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PHOTOGRAPHY

PRISON BREAK- The Complete First Season

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 960 minutes (22 episodes on six discs), 10 audio commentaries, deleted scenes, featurettes, TV spots, two promos

STUDIO: 20th Century Fox

RELEASE DATE: 8-7-2006

DISC 1- PILOT/ ALLEN/ CELL TEST/ CUTE POISON

DISC 2- ENGLISH, FITZ, OR PERCY/ RIOTS, DRILLS AND TEH DEVIL Part 1 and Part 2/ THE OLD HEAD

DISC 3- TWEENER, SLIEGHT OF HAND/ AND THEN THERE WERE 7/ ODD MAN OUT

DISC 4- END OF THE TUNNEL/ THE RAT/ BY THE SKIN AND THE TEETH/ BROTHER'S KEEPER

DISC 5- J-CAT/ BLUFF/ THE KEY/ TONIGHT

DISC 6- GO/ FLIGHT/ featurettes/ promos/ TV spots

PRISON BREAK is a wild ride. I couldn't wait for the next episode after I watched the first few episodes. I missed out on this show when it was on FOX. It is great to see Dominic Purcell at work on TV again after the sorely missed JOHN DOE (I wonder when FOX will get that show to DVD).

Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) has an elaborate tattoo on his body which has hidden blueprints to Fox River Pen. He commits a crime so he can get sent to Fox River to break out his brother Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) before Linc gets executed for a crime he was framed for- the murder of the (female) Vice-President's brother. Linc and Michael soon realize they are up against a high level conspiracy that threatens the lives of Linc's lawyer/former lover Veronica (Robin Tunney) and Linc's Son LJ. Michael has to bring in a few prisoners to make sure his escape plan works: mob boss Abruzzi (Peter Stormare), Sucre (Michael's cell mate), C-Note, child killer T-Bag, and an old guy who may or may not be D.B. Cooper. The biggest roadblock to Michael's plan is corrupt prison guard Captain Bellick who doesn't like Scofield at all and who wants to find out what Michael is up to. The only two allies Michael has outside of the prison population is Warden Pope (Stacy Keach) who sees a good man in Michael and prison doctor Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies) who feels attracted to Michael from the start.

The twists and turns of the series keep me glued to PRISON BREAK and makes me want to check out season 2 on TV. Peter Stormare steals the show as the ruthless Abruzzi while I would love to see T-Bag get his. I do feel sorry for some of the inmates and why they ended up at Fox River. I felt the sparks between Michael and Sara. Now I wonder how the addition of William Fichtner to the cast will add to PRISON BREAK.

VIDEO: 1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

The transfers aren't bad at all. image detail is pretty good 99 percent of the time. Depending on the system you're playing it on, you may see some aliasing at times. The video does look better than how it was presented on the screener discs Fox first sent out to me. The final product discs look better.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Dialogue is clear and the surround mix isn't that bad for a TV show mix.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

FOX has brought home some some great extras for the season one set.

10 audio commentaries were recorded for this set:

Pilot - Paul Scheuring (creator) and Dominic Purcell ("Lincoln Burrows")
Pilot - Brett Ratner (pilot director) and Mark Helfrich (editor)
Cell Test - Paul Scheuring, Dominic Purcell and Wade Williams ("Captain Bellick")
Cell Test - Matt Olmstead (executive producer/writer) and Silas Weir Mitchell ("Haywire")
Riots, Drills and the Devil (Part 1) - Paul Scheuring, Dominic Purcell, Amaury Nolasco ("Sucre"), Wade Williams, Robert Knepper ("T-Bag") and Sarah Wayne Callies ("Dr. Sara Tancredi")
Riots, Drills and the Devil (Part 1) - Robert Mandel (director) and Nick Santora (writer)
Riots, Drills and the Devil (Part 2) - Paul Scheuring, Dominic Purcell, Peter Stormare ("John Abruzzi"), Amaury Nolasco and Wade Williams
Odd Man Out - Garry Brown (producer), Bobby Roth (director) and Karyn Usher (co-producer/writer)
Brother's Keeper - Paul Scheuring, Dominic Purcell, Amaury Nolasco, Wade Williams, Robert Knepper and Sarah Wayne Callies
Brother's Keeper - Greg Yaitanes (director) and Zack Estrin (supervising producer/writer)

The audio commentaries are sometimes fun and other times they are full of info about why sometimes the recap runs longer in some episodes (because the episode runs short), Fox wouldn't let them use the image of Jesus for one episode, and the value they get for $2 million per episode among other things. I do wish they recorded a commentary for one of the episodes on disc 5 or 6.

Deleted scenes for four episodees (ALLEN, AND THEN THERE WERE 7, BROTHER'S KEEPER (music only and no audio), J-CAT) and an alternate ending for END OF THE TUNNEL.

On disc six are four featurettes (Making of Prison Break, If These Walls Could Speak: Profile of the Joliet Correctional Center, Beyond the Ink, Fox Movie Channel Presents: Making a Scene - Prison Break), a season 2 promo, 6 TV spots, and a 3 minute promo for VANISHED (the show on after season 2 of PRISON BREAK on Mondays). Next time, I hope Fox includes all the episode promos for the season 2 set (please).

FINAL ANALYSIS: PRISON BREAK is the best FOX show since 24. It is an addictive ride that won't let go. Since season 2 has started airing this week, it is a good time to pick up season 1 DVD set to relive it or experience a great show for the first time (if you haven't seen it at all or just tuned in at the start of season 2).

this review is (c)8-22-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com