Saturday, July 06, 2013
There has been a new addition to Netflix this week, as they have rolled out episodes of the current Fox sitcom New Girl. As part of a multi-year exclusive agreement, Netflix added the first season of the series this past Monday, and will add subsequent seasons following the end of each broadcast season.
UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW
Tuesday (July 9) has no sitcom releases, but it does include the release of Dynasty - The Seventh Season and Quincy, M.E. - Season Six. We'll have a review of Dynasty in the upcoming weeks in Digital Digest.
BLOG FEATURE REVIEW
DVD Review: Last Resort - The Complete Series (Sony, $38.99)
Timed to be released in conjunction with the 4th of July, all 13 episodes of the critically acclaimed Shawn Ryan drama Last Resort are now on DVD on a three-disc set filled with behind-the-scenes special features from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. In the series, a fugitive crew of a U.S. nuclear submarine seeks to uncover the truth behind suspicious orders. The series is filled with drama with action and suspense.
The drama aired Thursdays at 8PM on ABC last fall and lasted 13 episodes. The show starred Andre Braugher as Captain Marcus Chaplin, Scott Speedman as Executive Officer (XO Sam Kendal, Daisy Betts as Lieutenant Grace Shepard, Camille De Pazzis as Sophie Girard, Dichen Lachman as Tani Tumrenjack, Daniel Lissing as Petty Officer James King, Sahr Ngaujah as Julian Serrat, Autumn Reeser as Kylie Sinclair, Jessy Schram as Christine Kendal and Robert Patrick as Command Master Chief Petty Officer (COB) Joseph Prosser.
Recurring stars include Jay Hernandez, Michael Mosley, Ernie Hudson, Michael Gaston, Jay Karnes, and Bruce Davison.
This series was action-packed and of course heavily serialized. You have to watch them all in order or you'd probably be lost. The show got off to a great start, but I think some of the middle episodes lagged a bit in quality but ended well and the acting was always top notch, especially by the two leads and Daisy Betts and Autumn Reeser. The ratings unfortunately were never high and the pilot was the highest rated episode with a 2.2 18-49 rating. Among the memorable episodes include the first episode, "Captain," where with nowhere left to turn, a nuclear missile sub Captain and his XO will go on the run and bring their crew to an exotic island. In "Voluntold," even as Marcus and Sam learn that they have been charged with treason against the United States, a greater threat within their own crew is brewing, while an old friend of Sam's, Paul Wells (guest star Jay Hernandez), pays Christine a visit and tries to ease her fears about her husband. In "Skeleton Crew," in an attempt to end the standoff on Sainte Marina, Marcus and Sam enter into tense negotiations with the U.S. Government, while when a critical system fails, Grace must take command of the Colorado on a perilous repair operation. In "Nuke It Out," as Marcus and Sam hunt for the traitor in their ranks who stole their nuclear launch key, Prosser disobeys orders and starts a small war he can't control, while Grace and James must work together to defuse a dangerous situation, as back in D.C. Christine is indicted as Sam's co-conspirator. In "Damn the Torpedoes," a typhoon, a mutiny and a Washington coup d'etat will force Marcus and his crew into unlikely alliances, as Sam's grief strains his loyalty to Marcus, will Sainte Marina get the supplies it so desperately needs and how far will Marcus go to ensure the crew's survival -- will it cost him his life? And in the exciting series finale "Controlled Flight Into Terrain," a violent battle for control erupts on the submarine, which leaves the Colorado vulnerable to capture by a third party -- one with an exploitative plan, so can Marcus and Sam take control of the sub before it's too late?
The episodes run usually 42-43 minutes, all unedited of course. They are very consistent except one episode is under 42 minutes. There are 9 chapter stops per episode, but the first one has 7. See the runtimes for each episode below:
1. "Captain" 44:08
2. "Blue on Blue" 43:00
3. "Eight Bells" 43:00
4. "Voluntold" 42:59
5. "Skeleton Crew" 43:00
6. "Another Fine Navy Day" 41:54
7. "Nuke It Out" 42:43
8. "Big Chicken Dinner" 42:08
9. "Cinderella Liberty" 42:46
10. "Blue Water" 43:06
11. "Damn the Torpedoes" 43:10
12. "The Pointy End of the Spear" 43:13
13. "Controlled Flight Into Terrain" 43:10
Packaging has a nice thing cover holding a case and has shot of XO Sam Kendall with a U.S. flag with water, submarine, planes and an explosion in the background. The tagline "Honor In Defiance" appears on the front cover towards the bottom along with the show logo on the top. The back cover has information on the series & set and has five photos of stars (Chaplin, Prosser, Kylie, Sam, and James). There is also a section detailing the special features in a box with technical specifications below. Inside the box is the case. The front of the case has the same artwork as the outer box, and the same goes true for the back of the case. Opening the case, we don't get any inserts, but the panels itself have photos on both panels and we have a disc-by-disc breakdown of episodes. We have episode number, title and a synopsis of the episode. All three discs are stacked on top of each other on the right panel. I don't like that at all, as if you want to watch discs two and three, you have to remove the previous disc(s). It can be easily damaged. Not sure why Sony continues to do this? The discs are in navy blue and has artwork of the show's characters and the disc number is labeled in military time style. Disc 0100 has episodes 1-5 with artwork of Sam. Disc 0200 has episodes 6-9 with artwork of Grace. Disc 0300 has episodes 10-13 and has artwork of Marcus. Disc placement makes the packaging below average.
The menu screen has the same image of Sam with a flag inside the water. It is kind of like the cover art, but not everything in the background from that is present here. There is no music or anything playing the background. The options on the main menu are Play All Episodes, Episode Selections, Languages, and Special Features. The latter option is spread out on all three discs and lists the special feature. The Languages section has the option of audio in English or Spanish and subtitles in English, French, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, or Thai. The Episode Selections option gives us the episode title to choose but no screenshot from the episode. Each submenu has different artwork in the background but no music still. It's average quality for these menus.
The video is amazing as it should be since the series aired in the most recent season (2012-13). It is in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and looks excellent. It's HD-like, even though it isn't s Blu-ray release. I have a DVD player that upconverts to HD, so who needs a Blu-ray player? Just kidding, I have one of those and it is flawless. The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. We also get to hear the nice closing theme, as on ABC there are promos at the end of the episode. And as mentioned, we get 9 chapter stops per episode. We have many subtitles, as mentioned in previous section. There should be nothing wrong with audio/video with current series and there isn't on this set. Good job here Sony!
Moving on to the bonus features, each disc has some. We get 13 featurettes that are under the Last Resort: Declassified umbrella. These are all just under 5 minutes in length each and has behind the scenes information and insight. Interviewed throughout are cast members and crew members including Martin Campbell, Shawn Ryan, Jean Higgins, Daniel Lissing, Daisy Betts, Eric Frazer, Scott Speedman, Andre Braugher, Autumn Reeser, Sahr Ngaujah, Kevin Hooks, Karl Gajdusek, Robert Patrick, Jim Spencer, Brenda Meyers-Ballard, Jessy Schram, Jay Hernandez, Jessica Camacho, Will Rothhaar, Camille De Pazzis, David Altenau, and Dichen Lachman. On disc one we have five featurettes. "Making the Pilot" (4:15) is taking viewers behind the scenes for a look at the making of the pilot episode. Then we have "Profiles in Courage" (4:37) where co-creators and executive producers Shawn Ryan and Karl Gajdusek explore the dossiers of the USS Colorado crew members. In "Conn Artists" (4:27) Production Designer Jim Spencer and Set Decorator Brenda Meyers-Ballard reveal the secrets of the nerve center of the USS Colorado. "Anatomy of an Episode - "Voluntold" (4:48) has cast and crew recounting filming the pivotal moments from this episode. Finally on disc one we have "Grace Under Fire" (4:45) where Daisy Betts reflects on the obstacles that her character Grace Shepard confronts in "Skeleton Crew" and how the lieutenant's role is evolving.
On disc two we have "Ties That Bind" (4:54) where we ponder if Christine will defend Sam to the end? The stars discuss the strain on this crucial relationship and how Sophie and Paul are complicating matters. In "Subvirtual" (4:52) we take a look at how the Fuse FX team created the show's stunning computer-generated visual effects. Then in "The Buzzard's Nest" (4:21) the cast and crew talk about constructing Tani's bar and filming the explosive riot scenes in "Big Chicken Dinner." Lastly on disc two, "Turning Point" (4:52) Shawn Ryan and Karl Gajdusek recap the Naval SEAL mission in Pakistan that sets off the chain of events in the series. Onto disc three, we start with "The Mole" (4:36) where Jessica Camacho peels away the layers around Cortez's undercover role aboard the USS Colorado. In "Serrat's Lair" (4:47) we get a look inside the ornate and elaborate estate that serves as Serrat's island compound. In "I, Kylie" (4:59) as troubles at home come to a head, Autumn Reeser recounts the motives and evolution of the outspoken Kylie Sinclair. And finally in "Epilogue" (4:58) cast and crew recount the harrowing events in the finale "Controlled Flight Into Terrain" and speculate on where the characters would go from here.
It's a good show, good set. I wish the show had more than 13 episodes to give us, but what we have here has a beginning and ending. That's good, I guess. I highly recommend this series and if you started and stopped, now is your chance to see the conclusion. The series was very good and even what I thought were some boring episodes, it was one of the best new dramas this season. The DVD itself is good. The special features are good but I wish we had more variety. The featurettes are great, but I would have liked some bloopers and maybe audio commentary on some of these episodes. I would have also liked some deleted scenes. The packaging is decent but the disc placement makes it so hard to say anything positive about the packaging. Everything else is average or above average on this set. I hope we see Daisy Betts and Autumn Reeser on TV again very soon. Both were the stars to watch on this show besides the two leads of course. Anyway, go out and buy this set because you'll get 13 action-packed episodes that has a conclusion, so you won't be left hanging by any means. Honor this series by buying the DVD. Your captain orders you to do so!
To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
SitcomsOnline.com Main Reviews Page
Last Resort TV.com Page
Who to Follow: Chris Pratt (Twitter), "laughing with you, not at you."
Claim to Fame: Chris Pratt first came to be known by TV audiences with his role in the series Everwood, but to sitcom fans, he became known for his role of Andy Dwyer on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation.
Why You Should Follow Him: Pratt is one of those actors that you hear about and think he is just an ordinary guy... and you wouldn't be wrong at all. In fact, he didn't come from a family of fame. He was born in Minnesota, raised in Washington, and was "discovered" while working as a waiter in Hawaii. He really was just an ordinary guy until he was 21 years old, and you can really see that in Twitter. He likes to drop a lot of f-bombs, for sure, but he is also a funny guy who doesn't seem to be obsessed with himself. It'll be interesting to see what direction he goes as he progresses in his career, and following him on Twitter is a good way to watch that.
Pick of the Tweets: "If I played Edward Scissor Hands in paper, rock, scissors every once in a while I'd throw a paper in there so he wouldn't feel too bad." (February 10, 2013)
That's all for this week. Until next time, keep it digital!
New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January)
12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
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