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When you're burned, you've got nothing:
no cash, no credit, no job history.
You're stuck in whatever city they decide to dump you in.

One part THE EQUALIZER, one part MACGYVER and sprinkled liberally from the comedy shaker, BURN NOTICE is one of the tastiest and most entertaining shows airing on cable. The premise of BURN NOTICE follows the adventures of Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan), a former covert operative, who has finds himself burned by parties unknown, and kept on a short leash in his hometown of Miami, Florida. With no work history and no cash, Michael works off the radar as a private investigator/soldier of fortune for those in need of his services… while trying to figure who burned him and why. Assisting Michael in his quest is former girlfriend and former IRA operative Fiona Glenanne (Gabrielle Anwar), who has a penchant for blowing things up. Also helping Michael is his old friend Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell), asemi-retired spy, who makes ends meet by sponging off of rich girlfriends. Adding to the mix is Michael’s chain smoking, guilt-inducing mother Madeline (Sharon Gless), who always seems to get her way, despite their dysfunctional familial bond. There is plenty of chemistry between the actors, with special kudos go to Campbell and Gless, who provide a whole lot of understated comedic value to the show.

BURN NOTICE: SEASON 2 ($60) comes to Blu-ray in a three-disc set that features the following sixteen episodes that were aired during year two: Breaking And Entering, Turn And Burn, Trust Me, Comrades, Scatter Point, Bad Blood, Rough Seas, Double Booked, Good Soldier, Do No Harm, Hot Spot, Seek And Destroy, Bad Breaks, Truth And Reconciliation, Sins Of Omission and Lesser Evil. Season two of BURN NOTICE brings Michael closer to the truth of who and why he was burned, with the arrival of Carla (Tricia Helfer), who has ties to those responsible and is not beyond using Michael for a series of dirty jobs to advance her own agenda.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made all sixteen episodes that comprise BURN NOTICE: SEASON 2 available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentations that have been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. Shows airing on cable television are notorious for being produced on far smaller budgets than those of series airing on the major networks, and the 1080p presentations on this set certainly do reflect that reality. The image quality of the episodes has all the earmarks of the Super 16 process, with the actual shooting of said episodes showing signs of being done in expeditious fashion. Therefore, throughout the collection, the picture tends to appear soft and very grainy in high definition. Exteriors tend to look better than poorly lit interiors, which can be excessively grainy. Colors can be vibrant and produce attractive flesh tones, but there are some inconsistencies. Blacks and whites are accurate. Contrast can run a little hot, but is otherwise fine. Shadow detail is adequate, which is about all one can expect from Super 16. The elements from which the episodes are mastered appear free from major defects.

All of the episodes that comprise BURN NOTICE: SEASON 2 are presented on Blu-ray Disc with 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks. Audio quality is better than the video, but these are still soundtracks that accommodate the necessities of cable broadcast. Not surprisingly, the forward soundstage dominates the sound mix on the episodes. Because of the action nature of the series, there are some channel separations across the front. The rear channels still do deliver a few active effects, as well as the expected complement of ambient sounds, as well as some musical fill. The lossless encode gives a boost to the music and explosions, although the subwoofer doesn’t engage at the theatrical level. No other soundtrack options are present. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard episode selection and set up features, as well as some extras. Running Audio Commentaries are featured on a few of the episodes. Featurettes and other programs include the following: NIXin' It Up (fourteen minutes) and Boom Notice (nine minutes). Deleted Scenes and a Gag Reel close out the extras.

BURN NOTICE provides plenty of action/comedy entertainment value. The Blu-ray presentation is as good as a modest TV production budget and the Super 16 photographic process will allow. Recommended for entertainment value.



Burn Notice: Season Two [Blu-ray]


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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