Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: C.S.I.: Miami - The Fifth Season; Solomon's Weekly Rant: Sports Talk and Just Shoot TV Land

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for mini-DVD reviews and Solomon's Weekly Rant! First up, are the mini-DVD reviews. Today we travel south to sunny Miami for C.S.I.: Miami - The Fifth Season. C.S.I.: Miami stars David Caruso, Emily Procter, Adam Rodriguez, Khandi Alexander, Jonathan Tigo, Rex Linn and Eva La Rue.

C.S.I.: Miami - The Fifth Season

C.S.I.: Miami - The Fifth Season (Paramount Home Video/CBS DVD, $64.99)

Lead Criminalist Horatio Caine (David Caruso) is targeted by adversaries old and new in the fifth season of CSI: Miami. As the danger grows for Caine, he and the rest of his team - Calleigh (Emily Procter), Eric (Adam Rodriguez), Alexx (Khandi Alexander), Ryan (Jonathan Togo), Frank (Rex Linn), and Natalia (Eva La Rue) - must go the limit to solve their biggest cases yet.

This 6-disc set contains all 24 episodes of the fifth (2006-07) season. The episodes are featured in Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround audio. It has a running time of 17 hours, 28 minutes. The attractive packaging features a holofoil photo of David Caruso wearing his trademark sunglasses on the cover. Some palm trees and the Miami skyline can be seen in the background. The inside case is in a book format that you can flip through to get to the discs. There is a photo of Procter, Alexander and Rodriguez on the front and Linn, Togo, La Rue and Caruso on the back. Each disc features a different photo of one of the cast members and the show logo. The menus are also very stylish and easy to navigate. They have a montage a video clips, with some instrumental music playing in the background. Options are available for Episode Selection, Set Up, Previews (only on Disc 1), and Special Features. On the Set Up menu, you can choose either Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround or Spanish 2.0 Surround. Closed captioning is availble for all of the episodes. As you would expect from such a recent show, the video and audio quality is outstanding. This is the first time that the show has lacked "Complete" in the title. The episodes have running times of 41-44 minutes in length. There is nothing on the packaging to indicate that any of the music has been changed.

There is an impressive amount and variety of special features included. There are 5 audio commentaries available on the first four discs. They all provide some interesting trivia and behind the scenes details on the making of the episodes. Director Sam Hill, Co-Executive Producer Sunil Nayar and Brian O'Neill (Locations Manager) provide commentary for the season premiere, "Rio." Director Sam Hill, Adam Rodriguez and Carey Meyer (Production Designer) do the commentary for the 100th episode, "Death Pool 100." Jonathan Togo, Writer Corey Miller and Larry Detwiler (Visual Effects) sit down for the commentary on "Death Eminent." Eva La Rue and Writer/Consultant John Haynes provide the commentary on "Darkroom." Director Karen Gaviola and Gonzalo Menendez (Clavo Cruz) do the commentary on "Man Down."

Five interesting and entertaining featurettes on the creating of the episodes add up to around one hour of bonus content. Here is the breakdown:

"Rio Grand: CSI: Miami Goes to Rio" (Disc 1 - 8:43) - This featurette includes interviews with Co-Executive Producer Sunil Nayar, Adam Rodriguez, Executive Producer Ann Donahue, Producer Sam Hill, Producer Don Tardino, David Caruso (archival footage), Producer/Director Joe Chappelle and Location Manager Brian O'Neill. They talk about the process and how they scouted locations, how they wrote the story, how they told the audience that they were in Rio, and whether or not they were allowed to bring guns into the country.

"If Looks Could Kill: Special F/X Makeup" (Disc 2 - 13:38) - This featurette includes interviews with Department Head Make-up Cheri Montesanto, Executive Producer Ann Donahue, Special Effects/Make-Up Matt Smith. They talk about how they create the beauty looks and dead wounds, various visual effects, how various scenes were shot (body blows up from gases, collapsing of lung, giant stomachs, guy gets his head severed, guy gets his legs blown off).

"Turning Up the Heat: The Look of CSI: Miami" (Disc 4 - 9:38) - This featurette includes interviews with Executive Producer Ann Donahue, Director of Photography Eagle Egilsson, Director of Photography Charles Mills, Production Designer Carey Meyer, Art Director Roland Rosenkranz and Colorist Mark Wilkins. They talk about how they try to distinguish the show from Vegas, the shooting at the lab and on location, how they use a lot of color (orange and greens) on the sets, and how they do the color correction. They are able to create a colorful, rich, sexy and wet look. CSI: Miami has always had the coolest look of the CSI series in my opinion.

"Dressing The Part" (Disc 5 - 5:57) - Costume Designer Andrea Federman is interviewed in this featurette. She talks about how they have to sell that the show is in Miami. Each character gets one outfit per episode. She talks about the various looks of the different characters this season and shows off some of the clothes in a closet.

"The Real MDPD with Jonathan Togo" (Disc 6 - 25:29) - This featurette includes interviews with Jonathan Togo, Capt. Bill Press - CSI Bureau, Criminalist 2/DNA Adriana Kristaly, Forensic Artist Samantha Steinberg, Criminalist Supervisor/Firearms CSI Adrian Nunez, CSI Bureau - Frederick Van Loan, CSI Kit and Van Special Patrol Bureau/Marine Patrol Sgt. Marvin Freels, Special Patrol Bureau/SRT Lt. James Tietz, and Special Patrol Bureau/SRT Sgt. Raymond Melcon. Jonathan Togo tours the SRT training center and lab. He goes to each area and the specialist in that area details their job. He asks some interesting questions and is very familiar with the terminology. This was a very interesting and informative segment.

A playable demo for the CSI: Hard Evidence PC game is also included.

Another excellent season and DVD release for CSI Miami. This is one series that may have started a little slow but has improved each season. They always keep it fresh with a variety of cases and storylines. Some memorable episodes this season were "Going Under," "Darkroom," "Throwing Heat," "No Man's Land" and "Just Murdered." With the writer's strike, now is a good time to catch up any episodes that you may have missed. If you've already seen the episodes, the commentaries and special features will give you new insights on the making of the show.

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller
(4.5/5 stars)

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Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
CSI: Miami CBS.com Official Site
CSI: Miami TV.com Page

Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, December 15, 2007
"Petrino: The Coward; The Mitchell Report: On 24/7; Just Shoot TV Land"
By Solomon Davis

How can Bobby Petrino call himself a professional the way he jumped ship on the Atlanta Falcons earlier this week to coach a college football team? He is a classless punk who should never be allowed to apply for a janitor position in the NFL because you just don't run out on a organization like that when you are the head coach. If he had a ounce of class, he would have never left a note for the organization to read he was not returning because real men don't do things like that. He is nothing but a coward since he wasn't man enough to resign face to face after signing a contract. There was only 3 games left in the Falcons horrible season and he runs away like a scared little girl. So I wonder how the the players for the Arkansas Razorbacks feel to know they will be coached by a classless punk like Petrino? This man is no doubt the weasel of the year and should not be coaching anywhere even if it's college football.

The Mitchell Report was the breaking sports news on Thursday during, and on the 6pm SportsCenter, do you believe it lasted the entire hour? It preempted the regularly scheduled shows like Around the Horn and PTI. I mean was it really necessary to talk about this story for 60 minutes and nothing else? You would think after 45 minutes it would be time to start talking about another sport but ESPN just was non-stop with this steroid story and it became the absolute worst hour of my sports watching life. Not only that but the 24/7 ESPNews Network was covering the story non-stop from the time it broke at 2pm and made me feel like baseball was the only sport in America. Why does ESPN have to go
overboard when it comes to major sports news? Man I wish FoxSports Net had a 24 hour sports network so I could ignore ESPN at times like this.

Well it's clear that TV Land is going FORWARD instead of in looking in the past when it comes to acquiring new shows each year. The shows just seem to keep getting newer each year and once 2008 starts TV fans will be treated to the show Just Shoot Me. The show launches in late January and will air every night at midnight for an hour. Just another TV show that has nothing to do with Classic TV and for some reason TV Land is starting off a New Year with Garbage. No one should be surprised if TV Land picks up Will and Grace in January of 2009 since shows close to this decade seem to be their main objective every year.

My Weird TV Moment of the Week:
Monday, December 10, 2007: During the Monday Night Football game, Atlanta Falcons owner was asked if would he take Michael Vick back after he gets out of Prison and his response was: "As long as Michael Vick keeps himself in shape and stay away from the "fried chicken and french fries." He should have said hot 'dogs.'

Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.

DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Tuesday, April 16

Lopez vs Lopez - "Lopez vs Let It Go" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
George joins a meditation group led by Carlos the Curandero, a spiritual healer whose mantra is "let it go"; however, Mayan worries her dad is letting go of too much, including their living room furniture; a burnout threatens to move next door.

Lopez vs Lopez - "Lopez vs Raider Nation" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
As part of Alcoholics Anonymous, George makes amends with everyone except Oscar, who seeks an apology at a football game, but a run-in with Marshawn Lynch fumbles the plan; Mayan and Quinten try to spark Rosie's love life but end up getting burned.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 15)

Tuesday, April 16

  • Nick Offerman (The Great North/Parks and Recreation) - Catch Nick on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Austin Butler (Ruby & the Rockits/Zoey 101/Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide) - Austin appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • DulcĂ© Sloan (The Great North) - DulcĂ© hosts Comedy Central's The Daily Show at 11pm.
  • George Takei (Supah Ninjas) - George is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. NBC's Today catches up with George in the 9am hour.
  • Fred Armisen (Los Espookys/Forever/Final Space) - Fred sits in with The 8G Band on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method) - Michael talks about Apple TV+'s Franklin on NBC's Today some time between 7-9am and in the 9am hour. He chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Amy Ryan (Only Murders in the Building/The Office/The Naked Truth) - NBC's Today catches up with Amy in the 10am hour.
  • George Lopez (Lopez vs Lopez/Lopez/Saint George/George Lopez) and Mayan Lopez (Lopez vs Lopez) - The hilarious George Lopez and his daughter Mayan talk about their hit NBC sitcom, Lopez vs Lopez, on Sherri, so check your local listings. Mayan will also be on Comedy Central's The Daily Show at 11pm.
  • Vanessa Lachey (Truth Be Told/Dads) - Vanessa talks about NCIS on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
  • Carl Anthony Payne II (Tyler Perry's Young Dylan/Rock Me Baby/Martin) - Carl talks about the recent Martin reunion and his NAACP nominated show, MTV's Binged to Death, on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.


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