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Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season Blu-ray Disc Review

Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season Blu-ray Disc Review

LOST: THE COMPLETE SIXTH AND FINAL SEASON (2010, Blu-ray released August 24, 2010 – MSRP $79.99)

Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season Blu-ray DiscCount me among the legion of viewers and fans who were left empty by the Lost series finale. What a disappointment. It was a lackluster conclusion to an imperfect season of television. The same can’t be said for the Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season Blu-ray disc set. Aside from the show itself, there’s very little to take issue with here.

I think my frustration with the final season of Lost is due to the myriad of story opportunities the show passed by in favour of extolling a collection of ideas and themes that the producers felt a strong connection to. This wasn’t always the case. Over the initial five seasons the show was most concerned with the careful balance of character moments and plot movement. It came out of the gates firing on all cylinders six years ago but quickly ‘lost’ itself in an endless mess of dull subplots and seemingly random threads of story that lead nowhere. Into the fifth season of the show, which I reviewed on Blu-ray last year, it had clearly become a television series that had once again found its way, presenting some of the most well crafted stories I’ve seen on TV. Leading into the final season, this past year, Lost felt to me like it was finally going somewhere. Like we were on the precipice of experiencing the most well thought out and satisfying conclusion of any series in television history. Sadly, that wasn’t to be.

After watching this final collection of episodes again on Blu-ray, it seems like the season actually had very few plot points to hit before drawing to its grand conclusion. A lot of the screen time is actually eaten up either attempting to hastily tie up dangling plot threads from previous seasons or pushing the series toward its overwrought and only loosely relevant finale. Which brings me to the now infamous “flash-sideways” elements of the story.

Previous seasons have used flashbacks to reveal character and flash-forwards to escalate the plot. I was certain that the “flash-sideways” device, which presents the characters off of the island, living their lives in an alternate universe, would amount to something of a revelation in the plot. Instead, this device which easily takes up half of every episode, ultimately adds nothing to the show, aside from the heavy-handed punctuation of some major themes that would have been better addressed within the main story threads. Watching the season over again hammers home what a wasted exercise this was for the show. One that detracts from the finer points of the entire series, if you ask me.

But enough grousing. Lost is still a fantastic show. Still one of the best things ever to air on network television. Season 6 might not hold a candle to season 5 in my eyes, but it’s got a whole lot going for it – adventure and intrigue, incredible action and mystery, touching, even tear-jerking moments with your favourite characters and, most importantly, some answers to long-burning questions. After these episodes, you’ll finally know who Jacob is, what the island is all about and why Jack, Sawyer, Kate and their fellow passengers of the doomed Oceanic flight 815 are so important to keeping it secret and safe.

Along with being a cracking good series, Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season is also one of the best looking and sounding TV shows ever! This Blu-ray disc presentation is as close to perfection as it gets, providing crisp, detailed and clean HD transfers for all 16 episodes. Colour fidelity is pitch perfect and blacks are deep and deliciously inky. Along with an aggresive, robust and dynamic DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless track, you’ll feel satisfied making the discs in this boxed set your new demo material. Seriously, television has never looked or sounded this good!

Much like previous seasons of Lost on Blu-ray, this newest disc set offers up a stunning collection of bonus features, with a couple of caveats. Let’s get those out of the way first – there’s a whole other disc full of content not present here (you’ll have to pick up The Complete Series boxed set to get your hands on that bad boy) and you’ll have to struggle through Disney‘s “Season Play” feature on all the Blu-ray discs. What’s this “Season Play“, you ask? It’s supposed to be a feature that makes keeping track of your viewing progress an easier process. But for me, it simply involved too many clicks, too much setup to enjoy using. And, in fact, before you can even use it, you have to sit through a commercial touting the feature you’ve already chosen from the menu! I would have much preferred to have a “Play All” feature on each disc than to have to click into my “account”, then choose the disc (despite the fact that there’s only a single disc in my player) and then choose the episode I want to watch. Much too labourious a process to play a single episode.

But those are small quibbles with an otherwise incredible set of extras. Along with four of the best commentary tracks you’re ever bound to hear on disc, featuring members of the cast and the creators of the show revealing more behind the scenes info than you can shake a stick at, you’ll be treated to a veritable ton of featurettes, deleted scenes and bloopers. In addition, the hit of the season 5 Blu-ray set, “Lost University” returns with another BD-Live Master’s Program, accessed through your players’ network connection. But wait, there’s more! The feature all Lost fans have been waiting for has got to be “The New Man in Charge” – the 12-minute denouement to the series, exclusively presented in this season set and the in the Complete Series collection. It’s a lot of fun and answers more questions in its brief runtime than the first four seasons combined! Well worth the wait and well worth the $48 on Amazon!

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • Plus: A Lost Blu-ray & DVD exclusive – Go deeper into the world of LOST with a much-anticipated new chapter of the island’s story from Executive Producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse… and starring some very familiar faces
  • The End: Crafting A Final Season – Join the LOST team along with other producers of some of television’s longest running shows as they examine the challenges of ending a landmark series
  • A Hero’s Journey – What makes a hero? Which survivors of Oceanic 815 are true heroes? These questions and more are explored
  • See You In Another Life, Brotha – Unlock the mysteries of this season’s intriguing flash sideways
  • Bloopers
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Audio Commentaries

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Top 5 New Blu-ray releases for the Week of August 24

Top 5 New Blu-ray releases for the Week of August 24

This weeks best Blu-ray releases deliver us a healthy dose of TV shows, classic films and animation. But nothing can compete with the juggernaut of a series that is Lost! It’s an easy call for the number one slot this week.


1. LOST: THE COMPLETE SIXTH AND FINAL SEASON

Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season [Blu-ray]


Well, this is a no-brainer. If the final Blu-ray season collection of the Lost tv series isn’t on your radar this week you’re missing out. This is one of the strongest releases of the year, featuring one of the best shows ever to air on network television in a damn-near perfect video and audio presentation. Not to mention the incredible and robust set of special features included in the set. I’ll save my musings about this final season of the series for a full review of the season set where I can go on at length about the controversial decisions the production team made to bring the series to a close along with my thoughts on the story in general.

But!

If, by chance, you happen to be one of those rare people who hasn’t had a chance to watch any of the series yet, you’re in luck…

Amazon: $47.99

ALSO AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY TODAY -

LOST: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION

Lost: The Complete Collection [Blu-ray]


…because the entire series, all six-seasons are now available in one amazing and convenient boxed set! Owners of individual seasons may even want to trade up to this big, bad-boy as it offers an extra secret disc of bonus content as well as tons of collectibles and goo-gahs.

Amazon: $194.99


2. THE SIMPSONS: THE 13TH SEASON

The Simpsons: The 13th Season [Blu-ray]

Hardcore fans might look at this thirteenth season of the long-running animated show as something of a mixed bag as it marks the beginning of Al Jean‘s first season as Show Runner and the subtle (to some, drastic to others) shift in tone from The Simpsons of previous seasons to the style of stories we still see from Jean’s team today. Either way, collectors will be happy to add another season to their shelves and fans will praise the return of creator commentary tracks. Here’s hoping Fox gets us more Simpsons on Blu-ray soon!

Amazon: $39.99


3. SHOGUN ASSASSIN (30TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR’S EDITION)

Shogun Assassin (30th Anniversary Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] (1980)

I used to collect the Lone Wolf and Cub comic books back in the 80s, when they were first issued in English with those great Frank Miller and Bill Sienkewicz covers (yeah, I’ve still got ‘em!) Shogun Assassin is an American edit of the first two Japanese film adaptations of the series, smushed together into one slick package with a brand new rock soundtrack. It might not be as pure as the original versions but it’s still all kinds of fun. Read all about it in our previous post, here: Shogun Assassin coming to Blu-ray.

Amazon: $14.99


4. MACHINE GUN MCCAIN

Machine Gun McCain [Blu-ray] (1969)

Okay, this is a gangster film you’ve probably never seen. Why should you care about Machine Gun McCain? I’m going to throw some names at you here to see if I can can convince you – the film stars John Cassavetes, Peter Falk, Gena Rowlands and the always stunning Britt Ekland, with music by…get ready… the master, Ennio Morricone!!! The disc is produced by the Criterion of b-movies, Blue Underground so you’re guaranteed something nice to look at. I mean, aside from the lovely miss Ekland.

Amazon: $17.49


5. HANDMADE FILMS COLLECTION – TIME BANDITS, MONA LISA, WITHNAIL AND I, THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY

Time Bandits [Blu-ray] (1981)Mona Lisa [Blu-ray] (1986)Withnail and I [Blu-ray] (1987)The Long Good Friday [Blu-ray] (1980)


Oh man, I was so so so excited for these four classic British movies produced by Handmade Films to make their way onto Blu-ray. But not like this. All four of these should be Criterion releases. Hell, they’ve all been Criterion titles at some point and I wish they would goddamn well get their asses back there, to a studio that will treat them with some respect. Image has just chucked them all unceremoniously onto single-layer discs, compressed to hell with very few extras. And the worst offense? Time Bandits is only presented in 1080i. That’s right. Interlacing on a disc of a movie shot on film, in this day and age. Despite my reservations about the quality of the discs, all of these films are wonderful and most have never looked as good as they do on these cheapo discs.

Amazon: $12.99 each


ANIME OF THE WEEK: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Part 2

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Part 2 [Blu-ray] (2010)

If you picked up Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Part 1 back in May (it was one of our recommended Blu-ray discs for the week of May 25th!) you’ve no doubt been counting the days until you could get your hands on the follow-up thirteen episodes. Well, anime fans, the day has come and let me tell you, if you’re into this sort of thing, this second boxed set featuring the adventures of the Elric brothers is going to blow your mind!

While the first thirteen episodes were all about set-up, covering familiar ground and essentially condensing the first 30-or-so episodes of the original series into a small, more palatable chunk, the episodes found on the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Part 2 Blu-ray discs find their way into new, unexpected and exciting territory. Al and Ed Elric are Alchemists – young magicians of a sort – who lost some significant body parts to their forbidden experiments. Their quest to find the mysterious Philosopher’s Stone which can make them whole again now takes a dark turn, leading them to lose dear friends and face painful secrets that could lead the boys to ruin. To speak more specifically about the story would spoil a host of surprises but rest assured, if anime is your thing, you won’t feel cheated by Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Part 2.

The Blu-ray discs look pretty good, for upconverted content and sound great in both Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 and English Dolby TrueHD 5.1. I only wish there were more substantial bonus materials in the Blu-ray set, beyond the two commentary tracks from the English language voice cast.

Amazon: $33.99


ALSO AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY THIS WEEK
Clicking an image will take you to Amazon.com where you can learn more about and purchase the Blu-ray disc:

The Back-Up Plan [Blu-ray] (2010)George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead (Ultimate Undead Edition) [Blu-ray] (2010)Dorian Gray [Blu-ray] (2009)The Square [Blu-ray] (2010)



City Island [Blu-ray] (2009)Abandoned [Blu-ray] (2010)Death Note Collection (Death Note / Death Note II: The Last Name) [Blu-ray]The Universe: Our Solar System [Blu-ray]



2:22 [Blu-ray] (2008)$5 a Day [Blu-ray] (2008)



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[VIDEO] Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season Blu-ray Trailer and Details

[VIDEO] Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season Blu-ray Trailer and Details

That’s right, the sixth and final season of Lost has only just started airing on TV and we’ve already got a trailer for the Blu-ray boxed set! These are crazy, crazy times we live in here, folks. While final details have yet to be released by the studio, we’ve been given a preview of the special features likely to end up on the final discs. Take a look:

Lost: The Sixth and Final Season Blu-ray



LOST: THE SIXTH AND FINAL SEASON

(August 24, 2010 – MSRP $79.99)
Video: TBA
Audio: TBA

Special Features:

    * Original scripted content that goes deeper into some of the stories, exclusive to Blu-ray and DVD produced by Damon Lindeloff and Carlton Cuse
    * Bloopers and deleted Scenes
    * Lost on Location – Go behind-the-scenes and get the stories from the set, on location in Hawaii from the actors and crew who make it happen.
    * Crafting a Final Season – Investigation into the goals and expectations of the season through interviews with writers, producers, cast, and crew
    * Audio commentaries
    * Lost University (BD-exclusive, powered by BD-Live)

Previously on The Blu-ray Blog: Lost: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray Disc Review

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Lost: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray Disc Review

Lost: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray Disc Review

LOST: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON (2009, Blu-ray released December 8, 2009 – MSRP $79.99)

Lost: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray DiscLost just about lost me. J.J. Abrams‘ castaway drama had one of the strongest openings of any TV show I’ve ever seen but squandered that beginning over the ensuing couple of seasons with meandering, plotless episodes that led us further from the mystery at the heart of the show. Thankfully, things have tightened up in the last couple of years. And I’m happy to say, this fifth season of the series is the strongest ever!

How do I even begin to talk about this show? I mean, I can’t really go anywhere near the plot without spoiling elements of the story for any prospective viewers out there. I can’t talk much about the characters beyond providing quick descriptions of the main players. But that’s almost pointless. They’re so far beyond their cardboard-cutout starting points. Jack is no longer just the surgeon of the group. Kate is more than a fugitive from justice. And John Locke? Well…if I say ANYTHING about Locke, it’s way too much at this point.

I’ll just tell you this – the fifth season of Lost was a game-changer in almost every way. It altered all the rules, then broke them and fashioned new ones to suit its needs. It introduced new characters, killed off old favourites and revealed names, faces and personalities of characters we had only glimpsed in seasons past. It played with science and mysticism, time and space, and most important of all, began to draw back the curtain, providing the audience with some much needed answers to questions long held. This is the bright, fresh intelligent series promised us by the pilot episode. Lost can now hold its head up high, crowned king of the new HD airwaves. The best US network television has to offer.

As befits a king, Lost: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray Disc set is crowned with sparkling, bejeweled transfers, the likes of which any program created for TV would be proud to possess. These episodes look incredible. You’ve never really experienced Lost until you’ve had a chance to see it on Blu-ray. The super-compressed HD versions broadcast over the airwaves and on cable just don’t measure up to the pristine high-video bandwidth transfers on the discs. This is how Lost should be experienced. Simply breathtaking! (Oh, and the DTS-HD Master Audio track is no slouch either!)

If you’re a rabid fan of the series as I am, you’re no doubt most curious about the special features offered in the set more than anything else. These extras generally provide more than just a chance to see behind the scenes but also supply additional clues to the mystery at the core of the series. And god knows, anyone following Lost can always use a few extra hints to keep up with the twists and turns of the story!

There’s a lot to love here – in depth audio commentaries, deleted scenes and a metric-ton of featurettes covering everything from the cast’s reflections on the first 100 episodes of the show to a look insides the writer’s room, where all the real magic happens. My favourites had to be “Making Up For Lost Time” where we get a chance to see how all involved with the production dealt with the elements of time travel now littering the plot of the show and “An Epic Day With Richard Alpert“, following actor Nestor Carbonell through 24hrs of shooting. I also really enjoyed the blooper reel, which you can see a preview of above.

The greatest disappointment of the Lost: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray set for me is not an element of the actual discs themselves but the set-up of the BD-Live presence. Before the discs release, much had been made of the Lost University feature – a series of online classes available through the discs (learn more at www.lostuniversity.org) I’ve got to say, I was really looking forward to these “classes”. They seem really cool! Watch a sample below:

But here’s the problem: apparently I’m not allowed to access this feature of the discs because I live in Canada. Now maybe it’s because I’m reviewing discs sent from the USA and Canadian discs would work perfectly well for me. Or maybe I’m just falling prey to a problem many users outside the US are experiencing, being unable to login due to overwhelming server demand. I can’t say for sure. All I know is that this looks like an amazing feature and it sucks that I can’t review it for you.

Despite this apparent glitch in the system, keeping me from experiencing everything the discs have to offer, I can unequivocally recommend the Lost: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray set. This is television at its best, looking and sounding better than ever before.

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Blu-ray Picks for the Week of December 8

Blu-ray Picks for the Week of December 8

Oh, what a weird day today! Was awakened at 5AM by bad porch kitten, iPhone died around 7AM, almost choked on a Cinnamon Streusel Mini-Wheat at 9AM, now I’m left exhausted, out-of-touch and coughing, to wade through this weeks new Blu-ray releases. Thankfully, there aren’t a lot of quality discs out today (there is a whole pile of crap, direct to video kind of stuff I’ll just ignore) but the discs worth noting are most certainly worth rushing out to pick up.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Blu-ray

I just watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince a couple of nights ago. Amazing! I’m in love with this series. I’m not sure that I can even be objective about the individual films anymore. I loved this film to the extent that I’d be happy to pop it on again tonight and watch it all over again. And the Blu-ray package is a fantastic one as well, stuffed with incredible special features. Chief among them is the Maximum Movie Mode, which allows you to watch the film alongside the actors and production crew, who explore elements of the film through conversation, stills and focus featurettes. Awesome!

Harry Potter Blu-rays

And if you’re half the Harry Potter nut that I’ve become, you’re going to want to grab up these new Ultimate Editions of the first two films. They come complete with everything included on the old versions of the discs and have added extended cuts of the films, more special features and come packaged with collectables and books. Read our full run-down of the releases for more details.

Lost Season 5 Blu-ray

Best. Season. EVER! With season 5, Lost went from a pretty good show to absolutely great! And this Blu-ray set will let you relive every moment in stunning 1080p. Really, these episodes are gorgeous in HD. You haven’t seen a thing until you’ve seen them on the Blu-ray disc. The Season 5 disc set contains a ton of extras, the coolest of which is the online Lost University, which you can enroll in today via BD-Live.

lost-the-complete-fifth-season-dharma-initiative-orientation-kit-blu-ray-2

And if you’re a super-mega fan of Lost, you’ll want to get your hands on this Dharma Initiative Orientation Kit edition of the Season 5 set. It includes a VHS Orientation Video for New Recruits, Limited Edition Collectible embroidered DHARMA Patches (MAY Include The Exclusive Submarine Patch), Orientation Guides to the Compound, Motor Pool, Security and Cafeteria and an exclusive CD of Geronimo Jackson’s “Dharma Lady” and more!

Lost: The Complete Seasons 1-5 Blu-ray

And if you’re up for a killer deal today (Tuesday, Dec. 8th only!) Amazon.com has Lost: Seasons 1-5 in their Gold Box Deal today for 70% off the MSRP! Take advantage of this deal before it’s over and get every episode of Lost that’s aired so far for only $108.99!

Julie and Julia Blu-ray

This film was surprisingly good! We watched Julie and Julia last night and while I would take issue with some of the more ham-fisted lines of dialogue and moments of over-acting littered throughout, the whole film plays quite well overall. It is sweet, in that Rom-Com kind of way but that’s to be expected from a director like Nora Ephron (Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail). But this isn’t a Rom-Com. It’s a study of two lives that run in parallel over two different time periods – one, a young girl in 2002 lost in the doldrums of her life and the other, a lady approaching middle age, who would become famous for bringing French cuisine to the USA. And Meryl Streep is simply outstanding in the role of famous chef Julia Child. It’s worth checking out the movie for her portrayal alone. Great film and a wonderful Blu-ray from Sony.

Public Enemies Blu-ray

I haven’t had a chance to screen this Blu-ray yet but I really enjoyed Public Enemies in the theatre. I’ll get behind any Michael Mann film, of course, but I think this one is really worth checking out. If for no other reason than the very peculiar way a period film plays when shot on High-def video!

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