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Fringe Season 3 and Supernatural Season 6 Blu-ray Reviews

 

The stand alone episodes are more interesting than the story arcs in the sixth season of “Supernatural”.

The third season of “Fringe” is convoluted.

Fringe Season 3

In the 22 episode third season of “Fringe,” the story seesaws back and forth between the “real” universe and the parallel universe. The season starts out with the parallel universe Olivia being in the real universe while the real world Olivia is in the parallel universe. Naturally, the real world Olivia wants to return home. Aside from that key point, other plots include the Fringe teams in both universes investigating cases involving a powerful metal box, an autistic man who can create chain reactions, a shapeshifter, twins, an odd radio transmission, a creepy kidnapper, an organ stealer, a rock star, a doomsday machine, a bone disolving criminal, bugs, LSD, Bell body hoping, and strange metals. There also several big onging story arcs involving the machine, parallel universe Olivia sleeping with real world Peter, changes in space time, parallel universe Olivia’s pregnancy, and a rather significant arc involving Peter.

When the parallel universe arc was first introduced, I was intrigued to see how it was going to play out in the series. The exploration of the parallel universe in season two was actually intriguing and that season was arguably the best to date. Unfortunately, that intrigue doesn’t quite carry over in season 3. The parallel universe story arc has unfortunately become overly complicated and the writing staff seem to be running that story into the ground now. Judging by how season 4 is going, things aren’t getting any better for the show as it continues to lose viewers due to poorly written stories.

For those that miss the stand alone episode formula of season one, you get a litle bit of that here but not much. There are stand alone Fringe cases, but each episode always has a connection to the ongoing story arcs. It’s all very ambitious, but the execution is a bit messy.

On the plus side, I have to give props to the cast (namely Anna Torv and John Noble) as they play not one, but two characters now. That’s a very challenging order for an actor, but the cast manages to pull it off quite well. In fact, their acting is often more interesting than the episodes themselves.

Summary: “Fringe” fans may dig this third season, but it’s not the show’s finest hour in my book.

Video/Audio:

The 1.78:1 1080p picture quality is generally impressive. The colors are sharp, the F/X look good, that’s really all you can ask of a TV show in hi-def.  

This 5.1 DTS-HD audio track is an example of how all TV shows should sound on Blu-ray. Bravo.

Extras:
* BD-Live capabilities.
* A dull commentary on “The Plateau” by producer Jeff Pinkner, writer Monica Owusu-Breen and editor Timothy A. Good.
* Maximum Episode Mode: Glimmer To The Other Side includes creator commentary, behind-the-scenes footage, pop-up extras chatting about how scenes were made, etc.
* A 3 minute gag reel.
* 3 network promos.
* “Animating The Lysergic Acid Diethylamide Episode”- A featurette about the animated sequences in episode 19.
* “Secrets Of Fringe: The First People”- Questions and answers about the first people.
* “Constructing An Extra-Sensory Soundscape”- A featurette on the music score on the series.
* “Duality Of Worlds”- A 4 part featurette that covers the parallel universe, visuals, the machine, acting, and costumes.
* Commentary on “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide” by Jay Worth, Tanya Swerling and Luyen Vu. Another quiet and dull track.

Supernatural Season 6

After Sam is in hell, Dean moves on with his life and lives with Lisa and her son. Sam winds up returning a year later and the brothers eventually get back to work once again. However, things aren’t quite the same at first as Sam has no soul. Viewers can expect to see the following in these 22 episodes: A parent killer/baby kidnapper, Dean turning into a vampire, police officers dying of Egypt plagues, angels Castiel and Balthazar, Crowley, fairies, Sam’s soul, dragons, mannequins, hunters, Titanic, an outlaw, time traveling, purgatory, an angel named Raphael, Samuel Campbell, and Eve. What does this all mean? That would be spoiling.

Like “The X-Files,” “Supernatural” seems to work best with stand alone episodes. For the most part, the season story arcs just aren’t very engaging. Season 6’s stories about Sam’s souls and the angels (Castiel and Balthazar) are completely drawn out and worse- boring. Thankfully, there are a few gems spread out across the season to make it worthwhile. The vampire centic episode cleverly titled “Live Free Or Twihard” is an enjoyable hour as is the western episode “Frontierland”. The real highlight here, however is the creative alternate universe episode titled “The French Mistake”. In this ep., Sam and Dean are Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles starring on a show called “Supernatural”. It’s a clever alternate universe/art imitates life episode that pokes fun at the actors and even the show’s low ratings! It’s a shame every episode can’t be this good.

Summary: At this point, it’s safe to say that the sixth season set is for “Supernatural” fans only.

Video/Audio:

The 1.78:1 1080p picture quality= great. Nothing more needs to be said.

The 5.1 DTS-HD audio track is satisfactory. It’s not the best, but it’s not the worst.

Extras:
* BD-Live capabilities.
* “Jensen Ackles: A Director’s Journey”- A behind-the-scenes featurette about Jensen Ackles directorial debut for “Weekend At Bobby’s”.
* Commentary on “Clap Your Hands If You Believe” by Sarah Gamble, Robert Singer, and Ben Edlund. Expect discussions about “The X-Files,” jokes, stories, etc.
* “The French Mistake” trivia track.
* Commentary on “The French Mistake” by Sarah Gamble, Robert Singer and Bed Edlund. Expect more of the same.
* “All Hell Breaks Loose Parts 1 and 2” from the dreadful “Supernatural: The Anime Series”.

* 4 ½ minutes of alternate takes and outtakes from “The French Mistake”.
* “Supernatural And The Quest For The Soul”- A featurette about souls.
* “The Hunter’s Guide To Season 6”- An interactive feature where you can access interviews, information about episodes, production featurettes, etc.

* An amusing 11 minute gag reel with more goofy Jensen Ackles antics.

November 20, 2011 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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