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!
Featuring an awesome collaboration with the Keach, Carradine and Quaid brothers together in one film, “The Long Riders” is a loosely based adaptation on the outlaw James-Younger Gang. Overall, an exciting western worth checking out!
Images courtesy of © 1980 Metro Goldwyn Mayer. All Rights Reserved
TITLE: The Long Riders
FILM RELEASE DATE: 1980
DURATION: 100 minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (widescreen 1:85:1), English Mono DTS-HD Master Audio and French Mono, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French
COMPANY: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists/Twentieth Century Fox
RELEASE DATE: June 7, 2011
Directed by Walter Hill
Written by Bill Bryden, Steven Smith, Stacy Keach, James Keach
Executive Producer: James Keach, Stacy Keach
Produced by Tim Zinnemann
Music by Ry Cooder
Cinematography by Ric Waite
Edited by Freeman A. Davies, David Holden
Casting by Jane Feinberg, Mike Fenton
Production Design by Jack T. Collis
Art Direction by Peter R. Romero
Set Decoration by Richard C. Goddard
Costume Design by Bobbie Mannix
David Carradine as Cole Younger
Keith Carradine as Jim Younger
Robert Carradine as Bob Younger
James Keach as Jesse James
Stacy Keach as Jesse James
Stacy Keach as Frank James
Dennis Quaid as Ed Miller
Randy Quaid as Ciell Miller
Kevin Brophy as John Younger
Harry Carey Jr. as George Arthur
Christopher Guest as Charlie Ford
Nicholas Guest as Charlie Ford
Nicholas Guest as Bob Ford
Shelby Leverington as Annie Ralston
Felice ORlandi as Mr. Reddick
Pamela Reed as Belle Starr
James Remar as Sam Starr
Savannah Smith Boucher as Zee
Jesse James and his gang of outlaws ride again in this “extraordinary” (LA Herald-Examiner) western that pulsates with hard-driving action and electrifying drama. Four sets of acclaimed actor brothers David, Keith and Robert Carradine, James and Stacy Keach, Dennis and Randy Quaid, and Christopher and Nicholas Guesteach depict real-life siblings in emotionally charged portrayals of the Old West’s legendary bandits.
When it comes to westerns, America can’t get enough of stories about the James-Younger gang featuring outlaw Jesse James and his gang of American outlaws that were notorious for their armed robberies and murder, part of the fascination of these criminals was because media and public sentiment made them out to be celebrities and rumors that the gang were like Robin Hood in which they robbed from the rich and gave to the poor (which to this day, there is no evidence that supports this as fact).
And with continuing conspiracy theories (that Jesse James did not die and his death was a coverup) continuing to this day, there will always be fascination around these group of outlaws and that includes films made about them.
Quite possibly the most ambitious film was back in 1980, when Stacy and James Keach wrote the screenplay loosely based on the James-Younger family but instead of going the route of hiring the actors, director Walter Hill (“48 Hours”, “Brewster’s Millions”, “Red Heat”) wanted to keep the film focused on family, brothers….and what best than to hire the brothers that were known in Hollywood at the time. So, along with the James (who plays Jesse James) and Stacy Keach (who plays Frank James), joining the film were Dennis (playing Ed Miller) and Randy Quaid (playing Ciell Miller), Christopher (playing Charley Ford) and Nicholas Guest (playing Robert Ford) and Keith (playing Jim Yonger), Robert (playing Bob Younger) and David Carradine (playing Cole Younger) were hired to be part of the film as members of the James-Younger gang.
The film revolves around the James family, the Younger family and the Miller family and how these brothers would plan an execute their armed robberies but most of all, how they would elude authorities because of their network of support from family members and former Confederates.
With no one being able to catch the gang, the Allan Pinkerton of the Pinkerton Detective Agency of Chicago (famous for their work in foiling a plot to assassinate president-elect Abraham Lincoln and for security in guarding private military contract work) and known for catching urban criminals, were hired to track the western outlaws James-Younger gang.
We see the back-and-forth retaliation between both the Pinkerton Agency and the outlaws when the outlaws kill two of Pinkerton’s agents. In retaliation, the Pinkerton agency went to the home of the James family farm and staged a raid and threw a smoke bomb into the house. Instead of shooting out smoke, the bomb exploded and it killed James young half-brother Archie and blew off the arm of his mother Zerelda Samuel’s.
This would lead to the public looking negative towards the Pinkerton agency and many having sympathy for the James-Younger gang.
It becomes a battle of strategy as the James-Younger gang want to pull of more robberies but with the Pinkerton Agency going after them, will the Agency become successful or will the James-Younger gang who has eluded the agency for so long, continue to elude them once again?
“The Long Riders” is presented in 1080p High Definition (widescreen 1:85:1) and similar to other catalog titles being released by MGM/Twentieth Century Fox, the film didn’t go through any major restoration as you can see quite a bit of speckles and dust during the film (nothing that hurts your viewing of the film) but with the upgrade to HD, obviously the picture quality is much better than its DVD counterpart. More detail can be seen through the film, especially from the injuries on the characters, the texture of their clothing, the black levels are nice and deep and there is a good amount of grain in the film as well.
Picture quality can be made better but for now, I think that if you are a fan of this film, you can’t go wrong upgrading from a previous video format to Blu-ray.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“The Long Riders” is presented in English Mono DTS-HD Master Audio and French Mono. The film is center-channel driven and while the dialogue is clear, I chose to watch this film with stereo on all channels for a more immersive soundscape (towards the final 20-minutes of the film). Also, I wanted to hear Ry Cooder’s musical score much better and thus my preference to watch this film with setting my receiver to stereo on all channels.
Subtitles are English SDH, Spanish and French.
“The Long Riders” comes with its original theatrical trailer.
“The Long Riders” is an enjoyable film and made even more exciting when you see this unprecedented move to have the Keach, Carradine and Quaid brothers in one film. For those not familiar with the history of the James-Younger brothers, what “The Long Riders” does differently than any film made on the outlaws is that it doesn’t focus just on the armed robberies or how notorious the brothers are. The film tries to concentrate on relationships.
Relationships between the men and their women, the relationships between the James, Younger’s and Miller’s and this tense brooding relationship that was developing between Jesse James and those with him.
For anyone who enjoys westerns, especially films based on real-life outlaws, one can hope for authenticity. In the case of “The Long Riders”, there are some differences of what happened in the story and what transpired in reality from the disagreement between the group and Edward T. Miller (played by Dennis Quaid) and also what transpired between the James and Younger brothers after their botched bank robbery.
Also, there are details that probably wouldn’t make a difference in the film but in historical accuracy, the group was caught near a swamp area and actually tried to fight back against a posse that were going after them and were further wounded from this exchange.
But disregarding authenticity, the fact in the matter is that the film does try to follow the major key points of the James-Younger Gang and their involvement in robberies, the botched robbery and the assassination of Jesse James. The relationship portion of the film is dramatized and although the film does try to humanize these men through their time with the women featured in the film, I found myself wanting less of it and wanting more focus on the gang itself and them trying to survive and see this cat and mouse chase between them and the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. Fortunately by the second half of “The Long Riders”, you get more of that.
As for the Blu-ray release, its a barebones Blu-ray release with no special features at all (but the trailer). While the PQ is a major upgrade, that may be enough to have fans upgrade to the Blu-ray release. The film does have fine cinematography and an awesome musical score from Ry Cooder. For the most part, wonderful direction from Walter Hill, but I felt the screenplay on how it focused on relationships vs. the second half which focused on the actual conflict between Pinkerton and the James-Younger Gang was a bit disjointed.
Your attention is more on the men, wanting to see who lives, who dies and how they are killed or injured in the film. You really have no sympathy towards the women because you know that despite the men showing these women love, they were celebrity outlaws who were having fun with women. The women were used well in the first half but are barely even in the film by the second half. So, it’s obvious that the goal was to humanize these outlaws but for me, it wasn’t pulled off successfully.
But still, most people come to westerns seeking action and in the case of “The Long Riders”, there is a good amount of action and the last 20-minutes of the film was pretty awesome! Overall, its subjective to the viewer if “The Long Riders” is one of the better films to capture the James-Younger Gang but as a film on its own, it’s an exciting film worth checking out!