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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE LONE GUNMEN- The Complete Series

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 13 episodes, five audio commentaries, featurette, TV spots, Bonus X-Files episode- "Jump The Shark"

STUDIO: FOX

RELEASE DATE: 3-29-2005

"Conspiracy theories and masturbation. I suspected there was a connection."

ANALYSIS: THE LONE GUNMEN was one of those funny gems that died too soon and didn't win their fight against the system (I wish FOX renewed it for season 2). They started off as guest characters that showed up on THE X-FILES every so often. The three alternative journalists (Byers, Frohike, Langly) helped Agent Mulder from time to time as they went to publish the truth about stories that the mainstream media might never pick up on. They published a small newspaper called THE LONE GUNMEN. These three brave characters really started to shine when they had a couple of X-FILES episodes focusing on them which led to a spin-off series that is an underwatched and overlooked show which is now available on DVD.

THE LONE GUNMEN is a show that I sorely missed even more after I watched all 13 episodes and the very imperfect X-FILES episode, "Jump The Shark". The show brought in two characters into the mix, Jimmy Bond (dumb and yet loyal to the Lone Gunmen) and Yves Adele Harlow (a person who seemed to have objectives running counter to the aims of the Lone Gunmen). "Tango De Los Pistoleros" showed that Frohike had a hidden past as a Tango dancer and it is my favorite episode of the series. "The Lying Game" has Mitch Pileggi doing a humorous turn on the character of Assistant Director Walter Skinner. Jimmy is so dense not to realize that the nurse in "Diagnossis: Jimmy" has the hots for him. "All About Yves" sets up a cliffhanger that is never resolved like it should have been where they use the X-FILES to wrap the show up (with a final scene for the Gunmen which has the telltale signs of the writers doing the wrong thing). The show was really starting to get into a grove when it ended and I wish the show could come back. Maybe DVD sales will be great and convince FOX that the world (and the fans) need THE LONE GUNMEN again.

I liked the regular geek quality of the three characters, Byers, Frohike (who gets all the chicks looking at him), and Langly. Zuleikha Robinson is very attractive (more than Angelina Jolie) as the very talented Yves. THE LONE GUNMEN played up the humor with episodes featuring Virtual Reality and midget wrestlers, Intelligent Chimps, blind football players, and Morris Fletcher. The humor and the geek trio elevated this show far above the humor seen in any episode of THE X-FILES.

VIDEO/AUDIO: All thirteen episodes (and the bonus episode) are presented in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen. Colors, blacks, and flesh tones are good. Image detail isn't bad either. The transfers on these episodes are on the same level as the transfers seen in the Millennium and Roswell DVD sets.

Audio is available in English 2.0 Dolby Surround or Spanish Dolby surround with the option of English or Spanish subtitles. Dialogue is very clear while teh music is very strong sounding. I'm satisfied with the audio on this DVD set.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Spread out on three discs are audio commentaries for four LONE GUNMEN episodes and the X-FILES episode which attempts to wrap up the TV show after the cliffhanger. A couple of the commentaries are with the cast and I wonder where the outtakes have disappeared to (and why they aren't on the DVD). The writers mention the scenes cut from "All About Yves" and all LGM episodes having longer edits (like the Tango episode was originally 60 minutes long). The commentaries are definitely worth listening to. Favorite commentary tracks have to be for "Tango De Los Pistoleros" and "All About Yves". I so wish the director's cut of "Tango De Los Pistoleros" (which is 15 minutes longer) was on the DVD (instead of the aired version) after hearing how good the DC is from the cast of the show and director Bryan Spicer.

On Side B of Disc Three is a 40 minute featurette, THE MAKING OF THE LONE GUNMEN. Cast and crew talk about the show and the origins of the characters in THE X-FILES (including some writers protesting to Chris Carter that Morgan and Wong wanted to have Frohike be killed in season four of THE X-FILES) and various episodes of THE LONE GUNMEN (with behind-the-scenes footage for the pilot, "Diagnosis: Jimmy", and "The Lying Game". Rounding out the extras on the same disc as the featurette are FOX TV spots for the show (oddly enough TV spots mostly for later episodes in the series).

I do wish they could have found some deleted scenes (like the ones mentioned in the audio commentaries and stuff cut from Tango Des La Pisterlos). Also it would have been fun to see the infamous outtake reel that the lead actors were talking about.

PACKAGE ART/MENUS: The Package Art is well-designed while the menus lack a Play-All options for the episodes. It is nice to have a motion menu with the Lone Gunmen theme playing.

FINAL ANALYSIS: LONE GUNMEN and X-FILES fans will rejoice when they snap this DVD set up. Too bad they didn't include deleted scenes and outtakes on this release.

this DVD Review is (c)3-28-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia