Cartoon Network: Ben 10 Alien Force: Volume Two
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Cartoon Network: Ben 10 Alien Force: Volume Two DVD
Four more monster-smashing adventures--with a healthy dose of teen angst on the side--await in Volume 2 of Ben 10: Alien Force, the follow-up to the highly successful animated sci-fi series Ben 10. The second volume continues to blend high-energy action and imaginative foes for teenaged Ben with an agreeable level of human drama--to wit, we find Ben on a date in "Pier Pressure," which is of course ruined by the arrival of a shape-shifting Galvanic Mechomorph in the form of a friendly mutt. Ben's sidekick Gwen also gets some character expansion in "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" in which she's forced to choose between her extraterrestrial heritage and life on Earth with her friends. And Grandpa Max, who's been MIA for most of the series, makes a welcome if all too brief return in "Max Out," which introduces some particularly unpleasant foes which bear a strong resemblance to H.R. Giger's Alien. The balance of the slam-bang and the everyday is fairly even throughout the four episodes presented here; viewers tuning in just for the showdowns probably won't be turned off by the emotional stuff, and those looking for a shade more substance in their animation will be pleased by the depth of story and character. However, they might feel less charitable towards the limited number of episodes per disc, and the bare bones presentation, which includes a by-the-numbers making-of featurette. -- Paul Gaita
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While I love Ben 10 Alien Force and recommend you get this if you've got the extra money, my gripes still ring on. It is beyond me why Cartoon Network & Warner Home Video would put so many episodes of a season onto DVD when we're in the midst of Season 2 now on TV. Besides, the episodes appear to be out of order on the DVD as they originally aired on TV. It's a real disappoinment to me and other Ben 10 Alien Force fans, I'm sure, as well. If it were any other series, I don't know if I'd recommend you buy the episodes. However, considering that it is Ben 10 Alien Force and the show keeps you engrossed throughout, I have to recommend it.
Season 1 Volume 3 won't be out for a couple of months. Look back here later on for another review from me. Let's hope that Cartoon Network and Warner Home Video wise up and give us the whole season on DVD at some point. This is ridiculous.
Other episodes include Ben's first date with a girl he likes and Gwen learning about her origins. Also on this DVD is a feature called "DNA of a Scene" where you get a inside look on the making of this series.
Knowing that this is Season One, Volume Two, the final volume of the first season will be arriving real soon. And don't forget to check out brand-new episodes on Friday nights under the somewhat ominous phrase "You Are Here".
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