DVDSleuth.com is your source for daily DVD news and reviews.
Lost: The Complete Third Season
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
DVD Released: 12/11/2007
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 12/10/2007
Given the nebulous quality of the Nielsen ratings service, the average American TV viewer can often feel as if they have no power over what is seen on television. (It always seems that lame shows perpetuate, while quality programming comes and goes quite quickly.) However, every once in a while, the power of the people is evident. When Lost premiered in 2004, it won over viewers by introducing many intriguing mysteries. But, throughout Season Two, it became clear that the show was going to continue offering questions and few answers. Because of this, many fans began to turn on the show, and the Internet was littered with comments accusing the show of having no direction. Apparently, those outcries were heard by the makers of Lost, as Season 3 of the show finally did bring some answers...although it also brought plenty of questions as well. Lost: The Complete Third Season has now come to DVD.
(The usual spoilers apply here. Season 3 of Lost can't be discussed without giving away information from all three seasons, so if you haven't seen Season 2 & 3, read with caution. -- ML) Season 3 of Lost continues the saga of the survivors of Ocean Air Flight 815, which crashed on a tropical island. This season opens immediately following the finale of Season 2. After undertaking an excursion to confront "The Others", Jack (Matthew Fox), Kate (Evangeline Lilly), and Sawyer (Josh Holloway) are captured. Meanwhile, Sayid (Naveen Andrews), Sun (Yunjin Kim), and Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) are on-board Desmond's sailboat attempting to rescue their friends. When this doesn't go as planned, they are forced to return to the survivor's camp. Kate and Sawyer are forced into labor by "The Others", while Jack is kept separately from them. He meets Juiet (Elizabeth Mitchell), a fellow doctor who appears to only want to help Jack. However, Jack doesn't like being held prisoner and he makes that apparent to both Juiet, and her superior, Ben (Michael Emerson). But, when they attempt to press Jack into service, things change.
Back at the beach, the rest of the survivor's are attempting to cope with life on the island. Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) has discovered that he has psychic flashes which give him the knowledge that one of his friends is going to die. With Jack gone, the group attempts to rally around a new leader. Hurley (Jorge Garcia) often feels left out of many activities and attempts to create some fun. Locke (Terry O'Quinn) is still dealing with the devastating events (from the end of Season 2) and is attempting to find a new purpose in life. As Season 3 draws to a close, all of these people will find themselves in a life-or-death struggle to defeat "The Others" and find a way off of the island.
Lost is a good show. Let me rephrase that -- To be as popular as it is, Lost must be a good show. This may be the most frustrating television program ever. As noted above, the show began by introducing a series of intriguing mysteries. But, over time, these mysteries weren't resolved -- they were only replaced by other mysteries. The show continued to be exciting and interesting, but watching it became the entertainment equivalent of unrequited love.
I'm pleased to report that this has changed somewhat in Season 3. Now, don't get too excited, as the show is far from an open book. There are still plenty of unanswered questions and new situations to be explored. But, the show does offer us a slighter larger glimpse into some of the queries which were raised in Seasons 1 and 2. In Season 3, we learn more about "The Others" and the Dharma Initiative, and we get more background on their members. The show continues its template of having each episode focus on a particular character, and through flashbacks, we learn a little more about their past. This season in particular reveals some surprising things about the characters whom we've come to know.
The bottom line is that Lost is a very well-written show. The makers of this program have found a perfect carrot-and-stick formula wherein they give the viewer just enough information to keep us wanting more. The show has already built a very elaborate mythology (which may all come crashing down at some point) and it's still exciting to see how the writers are able to weave the backstories of the major characters together. My one problem with the show (outside of the frustration factor) is that it needs to make up its mind whether or not it wants to bring the supernatural into the story. Most of the plots deal with human drama or technology, but every few episodes, we get something like the smoke monster or ghosts (?) which make one wonder what the exact direction of the show is. Nevertheless, the show continues to be outstanding. If you have the patience to wade through a lot of story for a little payoff, Lost is certainly worth watching as the show takes the time to develop its characters and then amplifies this with great cliffhangers. Bring on Season 4!
Lost: The Complete Third Season crashes onto DVD courtesy of Buena Vista Home Entertainment. All 23 episodes from Season 3 are included here, spread across six discs. There is a seventh disc which includes only bonus features. The shows are presented in their original 1.78:1 aspect ratio and they are 16 x 9. The images here look fantastic, as the pictures is very sharp and clear. The image shows only the finest amount of grain during the daytime shots and there are no defects from the source material. The colors, especially the jungle greens, look great and really jump off of the screen. The nighttime scenes are never overly dark. I did see some minor video noise in some shots, but otherwise the video was very good. The DVDs carry a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which provide clear dialogue and sound effects. The show offers movie-like sound design, as there is an abundance of stereo, surround sound, and subwoofer effects. The airplane noise which accompanies the flashbacks is the best indicator of this, as the sound fills all of the speakers and then offers an appreciable rumble as well. The high-quality sound only emphasizes the action on the show.
The 7-disc Lost: The Complete Third Season DVD set contains a nice assortment of extras. Several episodes contain AUDIO COMMENTARIES. They are: "A Tale of Two Cities" commentary by Executive Producer Damon Lindelof and actor Elizabeth Mitchell (Disc 1); "I Do" commentary by writer/producer Carlton Cuse, Actor Evangeline Lilly and actor Josh Holloway (Disc 2); "Expose" with Audio Commentary by co-executive producers/writers Edward Kitsis and Adaw Horowitz (Disc 4); and "The Man Behind the Curtain" commentary by co-creator/executive producer Damon Lindelof, executive producer Carlton Cuse and actor Michael Emerson (Disc 5). These commentaries vary somewhat in quality, but they are all interesting. They are a mixture of information about the production of the episode and some analysis of the story. In "The Man Behind the Curtain" commentary, the producers point out some ideas which will factor into future episodes.
The remainder of the extras are found on Disc 7. "Lost Book Club" (8 minutes) explores the way that books are often shown in the series and how those novels are referenced in the storylines. The show's writers and producers give examples of how authors like Stephen King and Charles Dickens, how books such as The Wizard of Oz have influenced the show. "Cast in Clay: Creating the Toys of Todd McFarlane" (5 minutes) offers footage from the 2006 Comicon where McFarlane comments on the figures. We then get to see the actors have their facial expressions scanned into a computer. From there, we see how the figures are sculpted, and finally the unveiling at Toys R Us. "The Next Level: Inside the Video Game" (4 minutes) explores the creation of the Lost video game through interviews with the game makers and footage from the game. "Lost: On Location" (58 minutes) gives behind-the-scenes looks at the making of 10 episodes from Season 3. These include on-set footage and comments from the cast and crew. "Crew Tribute with Evangeline Lilly" (7 minutes) has "Kate" touring the set and introducing various crew members. "Lost in a Day" (25 minutes) examines a 14-hour day in the life of Lost as seven different episodes are being worked on at once. Offers on-set footage and insight into how the show is made. "The World of the Others" (14 minutes) looks at the various Others characters, and contains comments from the cast and filmmakers discussing what we've learned about the Others. "Terry O'Quinn: Throwing from the Handle" (90 seconds) shows O'Quinn practicing knife-throwing. There is a 7-minute "Blooper Reel". "The Lost Flashbacks" contains un-aired flashbacks from the episodes "Further Instructions", "The Glass Ballerina", and "Expose". There are 9 "Deleted Scenes" from various episodes totaling about 17 minutes. "The Orchid Instructional Film" (2 minutes) offers an uncut view of one of the mysterious Dharma messages.
Buena Vista has also brought Lost: The Complete Third Season toBlu-ray Disc. The disc features a 1080p HD AVC transfer which runs at an average of 20 Mbps and the show is letterboxed at 1.78:1. The daytime shots are incredibly sharp and clear, showing no grain or distortion. The scenes on the beach are so vivid that I swear that I could feel the heat. The colors look amazing, with the greens of the jungle really making an impact. The nighttime scenes look good as well, but I felt that they were darker than the same scenes on DVD. The Blu-ray has an uncompressed Linear PCM 5.1 audio track which runs at 48 kHz and 4.6 Mbps. This track provides clear dialogue and sound effects with no hissing or distortion. This track is also notably loud, as I had to turn the volume down from my usually Blu-ray watching setting. The stereo effects show a nice amount of detail and the surround and subwoofer effects are very smooth -- producing no harsh tones and never feeling too sudden or too abbreviated.
The Blu-ray Disc carries all of the bonus features found on the DVD, plus two additional ones. "Access: Granted" has Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse discuss 20 burning questions from the show. They give (seemingly) definitive answers to some mysteries which have been plaguing viewers since the show premiered. Each topic is accompanied by a clip from the show and by comments from media writers and Jimmy Kimmel. All of this information is accessed through an interactive video control panel. It's great to hear all of these ideas discussed. Knowing how much this set costs, I can't say that this extra is worth the price alone, but it's certainly the highlight of the bonus features. "Blu-Prints: The Sets of Season 3" (17 minutes) provides a detailed tour of six important locations from the show with tours provided by Art Directors Andrew Murdock & Scott Cobb and actor Michael Emerson. This is a combination of clips, an on-set tour, and production sketches.
Review Copyright 2007 by Mike Long