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Coming in mid-season with an initial run of only twelve episodes, HUMAN TARGET proved to be one of the nicer surprises of the 2009-2010 television season. HUMAN TARGET is loosely based upon the comic book character created by Len Wein and Carmine Infantino back in 1972, but differs from the comic insomuch that its central character, a bodyguard/private security operative, no longer impersonates his clients, but instead our hero so completely integrates himself into the client’s life, that he becomes a human target. Back in 1992, there was another, albeit unsuccessful, attempt to translate the comic book to the small screen- but it didn’t have that perfect combination that this HUMAN TARGET has. HUMAN TARGET mixes a bit of humor into the television action/drama format, but is never jokey for its own sake; in addition the series has highly likable actors in its central roles and has smart, tightly written scripts that put the show over the top.

Mark Valley stars in HUMAN TARGET as Christopher Chance, a private security operative with a mysterious past, who now puts his life on the line for his clients, as though he were seeking absolution for past misdeeds. Chi McBride is Laverne Winston, a former police detective, who has become Chance’s business partner in this highly specialized personal security company, as a means of doing what’s right, without the legal loopholes that he faced as a police officer getting in the way. Jackie Earle Haley is Guerrero, an old associate of Chance’s who is fiercely loyal to his friends, vicious and deadly to his enemies, plus possesses a specialized skill set that makes him in invaluable asset to private security business. On a weekly basis, Christopher Chance, with the assistance of his associates, stands between his client and someone bent on killing them.

HUMAN TARGET: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($50) comes to Blu-ray Disc in a two-disc set that features the following twelve episodes that were aired during season one: Pilot, Rewind, Embassy Row, Sanctuary, Run, Lockdown, Salvage & Reclamation, Baptiste, Corner Man, Tanarak, Victoria and Christopher Chance.

Warner Home Video has made all twelve episodes from HUMAN TARGET: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON available on Blu-ray Disc in 1.78:1 wide screen presentations that have been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. The 1080p presentations are fairly impressive for an episodic television production. Image sharpness and clarity, as well as fine detail and dimensionality are all very strong. Close-ups are excellent; one can see every line, blemish and imperfection in the actors’ skin. There are some softer shots, but there really isn’t anything here to complain about. Colors are well saturated and fully stable. Flesh tones are very appealing. Blacks are usually inky, while the whites appear crisp. Contrast and shadow detail are very strong for a television production. There is some grain/noise in the image, with darker sequences displaying more.

All of the episodes that constitute HUMAN TARGET: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON are presented on Blu-ray Disc with 5.1 channel Dolby Digital 640kbps soundtracks. Again, let me state lossless soundtrack are preferred, especially for action shows. The Blu-ray jacket for the season one set indicates that audio mix enhanced from broadcast, but the lossy tracks don’t really make an overwhelming impression. Sonically, the episodes are competently mixed, but remain a far cry from the theatrical level. There is a decent spread throughout the channels, but as a television level production tends to remain front-loaded, with the expected dialogue dependency. The bass channel packs neither a theatrical level of rumple nor punch, but it does a decent job for a television series. Dialogue is clean and easy to understand. No other language tracks are provided for the episodes, but English, French and Spanish subtitles are included.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as, as well as some extras. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with executive producers Jonathan E. Steinberg and Peter Johnson and actors Mark Valley and Chi McBride on the Pilot episode. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Confidential Informant (sixteen minutes) and Full Contact Television (sixteen minutes). A few Unaired Scenes close out the standard extras. HUMAN TARGET: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player).

HUMAN TARGET is a highly enjoyable action series, which has been given a solid presentation on Blu-ray. Recommended… and I’m looking forward to season two.


Human Target: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] (2010)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2010 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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