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Blu-ray Review "Weird Al" Yankovic - Alpocalypse HD Blu-ray Review (1 Viewer)

Todd Erwin

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“Weird Al” Yankovic’s latest album, Alpocalypse, now makes it’s debut in a video version on Blu-ray, plus some bonus videos from his previous release, Straight Outta Lynwood. Fans will likely be happy to have all of the videos from his latest album all in one place.
 
 

“Weird Al” Yankovic - Alpocalypse HD



Studio: Volcano/Jive/Zomba (Distributed by Sony)
US BD Release Date: November 8, 2011
Original Release Year: 2011
Rated: Not Rated
Running Time: 46 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: PCM 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles: None

Movie: 3.5 out of 5
“Weird Al” Yankovic’s 13th album, Alpocalypse, debuted at #9 on the Billboard Top 200, his highest debut of his 32 year career. For the first time, Yankovic created or commissioned music videos for each song on his latest album. Although many were available on the bonus DVD on the deluxe edition of the CD release, all 12 are collected here in glorious high definition. All of the videos appear in the same order as the songs do on the CD release.


  • Perform This Way - Directed by Yankovic, this is a fairly disturbing parody of Lady Gaga’s celebrity persona with Al’s head digitally superimposed on a female model’s body.
  • CNR - Originally produced by JibJab.com this is a very funny animated rock ode to Charles Nelson Reilly.
  • TMZ - Bill Plympton directed this animated parody of Taylor Swift’s You Belong To Me.
  • Skipper Dan - Divya Srinivasan directed this Flash-style animated video about  an actor who’s only claim to fame is working on the Jungle Cruise ride at Disneyland
  • Polka Face - Several directors contributed to this video, a medley of pop songs in a polka arrangement, including Poker Face, Womanizer, I Kissed A Girl, Baby, and Blame It.
  • Craigslist - A tribute to the Doors, directed by Liam Lynch.
  • Party In The CIA - A day in the life of a CIA recruit, a parody of the Miley Cyrus hit Party In The USA, directed by Rogue Ballesteros.
  • Ringtone - This music video was produced for the Current TV program Super News, about the pitfalls of having an annoying ringtone on your phone, directed by Josh Faure-Brac and Dustin McLean.
  • Another Tattoo - Augenblick Studios created the music video of Al’s parody of B.O.B.’s Nothin’ But You, about a guy obsessed with tattoos.
  • If That Isn’t Love - An original song about relationships (Al has written enough of these over his career for a themed compilation album), the Flash-style animated video was directed by Brian Fisk.
  • Whatever You Like - Cris Sapan directed this parody of T.I.’s song of the same name, Al’s commentary on our economy.
  • Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me - Koos Dekker directed this clever video of animated lyrics  (most likely created almost entirely within After Effects), an original ballad on how frustrating it can be when friends send you nothing but junk emails.


When I first listened to Alpocalypse, I was a bit disappointed with many of the songs, partly because five of them were released as a download-only EP, Internet Leaks, in the summer of 2010, but mostly because very few of the newer songs really stand out, at least during the first listen. It is also a bit difficult to follow an album like Straight Outta Lynwood and hit another home run. But the album has grown on me. My favorites from the CD include CNR (it is just a very odd song, with the lyric Every day he’s make the host of Match Game / Give him a piggy-back ride / Yeah, a two-hour piggyback ride / Giggyup, Gene!), TMZ (this song hits the nail on the head with just how crass the show and website are), Craigslist (anyone who has ever tried to buy or sell anything on the site or stood in line for coffee at Starbucks can relate to this song), Party In The CIA (there is just something very wrong when a bubble-gum pop song has the lyric You need a quickie confession? / We’ll start a water-boarding session), and Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me (we all know someone who, no matter how much you plead, continues to send you email chain letters, stupid jokes, etc.).

However, not all of the songs have translated well to music videos.

Perform This Way is not necessarily a bad video, but the fact that the song was released on YouTube (as a karaoke-style video) as a way to get Lady Gaga to approve it, many fans, like myself, had created their own video in their minds, so this came as a bit of a disappointment.

The same can be said of the video for Whatever You Like, the first release from Internet Leaks, but the last to receive a video. The video never quite matches the clever lyrics, the animation seems a bit sloppy, and the face on the blonde just makes me cringe.

Polka Face, for anyone who has attended a “Weird Al” concert, seems disjointed, since he used to take the actual music videos and alter the speed to match his polka arrangements as they played on the video screens. Rights issues to those videos likely had something to do with the creation of this video, using all new material.

I have never been much of a fan of Bill Plympton and his style of pencil-sketch animation, so that may have a lot to do with the fact that I find watching the video of TMZ difficult, at best.

The standouts on this collection are CNR, Party In The CIA, Craigslist, and Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me.

Video: 4 out of 5
All of the videos are presented in 1080p using the AVC codec, and are definite improvements over what is available on YouTube. Blacks are deep with little to no crush, especially on Perform This Way, which was rendered with a black background. Detail is perhaps a little too good, though, as you can see some of the seams in the CGI that is gluing Al’s face on Perform This Way. Colors are vibrant where appropriate and intended.

Audio: 4.5 out of 5
Unlike the Comedy Central concert released last month with a lossy Dolby Digital stereo track, Alpocalypse HD contains an uncompressed PCM 2.0 stereo track at 2.3 Mbps and 48 kHz, fully surpassing the CD’s 44.1 kHz audio. Stereo separation and bass response are excellent, and lyrics are clear and understandable.

Special Features: 3.5 out of 5
Three music videos from Straight Outta Lynwood, previously unavailable on any disc format, are provided here in 1080p.


  • White & Nerdy - One of Al’s best videos in years, a parody of Ridin’ by Chamillionaire, featuring cameos by Seth Green, Judy Tenuta, and a hilarious Donny Osmond. It was also his first top 10 hit.
  • Do I Creep You Out - Another video produced by JibJab.com a parody of Do I Make You Proud by American Idol contestant Taylor Hicks. A song about a stalker’s obsession, this is another candidate for a relationship-themed compilation. The video was originally created in 4:3, and has been pillar-boxed for this release.
  • Trapped In The Drive-Thru - A highly-detailed account of a couple going out to grab hamburgers at the local fast food restaurant, parodying Trapped In The Closet by R. Kelly. The video was originally created in 4:3, and has been pillar-boxed for this release.

Unfortunately, the entire Donny Osmond take of White & Nerdy (available on YouTube) was not included. That is a shame, because it is almost as funny as the music video, showing how funny and goofy Osmond can be.

Overall: 4 out of 5
“Weird Al” Yankovic’s first collection of music videos in high definition plays like a video version of his current album, with bonus videos from his prior album, and is a must-have for any fan, even though the videos are uneven and the songs are not the home run that Straight Outta Lynwood was.
 

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