DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Hunter - The Complete Second Season

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Michael Osadciw, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

    Jun 24, 2003
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    Michael Osadciw


    Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
    Air Date: 1985

    U.S. Rating: NR
    Canadian Rating: NR

    Total Set Length: 1092 minutes
    Genre: Crime-Drama

    Aspect Ratio:[*] 1.33:1 full screen
    Colour/B&W: Colour

    Audio:[*] English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
    Subtitles: None
    Closed Captioned: Yes
    SLP: US $39.98

    Release Date: July 12, 2005

    Show Rating: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Starring: Fred Dryer (Det. Sgt. Rick Hunter), Stapfanie Kramer (Det. Sgt. Dee Dee McCall), Bruce Davison (Capt. Wyler)

    Guest Stars: Robert Englund, Jane Russell, Robert Davi, Stuart Whiteman, Kay Lenz, Sheryl Lee Ralph, John Matuszak, Isaac Hayes

    Created by: Frank Lupo

    After the first season of Hunter was slammed by critics, condemned as air pollution, and placed in an unfavourable time slot, there was a great public response to the series after it was given a second chance in a more favourable time slot. This allowed the popularity of the show to rise dramatically and also allowed a second season of Hunter to air.

    Rick Hunter is back with his partner Dee Dee McCall. They are two L.A. homicide detectives who play by their own rules. In this explosive season, they take on rapists and robberies, killer porn stars, murderers, international terrorists, street hookers and punk rockers. They’ve got their hands full but it’s no more than what they can handle. Hunter still has his cocky personality and is rough around the edges while McCall is slightly vulnerable this time around. The characters keep evolving and the action keeps getting better. Hunter was definitely back to shock audiences a second time around.

    This set includes all 23 episodes each with its own 45 second teaser in place at the beginning of the episode. It also includes the “Rape and Revenge” two-part episode that was never aired on TBS reruns. The shows are spread out among three slimcases packaged with two discs each and placed in a surrounding cardboard slipcase. Since there is no booklet, the episode descriptions can be found on the reverse of each slimcase just as they are in the Silk Stalkings series. Inside each case you can test your knowledge of Hunter episodes with trivia Q & A.

    Episodes for season two include:

    Disc One
    [*] Case X[*] Night Of The Dragons[*] Biggest Man In Town[*] Rich Girl

    Disc Two
    [*] Killer In A Halloween Mask[*] Rape & Revenge – Part 1[*] Rape & Revenge – Part 2[*] Six Million Dollar Misunderstanding

    Disc Three
    [*] The Big Fall[*] Waiting For Mr. Wrong[*] Think Blue[*] Blow Up

    Disc Four
    [*] War Zone[*] Burned[*] Scrap Metal[*] Fagin 1986

    Disc Five
    [*] 62 Hours Of Terror[*] Death Machine[*] The Set Up[*] The Beautiful And The Dead – Part 1

    Disc Six
    [*] The Beautiful And The Dead – Part 2[*] The Return Of Typhoon Thompson[*] Saturday Night Special

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Filmed in 1.33:1, the picture quality has a dated appearance representing that dull quality of ‘80s film. Thankfully the good quality presentation continues in this second season set. The picture is free from edge enhancement and digital artefacts. Film grain is as expected but it gives this rough ‘80s cop show character. Sometimes the night scenes can be a little too dark, but overall I think it’s accurate because black levels are solid and shadow detail is very good. While Hunter doesn’t have the high contrast of new television series, its ‘80s film look is appealing and oddly enough – comforting, bringing back the memories of late night television.

    [​IMG]AUDIO QUALITY [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The soundtrack was originally mono but it has been redone as stereo. The theme song for Hunter has been redone in fake stereo and all music from the original broadcast has been changed. There is new music included here that sounds worlds apart from the dialogue and sound effects in every episode. The music has a wide soundstage that even wraps around the listener. It even has decent bass, but like the rest of the soundtrack, it’s sibilant. The rest of the soundtrack is rather poor in quality. Like the first season, dialogue is of variable quality and it tends to get lost in the sound effects when it was recorded on set. It is difficult to hear what the actors are saying sometimes. In those quiet moments, the dialogue is clearer and has very little dimension around it. Sound effects have the same problem and a limited in fidelity. Sometimes the sound effects don’t even sound like what they are supposed to because the recording is so bad. This is not a fault of Anchor Bay bringing this to DVD; these are the limitations of the original recording.


    The interviews on disc 6 are the same that are found on the DVD set Silk Stalkings: The Complete Second Season. So for those of you owning both sets it’s a bit of a bummer.

    Four segments of interviews are included here with a total running time of almost 84 minutes. There is not a “play all” option so you’ll have to select them one by one. Three of them are with Stephen J. Cannell and one is with Mike Post, who contributed to the original music in the series. The interviews have pictures occasionally highlighting what is being said, but Cannell’s personal interviews are a little more interesting than the others; they are about him from growing up as a boy and then the start of his production studio and how it grew to be what it is today. Like many, it’s a success story with humble beginnings…

    Unfortunately, the last interview with Stephen J. Cannell and Mike Post reminiscing is screwed up. The audio for this interview is actually the Mike Post interview, so the words are obviously not matching what’s going on screen. The Mike Post interview is working properly.

    The last two features are the script on DVD-ROM for the episode Six Million Dollar Misunderstanding, as well as the international flavour of Hunter: “Six Million Dollar Understanding” with selected scenes in Spanish and French Canadian.


    Still best looking DVD set of all the Cannell Productions released from Anchor Bay, Hunter: The Complete Second Season continues with all of the explosive action that made the first season so popular. I really like this series and its fun to watch. I said it before and I’ll say it again, “It works for me!”

    Michael Osadciw
  2. Justin V

    Justin V Auditioning

    Nov 21, 2004
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    Thanks for the review, Michael.

    This show's been a real favourite of mine for years, so I was really looking forward to the Season 2 DVD. Season 2 gets away from the campiness of Season 1 and, in my opinion, gets stronger by the episode. The last few episodes set the tone for Season 3, which for me is when the show really hit its stride.

    But, as with Season 1, there are a couple of niggles over and above the audio screw-up with the Cannell/Post interview.

    First off, rather than use the Season 2 opening credits, it features the Season 1 credits and theme throughout. I can't imagine why this was done, but it's a shame -- all the more so as the sleeve notes specifically mention the Season 2 opening that we never get to see. The sleeve notes and back cover also have one episode mistitled as "Six Million Dollar Misunderstanding", rather than "Million Dollar Misunderstanding". Maybe they were thinking of another show...

    In common with the Season 1 set, there are music deletions and substitutions in some episodes. Off the top of my head, these are "The Biggest Man in Town" and "Rich Girl". There may be others.

    And for one episode, "The Beautiful and The Dead, Pt 1", the scene selection titles are mislabelled in the menu -- they are actually from the "Fagin 1986" episode.

    I realise there are budgetary constraints for an 80s show like this that may have limited appeal on DVD, and I'm certainly glad to have the set. I have to say the picture quality is terrific for a 20-year-old show.

    Maybe these fluffs are the kind of thing only a fan would notice. Then again, aren't sets like these aimed at the fans? I don't think it's unreasonable to expect better quality control from Cannell and co.
  3. Will_C

    Will_C Second Unit

    Jul 4, 2004
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    That music replacement really drives me bonkers. Those songs running through Rich Girl are completely horrendous. I don't know who exactly is responsible for what, but the work done on this series and Wiseguy leaves alot to be desired. Thank goodness that another of my favorite Cannell series, The A-Team, is being handled by Universal. I guess I can at least be thankful that the shows are coming out, I just feel that I deserve better for my dollar. If they couldn't liscence the music rights, I'd understand. But someone said in a Wiseguy thread that an artist with a song in that series was never contacted about liscensing his song. And not using the correct opening sequence for season 2 is unfathomable. Don't your fans deserve better for their dollar Mr. Cannell? You've made so many great shows for so long, can't you get someone to make sure your shows are given the treatment they deserve on dvd?
  4. Todd Stout

    Todd Stout Screenwriter

    Jul 13, 1999
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    The difference in quality between the music and the original dialog and sound effects can get quite distracting at times. It also would have been nice if they had licensed the original music. But... as long as the price stays low on the Hunter season sets, I'll keep buying them. I picked up season two this week at one of the local Wal Marts for $28. I'd have a really hard time buying these at $40 or $50.

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