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House of Cards: The Complete Fourth Season (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

July 4, 2016 by  



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“House of Cards” was captivating, especially to see this role reversal and showing Claire’s political strength. But also a shocking conclusion to season four that I never saw happening. How far will the Underwoods go to ensure their political power? Find out in Season Four of “House of Cards”! Recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2016 MRC II Distribution Company L.P. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: House of Cards: The Complete Fourth Season

TV SERIES YEAR:  2016

DURATION: Chapters 40-52 (646 Minutes)

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:00:1), English, French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: Not Rated

Release Date: July 5, 2016


Directed by James Foley, John David Coles, Robin Wright, Tom Shankland, Jakob Verbruggen

Written by Andrew Davies, Michael Dobbs, Laura Eason, Melissa James Gibson, Tian Jun Gu, Bill Kennedy, Kenneth Lin, John Mankiewicz, Frank Pugliese, Beau Willimon

Executive Producer: Dana Brunetti, Andrew Davies, Beau Willimon, Andrew Davies, Michael Dobbs, Michael Dobbs, David Fincher, Kevin Spacey, Joshua Donen, David Fincher, Eric Roth

Co-Executive Producer: Robert Zotnowski, John Mankiewicz

Producer: Jay Carson, Karen Moore

Associate Producer: Elliot KAhan

Supervising Producer: Frank Pugliese

Music by Jeff Beal

Cinematography by Peter Konczal, Paul Elliott

Edited by Byron Smith

Casting by Julie Schubert

Series Production Design by Steve Arnold

Series Art Direction by Halina Gebarowicz

Series Set Decoration by Tiffany Zappulla

Costume Design by Johanna Argan


Starring:

Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood

Robin Wright as Claire Underwood

Michael Kelly as Doug Stamper

Nathan Darrow as Edward Meechum

Mahershala Ali as Remy Danton

Molly Parker as Jackie Sharp

Michel Gill as Presdient Garrett Walker

Derek Cecil as Seth Grayson

Jayne Atkinson as Catherine Durant

Jimmi Simpson as Gavin Orsay

Elizabeth Marvel as Heather Dunbar

Larry Pine as Bob Birch

Joel Kinnaman as Will Conway

Damian Young as Aidan MacAllan

Andrew Polk as Harry Marshall


They’ve always been a great team. But now in Season Four of “House of Cards”, Frank (Golden Globe TM Kevin Spacey) and Claire (Golden Globe TM winner Robin Wright) become even greater adversaries as their marriage stumbles and their ambitions are at odds.


As “House of Cards” have focused on the political career of President Frank Underwood, this time around, the storyline shifts to explore Claire’s plants to mount a campaign without Frank’s blessing or knowledge.  And now, it pits both husband and wife on opposite sides, especially since the Underwoods are dealing with rumors of a marital rift.

Meanwhile, tensions mount between the United States and Russia but when Frank makes a campaign stop on primary day, the unthinkable happens.

All this and more in “House of Cards: The Complete Fourth Season”!

What is “House of Cards” all about?

In 1990, the British political thriller “House of Cards” aired on BBC and received critical acclaim. Fast forward to 2013 and an American adaptation of the series was developed and produced by Beau Willimon and is based on the novel by Michael Dobbs.

With the first three seasons streaming on Netflix and a fourth season scheduled for 2016, the third season of “House of Cards” (featuring episodes 27-39) will be released on Blu-ray and DVD.

“House of Cards” is a series that revolved around power-hungry congressman, Francis Underwood (portrayed by Kevin Spacey) of South Carolina, who is the House majority whip. With the election of President Garrett Walker, Underwood is agreed that he would be moved up to Secretary of State.

The first season dealt with President Walker passing over Underwood and not backing their original agreement, which leads to Underwood planning behind the President’s back with a goal to become Vice-President.

We also learn how Frank’s wife is also just as cold and power-hungry as her husband. In season two, Frank is sworn in as vice president but discovers a scandal involving the President that can possibly lead him into power.  But how far would the President go to hide his secrets?

In season three, with Frank Underwood now becoming the President of the USA, opposition towards him grows within the Democratic Party and while he plans to run for President in 2016, Claire desires to take a position in politics after becoming First Lady and desires even more power.

And now, for season four, with the First Lady having a taste of power, Claire Underwood now plans to pursue a political career… without Frank’s knowledge.

Meanwhile, how far would Claire Underwood go to promote her own political aspirations and what happens when the unthinkable situation happens to President Underwood during a campaign stop?

Also, when terrorists kidnap Americans, how will the President deal with the situation?


VIDEO:

“House of Cards: The Complete Fourth Season” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:00:1 aspect ratio). The TV series features wonderful detail in closeups, but for the most part, skin tones look natural, black levels are nice and deep.  Not murky like the first two seasons and better than the third.

I didn’t notice any banding or artifacts during my viewing of the TV series. For the most part, picture quality for “House of Cards” looks much better in HD compared to the previous last three seasons.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“House of Cards” is presented in English and French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. As this is an action film, there is a lot of surround sound usage during the more action intense battle exchanges and also good use of LFE during the battles, especially between the mermaids vs. the humans. But overall, dialogue and sound effects are crystal clear. Great use of the surround channels throughout the film.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“House of Cards: The Complete Fourth Season” comes with no special features.

EXTRAS:

“House of Cards: The Complete Fourth Season” comes with a special foldout case/slipcase and an UltraViolet Digital HD code.


As season three of “House of Cards” took the series to a new direction as Frank Underwood becoming the President and the most powerful man in the United States, the season also set things up for First Lady, Claire Underwood, as she is just as politically determined as Frank.

And now, she wants to create her own political platform and pursue greater political aspirations.

But unfortunately, because Frank does not want his wife getting involved in politics and prefers her to be the First Lady, we now see the couple (who are experiencing a marital rift) at odds.

As last season focused on the President Underwood facing dissent within the Democratic Party, for season four, it becomes a power struggle between President Underwood and Russia’s Petrov.

And as political campaigns continue, Underwood must deal with a scandal on primary day but also the unthinkable happens while Frank goes on a campaign stop.

The fourth season would definitely have to kick things up a notch, especially how the third season ending and seeing how Claire, who is Frank’s equal, also desiring political power and wanting to become something more than the first lady.

In some ways, the fourth season is like modern reality but set in an alternative world of what if’s.  Claire being the one who desires for power, doing whatever is necessary to get to the top and also watching her relationship with her mother and a former flame.  But what is interesting is how her husband deals with the situation.

And we clearly start to learn of how the Underwood’s are married in accordance to law, they need each other but for not reasons of family and love but more of satisfying each other’s quest for political power.

How far would Frank go?  How far would Claire go?  How far would the President and First Lady go to ensure that they are on top of the hill when it comes to people with political power.

Also, interesting is the new political rivals for each Underwood.  With Claire, there is the Secretary of State, with Frank, he must go against the young and powerful Governor Conway, who is gaining support on the campaign trail.

And with the Underwoods not wanting to lose, will do anything to ensure they stay on top.  But how far will each of them go?

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is good, considering the series has always had this murkier style to it.  And picture quality has improved.

As for the lossless audio, dialogue features crystal clear dialogue and showcasing ambiance from its crowd driven environments.

Overall, “House of Cards” was captivating, especially to see this role reversal and showing Claire’s political strength.  But also a shocking conclusion to season four that I never saw happening.

How far will the Underwoods go to ensure their political power?  Find out in Season Four of “House of Cards”!  Recommended!






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