Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blog DVD Review: FLASHFORWARD - Season One, Part One (2/23)

Welcome to another edition of blog DVD reviews. This week we take a look at ABC Studios' FLASHFORWARD - Season One, Part One. ABC launched FLASHFORWARD last fall and thus far 10 episodes have aired and we get these first 10 episodes here on this DVD. The series is about when the whole world blacked out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds on October 6, 2009. See my blog DVD review of FLASHFORWARD - Season One, Part One:

FLASHFORWARD - Season One, Part One (ABC Studios, $29.99) brings the first 10 episodes from the first season of the riveting new ABC drama! The series premiered on ABC on September 24, 2009. It is loosely based on the 1999 novel Flashforward by Canadian science fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer. In the series, a mysterious event causes nearly everyone on the planet to simultaneously lose consciousness for 2 minutes and 17 seconds, during which people see what appear to be visions of their lives approximately six months in the future (on April 29, 2010) --a global "flashforward." A team of Los Angeles FBI agents begin the process of determining what happened, why, and whether it will happen again.
The series stars Joseph Fiennes as FBI Special Agent Mark Benford, John Cho as FBI Special Agent Demetri Noh, Jack Davenport as Dr. Lloyd Simcoe, Zachary Knighton as Dr. Bryce Varley, Peyton List as Nicole Kirby, Dominic Monaghan as Dr. Simon Campos, BrĂ­an F. O'Byrne as Aaron Stark, Courtney B. Vance as FBI Assistant Director Stanford Wedeck, Sonya Walger as Dr. Olivia Benford, and Christine Woods as FBI Special Agent Janis Hawk. Recurring are Gabrielle Union as Zoey Andata, Lee Thompson Young as FBI Special Agent Al Gough, Barry Shabaka Henley as FBI Special Agent Vreede, Ryan Wynott as Dylan Simcoe, Lennon Wynn as Charlie Benford, and Genevieve Cortese as Tracy Stark.

We get the first 10 episodes of the series on this 2-disc set. We are waiting for the return on ABC on March 18 for the second half (12 episodes) of the season. I cannot wait for the return! But before the return, I'll let you know the memorable episodes of the first 10 episodes. You need to watch them all in order of course, but of course some episodes are better than others. In the premiere episode "No More Good Days," the series opens on a seemingly ordinary day, which soon becomes extraordinary as everyone in Los Angeles blacks out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds--in one of the best pilots on television since the premiere of LOST in 2004. In "137 Sekunden," Mark and Janis travel to Munich, Germany to speak with an imprisoned Nazi who claims to have knowledge about why the blackout lasted exactly 137 seconds, and an anonymous tip leads Demetri to believe his deepest fears about his future. In "Scary Monsters and Super Creeps," Mark, Demetri, and Wedeck try to find a connection between Janis' attack and a separate attack made on them, meanwhile as Halloween approaches, Olivia confronts Mark about his alleged drinking in his flashforward. In a character-driven episode "Believe," Bryce travels to Japan to search for the woman he saw in his flashforward, meanwhile Aaron becomes concerned over Tracy's odd behavior and excessive drinking since her return from Afghanistan, while his friendship with Mark hits a snag when Mark attempts to track down the person responsible for texting Olivia about how he was drunk in his flashforward. And in the fall finale, "A561984," against Wedeck's orders, Mark and Demetri travel to Hong Kong in search of the woman claiming to know details of Demetri's fate and he learns that his killer-to-be is a lot closer to home than he could ever have imagined, while Demetri's fiancee discovers the true meaning of her flashforward; meanwhile Lloyd tries to come clean about his and Simon's involvement in the global blackout -- against Simon's better judgment and Olivia is involved in a shocking incident as Lloyd's son is discharged from the hospital.
Guest starring are Gina Torres, Peter Coyote, and Shohreh Aghdashloo as the mysterious woman.

Packaging has an outer box holding a case inside. The cover art for both the box and case are the same -- we have eleven headshots of the stars surrounding a globe where we see a vision of everyone in the world's flashforward. The globe looks like a disco ball, though. The packaging also states "The First 10 Episodes," along with Season One Part One." There is also four stars on the top from the NY Daily News. The color scheme is purple I guess. The back cover for both the box and case has tons of information on the series & set and a list of bonus features, along with a few episodic photos. Inside the case we go, disc one is on a black plastic holder that we can turn like a page on a book. Disc two is placed on the right panel itself. There is no artwork on the inside of the case, so it is plain black. We also have an insert saying how we can save $15 on the complete first season DVD coming to DVD/Blu-ray in August 2010. Download your coupon at FlashForward-DVD.com. It is unfortunate we do not get a nice disc-by-disc breakdown of episodes on the packaging or a booklet. I hope we do get that when the full first season DVD comes out in August. Disc one holds episodes 1-5 and disc two holds episodes 6-10 and the the special features. The artwork for both discs is the same -- the show logo, season 1, disc number, and episode numbers with a shot of the sea in a sunset.

The menu screen is very cool. It is LOST-like. We can hear lines from the show, while the clips play on the left side. On the right side, we see the show logo and the menu options in a slanted form. The menu options are Setup, Episode Selection, Bonus Features, Play All. Bonus Features option is on disc two only. Everything else is on each disc. Setup gives us the option to register your DVD and to turn on subtitles in English, French or Espanol. Episode Selection menu has a list of episodes with episode number and title. Each of these submenus have background music from the series playing in the background of these menus. Auto previews are playing before the menu comes on disc one such as for the Prince of Persia, LOST S5 and Everybody's Fine.

The video and audio is superb, as it should be since it is a series that is airing this season. The video is in widescreen and for those DVD players that upconvert it to 1080i, it is just like watching it on ABC HD! It looks so clear and crisp! The audio is perfect as well. Honestly, any current series should have no problem in video and audio. It is expected to be like this. Each episode runs approx. 43 minutes, of course unedited. The second episode has about 4 minutes of more material. See the runtimes below. There are about 7-9 chapter stops per episode, but in weird spots and different positions each time. The second episode has the "Previously on ABC's FLASHFORWARD" recap and every episode after that has the more familiar "On October 6, the whole world blacked-out..."

Disc One
1. No More Good Days (42:57)
2. White to Play (47:04)
3. 137 Sekunden (43:00)
4. Black Swan (43:40)
5. Gimme Some Truth (42:55)

Disc Two
6. Scary Monsters and Super Creeps (43:03)
7. The Gift (42:55)
8. Playing Cards with Coyote (42:45)
9. Believe (43:06)
10. A561984 (42:06)

Moving on to the bonus features, I'm surprised we have some. The bonus features are all on disc two. Since this is really just a half-season set, I was not expecting any at all, but the quantity is low compared to other ABC sets, which is understandable. I bet they will unload so many extras on the complete first season set in August. Anyway, for the first bonus we get "Creating Catastrophe: The Effects of a Global Blackout" (7:05). This is a nice featurette from the crew showing us how the opening action scene were done in the first episode. It is really cool to see! The magic of Hollywood! Commenting here are David Goyer (co-creator/executive producer/writer/director), Danny Weselis (stunt coordinator), Brannon Braga (co-creator/executive producer/writer), Jessika Borsiczky (executive producer), Allen Hale (special effects supervisor), Michelle Lathan (location manager), Kevin Blank (visual effects supervisor), Ken Niederbaumer (special makeup effects) and Todd Masters (special makeup effects).
The next bonus material is "FLASHFORWARD: A Look Ahead," and it looks at the next episode with a few scenes from episode 11. We get 4:47 worth of scenes from the next episode. I cannot wait to see the episode! It airs March 18 at 8/7 central on ABC! Be there!
And finally the last bonus feature is a promo titled "Could." It is narrated by Dominic Monaghan and you've seen this promo on ABC for the return on March 18, but this is longer as it runs 90 seconds.

I of course highly do recommend everyone to pick up this set. And if you never have watched the show, now is your chance to get started because we have less than a month remaining before the series returns for the second half of its season. And if you missed an episode or two, get this set and catch up and watch the show LIVE on Thursday, March 18. If you love the show, then please support it by watching it on TV...or you are not helping the show at all. I was hooked from the start after watching the pilot episode and I am anxiously waiting for the return. This and the series V were clearly the best two new dramas of the season, and both return to ABC in March. The complete first season DVD is out in August, so if you've seen every episode and will watch on TV starting March 18, then you really don't need this DVD unless you want a refresher. If not, then wait for the first season DVD in August. If you've never seen this show...get this DVD NOW! And catch up in time for the return on March 18 and watch it on TV. Because six months from now, I can see the entire world watching this show instead of blacking out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds! My flashforward says this show will get better and better! So keep watching!

-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4.5/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
FLASHFORWARD TV.com Page
Official Website


New on DVD/Blu-ray (March/April)

The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five

03/03 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now... In Living Color! (Blu-ray)
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
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
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Saturday, April 29

Henry Danger - "Stuck in Two Holes" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Whaaaat?!? Captain Man and Kid Danger are each stuck in a hole?!? Charlotte and Jasper better go help, 'cuz Schwoz is takin' a bean bath!

Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn - "I Want My Mae B. Back" (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After Mae starts to spend more time with her new boyfriend, Dawn begins to get jealous so enlists Nicky, Ricky, and Dicky to help separate them so that she can have her friend back.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 1)

Sunday, April 30

  • NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - Catch NeNe on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
Monday, May 1
  • 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.