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Falling Skies Season 1 Blu-ray Review

“Falling Skies” falls flat.

In case you haven’t heard of “Falling Skies,” it’s an alien invasion centric television series produced by Steven Spielberg. The series begins 6 months after the alien invasion of Earth where all communications have been cut off. The story focuses on a group of survivors (a combination of soldiers and civilians) who are trying to find weapons, foods, and vehicles while trying to avoid the alien Skitters and Mechs (and later a third type of alien). Throughout the 10 episodes, we get stories about outlaws (namely Pope), rescuing enslaved humans who are attached to a harness device, studying aliens, alien collaborators, and plenty of battles and death.

Right off the bat, it’s clear that “Falling Skies” is desperately trying to emulate gritty apocalyptic films and shows like “Battlestar Galactica,” “Jericho,” “Terminator: Salvation,” and yes, even “The Postman” (the show even borrows cast members from a few of these as well). Unfortunately, borrowing is all Skies seems to do as there is a serious lack of originality in this show. With each passing episode, it’s clear that the writers are just going through the motions as they add clichéd storylines, moronic characters, wooden/lifeless dialogue, and preachy characters who just waste screentime (see history professor Tom ranting about historical comparisons). It’s rushed, lazy, storytelling which is a shame as the premise has real potential.

On the plus side, the production values are first rate here. The sets give a real deserted, post-invasion feel and are the only truly believable aspect of the entire show.

Summary: If you haven’t seen “Falling Skies,” don’t bother checking this series out. If you are a fan, pick this set up before the season 2 premiere on June 17th on TNT.

Video/Audio:

The series, which is presented in 2.4:1 1080p, is clearer than than the TV broadcast to be sure. Unfortunately, the CGI looks worse on Blu-ray as the hi-def clarity points out the CGI’s flaws.

On the bright side, the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track delivers. The more action oriented scenes are noticeably sharp.

Extras:
* Trading card.
* Ultraviolet Digital Copy.
* Commentary on “The Armory” and “Prisoner Of War” by Greg Beeman. He’s talkative and passionate to be sure, but unless you have an interest in this series, there’s no reason to listen to these tracks.
* Commentary on “What Hides Beneath” by Noah Wyle and Mark Verheiden. Zzzz.
* “Unanswered Questions: Season 2 Sneak Peek.”
* Commentary on “Mutiny” and “Eight Hours” by Greg Beeman, Noah Wyle, and Mark Verheiden.
* “Animating A Skitter”- A visual effects featurette about the creation of one of the types of aliens.
* “Falling Skies From Pencils To Printl The Dark Horse Comic Book Revealed”- A featurette about Dark Horse Comics’ “Falling Skies” digital comic series.
* “Falling Skies Panel: San Diego Comic-Con 2011”- The title says it all.
* “The Unknown” and “The Second Mass” behind-the-scenes featurettes about the aliens, the post-apoc world, and the Second Mass Unit group of survivors.

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June 14, 2012 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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