Monday, August 31, 2009

The Office: Season Five Blu-ray Review

Disc 1 (43.8 GB):
Episode 01: Weight Loss
Episode 02: Business Ethics
Episode 03: Baby Shower
Episode 04: Crime Aid
Episode 05: Employee Transfer
Episode 06: Customer Survey

Disc 2 (44.4 GB):
Episode 07: Business Trip
Episode 08: Frame Toby (Producer's Extended Episode)
Episode 09: The Surplus
Episode 10: Moroccan Christmas
Episode 11: The Duel
Episode 12: Prince Family Paper
Episode 13: Stress Relief

Disc 3 (44.4 GB):
Episode 14: Lecture Circuit Part 1
Episode 15: Lecture Circuit Part 2
Episode 16: Blood Drive
Episode 17: Golden Ticket
Episode 18: New Boss
Episode 19: Two Weeks

Disc 4 (44.6 GB):
Episode 20: Dream Team
Episode 21: Michael Scott Paper Company
Episode 22: Heavy Competition
Episode 23: Broke
Episode 24: Casual Friday
Episode 25: Café Disco
Episode 26: Company Picnic

Video
The Office: Season Five comes to Blu-ray with 1080p VC-1 video presentations, and are sure to impress. The Blu-ray episodes are clearly superior to even the HD broadcasts on NBC. There is a fantastic amount of detail present, from the textures of the environments and clothing to the facial details.

Colors are also impressive on this release, with a vibrant look and solid black levels. Fans of the show and fans of high-definition will be both pleased and impressed with this Blu-ray release. 9/10.

Audio
5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is included for each episode, and is just what I had expected it to be. Surround use varies, depending on the scene, and used when it's more fitting. The surround also doesn't expand much into the rear area, staying mostly within the front left and right speakers.

The environment sounds were very good overall, except for a few 'busy office' scenes in which the effects sounded a bit too fake and cheesy for even The Office. Dialogue was front and center, and was very clear and never muddy. The audio isn't really disappointing, it's just nothing to write home about. 7/10.

Extras

Disc 1:
My Scenes

One-Liner Sound Board (BD-Java)
An interactive sound board in which you can select hilarious lines frome each of the characters and make your own playlist.

Deleted Scenes (1:02:24)
There are many deleted scenes included, quite funny, and all in beautiful high-definition.

Audio Commentary:
Episode 1: Weight Loss
Episode 2: Business Ethics
Episode 5: Employee Transfer
Episode 6: Customer Survey

Disc 2:
My Scenes

Deleted Scenes (1:07:32) (HD)
Many more deleted scenes in high-definition from the episodes on this disc.

Audio Commentary
Episode 10: Moroccan Christmas
Episode 11: The Duel

Disc 3:
My Scenes

Deleted Scenes (24:12) (HD)
Even more high-def deleted scenes from the episodes on this disc.

Disc 4:
My Scenes

Gag Reel (14:48) (HD)

Deleted Scenes (40:30) (HD)
More high-def deleted scenes.

100 Episodes, 100 Moments (8:45) (HD)
100 hilarious moments from the first 100 episodes, all in high-def as well. Based on these clips, I wouldn't mind owning the earlier seasons on Blu-ray as well.

Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences Presents The Office (30:02) (SD)
Q&A event with the cast of The Office.

The Office Promos (4:39) (HD)
Promos from the XLIII Football Championship & Beijing Games are included.

Webisodes (20:18) (HD)
Two webisodes are included, titled 'Kevin's Loan' and 'The Outburst,' both presented in high-definition.

Blu-news Summary
The Office: Season Five brought lots of changes to the show, as well as weaker writing at times. The show still is very enjoyable, but the quality of each episode definitely varied from one episode to the next. I did not hate an episode this season, but the quality difference was definitely there. The season did feature a few amazing moments as well, and the show has lots of promise for the next season based on the finale.

The Blu-ray release is fantastic, clearly superior to even the HD broadcasts. The audio wasn't amazing, but there is a lot to be enjoyed by the lossless mixes. We also get quite a few extras on this release, with an amazing amount of high-def deleted scenes, many that were actually very funny. 100 Episodes, 100 Moments was also a fantastic inclusion.

The Blu-ray release is 'Highly Recommended' for fans of the shows, and still is 'Recommended' to those new to the show.'

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