Mad Men-Season Four (2010)

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Released 5-Apr-2011

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category TV Drama Series Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-2
Audio Commentary-5 episodes
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 591
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Phil Abraham
Tim Hunter
Lesli Linka Glatter
Andrew Bernstein
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring None Given
Case ?
RPI $49.95 Music David Carbonara


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/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 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

     We recently published a review of this latest series of Mad Men on Blu-ray which can be found here. This show is amazingly addictive and once you begin a series it is nearly impossible to stop part way through. Then once you finish the episodes you get disappointed because you must wait quite a while before the next season becomes available.

     This is a very high quality show with excellent writing, great performances, wonderful production values and fantastic music. It is one of the very best shows currently being made. Season 4, which is described in one of the commentaries as a reboot in that it changes the basic setting from the large advertising agency to the beginnings of the new agency set up at the end of Season 3 by Don Draper, Roger Sterling, Bert Cooper, Lane Pryce and Pete Campbell. Their staff also includes Peggy Olsen, Joan Harris and rejoining them this season is Ken Cosgrove. This season includes lots of ups and downs for the team, with accounts won and lost, personal troubles and various problems to overcome. There is lots of character development for most of the main characters listed above but this season focuses on Don and his relationships with the team, his ex-wife Betty and various other women. By the end of the season, Don has revealed his secrets to more people and gone through great highs and lows.

     There are 13 episodes in this season, spread across 3 double layer discs. It probably should have been four. Regardless, this is a wonderful season of a great show, despite a slightly disappointing ending to the season, which some may think is out of character for Don and the show.

     Highly Recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is very good but slightly compromised on the third disc by packing five episodes onto it. The series is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout although was affected by some minor motion blur and some light background grain on disc 3.The shadow detail was good. The colour is very good showing off the great costumes and sets. There were no other obvious artefacts.

     There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired which were clear and easy to read.

     There are no obvious layer changes during playback.

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

Audio

     The audio quality is very good. The discs contain an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s.

     Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to hear although some lines were muffled. Subtitles proved useful. The music is one of this show's strengths. There is the wonderful theme, quality and interesting incidental music plus some great songs all of which add to and create the mood of the show.

     The surround speakers were used for atmosphere, music and some directional effects.

     The subwoofer was used for music support mostly.

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

Extras

     The extras included here are a subset of those available on the Blu-ray edition. On a positive note they are the sort of extras I want to see more of, interesting material about topics related to the main content of the DVDs but not just about the production itself.

Menu

     The stylish menu included music and motion.

Disc 1

Marketing the Mustang: An American Icon (27:05)

     A worthwhile featurette about the marketing campaigns for one of America's most famous muscle cars.

Audio Commentaries

     Two of the nine commentaries on the equivalent Blu-ray make it onto the DVD set. These are good quality and interesting but you can't help feeling a little let down by the difference in quantity.

Disc 2

1964 Presidential Campaign (29:54)

     Another interesting featurette on a related topic. This one presents the various marketing and speeches of what was a fascinating election campaign held at the time this series is set.

Audio Commentaries

     One of the eight commentaries on the equivalent Blu-ray makes it onto the DVD set. This one is good quality and interesting but you can't help feeling a little let down by the difference in quantity.

Disc 3

Audio Commentaries

     Two of the eight commentaries on the equivalent Blu-ray make it onto the DVD set. These are good quality and interesting but you can't help feeling a little let down by the difference in quantity.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 version of this DVD seems to contain all the featurettes that the local Blu-ray has plus most of the commentaries. It is spread over four rather than the local 3 discs. Region 1 wins by a mile.

Summary

     Another great season of a great TV show.

     The video quality is very good. The audio quality is very good. The extras are worthwhile but a much smaller set than Region 1 or the Blu-ray edition.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, May 20, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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