. I do enjoy them, though. I enjoy the recurring characters like the Moonanites and the Plutonians and MC Pee Pants. I like the rapid-fire humor and the random violence. You can never predict where an episode is going to go with its premise, although odds are that there will be random explosions, drug and sex references, maybe some guest appearances by random celebrities, Meatwad being silly and childish, Shake being a cad, Carl suffering some awful fate and Frylock saying “Oh my god!” Never expect continuity between episodes (since any cast member could die at any moment) or even continuity within a single eleven minute period. Do expect callbacks and references and recurring characters and almost as many jokes crammed into a small block of time as you find in an MST3K episode.

I’m not even going to attempt to explain how something like this got expanded into an almost 90 minute movie that was actually released in theaters. Nor will I try to summarize the plot of this lengthy episode. (It has something to do with the origins of the Aqua Teens and with a deadly exercise machine.) I can’t even say if it’s actually any good. It’s all too crazy and strange. I do really like the first ten minutes or so, first with the singing concession stand candy (which makes sense since we’ve seen singing concession stand candy in the theater before.) Then with the extended opening song and its fantastically animated accompaniment. It’s like Fantasia meets Aqua Teens for just a couple brilliant moments. Then the movie gets started for real, and it’s just one extremely long Aqua Teen episode.

Part of the appeal of the Aqua Teens, I think, is that it’s bite sized fast food TV. Stretching it out to almost and hour and a half makes it sit in your stomach like a big greasy mess. It’s too dense and heavy for a full meal. It’s like when I go to Benn & Bill’s and buy a half pound of marzipan, then eat it all in one afternoon.

I’ll leave you with the two biggest distinctions this movie has. One: it has probably the longest title of any movie in our collection. And two: it is the only movie I can think of that had a promotional program which shut down an entire metropolitan city for a day. That’s got to count for something.

May 30, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , ,

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