Justified-Complete First Season (Blu-ray) (2010)

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Released 7-Jun-2012

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category TV Drama Series Audio Commentary-Episodes: Fire in the Hole, Blowback, Hatless, Bulletville
Featurette-What Would Elmore Do?
Featurette-The Story of Justified
Featurette-Justified: Meet the Characters
Featurette-Shooting for Kentucky
Featurette-The Marshalls
Music Video-Long Hard Time to Come by Gangstagrass
Featurette-Preview Season 2
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 560:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,4 Directed By Jon Avnet
Adam Arkin
Peter Werner
Michael Dinner
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring None Given
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Steve Porcaro


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     You can take the man out of Kentucky but you can't take the Kentucky out of the man! In this TV drama series from cable station FX, US Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) grew up in the hardscrabble of Harlan County, Kentucky and has escaped his former life to be working his job, dealing with major crime bosses and fugitives, in Miami. Unfortunately, a showdown with a mob kingpin doesn't go too well. Before he can blink the mobster is dead and Raylan’s bosses need him to get out of town.

     Where else should be sent but his old home state. Based in Lexington, his zone extends into the meth lab heartland of the Appalachians where trouble and drugs are brewed in equal measure. Turns out things aren't so rosy at home. The Chief Deputy Art Mullen (Nick Searcy) is not too happy to have this Stetson wearing trigger-happy Marshall in his office. Fellow Marshalls Tim Gutterson (Jacob Pitts) and Rachel Brooks (Erica Tazel) also don't like the way that he has managed to fast track himself into some of the better cases. Raylan's ex-wife Winona (Natalie Zea) is a court reporter in town and his father Arlo (Raymond J Barry) has a regular association with the law, but on the wrong side!

     Justified has an overall series arc. However most of the episodes are complete stories. New characters are introduced, new fugitives to hunt down, only to move on when they escape or are dispatched. The show was based on a character created by crime/western novelist Elmore Leonard. A great deal of attention was paid by the writers to style and flow of Leonard's stories as well as his wonderful dialogue. The effect is to create a show that elevates itself above its potential. Actually, there are two factors that elevate the show. The Leonard style is one thing, that blend of characters and situations that are violent, scary and funny all at the same time.

     Season One focuses on the relationship between Raylan and the Crowder family. In episode one Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter) has taken a hunting rifle to her husband sending him to the great hereafter, creating all sorts of mayhem in the clan. It doesn't help that she and Raylan had "a thing" for each other growing up. There is no way that Raylan would give in to her charms and potentially damage the homicide case against her, is there?

     Father Bo Crowder (M.C. Gainey) is getting out of prison and is eager to make sure that his meth lab and general drug-running operations have been maintained during his stint inside. His son Boyd (Walton Goggins) is a loose cannon, in more senses than one. A white supremacist leader with a penchant for rocket launchers, he is a dangerous psychotic who just happens to be an old school friend of Raylan. After a shootout with Raylan, Boyd is injured and spends a short time in prison. Whilst in there he "sees the light" and decides that he will establish his own ministry, made up of former criminals and vagrants, and bring righteousness to the county!

     The other thing that makes the show always engaging is the quality of the performances on offer. Not only are the leads exceptional but the supporting cast and guest actors are also high quality. Olyphant is both a good looking actor, a perfect heroic lead, and a fine actor capturing the conflicts in Raylan’s character and making a heap of mistakes along the way. The two leading ladies are perfect opposites - the cool, elegant Winona versus the earthy sensual Eva. As the two fathers MC Gainey and Raymond J Barry are equally twisted and scary. Interestingly, the Executive Producer Graham Yost talks in some of the extras material about the decision to cast actors who had worked in comedy in some of the most dramatic roles as guest performers. The effect is to create performances that are both intense and dramatic yet with humour at the edges.

     Justified has already completed three seasons on FX channel in United States. This is the first season to be released on Blu-ray in this region. The second season will be out in September 2012. Hopefully the third season will not take too long to get to our shores. Those who like their TV dramas with some wicked humour will get a lot of pleasure out of Justified.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Justified comes to Blu-ray in the original widescreen television ratio of 1.78:1.

     The show comprises 13 episodes. They have been spread over three Blu-rays. The first contains five episodes but only a solitary extra. The bulk of the extras are contained on the other disks meaning that there is a similar amount of material on each.

     The show looks good on Blu-ray without being reference quality. The flesh tones are accurate and the level of detail is pleasing. In the extras material the chief series cinematographer, Francis Kenny, explains that they went for a somewhat downbeat muted colour palette to portray Harlan County USA. They did not want to create a picture postcard of Kentucky and instead wanted it to express the old coalmine origins of the region. For this reason the colour palette is somewhat limited. Of course, part of the challenge in portraying the real Kentucky was to do so when the pilot was filmed in Pennsylvania and the rest of the season in Southern California!

     There are no technical problems with the transfer quality. The show looks good throughout.

     There are subtitles in English and English for the hearing-impaired.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Justified contains an English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track.

     The sub-woofer establishes itself immediately when the theme tune kicks in, Long Hard Times to Come by Gangstagrass. I have to say I don't think I'd ever heard gangster rap combined with bluegrass before but the effect is to create a sense of backwoods danger and perfectly typifies the show.

     The surround sound comes into effect in some of the shooting scenes with bullets coming from everywhere. There is also a pleasing general ambience to the show. Otherwise, it is mostly front and centre. The dialogue is well handled throughout although the characters’ accents are sometimes strong and take a little listening to get used to.

     There are no technical problems with the sound.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     There are a number of extras in this package

Disc One

Audio Commentary Episode 1: Fire in the Hole

     Executive Producer Graham Yost, Actor Nick Searcy, Elmore Leonard Researcher Gregg Sutter, and Director Michael Dinner get together to talk about the origin of the show and the development and production of this first episode. It was shot as a pilot in Pennsylvania and then recut with some more material when the show was greenlit. A great introduction to the thinking of showrunner Yost and also the level to which the show reflects the Elmore Leonard background.

Disc Two

Audio Commentary Episode 8 : Blowback

    Executive Producer Graham Yost and writer Ben Cavell talk about this "bottle" episode, where the characters are trapped together by a dangerous psychopath.

Audio Commentary: Episode 9 Hatless

     Writer Dave Andron and actors Timothy Olyphant and Natalie Zea riff on the fun they had making the show and the series and generally joke around.

What Would Elmore Do? (18:48)

     A fairly detailed piece about Leonard and his influence on the show.

The Story of Justified (4:52)

     A bit of a tribute session for writer Elmore Leonard and cast and crew talk about his unique voice that gives the show its zing.

"Justified:" Meet the Characters (4:52)

     An introduction to Raylan Givens, Art Mullen, Winona Hawkins, Ava Crowder, Tim Gutterson, and Rachel Brooks through interviews with cast and crew.

Disc Three

Audio Commentary Episode 13: Bulletville

     Executive Producer Graham Yost and Writer/Producer Fred Golantake take us through the final episode.

Shooting for Kentucky (16:07)

     As previously said the pilot was shot in Pennsylvania and the rest of the show in California so there was a lot of effort put in to making it look like Kentucky. This featurette also looks at costume design and casting.

Meet the Marshalls (12:46)

    Real former Marshalls talk about the show including how close the show is to "real life".

Music Video "Long Hard Times to Come" by Gangstagrass (4:14)

     The video of this song which goes up there as a personal favourite with the True Blood theme and capturing the Southern Gothic flavour of the show.

Season Two: A Look Ahead (1:49)

     Excited about Season 2? Here's your chance to see what's coming. I didn't watch it. I want to be surprised!

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

   This is a Region A and Region B Blu-ray. Therefore the contents, including special features, are exactly the same between this region and the US. Buy local.

Summary

     Justified is a show that will surprise you. Many will come to it after enjoying Timothy Olyphant on Deadwood and his country lawman character is not too far from that show. However it is the quality performances and constantly surprising and amusing script that make this an unmissable show.

     The Blu-ray is an excellent representation of the show in both sound and vision terms.

    The extras are all that you could want in a TV package.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC-LX 81 7.1
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

Other Reviews NONE
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Portraying Kentucky - REPLY POSTED