Law & Order: Criminal Intent-Year 2 (2002)

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Released 7-Mar-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 966:35 (Case: 989)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (6)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Adam Bernstein
Juan José Campanella
Alex Chapple
Joyce Chopra
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Vincent D'Onofrio
Kathryn Erbe
Jamey Sheridan
Courtney B. Vance
Case ?
RPI $79.95 Music Rob Dougan
Atli Orvarsson
Mike Post


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

   

    "In New York City's war on crime, the worst criminal offenders are pursued by the detectives of the major case squad. These are their stories."

    The Law & Order franchise is one of the most successful sets of TV series, both in the US & here in Australia. The flagship series, Law & Order, started in 1990 and is now in its 15th season with no signs of slowing down. There have now been 4 spin-off series from the original, including Special Victims Unit (SVU); Criminal Intent; a less successful reality based one, Crime & Punishment; and new in 2005, Trial by Jury.

    The basic formula of all of these series is quite similar. They present realistic crimes from the perspective of the police officers trying to solve them and the District Attorneys trying to prosecute the perpetrators. They are all set in New York City (with the exception of Crime & Punishment) and each series focuses on a different squad of officers. The main differences between the series are the types of crimes and the level of involvement of the District Attorneys. Criminal Intent is more focused on the detectives and less on the court cases than the original series. This series is based on the major case squad which does actually exist. The approach here is more of a whodunit with the focus on solving the crime rather than the prosecution of the victims. One other thing which differentiates this series is that is basically focuses on one major character rather than being an ensemble piece like the other ones. Having said that it does include four regular characters, although Det Robert Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio) is clearly the focus. When compared directly to SVU, this series is less emotional, shows less of the private lives of the detectives (which seems to be something Vincent D'Onofrio was very definite about) and generally speaking the cases are not as dark and violent (although they have their moments). Having said that this second series starts to show more glimpses of Det Goren's background than were evident in the first series.

    Law & Order - Criminal Intent was first aired in 2001 and this set contains the second complete season totalling 23 episodes, presented here across 6 discs. It is currently in its fifth season on US television. This season was shown in 2002/03 in the US and has been shown here on Channel Ten.

    The main characters (which are unchanged from Series 1) are :

    To my mind this is a very good television show, although not quite as strong as SVU. Having said that, this second season is stronger than the first and the other characters besides Goren are developing. Additionally, the writing is improved in this second series including a case that comes back to haunt Goren and helps to show his weaknesses as well as strengths.

    In detail, the episodes included are :

1.Dead - A man kills a funeral director to help a friend of his but the strange method of killing him draws attention. Excellent start to the new season

2.Bright Boy - A social worker who works with gifted children is being pursued by the married Deputy Mayor. They both end up dead after having dinner together. Very good episode.

3.Anti-thesis - A professor who is a department head is retiring and there is a squabble over who will replace him. The university president is found dead. Another very good episode.

4.Best Defence - A DA has arranged to interview a witness but they don't show up and then he gets a phantom phone call. It seems that someone is out to get him.

5.Chinoiserie - A Chinese woman gets shot after she recognises a man on the street from her past. He is involved in a forgery ring.

6. Malignant - A delivery van gets held up for the drugs they are carrying. Both the drivers end up getting killed.

7.Tomorrow - While an older divorced man and his young girlfriend are away for the weekend, his grown up son uses his apartment but his friend and sister are found dead in the apartment by the nanny.

8.The Pilgrim - A woman's boyfriend disappears and then when her parents arrive to see her she has disappeared as well. Aramaic writing is scrawled on the wall. This episode has a 9/11 theme.

9. Shandeh - A Jewish businessman is having an affair. His wife is attacked and killed while parking her car in their garage.

10.Con-text - A father and his two sons are involved in criminal activities together but they have a falling out over money. The father and one son are found dead. Very good episode.

11. Baggage - A young woman who works at an airport has been getting harassing calls. On her way home her car breaks down and she is found dead in the boot.

12.Suite Sorrow - An old woman who owns a hotel drowns in the bath. A rival hotel family have been trying to buy the property. The old woman's daughter and the daughter's fiancé are acting suspiciously.

13.See Me - A psychiatrist pursues an ex client trying to tell him something important. The patient doesn't want to know him. The psychiatrist winds up dead stabbed multiple times. Excellent episode.

14.Probability - A loser gets into dodgy ways to make money through medical research but then ends up getting killed.

15.Monster- A man released after 15 years in prison for murder gets released and moves in with his mother. The mother is found dead in the apartment. Excellent episode.

16.Cuba Libre - An old rich man gets released after spending two years in prison. His trophy wife gets killed at their front door on his first night home. Very good episode.

17.Cold Comfort - A US senator is dying and his children are squabbling over his will. The sister ends up getting killed in a very professional way.

18.Legion - Excellent episode involving a group of kids who are involved in crime. They murder one of their number and his father when the father starts to get too close to what they are doing.

19.Cherry Red - A young woman who lives alone is trying to ensure her mother is well cared for in a hospice but struggles for the money to do so. When an elderly neighbour dies she expects to inherit some money but ends up with nothing. When she threatens to take legal action she winds up dead.

20.Blink - College maths researchers are pulling some sort of casino scam but they get caught. A woman involved disappears and then is found dead.

21.Faith - An Irish Catholic youth probation officer takes her Protestant friend to a family gathering with her strange and reclusive family. She ends up dead, run over repeatedly.

22.Zoonotic - A policeman agrees to meet someone on a train but gets caught in the entry gate and stabbed multiple times, resulting in his death.

23.A Person of Interest - Great end to the series which reopens the case in episode 3. This is a very difficult case for Goren. A young ex-air force nurse gets killed while trying to sell illicit drugs.

    A improved series compared to Season 1 - this is developing into a different but worthy addition to the Law & Order stable. Recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is average.

    The feature is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was  reasonably clear and sharp throughout but not as good as you would expect for recent television. There was no evidence of low level noise. There was some grain throughout, however some episodes were significantly grainy, particularly in backgrounds. This was especially noticeable in the interview rooms. The shadow detail was decent.

    The colour was not too bad but there was some light colour bleeding and a few patches of chroma noise.

    From an artefacts perspective there was some minor edge enhancement and fairly regular and sometimes distracting aliasing. There were also a few white film artefacts. I also noticed some patches of macro-blocking is some episodes.

    There are no subtitles.

    The layer changes occur between episodes.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is good.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this series by Mike Post features the theme tune which is a modernised version of the theme tune from Law & Order. There is also incidental music which adds tension as appropriate.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

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

Extras

    None.

Menu

    The menu included stills, music and the ability to select episodes. A play all option was available on each disc.

R4 vs R1

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

    Strangely, Season Two seems not to have been released in Region 1 although Season Three has been. The Region 2 version is coming out later his year. So, at this stage ours is the best release.

Summary

    An improved second season of a very good TV show.

    The video quality is average.

    The audio quality is good, doing everything this show requires.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, May 05, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

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