Tags: Drew Powell, HBO, Image Entertainment, Jesse Garcia, John Moody, John Paragon, Josh Meyers, Lance Roberts, Lexy Fridell, Lynne Marie Stewart, Marty Callner, Paul Reubens, Pee-Wee Herman, Phil LaMarr, The Pee-Wee Herman Show
has an average rating of 7.4 on IMDb
1080i in AVC MPEG-4 on a 25gb disc
Uncompressed Linear PCM Stereo
only includes an audio commentary
– 89 minutes
– Image Entertainment
This uses 14.3GB for the show out of 15.4GB total.
Street Date: October 4th, 2011
Overall Verdict – Recommended for All Ages
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Show Itself is a Broadway show for kids of all ages, just as the sticker on the box says. Based on the original 1981 HBO comedy special “The Pee-Wee Herman Show“, Paul Reubens is back at it as his lovable, funny character “Pee-Wee Herman” with a lot of the gang from “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” making appearances as well. The performance here itself was shot at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in New York City back in January of this year (2011). Returning to direct you have Marty Callner who worked on the original 1981 HBO special this is inspired by.
Aside from Pee-Wee you have returning characters that are puppets or such like “Chairry” (voiced by Lexy Fridell), “Conky“, “Clocky” and “Fish” (voiced by Josh Meyers), “Globey” (voiced by Lance Roberts), “Randy” (voiced by Drew Powell) and “Pterri” (voiced by John Paragon). The physical characters in the cast include “Miss Yvonne” (played by Lynne Marie Stewart), “Cowboy Curtis” (played by Phil LaMarr), “King of Cartoons” (Lance Roberts), “Mailman Mike” (played by John Moody), “Jambi” (played by John Paragon), as well as new characters like “Sergio” (played by Jesse Garcia) and “Fireman” (played by Josh Meyers). Everyone in the cast and the puppeteers all give an amazingly unforgettable performance here. In fact this received 3 Emmy nominations when it aired originally on HBO.
Paul Reubens proves he still has it as “Pee-Wee Herman” as well as reunites us children at heart with our beloved “Playhouse” puppet friends and live-action characters, as well as a stop-motion animation short featuring “Penny.” It’s a real treat for those of us that grew up on this show. It’s great for the crowd even older than me that grew up on Paul’s original 1981 HBO special. It also leaves me personally very excited for a new “Pee-Wee Herman” feature-length film said to be in the works.
Video Quality on this release is in 1080i using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-25 (25 gigabyte single layer Blu-ray Disc) in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. First it may upset some when they discover on the back of the box that this is in 1080i and not 1080p. However I’ll be honest you really aren’t going to notice that much as interlacing seems to be visually minimal unless you pause it at random places or fast forward, etc. The real reason that this is only in 1080i may possibly be because that’s how it was shot in Hi-Def or that is was just how it was mastered to air on HBO HD and was left the same here on home video release. Regardless this looks really impressive here on Blu-ray in Hi-Def and is jam-packed full of detail, just as you would expect for a Broadway live show. The black level is solid as ink and helps to really emphasize outlines and detail throughout. The color palette here is absolutely vivid and fleshtones seem accurate — as much possible for being under stage lights. The detail on all the puppets here is very impressive as well as the amount of production value put into the actual “playhouse” set. Aside from only being in 1080i, I really cannot find anything wrong here with this video encode. In fact, I have nothing but good things to say about it. No signs of any compression or anything here. For what it is, this looks marvelous and is going to leave fans, even those who watched it on HBO in HD, pleased. This earns an impressive “4.5 Star Rating” for overall video quality.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in Uncompressed Linear PCM 2.0 Stereo. Sure some folks will be upset it’s only in Stereo and not 5.1 but I have to admit this would not have benefited in any real way from a surround mix. Stereo does just fine and uncompressed PCM is great. The dialogue here and occasional singing are the most important aspects of this broadway “play” (of sorts) and I’m very happy to report they are delivered very distinctly. The crowd’s applause is present in the mix but in no way ever comes close to overwhelming the dialogue, sound effects, music or whatnot. This manages to definitely get the job done but don’t expect the audio mix to “wow” you in comparison to any other Blu-ray releases from this year. Having said that, this earns a solid “4 Star Rating” for overall audio quality.
Bonus Materials on this release only include:
- Audio Commentary with Paul Reubens & Cast which is an absolute treat for fans.
Overall the bonus materials here are actually more than I expected. The fact Paul Reubens took the time to actually record an audio commentary track to this is impressive and leaves you even more excited for a new “Pee-Wee Herman” project. This is enough to leave fans pleased as I said but sure it’s not the most impressive set of supplemental material ever assembled. I know you are, but what am I?
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Please be patient with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.