Saturday, June 26, 2010

Digital Digest: Entourage - The Complete Sixth Season Blu-ray Review

Welcome to another edition of Digital Digest! Our normal Digital Digest blogger (skees53) will be gone and missed for the next few months, if you didn't know yet. We have the latest news, upcoming releases for Tuesday, and our Blu-ray review of HBO's Entourage - The Complete Sixth Season. There's quite a bit of news to report this week, so open up a cold beverage and enjoy this edition. Boy the way, Glenn Miller played. There's your hint.


DIGITAL NEWS

On Thursday we told you Shout! Factory has licensed the DVD rights for All in the Family from Sony Pictures. This means the last two seasons will FINALLY be released at last! We have now have an official release date as well for the seventh season! Shout! Factory has set a October 5 release date. The three-disc DVD ($29.93 MSRP) is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com. Package art is also available but no info on if there are special features yet. Hopefully Shout! acquires more titles from Sony that seem to have been abandonned like The Jeffersons, Archie Bunker's Place, Diff'rent Strokes, Maude, and so many more. Warner Home Video has changed the date for The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Third Season to Sept. 14. It will be released on both DVD ($ MSRP)and Blu-ray ($ MSRP). Package art is not availble yet. Pre-order today!

Drama wise, we got dates for rookies NCIS: Los Angeles and The Good Wife. CBS Paramount has announced a Sept. 14 release date for The Good Wife and an Aug. 31 release date for NCIS: Los Angeles. The Good Wife - The First Season is priced at $62.99 MSRP, while NCIS: Los Angeles - The First Season is also priced at $62.99 MSRP. Package art is available! CBS DVD has also announced Criminal Minds - Season 5 for Sept. 7 with an MSRP of $62.99 also.

To take advantage of Simon Baker on the hit series The Mentalist, CBS DVD will release the second season of Baker's previous show, The Guardian. Warner Home Video is releasing The Mentalist on Sept. 21, as we already know, but now CBS DVD will release The Guardian - The Second Season on Sept. 7. MSRP is slated for $49.98. The first season was released last fall.

Meanwhile, Warner Home Video will delay He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown by two weeks and will now release it on Sept. 21. The DVD will retail at $19.98 MSRP. Pre-order today!

For more information on titles that we won't cover with full or blog DVD reviews, you can head on over to the news section of TVShowsOnDVD.com for all of the latest details.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (June 29) will only have a couple of sitcoms in store. Shout! Factory will release the complete series of Leave it to Beaver! Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series is out on June 29 with every single season of the Cleaver clan. Look for our review soon, as we still need the complete set but we have the bonus features disc and it is outstanding. Also out on Tuesday is Shout! Factory's Mad About You with The Complete Fourth Season. We have reviewed it already. Read our review for more details. And there is a season four DVD of The Real McCoys coming from Infinity Entertainment.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

It's time for a special Blu-ray review of Entourage: The Complete Sixth Season! This is our second Blu-ray review ever, so it is pretty special. For Vince, Eric, Drama and Turtle, life in Hollywood's fast lanecan be an intoxicating roller-coaster of a ride. After hitting some speed bumps the last couple of years, Vince's career is in high gear after his role in a new Martin Scorsese film. But now that Vince is back on top, is it finally time for the entourage to step out of his shadow? See our review of this Blu-ray release below!

Blu-ray Review: Entourage - The Complete Sixth Season
by Seth

Entourage: The Complete Sixth Season (HBO, $49.98 Blu-ray/$39.98 DVD) is now on Blu-ray and DVD! This review will focus on the Blu-ray edition. As I'm in a household that doesn't subscribe to any of the so-called "premium" channels at the present moment, this Blu-ray set marks my first exposure to the series (and our normal Entourage reviewer, skees53, is unavailable at the moment).

If you're like me and either new to the show through exposure by this review -- essentially the show is a comedic drama focused around Vince Chase (Adrian Grenier) and the various people involved with his career -- his entourage. The series follows the lives of the whole group, usually as first triggered by events in the career of Vince. If any long-term fans feel I've missed the point, I apologize, but I'm brand new to this series and so the intricacies of the plot are something I haven't had the opportunity to experience in full.

By this sixth season, Vince's career is back on the upswing, leading to quite a few interesting events in the lives of those around him. I'm not going to spoil anything -- many of you already know full well what occurs over the course of the season, while new fans who may be checking this out for the first time? Well, I don't want to ruin your surprise. Many shows have difficulty captivating new viewers by their sixth season, but this show does a surprisingly good job of hooking me in despite my previous unawareness of the series.

A show focused on celebrity is going to feature people in guest starring capacities that's quite authentic. For example, Jay Leno appears in the season premiere when Vince goes on the pre-Conan Tonight Show to promote his new project. The season's second episode features actress Jami Gertz, recognizable to sitcom fan from her work on shows like Still Standing, Square Pegs, and even The Facts of Life. The third episode features an appearance by rapper 50 Cent. David Schwimmer, still beloved from his tenure on Friends, appears in the season's fourth episode. Elsewhere this season you'll find appearances by: Mark Wahlberg, Bob Saget, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Jeffrey Tambor, NBA players LeBron James and Steve Nash, Zac Efron, Malcolm McDowell, ex-Superman Dean Cain, Married... with Children-alum David Faustino, Matt Damon, and U2 front-man Bono. That's really just a sample -- if you pay close attention you're sure to notice even more guest spots. In a series driven by celebrity, there's going to be more cameos, guest star spots, and the occasional "I need work" bits than you'd find in 120 episodes of a normal series.

Now, you may be asking yourself, "Self - all that's nice, but is everything intact in the set?" To that enriching little piece of internal dialog, I can only say "I don't know." Remember when I said I've NEVER seen this show prior to this review? I don't have the FIRST clue what's supposed to be here. I did take a look at the runtimes: While they're wickedly all over the place, given the network it airs on and the relative creative freedom it allows its programs, I wouldn't be surprised if these ARE the proper runtimes. Nonetheless, for your convenience:

Disc 1:
Drive: 27:18
Amongst Friends: 26:25
One Car, Two Car, Red Car, Blue Car: 25:03
Runnin' on E: 29:14

Disc 2:
Fore: 22:31
Murphy's Lie: 28:09
No More Drama: 25:12
The Sorkin Notes: 244:37

Disc 3:
Security Briefs: 24:07
Berried Alive: 27:44
Scared Straight: 28:41
Give a Little Bit: 37:48

Despite dealing with the newest and, let's face it, greatest technology available in Blu-ray Disc, the packaging itself is actually a bit of a throwback nowadays. Aside from the shorter box height (to achieve consistency with normal Blu-ray packaging), the Blu-ray set is otherwise a plain, ordinary Digipak. It seems like it's been forever since I've seen one of these. I missed you, old friend. Artwork is extremely well done, with the primary cast seated at a table all enjoying some fine drinks. One thing I've always despised is cover art where the cast was spliced together with individual photos, so to see cover art where they were clearly in the same place at the same time is quite nice.

I've never used the forthcoming adjective before, so first a set-up. The only other Blu-ray I've watched start to finish is the film Independence Day. As my Blu-ray player is first and foremost for me a video game console that tends to be what it's primarily used for. So to see a TELEVISION series on Blu-ray for the first time: The video is nearly pants-wettingly good. The location and exterior shoots look absolutely stunning, and even the indoor stuff appears quite good. Audio is also quite nice. One of the neat things about Blu-ray I'm still adjusting to? The ability to pop-up a mini menu at any time during an episode without having to actually exit the episode itself. Audio is available in English and French DTS 5.1, while Spanish is a slightly more limited 2-channel track. Subtitles, available either through your subtitles button or through any of the menus (including the pop-up one) include: French, Spanish, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, and English SDH. Video is available in full 1080p for those whose sets and players support it, otherwise it'll down-convert to whatever resolution your screen best supports. Chapter stops are available at the conclusion of each act.

Then you have the bonus features. Not only is there a full feature detailing the full production process for the sixth season called "Life at the Top," but you also get to watch the cast race a bunch of Ferraris (woo!), get to listen to three commentary tracks (keep an ear out for Bob Saget...), plus a set of fake outtakes for a PSA for ONEXONE, all of which play a role in the season's final episode.

This is the first TV show on Blu-ray I've gotten to review, and, quite simply, I'm blown away. The video and audio are absolutely mind-blowing, and the technological advances over a standard definition DVD are simply staggering. There's plenty enough special features to be of interest, however, the set doesn't come close to overkill in that regard. Overkill IS something nice to have in the Features department, so that might well be one area to consider improvement. Otherwise, this set is visually stunning and really makes me A.) look forward to more TV on Blu-ray, and B.) look forward to the seventh season premiere - airing on HBO tomorrow, Sunday June 27. For those of you questioning the merit of this set? STRONGLY recommended. It's 12 episodes of quality entertainment and the price isn't significantly more than what you'd pay for a single movie with a fourth of the content.

(4.5/5 stars)

To purchase this Blu-ray, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

To purchase the DVD version, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Entourage TV.com Page


LOOKING AHEAD

Come on back right here next week for more news and reviews. You'll have to come on back next week to see what the review here will be! And don't forget to read our full DVD reviews, as we will put up reviews for American Dad! and Family Guy. Until next time, keep it digital pardner! Yeeha!


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)

Dr. Ken - Season One Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season The Lucy Show - The Complete Series The Mindy Project - Season Four

10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, December 9

Last Man Standing - "Help Wanted" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Since losing her teaching job, Vanessa has been spending her time hovering over the family, and it’s driving everyone nuts. Over at Kristin and Ryan’s house, Ryan and Kyle are wrapped-up in a zombie face-off to determine who knows the most about zombies and how to survive an apocalypse. Unable to land a new gig, Vanessa becomes discouraged, but Mike does everything he can to get her back doing what she loves.

Dr. Ken - "Ken's Apology" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Ken wants to apologize to a patient for missing an important medical detail, Pat advises against it, and the situation gets out of hand. Meanwhile, D.K. shakes things up at Dave’s parent/teacher conference.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 5)

Friday, December 9

  • Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) - Watch Olivia on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tom Papa (Come to Papa) - Tom is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar (The Crazy Ones) - Sarah whips up a delicious treat on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Richard Kind (Spin City/Mad About You) - Richard is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Jennifer Aniston (Friends) - Jennifer appears on Chelsea on Netflix.