Saturday, October 03, 2009
C.S.I.: Miami - The Seventh Season (CBS DVD/Paramount Home Video, $71.41)
The sizzling, sun-drenched action heats up in CSI: Miami's thrill-packed Seventh Season, as the team uncovers increasingly exotic and bizarre crimes within the worlds of air travel, reality television, and horse racing. Meanwhile, life takes a dangerous turn for lead criminologist Horatio Caine (David Caruso) as he races to protect his team, his family and even himself. All of which makes this spectacular 25-episode collection almost too hot to handle!
This 7-disc set contains all 25 episodes from the seventh (2008-09) season. The episodes are presented in Anamorphic Widescreen (16:9) with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround audio. It has a total running time of approximately 18 hours, 15 minutes. The attractive packaging features a holofoil photo of David Caruso wearing his trademark sunglasses on the cover. This is the third consecutive release where only David Caruso was on the cover. The holofoil background is used on the back and sides of the packaging as well. On the back cover, there are photos of Adam Rodriguez, Jonathan Tigo, Eva La Rue, Emily Procter, Rex Linn and David Caruso. A synopsis of the set, a listing of the special features and the DVD specs are provided. The four black slim cases slide out from the right of the outer cardboard box. The slim cases feature a large photo of David Caruso, with smaller photos of Rodriguez, Togo, La Rue, Procter and Linn in the background. A fire explosion is at the top of the case. There is a photo of a boat on fire on the back cover. The episode titles and special features are listed by disc. Inside the slim cases, there is just blank space. Some more photos or episode summaries would have been nice to see. The discs have the CSI: Miami logo and a silver background. Each slim case holds 2 discs, except for the fourth case which holds only 1 disc.
The menus are very simple and easy to navigate. They have a montage of video clips, with some instrumental music playing in the background that loops after about 45 seconds. Options are available for Episode Selection, Set Up and the Special Features (only on Discs 3, 6 and 7). There are some sound effects and instrumental music played during the transitions on the menus. You can choose either English 5.1 Surround or Español audio on the Set Up menu. Closed captioning is available for all of the episodes. The special features are not rated and some are not closed captioned. The video and audio quality is once again outstanding. Too bad these episodes aren't yet available on Blu-ray. All of the episodes are in their original broadcast order and appear to be unedited, with runnings times of 42-44 minutes. There is nothing on the packaging to indicate that any of the music had to be changed. I'm sure they have deals in place for DVD rights before they use any song on the show.
Special Features include 2 audio commentaries, 3 featurettes totaling about 65 minutes, and a pop-up information track on 1 episode. It seems like the amount has dropped off from previous seasons, although the featurettes are pretty detailed and offer a lot of interesting technical information. Here is the breakdown by disc:
Audio Commentary on "Wrecking Crew" by Director Joe Chappelle, Visual Effects Supervisor Larry Detwiler and Writer Corey Miller - Calleigh and Eric are going over a witness's testimony and getting him ready for transfer to the court building when a crane crashes into a building. One of the most ambitious episodes of the season. A lot of interesting technical information on how they shot the episode.
Wrecking Crew: Miami Classified - View the episode with pop-ups providing more background information or random facts about what appears on-screen - These pop-up type videos are interesting, but I think they should be on episodes which don't already have commentaries. The information tends to overlap a bit.
Audio Commentary on "Gone Baby Gone" by Producer Don Tardino, Writer/Producer Barry O'Brien and Director Carey Meyer - A baby is taken from her mother's arms in broad daylight, and the team must race against time to find her. Teri Polo guest stars.
The Miami Sound Machine (30:02) - An in-depth look at the sounds of CSI: Miami. This featurette includes interviews with Director Mario Black, Executive Producer Sunil Nayar, Co-Producer Melissa Black, Sound Supervisor Tim Kimmel, Co-Producer Bruce Davidson, Boom Operator John Bauman, Production Sound Mixer Donavan Dear, Adam Rodriguez, Boom Operator James Mase, Boom Operator Chris Walmer, Rex Linn, Music Supervisor PJ Bloom, Music Editor Skye Lewin, Composers Kevin Kiner and Jeff Cardoni, Dialogue Editor Todd Niesen, ADR Mixer Greg Steele, Loop Group Leader Joyce Kurtz, Sound Effects Editor Bradley Katona, Foley Artists James Bailey and Joseph Sabella, and Re-Recording Mixers Bill Smith and Yuri Reese. Not only do they have high definition video, they have high definition sound. They've basically had the same sound crew since season 1. This featurette is divided into two sections: Production Sound and Post Production Sound. Production Sound is the recording of the initial dialogue and sounds on location with the boom mics. The Post Production Sound is the final editing, music soundtrack and score, ADR/looped lines, sound effects, foley (re-recording of footsteps and props, and final mixing of the episode. This was quite an interesting feature. There are really a lot of behind-the-scenes people involved in the making of a finished episode.
The New AV Lab (14:10) - This new look was first introduced in Season 6 and further developed in Season 7. Interviews include Jonathan Tigo, Eva La Rue, Producer Don Tardino, Visual Effects Supervisor Larry Detwiler, Executive Proudcer Sunil Nayar, Co-Executive Producer Barry O'Brien, Director Joe Chappelle, Emily Procter, Adam Rodgriguez, Lead Compositor Robert Konuch, and Visual Effects Artists Jeffrey Olney and Russell Welch. They talk about designing the room, acting without having anything to interact with, adding the visual effects and graphics, and re-designing the AV Hummer. This show has become so much more high tech than the early seasons.
CSI: Miami - Heating Up Season 7 (21:35) - A general overview of the major storylines and new and returning characters of Season 7. Interviews include Co-Executive Producer Barry O'Brien, Executive Producer Sunil Nayar, Producer Don Tardino, Eva La Rue, Jonathan Tigo, Emily Procter, Rex Linn, Evan Ellington, Adam Rodriguez and Megalyn Echikunwoke. They talk about the major themes of season like the Russian mob, bringing back characters from the sixth season like Julia Winston (Elizabeth Berkley) and Horatio's son Kyle, the new character of medical examiner Tara Price, the character's personal lives, Frank's promotion and desire for a girlfriend, Natalya's background, Delko's father, and the relationship between Delko and Calleigh.
Final Comments: It was another explosive and action-packed season of the world's most watched television program. Some of my favorite episodes of the season were "Tipping Point," "And They're Offed," "Collateral Damage," and "Dissolved." The show always remains fresh and interesting, as they delve further into the character's personal lives and background. It's sad to see so many of the original cast members leave the show over the years, but I guess that is part of the business. The show has reached over 150 episodes, which is quite a feat these days. This DVD set has everything that you have come to expect with in-depth featurettes and commentaries. CSI: Miami has some great performances by the actors, but it's always nice when all of the behind-the-scenes people are recognized on the special features for all of the hard work they do with the look and sounds of the show.
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller
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CSI: Miami CBS.com Official Site
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New on DVD/Blu-ray (January/February)
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
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01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One / Review
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two / Review
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
02/07 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - Sabrina Down Under
02/07 - So Little Time - Volume 1 - School's Cool - Boy Crazy
02/07 - So Little Time - Volume 2 - About a Family - Hangin' Out
02/07 - 227 - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek)
02/07 - Vice Principals - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
02/14 - Beavis and Butt-Head - The Complete Collection
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Saturday, February 25
The Thundermans - "Ditch Perfect" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
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Monday, February 27
- Keri Russell (Running Wilde) - Watch Keri on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Connie Britton (Spin City/The Fighting Fitzgeralds/Lost at Home) - Connie appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Slink Johnson (Black Jesus) - Slick is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) - Adam drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Josh Henderson (One on One) - Josh appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. He also talks about The Arrangement on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
- David Hyde Pierce (Frasier) - David chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Leighton Meester (Making History) - Leighton stops by Harry, so check your local listings.
- Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly visits Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- John Lithgow (Trial & Error/Twenty Good Years/3rd Rock from the Sun) - John talks about Trial & Error on NBC's Today in the 9am hour and on the AOL Build Show at 1:30pm.
- Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly) - Billy dishes on how This is Us is following in Mike & Molly’s footsteps – and why both shows are so beloved on People Now at 8:30am.
- Lisa Kudrow (Friends/The Comeback) and Craig Robinson (The Office) - Lisa and Craig talk about their new film Table 19 on the AOL Build Show at 2:30pm.
- Sinbad (A Different World/The Sinbad Show) - Sinbad is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
- Bradley Whitford (Trophy Wife) - Bradley visits The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
- Craig Robinson (The Office/Mr. Robinson) - Craig appears on The Real, so check your local listings.