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HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Lost: The Complete Sixth Season - The Final Season


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#1 of 21 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted August 23 2010 - 02:10 PM

 

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

Studio: ABC Studios
Year: 2010
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1   1080p   AVC codec
Running Time: 802 minutes
Rating: TV-14
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo English
Subtitles: SDH, French, Spanish

Region:  A
MSRP:  $ 79.99


Release Date: August 24, 2010

Review Date: August 23, 2010

 

 

The Series

4.5/5

 

One of television’s grandest, most demanding and complex dramatic series came to a fitting and mostly glorious end when Lost wrapped up production after its sixth season. That the complete series and especially its last season was controversial is not up for debate. Many people were not satisfied with the conclusion the producers of the show delivered in its final season, but count me among those who were greatly entertained and tremendously moved by the story laid before me. Did all of my questions about the happenings on the island get answered? Not at all, but with its complexities and unorthodox storytelling, I never expected them to be. Judging only what was produced and presented (rather than criticizing what wasn’t), Lost’s sixth season brought the tale of the stranded travelers on a mysterious island to a most satisfactory end with episodes which jolted, charmed, and tremendously moved me. No TV series in my experience has ever engaged me, challenged me, intrigued me, or made me think as much as Lost has over the last six years.

 

At the end of season five, our time traveling returnees to the island got the idea that exploding the hydrogen bomb which had been on the island for some time might be a way to kick-start a reboot back to Oceanic 815 so they could resume their lives without the island being a part of the equation. When Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell)  finally sets off the explosion, at first glance, it appears that Daniel Faraday’s (Jeremy Davies) plan might have accomplished just that: Oceanic 815 is back in the air with Jack (Matthew Fox), Locke (Terry O’Quinn), Kate (Evangeline Lilly), Sawyer (Josh Holloway), the Kwons (Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim), Hurley (Jorge Garcia), and the others on their way to Los Angeles from Australia. But then we begin to notice that things are not the same: Desmond Hume (Henry Ian Cusick) is on the plane, something that couldn’t have happened originally because he was on the island during their original flight. They pass over the island which now appears to be completely submerged. And thus begins the controversial “Flash Sideways” storyline which is the season’s most enigmatic and inevitable signature motif, a storyline whose resolution in the final episode caused some fans intense pleasure and others intense pain.

 

The original storyline resumes with the bomb having hurtled our travelers away from 1977 to 2007 where the Smoke Monster has assumed the form of John Locke and is recruiting followers who can help him get off the island, something he had been attempting for centuries. In this storyline, we are finally given answers to some of the most pressing questions of the past six years. We find out about  the meaning of those lottery winning numbers which have seemed to turn up over and over again in the lives of many of the characters. We learn the backstories of Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) and the Man in Black (Titus Welliver) as well as solve the riddle of Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell). Suffice to say without ruining any surprises for viewers who have waited for the season six box set to watch the remaining episodes that the main story becomes a fight to the finish between the island’s protectors and the island’s malevolent force of nature, one whose conclusion had me a mass of emotion when the final images hit the screen. If you buy into the producers’ storylines, once they merge, you should feel an overwhelming emotional catharsis as powerful as any final episode that any ending series has ever delivered.

 

Over the course of six seasons, some of the actors have really stepped up and delivered career-best performances. This season, Matthew Fox, Michael Emerson, Terry O’Quinn, and Elizabeth Mitchell all received Emmy nominations for their work. Fox in particular has never been better, and his continuing performance throughout this last season in both timeline stories is deeply earnest and completely heartbreaking, Three other actors really distinguished themselves during the course of this season: Evangeline Lilly, Josh Holloway, and Nestor Carbonell. The work of all of these core performers cannot be praised highly enough. Together they made season six one for the ages.

 

Here are the sixteen episodes contained on five discs in the season six set. The names in parentheses refer to the audio commentators for that episode:

 

1 – LA X (Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof)

2 – What Kate Does

3 – The Substitute

4 – Lighthouse

5 – Sundown

6 – Dr. Linus (Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis, Michael Emerson)

7 – Recon

8 – Ab Aeterno (Melinda Taylor, Greggory Nations, Nestor Carbonell)

9 – The Package

10 – Happily Ever After

11 – Everybody Loves Hugo

12 – The Last Recruit

13 – The Candidate

14 – Across the Sea (Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse)

15 – What They Died For

16 – The End 

 

 

Video Quality

4.5/5

 

As with all of the Lost Blu-ray packages, the 1.78:1 television aspect ratio is delivered in 1080p using the AVC codec. On the whole, the transfers are very colorful, dimensional, and sharp though there always seems to be a shot or two per episode that comes across soft and less than those which surround it, sometimes appearing flat or somewhat digitized. Flesh tones are natural, and black levels are distinctly and impressively inky. Shadow detail is executed well enough to offer no complaints. The “flash sideways” storyline seems to have colors that are slightly desaturated and contrast eased up just a tad, yet sharpness and dimension are still present at more than acceptable levels. Apart from the supersized premiere and finale episodes, each show has been divided into 7 chapters.

 

 

Audio Quality

4.5/5

 

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix offers impressive fidelity for a television series. Though not as active as the soundtracks of some action shows such as ‘24’ or Heroes, there are plenty of discrete sounds placed around the soundfield through the run of the series, and when the smoke monster makes its way around a scene, the surrounds really show their stuff with impressive, immersive audio quality and a thundering LFE channel that gets a real workout. Michael Giacchino’s entrancing music is wonderfully placed through the soundstage and effectively complements any scene where it appears.

 

 

Special Features

5/5

 

There are four audio commentaries. For the premiere, producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof joke around and go off on tangents way too much becoming irritating rather than enlightening. Fortunately, they check out after the first half of the episode. The two episodes which feature the episode’s writers with its featured star are much more enjoyable with the writers grilling Emerson about his process as an actor and Carbonell asking the writers as many questions as they ask him, both lively discussions that are worth a listen. For the “Across the Sea” episode, Cuse and Lindelof mount a defense of their most controversial episode of the season (between joking around and the usual off topic tangents, of course). It’s more enlightening than their commentary for the season premiere, but they’ve saved their most interesting comments for other bonus features.

 

“Lost in 8:15 – A Crash Course” is another somewhat tongue-in-cheek recounting in 8 ½ minutes the major plotlines of the series from seasons 1-5. For those who have never seen the series before, it won’t be much help because it flies by so quickly, but for those who are familiar with the show already, it’s an amusing take on the major events in the series up to the start of the last season.

 

“New Man in Charge” is an entertaining 12-minute feature with Michael Emerson in character continuing the story of the Hugo/Ben regieme on the island including answering a couple of questions, showing the entire orientation tape for the Hydra Station, and bringing back on the show one character suspiciously missing from the season as a whole. It’s in 1080p.

 

“The End: Crafting a Final Season” is a 38 ½-minute discussion of what it means to take part in the last season of a hit show with not only cast and crew of Lost taking part but also producers from previous hits such as The Rockford Files, Cheers, and The Shield offering their own takes on what it means to end a long running hit show. It’s in 1080i.

 

“A Hero’s Journey” gives some insight into the six candidates for the island’s protector and how each measures up in different ways to the definition of a hero over the course of six seasons. The featurette is in 1080i and runs 9 minutes.

 

“See You in Another Life, Brotha” is a 8 ½-minute examination of the flash sideways timeline this season with various cast members describing how they reacted to playing in it along with the original continuing storyline. It’s in 1080i.

 

Lost on Location” is the always interesting behind the scenes look at location filming and difficult stunt work involved in various episodes during the season. This year, six episodes are highlighted: “LA X,” “The Substitute,” “Recon,” “Ab Aeterno,” “Happily Ever After,” and “The Candidate.” They may be played separately or in one 28 ¾-minute grouping. These are presented in 1080i.

 

There are nine deleted scenes which may be played separately or in one 9 ¾-minute bunch. They’re in 480i.

 

The season’s blooper reel runs 4 ¼ minutes in 1080i.

 

The BD-Live Lost UniversityMaster’s Program is already up and running allowing those who completed the undergraduate course work from the Season 5 Blu-ray the chance to take new courses and write a thesis to earn further honors.

 

Disney has included on their TV Blu-rays a feature called “SeasonPlay” which charts which episodes you’ve already watched and holds your place if you end an episode before it’s finished. It’s a nice, convenient structure, but it doesn’t work on the bonus features.

 

Disc one contains 1080p trailers for ABC-TV programs, Prince of Persia, and Tron Legacy.

 

There is a $10 coupon inside the case for purchasing any current season DVD or Blu-ray box set of an ABC Studio program.

 

 

In Conclusion

4.5/5 (not an average)

 

An epoch in American television history comes to an emotional and deeply satisfying end with Lost: The Complete Sixth Season. Superb picture and sound married to a host of interesting bonus features make for a must-buy package for fans of the show. Highly recommended!

 

 

Matt Hough

Charlotte, NC



#2 of 21 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted August 23 2010 - 07:29 PM

Thanks for the review Matt.  Like you I found the conclusion satisfying.  They extras look great.  I'm looking forward to seeing "New Man in Charge"

#3 of 21 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted August 24 2010 - 04:56 AM

The Best Buy bonus disc for season 6 (DVD, even on the BluRay package) is labelled as containing the following [but see following post regarding the fact that it does not in fact contain any of this]:   Lost on Location: Sundown - Hang out on-set with the actors behind Keamy and Omar as this intimidating pair make their flash sideways return.   Lost on Location: Dr. Linus -- Go back to school with Michael Emerson to learn the difference between a genus and a species, and get an all-access look at production.   Chicken Heaven -- Join Jorge Garcia as we go behind the scenes of everyone's favorite fast-food franchise, Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack   Sayid vs. Dogen - Naveen Andrews and Hiroyuki Sanada duke it out in a hand-to-hand Battle at the Temple.   And Much More
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#4 of 21 OFFLINE   Bleddyn Williams

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Posted August 24 2010 - 05:58 AM

Will B - that's what's listed on the BB sleeve, but myself and others have found what's on the disc to be a different kettle of fish...

 

Lost BB bonus disc



#5 of 21 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted August 24 2010 - 06:19 AM

Do tell!   [ah hah, you've got a link there... visited ... and now I return:]   Mine is the same as yours. The disc is titled "LXX0NNT1" if you pop it into a computer. And it does indeed appear to be the series set bonus disc, rather than the Best Buy exclusive disc as the packaging states.   Update:... though it is a DVD instead of a BluRay disc, and some people are saying that it may be a near-equivalent to the series set bonus disc, but not identical.
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#6 of 21 OFFLINE   Phil Taylor

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Posted August 24 2010 - 06:31 AM

So to end the debate (sorry if this seems redundant/stupid but there have been conflicting reports) - does the regular S6 BD set indeed include "the epilogue" of Ben and Hurley? Is the "New Man in Charge" the rumored epilogue and is it indeed in the regular S6 set or just the S1-6 complete collection?
 

#7 of 21 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted August 24 2010 - 07:10 AM

"New Man In Charge" is indeed the Ben and Hurley extra that has been heavily promoted by the studio as the reason to buy season 6 on disc.
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#8 of 21 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted August 24 2010 - 08:10 AM



Originally Posted by Will_B 

"New Man In Charge" is indeed the Ben and Hurley extra that has been heavily promoted by the studio as the reason to buy season 6 on disc.



Correct.



#9 of 21 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted August 25 2010 - 07:38 PM

I have to agree with Matt that Lindelof and Cuse's commentaries range from irritating to REALLY irritating.   I turned on their talk along with "Across the Sea" and wound up enduring piles of really unfunny jokes and sarcastic comments (some of which are pretty defensive about their choices) in order to get to the maybe four or five really interesting and vital pieces of information.  They had one or two interesting production stories along the way, but mostly the talk played as an over-the-top version of their regular podcasts during the show's seasons.   I will also say that having now seen "New Man in Charge", that definitely helped answer several of the questions hanging over the last few years.   But I respect that the guys were doing the best they could to tell this story.  The thing to keep in mind is that they didn't have a solid idea of where the show would wind up, but they did have some generalities in place.  They knew that the skeletons in the cave would be important.  They knew that they would be telling a story of good versus evil in some ways (the backgammon pieces shown in the pilot), and that they would be dealing with the idea of choice vs. destiny.  And they knew what the very final image of the series would be.   They just didn't know exactly how all of this would come together.  They figured out their way just ahead of the audience.   The final season holds some very interesting episodes - I think of "Ab Aeterno" as one of the finest of the series.  I was one of those who really enjoyed "Across the Sea" as a story unto itself.  And the final 15 minutes of the series is some of the most emotional material they ever presented.   I just don't understand why Lindelof and Cuse continue to use their commentaries to make oblique jokes about their approach, rather than just having an honest discussion of the themes they were trying to examine.

#10 of 21 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted August 27 2010 - 05:55 AM

Originally Posted by Kevin EK 
 

I turned on their talk along with "Across the Sea" and wound up enduring piles of really unfunny jokes and sarcastic comments (some of which are pretty defensive about their choices)



That commentary was recorded within a week of that episode airing and, as they say on the track, the episode was incredibly polarizing so the fact that they were being attacked by some fans (for delivering one of the best episodes of the season which also gave a ton of answers) might explain why you feel they were being defensive.

 

You have to wade through their usual goofiness but I found this commentary to be the most informative track ever reorded for this show. They might not say "Here is exactly what we mean by x, y or z" but between the show itself and the information that they give on the commentary, you can figure out what they feel about certain elements of the episode.



#11 of 21 OFFLINE   cineMANIAC

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Posted August 27 2010 - 08:15 AM



 

Originally Posted by Will_B 

"New Man In Charge" is indeed the Ben and Hurley extra that has been heavily promoted by the studio as the reason to buy season 6 on disc.



I take this to mean that Disney/ABC doesn't think that Season 6 will be a top seller so they throw in a quickie afterthought featurette to try to entice more people to pick this up? Come to think of it, I actually forgot this was coming out 8/24 and this is coming from a rabid fan of the series and someone who was always among the first in line to buy each season set as they were released. I bought this set, of course, but it just wasn't an "event" thing for me this time around...maybe I was a bit disappointed with the season in general or the ending in particular (I was expecting some kind of scientific element to it, I don't know). As for Lindelof and Cuse's commentaries being too "jokey" I suspect they're just making fun of themselves in a nervous, "we didn't quite pull this off the way we envisioned it" kind of way, They're sort of acknowledging that many fans were left unsatisfied by not taking things seriously. Just my two cents.



#12 of 21 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted August 27 2010 - 10:15 AM

Originally Posted by Luisito34 

As for Lindelof and Cuse's commentaries being too "jokey" I suspect they're just making fun of themselves in a nervous, "we didn't quite pull this off the way we envisioned it" kind of way...



Love it or hate it, the finale is clearly a very personal work so I think they made the episode exactly the way that they envisioned.



#13 of 21 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted August 28 2010 - 01:18 PM

Travis, I hear you.   As I said, I enjoyed "Across the Sea" and I was really affected by the final 15 minutes of the finale.  I agree with you that this is exactly how Lindelof and Cuse wanted the finale to be done - once they were in position in the final season to see what they had to work with.  As they have discussed, the show evolved over time and their ideas of how the show would wind up were more general than anything.  I don't have a problem with that - but I think a lot of fans of the show had the idea that the guys had mapped out every specific detail along the way.   I also agree with you that their commentary does include some information - about the "Mother" character, about the way the series showed the effects of bad parenting, about the irony of Jacob once being in the same situation as the castaways, etc.  But to get to that information, you have to endure the same jokiness and goofing around that filled their podcasts throughout the show's run.  I understand that's their style, but it is still quite irritating.  As you say, it's their usual goofiness, but I kept saying over and over again, "Do we really have to listen to all these tangential jokes that have nothing to do with the episode or even the series?"  My comment about the defensiveness is just that they're clearly smarting from the reaction to the episode - and many of their comments are specific to that.  I say that as someone who enjoyed the episode and doesn't think there's anything wrong with it.  But I could tell these guys were not happy with some of the reactions they got during the season.  I believe that Lindelof posted something on Twitter after a particularly bad reaction that didn't go over all that well.   That said, they do relate a couple of bits of production information - one having to do with the cave set originally built in a place where a "massacre" had happened.  The other is a discussion of tone meetings in episodic series.  Their description of the tone meeting is correct, and is normal on pretty much all episodic dramas.  It is also normal on episodics to also have a writer on the set throughout the shoot - which can help answer basic questions about the intention of each scene and how it relates to the series in general.

#14 of 21 OFFLINE   NeilO

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Posted September 01 2010 - 07:25 AM

  Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil Taylor 

So to end the debate (sorry if this seems redundant/stupid but there have been conflicting reports) - does the regular S6 BD set indeed include "the epilogue" of Ben and Hurley? Is the "New Man in Charge" the rumored epilogue and is it indeed in the regular S6 set or just the S1-6 complete collection?

It is also on the regular DVD S6 set as well.  



#15 of 21 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted September 01 2010 - 06:07 PM

And it's on the regular Blu-ray set.  I watched it as soon as I got the set home.

#16 of 21 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted September 02 2010 - 01:05 AM

Originally Posted by Kevin EK 

And it's on the regular Blu-ray set.  I watched it as soon as I got the set home.



I decided to build the anticipation and so I rewatched the episodes before watching The New Man In Charge. As far as I'm concerned, it answered the only real questions that I feel that the show didn't answer.



#17 of 21 OFFLINE   Bryan Ri

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Posted November 26 2010 - 03:24 PM

Is there a reason why no commentary was recorded for the finale of the series?

#18 of 21 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted November 27 2010 - 04:46 AM

^ I'm paraphrasing but the producers said that they wanted to let everyone have their own interpretation of the ending rather than 'dictate' to everyone what they meant. Although I don't know why they couldn't just stay away from that area and just talk about other things relating to the episode or series.

#19 of 21 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted November 27 2010 - 05:50 AM

I had an odd thought, but it could make sense of the entire series, in its own way. SPOILERS BELOW... Since the closing credits for the final episode shows the wreckage of Oceanic 815 on the beach, with no humans around, I had an immediate reaction when seeing this broadcast.  I understand that the producers have said that these images were put there by ABC and not as a creative choice, but it does open a potential avenue. The very first image of the series is Jack's eye opening on the island in the bamboo field.   The very last image of the series is Jack's eye closing in the same place. What if the entire series took place literally in the blink of an eye between those two moments?  In that event, Jack may have been the only survivor of the plane crash, and he only survived long enough to open his eyes in the jungle and then close them again.  All the events of the series, all the flashbacks, flashforwards and flashsideways, and all the convoluted mythology of the island and Dharma and Jacob and the rest, could all have been a mix of his dreams, nightmares and memories - his life flashing before his eyes in the last moment. Of course, I could be wrong...

#20 of 21 OFFLINE   Bryan Ri

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Posted November 27 2010 - 07:26 AM



Originally Posted by TravisR 

^ I'm paraphrasing but the producers said that they wanted to let everyone have their own interpretation of the ending rather than 'dictate' to everyone what they meant. Although I don't know why they couldn't just stay away from that area and just talk about other things relating to the episode or series.



Possibly, but I could swear they said on a commentary from either the premiere or "Across the Sea" that there would be a commentary for the finale...







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