December 04, 2007 by Marshal Rosenthal
The problem a TV show with a great premise has is that it’s often forced to reinvent itself or at worse, attempt to duplicate that success if the premise doesn’t hold up past the first season. That’s the case with “Prison Break,” which had their second season on the run, only to return to prison for the third.
But the freshness of the first outing comes from a sense of excitement and danger, as Michael attempts to free his soon-to-be-executed brother from a maximum security prison. Michael doesn’t reply on brute strength or weapons so much as on intellect and a series of pre-planned moves. All of which revolves around the elaborate tattoos found on his body. But of course things don’t work out quite as expected, due to other prisoners, the warden and a female doctor. There’s also a shadowy underbelly reminiscent of the X-Files at work.
It’s too bad that this Blu-ray disc lacks online connectivity as that could open the door wide for fandom. And those looking for “cutting edge” extras will have to settle for the usual: featurettes and deleted scenes, promotional spots and season promos. At least they are all in high-def and I’m partial to the one discussing Michael’s tattoos because they look so creepy. As is obvious, HD allows you to see these designs with pinpoint accuracy and a high level of sharpness. The purpose of the increased resolution isn’t to attract attention to itself, but to make the prison and prisoners “look” more real. I think it succeeds and so makes for a better show to watch. High-def also aids in keeping the dark and shadowy scenes that proliferate the show from becoming indistinct blurs - pushing the gritty look of the prisoners and their prison into the forefront with the kind of contrast that makes for a more three-dimensional reality.
Sound is also handled well, as the DTS-HD provides a good template for producing a good soundfield with deep bass. Surround effects are used with good sense, and their presence is felt such that the overall ambiance is gloomy and disturbing. Which is as it should be.
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Disc Specs and Credits
Format reviewed: Blu-ray
Video: AVC, 18 MPBS
Disc Size: BD-50
Aspect Ratio: 1080p, 1.78:1
Audio: DTS-HD 5.1
Starring: Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, Amaury Nolasco, Wade Williams, Robert Knepper, Sarah Wayne Callies, Paul Adelstein, Rockmond Dunbar, William Fichtner, Marshall Allman, Robin Tunney, Stacy Keach, Danay Garcia, Phillip Edward Van Lear
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Rating: Not rated
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