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LOST is a television series that I love to watch, but hate to talk about in the terms of writing a review. In any review, one needs to talk about the program they are reviewing, but LOST is the kind of program that is best experienced firsthand, so there is a definite need to sidestep the specifics of storylines that play out. Of course, what I like best about LOST is the fact that the television series is best described as an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, shrouded in mystery. With the various mysteries and conspiracies that play out during any given season of LOST, it is for the best that I talk about the show in a non-specific way, as to not give away any of the story twists or surprising developments. What I will say about the storytelling of LOST is something I’ve said previously… watching the show is akin to peeling an onion, if you strip away one layer to reveal the answer to one mystery, you find yourself left with another mystery and another layer to strip away…

For those completely unfamiliar with the series, the premise of LOST follows the survivors of a jetliner crash, who find themselves stranded on a remote Pacific island a thousand miles away from their last know position, with no way of contacting the outside world to let them know that anyone form Oceanic Airlines flight 815 has survived. What and whom the survivors find on this island constitute the numerous mysteries that slowly unravel week after week. Meshing elements of science fiction/fantasy and conspiracy into its dramatic storyline, LOST remains a largely character driven series, with the character’s back stories and histories being as important to the show as their current plight. If your are coming to LOST for the first time, STOP RIGHT NOW, you shouldn’t even consider looking at season two. Grab yourself a copy of season one and start at the beginning and watch every episode of the preceding season before popping season two into your player. The outstanding season two ensemble cast of LOST includes, but is not limited to, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Terry O'Quinn, Josh Holloway, Dominic Monaghan, Emilie de Ravin, Jorge Garcia, Naveen Andrews, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Michelle Rodriguez, Maggie Grace, Cynthia Watros, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Mira Furlan and Harold Perrineau.

LOST: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON ($70) comes to Blu-ray in a seven-disc set that features the following twenty-four episodes that were aired during year two: Man Of Science, Man Of Faith, Adrift, Orientation, Everybody Hates Hugo, ...And Found, Abandoned, The Other 48 Days, Collision, What Kate Did, The 23rd Psalm, The Hunting Party, Fire + Water, The Long Con, One Of Them, Maternity Leave, The Whole Truth, Lockdown, Dave, S.O.S., Two For The Road, ?, Three Minutes, Live Together, Die Alone Part 1 and Live Together, Die Alone Part 2.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment has made all twenty-four episodes that constitute LOST: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentations that have been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentations of the episodes look pretty terrific, certainly bettering the 720p hi-def broadcasts on ABC (which are artifact laden on my cable system). Season two also improves upon the look of season one, with the episodes showing, a better, more consistent image quality that is indicative of a mastery of high definition production technique. Looking at any episode contained in season two, one will come to the realization that LOST is a superb looking television series, something that is greatly enhanced by the gorgeous Hawaiian locations that stand in for the mysterious uncharted island. Across the episodes, the image appears very sharp, clearly defined and highly dimensional. Colors tend to favor a warm palette and appear lush, while producing very appealing flesh tones. Blacks are deep and the whites are stable. Contrast and shadow detail are strong performers, which is just what one should expect from a hi-def television production. There are no noticeable defects in the source materials. Grain is present, but never appears excessive.

All of the episodes that comprise LOST: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON are presented on Blu-ray Disc with 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks. Once again this is top of the line television production audio, even if the sound design of the series does make some modest concessions to the necessities of over the air broadcasting. No surprises here, the forward soundstage is dominant. Of course, this is not to say that there isn’t an excellent integration of the rear channels, which actually do come across in a highly effective manner (but probably not a theatrical feature levels). Again, there is a wealth of small active effects, as well as ambient sounds that bring the jungle (and other) locations to dramatic life. The lossless encode of the episodes enhances fidelity, which allows the Blu-ray release to easily best its broadcast counterpart by a wide sonic margin. Both the music and sound effects benefit from enhanced fidelity. The bass channel does a good job of adding weight to the sound effects. An English Dolby Digital 5.1 channel track and French, Spanish and Portuguese 2.0 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Netherlands, Bahasa, Malay and Korean.

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 supplemental materials. Running Audio Commentaries are featured on the set for five of the episodes. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Fire + Water (thirty-two minutes), Lost On Location (forty-five minutes), Mysteries, Theories And Conspiracies (ten minutes), Secrets From The Hatch (sixteen minutes), The World According To Sawyer (five minutes) and Channel 4 UK Promo (two minutes). Supplements also include Lost Connections, Deleted Scenes and Lost Bloopers.

LOST is a superb, one of a kind television series, which must be experienced first-hand and without foreknowledge of its storylines to get the full effect. The Blu-ray presentations are outstanding and truly superior to even the hi-def network broadcasts of the series. Very highly recommended.



Lost: The Complete Second Season [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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