Angel-Season 3 Box Set Part 2 (2002)

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Released 18-Mar-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Vampire Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Waiting In The Wings
Deleted Scenes-Waiting In The Wings +/- commentary
Featurette-Season 3 Overview
Featurette-Page To Screen
Featurette-Amy Acker's Screentest
Featurette-Vincent Kartheiser's Screentest
Gallery-Photo
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 464:53
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Tim Minear
Joss Whedon
David Greenwalt
James A Contner
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring David Boreanaz
Charisma Carpenter
Alexis Denisof
J. August Richards
Amy Acker
Keith Szarabajka
Stephanie Romanov
Daniel Dae Kim
Andrew Hallett
Mark Lutz
Vincent Kartheiser
Case ?
RPI $89.95 Music Robert J. Kral


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Danish
Dutch
English
Finnish
French
Norwegian
Swedish
French Titling
English Audio Commentary
French Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

Before you read this review, you might want to read my reviews of Angel Season One (Part I and Part II), and Season Two (Part I and Part II), and Season Three Part I.

If you haven't seen the earlier seasons of Angel and Buffy, I strongly recommend you not read any more of the plot synopsis.

This is Angel Season 3 Part II, the last three discs out of the six that make up the season. The episodes on these discs are:

Episode Time Writer Director
Provider 41:34 Scott Murphy Bill Norton Angel Investigations has lots and lots of work, so much that Fred nearly loses her head
Waiting in the Wings 42:31 Joss Whedon Joss Whedon Angel and Cordelia get trapped in a hot spot backstage of a ballet performance
Couplet 42:09 Tim Minear
Jeffrey Bell
Tim Minear Jealousy rears its head among the team; Angel feels inadequate by comparison
Loyalty 42:39 Mere Smith James A Contner Wesley's following up leads on the prophecy
Sleep Tight 42:10 David Greenwalt Terrence O'Hara A four-way stand-off resolved in a horrible way
Forgiving 42:38 Jeffrey Bell Turi Meyer Angel tries to reach Quor-Toth, to reach Sahjhan, to reach anyone...
Double or Nothing 42:28 David H Goodman David Grossman One of the team is at great risk from the soul-sucker
The Price 41:21 David Fury Marita Grabiak There's always a price for using dark magic... a transparent face-hugging price
A New World 42:32 Jeffrey Bell Tim Minear The Destroyer arrives - big surprise
Benediction 42:08 Tim Minear Tim Minear Everyone seems to have their own agenda, and most of them concern a confused 16 year old
Tomorrow 42:43 David Greenwalt David Greenwalt Can Cordelia and Angel admit how they feel?

This half of the season hits hard, and never pauses for breath. The first episode is a bit of fun, but the rest are rather more serious, even though the comic aspect is never neglected. And a heap happens in the last few episodes I was surprised, revisiting them, how few episodes there were to cover so much ground.

Joss Whedon explains, in his commentary, that he really wanted to film professional dancers (he used to film dance when he was in college), so he thoroughly enjoyed directing Waiting in the Wings. He blames this episode on Amy Acker (she mentioned that she had done 15 years of ballet training). It's ironic that the scene which inspired this episode was the one that he ended up having to cut other directors have mentioned that you know you've finished editing when you cut out your favourite scene. Fortunately, he was able to include it on the DVD it's fun. This episode is really quite lovely the ladies look really good in evening gowns. I find it amusing that Joss Whedon is determined to tell us about the lead ballerina, Summer Glau, and how this episode inspired him to cast her in his new show Firefly.

Every member of the team is run through an emotional wringer in these episodes, but none more than Wesley. He changes radically from the start of this sequence to the end. It's rather interesting to note that he seems a lot more effective at physical violence now (remember how much of a wimp he was on Buffy?) he needs to be.

There's a lot I'd like to say, but most of it is major spoiler material, and you do not want any spoilers for these episodes, most especially for the ending. So I'm stopping here.

I definitely think this is the best season yet of Angel. Watching it again emphasised how good it is.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

This season was screened here in 1.33:1, but it is framed in widescreen, and really looks magnificent that way. There are two-shots with a character on either side of the frame, for example. These DVDs are in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and they are 16x9 enhanced.

The image is beautifully sharp and clear, although there is the occasional shot that's imperfectly focussed (witness 29:31 in Sleep Tight). Shadow detail is quite good (and just as well, given how dark this show is) that doesn't mean that there aren't extensive patches of black (you expect that, though). There are still a few scenes showing noticeable film grain, but in most scenes it's not visible. There is no low-level noise.

Colour is beautifully rendered, with lots of subtleties of shade. There are no colour-related artefacts.

There is some mild aliasing (such as 38:33 in Double or Nothing), only very minor moire, and a touch or two of shimmer. For television material this is very clean.

There still isn't a single film artefact worth mentioning.

There are subtitles in seven languages. I watched the English for the Hearing Impaired ones. They are easy to read, well-timed, and mostly accurate (although abbreviated).

The discs are single-sided and dual layered, but there's no visible layer change. Each episode is placed entirely on one layer two on one layer and two on the other.

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

Audio

Both the English and French soundtracks are Dolby Digital stereo, surround encoded at 192kbps. I only listened to the English soundtrack. Parts of it are pure front and centre, but the mix does use the surround-encoding very occasionally.

The dialogue is clear and easy to understand, very important given the wit in the writing. There are no visible audio sync issues. There are occasional touches of distortion, but less than in the first half it's mostly in the "previously on Angel" sequences.

Robert J. Kral is responsible for the score on all these episodes. He gets a chance to show his skill in Waiting in the Wings he blended music from Giselle with Angel themes, and does so well.

The surround-encoding gets used rarely, mostly for depth in the score. The only thing directing sound to the subwoofer is the bass-management; there's some decent bass in the soundtrack, so your sub will get something to do if your bass-management sends it there.

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

Extras

I'm little disappointed by the paucity of extras on these discs there are none at all on disc five, which is sad. I guess they had less time than usual to prepare these discs.

Menu

The menus are static, with snatches of music behind all of them. The main menu features Wesley on Disc 4, Fred on Disc 5, and Angel on Disc 6.

Commentary: Joss Whedon (writer/director) on Waiting in the Wings

I always enjoy Joss Whedon commentaries, and this one is even better than usual. He claims this is the most fun he's ever had it's easy to understand from his enthusiasm. He also claims that he didn't realise he was trying to make Moulin Rouge. I have to agree with him that Amy Acker is gorgeous. He explains that the melodrama is quite deliberate and considered.

I'm pleased to see that the commentary is subtitled in both English and French now.

Deleted Scene Waiting in the Wings (2:15)

This is a gem very funny. Don't watch it until after you've seen the episode, and, if you can stand it, wait until after you've listened to Joss Whedon's commentary on the episode. This is the scene that was the inspiration for the episode, but it had to be removed ironic, no? It's not 16x9 enhanced, unfortunately.

Featurette Season Three Overview (32:24)

This is a lengthy discussion of the plot arcs and events of Season Three. I'm glad that it is on the last disc, because you really must not watch this until you've watched every episode.

Page to Screen (13:46)

This is not what I thought it is not a storyboard comparison or script comparison. This is a really interesting documentary on how Angel gets from a script outline to the finished episode. I was surprised to learn that 237 people work full-time on this show. Strongly recommended.

Amy Acker's Screen Test (2:33)

A funny segment, and one that hasn't appeared in an episode.

Vincent Kartheiser's Screen Test (1:47)

Interesting to see, and again a segment that hasn't appeared in an episode.

Still Gallery

This is a gallery of 29 photos, mostly staged stills of principal characters.

R4 vs R1

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

Season 1 of Angel has just been released in Region 1 we're still ahead of them on this series.

Season 3 of Angel has just been released in Region 2 (3rd of March), and will be released two weeks later in Region 4. As far as I can ascertain so far, the Region 2 and Region 4 discs will be the same, and the packaging differences will be the same as for the first two seasons: Region 4 will get two cardboard slipcases, each holding three plastic keepcases, while Region 2 will get a compact album format, with each disc held in a separate page. I have found that it is a little easier to damage the discs, sliding them in and out of the album pages, so maybe Region 4 is getting the better (albeit bulkier) deal on this issue.

Summary

The best season of Angel yet, presented rather well on DVD.

The video quality is excellent, and widescreen, too.

The audio quality is very good, with one or two moments of light distortion.

The extras are reasonable, with a good documentary piece, a Joss Whedon commentary, and a very funny deleted scene, but a bit lighter on extras than previous seasons.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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