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ROSWELL Season 2

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DVD Review: ROSWELL Season 2

by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 21 episodes on six discs (924 minutes), commentary on three episodes, Making of Season 2 featurette, Art of Comping Roswell, The Shiri and Majandra Show, From Storyboard to Scene, and A Little Something Extra For The Fans (a video montage)

STUDIO: FOX

RELEASE DATE: 10-5-2004

DISC ONE:

SKIN AND BONES, ASK NOT, SUPRISE, SUMMER OF 47

DISC TWO:

"Michael, if you can hear me now over the sound of your rapidly inflating ego, could you please tell me that you do not believe what this...this Michael-worshipper here has to say?" -Maria

THE END OF THE WORLD, HARVEST, WIPEOUT!, MEET THE DUPES

DISC THREE:

"His mind and body are in deep conflict. When one's heart and one's mind are not in balance, one's body is the first to fail. What?" -Kyle

"I'm very concerned that you are starting to make sense to me" -Valenti

MAX IN THE CITY, A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROL, TO SERVE AND PROTECT, WE ARE FAMILY

DISC FOUR:

"Michael, if you have sex with my daughter, I will hunt you down and kill you like the mangy dog you are. Okay?" -Amy DeLuca

DISTURBING BEHAVIOR, HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES, VIVA LAS VEGAS, HEART OF MINE

DISC FIVE:

"You simply can't prefer Keanu Reeves to Michelle Yeoh. You can't.... I won't let you." -Max (to Michael)

CRY YOUR NAME, IT'S TOO LATE, AND IT'S TOO BAD

BABY IT'S YOU, OFF THE MENU

DISC SIX: DEPARTURE

ANALYSIS: Season 2 saw several changes to the storyline as Max drifted away from Liz and towards Tess. The aliens were put in more danger by various alien threats as they learned more about themselves. Season 2 may not be as good as the first season of the third season, but it is still fun and exciting to watch. Characters continue to get fleshed out and 3 episodes see the actors play different roles. Season 2 has a story arc to it that sometimes could leave someone confused if they haven't watched every episode. The Michael and Marie relationship is still the best thing while the tension between Liz and Max is more interesting than the tension between them in season 1. The best episodes deal with the humanity of the characters and how they deal with things in their lives.

VIDEO/AUDIO: 21 episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The episodes look fantastic. The picture is nice, clear, and sharp. Colors and blacks really stand out.

The English 5.1 Dolby Surround is good. The dialogue can be heard clearly. The music and sound effects have a great dynamic sound to them. However the music does drown out one of Michael's lines in A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROL. Subtitle options include English, French, and Spanish. Some of the music has been replaced. I noticed the song from the Run Lola Run soundtrack has been replaced in SURPRISE and the last song in CRY YOUR NAME. Some of the original songs do remain intact.

COMMENTARIES: The first commentary for season 2 is for ASK NOT (on disc one) with Co-Executive Producer/Writer Ronald D. Moore giving details about the script and production of the show. He talks about Brendan's new hairstyle, how Majandra's new clothes and hairstyle for Maria really made the character hard to write for (because they felt it wasn't like the Maria they knew from the first season), and the characters on the show. Ronald also says the Kyle Valenti plotline was his favorite of the episode.

The second commentary is for A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROL (on disc three) with Executive Producer/Writer Jason Katims and Director Patrick Norrris. They talk about the humor of the episode and the concept of the Christmas Nazi. The idea of a Christmas episode was pitched late. The idea was to make the episode seem like Christmas movies one would watch with their family. Sometimes there are gaps of silence as Jason and Patrick get caught up in watching the episode instead of giving commentary. The interesting bit is the struggle to get the right to use a Jane Siberry song for the episode (that they had to talk to Jane on the phone and send her a cut of the episode). It is a rather tedious commentary track.

The final (and the best) commentary appears on disc five. Ronald D. Moore does the commentary for CRY YOUR NAME. he explains how Colin's growing movie career lead to Alex being killed off on the show and starting off a storyline that would carry through for the next few episodes. The car accident that Alex dies in is based on Ron's real life experience of his friend being killed in a car accident from a drunk driver. He goes on to say that the WB wanted everyone to be focused on the investigation into what happened to Alex, but Ron refused and that refusal may have had a small part of the WB canceling the show (because they didn't like what Ron was doing with the script). He used a conversation betwen Shiri and him for the scene when Liz confronts Valenti. He apologizes that he forgot Diane Farr's name. I do wish the nine minutes cut out of this episode were included as deleted scenes for disc 5. Shiri as Liz was the thing that convinced Ron to write for Roswell.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Besides the commentaries, the other extras are on disc six.

HERE WITH ME: MAKING OF ROSWELL SEASON 2 is almost 32 minutes long as it covers various episodes of season 2. We hear from Jason Katims, Ronald. Moore, Fred Golan, various writers of season 2 episodes, and members of the cast- Jason behr, Brendan Fehr, Shiri Appleby, Colin Hanks, and William Sadler. Major behind-the-scenes footage from SUMMER OF 47 shows William Sadler being funny between takes.

STORYBOARD TO SCENE (2 minutes) compares the storyboards to one of the scenes in WIPEOUT!

THE SHIRI AND MAJANDRA SHOW is a 11 minute featurette about Majandra and Shiri talking about how their characters changed for season 2 and the suggestions they made for their characters did sometimes show up in the episodes.

ART OF COMPOSING ROSWELL (4 1/2 minutes) has the music composer explain the elements he puts together for the score of one of the scenes in WE ARE FAMILY followed by the scored scene at the end of the featurette.

A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA FOR THE FANS is basically a pointless video montage showing the relationships between the main characters to various music for each relationship (or friendship).  I rather have another episode commentary or the infamous blooper reel for A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROL or even deleted scenes.

SET DESIGN: The set box is nicely designed. The blue is great for the box. The back covers of each DVD sleeve for the slim cases are neat. The photos and artwork on the inside when you open the case are great. I love how the disc art shows part of the various rock landscapes in the show. However, the front DVD sleeve covers aren't as good as the front cover art for the season one DVD sleeve cover art. The season 2 DVD front sleeve covers could have looked better without the rising light on the horizon (in the background of each cover).

MENUS: The menus are great as usual. The big improvement over the previous menus from season one is having the language/subtitle options and Special Features (when they are on the disc) as part of the main menu. The episodes are listed as part of a menu of their own and the menu for each episode shows the chapters (and each and every chapter for the episodes are named- 12 chapters per episode). Too bad the episodes menu doesn't have a Play All option.

FINAL ANALYSIS: ROSWELL SEASON 2 is a another well put together DVD Set from FOX. The Video and Audio won't disappoint fans. The episodes have never looked so good. The only disappointment about the season 2 is the lack of more extras (like a couple more episode commentaries, deleted scenes or at least a blooper reel). Now I hope it won't be another eight months for season 3 to be released to DVD in North America.

this review is (c)9-24-2004 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com

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