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Blu-Ray Review: ‘Lost: Season Four’ With Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly Worth Finding on Blu-Ray

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CHICAGO – Rivaling “24” and “The Simpsons” as the TV series with the most in-depth, remarkable season DVD sets, “Lost” continues to impress with the Blu-Ray release of season four, a technically flawless presentation with a series of unique special features that should impress casual fans and make the hardcore ones drool.

The end of the third season of “Lost” revealed that Jack and Kate made it off the island and that life was not too good on the mainland. The revelation opened the door for a reinvigoration of the series in season four, returning it to the ranks of the best programs on television. As audiences learned more and more about the fate of the inhabitants of the “Lost” island, the sometimes rambling quality of the show started to come into focus. Viewers who complained that the “Lost” writers were making it up as they went along felt more confident that the series was actually heading towards a concrete and exciting end-point. The fourth season of “Lost” was the best since the first and even fans who gave up on the show in season two and three would be wise to revisit the island in this excellent Blu-Ray release.

Lost: The Complete Fourth Season is available on DVD/Blu-ray December 9, 2008.
Lost: The Complete Fourth Season is available on DVD/Blu-ray December 9, 2008.
Photo credit: © ABC Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The 14 episodes (604 minutes) of “Lost: Season Four” 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 not flawless, but it’s pretty close to it and the audio mix, in English 5.1 Uncompressed (48kHz/16-bit) Audio (with a French 5.1 and Spanish 2.0 track also available), 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.

What has been truly remarkable about the first three season releases of “Lost” has been the extensive and detailed special features. The fourth season may have been strike-shortened, but it is not missing anything in the arena of bonus features. Five episodes include commentaries (detailed below) and the fifth BD disc includes hours of special features. One at a time:

Naveen Andrews. Lost: The Complete Fourth Season is available on DVD December 9, 2008.
Naveen Andrews. Lost: The Complete Fourth Season is available on DVD December 9, 2008.
Photo credit: © ABC Studios. All Rights Reserved.

“4 Audio Commentaries” (Various) - Evangeline Lilly and Jorge Garcia on the season premiere, “The Beginning of the End”. Editor Mark Goldman, Co-Creator. Executive Producer Damon Lindelof, and Executive Producer Carlton Cuse on Episode 4.5, “The Constant”. Director Stephen Semel, Actor Daniel Dae Kim, and Actor Yunjin Kim on Episode 4.7, “Ji Yeon”. Executive Producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse on Episode 4.13, “No Place Like Home (Part 2)”.

“The Right to Bear Arms” (11:15) - A featurette on the history of weapons usage in “Lost”. Guns have played a bigger role in the show than you might imagine. Ammunition is power on an island. This is a surprisingly informative featurette, asking and answering interesting questions that have been a part of the series since season one like “Who has the Marshall’s gun?” It points out how important weapons have been to the trajectory of characters like Sayid, Kate, and Jack. There’s a chart that tracks the five guns from season one - who has them, where are they - and interviews a continuity expert that tracks that information and how it might play into future conflicts.

“The Freighter Folk” (12:40) - A featurette that examines the new characters who came to the “Lost” island from the freighter. Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies), Frank Lapidus (Jeff Fahey), Charlotte Lewis (Rebecca Mader), and Miles Straume (Ken Leung).

“The Island Backlot: Lost in Hawaii (17:53) - The entire show with the exception of four scenes has been shot on Oahu. All of Eko’s Africa scenes, the footage in the Middle East with Sayid, everything that happens in Australia, and the Korean scenes with Jin and Yun - all shot in Hawaii. This excellent featurette details how the crew uses the islands to recreate the world of “Lost” and how important it is for the cast to actually shoot in conditions similar to what their character is experiencing instead of on a back lot.

“The Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lies” (21:16) - A very entertaining, humorous, and possibly enlightening “fake documentary” about the six characters who escaped the island at the end of season four and how the world already doubts their story of survival. Footage of the survivors leaving the plane, giving a press conference, and much more practically make this a bridge between season four and five. Considering it runs just around the same length as a half-hour TV show (with commercials) don’t be surprised to see ABC air it just before the premiere of the new season on January 21st to catch up and entertain fans of the series.

“Offshore Shoot” (7:50) - Arguably the “simplest” featurette about the freighter set and shooting offshore. No, it’s not easy to shoot on a boat.

Michael Emerson. Lost: The Complete Fourth Season is available on DVD December 9, 2008.
Naveen Andrews. Lost: The Complete Fourth Season is available on DVD December 9, 2008.
Photo credit: © ABC Studios. All Rights Reserved.

“Soundtrack of Survival: Composing for Character, Conflict, & The Crash” (26:21) - The world symphonic premiere of Michael Giacchino’s score for Lost by the Honolulu Symphony Pops. The Blu-Ray disc includes extra footage including “The Others Theme”.

“Lost on Location” (41:54) - Fans of the series will be familiar with this amazing series, which feature interviews and on-location footage shot during actual episode production.

“Course of the Future: The Definitive Flash-Forwards” (Various) - All of the Flash-Forwards that were included in season four are available in clip-form, which the user then has to assemble chronologically like a puzzle. Some are easy. Some are harder than you might think. After the user has successfully organized the clips, each character can be followed through their post-island experience, complete with script excerpts and story direction from the Lost writers, a bonus only available on the Blu-Ray version. The Play All option of all the Flash-Forwards with comments by the writers, stars and crew runs about an hour.

“Lost: Missing Pieces Mobisodes” (31:22) - Brief episodes of “Lost” for mobile phones. Not quite episodes and not quite deleted scenes, they do add something to the fabric of the series but only for hardcore fans whom might get a thrill watching Jack and Ben play chess.

“Deleted Scenes” (9:11) - There’s nothing of significance here. Of course, they’re all dialogue-driven scenes that were cut for pacing. They didn’t delete anything that sheds any light on the complex plot.

“Lost Bloopers” (3:22) - Self-explanatory on-set hijinks.

‘Lost: Season Four’ 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, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Michael Emerson. It was created by J.J. Abrams, Carlton Cuse, and Damon Lindelof. It will be released on December 9th, 2008.

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Staff Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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