Saturday, July 06, 2013

Digital Digest: New Girl on Netflix; Last Resort - The Complete Series DVD Review


Welcome to Digital Digest! It is a very light news week this week (hopefully due to the holiday), but we have a review of Last Resort - The Complete Series. Let's get going!

DIGITAL NEWS

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.

Shout! Factory has been wrapping up a lot of series from the Nickelodeon library lately, and the latest one will come in a little over a week as they release Hey Dude - The Final Season. However, this release will not be available as a general release. Instead, it will be available exclusively as a Shout! Select title.


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

Last Resort - The Complete Series

DVD Review: Last Resort - The Complete Series (Sony, $38.99)
by Pavan

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:

Disc one
1. "Captain" 44:08
2. "Blue on Blue" 43:00
3. "Eight Bells" 43:00
4. "Voluntold" 42:59
5. "Skeleton Crew" 43:00

Disc two
6. "Another Fine Navy Day" 41:54
7. "Nuke It Out" 42:43
8. "Big Chicken Dinner" 42:08
9. "Cinderella Liberty" 42:46

Disc three
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!

(4/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Main Reviews Page
Last Resort TV.com Page


FOLLOW ME

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!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, December 12

The Middle - "The Christmas Miracle" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
It’s Christmastime, and Frankie and Sue are devastated after Axl informs them that he’s not going to church this year because he’s beginning to question his faith. Meanwhile, Mike goes to war with the Glossner kids after they keep defacing his new, giant inflatable snowman; and Brick goes all out in an attempt to wrap his first present for a planned Christmas Yankee Swap.

Fresh Off the Boat - "Do You Hear What I Hear?" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
As head of the HOA Christmas committee, Jessica threatens to cut the neighborhood caroling this year due to last year’s rocky performance. However, Deirdre says that her friend Holly (Paula Abdul), who teaches “Performance and Movement,” will help get everyone into tip-top, melodic shape. Meanwhile, Marvin becomes suspicious of Honey when she goes to see “Titanic” at the movies without him; Nicole develops her first girl crush and struggles with how to get her attention.

black-ish - "Sugar Daddy" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Dre is diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and after talking to Pops, he’s resolved to curing himself. Things come to a head at the Stevens & Lido holiday party. Meanwhile, Jack is convinced that baby Devante hates him, so he enlists Junior and Diane’s help.

The Mayor - "Grey Christmas" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After visiting a homeless shelter on Christmas Eve, Courtney realizes things for the needy could be improved and pledges to make it a joyous Christmas that every family deserves. But when he learns he doesn’t have the budget to deliver on his promise, Courtney loses hope and his holiday spirit which leads to a magical “It’s A Wonderful Life” moment that makes him realize he has the gift needed to pull off a Christmas miracle.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Game Night" / "The Favor" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Rosa asks for Jake's help to deliver important information to her parents, but their plan goes awry when they assume the two are in a relationship; Seamus Murphy comes back to redeem an ethically questionable favor owed by Capt. Holt.

Teachers - "Let It Flow" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Ms. Cannon discovers that one of her students is an artistic prodigy. Mrs. Adler and Ms. Watson take the mini-society competition to a new level.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 11)

Tuesday, December 12

  • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Catch Tom on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about The Post on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Jane Krakowski (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/30 Rock) - Jane appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ari Graynor (I'm Dying Up Here/Bad Teacher) - Ari is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Niecy Nash (The Soul Man/Getting On/Do Not Disturb/Reno 911!) - Niecy visits The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Bill Pullman (1600 Penn) - Bill stops by Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Miles Brown (black-ish) - Miles appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth/Lady Dynamite/Suburgatory) - Ana talks about Fox's A Christmas Story Live! on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Noah Galvin (The Real O'Neals) - Noah talks about Dear Evan Hansen on the BUILD Series at 4pm.


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

The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season Living Single - The Complete Third Season Alice - The Complete Sixth Season One Day at a Time - The Complete Series Fuller House - The Complete Second Season

11/07 - American Dad! - Volume 12
11/07 - Family Guy - Season Fifteen
11/07 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season
11/14 - D.C. Follies - The Complete Series
11/21 - Living Single - The Complete Third Season
11/24 - Grandfathered - Season 1
12/05 - Alice - The Complete Sixth Season
12/05 - One Day at a Time - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Simpsons - The Eighteenth Season
12/05 - South Park - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
12/12 - Fuller House - The Complete Second Season
12/19 - South Park - The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray) / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest