Dragonball Z Movie #05: Cooler's Revenge - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: D
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Dragon Ball Z

Dragonball Z Movie #05: Cooler's Revenge

By Jonathan Hertzog     March 08, 2002
Release Date: January 22, 2002

The Review!
Having not watched DBZ in several months, I returned with a 47 minute feature back from 1991 which I have seen two or three times already. I was extremely pleased, to say the least.


For the audio three options are presented. English (both a 5.1 surround and stereo), Japanese (mono), and Spanish (mono). Because I value my sanity, I did not listen to the obviously badly dubbed English track. Both the Japanese and Spanish mono tracks were well made in a rich mono. Good work for both the Japanese and Mexican engineers on that one. Interestingly enough, there are 3 subtitle tracks on this disc, one for each of the languages. So not only can you have literal Japanese translations, but also English closed captioning, and an English translation of the Spanish dub. Options, options.

Dating back from 1991, there are a few nicks and scratches on the video print itself, but this movie is much better than the TV DVDs released so far. The colors are vivid and bright and well contrasted. With so many tightly drawn black lines, I was expecting to see shimmering, rainbows, and artifacting, but thankfully these were all absent.

After having used the original (albeit with some modifications) Laserdisc cover for Movie 4, I was a bit disappointed that FUNimation chose to use a screenshot of Cooler for the cover. Well, at least it is a very menacing picture of him charging through the water. Thankfully, the "includes x versions..." text has been greatly reduced in size, so the cover doesn't seem as text-busy as earlier covers were. As true with all FUNimation DVDs to date, there is no insert provided. Ya' know, guys, pretty much every company besides you provides inserts. Perhaps maybe you have looked at the DVD cases and though "you know, something should in the left side where there are two large hooks to keep booklets and such in place..."

Menus are serviceable here. They don't have the nifty animation that Pioneer's are famous for, but they are straightforward and take you where you want to go without delays. I am very happy FUNimation decided not to make them full video trailer, like on some of the TV DVDs, where you must watch 5-15 seconds of the English dubbed version just to be able to select anything. The horror... The menus here do play some quick clips from the movie, but you can access the options while you watch them. My biggest complaint was the awful excuse for music that plays during the menus. Ears... bleeding...

FUNimation strikes out again in the extras department, which consists entirely of trailers: one for Yuu Yuu Hakusho, one for Blue Gender, one for DBZ action figures, and one for the upcoming Game Boy Advanced game. Oh well, at least it wasn't previews of dubbed VHS tapes; the previews this time actually are for DVDs, so FUNimation, in a sense, has improved slightly. As for the trailers themselves, all are in excellent video quality. Yuu Yuu Hakusho's narration gives me back early Viz 90's dubbing flashback nightmares, but I don't plan on ever watching the dub of that series. Blue Gender's trailer was very dark and well done, but FUNimation front-loaded the trailer, as well as placing it in the trailer menu. A little too much, in my opinion. At least I could go directly to the menu for that one. As for the DBZ commercials... they're so hideously bad and their level of seriousness is so intense I found them unintentionally hilarious. As for the GBA commercial, there was not one screenshot of the game in the commercial itself... that cannot be a good thing. People have been saying for months that the video game will be horrible, and when the ad for it is made entirely of footage from the TV series, I'm inclined to believe that.

First of all, DragonBall Z movies are not designed to be the most thoughtful of anime films. This film, as well as the first eight films, all played in double-features with the Dr. Slump movies (Toriyama's other famous series) in Japanese theatres during summer and winter school breaks as is the equivalent of a few episodes compressed into one. As fairly standard in DragonBall Z movies, while Goku and friends are on a normal camping trip, a super-powerful villain (in this film, Freezer's older brother) appears to kill Goku and Gohan for killing Freezer. Although it should be noted that Cooler states he is not taking revenge for Freezer, but he wants to crucify the Saiyans for slinging mud on his pride.

God, I love shounen anime!

In a interesting twist, Cooler zaps Goku quickly with a destruction beam from his eyes, seriously injuring the fighter. Thus Gohan must go, undetected, to Karin's Tower for obtain the miraculous curing senzu beans. But, being one of the shorter DBZ films, the martial arts fighting breaks out fairly quickly, and the tides of characters change every few minutes... Goku is winning, then he's losing, then he starts you win again, but then the enemy starts his ultimate attack... repeat cycle until climax for results. Not to say that this is a bad movie, but as with all DBZ films, it's fairly predictable. Still, while watching the beautiful hyper-violence, I entered a state of shounen action nirvana that only DBZ can bring, so I'm not complaining. The film isn't all fighting however, one of the first scenes is rather humorous: Gohan is studying and Chichi is shocked when Goku tells him to hurry up and keep studying. Since Goku has never cared about Gohan's education before, Chichi worries her husband might have contracted a disease. Towards the end of the film, there is a sincerely beautiful scene: in the midst of the destruction, a small dying bird lands on the ground besides Goku. He picks up the bird in his hand, and gives it energy to live again. The bird then flies away... right before Goku prepares to send Cooler back to hell! DBZ Movie #5 isn't deep or symbolist, but it is the great fighting saga we have all come to love and/or worship. There's good stuff here, and a nice a way to spend an hour.

Review Equipment
Daewoo DVG-5000N 25" Panasonic Stereo TV


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