DVD Review Chicago Fire Season 1 DVD Review

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Kevin EK, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer

    May 9, 2003
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    XenForo Template Chicago Fire Season 1 DVD Review

    Chicago Fire: Season 1 burns its first season onto DVD with this collection, which became available within the last month. The 5-disc collection presents all 24 episodes in anamorphic picture and 5.1 sound, along with a few extras, mostly consisting of some quick BTS featurettes on various episodes. The series is more of a soap opera than a serious drama, but the cast is attractive and there are plenty of interesting fire rescue situations to keep viewers’ attention.

    Posted Image

    Studio: Universal

    Distributed By: N/A

    Video Resolution and Encode: 480P/MPEG-2

    Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

    Audio: English 5.1 DD

    Subtitles: English SDH

    Rating: Not Rated

    Run Time: 17 Hrs. 6 Min.

    Package Includes: DVD

    Disc Type: DVD-9 (dual layer)

    Region: 1

    Release Date: 09/10/2013

    MSRP: $44.98

    The Production Rating: 2.5/5

    Chicago Fire: Season 1 certainly wants to be a serious drama. It has a great premise, following the lives and exploits of the fire department team from the firehouse of Engine 51 in the middle of the title city. It has an attractive and able cast, led by Jesse Spencer of House and including Eamonn Walker of the late, great Oz. It has the pedigree of producer Dick Wolf, whose Law & Order franchise has transcended multiple series and a combined total of over 1000 episodes as of this writing. It has a serious subject – covering how a lifesaving unit deals with the death of one of their own, with the constant danger of their profession while juggling all the other thousand natural shocks of life. This has certainly been fertile ground for television drama in the past, most particularly including Dennis Leary’s Rescue Me. So why doesn’t Chicago Fire get to that place where satisfying dramas can take an audience over the course of one or more years of episodic television. The answer, simply, is that the show never digs very far below the surface. Rather than asking difficult questions of its characters or its audience, the show settles for the simplest conflicts, framed usually in the flashiest of rescue situations. Frankly, the entire basis for the series appears to be the 1991 movie Backdraft, which was itself mired in similar problems. Again, this is a good-looking, well-produced series with an attractive cast. They’re just not being asked to do anything other than look good and handle some fairly rudimentary plot developments. One can only hope that in subsequent years, the show may try to dig a little deeper.The DVD set includes all 24 episodes of the 1st season in anamorphic picture and 5.1 sound, along with a small selection of extras, mostly consisting of short BTS featurettes covering various episodes.DISC BY DISC:As I regularly do with TV series sets, I will describe what can be found on each disc, in order. The deleted scenes are all presented in anamorphic picture and 2.0 sound.There are chapters to each episode, but they are not in any menu, so you wind up needing to jump through the episode blindly to get back to a specific point.DISC ONE:Episodes: PilotMon AmourProfessional CourtesyOne Minute, with a BTS featurette (2:16)Hanging On, with a BTS featurette (5:58)DISC TWO:Episodes:Rear View Mirror, with a BTS featurette (1:45)Two Families, with a BTS featurette (3:05)Leaving the Station, with a BTS featurette (5:41)It Ain’t EasyMerry Christmas, EtcDISC THREE:Episodes:God Has Spoken, with a BTS featurette (4:31)Under the Knife, with a BTS featurette (2:14)Warm and Dead, with a BTS featurette (2:57)A Little Taste, with a BTS featurette (3:09)Nazdarovya, with a BTS featurette (3:07)DISC FOUR:Episodes:Viral, with a BTS featurette (3:46)Better to LieFireworksA Coffin That Small, with a BTS featurette (2:35)Ambition, with a BTS featurette (3:15)DISC FIVE:Episodes:Retaliation Hit, with a BTS featurette (3:13)Leaders LeadLet Her Go, with a BTS featurette (5:35)A Hell of a Ride

    Video Rating: 3.5/5 3D Rating: NA

    Chicago Fire: Season 1 is presented in an anamorphic 1.78 transfer that shows off a clear picture and accurate flesh tones. This is a perfectly acceptable standard definition presentation of the series, matching or exceeding how viewers without HD reception will have seen the show.

    Audio Rating: 3.5/5

    Chicago Fire: Season 1 is presented in an English Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that has some surround presence during the big fire rescue sequences, as well as for the music. The mix certainly is clear and the dialogue is easy to understand.

    Special Features Rating: 2.5/5

    Here is a specific breakdown of the special features on the discs. The BTS featurettes are all presented in anamorphic 1.78:1 format with 2.0 sound.DISC 1: BTS Featurettes for:One Minute (2:16) – This is a quick visit with on-set effects coordinator John Milinac to discuss how an explosion for this episode was staged.Hanging On (5:58) – This is an interview with stunt coordinator Rick Le Fevour to discuss the big rescue sequence for this episode.There is also a selection of previews on the first disc: Previews – Here is a collection of anamorphic previews for other television series available on DVD from Universal: House, psych, Friday Night Lights, The Hollow Crown, Eureka, Warehouse 13, Covert Affairs and Suits.DISC 2:BTS Featurettes for:Rear View Mirror (1:45) – This is a short set of questions with on-set effects coordinator John Milinac and with stuntman Chris Sik.Two Families (3:05) – This is an interview with series creators/producers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt.Leaving the Station (5:41) – This is an interview with makeup/prosthetics man James Lacy.DISC 3:BTS Featurettes for:God Has Spoken (4:31) – This is a pair of interviews with actors Charlie Barnett and Monica Raymund.Under the Knife (2:14) – This is an interview with actor Randy Flagler.Warm and Dead (2:57) – This is an interview with actor Eamonn Walker.A Little Taste (3:09) – This is an interview with producer/director Arthur Forney.Nazdarovya (3:07) – This is an interview with stuntman Tobiasz DaskiewiczDISC 4:BTS Featurettes for:Viral (3:46) – This is an interview with actor Christian Stolte.A Coffin That Small (2:35) – This is an interview with prosthetics man James Lacy to discuss the life-size dummy that needed to be made to show the real contortions that would happen to a child trapped in a duct. The real child actor is shown for the close-up shots, while the dummy is put in some horrifying positions…Ambition (3:15) – This is another visit with on-set effects coordinator John Milinac.DISC 5:BTS Featurettes for:Retaliation Hit (3:13) – This is an interview with actresses Monica Raymund and Lauren German.Let Her Go (5:35) – This is an interview with actor David Eigenberg.The disc also contains:Otis’ Podcasts (19:19 Total, Anamorphic) – There are 13 podcasts here, conducted by actor Yuri Sardarov in character as “Otis”. These were previously available on the show’s official website but have apparently been taken down in anticipation of new content for the new season.

    Overall Rating: 2.5/5

    Chicago Fire: Season One is a good collection of the first season of the new NBC drama. The picture and sound are good, and there are few extras here for the fans of the show. It’s not the deepest or most gripping dramatic series on the air, but it certainly has an attractive surface. Fans of the show will want to pick this up as the second season gets underway (starting last week). More casual viewers may want to watch an episode or two on the air before committing to a full year on disc.

    Reviewed By: Kevin EK

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