Type: TV Series
Released: September 22, 2004
Released: October 11, 2010
Format: CD (2 hr, 22 min)
Released: September 14, 2010
Format: CD (2 hr, 29 min)
Released: May 11, 2010
Format: CD (78 min)
Released: May 12, 2009
Format: DDD (78 min)
Released: May 6, 2008
Format: CD (2 hr, 34 min)
Released: October 3, 2006
Format: CD (64 min)
Released: May 21, 2006
Format: CD (64 min)
|by Dan Goldwasser
on December 9th, 2008
Continuing to weave a tangled web on network television, the fourth season of "Lost" takes many of the lessons and stories learned about our favorite island castaways (since "Gilligan's Island") and shakes them up, not to mention throws us a few loops. When we left season three, the castaways were just about to be rescued - but a flash-forward showed that Jack (Matthew Fox) was desperately trying to get back to the island. With a new group of people (Freighter Folk) arriving (armed with weapons) apparently to rescue them, things start to look hopeful for the castaways - but not everything is what it seems. Through the various flash-forwards during the season, we learn that there were six "survivors" of Oceanic Flight 815, all conspiring to keep the truth of what happened on the island a secret. Issues of time-travel and quantum mechanics are explored, and there is plenty of character relationships forged and changed over the course of the season. How we got six of the castaways off the island is a journey that is not inherently obvious, and the abbreviated season (due to the writer's strike) only runs for 14-episodes. It has a bit of a dip in the middle episodes, but nothing like the "Expose" episode from Season Three (focused on the supporting roles of Nikki and Paulo). Starting off strong, and finishing stronger, the fourth season of "Lost" will keep viewers on their toes, and glean new information upon re-watching the season.
Released as a six-disc box set, the fourth season of "Lost" contains all fourteen episodes spread out over the first four discs, with two discs of bonus material. The visual quality is quite good, presented in anamorphic widescreen video, and accurately reflects the downconverted high-definition source. Contrast is solid, the dark scenes are clear and not murky, and everything feels very natural. Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, and it sounds great - this show doesn't do much in the way of immersive atmosphere, but when things heat up, it can hold its own against most major Hollywood films. Michael Giacchino's score sounds particularly fetching, serving as another character in the show.
There is also no shortage of special features. The first disc contains a nifty recap, "Lost in 8:15" (8-minutes), which helps catch up viewers to where the beginning of the fourth season starts. Over the fourteen episodes, there are only four commentary tracks. "The Beginning of the End" features actors Evangeline Lilly and Jorge Garcia, and it's a light and entertaining commentary that gives us more of an actors-view on what it's like working on the show, with little in the way of plot hints and production challenges. "The Constant" features producers Carleton Cuse, Damon Lindelof and editor Mark Goldman discussing the structure of the shows, as well as the need for emotional components weekly. "Ji Yeon" features the Asian actors, Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim, with director Stephen Semel, focusing on the challenges of shooting a largely Korean-language episode, as well as the various character arcs. Finally, the two hour finale "There's No Place Like Home, Part 2" (and 3) features producers Damon Linelof and Carleton Cuse. This is the first time they've done commentary on a finale, and they touch on a lot of the various plot threads that were introduced during the season, and even drop a few teases of where the fifth season might explore. They also talk about the issues that the shorter season faced, especially with the writers strike. There's a lot of praise for Giacchino's music in all of these commentaries, which was nice to hear.
Disc 5 starts out with "Lost on Location" (42-min), a series of featurettes looking at most of the bigger stunts and make-up effects throughout the season. Not much is revealed beyond the standard production issues. "The Island Backlot: Lost in Hawaii" (18-minutes) is similar to the "Burbank to Barcelona" featurette on the "Alias" Season Three DVD, showcasing how they are able to make Hawaii look like anywhere in the world with a little set dressing and visual effects. "The Right to Bear Arms" (12-minutes) is a look at the guns and weaponry used in the show, and the amazingly difficult challenge of tracking who has a gun, and what kind.
A major highlight of the set, "Soundtrack of Survival: Composing for Character, Conflight & the Crash" (26-minutes) is an in-depth look at Michael Giacchino's Emmy-winning score to the series. Structured around a live concert performance in Hawaii, flashbacks and interviews take us through the process of scoring for the show, including archival footage from the very first scoring session of the pilot. Excellent stuff to see. "Lost Bloopers" (3-minutes) and a selection of deleted scenes (9-minutes) finish out the fifth disc.
The sixth disc starts out with "Course of the Future: The Definitive Flash Forward" (56-minutes), which is a re-edited chronological presentation of all of the flash-forwards from the season (including the end of Season Three). It helps put some things in context, including Jack's downward spiral post-island, and is preceded by a documentary-styled intro talking about the flash-forward sequences. "The Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lies" (21-minutes) is an entertaining mock documentary expose on the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815, and the belief that there is some kind of conspiracy behind their survival. (Oh, if only they knew!)
"The Freighter Folk" (13-minutes) is a featurette that looks at the new additions to the cast, and "Offshore Shoot" (8-minutes) explores the challenges of filming on a boat on the ocean. Finally, "Lost: Missing Pieces Mobisodes" (31-minutes) is a collection of thirteen scenes that were shown on the internet, and fill in a few gaps, as well as provide some nice character moments, but aren't necessary to complete the experience of watching the fourth season.
There are only two more seasons of "Lost" planned, and with the end firmly in sight, the writers are tightening up their craft, pushing us to the finish line, and tossing us a few twists and turns along the way. It's an enjoyable season that starts to address some rather interesting theories, and with a healthy slew of extras - some of them music-related - it's a highly recommended purchase for any fan of the show.
|by Dan Goldwasser
on December 16th, 2007
Not since "Gilligan's Island" has there been such a great set of castaways as the ensemble on "Lost". J.J. Abrams, Jeffrey Lieber and Damon Lindelof's twist-filled drama on ABC about a group of air crash survivors finished its third season this past spring, and now a seven disc DVD set is available, with all of the episodes as well as plenty of extras. The season gave us a lot more insight into the world of the "Others" on the island, a bit more information about the insidious nature of the Dharma Initiative, and of course, plenty of flashbacks with the various lead characters that provided more insight into who they really are. It took a while to get all that though - the season started off rather slow, with more questions being asked than answered.
Episodes seemed to come and go without anything truly progressing, with much of the focused on Jack (Matthew Fox), Kate (Evangeline Lilly) and Sawyer (Josh Holloway), who were being held captive by the "Others". We even had the much-despised "Paulo and Nicky" episode which had absolutely nothing to do with the main story arc, and felt like a Twilight Zone episode stuck into a show that itself was like a Twilight Zone episode. But then around the halfway point (reportedly once it was decided that the show would have an ending after three more 16-episode seasons), things started getting better. More information was coming at a faster pace, and old questions that had been lingering were finally being answered. This is also not a casualty-free season, as many cast members play out their final moments on screen, not to return next season (unless in flashback form, of course). It left us with quite a cliffhanger, and while it was a somewhat rocky season, "Lost" regained its footing at the end.
The DVD release of the season is subtitled "The Unexplored Experience", and features some solid extras. The video quality (downconverted from the 720p high definition broadcast) is quite good, with the 16x9 enhanced image looking well saturated and balanced. Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Spanish and French, as well as an English Dolby Digital 2.0 track. It's not the most immersive sound mix on television, but it's all about the story, right? There are only four episodes that contain commentary tracks from such folks as producer Damon Lindelof, writers Carlton Cuse, Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, actors Elizabeth Mitchell, Evangeline Lilly, Josh Holloway and Michael Emerson. The first commentary (on the episode "Tale of Two Cities", with Lindelof and Mitchell) doesn't really give you much information, but then you get a commentary like the one on "Man Behind the Curtain" (with Lindelof, Cuse and Emerson) which provides a lot of good details on the show's process and development.
The last disc contains all the extra supplements, which starts out with the most annoying menu setup: you have to click on a television monitor (unlabeled of course), and then you're taken to a static image which you then have to click "enter" again, and then the menu items show up. It's not the most intuitive interface, and it would have been better just to have an index of the extras.
"Lost on Location" runs almost an hour, and is a great look at the filming of a few key sequences from 10 of this season's episodes. Lots of B-roll footage, stunts, visual effects, and story spoilers abound, so be sure to watch it only after you've seen the season. "Crew Tribute with Evangeline Lilly" is a 7-minute segment that highlights the different crew members that work on the production. "Lost in a Day" is about half-an-hour long, and gives us a pretty in-depth look at what goes into making an episode, during a singular 24-hour period. At that point, multiple episodes are in different points in the production cycle, and we get to see story development, production preparation, location shooting, editing, post-production, visual effects, and more. They even visit composer Michael Giacchino in his studio as he works to compose music for an episode. It's a great featurette, one that I wish more television shows (and films) would consider doing.
"The World of the Others" is a 14-minute long featurette that looks at the second cast on the show, the "Others". With the third season, we learn a lot more about this gang of characters, and this piece explores a bit about them. "Terry O'Quinn: Throwing from the Handle" is a quick piece that shows the actor rehearsing a knife throw for an episode. A 6.5-minute long "Blooper Reel" features a lot of actors flubbing lines, which can be entertaining once, but isn't likely to be viewed more than that.
"The Lost Flashbacks" contain three deleted flashbacks that were removed from the broadcast versions of the show, and give a little more insight into Locke, Sun and Jin, and Paolo and Nicky's stories. Additionally, there are 18-minutes worth of "Deleted Scenes", filling in some more gaps in the storyline. "The Orchid Instructional Film" is the complete (2.5 minutes) version of the fake instructional video from the Dharma Initiative seen in the show.
"The Lost Book Club" talks about the hidden meaning behind the placement of several books within the show, and runs 8-minutes long. "Cast in Clay" is a 5-minute PR piece looking at the work McFarlane Toys did with creating the action figures for "Lost", and this is followed by another PR piece on the upcoming Ubisoft "Lost" video game (but it doesn't really show us game play footage).
Finally, "Sneak Peeks" includes the usual Walt Disney Home Video trailers for upcoming releases, including The Game Plan, "Brothers and Sisters: Season One", "Grey's Anatomy: Season Three", "Ugly Betty: Season One", "What About Brian: Seasons One and Two", "Desperate Housewives: Season Three", and... tucked away at the very end - a sneak preview for Season Four of "Lost", which doesn't show much, but will get you excited for it anyways.
The third season had some ups and downs, but thankfully it ended on a pretty solid note. The DVD release is enjoyable, looks and sounds good, and has a decent amount of behind-the-scenes extras. It should be enough to keep you satisfied until Season Four starts up in February 2008.
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