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Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol. XX


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Product Details

  • Actors: Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy
  • Format: NTSC, Color
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • Release Date: March 8 2011
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B004G7XCS0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,996 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Aug. 25 2011
Format: DVD
I honestly don't know how they choose the episodes for these Mystery Science Theater 3000 box sets -- it seems like they set a hamster loose on the titles, and chose the ones that the hamster tried to eat.

But you gotta admit, there is some small connection between the episodes in "Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol. XX" -- they're all Joel, all the time. The collection is still small and expensive, but the episodes here are lots of fun, with a splattering of bad ninja TV movies, boring science fiction, and a lame Russian fantasy movie.

First there's an episode from the early days. After the invention exchange ("I think you could bruise a child's tender psyche." "THANK YOU"), the Mads sentence Joel and the bots a tedious, obnoxiously sexist movie called "Project Moonbase." Basically two men and a woman are sent on a rocket to an orbital space station, only to have one of the guys turn out to be a spy. It's a lot less exciting than it sounds.

Then there's "Master Ninja" and "Master Ninja 2," a pair of horrible TV movies made out of old TV episodes sandwiched together. Basically some old white guy who was trained as a ninja travels around with an annoying teenager, and they defend the commonfolk against evil. And occasionally, against other ninjas (actual Asian ones).

And after the usual hijinks for the Mads and the Satellite of Love folk (chin-underwear!), there's "The Magic Voyage of Sinbad," about a seemingly insane man who is obsessed with bringing happiness to the masses. As he goes off in search of the bluebird of happiness, he shamelessly leeches off a sea nymph and leaves his girlfriend to stand on a rooftop for six years.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 38 reviews
77 of 82 people found the following review helpful
Combines a moonbase, ninjas, & a magic voyage for maximum hilarity! Dec 14 2010
By Valnastar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This set is a departure from other recent 4-disc releases in that all four episodes are from the Comedy Central era of the show and all four episodes feature show creator and original host Joel Hodgson, most recently of Cinematic Titanic fame. Again, Shout! Factory has compiled four really strong episodes for a MSTie-must-have set!

* 109- PROJECT MOONBASE (with shorts: Commando Cody, parts 7 & 8)
This 1953 space exploration film was co-written by famed SF author Robert Heinlein. It's set in 1970 when the United States supposedly wants to build a moon base. Three astronauts, two men and a woman, are sent to explore the moon. One of the men is revealed to be a spy who endangers the mission and the free world. Unintentional comedy ensues, especially how the movie cheerfully resolves itself. As if the dated attitudes toward men and women working together in space aren't hilarious enough, we have two Radar Men From The Moon shorts featuring Commando Cody. This is a terrific and hilarious Season One effort and I'm looking forward to having a great commercial DVD release for it.

* 322- MASTER NINJA I
Master Ninja is an edited version of episodes from the 1984 TV series "The Master" featuring Lee Van Cleef and Timothy Van Pattern. Lee Van Cleef plays a veteran who became a ninja master while living in Japan after the Korean War. Timothy Van Patten is his unlikely apprentice. These particular episodes also feature Shô Kosugi and a young Demi Moore. This MST3K episode also features the quite memorable musical gag, "Master Ninja Theme Song!" The "film" is an odd mix of fine movie actors and young aspiring newer actors in a fairly mediocre TV series. There's plenty of action and goofiness for MST3K to make fun of and that they do here extremely well. Well worth a look.

* 324- MASTER NINJA II
This one is more mildly goofy TV episodes edited to look like a movie from the series "The Master". Lee Van Cleef and Timothy Van Patten reprise their roles as The Master and his apprentice still traveling around righting wrongs wherever they encounter them while The Master continues his search for his long lost daughter. In one host segment you get to check out the 'Bots' custom van designs. It's hilarious fun once again.

* 505- MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD
This 1962 Americanized version of the 1953 Russian folktale movie originally entitled, "Sadko" is a must see episode for all MSTieS! For my taste it is simply one of the funniest episodes ever produced. The jokes are incredibly dense, well-thought out and well timed from beginning to end in this beautiful but corrupted foreign film. The hero, Sadko, is renamed with the more familiar, Sinbad, in this American version dubbed into English. Sinbad returns from sea and is distressed to find his hometown on hard times. A water princess, some magical fish and an incredible sea voyage searching for the Bluebird of Happiness should set things right. This is one of those episodes I never get tired of no matter how many times I see it or how close together. One of many episode highlights is the host segment where Joel and the 'Bots dress up like jesters from the movie. Don't miss it!

Extra Features Include:
* A featurette on the look of MST3K with DP Jeff Stonehouse
* An intro to Magic Voyage of Sinbad by Trace Beaulieu
* Mystery Science Theater Hour Wraps
* A look back at Master Ninja with guest star Bill McKinney
* Servo vs. Servo at Dragon*Con
* Original Trailers
* Mini-posters by Steve Vance

Even the animated menus have been hilarious on recent MST3K releases. This should really be something MSTies will want to own.
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
the 20th Volume brings us some shockers Dec 20 2010
By D. Steigman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Coming out in March 2011 is the latest installment of MST3K - Volume 20 delivered to us from Shout Factory who continue to impress with the episodes selected - in this set we have all Joel episodes
EPISODE 109 - PROJECT MOONBASE -this is a sci fi yarn about the Earth building bases on the Moon in the year 1970 - but there is a spy aboard. At this point in Season 1 things were really starting to take shape to where they were heading..This is a fun episode which happened to be on the bottom of the Rhino Poll -in fact it was the very bottom.
Now for the 2 surprise episodes - these episodes were so popular that they moved 2 Mike Nelson episodes to future volumes
EPISODES 322 & 324 MASTER NINJA 1 & 2 - for those of you who have not seen these movies via MST3K style - you are in for a treat - these are great episodes to showcase Joel for those that have only or mainly seen Mike episodes - they are both vastly popular and highly underrated.A lot of fans felt the 3rd Season peaked or ended with Santa Claus Conquers the Martians - but these Master Ninja gems which are post Santa are also really awesome episodes. Both are TV movies originally called The Master with Lee Van Cleef & Timothy Van Patten - Basically the shows are - the Pilot episode of the Master + 1 ( MST3K episode 322). This contains the now very famous Master Ninja Theme Song from Joel & the Bots & 324 has 2 more 1 hour episodes made to look like a movie - one has to do with a cannery - the other is a mafia hostage type situation with spies, ninjas and a talky blond lady. Listen to Joel and bots bury Van Patten big time.. Lee Van Cleef as a Ninja has to be seen to be believed. These are the 1st MST3K experiments that were TV movies to hit the Volumes .These were owned by CBS - which means we could get Stranded in Space and Code Name Diamondhead in the not too distant future..
EPISODE 505 - THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD - known as Sadko in Russia, this is another Russo Finnish stories with colorful sets,decent stories and just bizarre happenings. As Gypsy says in the show during a host segment - this isnt Sinbad but still a colorful fun episode with "Sinbad" seeking the bird of happiness..
Watch for the scene near the end with an octopus..pretty funny..Oh and the line "Have some Prozac" become famous as an old name the riff in a MST3K contest over a decade ago. Joel and the bots seemed to have fun here with them dressing as some of the zany characters in the movie..
This is a GREAT set in terms of episodes and the quality ..now of course the Mike fans might cry foul since it is an all Joel set but I have always felt that Joel being the creator hasnt really had the love like he has in this set & the upcoming all Gamera set which shows his best work - which was Season 3. This is a great set even for those who prefer Mike as these. Mike fans still may prefer Mike after watching these do to the feel of the show when Mike was host. But these Joel episodes are classic..any fan who loves this show no matter the host most likely will have already pre-ordered this ..and while Mike fans might be on the fence, I say give this set a try because it really is a fun set..a lot of people even call Project Moonbase a good season 1 episode..on top of the great Master Ninja and Sinbad episodes..
Bonus features

* A featurette on the look of MST3K with DP Jeff Stonehouse

* An intro to Magic Voyage of Sinbad by Trace Beaulieu

* Mystery Science Theater Hour Wraps

* A look back at Master Ninja with guest star Bill McKinney

* Servo vs. Servo at Dragon*Con

* Original Trailers

And there you have it..another great set with more fun features..
And the intro by Trace Beaulieu for Sinbad..
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Ninjas, spies and... Sinbad? Jan. 7 2011
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I honestly don't know how they choose the episodes for these Mystery Science Theater 3000 box sets -- it seems like they set a hamster loose on the titles, and chose the ones that the hamster tried to eat.

But you gotta admit, there is some small connection between the episodes in "Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol. XX" -- they're all Joel, all the time. The collection is still small and expensive, but the episodes here are lots of fun, with a splattering of bad ninja TV movies, boring science fiction, and a lame Russian fantasy movie.

First there's an episode from the early days. After the invention exchange ("I think you could bruise a child's tender psyche." "THANK YOU"), the Mads sentence Joel and the bots a tedious, obnoxiously sexist movie called "Project Moonbase." Basically two men and a woman are sent on a rocket to an orbital space station, only to have one of the guys turn out to be a spy. It's a lot less exciting than it sounds.

Then there's "Master Ninja" and "Master Ninja 2," a pair of horrible TV movies made out of old TV episodes sandwiched together. Basically some old white guy who was trained as a ninja travels around with an annoying teenager, and they defend the commonfolk against evil. And occasionally, against other ninjas (actual Asian ones).

And after the usual hijinks for the Mads and the Satellite of Love folk (chin-underwear!), there's "The Magic Voyage of Sinbad," about a seemingly insane man who is obsessed with bringing happiness to the masses. As he goes off in search of the bluebird of happiness, he shamelessly leeches off a sea nymph and leaves his girlfriend to stand on a rooftop for six years.

All these movies are bad in different ways -- "Sinbad" is ornately and pretentiously absurd (like Sinbad himself), "Project Moonbase" is so boring and sexist (an army officer seriously threatens to SPANK a female astronaut) that you'll want to impale yourself on something, and the "Master Ninja" movies are just baaaaaaaad, soppy, clumsy TV.

And as usual, Joel and the bots are absolutely hilarious. Their little goofy intermissions are just hysterical (the gang dons big furry hats and big furry beards), and their constant mockery of the movies is gutsplitting -- just listen to all the pretend lines from the ninja sidekick's hamster ("He soldered me in here!"). Although you gotta admit that the Demi Moore jokes haven't aged well, especially since apparently when she was young she ate Brillo pads. How else can you explain that voice?

"Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol. XX" is a solid collection of two horrible movies and two horrible TV movies -- fun, wild and delightful. If only I could get full season collections...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I LOVE MST3K April 1 2011
By Nick Pusloskie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Ok, I admit it, I LOVE the series. The movies would be, IMHO, impossible to sit through if not for the SOL crew. Shout Factory has done an excellent job of putting these sets together. I was afraid that when Rhino stopped doing them that we would not get to see anymore of the shows. Thank goodness they are being put out.

Others have said more than I could about the individual movies in this particular set, so I will not bore you with another review. All I can say is - relax, sit back, and laugh.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
"Master Ninja Theme Song!" March 29 2011
By Robert I. Hedges - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I would be lying if I said that "Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XX" was my favorite MST3K box set, but it's a solid collection, with the dynamic duo of "Master Ninja" movies being series highlights. Some fans may be disappointed as there are no Mike episodes this time around, as these are all fairly early episodes (although "The Magic Voyage of Sinbad" is from the fifth season) from the Comedy Central era. I really like the Shout Factory releases and always look forward to the extras, and my only slight disappointment is the inclusion of "Project Moonbase" in the set when there are worthier films still to be released.

"Project Moonbase" is a ponderous 1950s science fiction epic set in the future of 1970 and is a space odyssey with extremely dated views of women. By far the highlight of the film for me was seeing Hayden Rorke cast as General Greene. The film itself is quite boring, and has a "surprise" ending that's the least well-kept secret in the set. I found "Project Moonbase" modestly amusing, although it was my least favorite of the four in the set. For me the thing that makes this episode nearly unwatchable is not one but two (Two!) episodes of the always painful "Commando Cody" shorts. The only thing MST3K has ever done to top the misery and boredom of "Commando Cody" are the "General Hospital" shorts in some early episodes. On the positive side, I do like watching the season one efforts and seeing the show develop with time, and I am in no way discouraging people from watching "Project Moonbase;" just expect to muddle through a less polished show with a fairly dull movie and two excruciating shorts.

I am also not a huge fan of the swords and sandals epics, and as such "The Magic Voyage of Sinbad" isn't one of my favorites either. Having said that, it is my favorite of the sword and sandals genre, and is pointedly surreal at times. Being a Russo-Finnish co-production, it's got brilliant color, weird characters, peculiar subplots, and hilarious overacting. I am a particular fan of the wacky foam fish, and actually like this film quite a bit, as it features Joel and the bots at their creative peak.

By far the best things in the set are "Master Ninja I and II," each of which are composed of two episodes of the television series "The Master" starring the improbable buddy team of ninja and apprentice Lee Van Cleef and Timothy Van Patten. The theme stitching the four episodes...I mean two movies...together is a quest to find Van Cleef's missing daughter. Conveniently each episode also features bad guys harassing a beautiful girl which compels the characters to act. Well not "act" as in "perform in a professional manner," but in the sense of "do something." Terrorists, union thugs, and the Asian mafia are no match for Van Cleef and Van Patten. The first episode features a young Demi Moore in an embarrassing role and has a brief cameo by Claude Akins; beyond that the guest stars are people you've largely never heard of. My single favorite element of these bizarre movies is the presence of a hamster in Van Patten's van (watching Van Cleef hold the rodent is especially hilarious.) The MST3K writers did an outstanding job on both of these films, and they are two of the best from the Comedy Central era. My favorite edit in the films is in "Master Ninja II" when switching between the two television episodes: the filmmakers didn't even try, as in the mother of all non sequiturs, Van Patten suddenly roars into a car chase scene in an ultralight aircraft. Watch these two several times; I have!

The extras include interviews with Bill McKinney who recalled working on "Master Ninja," a panel discussion about Tom Servo's evolution and character, an interview with MST3K Director of Photography Jeff Stonehouse, and an interview with Trace Beaulieu discussing the wonders of "The Magic Voyage of Sinbad."

Despite two of the movies being episodes that aren't among my favorites (especially "Project Moonbase,") the "Master Ninja" movies more than right any wrongs here, ensuring a five star appraisal. I recommend Volume XX highly to MST3K fans everywhere.

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