Friday, July 4, 2014

Mythbusters: Collection 7 DVD Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson The Discovery Channel’s MythBusters Collection 7,  the popular Emmy nominated series MythBusters aims to uncover the truth behind popular myths and legends. MythBusters Collection 7 takes on risky experiments as the team dives into dumpsters, attempts to crash and burn an out-of-control racecar and accepts challenges from YouTube fans, such as using a household match to light a homemade cannon. The Mythbusters are Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman and they are the coolest science guys I’ve ever seen.  They are supported by the rest of the Mythbusters team, made up of Kari Byron, Grant Imahara and Tori Belleci.  Through all means necessary the Mythbusters will separate any myth from any time period into the categories confirmed, plausible, or busted.  Sometimes they guess correctly ahead of time.  Sometimes they are wrong.  No matter what, they are always entertaining.

Film (4 out of 5 stars) 

Mythbusters Collection 7 is full of great myths and lots of laughs.  If you’ve never seen "Mythbusters" before, you can easily start with Collection 7.  It’s easy to figure out who everyone is, and what their roles or strengths are.  Those who have followed the mythbusters throughout the years will just appreciate the dynamics between Adam and Jamie a little more.
Collection 7 has the following ten episodes on two discs:
Disc One
  • Mini Myth Mayhem – Multiple myths are tested answering the following questions – Can you light a match with a bullet?  Can you mail a coconut without packaging?  Can you make an earwax candle (as seen in Shrek)? Can you make a friend pee in his bed by putting his hand in warm water?  Can you stick your hand in molten lead without getting burned?  I’m truly impressed both Adam and Jamie tested the last myths with their bare hands.  The team tackles the Gorn Cannon from Star Trek, a very popular fan request.
  • Dumpster Diving – Adam and Jamie learn to jump safely from high distances and test whether landing in a full dumpster will increase your survival chances. Adam is very excited to test these myths and has a costume for the occasion.  The team tests a maritime myth involving the depressurization of early diving suits.  Kari makes an amazingly accurate Grant look-a-like sculpture to test the myth.
  • Antacid Jail Break – Jamie and dam attempt to break out of a jail cell using the CO2 buildup from a lot of antacid.  The rest of the mythbusters try driving in the dark to see if you could turn off your headlights and sneak across the border.
  • Unarmed and Unharmed – Jamie and Adam seek to determine if you can shoot a gun out of someone’s hand.  The team tests a movie myth, the Speed bus jump over a freeway gap of 50 feet.
  • Hidden Nasties – Adam and Jamie experiment whether or not rats running on your soda cans can cause deadly consequences.  They also test the nastiness of everyday surfaces.  The team tests a Cannonball Run 3movie myth that it’s possible to skip a car over water like a rock.

Disc Two
  • Boomerang Bullet - Jamie and Adam test the theory that a bullet could ricochet three times hitting the shooter.    They test all kinds of bullets and even a ball bearing, aiming for a cardboard cutout of Jamie.  They end up creating a circular metal tube to get the job done.  The team tries to create a conifer catapult, where a plague infected body was rumored to have been flung over a castle wall with only the use of a bent tree.  In typical mythbuster style, the team gets a bounce house for a castle.
  • Soda Cup Killer – Adam and Jamie determine if a soda thrown from a car can kill a passing driver.  Step one is a soda cannon designed and tested in the warehouse to determine that a slush drink should be the most deadly beverage in a Styrofoam cup.  Step two is real world testing where Adam and Jamie drive at each other joust style.   The team takes on stunt falling, sending Tori to the Emergency Room.
  • Dive to Survive – This episode has some fiery explosions as Adam and Jamie see if diving underwater would save you from the shockwave of an above water explosion.  Carrie rejoins the team to discover if car can be made bulletproof using only phonebooks.
  • Spy Car Escape – How difficult is it to give a car chasing you the slip.  Jamie and Adam test all the gadgets (road spikes, smokescreen, and oil slick) used to arm spy cars in the movies to assist with a getaway.  Tori, Kari and Grant test a physics thought experiment they call Vector Vengeance, using Tori as the test subject.  As Tori is about to take the plunge, the insurance company pulls the plug on the stunt.
  • Bottle Bash – Jamie and Adam want to know if an empty beer bottle does more damage than a full one in bar fight.  Adam and Jamie start hitting each other over the head with fake bottles just for fun, before getting to the real science.  The team tests leather cannons, an idea from the 17th century.

Video (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)  

Mythbusters Collection 7 is presented in anamorphic wide-screen.  This is a discovery channel television show, and it’s unfortunately not on Blu-ray.  Skin-tones are even, colors are rich, but it’s just not Blu-ray quality.  I feel like I don’t know what I’m missing because I don’t have a Blu-ray to compare it to but I bet there are many more colors in Adam’s beard I’m not even aware of.

Audio (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)  

Mythbusters Collection 7 is presented in Dolby digital 2.0 sound.  English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing are available.  The sound is acceptable for a DVD but it could have been better.  With all the explosions, guns firing, and glass breaking, it would have been nice to have some true surround sound using the side channels to their full extent.  The mythbusters’ dialogue is always clear and intelligible under an impressive set of circumstances, but “good” is the highest rating I can give the sound quality, not “great.”

Extras (0 out of 5 stars)  

Sadly, there are no special features on Mythbusters Collection 7 which is unfortunately going to bring down the final score.  I have the following suggestions for featurettes – injuries, cussing (when experiments go wrong), jokes about Jamie’s walrus mustache, jokes about Jamie’s beret, a look at the Mythbusters in their real lives (what are these people like at home), and financial information (how much money is spent testing all these myths).

Final Thoughts (3 out of 5 stars)  

I love the mythbusters and everything they do.  Even their support team has grown on me over the years.  I’ve always loved Tori Belleci, and soon grew to think fondly of Grant Imahara and all his remote control gadgets.  Kari Byron used to bother me a little bit, but as soon as she was temporarily replaced I realized she has grown on me as well. Mythbusters Collection 7 is full of great myths, a few minor injuries, and amazing amount of science.  The mythbusters are having such a great time; it’s easy to forget how smart these guys really are.  Mythbusters should be on the list of best jobs ever.
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