Dawson's Creek-Season 5 (2000)

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Released 20-Mar-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 946:51
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (6)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Lou Antonio
Allan Arkush
John Behring
Sanford Bookstaver
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring James Van Der Beek
Katie Holmes
Michelle Williams
Joshua Jackson
Kerr Smith
Mary Beth Peil
Mary-Margaret Humes
Monica Keena
Leann Hunley
Nina Repeta
John Wesley Shipp
Meredith Monroe
Busy Philipps
Case ?
RPI $49.95 Music Jann Arden
Travis Barker
Paula Cole


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

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

Plot Synopsis

    Well, it’s the end of high school for the Dawson’s Creek crew, and here we are at the start of Season 5, the penultimate season for the show. The majority of the crew – Joey (Katie Holmes), Jen (Michelle Williams), and Jack (Kerr Smith) – have relocated to college in Boston. Dawson (James Van Der Beek) is in L.A. at film school and Pacey (Joshua Jackson) is hanging out on his boat.

    Well, that’s where they start out, but this is Dawson’s Creek after all, and so you know you’re in for a few surprises, including a death in the family, a career decision or two, and some more of the classic “on again, off again” romance of Mr Leery and cohorts.

    I’m not going to waste your time with a complete summary of each episode. You can find good summaries for this season at TV.com amongst other places. The following is just a breakdown of how each episode is presented in this set:

Disc 1

Disc 2

Disc 3

Disc 4

Disc 5

Disc 6

    Once more for you fans out there, yes, due to music licensing issues, much of the music from the original TV broadcast version of the show has been replaced. From what I’ve read on the Internet, this version is the same as the R1 in that respect. This includes, also, a change to the title track, which is very jarring, as it was an integral part of the show. This is somewhat disappointing, but music licensing is what it is, or so my friends in intellectual property tell me.

    As for the show itself, Season 5 is a return to form for the show. Back are the things that made it great, especially all the film references that were such an important part of the first and second seasons. The chemistry in general is also more on beat (in its usual off beat way) and not jarring like it sometimes was in Season 3. Of course, Season 4 (which I was not provided for review, but which I picked up commercially, because, well, I had the rest) was a return to form in any event, and I am now looking forward to Season 6, which will hopefully include the extended finale.

    If you’re a fan, this is a must have, with some real stand out episodes – most notably, the heart-wrenching The Long Goodbye. If you’re wondering why this show was so influential, this is a good place to look...

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, this season was by this stage broadcast in 1.78:1, which is its actual ratio. I find it an unfortunate choice not to preserve the widescreen image for the DVD release. Maybe with the new high definition formats, the producers will rethink this choice, but somehow I doubt it – they’ll probably just cram a whole season on the one disc instead.

    Shot on Super 35, the film grain is still slightly noticeable, but in general this is a very good transfer, and probably the best of the lot I have seen so far.

    The picture is much sharper and clearer than previous seasons, and the colour saturation is extremely good – well balanced, warm, rich tones. Even blown up on a 100-inch screen, this looked pretty good.

    The worst I have to say about this transfer is some extremely minor background moire on objects like buildings when passing in panning shots. There were no MPEG artefacts, or even any noticeable aliasing. Again, nice job.

    There is still a little dirt floating around, but nothing as bad as the previous seasons. All in all, this was pretty clean.

    Subtitles are available in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

    These appear to all be dual-layered discs, but the pauses fall between the episodes.

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

Audio

    Again, we have the same four soundtracks available – the original English track and overdub in French, Italian and German, all presented in 2.0 Dolby Surround (encoded at 192Kb/s).

    I felt this soundtrack was a little better in terms of audio clarity, in particular the dialogue seemed clearer. Of course, if you’re watching this on a 36cm CRT TV in your bedroom with a mono speaker, you’re not going to notice much difference. But I found this audio track to be better than previous seasons.

    The minor sync issues were not glaring, and obviously a product of the source material, not the transfer.

    Again, the original score remains, and is nicely balanced. However, I understand that the majority of the ‘alternative’ music tracks have been changed due to music licensing issues. The replacement tracks still suit, but purists may be unhappy, and understandably so.

    The surround speakers came to life for the music, but most of this was delivered squarely through the front centre speaker.

    There was no subwoofer use.

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

Extras

Menus

    All menus are presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, non-16x9 enhanced. The main menu has a lead in with a 2.0 stereo audio track. All other menus are static and silent.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

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

    The R1 release appears identical except for the region coding and the NTSC video format, although in R4 the episodes are spread across 6 discs instead of 4, and we have a few more subtitle options.

Summary

    Dawson’s Creek: Season 5 is a good return to form for the series. The witty dialogue, the pop culture references, the movie themes are all back in spades, and it’s a welcome return. Strange choice on all the deleted scenes, though.

    Video is good if still a tad grainy, and unfortunately not 16x9 enhanced widescreen.

    The sound is better than previous seasons, and suits the nature of the show quite well.

    Sadly, no extras, but it keeps the cost of the series down, and that’s a plus.

    Overall, if I were an old time fan of this show, I think I would be disappointed. As it stands, I as a reviewer are not disappointed about anything except for the deleted scenes.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVPNS92, using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-HS60 WXGA 3LCD Cineza Projector (10:000 contrast) with 100" Longhom Pro-Series Micro-Textured White Matte PVC 1.78:1 16:9 Fixed Mount Screen with Black Velour Trim. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersJensen QX70 Centre Front, Jensen QX45 Left Front & Right Front, Jensen QX20 Left Rear & Right Rear, Jensen QX-90 Dual 10" 250 Watt Subwoofer

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