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HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Lost: The Complete Second Season

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#1 of 19 Matt Hough

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Posted June 16 2009 - 08:22 AM



Lost: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
Directed by Jack Bender et al

Studio: Disney
Year: 2005-2006
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:11080pAVC codec
Running Time: 1056 minutes
Rating: TV-14
Audio: DTS-HD 5.1 English; Dolby Digital 2.0 surround English; 5.1 French, others
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, many others
Region: A
MSRP: $ 69.99

Release Date: June 16, 2009
Review Date: June 16, 2009


The Series

5/5

Grumblings from fans began very early during the second season of Lost because many felt they weren’t being given answers quickly enough to satisfy their curiosities about the many island mysteries which had been developed during the program’s first Emmy-winning season. What’s more, many were dismayed that the writers established even more conundrums that audiences felt completely confounded by with the result that Lost found some of its loyal audience drifting away during the course of the season, citing the complex storylines and elaborate continuing backstories on favorite characters simply too much to keep track of. Of course, in hindsight, the naysayers were misguided: yes, the stories continue to gain in complexity, and thorough revelations aren’t rapidly forthcoming from the writers during this season. But that’s the beauty and genius of Lost. Like a brilliant serialized Dickens novel from almost two centuries ago, Lost casts a spell that diehard fans revel in exploring, debating, and speculating about.

Lost left its viewers with two sensational cliffhangers at the end of season one. In one, Walt (Malcolm David Kelley) was kidnapped by “The Others” off the raft which had been launched to try to get a few castaways rescued at sea. In the melee, Sawyer (Josh Holloway) was shot, and Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) was thrown overboard and separated from Sawyer and Michael (Harold Perrineau). Back on the island Locke (Terry O’Quinn), Kate (Evangeline Lilly), Hurley (Jorge Garcia), and Jack (Matthew Fox) had successfully blown the lid off of the mysterious hatch found on the island and peering in saw a long ladder descending into blackness. The contents of the hatch, which they come to learn is the Swan Station, one of six stations that were part of the experimental Dharma Initiative on the island since 1970, is most definitely one of the major focuses of season two.

Another major thrust in the season’s plotlines involve a new group of survivors from Flight 815 who occupied the tail section and who landed on the north shore of the island. These four new regulars included former hotheaded cop Ana-Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez), a warrior priest Mr. Eko (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), soft spoken Libby (Cynthia Watros), and the often-spoken-of Bernard (Sam Anderson) whose wife Rose (L. Scott Caldwell) was a recurring character in season one separated from her husband prior to the plane’s splitting apart. Two other characters who turn up in some season two episodes but who will function much more importantly from season three on are Desmond Hume (Henry Ian Cusick) and “Henry Gale” (Michael Emerson).

As was the case in season one, the flashback stories of all of the major characters continued to provide surprises and deeply moving character portraits of persons we had come to know and love from season one (along with backstories on some of the new characters for this season). This season Jack, Michael, Locke, Hurley, Sun and Jin, Ana-Lucia, Mr. Eko, and Desmond each get two backstories. Shannon, Kate, Charlie, Sawyer, Sayid, Rose and Bernard, and Claire each get one. And then there is the brilliant “The Other 48 Days” that boils down to a single superb episode the events that had happened to the “tailies” during their forty-eight days on the island.

Here are the twenty-four episodes contained on six discs in this set. (The seventh disc in the set is reserved for bonus features). The names in parentheses are those participating in the audio commentary for that episode.

1 - Man of Science, Man of Faith (Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof, Bryan Burk, Jack Bender)
2 - Adrift
3 - Orientation
4 - Everybody Hates Hugo
5 - …And Found
6 - Abandoned
7 - The Other 48 Days
8 - Collision
9 - What Kate Did (Paul Edwards, Evangeline Lilly, Mike Baldwin)
10 - The 23rd Psalm (Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Bryan Burk)
11 - The Hunting Party
12 - Fire + Water
13 - The Long Con
14 - One of Them
15 - Maternity Leave
16 - The Whole Truth (Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Elizabeth Sarnoff, Christina Kim)
17 - Lockdown
18 - Dave (Jorge Garcia, Cynthia Watros, Jack Bender)
19 - S.O.S.
20 - Two for the Road
21 - ?
22 - Three Minutes
23 - Live Together, Die Alone (Part 1)
24 - Live Together, Die Alone (Part 2)


Video Quality

5/5

The series is framed at 1.78:1 and these transfers are presented in 1080p using the AVC codec. Astounding visual quality throughout the run of episodes makes this probably the best looking high definition television release I’ve yet watched. The depth of color and the dimensionality of the images, especially when characters are placed in wide, panoramic vistas, constantly lead to jaw-dropping compositions. These are reference transfers for a television series. Each episode has been divided into 7 chapters.

Audio Quality

4.5/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix doesn’t always exploit the entire soundfield, but when action gets intense (the destruction of the hatch, for example), you won’t find better sound design on a show anywhere, and the lossless encode is far, far superior to the Dolby Surround 2.0 track which is also a viewer option.

Special Features

5/5

The five audio commentaries are all worth a listen for fans of the show, but not all are equal in quality. Of the commentaries featuring series regulars, I preferred “The Whole Truth.” The tracks featuring Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof are always the most informative, but Lindelof does have the annoying habit of repeating the phrase “you know” between every random thought.

All of the featurettes are in 480i unless otherwise noted.

“Fire + Water: Anatomy of an Episode” gives a capsule breakdown of the 24 days of production on a single episode from script conferences in Los Angeles to the eight days of preproduction preparation, 10 days of filming, and the post production work which follows before delivering a final copy of the show to the network. This informative feature runs 31 ¾ minutes.

Lost: On Location” is a compilation of twelve behind-the-scenes featurettes featuring location shooting and cast interviews produced during the production of the episode. The shows included for individual selection are: “Adrift (3 ¼ minutes), “Everybody Hates Hugo” (3 ¾ minutes), “Abandoned” (4 ½ minutes), “The Other 48 Days” (6 ¼ minutes), “Collision” (3 ¼ minutes), “What Kate Did” (5 ½ minutes), “The 23rd Psalm” (4 ¼ minutes), “The Whole Truth” (5 ¼ minutes), “Dave” (5 ¾ minutes), “S.O.S.” (4 ¾ minutes), “Two for the Road” (4 ½ minutes), and “Live Together, Die Alone” (5 ¼ minutes).

“Canine Castaway” is a 6 ½-minute featurette on the selection and training of Madison the dog who plays Vincent on the series.

“The World According to Sawyer” is a very humorous montage of “Sawyerisms,” the catchphrases the character uses to refer to various characters on the show. This runs 4 ½ minutes.

There are three deleted flashbacks which are available for viewing. Two are from “Abandoned” (each running 1 ½ minutes) while a third is from “Lockdown” (which runs ¾ minute).

There are nineteen deleted scenes which can be viewed individually or in one 23-minute grouping.

There is a 4-minute blooper reel.

There is a Channel 4 UK Promo spot in 1080p which runs 1 minute and is very erotically designed and filmed.

The disc features an interactive Lost Connections terminal which allows the viewer to follow threads of one character interacting in the background with another. The introduction is in 1080p. The interface is a bit clunky and unintuitive, and it froze my Blu-ray player the first time I tried maneuvering with it. Afterwards, it worked as expected, but astute viewers, especially those who have watched the episodes multiple times, will already have made these connections.

“Mysteries, Theories, and Conspiracies” is a 10 ¼-minute compilation of various speculations about the series, a discussion of the existence of fan communities and fan websites about the show, and a selection of the stars’ speculations about the show as well as the producers playing their cards close to the vest.

“Secrets from the Hatch” is a 15 ¾-minute discussion about the design and construction of one of Season Two’s most important sets, the Hatch. The viewer is also taken on a walking tour of the set.

Once again, Disney adds the SeasonPlay feature which helps your player keep track of your progress through the season's episodes. It does not work with the bonus features.

The set contains a $20 rebate coupon for those who already had purchased Season Two on DVD and want to upgrade to Blu-ray.


In Conclusion

5/5 (not an average)

Though Lost shed some of its large viewer base during its second season, the quality of the shows didn’t lessen at all and only became richer and more complex. This Blu-ray release of the second season is tops all around and comes most highly recommended.


Matt Hough
Charlotte, NC

#2 of 19 Timothy E

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Posted June 16 2009 - 08:37 AM

Nice review, Matt! I am looking forward to seeing these episodes in hi-def this time.

#3 of 19 Ray H

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Posted June 16 2009 - 10:55 AM

I'm wondering if they updated the Lost Connections feature since the first time around, there were vague placeholders linking Jack and Claire.
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#4 of 19 TravisR

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Posted June 16 2009 - 11:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray H
I'm wondering if they updated the Lost Connections feature since the first time around, there were vague placeholders linking Jack and Claire.
Same for
Locke and Sawyer.


#5 of 19 pitchman

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Posted June 17 2009 - 08:46 AM

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if the Season 1 & 2 Blu-rays are supposed to have printed episode guides like the standard DVD sets?
Gary

#6 of 19 TravisR

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Posted June 17 2009 - 09:47 AM

^ Mine didn't but that's just one man's copy.

I'm wondering if the easter eggs from the DVDs got ported over too.

#7 of 19 Matt Hough

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Posted June 17 2009 - 03:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by pitchman
Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if the Season 1 & 2 Blu-rays are supposed to have printed episode guides like the standard DVD sets?

My review copies did not have episode guides, and I really missed them in aiding with the review writing process.

#8 of 19 pitchman

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Posted June 17 2009 - 06:44 PM

So then, it looks like S3 did come with an episode guide, while S4 came with the "Oceanic Airlines Safety Guide" that lists episode titles, but no descriptions or special feature contents. S1 & S2 do not have guides (or anything else for that matter) that lists episode titles or disc contents. Grrr...

One more thing that bugs me a bit is that my S3 volume did not come with an O-ring sleeve. I bought it around the time that S4 was released, and apparently, after the first wave of S3 sets (in the elaborate box) sold out, Disney began distributing it with no outer sleeve at all. Now I have three volumes with outer sleeves and one without. This miss-matching is wreaking havoc with my OCD! Posted Image

On the plus side, I do still have my S1 & S2 DVD episode guides. But, on the minus side, they (of course) do not fit nicely in the smaller Blu-ray disc cases... On the plus side though, I also still have my "exclusive" Best Buy Bonus Discs for S1 & S2!

...Man, this whole thing is giving me a migraine! Posted Image
Gary

#9 of 19 cart99

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Posted June 19 2009 - 03:25 AM

Picked up Season 1 & 2 on blu-ray yesterday - looks amazing. I already have them in Standard DVD and was expecting the 20$ off coupons to help with the upgrade costs - but they were not included Posted Image

Anyone else have this problem?

Purchased them at a Canadian Best Buy store so others may wish to be wary of this problem as well.

-cheers

#10 of 19 MattFini

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Posted June 19 2009 - 05:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by pitchman
One more thing that bugs me a bit is that my S3 volume did not come with an O-ring sleeve. I bought it around the time that S4 was released, and apparently, after the first wave of S3 sets (in the elaborate box) sold out, Disney began distributing it with no outer sleeve at all. Now I have three volumes with outer sleeves and one without. This miss-matching is wreaking havoc with my OCD!

I hear that. I ended up talking almost all the sleeves off my BD cases though ... just for consistency's sake. The only time I keep the sleeves is when the slips are really cool - like Dark Knight, Wanted and, most recently, Ghostbusters.

Other than that, my OCD likes the straight-up Blu-ray cases without the slips. Posted Image
Universal, please release Streets of Fire on Blu-ray.

#11 of 19 TravisR

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Posted June 19 2009 - 12:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by cart99
Picked up Season 1 & 2 on blu-ray yesterday - looks amazing. I already have them in Standard DVD and was expecting the 20$ off coupons to help with the upgrade costs - but they were not included Posted Image

Anyone else have this problem?

Purchased them at a Canadian Best Buy store so others may wish to be wary of this problem as well.

-cheers
I'd call the 1-800 number on the disc or e-mail Buena Vista Home Video and ask if the offer is open to Canadians and, if so, if they can send you a form.

#12 of 19 TravisR

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Posted July 02 2009 - 07:50 AM

Here's the list of easter eggs on the Blu-ray set. I got the info from Lostpedia and haven't checked out any of them yet.

http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Lost:_The_Complete_Second_Season_(DVD)#Blu-ray_Disc

Disc 7:

  • On the main menu, highlight "Phase 1".
    • Press down twice. A dot appears. Press enter.
    • Press up twice. A dot appears. Press enter.
      • This shows a clip of Sam Anderson filming the scene in which Bernard is stuck in the treetops after the crash.
    • Press up, then left. A dot appears. Press enter.
    • [*]Press up, then right. A dot appears. Press enter.
    • This plays a short clip about the rain delays in Lost shooting.
  • On the main menu, highlight "Phase 2".
    • Press up twice. A dot appears. Press enter.
      • This plays a brief clip about Hurley's sweat.
    • Press up, then left. A dot appears. Press enter.
    • Press down, then left. A dot appears. Press enter.
    • Press down twice. A dot appears. Press enter.
      • This shows you a photo of Jack Bender and the mural he painted on the wall in the Hatch.
  • On the main menu, highlight "Phase 3".
    • Press up twice. A dot appears. Press enter.
    • Press up, then right. A dot appears. Press enter.
    • Press down, then right. A dot appears. Press enter.
      • This plays a blooper of Jack walking up to Kate and Sawyer on the beach
    • Press up, then left. A dot appears. Press enter.

Just like the S1 set, Disney has included the featurettes and deleted scenes that were originally on the Best Buy exclusive disc on the S2 Blu-ray.

#13 of 19 Ray H

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Posted July 02 2009 - 04:59 PM

Travis, I was the one who actually found all of those Easter eggs on the BDs for S1 & 2 and updated them to the Lostpedia entry! /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif So if you have any issues or questions, feel free to ask. I also did the same for S3, but that was a matter of collecting information from various sources and making sure it all worked.

I was determined to find everything when I was irked by those retailer exclusive bonus discs I never got my hands on, and wanted to see if Disney would do the right thing and include those extras as well. Luckily they did for the most part (they didn't include the clip shows from the Best Buy bonus discs nor 3 deleted scenes exclusive to the "Lost Chronicles"). I noticed that the original instructions for the Easter eggs didn't work so I wanted to make sure they were still included.

For S2, there was one Easter egg I couldn't find that involved Goodwin catching a chicken. I like to think I was thorough in checking out all the button  options, but I never found it. I don't have a BD-ROM, so I don't know it it's on the disc or not. But they did include everything else, including  the last 2 Easter eggs listed above, which weren't on the previous DVD release (only on the Best Buy bonus disc).

I'm still annoyed by the S3 Walmart exclusive bonus disc, which I don't own and aren't on the BD release. If anyone happens to have a spare copy of that, help a brother out. /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif

Wow. I hadn't realized I was so obsessive over extras. /img/vbsmilies/htf/biggrin.gif

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#14 of 19 TravisR

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Posted July 03 2009 - 05:48 AM

^ Cool, big thanks for the effort. I can find easter eggs when it's something relatively simple like press left or right but once you start adding a second button push, I give up.

Is the mini-featurette on Geronimo Jackson (from disc 4 of the DVD set) found with the Magna Carta easter egg? Or is that MIA/yet to be found like the Goodwin one?

#15 of 19 Ray H

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Posted July 03 2009 - 12:03 PM

I didn't try looking for that Easter egg cuz I forgot about its existence. :) Luckily, I'm in the process of watching Disc 4 so I can give it a shot but they may have moved it to Disc 7.

With the directions for S2, I tried to keep things simple. But I did notice odd things. Like after pressing up once or something, a dot would appear for a brief moment and then disappear and you'd have to press it again to get it to stay or after getting one egg, you'd need to cycle through the menu options before you can get another to work. But the directions I wrote should still be okay. :)

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#16 of 19 Ray H

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Posted July 03 2009 - 03:06 PM

Nope. Didn't find the interview about Geronimo Jackson on Disc 4. I tried looking a little on disc 7, but didn't look too hard.

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#17 of 19 Eltondeoliveira

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Posted October 06 2009 - 06:04 AM

Dear Ray
I live in Brazil, and we are in the same region code of the USA.
I'd like to order the Serie LOST in Blue ray, but in the amazon site, they don't tell if the serie has Portuguese subtitle.
Would you please, can you help me verifying if it has this feature.?
I strongly appreciate you help
Thank you very much
Elton Oliveira

#18 of 19 Matt Hough

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Posted October 06 2009 - 08:42 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Eltondeoliveira View Post

Dear Ray
I live in Brazil, and we are in the same region code of the USA.
I'd like to order the Serie LOST in Blue ray, but in the amazon site, they don't tell if the serie has Portuguese subtitle.
Would you please, can you help me verifying if it has this feature.?
I strongly appreciate you help
Thank you very much
Elton Oliveira
I will look later this evening and report back here tonight.


#19 of 19 Matt Hough

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Posted October 08 2009 - 08:12 AM

I'm so sorry it took me a couple of days to check, but there are both a Portuguese language track and Portuguese subtitles with this LOST Blu-ray set.


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