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HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Glee Encore

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#1 of 7 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted April 21 2011 - 02:23 PM

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Glee Encore
Release Date: Available now
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-ray "ECO-BOX"
Year: 2009/2010
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1:17:10
MSRP: $29.99

  THE FEATURE SPECIAL FEATURES
Video 1080p high definition 1.78:1 N/A
Audio DTS-HD Master Audio: English 5.1 N/A
Subtitles English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese N/A

The Feature: 2.5/5

So when does something that amounts to a special feature deserve to have its own Blu-ray release? Apparently when it has anything to do with the highly popular TV show "Glee." Owners of the show's first season on Blu-ray will be familiar with "Glee Encore's" concept, which is to let fans watch just the episodes' various musical numbers without stuff like story context and dialogue. In this age of songs over albums, it's an admittedly entertaining experience, but where the first season provided this "jukebox" feature for every episode and every song, this latest variant provides at most three songs from 17 out of the 22 episodes for a total of 34 songs. For perspective, the first five Season One episodes alone have 18 songs between them. Which begs the question of who would actually buy this trimmed down version of a handy first season extra? Frankly, just the completionists and only those who have $30 to spare (though Amazon.com currently has the item at about 40% the list price). Anyone else is better off breaking out or picking up the first season Blu-ray for a more comprehensive jukebox experience.

"Glee Encore" includes the first season musical numbers listed below. Songs can be played back individually, shuffled or in order.

1. (Episode 1) Pilot - Director's Cut



  • On My Own (1:02)
  • Don't Stop Believin' (3:06)
2. (Episode 2) Showmance


  • Gold Digger (1:53)
  • I Say A Little Prayer (:53)
3. (Episode 5) The Rhodes Not Taken


  • Alone (1:25)
  • Somebody to Love (2:40)
4. (Episode 6) Vitamin-D


  • It's My Life / Confession Part II (1:51)
5. (Episode 7) Throwdown


  • No Air (2:00)
  • You Keep Me Hangin' On (1:52)
6. (Episode 9) Wheels


  • Defying Gravity (2:21)
7. (Episode 10) Ballad


  • I'll Stand By You (1:17)
  • Don't Stand So Close to Me / Young Girl (2:03)
8. (Episode 11) Hairography


  • Lean on Me (2:50): Note: The song does not appear on the selection menu.
  • Imagine (2:58)
  • True Colors (1:52)
9. (Episode 12) Mattress


  • Smile (1:44)
10. (Episode 13) Sectionals


  • Don't Rain on My Parade (2:50)
  • You Can't Always Get What You Want (2:14)
11. (Episode 14) Hell-O


  • Gives You Hell (2:18)
  • Hello (2:30)
12. (Episode 15) The Power of Madonna


  • Vogue (3:11)
  • Like A Virgin (2:23)
  • Like A Prayer (2:13)
13. (Episode 16) Home


  • Fire (1:45)
  • One Less Bell to Answer / A House is Not a Home (4:20)
  • Beautiful (2:36)
14. (Episode 17) Bad Reputation


  • Run Joey Run (2:53)
  • Total Eclipse of the Heart (2:53)
15. (Episode 18) Laryngitis


  • Jessie's Girl (1:47)
  • Rose's Turn (2:00)
16. (Episode 20) Theatricality


  • Bad Romance (2:29)
  • Beth (2:30)
17. (Episode 22) Journey to Regionals


  • Faithfully (2:14)
  • Any Way You Want It / Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' (2:01)
Video Quality: 4.5/5

The feature is correctly framed at 1.78:1 and presented in 1080p with the AVC codec. Like "Glee's" first season on Blu-ray, "Glee Encore" features bright and bold colors, accurate skin tones, deep and stable blacks, and pleasing contrast levels. Fine object detail holds up in both close-ups and wide shots, with a sometimes grainy veneer that appears free of noise. The image is also devoid of artifacts from overused digital manipulation tools.

Audio Quality: 4/5
Though the main vocals in the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix tend to dominate the center channel, instrument placement and supporting vocals get spread through the rest of the speaker array, providing a dynamic and enveloping experience. The track also features pleasing high frequency detail, exhibited by the higher pitched singing voices and occasional orchestral arrangements, as well as a solid depth and fullness in the lower frequencies.


Special Features: 0/5

Here's a conundrum: When the feature is really an extra, what kind of extras can it have? The Blu-ray producers apparently didn't know how to answer the question either, as none are included.


Recap

The Feature: 2.5/5
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Overall Score (not an average): 2.5/5


Watching a highlight reel of "Glee's" first season of musical numbers is admittedly an entertaining experience, but the fact the same can be had, and more thoroughly, through the first season release, makes "Glee Encore" unnecessary. Equivalent audio and video quality between the two releases and the lack of any additional extras only make that more obvious.


One thing leads to another at cameronyee.com

#2 of 7 ONLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted April 21 2011 - 02:47 PM

All of the performances were enjoyable, but I was hoping there would at least be a commentary or introduction that explained how these particular songs were chosen from the dozens of other choices they had at their disposal.


I mean, one of my all-time favorite numbers from season one was "Jump!" but it isn't here, and I wondered why it wasn't chosen. With only about 70+ minutes of music, there was certainly room for many other selections. Another one I would have included: Chris Colfer's version of "A House Is Not a Home." But since they included Kristin Chenoweth's mash up of it and "One Less Bell to Answer," I could see why they didn't want the same song twice.



#3 of 7 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted April 21 2011 - 02:58 PM

As I was checking out the first disc of Season One, "Bust Your Windows" was another one that was strangely left off. Though I didn't think the dramatic foundation made much sense, as a standalone number it's definitely one of the best in terms of performance, choreography and production values.


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#4 of 7 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted April 21 2011 - 03:09 PM

Thanks for the review Cameron.  I'm really surprised that they left Jump off.  I don't really watch the show, but my wife does and that was one of the few numbers that she told me I had to see.  I picked it up for her at Target on sale for $12.00



#5 of 7 OFFLINE   Ethan Riley

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Posted April 22 2011 - 05:16 AM

I think moving forward that the producers need to shoot longer song sequences--not necessarily airing the entire number, but saving the extra footage if they want to release projects like this. I think that some of these numbers are actually longer than Cameron's running times on the various soundtrack cds. They should have let the cameras run a little longer so that this dvd would be more of a bonus. As it is, I'll pass 'cause I already have it all on my season set, right?



 

 


#6 of 7 ONLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted April 22 2011 - 08:30 AM



Originally Posted by Ethan Riley 

I think moving forward that the producers need to shoot longer song sequences--not necessarily airing the entire number, but saving the extra footage if they want to release projects like this. I think that some of these numbers are actually longer than Cameron's running times on the various soundtrack cds. They should have let the cameras run a little longer so that this dvd would be more of a bonus. As it is, I'll pass 'cause I already have it all on my season set, right?




Yes, if you have the season one set, there is nothing here you don't already have.




#7 of 7 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted May 04 2011 - 02:03 AM

"Glips" from the release: