Saturday, February 04, 2012
BLOG FEATURE REVIEW
Director Quentin Tarantino brings his edgy, pulse-pounding style of filmmaking to CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in this gripping, feature-length offering from the acclaimed, top-rated crime-drama series. A reunited CSI team must race desperately against the clock when one of their own is abducted and subsequently buried alive - a diabolical plot that grows more intense and claustrophobic with each new shocking twist and heart-stopping turn. Guest stars John Saxon, Andrew Prine and Lois Chiles and cameo appearances by Tony Curtis and Frank Gorshin add to the suspense and excitement of this unforgettable CSI thriller.
"Grave Danger" is the two-hour fifth season finale that aired on CBS on May 19, 2005. The thrilling story begins when CSI team member Nick Stokes is suddenly abducted and buried alive. As his team receives random demands, they are directed to a website where they are forced to helplessly watch as Stokes desperately struggles to free himself from his underground coffin. The CSI team reunites with a single mission in mind: to save one of its own. The episode has a teleplay by Naren Shankar, Anthony E. Zuiker and Carol Mendelsohn and a story by Quentin Tarantino. All of the main cast members of the fifth season are featured in the episode: William Petersen, Marg Helgenberger, Gary Dourdan, George Eads, Jorja Fox, Eric Szmanda and Robert David Hall. Guest stars include John Saxon as Walter Gordon, Andrew Prine as Judge Bill "Cisco" Stokes (Nick's father), Lois Chiles as Jillian Stokes (Nick's mother), and Tony Curtis and Frank Gorshin as themselves in cameo appearances. This was Frank Gorshin's final television appearance. He died two days before this episode aired.
The standalone Blu-ray/DVD combo release comes in a standard Blu-ray case. It features a shot of George Eads in the underground coffin on the cover. William Petersen is featured on the back of the case. A short synopsis of the release and a listing of the Blu-ray/DVD specs are provided. Inside the case, Anthony Zuiker, creator of CSI provides a few words on the episode and Quentin Tarantino. The DVD has the CSI logo and a light gray background. The Blu-ray release features the CSI logo and a light blue background.
The menus are similar to what you see on the full season releases. They open with a montage of video clips of from the episode. The show's theme song, Who Are You by The Who, is played in the background. It loops after about 35 seconds. There are options to play the episode, set up and the special feature on both discs. The DVD has the options on the right side of the screen, while they are on the left on the Blu-ray. When you select Set Up or Special Feature on the DVD, it takes you to a sub-menu. There are on-screen menus for Set Up and Special Feature on the Blu-ray. You can choose English 5.1 Surround or Español from the Audio Options. English for the deaf and hard of hearing and Español subtitles are available.
Moving on to the video and audio, the episode looks and sounds outstanding. This is my first time seeing a CSI episode on Blu-ray. I'm very impressed with the quality. It's just a visually stunning episode with the way it was filmed. The Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition. The DVD is in its original widescreen 16:9 format. The episode appears to be unedited, with a running time of 1:25:14. Both the Blu-ray and DVD feature English 5.1 or Spanish Stereo tracks. This episode used quite a few songs. All of them appear to be here. There are some memorable ones like Bob Neuwirth's Lucky Too and Outside Chance by The Turtles. Chapters are placed at the appropriate places.
Unfortunately, there is only a single special feature found on both the Blu-ray and DVD discs. CSI: Tarantino Style is the same 17-minute featurette that was previously included on the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The Complete Fifth Season DVD release. It's presented in full frame video and features lots of on-set footage. Interviews include Carol Mendelsohn, William Petersen, Quentin Tarantino, Anthony E. Zuiker, George Eads, Richard Berg, Marg Helgenberger, Robert David Hall, Gary Dourdan, John Saxon and Mark Byers. They talk about how they got Quentin Tarantino involved with the episode and how it was to shoot it. The cast shares their experiences working with him. This is a decent featurette, but it easily could have been more detailed and twice as long.
Grave Danger is one of my favorite episodes of the CSI series. I only saw it once before on the night it originally aired, but it remains just as thrilling and gripping watching it now. It's just an outstanding and well crafted episode that plays like a movie. It features excellent directing, writing, acting, music and production values. Quentin Taranino received an Emmy nomination for his work on the episode. It was one of the highest rated episodes of the series with over 30 million viewers.
This is a pretty lackluster release for such an entertaining episode. It was previously released as a standalone DVD and on The Complete Fifth Season. We get the same special feature on the new Blu-ray/DVD combo that was on the other set. More special features like audio commentaries or deleted scenes would have been welcome and added value to this release. I'm surprised that they didn't include a commentary on the original fifth season release, but I think it would have been easy to record one now. This set just seems overpriced for what you are getting on it. You can buy the complete fifth season on DVD for only a few dollars more. A "best of" Blu-ray release of 8-10 episodes would be much more popular and have better value. Only the first and ninth seasons have been released on Blu-ray in the U.S., so it would be great to see more seasons released in the future, especially the early years when the show was at its best.
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Sunday, August 2
Bob's Burgers - "Friends with Burger-fits" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bob becomes Teddy’s workout buddy after finding out his burgers contributed to Teddy’s bad health. The two enroll in a stuntman boot camp where their friendship is put to the test. Meanwhile, the kids make an ice rink in the freezer, with Linda running their underground ice wrestling league.
Bob's Burgers - "Best Burger" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bob enters a burger-tasting contest, only to discover that his distinguishing ingredient is missing! To help out their dad, the kids go on a mission to find the ever-so-important black garlic.
The Simpsons - "The Kids Are All Fight" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Homer gets an old film roll developed, the family takes a trip down memory lane to see the origins of how Bart and Lisa first started fighting with each other.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Sabotage" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After a streak of really bad luck, Jake thinks he’s being sabotaged by an enemy. Holt assigns Amy and Rosa to investigate the truth. Meanwhile, Holt hurts Gina’s feelings by calling her dance troupe a “hobby,” and Charles is stuck working a case with Scully and Hitchcock in Jake’s absence.
Family Guy - "Fighting Irish" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Peter claims he would beat Liam Neeson (guest-voicing as himself) in a fight, but when he is put to the test, he learns that winning is tougher than it seems. Meanwhile, Stewie becomes jealous when Lois decides to be a class mom and starts paying more attention to the other kids over him.
The Last Man on Earth - "The Do-Over" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Things haven’t exactly gone Phil’s way since he found other survivors, but his luck might be about to change.
Sunday, August 2
- Christina Applegate (Up All Night/Samantha Who?/Jesse/Married with Children) - Catch Christina on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Mark Consuelos (Alpha House/Hope & Faith) - Mark is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Jerrod Carmichael (The Carmichael Show) - Watch Jerrod on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Jeremy Piven (Entourage/Ellen) - Jeremy appears on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Jessica St. Clair (Playing House/Best Friends Forever/In the Motherhood) and Lennon Parham (Playing House/Best Friends Forever/Accidentally on Purpose) - Jessica and Lennon are guests on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC and on the AOL Build Show.
- Matt LeBlanc (Episodes/Friends) - Matt appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Ed Helms (The Office) - Ed is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Al Madrigal (About a Boy/Free Agents/Gary Unmarried) - Al will be on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie appears on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
- Kevin James (The King of Queens) - Kevin appears on repeats of Rachael Ray and The Real, so check your local listings.
- Eddie Kaye Thomas (Off Centre/American Dad!) - Eddie is a guest on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
- Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) - Olivia joins the Chew Crew on a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Jill Kargman (Odd Mom Out) - Jill will be on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am.