Saturday, September 05, 2009

Blog DVD Review: Heroes - Season 3 (9/1)

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the weekly Blog DVD Reviews. This week we take a look at Universal Studios Home Entertainment's Heroes - Season 3. Villains will rise. Heroes will fall. Destiny will be redefined. See my Blog DVD review of Heroes - Season 3:

Heroes - Season 3

Heroes: Season 3 (Universal Studios Home Entertainment, $59.98)

Experience all the explosive action and shocking twists as Heroes - Season 3 comes to DVD! Rediscover the phenomenon in this six-disc set that includes all 25 suspenseful episodes from the third season's volumes, Villains and Fugitives. Plus, go behind the secenes with the show's writers, stars and artists as you explore hours of exclusive and revealing bonus features.

Season 3 began with a two-hour event on September 22, 2008. The first 13 episodes were part of the Villains volume, while episodes 14-25 were the Fugitives volume. Cristine Rose, who portrays Angela Petrelli, became a main character this season after being a recurring character in the first two seasons. New characters included Flint Gordon, Jr. (played by Blake Shields), Puppet Master (Eric Doyle), The Speedster/Daphne Millbrook (Brea Grant) and Usutu (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine). Ali Larter played the new character Tracy Strauss, Niki's triplet sister with the power to freeze objects with a touch.

The packaging is very stylish and similar to the previous seasons. The holofoil outer slip cover has a photo of 11 of the characters with Sylar, Hiro and Claire being in the foreground. An embossed Heroes title logo is at the top. On the back of the slip cover, there is a short synopsis of the set and a listing of the special features. The main digipak packaging slides out from the left of the outer slip cover. The Heroes logo is on the cover. Episode summaries and the special features are listed for discs four-six on the back cover. Opening the digipak, there are listings for discs one-three. There are photos of the cast and drawings underneath the tray which holds the discs. The plastic clips that held discs 1, 3 and 5 were broken on my set so the discs slide around. The discs have a red background and the Heroes logo on them.

The anamorphic widescreen menus are attractive and easy to navigate. The main menu opens with the familiar Earth spinning Heroes logo. That leads to about a minutes worth of video clips in circles with some great instrumental music by Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman playing in the background. There are options for Play All, Chapter Index, Bonus Materials and Set Up. The Chapter Index menu features still images from the episodes where you can play the episode by itself, with commentary or view the deleted scenes. The Bonus Materials have a still image of a cast member and another music cue. The Set Up menus feature different photos of the cast. You can choose the audio commentaries from here. Subtitles are available in English SDH, Espanol and Francais. Closed captioninig is not available. Chapter stops are available but no scene selection menus are offered. When you first insert disc 1, there is a series of previews (5:56) for some other Universal tv shows and movies which you can play or skip.

Moving on to the video and audio, the quality is excellent. The episodes are presented in their original 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colors are vibrant and clean. The picture is very sharp and detailed. Some of the night time scenes can look a little grainy, but that can be expected. Overall, the lighting is excellent and the outdoor scenes are beautifully shot. All of the episodes appear to be unedited, with running times of 41-43 minutes in length. They have the "Previously On" Heroes openings as originally broadcast. The overall running time of the set is approximately 17 hours, 53 minutes. The audio is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track and sounds great. I didn't notice any major problems on the episodes I've watched so far. The dialogue is at a good volume and easy to understand. I love the music score by Wendy Melvoin & Lisa Coleman and other sound effects that are used in the episodes. Subtitles are available in English, French and spanish. The bonus features are not rated and not all are subtitled.

Over 20 hours of bonus features are included. Audio commentaries by the cast and crew are available on all 25 episodes. 36 deleted scenes from 15 episodes are included and run approximately 36 minutes. It would have been interesting to have commentary on these to learn why these scenes were cut. A nice mixture of featurettes are spread out over the discs. Here is the breakdown by disc:

Disc One
--------
Deleted Scenes
The Second Coming (:36) - Sylar Telekinetically Moves Mr. Muggles
The Buttefly Effect (:14) - Suresh Lifts Heavy Object
One of Use, One of Them (3 Scenes) - Micah at Funeral (:28), Original Movie Theatre Scene (1:13), Claire Gets Primatech Box (:21)
I Am Become Death (5 Scenes) - Nathan Comes to Angela's Office (1:41), Daphne and Matt Argue (1:51), Sylar Can't Save Son (1:57), Maya and Suresh Go Out (1:28), Linderman Appears (1:35)

The Super Powers of Heroes (8:02) - Stunt Coordinator Tim Gilbert gives insight to designing the hard hitting stunts of Heroes. He talks about how various sequences were done like the airplane scene, Suresh's bug-like power, the black hole vortex and Claire falling out of the iwndow. He also talks a little about the cast and working on the show in general. Stunt Utility Lance Gilbert is also briefly interviewed.

Audio Commentaries
The Second Coming - Creator/Executive Producer Tim Kring, Executive Producer/Episode Director Allan Arkush and Series Star Adrian Pasdar
The Buttefly Effect - Executive Producer/Director Greg Beeman and Series Stars James Kyson Lee & Brea Grant
One of Us, One of Them - Series Stars Cristine Rose & Milo Ventimaglia
I Am Become Death - Series Stars Greg Grunberg & Jamie Hector

Disc Two
--------
Deleted Scenes
Angela and Monsters (3 Scenes) - Nathan Tells Tracy About Dr. Zimmerman (1:30), Linderman Makes Knox An Offer He Can't Refuse (:44), Angela Awakens (:12)
Dying of the Light (3 Scenes) - Suresh About to Operate on Tracy and Nathan (1:35), Claire and Mom Talk (1:04), Ando and Hiro Wake Up in Usutu's Camp (:59)
Villains (5 Scenes) - Matt Wants Knox to Quit Gang (:59), Knox Asks to Sit Out of Robbery (1:32), Knox Is Seen Talking to Matt (1:28), Knox Kills Gang Leader (1:52), Matt Stops Knox in Car (:51)

Completing the Scene (7:54) - An overall look at the visual style of Heroes Season Three is discussed, including the tricks used on set and in post-production. This featurette includes interviews with Lead Visual Effects Supervisor Eric Grenaudier, Supervising Producer Mark Spatny, Visual Effects Supervisor Jason Sperling, 3D Artist Mike Enriquez, Executive Producer/Director Allan Arkush, Compositing Supervisor Supervisor Chris Martin, Compositor Ryan Wieber, 3D Animator Daniel Kumiega, 3D Animator Michael Cook and Compositor Meliza Ferman. They talk about how every episode is compltely different, how they conceptualize visuals at meetings, how they did the scene of Claire shooting the bullet, the cold snap episode with ice, the invisible effects, the new abilities of the Heroes and the Tokyo earthquake destruction scene.

Audio Commentaries
Angels and Monsters - Episode Director Anthony Hemingway and Co-Executive Producers Adam Armus & Kay Foster
Dying of the Light - Series Star Sendhil Ramamurthy and Co-Writers Christopher Zatta and Chuck Kim
Eris Quod Sum - Director of Photography Charlie Lieberman, Editor Scott Boyd and Series Star Jason Kyson Lee
Villains - Executive Prdoucer/Episode Director Allan Arkush and Series Star Jack Coleman

Disc Three
----------
Deleted Scenes
It's Coming - Tracy Tells Nathan About Her Connection to Pineheart (:36)
The Eclipse: Part I - Nathan Must Find the Haitian to Stop His Father (1:17)
Our Father (4 Scenes) - Arthur Reads Suresh's Mind (:57), Nathan Disturbed (:45), Arthur takes Molly's Ability (:33), Angela and HRD Find Claire (:25)

The Prop Box (5:37) - Introduction to the "Gold Room" where all of the props used for Heroes are stored. Relics from the first season to the present are shown and the methods of a prop master are revealed. Assistant Set Prop Master James Clark talks about his job and gives a tour of the Gold Room. I think it's very interesting how they hold on to everything in case they need to re-use it in a later episode. Maps by Property Assistant Reba Rosenthal, paintings by Tim Sale and various swords are among the many props shown.

Tim Sale Gallery of Screen Art (1:16) - Various paintings are shown with a music cue playing in the background.

Pineheart Commercial (:41) - Pinehearst is a biotechnology company with connections to evolved humans.

Audio Commentaries
It's Coming - Series Star Blake Shields and Director of Photography Charlie Lieberman
The Eclipse: Part I - Executive Producers Episode Director Greg Beeman and Series Star Sendhil Ramamurthy
The Eclipse: Part II - Series Stars Cristine Rose & Greg Grunberg
Our Father - Series Stars Masi Oka & Brea Grant

Disc Four
---------
Deleted Scenes
Trust and Blood (2 Scenes) - Suresh and Matt Buy Weapons (:19), Ando and Hiro Are Going to India (:59)

Alternate Stories
Heroes: Going Postal (10:12 - 3 Chapters) - The trilogy of online-only videos introduces Echo DeMille, a seemingly ordinary mailman with an extraordinary ability.
Nowhere Man (18:11 - 4 Chapters) - This webseries focuses on the life of Eric Doyle.

Audio Commentaries
Dual - Series Star Zachary Quinto and Special Effects Supervisor Gary D'Amico
A Clear and Present Danger - Creator/Executive Producer Tim Kring and Series Stars Milo Ventimiglia & Greg Yaitanes
Trust and Blood - Executive Producer/Episode Director Allan Arkush and Writer Mark Verheiden
Building 26 - Art Director Sandy Getzler and Production Designer Ruth Ammon

Disc Five
---------
Deleted Scene
Exposed - HRG Comes Up With Plan (:23)

Genetics of a Scene (20:31) - An ongoing service in which the episode's director and cast give an in-depth look at the production process.
Exploring Claire's Mind (5:34) - This segment reveals the graphic scene of the Heroes Season Three opener. Optic Nerve demonstrates the props designed for the scene "Stylar steals Claire's powers." Executive Producer/Director Allan Arkush, Special Makeup Effects Artist Glenn Hetrick, Special Makeup Effects Artist Rich Mayberry and Special Makeup Effects Artist Mark Vinielle. Some pretty graphic footage of the open brain gag scene, the body cast on Glenn and Claire's open heart scene are shown.
Speedster Steals the Formula (6:12) - Allan Arkush highlights directing the Speedsters' speed effects and the time stopping qualities of Hiro. The segment features on-set footage of Daphne and Hiro and how their powers collide. Executive Producer/Director Allan Arkush and Compositing Editor Chris Martin are interviewed. They talk about how a new character was brought in to play off Hiro and Ando, how Brea Grant was cast, developing her power and how they did the frozen in time effects.
Throwing Thoughts (3:54) - A quick, fun look at the shooting style used to create a specific scene from Episode 322. Director Jeannot Szwarc reveals the camera tricks used to create the visual look when Matt thinks for the villain Danko. Greg Grunberg, Director Jeannot Szwarc and Cinematographed Nate Goodman are interviewed.
Lights, Camera, Beeman (4:54) - This fast pace segment features George Beeman working on set. Fun on-set footage is used to demonstrate the sometimes-frantic shooting schedule of Heroes. It focuses on episode 325 - "An Invisible Thread" and shows scenes 7, 10 and 13.

The Writers' Forum - Creator Forum (13:25) - Creator Tim Kring and selected writers/producers discuss the story-lines of Season 3, outling inspirations for character developments, story polts and the changes that took place along the way. Creator/Executive Producer Tim Kring, Writer/Co-Executive Producer Adam Armus and Writer/Supervising Producer Aron Eli Coleite participate in this sit-down discussion. They talk about the big ideas of the season, the good vs. evil and how the characters decide which side, Peter vs. Sylar, Sylar and his father, introducing Arthur Petrelli, actor Robert Forster and Arthur's ability, the Villains and Fugitives volumes and wrapping up the season.

Audio Commentaries
Cold Wars - Series Stars Jack Coleman & Sendhil Ramamurthy
Exposed - Series Stars Milo Ventimiglia & Greg Grunberg
Shades of Gray - Series Star David H. LAwrence XVII and Script Coordinator Oliver Grigsby
Cold Snap - Writer Bryan Fuller and Series Star Masi Oka

Deleted Scenes
Into Asylum (3 Scenes) - Micah Questions HRG's Motives (1:50), Peter Flies Into Church (:40), Nathan and Claire Battle Frat Boys (:45)
Turn and Face the Strange (2 Scenes) - Hiro and Ando Fix the Car (:47), Suresh Asks Landlord About His Father (1:00)
I Am Sylar - Hiro and Ando Discuss Building 26 (:56)

Audio Commentaries
Into Asylum - Director of Photography Nate Goodman and Co-Producer Joe Pokaski
Turn and Face the Strange - Writers Mark Verheiden & Rob Fresco
1961 - Editor Jon Koslowsky and Director Adam Kane
I Am Sylar - Director of Photography Nate Goodman and Co-Executive Producers Kay Foster & Adam Armus
An Invisible Thread - Director of Photography Charlie Liberman and Editor Donn Aron

Final Comments: After a disappointing strike-shortened season, Heroes came back with a much stronger effort in season three. Having a full season to continue develop the characters and storylines was a big plus. The second volume of the season, Fugitives, was a bit better as there were fewer characters and plotlines to follow. While the show may have not captured the magic of the first season, there is still a lot I like about the show. Visually the show has always looked great. The visual and special effects are great. There is a lot of action and stunts. I'm a big fan of the music by Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman. The main cast members, recurring characters and guest stars are strong.

Overall, this is another excellent set that die-hard and new fans of the show will be sure to enjoy. If you enjoy listening to commentaries, you will love this set. There is a nice mix of cast and crew who participate on them. It's a little disappointing that the beauties Hayden Panettiere and Ali Larter weren't involved on any of them. The deleted scenes and alternate stories/online webisodes are fun to see for the first time. I haven't kept up with what's available on nbc.com . The featurettes are at a good length and give some interesting insight on how the episodes are made. I'm hoping that season four will continue in the direction of the last part of season three. Tune in for the two-hour fourth season premiere on Monday, September 21 on NBC!

-- Reviewed by Todd
(4.5/5 stars)

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0024FAD9C/ref=nosim/happydaysonline5-20

Also available on Blu-ray

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Heroes Official Site
Heroes TV.com Page
Heroes Internet Movie Database Page
Heroes Wikipedia Page


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, January 22

The Goldbergs - "Game Night" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Geoff struggles to keep his living arrangement with Erica and Barry a secret from Beverly during game night, while Adam goes to his guidance teacher for a lesson in being cool so he can get closer to a new girl in chemistry class.

Schooled - "FeMellor" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Principal Glascott and Lainey struggle to agree on what is an appropriate dress code, while Coach Mellor struggles with his relationship with Julie as she does not enjoy sports like he does.

Modern Family - "Dead on a Rival" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Mitchell learns a valuable life lesson when Murray (Paul Dooley), a former resident of the house, shows up unexpectedly. Meanwhile, the Dunphy’s old neighbor-turned-tech-titan, Kenneth (Josh Gad), comes to visit with a big surprise for Phil. Then, Manny’s dad, Javier (Benjamin Bratt), shows up with a big opportunity for his son.

Single Parents - "Chunkies" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After Angie decides it’s finally time for Graham to meet his dad, Derek (Adam Brody), sickness overtakes the household. Derek is forced to either step in and help or head back out to his van. Meanwhile, when Sophie overhears some big news about Will and Tracy, she takes it upon herself to intervene; and the twins face their first professional failure.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 20)

Wednesday, January 22

  • John Mulaney (Mulaney) - Watch John on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Fortune Feimster (Bless the Harts/Life in Pieces/Champions) - Fortune visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on Watch What Happens: Live at 9pm on Bravo.
  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on the BUILD Series at 12pm.
  • Charlie Hunnam (Undeclared) - Charlie is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Steve Buscemi (Miracle Workers) - Steve appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Patrick Stewart (Blunt Talk) - Patrick chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. He also talks about Star Trek: Picard on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Ashley Tisdale (Carol's Second Act/Merry Happy Whatever/Clipped/The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) - Ashley appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Finesse Mitchell (Outmatched/A.N.T. Farm) - Finesse is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Ilana Glazer (Broad City) - Ilana drops by The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jackée Harry (Tyler Perry's The Paynes/The First Family/Sister, Sister/227) - Jackée appears on a repeat of Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Boris Kodjoe (The Last Man on Earth/Second Time Around) - Boris gives the hosts a workout on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.
  • Erinn Hayes (Medical Police/Kevin Can Wait/Guys with Kids/Worst Week) - Erinn is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • BD Wong (Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens/All-American Girl) and Lori Tann Chinn (Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens) - BD and Lori will be on the BUILD Series at 1pm.
  • Abby Elliott (Indebted/Odd Mom Out) and Jessy Hodges (Indebted) - Abby and Jessy are guests on the BUILD Series at 5pm.


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

Step by Step - The Complete Fifth Season The Big Bang Theory - The Twelfth and Final Season The King of Queens - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) Fuller House - The Complete Fourth Season My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One

11/05 - The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang - The Complete Animated Series
11/05 - Laverne & Shirley in the Army (Animated Series) - The DVD Edition
11/05 - Letterkenny - Seasons 1 & 2
11/05 - Step by Step - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
11/12 - The Big Bang Theory - The Twelfth and Final Season (Blu-ray)
11/12 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Series (Blu-ray Limited Edition)
11/18 - The Guest Book - Season Two
11/19 - The King of Queens - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) (Blu-ray)
11/19 - The Kominsky Method - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
12/03 - The Simpsons - The Nineteenth Season
12/03 - The Simpsons - Seasons 1-20: Limited Collector's Set
12/06 - 9JKL - The Complete Series
12/10 - Family Guy - Season Seventeen
12/17 - Atlanta - Season 2 - Robbin' Season
12/17 - Fuller House - The Complete Fourth Season
12/17 - Hogan's Heroes - The Complete Series (2019 Release)
12/17 - The Other Two - Season 1
01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One
01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume Two
01/14 - Veep - The Final (Seventh) Season ((Blu-ray)
01/14 - Veep - The Complete Series (DVD)
01/21 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Third Season (WBShop.com)
01/21 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Fifth and Final Season
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Series
01/28 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (DVD)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

01/22 - HBO Max Gets Animated with Royals Comedy; Netflix Announces Premiere Date for Sophia Lillis Comedy
01/21 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: Hulu - a Comedy with Steve Martin and Martin Short, the Renewal of Dollface
01/20 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: More Cable; 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® Winners
01/19 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 20, 2020)
01/18 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Punky Brewster Reboot Officially a Go; Freeform Renews Pair of Series
01/17 - Fri-Yay: Sitcoms in 2020; Peacock Streaming Services Programming Update
01/16 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: Cable Day 2 - American Dad! 2 Season Renewal, Tacoma FD Season 2 Premiere Date
01/15 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: Cable Day 1 - Comedy Central, Amazon, Paramount Network and More!
01/14 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: Showtime and Pop; Will Smith & Martin Lawrence Talk Hit Sitcoms
01/13 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: NBC and CBS Includes The Rock Comedy at NBC and The Price Is Right at Night on CBS
01/12 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 13, 2020)
01/11 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Saved by the Bell Reboot Gets More of Original Cast; ABC Expanding Game Show Empire
01/10 - Fri-Yay: Top Sitcoms of the Decade, Part 2; PIX11 Celebrates 45th Anniversaries of The Jeffersons and Barney Miller
01/09 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: ABC Includes Modern Family Finale, The Conners Live and Return of Millionaire
01/08 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: Fox; 13 Series Renewed for 2020-21 on The CW
01/07 - E! News Gets 3rd Host for Midday Show; Freeform Schedules Valentine's Day Comedy TV Movie
01/06 - 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards Winners; Fox Animated Comedies to Air After NFL Divisional Playoff
01/05 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 6, 2020)
01/04 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix Loses Streaming Rights to Friends; Networks Prepare for Midseason
01/03 - Fri-Yay: Top Sitcoms of the Decade, Part 1; Modern Family Heads to Paris for Episode
01/02 - Fox Orders New Animated Comedy; Netflix Leslie Jones Comedy Special Premieres Jan. 14
01/01 - Happy New Year! Binge on Merry Happy Whatever, A New Holiday Sitcom
12/31 - New Year's Eve 2019 and New Year's Day 2020 TV Marathons
12/30 - In Memoriam: Remembering the Sitcom Stars We Lost in 2019
12/29 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of December 30, 2019)
12/28 - SitcomsOnline Digest: The On-Going Feud Between Bill Cosby and Eddie Murphy; Writer of Friends Theme Song Dies
12/27 - Freeform January 2020 Schedule with The Simpsons, Superstore, Family Guy; WarnerMedia and Xandr Upfront Now Combined in 2020
12/26 - SNL with Eddie Murphy Scores in Ratings; REELZ and Alex Trebek Explore Game Shows
12/25 - Merry Christmas from Sitcoms Online
12/24 - 2019 Christmas Eve and Christmas Day TV Marathons & Movies
12/23 - South Park Closes Season 23 With Bang; Zoë Kravitz Hulu Series Trailer
12/22 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of December 23, 2019)