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DVD Review Flashpoint: The Fourth Season DVD Review (1 Viewer)

Matt Hough

Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
26,247
Location
Charlotte, NC
Real Name
Matt Hough

Take a crisis situation that often involves hostages or innocents being held at gunpoint, and you’ve got a job for the Strategic Response Unit (SRU) in another winning season of the U.S.-Canadian (filmed in Toronto) co-production Flashpoint. An often gripping and sometimes even profoundly moving crime drama, the emphasis here is often on the heart rather than on sheer firepower. The strategic maneuvering we see this well-oiled team of professionals accomplish show after show is truly a thing of beauty. Add in a strong cast of interesting character types led by one of the most comforting and ingratiating of character actors, and you’ve got a well done drama which CBS has used as a utility player for the past four years. This fourth season of episodes is the last that has appeared on CBS in the summer of 2011. The fifth season was shown earlier this year on the ION network. It doesn’t matter where it’s broadcast, Flashpoint grows on you.



Flashpoint: The Fourth Season
Directed by David Frazee et al

Studio: CBS/Paramount
Year: 2011
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 anamorphic  
Running Time: 559 minutes
Rating: NR
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, 2.0 stereo
Subtitles: SDH

MSRP: $ 42.99


Release Date: May 15, 2012

Review Date: May 12, 2012




The Season

4/5


Enrico Colantoni stars as Sergeant Greg Parker, the negotiator at the head of the SRU. Team leader Ed Lane (Hugh Dillon) pretty much runs point in the various tense scenarios the SRU is given to handle. Also on the team are former Army medical officer Sam Braddock (David Paetkau), coolheaded techie Mike “Spike” Scarlatti (Sergio Di Zio), reliable wingman Kevin “Wordy” Wordsworth (Michael Cram), and the team’s aggressive female member Jules Callaghan (Amy Jo Johnston). All are expert marksmen and are skilled at scaling buildings and repelling from great heights. With Greg’s firm but soothing command of negotiations between the police and the perpetrators with the weapons, situations might not always resolve themselves with everyone alive, but the satisfaction in knowing that everything was done that could have been done usually leaves each episode with a sedate sense of closure. A haunting ballad on the soundtrack usually plays out the episode with a reflective coda.


The episodes revolve around a reliable and rather welcome formula. We begin most programs at the peak moment of climactic confrontation between the police and those they’re in communication with. The scene then goes back several hours to show us how circumstances occurred to bring us to the tense standoffs we are faced with at the beginning of the episode. From that point, anything can happen, and the resultant action usually leads to some quiet moments of discussion between one or more members of the squad. During this season of episodes, there are standoffs involving escaped prisoners, desperate parents, a cop’s daughter being held for ransom, terrorist bombings, a confidential informant about to be discovered, a rebellious youth looking to bring down corporate leaders while broadcasting on Twitter, even revenge. The actors are all responsive players, but Enrico Colantoni, whose rock solid gentility has grounded many a film and television program, stands out as the team’s MVP. Hugh Dillon is also given several spotlight episodes and rises to the occasion each time. The show brings in the families of many of the team members this season increasing their humanity and vulnerability. There is a two-episode arc with the team under strict observation and on the brink of disillusion by a psychologist (Victor Garber) who spots fissures throughout the team’s seemingly solid foundation. The last two episodes introduce the team to new member Raf played by Clé Bennett.


Here are the thirteen episodes contained on three discs in this fourth season set:


1 – Collateral Damage

2 – Thicker Than Blood

3 – No Promises

4 – Terror

5 – I’d Do Anything

6 – Fault Lines

7 – Personal Effects

8 – Good Cop

9 – Run, Jamie, Run

10 – Though a Glass Darkly

11 – The Better Man

12 – A Day in the Life

13 – Shockwave



Video Quality

4/5


The programs are presented in their original television widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and are anamorphically enhanced for widescreen televisions. Sharpness is very good throughout, and color values are solid with accurate and appealing flesh tones. Greens occasionally seem a bit oversaturated, but black levels are just fine. There is aliasing to be seen occasionally and some moiré patterns are noticeable as well. Each episode has been divided into 6 chapters.



Audio Quality

4.5/5


The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is one of the strongest for a network television show. The music offers a driving and explosive surround presence in every episode with excellent use of the LFE channel, especially with gunfire and explosions which play a part in several episodes. Dialogue is always intelligible and has been placed in the center channel. Sound effects are also nicely placed in the soundstage to give a real presence and heft to the surround activity.



Special Features

2.5/5


All of the bonus features are presented in non-anamorphic widescreen.


“The Music of Flashpoint introduces us to Amin Bhatia and Ari Posner who share composing duties on the series. Each man talks about his process and his strengths in this 8 ¼-minute featurette.


“On the Set of Flashpoint allows each of the main actors in the series to talk briefly about their characters and the long working hours they put into making the series. This runs 4 ½ minutes.


“Sgt. Greg Parker: A Character Study” gives actor Enrico Colantoni 8 ½ minutes to discuss the evolution of his character during the show’s first four seasons on the air.


The disc offers promo trailers for NCIS and the new remake of Hawaii Five-O.



In Conclusion

4/5 (not an average)


Flashpoint is an entertaining mix of action and personal drama that can touch the heart and bring one to the edge of his seat. This unsung drama in its fourth season offers outstanding performances and tightly written, suspenseful narratives that make it a most definitely recommended action series with a strong sense of teamwork and camaraderie.



Matt Hough

Charlotte, NC

 

andySu

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
2,858
Nice review Matt. Some good episodes and regular shown on CBS Action weekday nights. Watching an episode tonight 1am. Some youths steal money and hold a shop employees as hostages.
 

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