Supervillainy! Romance! Singing! Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Serenity) created a web sensation with Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog -- and now it's on dvd.

Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris) is a mad scientist who hates the problems of the world so much he's decided to conquer it. He also wants membership in the Evil League of Evil, led by the infamous Bad Horse. Dr. Horrible finds himself thwarted by his nemesis Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion), a super-strong jerk who's loved by the public. And Dr. Horrible has a crush on Penny (Felicia Day) but is too nervous around her to ask her out.

So what's a villain to do? Blog and sing! Dr. Horrible makes a video blog, updating us on the status of his plans for world conquest and his membership in the ELE. Meanwhile everyone seems to burst into song all over the time, from Dr. Horrible combining his desired romance with his desired evil plans ("And Penny will see the evil me/ Not a joke not a dork not a failure/ And she may cry but her tears will dry/ When I hand her the keys to a shiny new Australia") to the trio of cowboys who pop up and sing almost every time Bad Horse is mentioned. The songs are catchy; I'll be getting the soundtrack.

Joss Whedon has defied predictability before, and he does so here: Dr. Horrible is the villain with the evil goals, yet he seems pathetic and almost likeable; Captain Hammer fights evil, but he comes off as an arrogant ass. (Sadly, Penny is the least interesting character, as she exists mainly to create a romantic triangle.) Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is very well done, with truly silly villains (Dr. Horrible's best friend is Moist, whose super power is always being, well, moist), funny dialogue ("what a crazy random happenstance!") and a surprisingly moving ending. And Harris and Fillon are great as the comic foes.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is brief. This originated on the Internet, and its three episodes ("acts") are total less than 45 minutes. Also, the characters are a bit cartoonish, never taking their various roles seriously at all.

So what's on the dvd that would you buy it instead of watching the series online? In addition to a nice behind-the-scenes feature, there are comic audition submissions for entry to the Evil League of Evil. And for something different than the usual commentaries, this dvd has "Commentary! The Musical" where the movie plays but the sound and dialogue are completely replaced by a cast and crew commentary -- done entierly in song.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is goofy fun for folks who like comic books, musicals, blogs, or comedy in general. This is light, goofy, and finishes far too quickly -- but it'll make you laugh.

Overall grade: B+

Reviewed by James Lynch

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