Saturday, October 08, 2011
Digital Digest: CSI: Miami - The Ninth Season DVD Review; The Greatest American Heroine/Return of Hunter/Jake Lassiter/The Great Pretender DVD Review
DVD Review: CSI: Miami - The Ninth Season (CBS DVD/Paramount Home Video, $62.99)
by Todd Fuller
In its ninth killer season, the Miami team loses one of its own and Horatio Caine has the ultimate showdown with the man who killed his wife. This edgy crime series stars Golden Globe winner David Caruso, Emily Procter, Adam Rodriguez, Rex Linn, Jonathan Tigo, Eva La Rue and Omar Miller as the city's unstoppable force. A madman at large, a blind man as a sole witness to murder, humans being used as prey...every one-of-a-kind case tests the team commitment to justice, and each other. And proves that every day, this Emmy and People's Choice Award-winning series can take the heat.
This 6-disc set contains all 22 sizzling episodes from the tenth (2010-11) season of the widely popular crime drama. The episodes are presented in anamorphic widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Surround and Spanish Stereo audio available. It has a total running time of approximately 15 hours, 30 minutes. The attractive packaging has a photo of David Caruso in his trademark sunglasses holding a gun. Some palm trees and building are in the background. There is an embossed CSI: Miami logo in the center of the box. As with Season 8, they use a cardboard box that holds a clear plastic (Viva) snapcase. There are 11 small photos of the cast from the episodes on the back of the box and case. A short synopsis of the set, a listing of the special features and the DVD specs are provided. There is a clear plastic snapcase that slides out from th right of the outer cardboard box. The snapcase has the same cover art, photos and information as the cardboard box. Opening up the snapcase, there is a content locator which lists the episodes and the special features by disc on the inside cover. Some additional photos of the cast are at the bottom. Discs 1 and 6 are held in embedded holders in the front and back of the case, while Discs 2-5 are held in back-to-back in plastic trays. The discs have the CSI logo on them and just a plain silver background. Episode titles and the special features are listed on the discs.
The menus are stylish and easy to navigate. There are no previews on this release, so it jumps right to the main menus. The main menu opens with some views of Miami that lead to a montage of video clips from the show. A pulsating instrumenal cue plays in the background and then loops. Options for Episode Selection, Set Up and Special Features are available at the bottom of the screen. Episode titles are listed vertically in blue/teal boxes on the Episode Selection menu. The Set Up menu has a nice shot of Miami's beaches in the background. You can choose English 5.1 or Español audio. English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing are available. Some options and special featuers are not rated any may not be subtitled. As you would expect from such a recent show, the video and audio quality is outstanding. CSI: Miami has always had the best look of any of the CSI franchise shows. All of the original music appears to be intact. Episodes are presented in their original broadcast order and numbered by the production number. The broadcast and production ordered differed for episodes 5-9 this season. Running times are between 40-44 minutes in length. Hopefully we'll see some seasons released on Blu-Ray in the U.S. at some point.
Here is the episode breakdown by disc, including the runtimes:
Episode 901 "Fallen" (42:55)
Episode 902 "Sudden Death" (41:03)
Episode 903 "See No Evil" (42:04)
Episode 904 "Manhunt" (41:52)
Episode 906 "Sleepless in Miami" (43:51)
Episode 905 "Reality Kills" (42:45)
Episode 908 "On the Hook" (43:01)
Episode 909 "Happy Birthday" (42:25)
Episode 907 "Blood Sugar" (41:17)
Episode 910 "Match Made in Hell" (41:56)
Episode 911 "F-T-F" (42:15)
Episode 912 "Wheels Up" (42:35)
Episode 913 "Last Stand" (43:22)
Episode 914 "Stoned Cold" (43:08)
Episode 915 "Blood Lust" (41:29)
Episode 916 "Hunting Ground" (41:56)
Episode 917 "Special Delivery" (43:49)
Episode 918 "About Face" (41:21)
Episode 919 "Caged" (41:35)
Episode 920 "Paint it Black" (43:49)
Episode 921 "G.O." (40:25)
Episode 922 "Mayday" (43:56)
A nice amount and mixture of special features are spread out over the 6 discs. Four featurettes and deleted scenes for seven episodes are included. Once again, there are only two audio commentaries on this set. This has been the norm with all of the CSI franchise releases recently. Here is the breakdown by disc:
Deleted Scene for "Fallen" (1:11) - A somber scene from the season premiere. The video effects are missing.
Deleted Scene for "See No Evil" (:27) - A short scene at the lab with Calleigh and Walter.
Audio Commentary by Jonathan Tigo, Rex Linn, Writer Brian Davidson, Director Sam Hill and Visual Effects Supervisor Larry Detwiler on "Sleepless in Miami"
Deleted Scene for "On the Hook" (1:39) - A scene with Horatio, Brad Webb and a civil process server at the lab.
A Miami Milestone: The 200th Episode (8:08) - The cast and crew celebrate the 200th episode of the series. They talk briefly about the storyline of this gritty episode. Some footage of the 200th episode cake and celebration at CBS is shown. Interviews include Adam Rodriguez, Emily Procter, Producer Don Tardino, Jonathan Tigo, Producer/Director Sam Hill, Eva La Rue, Omar Miller, Rex Linn, Claudia Yarmy, Executive Producer Barry O'Brien, President of CBS Nina Tassler President of CBS Paramount of Television David Stapf, and Executive Producer Ann Donahue.
Audio Commentary by Rex Linn, Director Sam Hill, Co-Writer Barry O'Brien and Producer Don Tardino on "Happy Birthday"
Deleted Scene for "Blood Sugar" (:47) - A scene with Roger Cavanaugh, Christie Cavanaugh and Luis.
Deleted Scene for "Made in Hell" (2:48) - An extended deleted scene with Kate and Horatio.
Deleted Scene for "Stoned Cold" (1:19) - A scene at the lab with Calleigh and Benton. The video effects and inserts are missing.
Deleted Scene for "Blood Lust" (5:21) - A series of deleted scenes at the lab with Frank, Delko, Horatio, Natalia and Michelle.
Behind the Scenes with Adam Rodriguez (17:59) - This featurette is on the episode ("Hunting Humans") that Adam Rodriguez wrote and directed. He was a first time director and did an excellent job with the episode. Behind the scenes footage of the production meeting and shooting of the episode is shown. Interviews include Adam Rodriguez, Jonathan Tigo, Producer/Director Sam Hill, Executive Producer Barry O'Brien, Executive Producer Marc Dube, Producer Don Tardino, Eva La Rue, Omar Miller, Script Supervisor Claudia Yarmy, Rex Linn, and Editor James D. Wilcox.
The Whole Nine Years (25:21) - This featurette focuses on the volatile ninth season. Season nine featured more action and often put the main characters in peril. The intensity and amount of running and foot chases was increased. They discuss the major storylines and their favorite episodes of the season. Interviews include Executive Producer Barry O'Brien, Executive Producer Marc Dube, Producer Don Tardino, Adam Rodriguez, Jonathan Tigo, Rex Linn, Eva La Rue, Omar Miller, Producer/Director Sam Hill and Emily Procter.
To Be Continued... The Season Finale (7:19) - This featurette focuses on the ninth season finale and the major cliffhanger. In the episode "Mayday," killer Jack Toller escapes and becomes a fugitive. Natalia deals with Randy North (Ethan Embry). Interviews include Executive Producer Barry O'Brien, Executive Producer Marc Dube, Jonathan Tigo, Rex Linn, and Eva La Rue.
CSI: Miami's ninth season was action-packed and gritty. They really ramped up the amount of running and explosions this season. It's great that they have kept the show fresh and exciting. Memorable ninth season episodes included "See No Evil," "Sleepless in Miami," "Happy Birthday," "Hunting Ground," "About Face" and "Mayday." They celebrated their 200th episode this season. Only about 75 shows have reached that milestone, so that's quite an ccomplishment these days. CSI reached that number in April 2009. CSI: New York will reach 200 next season if they are renewed.
This is another solid release. It has all of the detailed special features and interviews that you've come to expect. Unfortunately, David Caruso rarely participates in the interviews and special features. It just seems odd that the major star of the show doesn't discuss the episodes and season. Although they've taken a bit of a ratings hit because of the move to Sunday nights, it seems like they have enough gas in the tank for at least a few more seasons.
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That's all for this week. Until next time, keep it digital!
SITCOMS AIRING TONIGHT (May 23)
The Big Bang Theory - "The Santa Simulation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon revisits some Christmas memories during a game of Dungeons and Dragons, while Penny, Bernadette and Amy try to find a girl for Koothrappali when he joins the girls for ladies' night.
Two and a Half Men - "I Scream When I Pee" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Alan’s smokin’ hot, famous ex-wife, Kandi, wants him back. Meanwhile, Berta isn’t interested in celebrating her birthday, so Walden helps make it special. April Bowlby (“Drop Dead Diva”) returns as Alan’s second ex-wife, Kandi.
Save Me - "The Book of Beth" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Series Premiere)
“Save Me” premieres with Emmy nominee Anne Heche (“Hung”) starring as Beth Harper, an absentee wife and mother who suffers a dramatic near-death experience and is revived only to discover that she now receives messages from God. As she warms up to her powers and begins dispensing advice that is astonishingly accurate, her husband Tom (Michael Landes, “Final Destination 2”) is skeptical and their teenage daughter Emily (Madison Davenport, “Shameless”) is horrified. Complicating matters even more, Tom’s mistress Carly (Alexandra Breckenridge, “American Horror Story”) shows up to confront Beth about the affair and quickly gets a shocking surprise. Read our review.
Save Me - "Take it Back" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Beth (Anne Heche) begins a new life on the straight and narrow and wants to make amends with old friends she has offended. Her efforts to return a long-ago stolen espresso machine to next door neighbor Maggie (Joy Osmanski) are rebuffed. Meanwhile, Tom (Michael Landes) learns to adjust to his wife’s newfound ability to communicate with God and they both try to re-establish some sense of normality with their old friends and their daughter Emily (Madison Davenport).
The Office - "Couples Discount" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The Office pairs off into pretend couples to take advantage of a Valentine’s Day discount at a local mini-mall. Erin (Ellie Kemper) assures Pete (Jake Lacy) she will break up with Andy (Ed Helms) when he returns, but he has good reason to doubt her. Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) share a meal with Brian, the documentary's sound man.
Parks and Recreation - "Ms. Knope Goes to Washington" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Andy (Chris Pratt) visit Ben (Adam Scott) and April (Aubrey Plaza) at their new jobs in Washington D.C., and Leslie feels overwhelmed by the city -- especially after meeting two of her idols (Senators Barbara Boxer and Olympia Snowe). Meanwhile, Ron (Nick Offerman) throws a “thank you” barbeque for the entire Parks and Recreation staff.
Men at Work - "The Gibbs-Orcism" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Tyler's new girlfriend is all too familiar to Milo and Gibbs, so they do their best to hide the truth from him. Neal and Amy do their best to avoid the "anniversary curse," but they can't seem to escape their fate.
Anger Management - "Charlie, Kate and Jen Get Romantic" (FX, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Martin tries to undermine Charlie and Kate's relationship by telling Kate that Charlie and Jennifer are getting back together.
Big Time Rush - "Big Time Bonus" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Gustavo gives the guys a bonus for their hard work, but they quickly begin to make bad decisions with their money. Carlos hires a personal assistant, James buys a snake he can't live without, Kendall accidentally buys a truck full of oranges and Logan can't resist the power of tipping and getting favors done in return.
Wendell & Vinnie - "The Dutch & Us" (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Wendell befriends a lonely student from Holland, Jann. But when Jann abandons Wendell for a cooler crowd, Vinnie decides to help Wendell win him back by putting them in a situation where they're forced to spend time together.