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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New on DVD/Blu-ray (March/April)
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03/07 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - Mama's Family - Mama's Favorites
03/07 - That '70s Show - The Complete Series - Flashback Edition (Blu-ray)
03/07 - What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - You Me Her - Season One
03/14 - Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season
03/14 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Season Two
03/21 - Master of None - Season One
04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
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04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
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Bob's Burgers - "Thelma & Louise Except Thelma Is Linda" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
After Louise gets in trouble at school, Linda is forced to meet with Mr. Frond (guest voice David Herman) and potentially could lose her hard-earned position as the Wagstaff bake sale leader. When she finds out that her daughter was actually trying to help another student, Linda is torn between following school policy or her own moral code.
The Simpsons - "Looking for Mr. Goodbart" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Bart gets in trouble on Grandparents Day at school and is forced to hang out with Skinner’s mother as punishment. After spending time with various grandmas in the neighborhood, he learns the benefits of hanging out with the elderly, but eventually recognizes the dangers of taking advantage of them. Meanwhile, Peekimon Get has taken over the town of Springfield.
Making History - "Night Cream" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
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Family Guy - "The Peter Principal" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
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Sunday, April 30
- NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - Catch NeNe on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Watch Chris on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- America Ferrera (Superstore) - America drops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project) - Ike appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Joel McHale (The Great Indoors/Community) - Joel is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Jake Johnson (New Girl) - Jake visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Hank Azaria (Brockmire/The Simpsons/Free Agents) - Hank stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Al Madrigal (About a Boy/Welcome to the Captain/Gary Unmarried) - Al appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Ashton Kutcher (The Ranch/Two and a Half Men/That '70s Show) - Ashton appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison teams up with Mario Batali to make a cheesy, decadent Gnocchi Al Telefono and dishes about her new Broadway show on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Charlie Hunnam (Undeclared) - Charlie will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 11:15am.
- Nick Robinson (Melissa & Joey) - Nick talks about his new film Everything, Everything on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.
- Jodie Sweetin (Hollywood Darlings/Fuller House/Full House) - Jodie is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.