Weekend Review – “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog”

Originally released in web-only form several months ago, this has been available on DVD since December 19 through Amazon.com.

Cast and Crew Information

Neil Patrick Harris as Billy / Dr. Horrible
Nathan Fillion as Captain Tightpants Hammer
Felicia Day as Penny
Simon Helberg as Moist

Written by Jess Whedon, Jed Whedon, Zack Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen
Directed by Joss Whedon

Availability Information

Though it’s available through iTunes, the DVD is an Amazon.com exclusive.

Premise

Dr. Horrible is a supervillain walking a fine line. On one hand, he’s trying to gain membership in the Evil League of Evil, an elite cadre of supervillains. On the other hand, his schemes tend to involve non-lethal weapons. Will his growing feelings for a good samaritan from the local laundramat help him turn his life around, or will his quest to join the E.L.E. and hatred of arch-nemesis Captain Hammer push him into the abyss?

High Point

“Brand New Day,” the musical portion from the end of Act Two.

Low Point

The introductory video blog entry is a bit long. It establishes important character points, but there must have been a way to tighten things up.

The Review

This is an original take on a supervillain story. We certainly care more about the fate of the villain than the hero by the time the first act is complete, and you can trust Whedon to come up with an interesting but unexpected ending. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were minimal, which is good, because they were also cheap. The freeze ray looked fine, but the flying remote control receiver looked pretty bad while actually flying before it reached its target. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is very well done. We get character introductions, a complete, compelling story, and no less than ten musical numbers in the span of 42 minutes. It’s a full and efficient piece. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting from all three leads was great. It’s almost as if the roles were written specifically for them… The rest of the cast have very one dimensional parts, but they deliver on them well enough. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production for a web-based series is on par with what you’d expect from a typically produced TV series. Apart from the lengthy opening monologue, it’s timed out nicely, with some great subtle moments. (For example, keep an eye on the soup server, and note the leaves in the picture of Penny indicating it was taken from a distance through a bush.) I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is great. It’s snappy, entertaining, and filled with the trademarks of Whedon. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a very entertaining piece, despite its short length. It’s also got a very tempted commentary track on the DVD I expect to watch shortly. (It’s titled “Commentary: The Musical!”) I’d recommend it to anyone, and give it 6 out of 6.

In total, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog receives 36 out of 42.

6 replies on “Weekend Review – “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog””

  1. Damien says:

    Happy easter, it’s time for the egg hunt!
    Check out the subtitles.. oh, what language is that?

    There are some hidden delights to be found on the DVD for those of you brave enough. Or just google it.

    Damien

  2. Gaewyn says:

    Best Nathan Quote
    "The hammer is my penis"

    How he did that with a straight face I will never know…

    • y42 says:

      Re: Best Nathan Quote

      "The hammer is my penis"

      How he did that with a straight face I will never know…

      It’s called acting, son, and this is how it’s done.

      (I bet the outtakes are numerous on that one ;-)

  3. GrimSean says:

    DVD Extras?
    Hey Fiz, can you let us know about the DVD extras? I watched this when it was initially on the web, but if I were to buy it, it would definitely be based on how good / interesting the extra content is.

    Also, that commentary track sounds pretty cool – who’s on it?

    • fiziko says:

      Re: DVD Extras?

      Hey Fiz, can you let us know about the DVD extras? I watched this when it was initially on the web, but if I were to buy it, it would definitely be based on how good / interesting the extra content is.

      Also, that commentary track sounds pretty cool – who’s on it?

      From the package:
      – Commentary! The Musical: 42 minutes of NEW music featuring the cast and creators (no names are listed, and I haven’t listened to it yet.)
      – Commentary by the cast and creators (I don’t know if there’s a spoken version, too.)
      – "The Making of Dr. Horrible" Featurettes
      – Evil League of Evil Application Videos (the only extra I’ve looked at. They appear to be fan submissions, and not terribly interesting ones. It’s a 30 minutes feature and I stopped it at the 6 or 7 minute mark.)

      • Damien says:

        Re: DVD Extras?

        – Commentary! The Musical: 42 minutes of NEW music featuring the cast and creators (no names are listed, and I haven’t listened to it yet.)

        This is pretty much the entire cast plus the Whedon brothers and is less about making the show as another excuse to do a music set. It’s entertaining enough.

        – Commentary by the cast and creators (I don’t know if there’s a spoken version, too.)

        Yes, this is the "normal" commentary with the team talking about making the show.

        – "The Making of Dr. Horrible" Featurettes

        Three standard enough behind-the-scenes

        – Evil League of Evil Application Videos (the only extra I’ve looked at. They appear to be fan submissions, and not terribly interesting ones. It’s a 30 minutes feature and I stopped it at the 6 or 7 minute mark.)

        I enjoyed these – sure, they’re no Kubrick, but as quickie things made by some fans in their spare time you have to give them credit.

        Personally I loved the show and rated it 10/10 on imdb.

        Damien

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