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Blu-ray Review HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Lost: The Complete Fifth Season

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Matt Hough, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    Lost: The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)

    Directed by Stephen Williams et al

    Studio: Disney
    Year: 2009
    Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1   1080p   AVC codec
    Running Time: 731 minutes
    Rating: TV-14
    Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English; DTS 5.1 French, Spanish; others
    Subtitles: SDH, French, Spanish, others
    Region: A
    MSRP: $ 79.99

    Release Date: December 8, 2009
    Review Date: November 29, 2009
     
     
    The Series
    4.5/5
     
    If Season Four of Lost was designated by the producers as the “season of lies,” then Season Five most assuredly must be the “season of time,” for time travel is an overwhelming component of all of the episodes for this penultimate season of one of television’s most compelling and addictive series. Those who have remained loyal to the twisting convolutions of the plotting on the series know by now not to be surprised by anything the producers of the series come up with in order to tell their story, and season five compounds the jaw-dropping moments ad infinitum. There isn’t a single episode in this terrific fifth season of Lost that doesn’t contain moments that absolutely take the breath away.
     
    At the end of season four, our six island survivors (known as the Oceanic Six) have been having a rocky road in trying to live a lie for the past three years since their rescue at sea. It now becomes clear that they’re going to have to return to the island in order to get events back in some kind of preordained order. The last shocking image of season four was the dead body of John Locke (aka Jeremy Bentham played by Terry O’Quinn) in a casket, and Benjamin Linus (Emmy-winner for this season Michael Emerson) has persuaded the five adults to return to the island hoping there to find their true destinies. What they find are innumerable surprises and unexpected events, none more so than a suddenly alive John Locke, apparently revived by the island’s restorative powers, and several of them finding themselves in 1977 with several core members of the cast now part of the Dharma Initiative. Ah, but on Lost very few things are ever what they seem, and one must learn to take nothing at face value with this always astonishing series.
     
    By the middle of the season’s sixteen episodes, the time shifting has settled into two basic time periods: 1977 and 2007. That the program keeps the two time periods crystal clear as the rest of the season progresses is a testament to the strong writing, direction, and acting of the entire cast and crew of this series. And in case anyone is worried that with time shifting comes the end of the backstories, that’s just not the case. This season, we get more information about Desmond, Sayid, Locke, Kate, Ben (two episodes), Miles, Daniel, and the enigmatic Jacob. While Season Five may not rank as anyone’s favorite season of the show, it remains a fascinating viewing experience for which fans who have continued with the series through its many ins and outs are now being richly rewarded.
     
    Here is a list of the sixteen episodes for season five. The names in parentheses refer to the participants in that episode’s audio commentary.
     
    1 – Because You Left (Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof)
    2 – The Lie
    3 – Jughead
    4 – The Little Prince
    5 – This Place Is Death
    6 – 316
    7 – The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham
    8 – LaFleur
    9 – Namaste
    10 – He’s Our You (writers Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsir)
    11 – Whatever Happened, Happened
    12 – Dead Is Dead
    13 – Some Like It Hoth
    14 – The Variable
    15 – Follow the Leader
    16 – The Incident
     
     
    Video Quality
    4.5/5
     
    The program has been framed at 1.78:1 and is presented in 1080p using the AVC codec. Clearly superior to the 720p network broadcasts, these transfers are, until the season finale episode, reference quality in every respect: sharpness, detail, black levels, color resolution, and flesh tone accuracy. That finale episode, however, goes awry with some troublesome contrast adjustments that lead to occasionally yellowish skin tones, color than seems off, and erratic sharpness levels. Each episode has been divided into 7 chapters not counting the 87-minute season finale which has 12 chapters.
     
     
    Audio Quality
    4.5/5
     
    The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix has admirable cinematic surround envelopment for a network television series. The fronts and rears get frequent use of panning sound effects, and when the smoke monster makes occasional visits, your subwoofer will know it. The tense, throbbing music of the series adds much to the excitement level of the ongoing storylines, and it’s routed through the soundfield beautifully. There is also a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo surround track available, but it’s notably less impressive in every respect from the lossless encode.
     
     
    Special Features
    4/5
     
    There are two audio commentaries. As in past seasons, the commentaries don’t really reveal too much extra information though Cuse and Lindelof in their talk do reveal spoilers for many episodes in season five and they caution (as does the disc) not to listen to the commentary until you are familiar with all of the episodes of season five.
     
    All featurettes unless otherwise noted are in 1080i.
     
    “Lost 100” (contained on disc four) is a featurette commemorating the one hundredth episode of the show. It features members of the crew in a pre-production meeting prior to shooting and then various cast members talking about being around for one hundred episodes.
     
    The remaining bonus features are on disc five:
     
    Lost University” is a BD-Live based interactive feature which does not go active until December 8 (street date of the set). From the publicity release, here is what this bonus feature (exclusive for Blu-ray) allegedly entails:
     
    As a Lost University student, you will be encouraged to explore a wide range of academic courses that delve into the themes and storylines regularly explored on the groundbreaking television series including: “Foreign Language for Beginners,” “Ancient Writing on the Wall,” “Jungle Survival Basics,” “I’m Lost Therefore I Am” and “New Physics with Jeremy Davies.”
     
    The JUNGLE SURIVIOR BASICS class at Lost University will give you basic information to survive until you are rescued. This class will be taught by several Lost cast members via never-before-seen interviews with Naveen Andrews, Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly, Terry O'Quinn, Michael Emerson, and Henry Ian Cusik.
     
    “Professor” Jeremy Davies will also teach the class NEW PHYSICS WITH JEREMY DAVIES this semester that will focus on cutting-edge physics seen on Lost.
     
    Classes begin at Lost University when Lost: The Complete Fifth Season arrives on Blu-ray on December 8, 2009.
     
    “Mysteries of the Universe” is a faux investigative half hour program allegedly from the late 1970s-early 1980s looking into a mysterious organization in an episode of the series entitled “The Dharma Initiative.” Done in grainy, fuzzy 480i to simulate a poor analog broadcast of the era, this 26 ¼-minute goof is harmless fun but not the least revealing of any secrets of the show.
     
    “Making Up for Lost Time” spends 13 ¾ minutes with the cast and crew of the show mentioning the logistical problems of the time shifting stories that make up the bulk of this season’s episodes.
     
    “An Epic Day with Richard Alpert” finds actor Nestor Carbonell (who plays the mysterious island sage) on the last (long) day of shooting season five arriving a little before 7 a.m. and leaving the following morning at 2:20 a.m., his day extended by the fact that his character must take part in stories in both 1977 and 2007 which are shooting under different directors on different parts of the island. A camera follows him along from hair and make-up through wardrobe, shooting, lunch, a nap, more shooting, travel across the island, and finally wrapping very, very early the following morning. This long day is condensed into a 12 ¼-minute featurette, the most interesting information of which is that the actor does not wear eyeliner but rather has his lashes painted with concealer to soften the darkness of his eyelashes.
     
    “Building 23 and Beyond” is a tour of the Lost offices in Burbank as co-star Michael Emerson meets many of the writers and production staff responsible for writing and designing the show. Most don’t talk much about what they’re doing (the show was in the midst of the season when the featurette was shot). This lasts 12 minutes.
     
    Lost on Location” is a behind the scenes look at elaborate stunt work done for seven of the season’s episodes. They may be watched in one 37 ¾-minute grouping or individually by show. The seven shows dealt with are “The Lie,” “The Little Prince,” “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham,” “Namaste,” “He’s Our You,” “Whatever Happened, Happened,” and “The Incident.”
     
    There are eight deleted scenes which can be watched separately or in one 13 ¾-minute group. They’re in 480i.
     
    There is a 3 ¾-minute blooper reel which is presented in 1080i.
     
    Disney Blu-rays of their television series include 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.
     
    There are 1080p trailers for Alice in Wonderland, Extract, 10 Things I Hate About You, Everybody’s Fine, and Surrogates.
     
     
    In Conclusion
    4.5/5 (not an average)
     
    The fifth season of Lost brought its producers yet another Emmy nomination as the year’s Best Dramatic Series (losing for a second year in a row to Mad Men). The Blu-ray set contains astonishing picture and sound quality for a network series and a treasury full of entertaining and illuminating bonus material. Highly recommended!
     
     
     
    Matt Hough
    Charlotte, NC
     
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Looking forward to picking this one up. Thanks for the review, Matt!
     
  3. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    Yep. Looking forward to this as well. I'm a huge fan of Lost, but Season 5 left me a little cold. Some of it seemed a bit too manipulative with some rather forced plot contrivances. It also lacked some of the emotional punch of the previous seasons. Oh well. We'll see if I like it better with a 3rd viewing on Blu-ray. I'm still dying for Season 6 to start. :)

    From the sound of it, the extras sound less meaty than previous seasons. But oh well. You get what they give.

    Also as a head's up, it looks like Best Buy will be offering an exclusive bonus disc for S5 on DVD. Don't know if it's included with the Blu-ray as well.
     
  4. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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    I'm really looking forward to this set too. Good review Matt.
     
  5. ChrisCook

    ChrisCook Screenwriter

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    Appreciate the review Matt.

    Thanks for the heads up Ray. It's also included with the Blu-ray.

    Who here is going to Best Buy next week? If anyone is, and would be willing to part with the bonus disc, please drop me a PM. I'll gladly pay for shipping and handling. The nearest retailer is a 2 1/2 hour drive from my remote town, and I won't be able to pick it up this year.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the "time travel" angle and the added pleasure of seeing a former "October Road" cast member last season.
     
  6. Southpaw

    Southpaw Supporting Actor

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    Any info as to what is on the exclusive bonus disc at BB?
     
  7. ChrisCook

    ChrisCook Screenwriter

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  8. Southpaw

    Southpaw Supporting Actor

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    Wow, according to that link, the BB bonus disc will have some exclusive special features. I'm canceling my Amazon pre-order right now.
     
  9. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    Great review. Weird about the final episode. Contrary to others, this was my favourite season yet. The Locke reveal was mind blowing.
     
  10. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I don't have the discs yet but according to Lostpedia, there's alot of easter eggs on this set.

    Spoilers used for those that haven't seen S5 yet.
    Disc 1:

    The menu on this disc gives you a view from inside the microwave in Hurley's kitchen. If you wait, Hurley will open the door and put a Hot Pocket inside to warm it up.
    Disc 3:

    The menu on this disc shows Locke at "the exit" in the Sahara Desert. If you wait, Charles Widmore's men will arrive in a car and pick him up.
    Disc 5:
    When you first view the disc, the menu background is a picture of the statue from behind. Selecting "Bonus Features" takes you to a menu with the statue seen from the beach in "The Incident, Parts 1 & 2". When you try to select an option, an explosion is heard and the menu changes to all white with the options at odd angles.
    • The following easter eggs are found on the main menu:
      • Highlight 'Episodes' and press left, and the dot will move to just below 'Disc 5'. The video shows Sean Whalen talking about how he doubts Frogurt will ever come back, and how he suspects Matthew Fox and Josh Holloway were behind him being killed off because he was too good looking.
      • Highlight 'Episodes', then press right, then left. It's a video of Malcolm David Kelley talking about how he thought Walt would actually work out to be a bad guy and that the kidnapping was him and Ben pulling all the strings.
      • Highlight 'Features' and press left, the dot moves to the middle of the word 'SeasonPlay'. Press play and the video shows the first time Jorge Garcia and Michelle Rodriguez have a scene together and Jorge catching her up on what happened so far on the show since she left, much to her disbelief.
      • Highlight 'Features', then press right and up. The video is an interview with with Damon and Carlton coming up with an idea for a 'Dharma Times' styled restaurant.
      • Highlight 'Set Up' and press right. It shows a video (with no sound) of Jorge Garcia painting a picture of an Egyptian Sphinx.
      • Highlight 'SeasonPlay' and press right on your remote, the dot that shows you where you are moves in to open space, then press play. It gives a video of Jorge Garcia explaining the term 'ass-dirt'.Highlight 'SeasonPlay' and press left, then up, and the dot will move up to above 'Episodes'. The video is about the make-up used on Jin for his appearance in "The Little Prince".
    • The following easter eggs can be found after selecting 'Features' on the main menu:
    • Highlight 'Lost University' and press left, then up. The video shows Evangeline Lilly with one of the horses from Season 5 with Jeremy Davis, talking about if they've ever ridden before.Highlight 'Mysteries of the Universe', then press right, up, left. It shows Cheech Marin filming making a sandwich in "The Lie".
    • Highlight 'Lost 100', then press left twice. A video plays of Jorge Garcia in the Dharma Van finally finding the horn button on the last day of shooting with the van.
    • Highlight 'Lost 100' and press right. The video shows Damon and Carlton talking about when they first found out how awesomely the pilot did and then realising they'd have to carry on and make more.
    • Highlight 'An Epic Day With Richard Alpert' and press left, then down. A video plays of the Rob Kyker and the props department making the Boat in a Bottle that Richard has in "Follow the Leader".
    • Highlight 'Building 23 and Beyond' and press left. It is a video of Damon and Carlton talking to Michael Emerson about how he plays Ben and how beneficial it is that the actors don't see the scripts until it actually comes to the filming of the scene.
    • Highlight 'Deleted Scenes' and press left. A deleted scene of Daniel Faraday getting his qualification in physics from "The Variable" is played.
    • Highlight 'Lost Bloopers' and press left, then up. A video plays of all the stunt coordinators being introduced.

    http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Lost:_The_Complete_Fifth_Season_(DVD)
     
  11. Adam Sanchez

    Adam Sanchez Supporting Actor

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    I don't ever do this but Lost fans might want to check out today's Gold Box at Amazon.

    My Gosh I can't wait for season 6. Me and my wife just got into Lost about 2 months ago and Blasted through seasons 1-5 in mere days. Having access to all those seasons back to back to back and then having to stop dead all this time as...well sucked to say the least.
     
  12. cineMANIAC

    cineMANIAC Cinematographer

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    Is the Darma Initiative kit packaging exclusive to DVD? I want to buy that version but don't see any reference to it also being available on Blu-ray.
     
  13. Southpaw

    Southpaw Supporting Actor

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    Yes, the Dharma Initiation Kit is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
    From what I've gathered, the Best Buy "exclusive" packaging and extra DVD is available in the standard Blu-ray set and not the Dharma Initiation Blu-ray set.
     
  14. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Thanks for the heads-up on the Amazon deal, Adam. I've just placed my order.
     
  15. CraigF

    CraigF Producer

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    ^ Just noticed it by a fluke while doing an amazon "review". Jumped on it. And me complaining about Lost on BD being too expensive in another thread...
     
  16. ATimson

    ATimson Second Unit

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    Does anybody else with this set have problems with SeasonPlay? It worked fine for me for the first four seasons, and I have plenty of free space on my USB stick, but it refuses to remember my profile.
     
  17. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    Worked just fine for me when I was doing the review.
     
  18. ATimson

    ATimson Second Unit

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    Bollocks. Okay, thanks. Time to try clearing the data store, then. Never thought I'd be glad for needing to use a USB stick!
     
  19. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Does this set not contain an insert listing the episodes, or did mine not have one again (same thing happened last year)?
     
  20. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    No, no insert (sad to say).
     

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