DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

DVD Reviews Pt. 2 of 3


Published on March 1, 2005

Music Videos concl. & Features beginning

Tom Petty Via Blue music video Luminous Visions
Big Sea DVD & CD
The Forgotten Kill Bill 2 Noi David Byrne documentary
The Untouchables
CSI:Miami Star Trek orig. - 6th Star Trek orig. - 7th
Tom Petty video Sound Stage presents Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (2003)
Studio: Koch Vision
Video: 1.45:1 (See text)
Audio: DD 5.1, DD 2.0
Extras: Biography, Photo Gallery, Discography, Backstage Pass, The Band, Interview
Length: 109 minutes
Rating: ****

Tom Petty has been rockin’ since the mid ‘70s and was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. The current group of performers are: Benmont Tench (keyboardist), Steve Ferrone (drummer), Mike Campbell (guitar), Ron Blair (bass), Scott Thurston (keyboards, guitar, harmonica, backing vocals), and of course, Tom Petty (guitar and lead vocals). Soundstage is a live-performance music program that plays on PBS. They have a huge stage (72’x32’) that is two-level and plenty of lights that cover a huge area (over 500’). There are 11 Sony hi-def cameras, some fixed and some moveable to capture the event. In addition, five plasma screens and a 15’ projection screen are utilized to play back live video during the concert. The environment is intimate, the stage is well-lit, and there are pleasant, inoffensive, multicolored lighting effects. It looks to be the venue of a good-sized movie theater. The video is cut well and takes a few seconds (normally) between edits. Most of the time, the camera either zooms in or slowly out until the next cut.
When you include the bonus tracks, the performance is 30 minutes longer than listed. The performance is controlled, although in later songs, Petty lets out a little and gets livelier. The sound quality is good, but the video on the DVD is not normal. The box claims the video is 4:3, but it isn’t. They make a big deal about the concert being captured in high definition, but why isn’t it widescreen? Instead, the video is approximately 1.45:1 and is inset in the 1.33:1 frame. I was able to zoom it on a digital projector to fit close to the 1.78:1 frame, but the picture wasn’t as good. I have no idea why they chose to present it this way. Aside from this strangeness, the DVD is recommended.
Songs included: Baby, Please don’t Go; Crawling Back to You; Handle With Care; I Won’t Back Down; I’m Cryin’; Angel Dream; Melinda; Born in Chicago; Red Rooster; Carol; Refugee; Love is a Long road; You Don’t Know How It Feels; Black Leather woman; I Done Somebody Wrong; I Got a Woman; Thirteen Days; Wake Up Time; Rollin’ in My Sweet Baby’s Arms; Lost Children; Two Men Talkin’; You Wreck Me.
Bonus tracks: Down Home Girl; I’d Like to Love You Baby; Not Fade Away; Walls; Yer So Bad; Billy the Kid. And from another performance: Like a Diamond; Can’t Stop the Sun.
-Brian Bloom
Vida Blue music video Vida Blue with the Spam Allstars: Live at the Fillmore (2004)
Studio: Image Entertainment
Video: Widescreen
Audio: Stereo, DD 5.1
Extras: Team Vida Blue Racing at Thunder Road 2004, “Who’s Laughing Now” in Los Angeles 2004
Length: 130 minutes
Rating: ****

This disc contains concert footage of the sold-out show at San Francisco’s Fillmore. Vida Blue is made up of Phish keyboardist Page McConnell, Allman Brothers’ bassist Oteil Burbridge, and Funky Meters’ drummer Russell Batiste. Accompanying them is the Miami’s Spam Allstars who add four horns, two percussionists, and DJ Le Spam working the turntable. The music is a blend of world music, jazz with sampling, and funk. The keyboardist has questionable vocal ability, but it really doesn’t deter from the overall performance, which grooves from the very beginning.
In case people have been wondering where the band’s name came from, this disc should put that to rest. The Oakland A’s baseball legend, Vida Blue himself, is told the story of how the band came by the name. The music is hip and groovy and has a vibe that you can only get from a live concert venue. With the 5.1 mix there is heavy use of the surround channels and fidelity is very, very good. Video cuts are quick, but not so quick to get you dizzy. You might even recognize a couple of the cover tunes: “Sheep” by Pink Floyd and “Pick Up The Pieces” by Average White Band. There’s only one good way to describe this disc—fun. Check it out. Songs included in this set: Most Events Aren’t Planned; Ochimini; Where’s Popeye’s; Just Kissed My Baby; Russell’s Tune; Elektra Glide; Sheep; Little Miami (Reputation); CJ3; Cars Trucks Buses; Pick Up The Pieces.
-Brian Bloom
Luminous Visisions animation Luminous Visions – Animation by Yoichiro Kawaguchi; Music by Tangerine Dream [DVD plus CD]
Studio: The Mind’s Eye/Sony Music Entertainment (SMV)
Video: 4:3 full screen color
Audio: Dolby Digital stereo
Extras: Full-length Tangerine Dream CD included, Film chronology of Kawaguchi, Interview with Tang, Clips from other Odyssey The Mind’s Eye videos
Length: 45 minutes for DVD
Rating: ***

This is basically a collection of the unusual animation of Kawguchi, who has pioneered the freeform generation of computer animated 3D worlds – mostly “organisms” that interact, dancing and flowing in time to the trippy electronic scores of Tangerine Dream. There are 11 discrete shorts run end to end, each with appropriate musical accompaniment. It seems the four or five-member group Tang has been pared down to founder Edgar Froese and his son (who in the interview says not a word). But perhaps with all the electronica at their fingertips two people can easily create similar sounds to a whole band. Anyone interested in cutting edge animation will find this one fascinating. I find visiting two or three of these cyber-worlds at a time enough myself. The images are not very high-resolution; in fact in the earliest ones they are quite basic due to the much less sophisticated equipment available to Kawaguchi at that time. But since they are constantly flowing and metamorphizing one isn’t seriously troubled by this.
The animations are: The Conception, Sea Dance, Exponential Growth, Hyperkinetic, Perpetual Fusion, Focal Point, Spherical, Liquid Life, Morphological Inception, Exotica, Artificial Life Trip.
- John Sunier
Great Big Sea DVD & CDGreat Big Sea – Great Big DVD & CD; Zoe Vision/Rounder Records 01143-1059-2 CD+DVD – Rating: *** 1/2

This set includes a standard audio CD and DVD of Great Big Sea, Canada’s multiplatinum celtic-rock quintet, live in concert in Ottawa. It was released soon after their latest studio album, Something Beautiful. The DVD is in 1.33:1 aspect ratio and comes with a 5.1 surround or stereo mix. Concert footage is 78 minutes and the crowd is up and cheering intensely while the band plays. Video cuts are every few seconds varying between close-ups of band members, wide shots of the entire group, and crowd shots. The lead singer has a country-western sounding voice, but the celtic sound comes through on every tune with a variety of instruments. On the DVD there are karaoke versions of three songs—“Mari-Mac,” “Goin’ Up,” and “Ordinary Day” and 13 videos are included of “Run Runaway,” “When I’m Up,” “End of the World,” “Consequence Free,” “Feel It Turn,” “Can’t Stop Falling,” “Everything Shines,” “Sea of no Cares,” “Stumbling In,” “Clearest Indication,” and the three karaoke tunes. There is a three and a half minute long section of home movies, and a 28 minute long documentary called “Meet GBS” where band members talk on all topics related to themselves and the band. There is also a biography section with text covering the years 1993-2002. The audio quality is good and if you like celtic folk-rock then this will be worth a listen. Songs included are: Donkey Riding; When I’m Up; Sea Of No Cares; Boston And St. John’s; The Night Pat Murphy Died; Stumbling In; Jack Hinks; Goin Up; General Taylor; Lukey; Clearest Indication; I’m A Rover; Everything Shines; Mari-Mac; Consequence Free; Ordinary Day; End Of The World; Excursion Around The Bay; Fortune Set; The Old Black Rum.
-Brian Bloom
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The Forgotten The Forgotten (Widescreen Edition)(2004)
Starring: Julianne Moore, Dominic West, Gary Sinise, Alfred Woodard, Anthony Edwards, Linus Roache
Directed by: Joseph Ruben
Studio: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment
Video: 1.85:1
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Thai Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles and Captions: English, French, Chinese, Korean and Thai
Extras: Director and writer commentary; two film versions (theatrical and extended cut); two featurettes (“On the Set: The Making of The Forgotten” and “Remembering The Forgotten”); alternate ending; deleted scenes; previews
Length: 91 minutes
Rating: ***1/2

Telly Paretta’s nine-year-old son, Sam, died in a plane crash a little over one year ago. Telly continues to grieve for Sam but suddenly Telly’s husband and her psychiatrist begin telling her that Sam never existed and that she is suffering from delusions. Telly tries to disprove them but all evidence of Sam’s existence has disappeared. Desperate to keep her memory of Sam alive, Telly turns to an ex-hockey player named Ash whose daughter supposedly died in the same plane crash as Sam. Initially, Ash does not recall ever having a daughter but Telly convinces him otherwise. Together, they set out to discover what has really happened to their children and why it appears that there is a conspiracy to cover it up. The Forgotten is a tense, gripping thriller. The film has several special effects sequences that caused me to jump out of my seat. It has a solid cast, led by Julianne Moore, that collectively turns in a powerful performance. Fans of the science fiction genre and television shows like The X-Files will definitely want to check out this movie. Recommended.
The overall video quality of this DVD is excellent. Images are unblemished with fine detail. Colors are dark and accurate with saturated hues. Picture defect mastering is perfect with no major flaws or artifacts. The overall audio quality is very good with the English Dolby Digital 5.1 track serving as the basis for this review. The soundtrack mix features a nice balance between the forward and rear soundstages. Dialogue is crisp and intelligible. The surround channels are moderately active and are used for both ambient sound effects and the music score. The low frequency channel is deep and powerful. Tactile sounds are present as subtle to heavy impacts from the music and sound effects.
Reference equipment used for this review: Video projector- Studio Experience Cinema 17SF; Projection screen- Vutec 103” SilverStar; DVD player- V, Inc. Bravo D1; A/V Receiver- Sherwood Newcastle R-963T; Speakers- BIC DV62si mains, DV62CLRs center, Adatto DV52si rears, D1210R subwoofer; Tactile Transducers- Clark Synthesis Gold; Video Switcher- Key Digital SW4x1; Cables/Wires- Bettercables.com

- Calvin Harding, Jr.
Kill Bill 2 Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)
Starring: Uma Thurman, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine
Studio: Miramax
Video: 2.35:1 Widescreen Enhanced for 16:9
Audio: DD 5.1, DTS 5.1, French 5.1
Extras: The Making of Kill Bill Vol. 2 (25 min), CHINGON Performance from the Premiere, Damoe Deleted Scene
Length: 137 minutes
Rating: ***1/2

This is the second half of the movie Kill Bill, by Quentin Tarantino. Although Volume 1 and 2 were released as separate films, they are a single cohesive story. If you haven’t seen the first film, then you need to go get that one first. Otherwise, you will have the feeling that you are reading a book from the middle to the end. Beatrix Kiddo a.k.a The Bride continues her vengeance upon the remaining group of assassins who tried to have her killed. In the first film, we learned of the elimination of two characters and the maiming of another, and now we will witness two more until she reaches her final goal—to kill Bill. The viewer learns all about The Bride’s training, more about the assassination attempt on her life dubbed the Massacre at Two Pines, and the discovery of her pregnancy. It definitely won’t be easy, but she’s determined and has the skill to match. Watch out Bill!
This film is very violent, but not nearly as graphic as the first—meaning, I don’t recall anyone’s limbs being chopped off in multiple scenes. There are a few uncomfortable moments—one with an eye—but for the most part there is more meat to the story than all out fighting. However, one of the more anticipated fight scenes, and probably the best in both films, is the confrontation between Elle, Bill’s new squeeze, and The Bride. The excitement will put you on the edge of your seat, and it doesn’t have the stuffy, staged, faked quality that tends to spoil the realism of other fight scenes. Tarantino describes the first film as the mythology of the character, while the second focuses on character development. Carradine’s (paraphrased) comment is as good as any: “…Quentin isn’t looking to make violent films per se, but to get an inside look at the mind and the heart of violent people.”
Like the auteur of old, Tarantino has begun to create a following—fans who anxiously await his next picture. The films do differ in style, but the characters and flow are very much the same. For those who love what I’d pen as Tarantinoisms, the characters will, every once in a while, drift into philosophical discussions or ponderings on points of interest that may be out of character. It is as if Tarantino himself occupies the character for a moment to say something witty or offer a diatribe that he believes his fans will enjoy. In Reservoir Dogs (in the scene at breakfast) it brought the viewer down to the level of the common criminal to show that these glamorized hardened men could still have a silly discussion about the lyrics of Madonna’s Like A Virgin. In Pulp Fiction, a movie that many people consider to be his best (although I would point out that Jackie Brown is in some ways superior), John Travolta’s character talks about the reason that McDonald’s Quarter-pounder is not called that in Europe, and the two otherwise “serious” hitmen discuss the implications of massaging a person’s feet, etc, etc. These types of conversations continue throughout the film adding to the final work in a positive way. However, in this film, every time I heard a character speak in this manner, I was unable to stop imagining Quentin standing there repeating the lines himself. What was otherwise a fairly heavy handed revenge story became a light-hearted interruption. It was as if the screen faded and there was a voice over in the middle of a scene for no reason other than to insert these little tidbits of social commentary. Uma Thurman is another problem I have with this movie. Rescuing David Carradine from those terrible B-Movies he’s done doesn’t bother me. Sometimes Tarantino’s reverence and nostalgia for old characters (in this case Kane from Kung Fu) causes him to make questionable judgments, but that is his right. However, I’ll be hard pressed to call Thurman an actress. She drifts between mediocrity and plain bad acting. In some scenes she manages to be convincing, but in others (ex. the start of the film and her B&W monologue while driving) seems stiff and weak. Maybe I’m thinking too old school when acting was considering an important requirement for filmmaking. Aside from these complaints, there is more than enough in the movie to make it worthwhile. Although I may not agree with all Quentin’s decisions, it is clear he is a gifted filmmaker. I hate to say it, but I too, have become one of his fans who will anxiously await his next film.
The picture quality is gorgeous throughout the film however there is a problem with the sound. At 16:58 in chapter four there is a loud “beep” that occurs for a little over a second. I’m not sure if this was a problem with the original film (as I didn’t see it in the theater), but it is definitely a problem on the DVD. Maybe it is just a problem with the DVD I was sent, but it looks like a production version and gives no indication it is a pre-production screener. What to do? Perhaps an email to Miramax is in order.
-Brian Bloom
Noi (Icelandandic film) Noi (2003)
Starring: Tomas Lemarquis, Prostur Leo Gunnarsson, Elin Hansdottir, Anna Fridriksdottir
Studio: Artisan/ Palm Pictures
Video: 1.66:1 Widescreen enhanced for 16:9
Audio: DD 5.1 Icelandic w/ English subtitles
Extras: Deleted Scenes, Making of Featurette (subject to change as none of these were available on the screener), U.S. Theatrical Trailer, Preview (Springtime in a Small Town; Millennium Mambo)
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: *** 1/2

Noi is a seventeen year old underachiever stuck in a small town in Iceland. Although his teachers think he is a nuisance and an idiot, deep inside is the spark of an under stimulated genius. To pass the time he goes under his home into the basement to think in solitary or passes the local bookshop for a bit of philosophy from the jaded bookstore owner. He lives with his grandmother and only gets very infrequent visits from his father who encourages him to go to school and try to make something of himself (even though it is clear his father isn’t much of a success). When the bookstore owner’s city-dwelling daughter begins work in the gas station, Noi’s romantic feelings cause unrest in him. He woos her and dreams of them escaping from the ice-cold barren surroundings in which they currently reside. But as everyone has discovered from time to time, the force of his convictions may be enough to start the proverbial snowball, but not enough to keep it going. It is nature that will decide the course of events to come.
Noi is quite an impressive attempt by first-time filmmaker Dagur Kari. When the movie begins you might think your color is off on your monitor because of the intense palette of yellows, greens, and blues—colors that give the film an overly exposed quality. Throughout the film color is used in key moments for emphasis—mainly when the characters are able to escape their bleak surroundings. Noi’s grandmother gives him a Fisher Price Viewmaster (the red toy that you hold up to the light to see pictures on a small disc), and it is the picture of a tropical island with palm trees and ocean—a daydream that he revisits throughout the film. The film is a drama, but is not without elements that will give the viewer a chuckle or two. It’s a coming of age film where it may not be the main character who is lost, but all those around him. It’s dark in a way, and the absurd ending is quizzical, sad, yet necessary to signal the new beginning for the main character. Film enthusiasts will find more to appreciate in the film than casual viewers.
-Brian Bloom
Ile Aiye Ile Aiye (The House of Life) (1989)
Studio: Plexifilm
Video: Color/B&W 1.33:1 full frame from 16mm & video
Audio: DD 2.0 in English and Portuguese w/ subtitles
Extras: Audio Commentary by David Byrne recorded in 2004
Length: 51 minutes
Rating: ***1/2

David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame) has had a longstanding interest in the music and culture of the world. Here, he has turned this fascination into a somewhat unusual documentary film about Candomble, the Brazilian spirit cult of the Bahia region in Brazil. In the 1500s, slaves from Africa were brought over to South America, and, although their religion was forbidden, they concealed it by using Catholic icons (Saints). During the film these Saints are shown inside the titled sections of film. The sections are similar to chapters in books and are full of different music that is translated into English. The music is very rhythmic, predominantly filled with differing drum beats and a vocal leader along with an answering chorus.
Byrne uses small parts of the film frame to show references to other cultures that relate to the on-screen action and describes it in further detail on the commentary. There is a fluid feel to the film filled with dancing and music throughout. There are no lengthy interviews with theologians or history professors. Instead, there are key parts with actual participants of the culture and even children describing their beliefs. The dance is described as: “a poem in movement and song.” Women are the link between society and the gods. When a high priestess is taken over (and enters into a trance-like state) during the ritual dancing, she evokes deities who are “intermediaries between mortals and the supreme forces of nature.” Without any further information it would be hard to believe that any other element of culture exists. The members are happy, energetic, and filled with a sense of peace. The film shows the links between the religion and the normal activities of secular Brazilian life. As extras, the commentary really explains the entire film, and there are liner notes by Luc Sante that delve deep into the culture and the religion and offer further explanations of what Byrne has presented in the film.
-Brian Bloom
The Untouchables The Untouchables (1987)
Starring: Kevin Costner, Charles Martin Smith, Andy Garcia, Robert De Niro, Sean Connery
Studio: Paramount
Video: 2.35:1 Widescreen Enhanced for 16:9
Audio: DD 5.1 EX, DD 2.0, French 2.0
Extras: The Script, The Cast (18 min); Production Stories (17 min); Re-inventing the Genre (14 min); The Classic (5 min); Featurette—The Men (5 min); Trailer
Length: 119 minutes
Rating: ****

It’s Chicago in the 30s; a time of prohibition and corruption—the time of Al Capone. The government has sponsored a special organization of men to combat the illegal sale of alcohol and the head of the group is the infamous Eliot Ness. With his crack team of hand-selected members, the Untouchables (as they become known), he sets his sights on the man who practically runs the town and is, in many ways, an untouchable himself. As the men get closer to their goal they meet with heavy obstacles, especially an associate of Capone who ruthlessly eliminates all those who threaten to damage his boss. “What are you prepared to do?” Malone asks of Ness. Strong will and determination (regardless of personal danger) drive the Untouchables to bring Capone to justice.
There are so many elements of this film that make it successful—from the score by Ennio Morricone to the wonderful sets and style established by Patrizia Von Brandenstein and Stephen H. Burum. Brian De Palma’s insistence on using Robert De Niro as Capone was masterful and once viewing his performance it is hard to imagine anyone else in the role. Of the rest of the cast, Sean Connery was really the only other star at the time, but all the other leading men prove more than worthy for the task at hand. The combination of excellent script (by David Mamet) and stellar direction by De Palma leave little to be desired. Many of the scenes and quotes are instantly recalled upon the mention of the movie by fans from the horrific scene with the baseball bat, the “you don’t got the bookkeeper” scene to “he pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He puts one of yours in the hospital, you put one of his in the morgue!” Be prepared to be transported to another time, a time of gangsters and those who choose to uphold the law and lead by example. For those who have not seen the film in many years, now is the time to revisit it and appreciate it for what it is—a modern day classic.
-Brian Bloom
CSI: Miami 2nd seasonCSI: Miami – Complete Second Season (2003-2004)
Starring: David Caruso, Emily Procter, Rory Cochrane, Adam Rodriguez, Khandi Alexander, Sophia Milos
Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
Video: 1.78:1 Enhanced for Widescreen
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby 2.0
Subtitles: English Closed Captions
Extras: “CSI: Miami – Visually Effective” featurette, “The Trace Lab Tour” featurette, “The A/V Lab Tour” featurette, “CSI: Miami – Recalling Season 2” featurette, audio commentaries for seven episodes, episode access
Running Time: 1,043 minutes
Rating: ****
A spin-off of the hugely successful CSI television show, CSI: Miami follows a Miami forensics unit headed by former homicide detective Horatio Caine. Caine and his team of specialists use their intellect and high-tech scientific equipment to gather and analyze evidence requisite to solve crimes. Memorable episodes from the second season include: “Dead Zone” in which a man is harpooned while searching for sunken treasure; “Stalkerazzi” where a celebrity photographer is found dead in his vehicle after an apparent car accident but Caine believes the photographer was murdered instead; “Bait” in which a woman is attacked and killed by a shark but it is later discovered that she was shot first; and “MIA/NY – Non Stop” where an investigation of a young girl’s murdered parents leads Caine to New York where he meets up with the CSI: NY team. The entire twenty-four episodes from the 2003-2004 season plus the special features are contained on seven discs. (Disc One: Blood Brothers, Dead Zone, Hard Time, Death Grip. Disc Two: The Best Defense, Hurricane Anthony, Grand Prix, Big Brother. Disc Three: Bait, Extreme, Complications, Witness to Murder. Disc Four: Blood Moon, Slow Burn, Stalkerazzi, Invasion. Disc Five: Money for Nothing, Wannabe, Deadline, The Oath. Disc Six: Not Landing, Rap Sheet, MIA/NYC – Non Stop, Innocent. Disc Seven: Special Features).
The overall video quality for CSI: Miami – The Complete Second Season is excellent. Images are pristine with razor sharp detail. Colors are vivid and bold with fully saturated hues. Black levels are deep and dark. Picture defect mastering is perfect with no major flaws or digital compression artifacts. The overall audio quality is very good with the English Dolby Digital 5.1 track serving as the basis for this review. The soundtrack mix predominantly favors the forward soundstage. Dialogue is crisp and intelligible. The surround channels are moderately active and used for both ambient sound effects and the music score. Tactile sound effects are present in the form of light impacts that originate from the sound effects and music.
Reference equipment used for this review: Video monitor- NetTV DTV-34XRT; Video scaler- Silicon Image iScan Pro; DVD player- Philips DVDQ35AT; A/V Receiver- Sherwood Newcastle R-963T; Speakers- Acoustech 5.1 channel system, DV62CLRs center, Adatto DV52si rears, D1210R subwoofer; Tactile Transducer- Clark Synthesis Gold; Cables and Wires- Bettercables.com

- Calvin Harding Jr.
Star Trek original 6th Star Trek: Voyager– The Complete Sixth Season (1999-2000)
Starring: Kate Mulgrew, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo, Garrett Wang, Tim Russ, Robert Beltran, Roxann Dawson, Robert Duncan McNeill, Jeri Ryan
Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
Video: 4:3 Fullscreen
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby 2.0 Surround
Subtitles: English Closed Captions
Extras: Five featurettes (“Braving the Unknown: Season Six”, “Voyager Time Capsule: Chakotay”, “One Small Step: A Mars Encounter”, “Red Alert! Amazing Visual Effects”, and “Guest Star Profile: Vaughn Armstrong”); “Lost Transmissions from the Delta Quadrant” hidden files, photo gallery
Length: 1,163 minutes
Rating: ****

The U.S.S. Voyager is an elite Federation starship commanded by Captain Kathryn Janeway. In a freak occurrence, Voyager is transported by an alien space probe to the Delta Quadrant. This particular quadrant is located some 70,000 light-years from Federation space. Janeway is thereafter faced with the daunting mission of trying to guide her ship and crew back home. Along their journey, the crew of Voyager encounters new alien species as well as having many memorable adventures. Highlights from the sixth season include: “Barge of the Dead” where B’Elanna Torres embarks on a journey to Klingon hell; “Riddles” in which Tuvok suffers neurological damage upon returning from a diplomatic mission; “One Small Step” where Voyager searches for a long-lost, manned Mars spacecraft, and “Pathfinder” in which Lt. Barclay (of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” fame) attempts to make contact with Voyager from Earth. The entire twenty-six episodes from the 1999-2000 season plus the special features are spread out over seven discs. (Disc One: Equinox Part II, Survival Instinct, Barge of the Dead, Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy. Disc Two: Alice, Riddles, Dragon’s Teeth, One Small Step. Disc Three: The Voyager Conspiracy, Pathfinder, Fair Haven, Blink of an Eye. Disc Four: Virtuoso, Memorial, Tsunkatse, Collective. Disc Five: Spirit Folk, Ashes to Ashes, Child’s Play, Good Shepherd. Disc Six: Live Fast and Prosper, Muse, Fury, Life Line. Disc Seven: The Haunting of Deck Twelve, Unimatrix Zero Part I, Special Features).
Season Six’s video quality is very good. Images are unblemished with fine detail. Colors are robust and warm with saturated hues. Black levels are consistently deep and dark throughout. Picture defect mastering is solid with no major flaws or defects. The overall audio quality is also very good with the English Dolby Digital 5.1 track serving as the basis for this review. The soundtrack mix favors the forward soundstage. Dialogue is clean and intelligible. Surround channels are moderately active and used for both ambient effects and the music score. The LFE channel is crisp and tight. The quality and quantity of tactile sound effects vary amongst episodes, ranging from fair to good.
- Calvin Harding Jr.
Star Trek original - 7th Star Trek: Voyager– The Complete Seventh Season (2000-2001)
Starring: Kate Mulgrew, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo, Garrett Wang, Tim Russ, Robert Beltran, Roxann Dawson, Robert Duncan McNeill, Jeri Ryan
Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
Video: 4:3 Fullscreen
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby 2.0 Surround
Subtitles: English Closed Captions
Extras: Five featurettes (“Braving the Unknown: Season Seven”, “Voyager Time Capsule: The Doctor”, “Coming Home: The Final Episode”, “Real Science with Andre Bormanis”, and “The Making of Borg Invasion 4-D”); “Lost Transmissions from the Delta Quadrant” hidden files; photo gallery; storyboards; scene access
Length: 1,138 minutes
Rating: ****

The U.S.S. Voyager is an elite Federation starship commanded by Captain Kathryn Janeway. In a freak occurrence, Voyager is transported by an alien space probe to the Delta Quadrant. This particular quadrant is located some 70,000 light-years from Federation space. Janeway is thereafter faced with the daunting mission of trying to guide her ship and crew back home. Along their journey, the crew of Voyager encounters new alien species as well as having many memorable adventures. Highlights from the seventh season include: “Q2” where Q returns with his son to visit Voyager; “Author Author” in which The Doctor continues work on his new holo-novel; “Inside Man” where Lt. Reginald Barclay comes aboard Voyager in holographic form to implement his newest rescue plan; and “Endgame Parts I and II” where Janeway travels back in time in an attempt to expedite Voyager’s return home. The entire twenty-six episodes from the 2000-2001 season plus the special features are contained on seven discs. (Disc One: Unimatrix Zero Part II, Imperfection, Drive, Repression. Disc Two: Critical Care, Inside Man, Body and Soul, Nightingale. Disc Three: Flesh and Blood Part I, Flesh and Blood Part II, Shattered, Lineage. Disc Four: Repentance, Prophecy, The Void, Workforce Part I. Disc Five: Workforce Part II, Human Error, Q2, Author Author. Disc Six: Friendship One, Natural Law, Homestead, Renaissance Man. Disc Seven: Endgame Part I, Endgame Part II, Special Features).
Season Seven’s video quality is very good. Images are crisp with sharp detail. Colors are dark and rich with well-saturated hues. Black levels are uniformly deep throughout. Picture defect mastering is commendable with no major flaws or defects. The overall audio quality is also very good with the English Dolby Digital 5.1 track serving as the basis for this review. The soundtrack mix favors the forward soundstage. Dialogue is natural sounding and securely positioned in the center channel. Surround channels are fairly active and used for both ambient effects and the music score. The LFE channel is tight and punchy. The quality and quantity of tactile sound effects vary amongst episodes, ranging from fair to good.
- Calvin Harding Jr.



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