Sunday, November 7, 2010

V: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review

Release Date: November 2nd, 2010
Disc 1 Size: 37.2 GB
Disc 2 Size: 39.7 GB
Rating: TV-14
Region: ABC
Disc 1 Episodes:
  • 01. Pilot
  • 02. There is No Normal Anymore
  • 03. A Bright New Day
  • 04. It’s Only the Beginning
  • 05. Welcome to the War
  • 06. Pound of Flesh
Disc 2 Episodes:
  • 07. John May
  • 08. We Can’t Win
  • 09. Heretic’s Fork
  • 10. Hearts and Minds
  • 11. Fruition
  • 12. Red Sky
The Video
Warner Home Video brings ‘V: The Complete First Season’ to Blu-ray with 1080p VC-1 video presentations for all 12 episodes. The first six episodes can be found on disc one, while the latter six episodes can be found on disc two.

The show looks quite impressive in high-definition, like most television releases the presentation looks very digital and sleek. I know not everyone is a fan of the look compared to film, but there are great levels of detail and impressive clarity.

Colors are very appealing and rich, blacks are solid throughout. As mentioned, the level of detail is certainly impressive and cannot be confused with DVD whatsoever. At times the presentation has a soft glow to it, something that is common with many shows, not an issue whatsoever.

The Blu-ray release nicely improves upon the original high-def broadcasts of the episodes, with a far better level of detail in each scene due to the far lesser level of compression. Overall I am more than pleased by the high-def presentation of the season. 8/10.

The Audio
An English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is included for each of the 12 episodes. Also included are French, Spanish (Castellano) and Portuguese Dolby Digital audio tracks. Optional subtitles include English SDH, French, Spanish (Castellano), Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish.

Unfortunately, Warner Bros. continues the trend of releasing their television Blu-ray releases with lossy Dolby Digital audio. I do prefer the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks included over no release at all, but I do think certain releases could benefit nicely from lossless audio.

The Dolby Digital track included is certainly quite good and gets the job done fine. There were no technical issues that arose, nor did I find anything notably bad. Dialogue is clear overall, but I do feel it lacks that extra oomph that generally comes with a high-def mix.

Surround use is quite active throughout each episode, but sounds and effects do sound limited at times. This could be an issue of the source material itself or the lack of a lossless mix; I guess we will never know. Overall the track is fine, but this is a high production value show which deserved the lossless treatment. 5/10.

The Extras

Disc 1 (Blu-ray Disc) (37.2 GB):

The Actor’s Journey from Human to V (16:55) (HD)
The cast members talk about why they each joined the show.

Deleted Scenes (5:40) (HD)
Eight deleted scenes are included from two episodes.

Disc 2 (Blu-ray Disc) (39.7 GB):

Audio Commentary on episode “Fruition”
With Steve Pearlman and Scott Rosenbaum.

Breaking Story: The Word of V (16:38) (HD)
The crew talks about how to make a well-paced and compelling story. Certain production members have a great level of involvement in all levels of production.

An Alien in Human Skin: The Makeup FX of V (11:53)
This featurette is all about the makeup effects used in the series, definitely entertaining and informative.

The Visual FX of V (15:09)
‘V’ would be nothing without the incredible level of special effects used in each episode, now go behind-the-scenes and see how it’s done.

Deleted Scenes (11:45) (HD)
12 deleted scenes are included from four of the episodes.

Warner Bros. BD-Live
Connect to BD-Live to access trailers and previews for upcoming and current Warner Bros. releases.

The extras included on this release are certainly good, particularly for a 12 episode season. It would have been nice if audio commentaries were recorded for each episode by the writers and cast, but at least we get one. The featurettes are all very entertaining and I am particularly content that everything is included in high-definition. 5/10.

The Season
V: The Complete First Season’ is a series I was anxious to see since it was first announced. Being a fan of the original I was both excited and nervous about the new series and what it would become. The original series ‘V’ was not the perfect show either, it is especially cheesy revisiting the show now. Although the same can be said about my science fiction shows from earlier decades. Regardless, I always find the original series charming and enjoyable.

The new series of V starts off surprisingly good, however I wasn’t totally impressed at first. Originally I do blame ABC and the way the show was aired, with episodes split up months apart from each other. The schedule was simply a mess and I do think it turned off many viewers to the show. I didn’t get back into the show until a friend of mine was finally going through the episodes on his DVR.
Revisiting the show on Blu-ray made for a far more satisfying experience however, with the ability play episodes back to back. The series tells the story of an alien race who visits planet Earth with a message of peace and friendship, but secrets are soon discovered.

I feel that the show is well-paced, and there is not an episode that I found boring whatsoever. The characters are generally likeable and the story is engaging. The season as a whole is just very good, although far from the best show of 2009.

‘V: The Complete First Season’ is fun overall. It will be very interesting to see where the show begins to head with season two, perhaps it will continue to be fun or potentially fall apart. Either way season one did enough to have me back for season two of the series and I do look forward to it very much. 7.5/10.

The Blu-news Summary
V: The Complete First Season’ is a fun show with a good Blu-ray release. The video presentation is great, but the audio should have been lossless. The extras are definitely satisfying and are included in high-definition. Overall the Blu-ray release is ‘Recommended.

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