Exciting and absolutely riveting! “Missing: The Complete First Season” was one of the better drama series on television that was unfortunately canceled in 2012. If you haven’t seen this mystery thriller but are curious about it. Do yourself a favor and check it out! You won’t be disappointed.
© 2012 ABC Studios. All Rights Reserved.
DVD TITLE: Missing: The Complete First Season
DURATION: 10 Episodes (430 Minutes)
DVD INFORMATION: Color, English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, Widescreen (1:78:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Television, Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese and Spanish
RATED: TV 14 LV
RELEASE DATE: June 12, 2012
Directed by Steve Shill, Phil Abraham, Paul A. Edwards, James Strong
Written by Gregory Poirier, Paul Redford
Produced by Gideon Amir
Co-Producer: Kenny Bates, Meredith Lavender, David Minkowski, Matthew Stillman, Marcie Ulin, Richard Peter Schroer
Executive Producer: Gina Matthews, James D. Parriott, Gregory Poirier, Grant Scharbo, Steve Shill
Co-Executive Producer: Ashley Judd, Paul Redford
Consulting Producer: Adele Lim
Music by Robert Duncan, Kim Planert
Cinematography by Arthur Albert
Edited by Nick Arthurs, Allan Lee, Yan Miles, Simon Webb
Production Design by Ondrej Nekvasil
Art Diretion by Stefan Kovacik, Katja Soltes
Set Decoration: Beata Brendtnerova, Katerina Koutska
Costume Design: Roland Sanchez
Ashley Judd as Becca Winstone
Cliff Curtis as Dax Miller
Adriano Giannini as Giancarlo Rossi
Nick Eversman as Michael Winstone
Laura Donnelly as Violet Heath
Sean Bean as Paul Winstone
Tereza Voriskova as Oksana
Keith Carradine as Martin Newman
Jason Wong as Fitzpatrick
Gina McKee as Kaime Ortega
Jessica Boone as Rabia
Karel Roden as Azimoff
After Becca Winstone’s son disappears while overseas for a summer internship, she takes it upon herself to travel to Europe to track him down. It soon becomes clear that Becca is no ordinary woman, but a former CIA agent deactivated after the devastating death of her husband. If she wants to find her son alive, Becca will have to rely on old friends…and old enemies…thus reopening old wounds. Her resourcefulness, skill and determination will be put to the test – but a mother’s love knows no limits.
In 2012, the ABC midseason replacement, a mystery thriller drama television series known as “Missing” aired on television.
Starring Ashley Judd, Cliff Curtis and Sean Bean, “Missing” would feature Ashley Judd in her first action role and the series would be different in the fact that it was shot in various countries in Europe.
With ten exciting episodes and literally ending with a “bang!”, unfortunately, ABC pulled the plug and canceled the series.
Fortunately, the first season’s storyline does end in the season finale, but also left a teaser for more adventures featuring former CIA agent Rebecca “Becca” Winstone for a season two or hopefully a book release.
But for now, people can enjoy this thrilling, riveting drama series on DVD in June 2012.
“Missing” is a series that revolves around Rebecca “Becca” Winstone (as portrayed by Ashley Judd), a housewife who owns a flower shop, happily married to her husband Paul (as portrayed by Sean Bean) and has a young child named Michael.
One day as Paul and Michael were on a trip in Europe together, an accident takes place in which Paul’s car has blown up and a young Michael, who was inside the hotel at the time, witnessed his father’s death.
Ten years later and Michael (as portrayed by Nick Eversman) is now preparing to go on a summer college internship in Rome. Becca is unsure and a bit paranoid (after what happened to her husband) that she wants her son to study abroad but decides to give him that opportunity. Just as long as he keeps in communication with his mother, to let him know that he is OK.
And as Becca would receive periodic video and e-mail messages from Michael, communication suddenly stops. She then receives a call from the school that he has been dropped from his classes because he stopped attending school.
Becca knows that is not like her son to do such a thing and immediately thinks something is wrong, so she travels to Rome to check on him.
But when she goes to his room, she is suddenly attacked by a gunman and we watch and see Becca fighting back and literally beating the assailant and killing him.
The ruckus causes the landlord to call the police and when surveillance footage shows footage of Becca, the CIA in America finds out that their former agent, Rebecca Winstone may be up to no good and is working with another country.
This leads to CIA agent Dax Miller (as portrayed by Cliff Curtis) to assemble his group to pursue Rebecca Winstone in Europe. Meanwhile, Becca gets some help from a former lover and Interpol agent named Giancarlo Rossi (as portrayed by Adriano Giannini), the two find out through video footage that Michael has been abducted.
And now, Becca will do whatever she can to get her son back! Even if it means going against international authorities and the CIA.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
“Missing: The Complete First Season” is presented in Widescreen (1:78:1). First, let me just say that “Missing” was the most ambitious drama series on television because it was shot in several countries. You just don’t see series that are filmed country after country and in the case of “Missing”, it was shot in many countries.
So, there are quite a few breathtaking scenes in “Missing” and it helps to have an experienced cinematographer like Arthur Albert who has worked on several films such as “Happy Gilmore” and “Saving Silverman” but also experience on working on major drama series such as “ER” and “The Gates”.
For the most part, picture quality is good for DVD but as expected for a DVD release, you can see a bit of compression but nothing that would hurt your viewing of the film and for the most part, for most viewers, this is a non-issue for a DVD release. But with all the beautiful location shots utilized for this film, I wish “Missing: The Complete First Season” was released on Blu-ray!
“Missing” is presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound with subtitles in English SDH, French, Portuguese and Spanish. As a drama series, audio for “Missing” was primarily a dialogue-driven track with some use of scenery ambiance for surround channels. Because this was also an action-driven drama series, not only are their gunshots, explosions, car crashes, etc. It was a soundtrack that utilized the surround channels but also a series that had a good amount of ambiance. While not too immersive, on DVD and for a TV drama series, I was quite pleased with how this series sounds on DVD.
Once again, I wish “Missing: The Complete First Season” was released on Blu-ray but for the most part, audio isa ppropriate and dialogue is clear and understandable.
“Missing: The Complete First Season” comes with the following special features:
- Missing: In Action – (16:05) Interviews with Ashley Judd and the cast of “Missing”. Behind-the-scenes of the making of “Missing”.
- On Location: Inside Istanbul – (32:40) A featurette about the “Missing” production team traveling to different countries for filming, leading to their finale in Istanbul.
- Deleted Scenes – (6:31) Featuring seven deleted scenes.
“Missing: The Complete First Season” comes with a slipcover case.
Not too often do you find a mystery thriller drama series on television that tries to bring the elements of what you enjoy on the big screen to television. In this day of reality TV and studios trying to stay away from big budget series, “Missing” was one series that was one of the surprises of 2012. And it turns out that of the newer drama series I have watched so far this year, “Missing” was one of my favorites.
Unfortunately, it was also a series that was canceled after its first season.
I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical of “Missing” because you don’t really find any mystery thrillers involving a 40+ housewife in many action scenes, kicking a lot of butt while trying to look for her kidnapped son all over Europe.
Reading about it, it just didn’t make sense to me. Finding out that Ashley Judd was playing the main character, didn’t make sense to me. But watching it…it made sense and Ashley Judd’s character, Becca Winstone… don’t underestimate her! This woman can kick ass!
While most action series on television within the last ten years tend to focus on a younger, non-married, not a mother, female heroine. We have seen it done in the past with “Alias” or even “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. A series that would feature characters that would appeal to the 18-49 demographic.
But “Missing” took its chance by utilizing actress Ashley Judd in a way that at first it didn’t make any sense to me, until I watched the first episode and from there on, I realize that “Missing” is possibly the best performance I have seen of Ashley Judd.
Yes, I enjoyed watching her on films such as “Heat”, “Double Jeopardy”, “High Crimes”, etc. but in the context of her character, Becca Winstone is a former CIA operative, one of their top agents who quit her job right after her CIA husband was killed and focused her life on raising her son and being a normal mother.
And when you read about this series and watch the trailer, your initial thought was, what is an older mother of a college student going off on her lonesome to save her son? It didn’t make any sense. But once you see how this series plays out, not only do you find it riveting but you are just captivated. Everything that was happening onscreen was magnificent and suffice to say, I was rooting for Becca and watching this mother not only kick butt but doing all she can to save her son, that includes breaking rules that literally would put her in prison.
As mentioned, Ashley Judd is playing the character of the former CIA operative and mother, Becca Winstone. And one thing that Ashley Judd does bring to the table is the fact that she can play emotional characters. And as for action-based characters, I have to say that Becca Winstone kicks ass!
And you add in a wonderful supporting cast such as Cliff Curtis (“Live Free or Die Hard”, “Training Day”, “Three Kings”) as CIA agent Dax Miller, heading the operations to assist but also prevent her from causing any major problems but also responsible in finding Becca Winstone. You have Andriano Giannini (“The Consequences of Love”, “Ocean’s Twelve”) as Becca’s former boyfriend and Interpol connection. And for “Lord of the Rings” fans, Sean Bean plays the character of Paul Winstone, the husband of Becca and father of missing Michael who was killed in the first episode. And Keith Carradine (“Cowboys & Aliens”, “Nashville”, “Damages”, “Dollhouse”) as the friend of the family and godfather of Michael.
And to add to the excitement, rarely do you find a TV drama series that is shot all over Europe. You see sets built in America but for “Missing”, this was an expensive production as the characters and production crew were literally traveling all over Europe to shoot these episodes.
With awesome writing and performances, it’s unfortunate that a series this exciting was canceled.
Why was it canceled? It’s all about ratings and not sure if the production costs to shoot all over Europe was too expensive but I also believe that the ratings also were hampered for several reasons. As mentioned earlier, for female action stars on television, they are usually young, sexy and often dressed in tight clothing. Once again, we have seen it with “Alias”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and recently with a show like “Nikita”. I feel that people are so used to seeing action heroines on television a certain way, it’s hard for viewers to get outside of that.
I look at Becca Winstone like the female version of Jack Bauer of “24″. But as people are so used to seeing older male protagonists in action roles, the same can’t be said for female protagonists. So, in a way, I respect this drama that we see a mother, a former top CIA agent, getting back into the scene. And because for her love of her son and it’s all that she has left in her life, she will do everything and anything possible to save him.
And the character and the storyline definitely was awesome and captivating, unfortunately… how I felt by reading it or seeing the trailer, it didn’t do much justice in promoting the series, because the series was so much more than what I expected. It was a pleasant surprise and I couldn’t stop watching.
Another reason I can only think of why some people wouldn’t give the series a chance is because people are not used to seeing Ashley Judd as an action star. She is known for her roles on romantic comedies or thrillers. But if people did give “Missing” a chance, as I was skeptical at first, I was proven wrong. Ashley Judd did a fantastic job in this series and I was pretty impressed by the production values of the series. Once again, while we are used to seeing action films taking place in several countries, never do we see modern television drama series doing the same thing as “Missing” is shot in several countries (note: “24″ had a series shot in Africa, but that was for a one-time special, “Missing” is shot in several countries).
As for the DVD, the DVD looks great and it’s one of those series that you wish was released on Blu-ray, because some of these locations look magnificent, and would even look much better on Blu-ray. But on DVD, the series still looks very good and audio quality is just as great utilizing ambiance and plenty of sound effects via the surround channels. Granted, it’s a TV series, so one can’t expect it to be too immersive but for a TV drama series, “Missing” looks and sounds very good on DVD.
There are few special features included but the most intriguing feature is showing how the production crew had to travel to different countries to shoot the series. For me, I was quite fascinated by that feature alone but it would have been nice to have an audio commentary included with this DVD release.
And as much as I enjoyed this series, unfortunately, its cancellation affects everything for this series because although it manages to conclude one storyline, there was no doubt that the series finale was setting the story for season two, which unfortunately is not ever going to be made. While the series finale was good in tying up some loose ends, it also leaves you feeling a bit bitter that you can watch this exciting, riveting series but to find out that there is no closure because the series was canceled. Especially when you get a teaser finale that would definitely make things much more exciting if there was a second season.
With that being said, fortunately, “Missing: The Complete First Season” is among the better canceled series on DVD, because there is closure at least for the first season’s main storyline. Also, there are so many twists and turns in the storyline that watching all ten episodes was definitely worthwhile.
Exciting and absolutely riveting! “Missing: The Complete First Season” was one of the better drama series on television that was unfortunately canceled in 2012. If you haven’t seen this action/drama but are curious about it? Do yourself a favor and check it out. You won’t be disappointed!
“’SUNSHINE’ spots one of the most vibrant looking films that sports an awesome soundtrack and hours of special features. It’s a magnificent Blu-ray release but it all comes down to how one responds to the second half of the film (from a film about survival which later becomes a horror/slasher film) which will determine if you love it or hate it.”
DURATION: 107 minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p, AVC@16MBPS, Widescreen 2:35:1, DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio, English, Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish, Cantonese and Korean
COMPANY: DNA Films, Twentieth Century Fox
RATED: R (For violent content and language)
Directed by Danny Boyle
Written by Alex Garland
Produced by Andrew MacDonald
Co-Produced by Bernard Bellew
Music by Underworld (Karly Hyde and Rick Smith) and John Murphy
Director of Photography: Alwin H. Kuchler
Edited by Chris Gill
Casting by Donna Isaacson, Gail Stevens
Production Design by Mark Tildesley
Art Direction: Gary Freeman, Stephen Morahan, Denis Schnegg and David Warren
Set Decoration by Michelle Day
Costume Design by Suttirat Anne Larlab
Cliff Curtis as Searle
Chipo Chung as the voice of Icarus
Cillian Murphy as Capa
Michelle Yeoh as Corazon
Hiroyuki Sanada as Kaneda
Rose Byrne as Cassie
Benedict Wong as Trey
Chris Evans as Mace
Troy Garity as Harvey
Mark Strong as Pinbacker
It is the year 2057, the sun is dying and mankind faces extinction. Earth’s last hope rests with a courageous crew of eight men and women on a mission to ignite the fading star with a massive nuclear weapon. Deep into their voyage, out of radio contact with Earth, their mission begins to unravel and they find themselves fighting not only for their lives, but for the future of us all.
Director Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”, “Millions”, “28 Days Later”, “The Beach” and “Trainspotting”) had been inspired by classic sci-fi films such as “Solaris”, “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Alien” and now it was his opportunity to direct his own sci-fi film.
“SUNSHINE” is a British sci-fi film released in theaters back in 2007 and featured a screenplay written by Alex Garland (“28 Days Later” and “The Beach”), music by Underworld (“Vanilla Sky”, “The Beach”, “Batman & Robin” and “Trainspotting”) and cinematography by Alwin H. Kuchler (“Proof”, “The Deal” and “Code 46″).
The film would revolve around an Earth saving mission set by Earth’s Icarus II who have set out towards the sun. Because the sun is dying, Earth has previously sent the crew of the Icarus to detonate an experimental nuclear bomb in order to reignite the sun. But somehow, something happened to the crew of the Icarus and thus, two-years later, a new crew of the Icarus II need to finish their mission to reignite the sun.
The film would be different than most films as the talent would comprise of International talent which Director Danny Boyle wanted to showcase how mankind has evolved in their space programs. Also, each actor had to go undergo method acting and in the film, the crew of the Icarus II had lived together for 16 months. So, in order to capture that, the talent had to live together and take part in space and scuba training, zero G training, operating a Boeing 747 flight simulator and taking a tour through an actual nuclear submarine. Also, to watch films such as “The Right Stuff” and “For All Mankind” plus researching the effects on a ship’s crew while in space .
Talents for “SUNSHINE” are:
Hiroyuki Sanada (“Speed Racer”, “Rush Hour 3″ and “The Last Samurai”) as Kaneda – The captain of Icarus II
Troy Garity (“Lake City”, “After the Sunset” and “Barbershop”) as Harvey – The second-in-command and communications officer of the Icarus II.
Cliff Curtis (“Live Free and Die Hard”, “Fracture” and “Runaway Jury”) as Searle – The cool doctor and psychological doctor
Cillian Murphy (“Batman Begins”, “Cold Mountain” and “28 Days Later”) as Robert Capa – A physicist reponsible for operating the nuclear device.
Rose Byrne (“Troy”, “Wicker Park” and “Damages”) as Cassie – The pilot of Icarus II.
Chris Evans (“Fantastic Four” films, “Push” and “TMNT”) as Mace – The engineer of Icarus II.
Michelle Yeoh (“Heroic Trio”, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Memoirs of a Geisha”) as Corazon – The crew’s biologist who takes care of the oxygen garden.
Benedict Wong (“Dirty Pretty Things”, “Mr. John” and “On a Clear Day”) as Trey – The navigator of Icarus II.
These eight member crew while nearing their destination receive a distress beacon from the Icarus I. The crew decide to rendezvous with the missing vessel and acquire another payload in order to increase their success in their mission. But when the navigator Trey causes a major error by forgetting to realign the heat shield, the Icarus II becomes damaged by the heat of the sun.
With their mission in jeopardy, each crew member must now sacrifice their lives in trying to fix their ship in the effort to save mankind. But what they discover on Icarus I will set the story in motion of what had happened to the crew of Icarus I and that possibly, someone from that crew may still be alive…and insane.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
“SUNRISE” is one of those films that will be noted for its picture and audio quality. The film is presented on Blu-ray via 1080p High Definition (aspect ratio 2:35:1) with an AVC @ 16MBPS. Although the film takes place in the far reaches of space and there is rarely any interaction with anyone outside the ship, simply as this film is not a “Star Wars” or “Star Trek” type of film, each time Icarus or its crew are shown near the sun or interacting with the sun to crew walking through the corridors, colors are well-utilized.
Despite being in space, there is great use of certain colors, not through clothing design but through various lighting. The sun showcases the amber orange and reds, while the corridors and engine or oxygen planting areas showcase blues and greens. Blacks are nice and deep and overall, picture quality is solid. There is grain seen through the film but I would rather have film grain than overuse of DNR and this film looking soft.
As for audio, awesome utilization of audio. Great use of the front channels for the Underworld score, center channels for dialogue, LFE is heavily used throughout the film and surround channels are quite immersive. Overall, the DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack for “SUNSHINE” is exceptional and you literally hear the audio all around you.
The film is also presented in English, Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1.
As for subtitles, “SUNSHINE” is presented with English SDH, English, Spanish, Cantonese and Korean subtitles.
“SUNSHINE” comes with quite a number of special features. Include are:
- Commentary by Director Danny Boyle – An entertaining commentary in which Director Danny Boyle talks about the visual and audio experience of the film and setting up certain scenes and what he wanted the talent to accomplish.
- Commentary by Dr. Brian Cox, The University of Manchester - A scientific commentary by Dr. Brian Cox who was a science consultant for the film and discusses which scenes are real to science and the scenes that are more or less not possible and made for the purpose of the film’s story.
- Deleted Scenes – Featuring optional commentary by Danny Boyle – Featuring optional commentary with Director Danny Boyle, a total of 12 deleted scenes including an alternate ending which are featured in two major parts. Here is what is included:
- PART 1 – Play Chess “It Really Takes It Out of You”
- PART 1 – Washing carrots in the oxygen garden
- PART 1 – Coolant Redirection
- PART 1 – Cooking
- PART 1 – Wake-Up
- PART 2 – Demolished Oxygen Garden
- PART 2 – Searle Meets Capa
- PART 2 – In Deeper Space Than We Are
- PART 2 – Prepping for Docking
- PART 2 – Rough Docking Procedure
- PART 2 – Fight and Then We Die
- PART 2- Alternate Ending
- Web Production Diaries – Featuring a total of 22 web production diaries (ranging from 2-5 minutes long). Featuring interviews with Director Danny Bole, the cast and crew and involvement with “SUNSHINE”, especially the training and experience the cast had to go through. You can play all or watch each web production diary separately. Included are:
- Danny Boyle Introduction
- Zero G Flight
- PRe Viz
- Science of the Sun
- Troy Garity Harvey Introduction
- Voice of Icarus
- Michelle and Oxygen Garden
- Anita Screens
- Alwin Kuchler
- Cliff Curtis
- Bumps and Stunts
- The Science of Space Travel Physiology
- Space Suit
- Rose Intro
- Love Letters
- Chris Evans
- Big Bangs
- The Science of Sun Death
- Short Films -(7:35) Two short films which include “Dad’s Head” directed by Chris Shepherd and “Mole Hills” directed by Dan Arnold. Director Danny Boyle talks about how he likes to utilize short films on special features and give these shorts some recognition.
- A Brilliant Vision: Enhanced Viewing Mode with the Filmmakers of Sunshine – This feature is only for Blu-ray players that have picture-in-picture enabled and during the playback of the film, people can watch various behind-the-scenes footage and interviews. (note: If your Blu-ray player is set to bitstream, you will need to manually change the audio to LPCM to get audio for the picture-in-picture segments). Included are:
- Icarus Kitchen
- Designing Icarus/Kaneda’s Room
- Zero Gravity Rehearsal
- Oxygen Garden Fire
- Stunt Jump Through Space
- Cast Preparing for the Film
- Pinbacker’s Makeup
- Mace Fixes Mainframe
- Space Suits
- Payload Shutdown
- Journey Into Sound: Surround Sound Enhancement – This feature is only for Blu-ray players that have picture-in-picture enabled and allows the viewer to manipulate the dialogue from four different scenes: Searle in observation room, Capa speaks with Icarus, Capa discovers Pinbacker and Capa battles Pinbacker.
- Theatrical Trailer – Included are the theatrical teaser (1:54) and trailer (1:59).
- Fox on Blu-ray
“SUNSHINE” is an interesting film. One one side, it’s quite creative of how the scenes are cut, some may find it creative, so may find it annoying.
The storyline is the same. The first half of the film features a clear plot of the crew trying to survive and accomplish their mission, the story switches gears in the second half of the film as it goes from survival film to horror/slasher film.
In a way, when I was watching the film, I was expecting a cross between “2001″ and even “Solaris” but the film changed and next thing you know, things just change and everything becomes dark and bleak.
As a Blu-ray release, “SUNSHINE” has so much going for it. Awesome picture and audio quality and hours of special features. But as a film, knowing the kind of films that Danny Boyle has done, I guess you can say that there are surprises in store for the viewer.
But for those expecting a film about a crew trying to defy the odds and survive their mission, as the first half of the film seemed as if “SUNSHINE” was heading that direction, Danny Boyle rips the carpet right under your feet and gives you something different for the second half.
Some may be upset of how the film just changes to a horror/slasher film but I think that for those who enjoy Danny Boyle and Alex Garland’s work, it’s best to assume that they know quite well of how to change the situations of their films and give us a darker side to the characters or their environment.
With that being said, “SUNSHINE” is such a beautiful film that is meant for a High Definition release and its immersive audio soundtrack enforces that. But it all comes down to the viewer and what they’re open to. I personally enjoyed the first half of the film but the second half was not what I was expecting and thus, became disappointed because of the change of direction. But I should have known better, knowing that Director Danny Boyle was at the helm, Boyle is one of the top director’s known for his film and surprising audiences. So, it’s never good to feel that the characters will always be safe and there always has to be some sort of uneasiness on the viewer’s part that bad things are more than likely going to happen.
And those who appreciate Boyle’s previous work and want a near perfect transfer of the film, will definitely enjoy this Blu-ray release. “SUNSHINE” is one of those love it or hate it films. It’s hard to deny a film that looks and sounds great and comes with so many special features and all that went on behind-the-scenes. This is a solid Blu-ray release but it all comes down to a person’s overall view of the film and how they take it all in.
But I do feel that fans who appreciate and love Danny Boyle’s work will definitely enjoy this film and this Blu-ray release.