Saturday, December 27, 2008

Blog DVD Review: Kyle XY - The Complete Second Season - Revelations (Dec. 30)

Welcome to another edition of blog DVD reviews. This week we take a look at ABC Studios/Buena Vista Home Entertainment's Kyle XY: The Complete Second Season - Revelations. Kyle XY is the hit original ABC Family series about a teenage boy with extraordinary abilities that appears out of nowhere and later stays with a family. See my blog DVD review of Kyle XY: The Complete Second Season - Revelations:

Kyle XY: The Complete Second Season - Revelations (Buena Vista, $39.99) brings all 23 episodes from the second season of the hit original ABC Family Channel series! He is not alone. Prepare for twice the excitement with the mysterious arrival of Jessi XX in the captivating sci-fi drama's jaw-dropping Season 2. What is Jessi's connection to Kyle, and might she carry the answer to the ultimate question: Who is Kyle XY? Breakout star Matt Dallas reprises his role as Kyle, the phenomenal young man with an enigmatic past. Unlock coveted secrets from season one and delve into a new level of thrills in Kyle XY: Season 2 -- Revelations. Experience 23 episodes on six discs, a twisting, turning drama that will have you hooked from the very first episode!
The season is divided into two halves. The first batch aired as 13 episodes in summer 2007. Then a few months late the show returned in winter 2008 for the final batch of 10 episodes. Originally both halves were going to be released separately on DVD, and you can clearly tell that while watching this set. The first three discs contain the first 13 episodes and all the extras revolving around them. The final three discs have the last ten episodes and also have extras revolving around those ten episodes. The menus for both halves is a bit different, too, so you know the original plan was these to be released separately. I don't mind though...it is better to have the full season on one set!
All 23 episodes are very good, but the ones that stand out are the "Pilot," "Diving In," and "End Game." Each episode runs approx. between 43-45 minutes (highest being 44:06 and lowest being 42:31...with most near 44 minutes), so it seems it is a bit longer than shows on broadcast television. There are about 8 or 9 chapter stops per episode. 9 stops for the first 13 episodes and 8 stops for the final 10 episodes...another difference. The video and audio is superb, as it should be since it is a current series. The video is in widescreen and for those who watched it on ABC Family, will like it even more this way, if you don't get ABC Family HD! I have HD, but my cable service doesn't have ABC Family HD, so I have to watch in full-frame, so it is nice watching it in widescreen format on this DVD!
Packaging has a nice outer box with Kyle showing he has no belly-button and also an image of Jessi doing the same on the front cover...the back cover has tons of information on the series & set and a list of special features and some screenshots, along with a nice shot of Kyle's head from the side. Inside the box is the case, with the same artwork as the outer box--I hate that. All six discs are inside in three little holders, one disc on each side...so no overlapping this time, good! On the left side, we get a holder for some inserts: Blu-ray DVD catalog and other DVDs catalog such as other ABC Family hits Greek & The Secret Life of the American Teenager. When we remove those inserts, on the packaging itself, we get a nice disc-by-disc breakdown of episodes plus two screenshots. In the middle we get those holders with the discs that you can turn like a page on a book. Then on the right panel we get more images and a list of special features. Disc artwork is in blue and black basically with Kyle on every disc (Kyle with Jessi, Kyle with the Tragers, Kyle with Amanda, Kyle himself, Kyle about to kiss Amanda, and a headshot of Kyle). Each disc holds four episodes, but disc two holds five and disc six holds two.
The menu screen has Play All, Episode Selection, Bonus Features, Sneak Peeks, and Set Up. Sneak Peeks is only on disc one and Bonus Features is not on disc four but on the rest. Everything else is on each disc. Set Up gives us the option to register your DVD and to turn on subtitles in English, French or Espanol. Episodes menu has a screenshot in a square with episode number and title. The main menu has moving images with formulas all over the place in the background, kind of like how it is on the opening title credits. The first three discs it is in blue-gray color while the last three discs the menus are in red-black color. Background music from the series is playing in the background on the main menu and also on sub-menus. Auto previews are playing before the menu comes on disc one such as for the Greek and Scrubs DVDs.
Moving on to the extras. Discs one to three were designed to be released on their own. Disc one has two audio commentaries and four deleted scenes. First the audio commentaries..."The Prophet" has commentaries from Julie Plec (supervising producer) and Eric Tuchman (executive producer). "The Homecoming" has commentaries from producers Chad Fiveash and James Stoteraux. Then we have four deleted scenes with optional audio commentary by supervising producer Julie Plec. Find out why these scenes were edited out, most are very good but had to be cut for time. The deleted scenes run approx. 1-2 min. each.
On disc two we have an audio commentary and six more deleted scenes. The audio commentary is on the episode "Ghost in the Machine," from Matt Dallas (Kyle), Julie Plec (supervising producer), and Chris Hollier & Rudy Gaborno (writers). Then we have six more deleted scenes with optional commentary by Julie Plec, with the scenes ranging from 0:43 to 2:05.
Disc three we have a lot of extras, since this was supposed to be the last disc for the first half of season two. First, we have two audio commentaries. One on "House of Cards" from producers Chad Fiveash and James Stoteraux. They wrote that episode, too. Then we have commentary on the midseason finale "Leap of Faith," from Matt Dallas (Kyle), Julie Plec (supervising producer), and Eric Tuchman (executive producer). We have two more deleted scenes, with optional commentary by Plec, at 1:02 and 0:51. Then we have a very interesting featurette called "Livin with the X's." It runs 11:55 and it is a day in the life of Jaimie Alexander and Matt Dallas. Find out when they wake-up, how they go on set, what they do on set, when they leave, and more. It is interesting. Then we have a featurette called "Facing the Future" running 7:27. This basically previews what is to come on the second half of season two, called "2.1". So it is previewing discs four to six on this set. See another instance from the original plan of having season 2.0 and 2.1 released separately. Interviewed are Matt Dallas, Eric Tuchman, Bruce Thomas (Stephen Trager), April Matson (Lori Trager), Julie Plec, Kristen Prout (Amanda Bloom), Chris Olivero (Declan McDunaugh), and David Himelfarb (executive producer). Finally, we have an "Alternate Ending" to the finale of 2.0 (episode 13). We get optional commentary from Julie Plec explaining why they changed the ending. It makes sense and I am glad they didn't go this route. You should watch the alternate ending first with no commentary then again with it. It runs 3:39.
Then we move on to the second half of season two, called 2.1, on discs four to six. Disc four has two episodes with audio commentaries. "To C.I.R., With Love" has commentary from Julie Plec, Eric Tuchman, and writer Bryan Holdman. Then the very next episode "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades," has commentary from writers Steve Lilien & Bryan Wynbrandt and director Chris Grismer. Lots of commentaries from the crew! I like that.
Disc five has no extras, but disc six does. We have thirteen deleted scenes from this last batch of ten episodes, with optional commentary of course from Julie Plec. Most run in the 1-2 minute range but there is one deleted scene that runs 4:20! There was also a scene that was reshot totally, find out why when you watch! Then we have a featuretted called "The Science of Kyle XY," running 7:02. This is a very cool featurette. We find out how science is played on the show and that originally Einstein's techniques were the basis of this show. Interviewed are Matt Dallas, Chad Fiveash, James Stoteraux, and Julie Plec. And finally, we have one last audio commentary for the episode "I've Had the Time of My Life," which is the season finale! Julie Plec (supervising producer), and Chris Hollier & Rudy Gaborno (writers) are back to commentate! Find out some hints in store for season three, as well!
I of course highly do recommend any fan to pick up this set. And if you never have watched the show, I urge you to get the first season DVD and also this DVD because this is the best basic cable series EVER! I am hooked and I cannot wait to watch the third season to see what happens from the cliffhanger ending from the second season finale. You better hurry if you haven't watched yet, because the third season launches with ten straight weeks worth of episodes starting Monday, January 12, 2009 airing Mondays at 9pm on ABC Family. The set made some improvements from last time, such as removing the overlapping discs. This series has comedy, drama, action, science fiction, and everything you can imagine. Join Kyle and the rest of the gang in finding out the truth! As Kyle said in the very first episode, "juice me!"
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4.5/5 stars)

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