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Blu-Ray Review: Fantastic HD Release For Final Season of ‘Lost’

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CHICAGO – A Blu-ray review of the controversial final season of “Lost” is not the place to get into arguments over the quality of the actual finale, so I’ll get my opinion out of the way quickly and then we can discuss the Blu-ray release more than the ending specifically — the final season of “Lost” is arguably the best final season of any program ever and the last episode is the perfect bookend for a show too ambitious to be truly influential. I promise to get into that more in coverage of the upcoming Emmys and in “Best of the Year” features in a few months. For now, let’s move on to the best TV Blu-ray of the season, even if you disagree with my opinion of the quality of the finale or the overall show.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0

The 16 episodes (802 minutes) of “Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season” are presented in 1080p High Definition with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Viewers lucky enough to see the show in its original HD broadcast on ABC know that it’s one of the best on the air. This is a visually sumptuous show and all the Blu-Ray release really has to do is recreate the HD broadcast to be considered a success. The video transfer is nearly flawless. At times, it feels like the colors are a bit more muted than on their initial broadcast, but it’s still an above-average transfer. The audio mix, in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (48kHz/16-bit), is significantly better than the original broadcast. Sound design has always been a significant part of “Lost,” and the Blu-Ray audio track places the appropriate emphasis on that element of the show.

Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season was released on DVD on August 24th, 2010.
Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season was released on DVD on August 24th, 2010.
Photo credit: ABC/Buena Vista

As for special features, it may not be the most extensive collection in the history of “Lost” but the bonus material on season six includes some great featurettes and a fantastic short film that maintain the high caliber of the previous season sets. One by one in the order that you’re likely to encounter them:

Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season was released on DVD on August 24th, 2010.
Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season was released on DVD on August 24th, 2010.
Photo credit: ABC/Buena Vista

“Lost in 8:15: A Crash Course” (8:26) — Before you even hit the main menu of the first disc, you’re presented with the option of watching this detailed look at the first five seasons. It’s an informative featurette that reminded me of the excellent special that aired before the finale — “Lost: The Final Journey.” Why wasn’t that included on this release before the final episode? It’s odd and disappointing that what was such a major part of the event of the final night isn’t a part of the set.

“4 Audio Commentaries” (various) — Co-Creator/Executive Producer Damon Lindelof and Executive Producer Carlton Cuse on “LA X,” Executive Producers and Writers Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz and Actor Michael Emerson on “Dr. Linus,” Writers Melinda Hsu Taylor & Greggory Nations and Actor Nestor Carbonell on “Ab Aterno,” and Co-Creator/Executive Producer Damon Lindelof and Executive Producer Carlton Cuse on “Across the Sea.” As anyone who listened to the podcasts can tell you, Cuse & Lindelof are great speakers and it’s nice to hear from Emerson and Carbonell. Some may feel slighted that the finale doesn’t include a track but there’s enough material about the last episode in the featurettes that it probably would have been repetitive anyway.

“The New Man in Charge” (11:55) — The most highly-buzzed element of “Lost: Season Six” on Blu-ray has to be the new short film that serves as a comic epilogue to the last episode. In case you’re one of those viewers who watches the show on the home market and is still completely unspoiled, I won’t go into any details about it other than to say that it ties up a few loose ends while also offering no concrete punctuation to close the show. As with most things “Lost,” it opens a surprising new door as it closes another. Don’t expect all the answers you thought were missing from the finale but don’t miss it. Even if you were disappointed in the last episode, it’s hard to imagine anyone wouldn’t enjoy this clever short film.

“The End: Crafting a Final Season” (38:33) — “I hope that in hindsight, people will feel that the journey was worth it.” — The meatiest featurette on the sixth season focuses on the art of writing and producing the final act of “Lost.” Instead of just focusing on Cuse, Lindelof, and the other power players of “Lost,” the creators of this brilliant mini-documentary also include interviews with other major TV producers about the art of the final season. Creative powerhouses like Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”), Rob Bowman (“The X-Files”), Stephen J. Cannell (“The A-Team”), and James Burrows (“Cheers”) chime in on both how they ended their series and the end of “Lost.” It’s a great featurette.

Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season was released on DVD on August 24th, 2010.
Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season was released on DVD on August 24th, 2010.
Photo credit: ABC/Buena Vista

“A Hero’s Journey” (8:57) — This one opens with a quote from Joseph Campbell and goes on to examine the role of the hero on “Lost.” The show has often returned to the story of the hero as one of the main questions of the entire arc of the series has been not only what makes a hero but how one comes to terms with being one. As Locke infamously said, “What if everything happened for a reason?” Was Jack meant to be a hero? Sawyer? Locke? Hurley? The featurette examines “Lost” from the inspiration of Greek mythology, the traditional epic, and even “Star Wars.” It’s brief but it would be the BEST featurette on most TV season sets.

“See You in Another Life, Brotha” (8:36) — Naturally, the set needed an examination of the “flash-sideways” thematically and the way it brought back so many former cast members. It’s primarily made up of interviews with the cast about how they developed alternate versions of their well-known characters and they’re enlightening both in terms of the actor’s process and thematically, especially now that we know what it all meant. Explanation of Cuse and Lindelof’s dramatic intention to take the show “back to Oceanic Flight 815” and the characters they began with makes the finale even deeper.

“Lost on Location” (28:40)— 6 episodes — “LA X,” “The Substitute,” “Recon,” “Ab Aeterno,” “Happily Ever After,” and “The Candidate.” Anyone familiar with “Lost” on Blu-ray knows about these detailed behind-the-scenes featurettes shot during the making of each highlighted episode.

“Deleted Scenes” (9:39) — Mostly bits of dialogue. Don’t expect any major revelations or memorable moments.

“Lost Bloopers” (4:09) — Pretty self-explanatory stuff. Actors sure are goofy.

“Lost University” (various) — “Where you can take your next step towards higher education.” The Blu-ray release of “Lost” includes a BD-Live functionality that allows the viewer to access interactive content that takes them deeper into the themes of the show. Interactive BD content has never been of much interest to me but it is notable that the producers of the home release of “Lost” are trying to approach the mysteries of their series in a new way.

Having reviewed every season of “Lost” on DVD/Blu-Ray, it’s hard to believe that it’s come to an end. Writing this review almost feels more like a period than the finale itself. There will be never be another “Lost on Location” and we probably won’t even hear another audio track or see another deleted scene. It’s hard to believe it’s over. Now, who wants to go back to the beginning and watch it all again?

‘Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season’ is released by ABC Studios/Walt Disney Home Entertainment and stars Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Jorge Garcia, Naveen Andrews, Josh Holloway, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Terry O’Quinn, Emilie de Ravin, Henry Ian Cusick, Nestor Carbonell, and Michael Emerson. It was created by J.J. Abrams, Carlton Cuse, and Damon Lindelof. It was released on August 24th, 2010. The show is unrated and runs 802 minutes on five discs.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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