Thursday, July 29, 2010

Elvis on Tour Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 18.0
Film Size: 17.8 GB
Film Rating: G
Region: ABC
The Video
Elvis on Tour’ comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 video presentation video presentation. Going in my expectations were pretty good, I was expecting something similar to the ‘Woodstock’ Blu-ray release. So how is the quality? Pretty great, especially for a concert documentary of its age.

The high-def pop does vary from scene to scene; plenty of footage throughout is also in standard-definition and boxed as done with the Woodstock Blu-ray release. The high-def moments vary in quality as well, depending on where it was filmed, etc.

The film features a very healthy layer of grain throughout and thankfully there is no DNR or edge enhancement to be found on this release. Colors are good, particularly during high-def moments. Black levels stay solid throughout.

The documentary is dated and features footage from many different sources so it is hard to judge this video presentation. The transfer itself is flawless and presents the footage accurately. I was expecting ‘Elvis on Tour’ to feature some slight dirt and specks throughout, but it appears to have had a proper cleanup.

While I can’t say the video presentation is visually amazing, especially compared to most Blu-ray releases. I can say that the documentary has never looked better and that I don’t think the transfer itself could have been any stronger.

This is a true-to-the-source presentation and those who end up disappointed are going in with unrealistic expectations. Detail may not always be particularly strong, but there is a clear improvement in clarity and there are moments which do look much better than I expected.
Overall it is hard to be disappointed by something that looks better than you expected, especially considering the source elements.

While I would love to give the transfer a perfect 10, I won’t as it will definitely mislead people into thinking this is a demo-worthy video presentation. It does not compare to a new release (which would be crazy to expect it to compare), but the presentation could not be any better than it is here. 8/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included. English (for the hearing impaired), French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Chinese, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Polish and Swedish are just some of the subtitle options included.

The audio quality on this release definitely varies throughout, but is overall quite impressive. Dialogue, whether that on stage or just in interviews is much clearer than I anticipated at times. I expected a bit more hissing and cracking, but whoever worked on the audio cleaned it up nicely.

There is surround use to be found on this release, sometimes stronger and sometimes weaker. I did find the surround use moments to be fitting. The vocals from Elvis are generally very clear, although I did find them to lack clarity at times compared to the aggressive nature of the instruments on stage with him.

Overall the audio mix is very pleasing and can be quite impressive. The limitations come from the sources used, but overall everything is quite clear as a whole. I can say that ‘Elvis on Tour’ has never sounded better. I don’t have a DVD version to compare it to because the DVD comes out for the first time on the same day as this Blu-ray release.

Those going in with realistic expectations will not be disappointed whatsoever. While not every moment can sound crystal clear like I’m sure we would all dream them to, there are moments which are pretty impressive and do bring the Blu-ray experience to life. 8/10.

The Extras

Digibook Packaging
The digibook includes plenty of photos, trivia, quotes, set lists and more.

The actual disc doesn’t include bonus features, but I don’t think Elvis on Tour ever had bonus features produced. It would have been nice to have the theatrical trailer included, but that is all I can really think of. It was exciting enough to have it in high-def with lossless audio. 3/10.

The Film
It has been quite some time since I have seen ‘Elvis on Tour’, but I do own the VHS release. ‘Elvis on Tour’ is a musical-documentary which followed Elvis on his 15-city tour in 1972. It was sort of like a follow-up to the very successful concert film ‘Elvis: That’s the Way it is.’

‘Elvis on Tour’ was directed by Robert Apel and Pierre Adidge, including involvement from Martin Scorsese. The film won a Golden Globe for Best Documentary, and it is also the last film starring Elvis Presley.

The documentary features plenty of concert performances, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage. The concert performances are great, but viewers will get a kick out of the fan interviews and reactions to Elvis. There are some moments which are just hilarious in seeing how much love and obsession his fans had for him. He would make the girls and even plenty of guys crazy from his dramatic stage movements to just standing on stage.

The documentary is extremely entertaining and any fan of Elvis Presley will definitely enjoy it. I know plenty of people who went his concerts at the time, but unfortunately I was not alive while he was alive. It is great to be able to enjoy his music and performances on film, which while not the actual thing, comes close on Blu-ray.

‘Elvis on Tour’ does feature an older Elvis Presley, a bit heavier and a bit more tired-looking, but it is just as enjoyable as his other concert releases. The documentary truly shows what a performer he was regardless and just how dedicated his fans stayed to him throughout the years. I know not everyone will agree, but I found this just as enjoyable as concerts from his younger years.

‘Elvis on Tour’ has been one of my most anticipated releases of the summer and I can say that watching it on Blu-ray does not disappoint. The concert-documentary is a winner and provides plenty of behind-the-scenes footage from his travels and rehearsals as well. This one is a must for any Elvis Presley fan. 10/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Elvis on Tour is a very interesting and entertaining concert-documentary that is a must for any Elvis fan. The Blu-ray release is true to the source, featuring a good video and audio presentation. There are no actual extras on the disc unfortunately. Overall the Blu-ray release is 'A Must Own’ for fans of the film and is easily ‘Recommended’ to those who have never seen ‘Elvis on Tour.’

Additional Screenshots:

To Order The 'Elvis On Tour' Digibook From Amazon.com, Click Here!

To Order The 'Elvis: Blu-ray Collection (Includes Elvis On Tour, Jailhouse Rock, Viva Las Vegas) From Amazon.com, Click Here!

Elvis on Tour is also available for the First Time On Demand and For Download via iTunes.

Monday, July 26, 2010

James and the Giant Peach Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 27.3 GB
Film Size: 24.2 GB
Film Rating: PG
Region: ABC
The Video
James and the Giant Peach’ comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. Those who have seen the film before know that the movie is very stylistic and features plenty of grain and is far from the clearest looking of movies.

Those going into the Blu-ray experience with set expectations will not be disappointed, but anyone expecting a dazzling crystal-clear video presentation will no doubt be disappointed. The film is thankfully very heavy on grain, but there is a strong level of detail present past the grain.

Colors are quite good, a tad subdued at times, but very pleasant overall. The film’s black levels are quite strong however. The film is quite soft-looking, but as stated earlier there is plenty of detail to be found in the image throughout.

There are sequences which do look much more dated than other scenes, as well as many scenes which do look worse than others due to added effects. The sequence with James and his parents at the beginning of the film is especially soft, but it always has been.

Overall the image won’t necessarily impress all viewers, but I do think Disney did a fantastic job in bringing the film to Blu-ray. The high-def transfer is accurate to the source and there is not a technical flaw to be found.

I can’t say the film’s visuals necessarily impressed me from beginning to end, but comparing it to the included DVD definitely helps you appreciate the Blu-ray presentation even more. ‘James and the Giant Peach’ has never looked better and I definitely don’t think the movie could look much better than it does now. 7/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included as the lossless option. Also included are French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital audio tracks. Optional subtitles include English for the hearing impaired, French and Spanish.

The English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio included is actually very impressive. The entire presentation sounds much more robust and clear than I anticipated; surround is also present in quite creative and fitting ways.

Dialogue while generally front and center also made appearances throughout the surround speakers and sounded clear wherever placed. The film’s audio effects make their presence known and rarely sound dated.

The audio mix included works with the material much more than I expected and I was very impressed by the audio overall. ‘James and the Giant Peach’ definitely couldn’t have sounded any better. Fans of the film and fans of good audio mixes will certainly enjoy this one! 8.5/10.

The Extras

Disc 1:


Spike the Aunts Game
This is the only new feature included on James and the Giant Peach, and I have to say I am definitely disappointed. Not that I expected anything out of this game, but the characters don’t even resemble the aunts in the film whatsoever, and the game is both repetitive and far too basic for even a minute of amusement.

Production Featurette (4:34) (SD)
A promotional featurette released prior to the film’s release.

“Good News” Music Video by Randy Newman (2:28) (SD)
This is a music video featuring scenes from the movie.

Still Frame Galleries:
Concept Art
Puppets
Behind The Scenes
Live Action

Original Theatrical Trailer (1:28) (SD)
A standard-definition theatrical trailer.

BD-Live
Connect to BD-Live to download the latest Disney trailers.

Disc 2:

DVD copy of the film

The extras are definitely disappointing, I was hoping for a few more newly created bonus features. The game is new, but it really is pointless. The classic DVD bonus features are thankfully included, but previous home video releases didn’t consist of much either.

Overall it appears that everything that should have been included is included, but I can’t help but feel more should have been included. The additional DVD copy is a nice inclusion though. 4/10.

The Movie
It had been more than a few years since I last saw ‘James and the Giant Peach,’ but I watched the film almost immediately after I received the Blu-ray release. The film features both live action and claymation sequences, even scenes in which both meet.

The film is based on the classic book by Roald Dahl, author of some of my absolute favorite children’s books. The film is mostly associated with Tim Burton who was a producer for the film, but is directed by the talented Henry Selick.

So what did I think of the movie after so many years? I actually enjoyed it much more now! The story is creative and unique and one which can be enjoyed by the entire family. Certain moments may be a tad scary for the younger audiences, but if they could handle ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’ or ‘Coraline’ then this one should be no problem for them either.

The film’s characters are very loveable and loved the entire cast. I wouldn’t call the characters memorable, but the story definitely is. If you have never seen the movie (which I doubt) then this one is definitely one for you and your children should make time for in the near future.

The movie is very fun and quite the family adventure. If you liked ‘The Nightmare before Christmas,’ ‘Coraline,’ or possibly ‘Alice in Wonderland’ then you will very likely enjoy ‘James and the Giant Peach’ as well. The film isn’t among my favorite family flicks, but it ranks quite high compared to most and I actually enjoyed it much more on Blu-ray. 8/10.

The Blu-news Summary
'James and the Giant Peach' is a fun adventured filled family flick which is even better on Blu-ray. The video presentation is true to the source and the audio presents the film without a hitch. The extras while slightly disappointing are something I can get over. Overall the Blu-ray release is ‘Recommended’ to everyone.

Additional Screenshots:

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Charlie's Angels Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 31.1 GB
Film Size: 26.6 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: ABC
The Video
Charlie’s Angels comes to Blu-ray 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The film is now ten years old so I went in with average expectations, I figured some scenes would look very dated and others could look quite good. The actual presentation shocked me, it is stunning and this is just another title that quickly reminds you why Blu-ray is worth the extra investment over DVD.

The Blu-ray release of Charlie’s Angels is beautiful and features so many jaw-dropping moments for a catalog title. The level of detail can be amazing; many scenes look as if they were filmed just yesterday. Colors have always been intentionally pushed and look stunning on Blu-ray; everything has a nice level of pop and leaps off the screen.

Black levels stay inky throughout and are particularly impressive for a catalog release; they definitely could have left much more to be desired as seen with many catalog releases. Charlie’s Angels truly is a perfect title to showcase the format, the source material lends itself well to high-definition.

I am truly amazed by the high-def video presentation. The film has received a video presentation which is true to the source and left untouched, creating a very impressive visual experience. Charlie’s Angels is definitely one of the best looking catalog titles I have seen on the format lately or ever for that matter.

The film looks fantastic in every way and I could not be more pleased. The majority of the film looks like it was just filmed yesterday and for a catalog release it doesn’t get much better than it does here. Taking into consideration that the film is now ten years old, I really could not be more impressed. 10/10.

The Audio
English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio are the lossless tracks included. Also included is a Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track. Optional subtitles include English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

While I wish I could say the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio compares to the video presentation, I cannot. The audio while very good overall, does lack some key elements of the very best lossless audio tracks.

Dialogue is not an issue on this release, it is always easy to understand and very clear. There are some slight moments were dialogue was slightly overpowered by the film’s surround mix, but this was just a very small issue. Dialogue never featured any cracking, etc.

The film’s surround use is good; we definitely get some nice direction throughout, particularly during the fight sequences of the movie. The film’s music expands nicely to the rear speakers; audio effects also do the same quite often.

My issue is that the track lacked the ‘oomph’ that comes with the best tracks. The action sequences while exciting could have used a bit more intensity and clarity. The explosions in the film were fine, they aren’t anything to get excited about here, but they definitely sounded good.

The gunshots however are a different story. I was so hoping the shooting sequences would provide for demo-worthy material, but that is not the case here. The gunshot effects really lacked clarity and really made the film sound dated (which it is). The gunshots during certain sequences were much to front-heavy for my taste; I just wish the audio effect traveled during certain moments to the rear speakers.

The film’s music on the other hand sounds very good. The movie has a wide selection of popular songs throughout which did sound much better than I anticipated. They were loud, clear and made many scenes come alive.

Charlie’s Angels definitely features a very good audio mix, I just wish certain moments came alive more than they actually did. Don’t get me wrong, the audio track has plenty to love about it through. The mix is definitely exciting as a whole and there are many moments which enhance the experience. 8/10.

The Extras

MovieIQ
Connect to real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie. You must have a BD-Live connected Blu-ray player to use MovieIQ.

Audio Commentary
With Director McG and Cinematographer Russell Carpenter.

Deleted Scenes (4:43) (SD)
Three deleted scenes are included and are presented in standard-definition.

Outtakes & Bloopers (2:39) (SD)
This is a fun selection of outtakes and bloopers, worth watching if you liked the movie.

Getting G’D Up (6:33) (SD)
This featurette is all about Director McG and the energy he brings to the film and set.

The Master and the Angels (7:25) (SD)
Yeun Cheung-yan worked as the fight choreographer for the film; learn about his work on the film and what all three Angels were made to do for training.

Welcome to Angel World (4:48) (HD)
The crew talks about the world in which the Angels live in, the cartoon-look they went for and recreating the look of the television show.

Angelic Attire: Dressing Cameron, Drew and Lucy (3:26) (SD)
This is a feature all about the creative wardrobes of each Angel.

Angelic Effects (6:46) (SD)
The film is heavy on special effects; see how a few of the special effects were done.

Wired Angels (2:35) (SD)
Director McG talks about filming the alley scene, showing footage of the ladies with the wires and after the wires are edited out of the scene. The Blu-ray presentation is so strong, you can actually see a wire in the movie itself during a Cameron Diaz scene towards the end.

Destiny’s Child - “Independent Women Part 1” Music Video (4:07) (SD)

Apollo Four Forty – “Charlie’s Angels 2000” Music Video (4:14) (SD)

Previews (HD)
Trailers for ‘Stomp the Yard: Homecoming,’ ‘The Back-Up Plan,’ ‘Beastly,’ ‘The Runaways,’ and ‘Damages’ are included.

BD-Live Portal
Download the latest trailers for upcoming Sony Pictures theatrical and Blu-ray releases.

The extras on this release are all DVD ports, aside from MovieIQ, previews and BD-Live. I wish new features were produced for the Blu-ray release as well, but this isn’t technically an ‘anniversary’ release to demand new features. Overall I thought the extras were informative and many were quite fun. 7.5/10.

The Movie
When Charlie’s Angels was announced for Blu-ray release, I’ll admit, I was excited. I know I don’t speak for myself alone when I say this movie is one seriously guilty pleasure. I am not really a fan of the original Charlie’s Angel series, but I am of this film.

The movie stars Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu as the Angels. I know not everyone loved the casting choices, but I personally think they are perfect together. I think all three women are beautiful, all in their own ways. Cameron is cute and quirky, Drew is fun and spunky and Lucy Liu is just so incredibly sexy.

This action-comedy features a great balance of laughs and action. The movie doesn’t take itself seriously; it is intentionally cheesy and intentionally wacky. There are certain moments which are just so random, but I love the dumb humor.

I would definitely say the movie is one which you should leave your brain at the door, but it also isn’t terrible like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. I know many will not agree with my opinion of the movie, but I have no problem admitting that I find the movie entertaining.

If you didn’t like the movie when it first released, watching it again will not change your mind. Those who have never seen the movie, I definitely say give it a chance; you may find yourself pleasantly surprised. The movie isn’t smart whatsoever, but entertainment value alone makes this one score higher in my book. 8/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Charlie’s Angels is a fun movie with a great Blu-ray release. The video presentation is stunning and the audio experience is definitely good. There are a nice amount of extras to go through as well. Overall Charlie’s Angels on Blu-ray is ‘A Must Own’ for fans and ‘Recommended’ to all others.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Open House Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 19.6 GB
Film Size: 16.7 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: A
The Video
Open House comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The film’s color palette is intentionally murky and colors generally look drained, but this is one stunning high-def video presentation as a whole.

The film is a very dark one, one which black levels become particularly important. I am very glad to say that black levels are inky as can be and provide a real eye-popping video presentation over a flat-looking presentation.

Detail levels are also extremely impressive, whether it be the textures of the environments or the smallest of facial details. There are some truly ‘wow’ moments which I’m sure many of you remember having during your first Blu-ray experiences especially.

This is one movie which I am sure the DVD could not compare in quality to. There was a slight issue I had when the characters were watching the television, which were clear compression issues. However, the compression issues were that of the video the characters are watching in the film (likely due to lower budgets) and not fault of the actual high-def presentation of the movie.

The compression issue was probably not even worth mentioning as it is not fault of the Blu-ray presentation, however it did bug me and take me out of the film experience for a couple of minutes. Oh well, I don’t think much can be done about that without going back and editing the film itself.

Overall I don’t have any complaints about the high-def transfer. There were a few less-detailed moments throughout, but most scenes were visually stunning. The issues I have are more with choices in the film itself over anything. The Blu-ray presentation is a clear improvement and I can’t imagine the transfer looking much better than it does now. 9/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the only audio option (aside from the audio commentary) included. Optional subtitles include English, English SDH and Spanish.

The audio presentation is definitely a good one; in fact I can honestly say that certain audio moments helped make the film a scarier experience than it would have been. The creepy surround use moments were perfectly fitting and added a lot to my experience.

Dialogue is presented front and center, staying crisp and clear as can be. The film’s surround use moments came from the music and creepy audio effects. Surround use isn’t always as heavy as I would have liked for a horror film in particular, but it definitely makes itself known when it is in use.

Overall I thought the audio track is one which enhances the experience. It doesn’t compare to the very best horror mixes on Blu-ray (The Strangers, Drag Me To Hell are just two examples) but I was more than pleased. The audio experience is definitely an enjoyable one. 8/10.

The Extras

Audio Commentary
With Director Andrew Paquin and Actor Brian Geraghty.

Deleted Scenes (9:45) (HD)
Three deleted scenes are included and are presented in high-definition.

Open House Trailer (2:08) (SD)

Also From Lionsgate (HD)

Bookmarks
Save your favorite scenes and return to them later via the bookmarks feature.

The extras on this release are fairly lacking, but to be honest I didn’t expect much from the extras. The film didn’t receive a major theatrical release so it is hard to demand a lot of work go into special features. The audio commentary will likely be enjoyable for fans of the film and the deleted scenes are a nice addition. 3/10.

The Movie
Open House is a horror film from Director Andrew Paquin. Andrew Paquin is the older brother of True Blood star Anna Paquin, who is also in the film. The film’s cover art made me believe that Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer of True Blood were the leads in the film, but it turns out they are a smart selling point over the actual stars in the film.

Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer are definitely a reason the film will get more attention than it would without them, even if they are only in a few minutes of the film. Stephen Moyer is actually more present in the film than Anna Paquin is.

The movie is about a home invasion which takes place at an open house, with a divorced couple trying to sell the home. During an open house a stranger enters and hides in the home, waiting until the evening to take over the home.

The film does feature some pretty creepy moments; however I do think the film could have been much scarier if executed better. If you don’t want anything spoiled, don’t read my next couple of sentences (however, it isn’t really a spoiler as you will see it in the menus of the film before you start the movie). I thought the Anna Paquin death at the beginning of the film could have been a lot better, particularly if they had shown her getting killed rather than just showing the random aftermath.

The film’s male villain isn’t particularly terrifying either. The man is definitely creepy towards the beginning of the film (until he opens his mouth later in the film). When he doesn’t talk he feels perfectly cast, but once he speaks it really takes away much of the suspense.

The film is one which will keep you entertained from beginning to end, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a great film. The film is admittedly better than many horror films today, but I just didn’t think anything really stands out to call it amazing.

Open House is a fun movie which will definitely scare some more than others, but I don’t think many will really dislike the movie (I don’t think many will really love the movie either). I wish the film had a bit more character development before the home invasion starts, but what is done is done.

The film may not have high production values, but they work with the budget they have and provide a horror film which is actually quite respectable in many aspects. I respect that.

I know I mentioned mostly negative aspects of the film, but I tend to do that with horror films especially. The film can definitely get creepy and the story is more realistic than most horror films so it could be a much scarier experience to many viewers. I thought it was a pretty decent and fairly enjoyable movie, but I’ve also seen much scarier and better-executed efforts. 6/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Open House is an enjoyable horror movie, but ultimately fails to be memorable. The Blu-ray release is great, featuring a stunning video presentation and good audio mix. The extras are a bit lacking, but I can’t say I expected too much. Overall the Blu-ray release is easily “Recommended” to fans and definitely “Worth A Look” to others whether it be a purchase or rental.

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White Collar: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review

Disc 1 Size: 42.0 GB
Disc 2 Size: 43.0 GB
Disc 3 Size: 37.8 GB
TV-Rating: TV-PG
Region: AThe Video
Fox Home Entertainment brings all 14 episodes of season one to Blu-ray with 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentations. The show looks fantastic in high-definition and is definitely one of the better looking Fox television releases on Blu-ray (if not the best).

The high-def quality is undeniable from any frame, everything features a nice level of clarity and an impressive level of detail. Many scenes look like high-res promotional shots used by the studio for online articles and magazine ads, it was really surprising at times.

Colors are rich and vibrant and black levels stay nice and inky throughout. There is some grain throughout, which I welcome with open arms. There are also a few moments which I thought looked a bit sharper than I imagine they actually were when shot, but I don’t blame the video presentation as it would have been much more constant had it been applied after episode production.

While I wouldn’t say the show is always as stunning as Lost or True Blood are on Blu-ray, it definitely comes VERY close. There are some moments which leave a bit to be desired, but overall I found myself constantly impressed and the Blu-ray release definitely surpassed by expectations quality-wise. 9.5/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included for each episode, but there are no other audio options (aside from commentaries) included. Optional subtitles include English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Spanish, French, Portuguese,

The audio quality on White Collar is definitely good, particularly for a television show. We have had some stunning audio tracks on Blu-ray from television shows, especially that of Lost and True Blood. But from much experience with television shows on Blu-ray, I usually don’t expect to necessarily be amazed by the audio experience.

However, White Collar does include a fairly active surround sound experience which I definitely enjoyed. Dialogue is of most importance to me and it is presented as crisp and clear as one could expect. The audio effects expand to the surround speakers nicely, sometimes more front-heavy and other times much more open.

The audio experience is definitely an enjoyable one. I wouldn’t say any of the episodes included provide an audio experience which stands out among most Blu-ray releases, but they definitely get the job done nicely. Overall I think most viewers will be more than pleased by the audio experience on this television release. 8/10.

The Extras

Disc 1:


Audio Commentary on “Pilot”
By Jeff Eastin, Tim DeKay, Tiffani Thiessen, Matt Bomer & Willie Garson.

Disc 2:

Audio Commentary on “Free Fall”
By Jeff Eastin, Matt Bomer, Willie Garson & Tim DeKay.

Audio Commentary on “Hard Sell”
By Jeff Eastin, Matt Bomer & Tim DeKay.

Audio Commentary on “Vital Signs”
By Jeff Eastin, Tim DeKay & Tiffani Thiessen.

Disc 3:

Audio Commentary on “Out of the Box”
By Jeff Eastin, Tim DeKay & Matt Bomer.

Gag Reel (12:21) (SD)
I usually don’t like gag reels, but this one is definitely funny.

Deleted Scenes (10:23) (SD)
Six deleted scenes are included and are presented in standard-definition.

Pro and Con (6:44) (HD)
Jeff Eastin talks about casting and translating the characters on paper to real-life characters. The entire cast talks about character Neal Caffrey and the actor who plays him, Matt Bomer.

A Cool Cat in the Hat (5:41) (HD)
The cast/crew talks about wardrobe and how fashion plays a huge part in the show.

Nothing but the Truth (2:27) (HD)
Jeff Eastin talks about his strive to be accurate in presenting a White Collar agent by finding a real agent to help with accuracy/stories.

The extras on this release are nice, particularly the high-def featurettes. I listened to one of the audio commentary tracks and enjoyed it overall, but that isn’t a selling point to me. The deleted scenes and gag reel are a nice addition, but like I said the real entertainment comes from the entertaining featurettes. 6/10.

The Season
White Collar: Season One debuted on the USA Network late last year, the show received a strong amount of promotion and looked promising. I do watch MANY television shows, but I was thinking this was another Burn Notice (which I know many enjoy, but something about it now just feels so lacking).

Luckily, White Collar is a nice surprise with a very enjoyable cast. The show stars Matt Bomer as Neal Caffrey, a con man who is much smarter than you would think. The show also stars Tim DeKay as FBI Agent Peter Burke who recruits Caffrey (in exchange for eventual freedom) and works closely with him in bringing down criminals.

The show also co-stars the beautiful Tiffani Thiessen, Willie Garson and Natalie Morales. Everyone on the show is great and I do think they make the show as enjoyable as it is. Matt Bomer in particular feels irreplaceable, like Kiefer Sutherland on 24. The show is the show it is because of the actor leading it.

That’s not to say that the writing and storylines aren’t great, because they are, but the show gets an added boost which helps keep it from staying average among television shows. The show is quoted as being “Entertaining As Hell” by the San Francisco Chronicle, and I definitely agree with that statement!

The show is smart, funny and even thrilling which makes for a perfect balance. The show will keep you coming back for more and you better start quickly because season two has already begun airing. The show is definitely addicting and I think most new to the show will absolutely enjoy it. 9/10.

The Blu-news Summary
White Collar: The Complete First Season is fantastic, featuring a visually impressive video presentation. The audio experience is good and the extras are definitely satisfying. Overall I would say the Blu-ray release is “Highly Recommended.

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