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HTF DVD Review: LOST: The Complete Fourth Season



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#1 of 4 Neil Middlemiss

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Posted November 29 2008 - 07:35 AM

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LOST: The Complete Fourth Season
The Expanded Experience




Studio: ABC
Year: 2008
US Rating: TV14: LV
Film Length: 604 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0, French and Spanish
Subtitles: English, French & Spanish




US Release Date: December 9, 2008

The Show - Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image out of Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

"I don't think we did the right thing, Jack. I think it wants us to come back!"


LOST is a rare treat. An amalgam of sci-fi entanglements, human drama and ‘whoa’ moments wrapped in cinematic quality productions that dazzle and impress. The storyline from the very beginning was designed to obfuscate and shroud circumstance and answers in such a way that legions of fans were compelled to try and unlock its secrets, pouring over expertly included details (a J.J. Abram’s signature now) and positing opinion and ideas born out of the show’s clever intimations that may or may not mean anything. In short, LOST is glorious entertainment and so powerfully perplexing at times that it begs for discussion and dissection after each episode airs. LOST is in the leagues of the greatest television ever made.

For those out there that have been stuck on a mysterious desert island for the past few years, LOST is about the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815, who are stranded on a strange island with secrets that seem to ooze out of its lush green dappling tropical jungle with surprising frequency. They discover they are not alone, but this isn’t Land of the Lost. It’s more like a large cast Robinson Crusoe meets the Twilight Zone, but far greater than the sum of its parts. With revelations that are superb for that moment, until you realize that the groundwork had been laid for it long before but we could rarely see them coming. It unspools with almost majestic ease, connections and links that surface viewing may not have revealed and can leave us nonplused all too easily. But what a great feeling that can be.

The shows first season was very close to perfect and its sophomore season, while enduring a very slight slump, remained riveting and ripe with fresh mysteries and stories that satiated an enlightened audience’s need for complex characters and searing sub-plots. The third season was considered a mixed bag; a lag first half and an incredible second half that reinvigorated the show and the audience along with it. It catapulted the conventions of LOST with its cleverly formulated ‘flashbacks’, which reveal much about the survivors on the island, into a new realm of ‘flash-forwards’, where the end game of getting off the island is no longer the prize in sight. Indeed, we may yet not know what the end of this show could possibly look like and that is incredibly rewarding.

The season begins with what seems like an impending rescue. Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) has perished, Hurly (Jorge Garcia) is distraught over his best friend’s death, Jack (Matthew Fox) and Kate (Evangeline Lilly) are trying to get the survivors off the island, but their paths will soon diverge. Sun and Jin (Yunjin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim) are finally in a better place. Sawyer (Josh Holloway) remains ever skeptical, ever smart mouthed and wanting of Kate’s affections (again) and Lock (Terry O'Quinn) has galvanized his impressions of his self and his fate-bound connection with the island. Soon the survivors will separate into two groups with diametrically opposed aims. This season continues the plot’s evolution with surprise and awe, layering ever more onto the web of character’s stories new avenues that will link them ever further into the future and revealing new links they had even before the plane went down.

LOST has reached a fever pitch of intrigue that plainly yet carefully indulges its meanderings through ideas tangible and very much science-fiction. The notions of revenge, fate, coincidence, betrayal and affection are mingled cleverly with grander schemes of time and spatial manipulation, dark elements that allude to haunting, ghosts and the very idea of Hell itself. But it is never overt, not really, and nothing so abstract or peculiar that it upsets the wonderfully crafted plots and possibilities that have evolved over four seasons. LOST season four is a rare feat in television. A magnificent and astonishingly involving set of episodes that get better and better as the season progresses with the highest quality writing, directing and production. Despite being shortened by the writer’s strike, season four feels complete and fulfilling in a way few TV shows are able to.



The Episodes

Episodes with an * indicate an available audio commentary.

Disc One
1: The Beginning of the End*
2: Confirmed Dead
3: The Economist

Disc Two
4: Eggtown
5: The Constant*
6: The Other Woman
7: Ji Yeon*

Disc Three
8: Meet Kevin Johnson
9: The Shape of Things to Come
10: Something Nice Back Home
11: Cabin Fever

Disc Four
12: There’s No Place Like Home (Part One)
13: There’s No Place Like Home (Part Two)*

Disc Five
Bonus Features

Disc Six
Bonus Features




The Video - Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image out of Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

There is no better looking show than LOST, shot and broadcast with a precision, creativity and clarity unrivaled. This is a show that looks uniformly spectacular. While this may be the perfect suitor for high definition, it looks extraordinary even on DVD. Colors are vivid and the show looks sharp in its native 1.78:1 aspect ratio throughout the 13 episodes that make up the ‘writers-strike’ shortened fourth season. The lush greens of the Hawaiian locations, the grays of the off-island locales and the distinct tone of the show overall are near flawless.




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Choose from a Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 audio options for this six disc set. The 5.1 track is front focused for the most part with the dialogue pronounced in the center channel and Michael Giacchino’s distinct and expert superb score evening out the front channels. The bass is used a few times each episode but doesn’t rumble much. The surrounds are especially good during rainstorms and serve to create a good enveloping audio. I would have expected a little more from the audio, but it serves the storytelling just fine.




The Extra’s - Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image out of Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

Audio Commentaries - Several episodes are available with audio commentaries from a variety of cast and crew.

LOST in 8:15 A recap of the show eight minutes and 15 seconds. Helpful and funny in equal measure.

Disc Five
LOST on Location - (41:56) – Behind the scenes segments for key moment of season four. Featuring interviews with some of the cast and crew, we get a look at some of the stunts and just how much effort is put into creating the simple looking but elaborate moments. Broken into 8 chapters with a ‘play all’ option.
-The Beginning of the End
-Confirmed Dead
-The Constant
-The Other Woman
-Meet Kevin Johnson
-The Shape of Things to Come
-Cabin Fever
-There’s No Place Like Home (Part 2)

The Island Backlot: LOST in Hawaii - (17:52) – A look at shooting on the islands of Hawaii, which ably serves as multiple worldwide locations key to the show’s plotlines. With just a little help in post by the Visual Effects crew, Hawaii can become just about anywhere.

The Right to Bear Arms - (11:14) – This extra covers the weaponry of the show (of which, when you think about it, there are plenty and they are used often), who has what, how and why.

Soundtrack of Survival: Composing for Character, Conflict & the Crash - (26:20) – A terrific look at the world symphonic premiere in Honolulu of a live performance of Michael Giacchino’s music, as well as a peek into scoring sessions. Best of all are discussions with the composer (who has risen into the stratosphere of high demand in a few short years) talking about the project and recording the music live (versus relying on synth’s).

LOST Bloopers - (3:23) – Line flubs and cute moments from the set.

Deleted Scenes - (9:31) – Here you will find 9 deleted scenes from several episodes. Fully finished, nothing new is revealed but it does flesh out some of the interactions from the season.

Sneak PeaksDesperate Housewives: The Complete Fourth Season, Brothers and Sisters: The Complete Second Season, Ugly Betty: The Complete Second Season, Mirimax Films, Swing Vote, LOST and Desperate Housewives (airing on ABC).


Disc Six

Course of the Future: The Definitive Flash Forwards - (56:02) – Interviews with the cast and crew on the revelatory act of the flash forward is followed by all the flash forward scenes for those that escaped (if indeed they really have) and the new mystery’s that they sew.

The Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lies - (21:13) – A faux conspiracy ‘DVD’ documentary casting doubt on the story spun of the Oceanic 815 survivors survival and rescue. Interesting and quite clever.

The Freighter Folk - (12:40) – A look at the new characters from the freighter that spiced up life on the island and added an entirely new set of stories and twists to the plots.

Offshore Shoot - (7:49) – A look at shooting on the Kahana freighter offshore. Behind the scenes at rehearsal, set up and filming.

LOST: Missing Pieces (Mobisodes) - (31:21) – 13 mini-scenes that add just a little extra dimension to the show.
-King of the Cast
-Jack, Meet Ethan, Ethan Meet Jack
-The Adventures of Hurley and Frogurt
-Room 23
-Buried Secrets
-Operation Sleeper
-The Watch
-Jin Has a Temper-Tantrum on the Golf Course
-The Envelope
-The Deal
-Tropical Depression
-Artz & Crafts
-So it Begins



Final Thoughts

JJ Abrahams hasn’t so much created a TV show with a coveted following as he has a universe with dedicated but critical masses who salivate at the possibilities his universe teases with. We excitedly tune in for whatever rewards we can descry with our keen eyes. We pick clean the meaning of every word uttered, book read or referenced and every act seen and unseen that the show unfolds before our eyes. And we find ourselves cogitating when the credits role until the next episode begins. TV just doesn’t get any better than this.


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Neil Middlemiss
Kernersville, NC
"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science" – Edwin Hubble
My DVD Collection

#2 of 4 Lou Sytsma

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Posted November 29 2008 - 11:32 PM

Excellent job Neil. I'm going BluRay on this one. The 4th season was flat out awesome.
Every man is my superior, in that I may learn from him.

#3 of 4 Harry-N

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Posted December 09 2008 - 07:56 AM

Once again, another fabulous release for the series LOST. I picked it up this afternoon and have only checked it out quickly on the computer, but it looks magnificent - as did the other releases in the series.

This series looks so good on standard DVD, that it's yet another reason why I don't care about Blu-Ray at this point.

Harry
My DVD Collection

A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".

#4 of 4 TravisR

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Posted December 12 2008 - 04:18 AM

Here's a list of the Easter eggs copied and pasted from Lostpedia:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostpedia
Disc 3:
Whilst on the disc 3 main menu, wait for 3 minutes to see the helicopter fly across the screen.
Disc 5:
Whilst highlighting "LOST on Location", press left, then up and then select to see Henry Ian Cusick talking about the army scene.
Whilst highlighting "Soundtrack of Survival", press right then down and then select to see a clip about the "sound wagon."
Whilst highlighting "The Island Backlot: Lost in Hawaii", press left, and up and then select to see in set of the Iraq scene.
Whilst highlighting "The Right to Bear Arms", press twice up, and then select to view making of final scene in "Meet Kevin Johnson"
Whilst highlighting "LOST Bloopers", press left twice, then down, and then select to view a blooper from the Jin and Bernard fishing scene.
Whilst highlighting "Deleted Scenes", press down, then left, and then select to view a clip of Jorge Garcia talking about Hurley.
Select "Deleted Scenes" then highlight "Play All" and press right, then up twice and then select to view a clip of camera operator Tommy Lohmann bantering with Michael Emerson.
Select "Deleted Scenes" then highlight "Play All" and press up twice, then left, and then select to view a clip of M.C. Gainey.
Select "LOST on Location" then highlight "Confirmed Dead" and press left twice and select to view the alternate endings of Season 4.
Select "LOST on Location" then highlight "The Other Woman" and press right, then up and then select to view behind the scenes of inside the Tempest.
Select "LOST on Location" then try to press down to highlight "Cabin Fever" but it will jump down to the bottom corner, select it to view behind the scenes of filming "The Shape of Things to Come" in the desert.
Disc 6:
After watching "The Freighter Folk" the menu background changes to a desert scene.
After watching "Offshore Shoot" the menu background changes to an ocean scene.
NOTE: These must be accessed while on the menu is on the frozen wheel background.
Whilst highlighting "The Course of the Future: The Definitive Flash-Forwards", press right, then press down and then right again then select it to see Damon Lindelof talking about reincarnation.
Whilst highlighting "The Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lies", press left, down and left, and then select it to see behind the scenes footage of the press scene in "There's No Place Like Home, Part 1".
Whilst highlighting "The Freighter Folk", press twice left, then up and then select to see Damon Lindelof talking about the force of the island.
Whilst highlighting "Offshore Shoot", press right and then up twice, and then select to see few substitute actors talking about their job in Lost.






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