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HTF DVD REVIEW: Hawaii Five-O: The Sixth Season

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#1 of 19 Matt Hough

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Posted April 05 2009 - 02:45 PM

Posted Image
Hawaii Five-O: The Sixth Season
Directed by Charles Dubin et al

Studio: Paramount
Year: 1973-1974
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Running Time: 1201 minutes
Rating: NR
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 mono English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese
MSRP: $ 54.99

Release Date: April 21, 2009
Review Date: April 5, 2009


The Series

3.5/5

The sixth season of CBS’ Hawaii Five-O found the Thursday night drama still near the top of the Nielsen heap ranking as the fifth most popular show on television. Featuring the same mix of cops and killers as in previous seasons, Hawaii Five-O continued to entertain viewers with cases both elaborate and enjoyable. True to previous seasons, the writers for the show mixed up the formulas, never settling on the show’s being merely an action series with lots of gunplay. Some of the episodes are real mysteries with the guilty party revealed in the show‘s last few minutes. Some are twist-filled caper plots with the squad playing catch-up as the crooks follow a predetermined path to great riches (an elaborate con game played on three unsuspecting victims being one of the season’s most entertaining dramas). In some shows the mobsters are clearly identified early while still others find associates of the police actually being the surprise masterminds of the dastardly crimes (this happened in two episodes during this season). I can’t think of another crime show of the same era that mixed up its formula any more than Hawaii Five-O did.

Once again, Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord) heads the Hawaii Five-O crime unit branch of the Hawaii state patrol network. Since they work for the state rather than the local police department, the unit reports directly to the governor of Hawaii (Richard Denning). Second in command is Danny “Danno” Williams (James MacArthur), and also part of the team are Chin Ho Kelly (Kam Fong) and Ben Kokua (Al Harrington). Being given more to do this season is forensic scientist Che Fong (Harry Endu) who's in almost every episode. Reigning Red Chinese gangster Wo Fat (Khigh Dhiegh) does not show up this season breaking somewhat with the tradition of previous seasons, but there are plenty of bad guys to do plenty of dirty work that Five-O must straighten out.

The array of guest stars for the sixth season is a formidable one featuring not only great character actors of the time but also rising stars in some of their earliest roles. Among the famous faces glimpsed in these episodes are Mark Lenard, Nehemiah Persoff, Audrey Totter, Bert Convy, Slim Pickins, Bo Hopkins, Barbara Baxeley, Michael Anderson, Jr., Jack Dodson, Don Porter, Sally Kirkland, Gregory Sierra, Pat Morita, Ron Glass, Laurence Pressman, Murray Matheson, A. Martinez, Lew Ayers, Jack Carter, Louise Sorel, Victor Buono, Don Stroud, Peter Haskell, Perry King, Nicholas Hammond, Ed Flanders, Cindy Williams, Andrew Duggan, Peter Strauss, John Beck, Frank Cady, Anthony Zerbe, Casey Kasem, Keene Curtis, Jon Byner, William Devane, and David Wayne.

Here’s the line-up of the season’s twenty-four episodes contained on the six discs which make up the set:

1 - Hookman
2 - Draw Me a Killer
3 - Charter for Death
4 - One Big Happy Family
5 - The Sunday Torch
6 - Murder Is a Taxing Affair
7 - Tricks Are Not Treats
8 - Why Wait Till Uncle Kevin Dies?
9 - Flash of Color, Flash of Death
10 - A Bullet for El Diablo
11 - The Finishing Touch
12 - Anybody Can Build a Bomb
13 - Try to Die on Time
14 - The $100,000 Nickel
15 - The Flip Side Is Death
16 - The Banzai Pipeline
17 - One Born Every Minute (elaborate con game was my favorite episode this season)
18 - Secret Witness
19 - Death with Father (directed by series star Jack Lord)
20 - Murder with a Golden Touch
21 - Nightmare in Blue
22 - Mother’s Deadly Helper
23 - Killer at Sea
24 - 30,000 Rooms, and I Have the Key (this season’s light comedy caper show)



Video Quality

4/5

The original 1.33:1 television aspect ratio is faithfully delivered in these transfers. Paramount has done a very good job at remastering these old films as, for the most part, they look really terrific. Sure, there are occasional speckles, some slight moiré, and some soft shots owing to either dated stock footage or “glamour shots” for certain stars. Otherwise, color is very strong, sharpness is generally excellent, and blacks are impressively deep with some good shadow detail to be seen. Each episode has been divided into 6 chapters without the promos or 7 chapters with them.

Audio Quality

3.5/5

The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track is a solid encoding of the sound design typical for its era. You may hear some light hiss occasionally, but the audio tracks have been mostly cleaned up and sound pleasingly robust for mono tracks.

Special Features

1/5

There are episode promos available for every episode of the sixth season. The viewer may choose to watch them or skip them from the main menu.

The set offers previews for Mannix, Cannon, Jack & the Fatman, Nash Bridges, Walker, Texas Ranger, and JAG.


In Conclusion

3.5/5 (not an average)

Paramount has delivered another solid season of Hawaii Five-O with episodes looking mostly fresh and offering good entertainment for your investment.



Matt Hough
Charlotte, NC

#2 of 19 Nelson Au

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Posted April 05 2009 - 04:23 PM

Thanks for the review! This season includes the Judy Moon episode which is the most memorable one from this year, for me. When I start watching this set, I'll probably recall others!

The end of this month will be expensive!

#3 of 19 BobSchneider

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Posted April 05 2009 - 06:01 PM

Yep another high quality Hawaii Five -0 set still in the prime years of the show, a must buy for me. Next must buy for me is r4 s4 release of Ironside in june. Hopefully well see some more Mannix , Jag and if the gods of classic tv smile on us maybe Have Gun Will Travel will come back form the deadPosted Image well one can hopePosted Image
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#4 of 19 Matt Hough

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Posted April 06 2009 - 12:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson Au
Thanks for the review! This season includes the Judy Moon episode which is the most memorable one from this year, for me. When I start watching this set, I'll probably recall others!

The end of this month will be expensive!

Yes, that's "Draw Me a Killer" which I also enjoyed very much. Very unusual plot and delivered well.

#5 of 19 jim_falconer

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Posted April 06 2009 - 10:36 AM

Thanks for the review....really looking forward to getting this in a couple of weeks!

#6 of 19 Jeff*H

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Posted April 06 2009 - 06:12 PM

"Hookman", the season opener, is an instant classic and belongs on any top 10 list for the show's best episodes. What a great way to start the season! And "Draw Me a Killer" isn't too far behind.
While not quite as strong a season as 5 was, this is still one of the best. Enjoyed the review, can't wait for the 21st to get here!
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#7 of 19 WaveCrest

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Posted April 12 2009 - 05:56 AM

Can't wait to get this season on DVD. Anxiously awaiting it to be made available for pre-order on the UK DVD shopping websites which I buy off. I'm expecting it to be released anytime up to August, as that would be six months after the Season 5 release in February this year.

Very pleased that all 24 sixth season episodes will have Jack Lord episode promos. I thought a few weeks or months ago that there might have been a chance all of the episodes in this season would have episode promos. The only reason I can remember is there were no multiple episode stories. They were all standalones.

This season marked the only time Hawaii Five-O won an Emmy, in the music category for the season premiere "Hookman". Also this was the last season with Leonard Freeman as the showrunner or executive producer. In the Booking Hawaii Five-O book it says he died around the time the first Hawaii Five-O episode directed by Jack Lord aired ("Death with Father").

#8 of 19 BobSchneider

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Posted April 12 2009 - 07:53 AM

Yeah I'm looking forward to the set too, s6 Hawaii Five-0 is still in the prime of the show although no Wo FatPosted Image, but the large number of excellent episodes makes easy to forgive the season not having any Fat in it Posted ImagePosted Image. Honestly these days I really can't give a rats arse if any set has any extras or not(sadly most extras add nada to the set except being a exerise in self indulgence) , and don't care if there the plan wrap sliver disks (like 95% of cbs recent disk releases) I want the production money spend on High quality video and sound captures. Season five looked and sounded great on my upscaler dvd at 1080i in 4:3 and hope season six will be up to the same high standard. Its a must buy for me.Posted Image
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#9 of 19 Corey3rd

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Posted April 12 2009 - 09:26 AM

Slim Pickens and Bo Hopkins as a mass murdering father-son team won me over to this season.
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#10 of 19 WaveCrest

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Posted April 13 2009 - 05:23 AM

Completely forgot Bo Hopkins had guest starred in Hawaii Five-O.

I'm going to continue buying the season boxsets if CBS/Paramount keep releasing them with the same quality and presentation of the first to fifth season boxsets.

#11 of 19 Brent Avery

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Posted April 15 2009 - 01:16 PM

Received a copy today - can't let this evening go by without at least viewing one episode.

#12 of 19 jim_falconer

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Posted April 15 2009 - 11:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Avery
Received a copy today - can't let this evening go by without at least viewing one episode.


Lucky you! How did you manage to snag season 6, almost a week before it's scheduled release?

Mine can't arrive soon enough!

#13 of 19 cajunhillbilly

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Posted April 15 2009 - 11:54 PM

I will be getting this during DD's supersale in June.

#14 of 19 Mister-Mike

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Posted April 17 2009 - 04:08 AM

I got a copy of this box set a few days ago from some local store which likes to jump the gun on the official release dates. I noticed something annoying as follows:

I was watching the episode Why Wait Until Uncle Kevin Dies last night, and noticed that the waves before the commercial breaks are crappy quality ... there are lots of scratches on the print, similar to what you would expect to see on a print shown on TV (especially for the main titles, before >those< got cleaned up).

The show itself was not scratchy like this, though there seemed to be the occasional "pinhole" in the print, and the quality of the print was not as sharp, clear and colorful as some earlier season episodes (prior to season six), or even Hookman from my brief scan-through of that episode. Uncle Kevin is supposed to be a digitally enhanced episode. (This may have something to do with the processing of the film for that show, though.)

I wonder if whoever did this "digital enhancing" several years ago just gave up on the wave at some point? This doesn't really make sense. It's not like they would have mistakenly inserted crappy waves the way they inserted the main titles in earlier seasons (with the incorrect credit for James MacArthur), rather than remastering the entire credit sequence for each show.

More investigation for this issue is warranted...

#15 of 19 Mister-Mike

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Posted April 17 2009 - 05:39 AM

The show with the serial killer family may have been based on an actual case: One Big Happy Family - inspiration?

#16 of 19 Corey3rd

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Posted April 17 2009 - 06:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister-Mike
I was watching the episode Why Wait Until Uncle Kevin Dies last night, and noticed that the waves before the commercial breaks are crappy quality ... there are lots of scratches on the print, similar to what you would expect to see on a print shown on TV (especially for the main titles, before >those< got cleaned up).

That's what happens when you reuse the same optical too many times over a six year period. The film wears.
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#17 of 19 younger1968

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Posted April 17 2009 - 08:02 AM

I love Hawaii Five-O. Which is another classic cop drama!!! I love Bookem Danno!!

#18 of 19 Mister-Mike

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Posted April 19 2009 - 03:20 AM

I have watched the episode Try to Die on Time where there are also some imperfections in the print, like when McGarrett is talking to Chin Ho in the wine cellar. There are very obvious vertical scratches on the print whenever the camera is on McGarrett, but not when it's on Chin Ho -- therefore, these scratches (which are almost impossible to see on my VHS dub of the same scene) were created either when the film was shot or processed, and nobody bothered to reshoot or fix them. (I recall the film was processed on the mainland -- I don't know if this persisted for the show's entire run.) It's quite possible that there are similar imperfections in some of the earlier seasons (though I don't recall too many off hand), but you won't start noticing them until you see problems with several shows! Also ... there are some weird sub-bass rumbles in a couple of the episodes I have watched. You would not hear these unless you have your sub-woofer on.

#19 of 19 BobSchneider

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Posted April 19 2009 - 06:46 AM

Yeah Ive notice some source imperfections too in s1 thur s5, but compared to some season sets of more recent series (ie crime story s2) Hawaii Five 0 looks beautiful and pristine in comparison.I'm sure there are more expensive transfer restoration methods that could be used, but that would drive up the creation cost of each season which could end up being too costly for cbs to bring out future seasons. Honestly the job cbs has done on Five 0 so far has been excellent if they keep cranking out the Five 0 sets at this quality level I will keep buying the season setsPosted ImagePosted Image
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