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Patriots Day (a J!-ENT 4K Ultra HD Review)

March 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Peter Berg’s “Patriots Day” is well-made, well-researched, well-acted and felt that the film was a wonderful tribute to the heroes of the Boston Marathon Bombing and not being exploitative.  Highly recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2016 CBS Films Inc. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Patriots Day

DATE OF FILM RELEASE: 2016

DURATION: 133 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 2160p Ultra High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio), English DTS:X Audio, DTS Headphone:X Audio, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio Optimized for Late- Night Listening SUBTITLES: English, English SDH, Spanish, French

COMPANY: Lionsgate

RATED: R (Violence, Realistically Graphic Injury Images, Language Throughout and Some Drug Use)

RELEASE DATE: March 28, 2017


Directed by Peter Berg

Screenplay by Peter Berg, Matt Cook, Joshua Zetumer

Story by Peter Berg, Matt Cook, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson

Producer: Dorothy Aufiero, Dylan Clark, Stephen Levinson, Hutch PArker, Michael Radutzky, Scott Stuber, Mark Wahlberg

Associate Producer: Lauren Downey, Daphne Lambrinou, Joseph J. Micucci, Bo Shen, stephen Stapinski, Shixing Zhou

Executive Producer: Louis G. Friedman, Eric Johnson, Nicholas David Nesbitt, John Logan Pierson, Paul Tamasy, Dan Wilson

Music by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross

Cinematography by Tobias A. Schliessler

Edited by Gabriel Fleming, Colby Parker Jr.

Casting by Sheila Jaffe, Angela Peri

Production Design by Tom Duffield

Art Direction by Steve Cooper

Set Decoration by Ronald R. Reiss

Costume Design by Virginia Johnson


Starring:

Mark Wahlberg as Tommy Saunders

John Goodman as Commissioner Ed Davis

Kevin Bacon as Special Agent Richard DesLauriers

J.K. Simmons as Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese

Christopher O’Shea as Patrick Downes

Rachel Brosnahan as Jessica Kensky

Michelle Monaghan as Carol Saunders

Jimmy O. Yang as Dun Meng

Melissa Benoist as Katherine Russell

Alex Wolff as Dzohkhar Tsarnaev

Themo Melikidze as Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Martine Assaf as Connie Pugliese

James Colby as Superintendent Billy Evans

Michael Beach as Governor Deval Patrick

Rhett Kidd as Harrold


Mark Wahlberg shines in this all-star action-thriller that chronicles the courage and power of the people of Boston during the real-life manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers.


From filmmaker Peter Berg (“Hancock”, “Friday Night Lights”, “The Kingdom”) comes the American drama-thriller film “Patriots Day” about the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing and the terrorist manhunt that took place.

Featuring a screenplay co-written by Berg, Matt Cook (“The Duel”, “Triple 9”) and Joshua Zetumer (“RoboCop”), the film would receive positive film reviews from critics.

The film stars Mark Wahlberg (“Boogie Nights”, “The Fighter”, “Prisoners”), John Goodman (“The Artist”, “Roseane”, “The Big Lebowski”, “10 Cloverfield Lane”), Kevin Bacon (“Apollo 13”, “Footloose”, “X-Men: First Class”), J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”, “Spider-Man” films, “The Closer”), Michelle Monaghan (“Gone Baby Gone”, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, “Due Date”), Themo Melikidze (“Beautiful Something”, “Transit 17”), Alex Wolff (“The Naked Brothers Band”, “Come Through the Rye”, “The Sitter”), Jimmy O. Yang (“Silicon Valley”, “The Internship”), Melissa Benoist (“Supergirl”, “Whiplash”, “Glee”), Jake Picking (“Dirty Grandpa”, “Goat”), Christopher O’Shea (“Baby Daddy”, “Madam Secretary”), Rachel Brosnahan (“Beautiful Creatures”, “Manhattan”, “The Finest Hours”) and many more.


VIDEO:

“Patriots Day” is presented in 2160p High Definition (2:40:1). The film is presented in 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray.

Picture quality is fantastic as closeups show amazing clarity and day scenes are vibrant.  Many of the scenes are shot at night, but light is well done and for the most part, the film looks great in 4K Ultra HD!

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: To watch 4K Ultra HD, you will need a 4K UHD TV with HDR and an Ultra HD Blu-ray Player + a high-speed HDMI 2.0A Cable.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Patriots Day” is presented in English DTX-X Audio, DTS Headphones: X Audio, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio.

While the film features crystal clear audio (dialogue) and music, surround channels are well-utilized for action sequences during explosions, gun exchanges and crowd ambiance.  Great use of the surround channels and LFE!

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

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Patriots Day” comes with the following special features:

  • Boston Strong – (21:34) Featuring interviews with Dr. Jeffrey Kalish, Dun Meng and Sgt. Jeff Pugliese.
  • The Boston Bond: Recounting the Tale – (21:43) The cast and crew talk about filming in Boston and working with the community.
  • The Real Patriots: The Local Heroes’ Stories – (19:41) Filmmaker Peter Berg discusses the various heroes that he met and the real people that inspired the characters for the film.
  • The Cast Remembers – (5:52) The cast discuss how they found about the Boston Marathon bombings.
  • Actors Meet Real-Life Counterparts: A 2-Part Series – (10:08) Featuring John Goodman and Ed Davis and Jimmy O. Yang and Dun Meng.
  • Researching the Day – (11:22) Director Peter Berg and crew discuss the research of recreating the 2013 Boston Marathon and the bombing.

EXTRAS:

“Patriots Day” will come with a slipcover, both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray and UltraViolet Digital HD code.


I remember the Boston Marathon bombings quite clearly.

Watching things unfurl on CNN, immediately I was glued to the TV set, angered that our country was once again being targeted by terrorist attacks and to find out that were many people, including children who were dead or injured.  Then to find out about the two accused of the bombings, finding out a university police officer was killed, followed by a kidnapping of a Chinese man who revealed the brothers are planning to bomb New York and just following the news for the hunt of the Tsarnaev brothers.

It was a story that captivated America where in 9/11, the terrorists killed themselves.  While in this case, these two terrorists were out in public and we wanted them caught and to answer for their crimes.

With Peter Berg’s “Patriots Day”, we get to see how things went for those harrowing days, the people involved in the manhunt for the two terrorists, those who were injured and those who lost their lives.

Peter Berg and fellow writers Matt Cook and Joshua Zetumer no doubt made sure to pay their respects to those involved in the capture of one of the terrorists but to also pay respects to law enforcement and those who’s life was changed forever, but keeping the theme of “Boston Strong” central to the film and showing how the support for law enforcement and the victims will remain in the hearts of people who remember that fateful day and have managed to continue, to move on and show true determination but also providing inspiration for those watching the film.

Mark Wahlberg’s character of Tommy Saunders is a fictional character but his role captures the heart of Boston PD who were doing all they can to catch the terrorists.  Police officers who were on duty, with hardly any sleep, determined to keep Boston safe and to catch those who are responsible.

John Goodman also did a great job of portraying Commissioner Ed Davis and Kevin Bacon as Special Agent Richard DesLauriers of the FBI who worked tirelessly to control information in regards of who was responsible for the bombings but also coordinating their men for the manhunt.

J.K. Simmons as Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese of the Watertown PD who was there to take on one of the terrorists during a shootout.  Jimmy O. Yang as Dun Meng, the man who was carjacked and held by gunpoint by the two terrorists for a long period of time until he made a major risk by bolting from his vehicle when one of the terrorists were preoccupied and managed to run and call police.

Peter Berg tries to show the loving side of both characters, Sgt. Pugliese with his wife and Dun Meng with a woman he met.

But “Patriots Day” also effectively pays tribute to those who lost their lives or those who were caught in the blast.

“Patriots Day” pays respect to MIT Officer Sean Collier (portrayed by Jake Picking) who was ambushed by the two terrorists and was killed.  While he never had a chance to fight back, they tried to steal his weapon unsuccessfully.  The film also tries to show the loving and friendly side of Collier, from going on a date with a student to him hanging out with his friends, singing a song and playing video games.

We also get to see victims such as couple, Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky, father Steve Woolfenden taking his young boy on a stroller to watch the Boston Marathon, both were near the first bomb that exploded.  Berg shows the love between Patrick and Jessica and the father and son relationship with the Woolfenden’s.

Possibly a tough role were to play the terrorists and actors Alex Wolff and Themo Melikidze no doubt had to pull off these individuals and show the audience of their mindset but also their cowardly, evil actions.  The same with Melissa Benoist who plays the bomber’s wife and showing viewers on what happened when she was interrogated by law enforcement.

The film’s efficacy also helps with the real archived video of the terrorists and video caught from banks and at stores they were at.  It helped remind audience that what people were watching, was the real deal.

I felt that filmmaker Peter Berg and his fellow writers did amazing job in crafting this drama-thriller by sticking to facts, despite the film focusing on a fictional character.

The 4K Ultra HD is wonderfully detailed during closeups and also features an impressive lossless soundtrack especially during the bombings, the gun battle exchanges, the explosions sounds quite amazing through the surround channels and the use of LFE.  And the numerous special features included are also fascinating to watch and thankfully they are of good duration and not too short.

Overall, Peter Berg’s “Patriots Day” is well-made, well-researched, well-acted and felt that the film was a wonderful tribute to the heroes of the Boston Marathon Bombing and not being exploitative.  Highly recommended!

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

July 4, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

houseofcards-4

“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!

House of Cards: The Complete Third Season (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

June 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

hoc-s3

“House of Cards” focuses on Frank and Claire Underwood and where Frank was always seen as the man gearing himself to become the most powerful man in the United States, we now see Claire now preparing herself to become a powerful woman which pits husband and wife against each other in terms of their political perspectives.  While the third season has a much different vibe and is no doubt setting things up for season four, “House of Cards: The Complete Third Season” is worth watching!

Images courtesy of © 2015 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: House of Cards: The Complete Third Season

DURATION: 12 Episodes (60 Minutes each)

DVD INFORMATION: Widescreen, Dolby Digital English Stereo

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: NOT RATED

RELEASE DATE: July 7, 2015


Directed by James Foley, John David Coles, Robin Right, John Dahl, Tucker Gates, Agnieszka Holland

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

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

Co-Executive Producer: Robert Zotnowski, John Mankiewicz

Producer: Jay Carson, Karen Moore

Supervising Producer: Frank Pugliese

Music by Jeff Beal, Series

Cinematography by Martin Ahlgren, Peter Konczal, Paul Elliott

Edited by Bron Smith, Lisa Bromwell

Casting by Julie Schubert, Laray Mayfield, Jo Edna Boldin

Series Production Design by Steve Arnold

Series Art Direction by Halina Gebarowicz, Guy Barnes

Series Set Decoration by Tiffany Zappulla, Wendy Ozols-Barnes

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

Derek Cecil as Seth Grayson

Rachel Brosnahan as Rachel Posner

Jimmi Simpson as Gavin Orsay

Elizabeth Marvel as Heather Dunbar


In Season 3 of “House of Cards”, President Underwood fi ghts to secure his legacy. Claire wants more than being the fi rst lady. The biggest threat they face is contending with each other. This Emmy®-winning original thriller series stars Golden Globe® winner Kevin Spacey as ruthless and cunning Francis Underwood, who will stop at nothing to conquer the halls of power in Washington D.C. His secret weapon: his gorgeous, ambitious and equally conniving wife Claire (Golden Globe® winner Robin Wright).


Vice President Frank Underwood has now become the 46th President of the United States but the power-hungry politician is starting to have people in his own party working against him.

Meanwhile his wife Claire, who is now the First Lady, desires more power and has her eyes set on becoming more than just the wife of the President of the United States.

Find out what happens to the Underwood’s in “House of Cards: The Complete Third 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?

And here we are with 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.


VIDEO & AUDIO:

“House of Cards: The Complete Third Season” is presented in widescreen.  It’s important to note that if you want better HD picture quality and lossless HD audio, the series is available on Blu-ray.

As for the DVD release, picture quality features a dreary, cold style like previous seasons.

While close-ups do showcase detail, the series was never meant to be vibrant.  But on DVD, picture quality is as good as one can expect on DVD. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1.

Dialogue is crystal clear and the series features a good amount of ambiance that showcases the city environments.  But on DVD, the soundtrack sounds very good.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“House of Cards: The Complete Third Season” features the following special features:

  • Backstage Politics: On the Set of House of Cards –  (25:00) A featurette on how it takes one year for 13 hours of episodes.  A look at the making of “House of Cards”.

Season three takes a different direction from the previous two seasons of “House of Cards” now that Frank Underwood has accomplished his goal to become a President and has become the most powerful man in the United States.

But the series also focuses on the marriage between Frank and Claire, as both are planning their path of power but in different ways.

As there is dissent within the Democratic Party of Frank Underwood now the President of the United States, his focus is now on the American Works Program to eliminate unemployment but also planning to not run for Presidency in 2016 in return to have Democratic support for his projects.

But also, trying to work with Viktor Petrov, the President of the Russian Federation before the summit meeting. Meanwhile, Claire is determined in becoming the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. but she finds herself at odds with her husband.

But will their differences lead to a problem in their marriage?

As for Doug Stamper, Underwood’s chief of staff, having survived after being smashed in the head repeatedly by prostitute Rachel Posner (in season two’s finale), who has since relocated to New Mexico, a recovering but still psychotic Doug wants nothing more but to find her, by all means necessary.

With the third season leading up to the 2016 Presidential elections, things will never be the same between the Underwoods!

As for the DVD release, picture quality is good, considering the series has always had this murkier style to it.

Dialogue features crystal clear dialogue and showcasing ambiance from its environments, surprisingly unlike last season, a 25-minute behind-the-scenes featurette is included.

Overall, “House of Cards” focuses on Frank and Claire Underwood and where Frank was always seen as the man gearing himself to become the most powerful man in the United States.

We also now see Claire now preparing herself to become a powerful woman which pits husband and wife against each other in terms of their political perspectives.

While the third season has a much different vibe and is no doubt setting things up for season four, “House of Cards: The Complete Third Season” is worth watching!

The Blacklist: The Complete First Season (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

August 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

blacklist

“The Blacklist: The Complete First Season” is a magnificent television series worth checking out! Riveting, exciting and one of the best drama series on television! The acting, the writing, the overall production value, everything about this series is top notch and also unpredictable. So, if you are looking for a series worth watching, “The Blacklist: The Complete First Season” is highly recommended!

© 2014 Sony Pictures Television Inc. and Open 4 Business Productions LLC. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Blacklist: The Complete First Season

YEAR OF TV SERIES: 2014

DURATION: 22 Episodes (939 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: Widescreen (1:78:1), English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French

RATED: NOT RATED

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Released Dated: August 12, 2014

Directed by Michael W. Watkins, Vincent Misiano, Joe Carnahan, Michael Zinberg, Jace Alexander, Adam Arkin, Nick Gomez, Stephen Surjik, Steven A. Adelson, Paul A. Edwards, Karen Gaviola, Dan Lerner, Peter Werner, Randall Zisk

Written by Elizabeth Benjamin, Jon Bokenkamp, Jim Capolongo, Joe Carnahan, Richard D’Ovidio, John Eisendrath, Jason George, John C. Kelley, Brandon Margolis, Patrick Massett, J.R. Orci, Lukas Reiter, Jonathan Shapiro, Amanda Kate Shuman, Brandon Sonnier, Anthony Sparks, Daniel Voll, Wendy West, John Zinman

Produced by Timothy Silver, Douglas Rowell, Tony Salama, Trever Stewart

Co-Producer: Alex Cuthbertson, Matt Fusfeld, Timothy Silver

Executive Producer: Tristram Shapeero, Jaes Fino, Joe Russo

Co-Executive Producer: Erik Sommers

Associate Producer: Andres Anglade

Consulting Producer: Adam Countee

Music by Ludwig Goransson

Cinematography by Gary Hatfield

Edited by Christian Kinnard, Luke Guidici

Casting by Josh Einsohn

Production Design by Denise Pizzini

Set Decoration by Denise Pizzini

Art Diretion by John B. Vertrees

Costume Design by Sabrina Rosen

Starring:

James Spader as Raymond “Red” Reddington

Megan Boone as Elizabeth Keen

Diego Klattenhoff as Donald Ressler

Ryan Eggold as Tom Keen

Harry Lennix as Harold Cooper

Parminder Nagra as Agent Meera Malik

Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe

Amir Arison as Aram Mjtabai

Debora S. Craig as Luli

Rachel Brosnahan as Jolene

Alan Alda as Fitch

Charles Baker as Grey

Jane Alexander as Diane Flower

For decades, ex-government agent Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader, TV’s “The Office,” “Boston Legal”) has been one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives. Brokering shadowy deals for criminals across the globe, Red was known by many as “The concierge of Crime.” Now, he’s mysteriously surrendered to the FBI with an explosive offer: he will help catch the world’s most elusive criminals, under the condition that he speaks only to Elizabeth “Liz” Keen (Megan Boone, TV’s “Law & Order: Los Angeles”), an FBI profiler fresh out of Quantico. For Liz, it’s going to be one hell of a first day on the job.

In 2013, the series “The Blacklist” starring James Spader (“Boston Legal”, “Stargate”, “Lincoln”), Megan Boone (“My Bloody Valentine”, “Step Up Revolution”), Ryan Eggold (“90210”, “Queen”, “Trophy Kids”), Parminder Nagra (“Bend It Like Beckham”, “ER”) and Harry Lennix (“Man of Steel”, “Ray”, “The Matrix Revolutions”) became a breakout hit for NBC.

Receiving critical acclaim from critics and nominated for many awards, “Blacklist: The Complete First Season” will be available on DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

“The Blacklist” revolves around former government agent and one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives, Raymond “Red” Reddington (portrayed by James Spader) surrendering at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Because of the terrorist threats against America, Reddington offers to help the FBI under one condition, he will only work with one person in the FBI, rookie FBI profiler, Elizabeth Keen (portrayed by Megan Boone).

For Megan, she looks at her new job as a great paying job that she and her husband Tom (portrayed by Ryan Eggold) can finally start having a family.  But in the first case to capture the terrorist, her husband was captured, tortured and nearly was killed.

And as she continues to work with Reddington, it is unclear why he chose her and why he knows so much about her.  But he appears to also know something about Tom and that he may not be the man that she thinks he is…or is this part of Reddington’s way of getting closer to her?

And after the first case of capturing the first terrorist, Reddington reveals that there are more criminals with the intent to do great harm and he can help the FBI neutralize them, as he has created a “blacklist” of criminals/terrorists worldwide.  Especially those that the FBI are not aware of.

Thus forcing FBI Special Agent Elizabeth Keen to work closely with Reddington.  But what is he hiding?

The main characters of “Blacklist” are:

  • Raymond “Red” Reddington – A former government agent and FBI fugitive who aids the FBI in capturing criminals/terrorists worldwide but only wants to work with FBI Special Agent Elizabeth Keen.
  • FBI Special Agent Elizabeth Keen – A rookie profiler who had a tragic childhood.  Not sure why “Red” chose to work with her.  Wants to have a family with her husband Tom.
  • FBI Agent Donald Ressler – Keen’s FBI partner.
  • Tom Keen – Elizabeth’s husband who wants to adopt a child.  But behind this young man who is trying to look for a job and married to Elizabeth, is there more to him that Elizabeth is unaware of.
  • CIA Field Agent Meera Malik – Assigned to Reddington’s security detail and often aiding FBI Special Agents Keen and Ressler.
  • Assistant Director of the FBI Counterterrorism Division, Harold Cooper – Always watching over his agents’ backs but trying to figure out why Reddington is so interested in Elizabeth Keen.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“The Blacklist: The Complete First Season” is presented in 1:78:1 anamorphic widescreen and English 5.1 Dolby Digital.  Picture quality on DVD is very good as the series is broken up in five discs with 4-5 episodes each.  It’s important to note that if you want the best picture and audio quality, the Blu-ray release is the version to purchase.  But on DVD, picture quality is good and I didn’t see any major problems with artifacts.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH and French.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“The Blacklist: The Complete First Season” comes with the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • Commentary – Featuring an audio comemntary on the pilot episode with Jon Bokenkamp, John Eisendrath and Joe Carnahan.
  • Beyond the Blacklist – (24:18) Featurettes for the first five episodes of the series with interviews with cast and crew.

DISC 2:

  • Commentary on Anslo Garrick Part 1 – Featuring audio commentary with Jon Bokenkamp, John Eisendrath and Joe Carnahan.
  • The Insider: Behind the Scenes of Season 1 – (13:59) Behind-the-scenes on the making of “The Blacklist”, working with James Spader and the other cast members.
  • Beyond the Blacklist – (23:19) Featurettes for episodes 6-10 of the series with interviews with cast and crew.

DISC 3:

  • Beyond the Blacklist – (18:12) Featurettes for episodes 11-14 of the series with interviews with cast and crew.

DISC 4:

  • Beyond the Blacklist – (17:12) Featurettes for episodes 15-18 of the series with interviews with cast and crew.

DISC 5:

  • Commentary on Berlin – Featuring audio commentary with Jon Bokenkamp, John Eisendrath and Joe Carnahan.
  • Beyond the Blacklist – (17:48) Featurettes for episodes 19-22 of the series with interviews with cast and crew.

EXTRAS:

“The Blacklist: The Complete First Season” comes with a slip case.

Riveting, exciting and one of the best drama series on television!

“The Blacklist” was definitely a series that surprised me from beginning to end.  The first half was riveting for the sake that the wanted fugitive “Red” has chosen to work with Elizabeth, a rookie profiler and just seeing the missions these two work on and at times, barely surviving.

But as the first half featured the working relationship between Red and Elizabeth and how Red has affected her marriage with Tom, some of the episodes featured are absolutely thrilling.  From serial killers to murderers, these episodes were rather intriguing as the writers effectively planned each episode and escalating the tension.  And it’s a series that writers were able to take risks and making sure that characters, some that begin to grow on you, may or may not survive.

But the writers were also great at connecting the dots with each character, how the stories have all have a connection and leading to its excellent final episodes with some questions resolved, while many questions are created and will no doubt lead to what hopes to be a magnificent season two.

As always, James Spader has managed to bring something special to this series.  May it be his stoic yet suave behavior, his stylish presentation but also knowing that this man is quite deadly and not sure if he could be trusted.

Megan Boone does a wonderful job of playing an FBI Special Agent but also a woman that tends to show her strengths with each episode and to see her put through a lot of unfortunate situations but yet, hopefully becoming stronger.

These two individuals are rather fascinating as they are the ultimate odd couple trying to take down the world’s top criminals but yet, feeling this uneasiness that something big is going to happen and no doubt, there are many twists and turns along the way and if anything, the writing, the acting and overall production for “The Blacklist” is top notch.

As for the DVD, once again, if you want this series in the best quality, then the Blu-ray version is the way to go.  Otherwise, the DVD does look very good.  Not many artifacts can be seen, thanks to episodes being spread part on five discs.  And you also get a plethora of special features including audio commentary included.

Overall, “The Blacklist: The Complete First Season” is a magnificent television series worth checking out!   Riveting, exciting and one of the best drama series on television! The acting, the writing, the overall production value, everything about this series is top notch and also unpredictable.

So, if you are looking for a series worth watching, “The Blacklist: The Complete First Season” is highly recommended!

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