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PHOTOGRAPHY

CSI: The Complete Fifth Season

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 1048 minutes (25 episodes on 7 discs), nine audio commentaries, CSI Season 5- A Post Mortem, The Research of CSI featurette, CSI; Tarantino Style featurette, and an 8-part featurette on CSI Forensic Procedures

STUDIO: CBS DVD/ Alliance Atlantis/ Paramount

RELEASE DATE: 11-29-2005

DISC 1- VIVA LAS VEGAS, DOWN TEH DRAIN, HARVEST, CROW'S FEET

DISC 2- SWAP MEET, WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRISSOM?, FORMALITIES, CH-CH-CHANGES

DISC 3- MEA CUPLA, NO HUMANS INVOLVED, WHO SHOT SHERLOCK?, SNAKES

DISC 4- NESTING DOLLS, UNBEARABLE, KING BABY, BIG MIDDLE

DISC 5- COMPULSION, SPARK OF LIFE, 4 X 4, HOLLYWOOD BRASS

DISC 6- COMMITTED, WEEPING WILLOWS, ICED

DISC 7- GRAVE DANGER VOLUME 1 and VOULME 2, featurettes

Many shows are in for a bumpy ride when they hit the fifth season. The writing may hit some bumps as the writers try to keep it fresh. CSI had those hurdles during the fifth season. Despite some great episodes and interesting new character (Sophia), I do think the shake-up of Grissom's team being spilt up was a creative misfire. The two part season finale, GRAVE DANGER (which aired as a two hour episode) with a story written and directed by Quentin Tarantino comes off with mixed results where KING BABY has to be the worst episode of season 5. The best episodes tend to focus on one of the cast members (HOLYYWOOD BRASS, COMMITTED, and WEEPING WILLOWS) or come up with a great concept to explore (CH-CH-CHANGES, NESTING DOLLS). The fifth season isn't my favorite season, but it still has grit.

VIDEO: 1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

The episodes have a big advantage over how they aired on TV, the episodes are in the way they were originally filmed and look better than they could ever look on broadcast TV (or even Spike TV reruns). Image detail is sharp with a little softness in evidence, but the colors and blacks are good.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Surround, Spanish 2.0 Dolby Surround

Subtitles: None on episodes (but they are close captioned), Spanish subtitles for featurettes

Dialogue is crystal clear, but the 5.1 mix tends to be atmospheric favoring the music with some surround action from the sound effects.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Audio commentaries were recorded for nine episodes-

VIVA LAS VEGAS with Danny Cannon and Carol Mendelsohn

DOWN THE DRAIN with Ken Fink and Naren Shankar

FORMALITIES with Dustin Lee Abraham and Naren Shankar

WHO SHOT SHERLOCK? with Rich Catalani, Ken Fink, and David Rambo

SNAKES with Richard J. Lewis, Dustin Lee Abraham, and George Eads

SPARK OF LIFE with Ken Fink and Allen MacDonald

4 X 4 with David Rambo, Dustin Lee Abraham, and Naren Shankar

COMMITTED with Richard J. Lewis and Jorja Fox

WEEPING WILLOWS with Marg Helgenberger and Ken Fink

The best audio commentaries of the set are WEEPING WILLOWS and SPARK OF LIFE. It is nice to see some of the cast doing the audio commentaries with the writers, directors, and producers. FORMALITIES does have a funny story of the writers coming up with a stupid reason for why someone kept silent (it involves a dog named Jelly) which didn't make it because they came to their senses. Marg Helgenberger gives the best commentary of the three cast members involved where George Eads is the weakest. Too bad William Peterson or Quentin Tarantino didn't do any audio commentaries for season 5.

Several featurettes are on disc seven-

CSI: SEASON 5- A POST MORTEM has the cast and crew talk about various episodes of the season including the break up the team story arc.

THE RESEARCH OF CSI: MAINTAINING THE ACCURACY goes into how much research and who they consult for the CSI science used in the show.

CSI: TARANTINO STYLE is how they got Quentin Tarantino to write a story and direct the two part season finale with a behind-the-scenes look at the making of GRAVE DANGER VOLUME 1 and 2. features interviews with cast, crew, and Tarantino.

CSI FORENSIC PROCEDURES ON THE SCENE VS. ON THE SCREEN goes into how eight different CSI techniques and effects (Spatter Up, Photo-Realism, IBIS, a Star Shaped Wound, Printing A Bird Feather, Identifying Tire Treads, Giving The Third Degree, and A Ninhydrin Print) were created for the various episodes in season five with former Los Angeles CSI (consultants for the show) Richard Catalani and Larry Mitchell talking about how they did it including the time cheats and real techniques they used.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Even though, I still don't like the way they package the discs, CSI The Complete fifth season is a top notch DVD set with great extras.

this DVD Review is (c)11-28-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com