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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Created By:
Martin Gero
Cast:
Jaimie Alexander, Stapleton Sullivan, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Rob Brown, Audrey Esparza
Writing Credits:
Various

Synopsis:
A Jane Doe is found in Times Square with no memory and mysterious tattoos on her body.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Dutch
Latin Spanish
Danish
Finnish
Norwegian
Swedish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Dutch
Latin Spanish
Danish
Finnish
Norwegian
Swedish

Runtime: 978 min.
Price: $54.99
Release Date: 8/2/2016

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary for Pilot Episode
• Deleted Scenes
• “Casting the Team” Featurette
• “Oscar: The Handler” Featurette
• “Weller Takes Action” Featurette
• “Double Vision” Featurette
• “Rich Dotcom” Featurette
• “Make It Go BOOM!” Featurette
• “Tattooed Clues” Featurette
• Gag Reel
• 2015 Comic-Con Panel


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Blindspot: The Complete First Season [Blu-Ray] (2015-16)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 4, 2016)

Throw a rock at a TV and you’ll find a series involving crime/law enforcement. Blindspot tries to bring something new to the game with a central character who comes with a mysterious past. This four-disc Blu-ray set contains all of Season One’s 23 episodes. The plot synopses come straight from the packaging.

Pilot: “A beautiful woman with no memories of her past is found in New York’s Times Square, covered in mysterious tattoos, including FBI Agent Kurt Weller’s (Sullivan Stapleton) name.”

Pilot episodes usually embrace exposition above all else, and that becomes the case here, as the show exists mainly to set up lead characters and various situations. I’m fine with that narrative choice, but I could live without the program’s frantic visual style. Too much of the episode feels “urgent”, and that will get old fast. “Pilot” sets up the series well enough, though.

A Stray Howl: “While Jane (Jaimie Alexander) continues to search for clues to her identity, the team unlocks a cryptic tattoo that points to an Air Force fighter pilot with a painful past and a lethal agenda.”

For a series that at least partially revolves around the mystery of Jane’s identity, “Howl” seems eager to spill those beans right away. Of course, this episode’s potential revelation may be a red herring, but if not, it seems like a strange choice. The rest of “Howl” feels like an extension of the “Pilot”, for good or for ill. So far Blindspot leaves me a little cold, but I hope to see improvements.

Eight Slim Grins: “Jane’s tattoo ties her to a criminal who may have clues to her past. Meanwhile, the mysterious man (Johnny Whitworth) from Jane’s first memory pays her a visit.”

Only three episodes into Season One and I already feel fatigued. The series seems to want to make each program an action film in its own right, which sounds fine on the surface, but it leads to a series that lacks variety. Can’t we get a story without massive violence and world-threatening events?

Bone May Rot: “Patterson (Ashley Johnson) and her puzzle expert boyfriend David (Joe Dinicof) decode a tattoo clue and hidden message that leads to a catastrophic global plot at the CDC.”

“Rot” offers arguably the series’ best episode to date, partly because it allows some supporting characters room to expand. The addition of Patterson’s side adds life, and the show hints at other developments. Perhaps “Rot” will lead toward greater pleasures in the future.

Split the Law: “After a seemingly straightforward hostage situation goes bad, the CIA and FBI find themselves racing against each other to apprehend the same criminal.”

For the most part, “Law” offers a decent twist on the bank hostage tale. Parts of it sag – mainly when it gets sappy via the Weller/Jane story – but it gives us enough action and intrigue to become a fairly good show.

Cede Your Soul: “When an assassination leads the team to an app that allows criminals to track government vehicles, the team works with an unlikely ally to stop the malicious software.”

While aspects of Blindspot entertain, the series suffers from a muddled overall narrative. The show seems to want to point somewhere, and I suspect this will tie together eventually, but so far, it all feels awfully random. “Soul” sputters as it keeps things too vague for my liking.

Sent On Tour: “One of Jane’s tattoos sends the team to a remote location where they are cut off from Home Office – and comes face to face with one of the FBI’s Most Wanted (Lou Diamond Phillips).”

“Tour” benefits from two elements. I like the infiltration of the militia’s territory, as the shift from the usual city confines adds zest. In addition, Phillips offers a lively performance as the episode’s baddie. These add up to make this a better than usual program.

Persecute Envoys: “When Patterson unlocks a disturbing tattoo predicting a police officer’s murder, the team must chase a violent clue trail to stop a series of cop killing.”

Back in NYC, “Envoys” regresses after the strides of “Tour”. While it attempts more of a topical feel with its commentary on rogue cops, it seems more than a little muddled. We do get some useful backstory, but the episode lacks a lot of entertainment value.

Authentic Flirt: “Jane and Weller go undercover as a world-class assassin couple to prevent deadly information from getting into the wrong hands – drawing them closer than ever.”

Is the Jane/Weller romantic subplot inevitable? Apparently – I guess a TV series can’t place two attractive people together without forcing them into potential smoochy time. I really wish Blindspot had avoided that trite choice, though, as the Jane/Weller relationship becomes a real drag on the series.

Despite that, “Flirt” turns into a pretty good episode. It eschews the series’ usual manic tendencies much of the time to focus more on a spy thriller vibe, and that change of pace allows it to bring us an entertaining twist.

Evil Handmade Instrument: “The team goes after a ring of sleeper spies that has just been activated, and race to stop a slew of assassinations.”

“Flirt” ended with the death of a regular character, and “Instrument” follows the aftermath – to some degree. Not exactly a contemplative series, Blindspot won’t take the time to dwell on emotion, so it mostly focuses on the usual investigative intrigue. That leaves it as a fairly average show, though it does pack some revelations at its end.

Cease Forcing Enemy: “When Jane reels from revelations about her tattoos and grapples with whether to trust Oscar (Francois Arnaud), the team follows a dangerous case overseas.”

In a series largely populated with alpha males and females, the introduction of John Hodgman as a conniving bureaucrat becomes a welcome addition, as the show needs someone quirky. The rest of the episode seems more traditional, though I do like the excursion from NYC – I always appreciate shifts in terrain.

Scientists Hollow Fortune: “When a disturbed Iraq War vet shoots up a military base, the team exposes a sinister plot, as Jane and Weller race to stop a single-minded scientist.”

The most interesting aspects of “Fortune” hint at Jane’s “origins” and show us others like her. That side of things works, but the rest feels fairly “standard issue”, as the episode emphasizes the series’ usual frantic antics.

Erase Weary Youth: “After a tip reveals a mole within the FBI’s New York office, the team must hunt for the operative while facing extreme scrutiny from Inspector Fischer (John Hodgman).”

That latter character comes to the fore in this unusual episode – well, unusual for Blindspot, as it eschews the standard level of action and mayhem. I appreciate that change, as I’m happy to see something more subdued and less hyperactive for once. “Youth” manages to move along plot elements well.

Rules In Defiance: “As Jane considers leaving the FBI, an anonymous tip leads the team to investigate an urgent Death Row case – ultimately sending Zapata (Audrey Esparza) underground.”

The farther into Season One we go, the less the series seems to focus on Jane – which is good and bad. On the positive side, I appreciate the extra breadth we find, especially since the “tattoo of the week” premise threatened to get old.

On the other hand, though, the series lacks a lot of narrative clarity. The overriding theme of Jane’s identity/motives still exists, but it gets obscured, and that lack of development makes S1’s overall impression less clear.

Still, I’ve enjoyed Blindspot more and more since it lost the heavy emphasis on Jane’s issues, so I won’t complain. “Rules” gives us another fairly good show that deepens the supporting characters and situations.

Older Cutthroat Canyon: “After a painting featuring one of Jane’s tattoos is heisted from a gallery, the team discovers Jane is the real target. In order to protect her team, Jane goes AWOL.”

Initially, “Canyon” looks like it might give us more of a comedic feel than usual, as it appears to mock the pretensions of the art world. However, that avenue fails to receive exploration, so the episode sticks with the usual frantic action most of the time. It moves along the overall narrative acceptably well but it lacks the zing to stand out from the other shows.

Any Wounded Thief: “After an armored truck is robbed, the team discovers that the stolen goods are chemical weapons, forcing them to race to thwart a deadly terrorist attack.”

At the episode’s start, it looks like “Thief” might actually take a fairly character-focused, contemplative approach. That doesn’t last, of course, as the show quickly shifts to mayhem and action. Some intriguing moments still emerge, but I admit the series’ “all climax, all the time” bent gets a little old.

Mans Telepathic Loyal Lookouts: “After Patterson discovers a hidden message in a crossword, she embarks on a tattoo scavenger hunt that leads her into danger. Oscar finally tells Jane more about who she was.”

Patterson offers arguably the series’ most engaging regular character, so I like this episode’s emphasis on her. Granted, it uses a somewhat contrived way to explore this, but “Lookouts” nonetheless manages to go down some interesting avenues. These allow it to become a solid program with some good twists.

One Begets Technique: “In order to take down a dangerous international criminal, Jane and Weller are forced to collaborate with an unlikely ally: their former target, Rich Dotcom (Ennis Esmer).”

In a series packed with somber characters, Rich comes as a breath of fresh air. Sure, we’ve seen personalities like him many times elsewhere, but I still welcome anyone quirky. Combine Rich with a fun heist theme and you get a better than average episode.

In the Comet of Us: “When a school shooting breaks out during the investigation of a tattoo, the team splits up to take down the shooter. Meanwhile, Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) copes with some issues from her past.”

After the semi-comedy of “Technique”, “Comet” reverts to the series’ standard action-oriented bent. In this case, I don’t view that as a bad thing, for the episode’s focus on a campus shooting gives it an interesting twist.

Swift Hardhearted Stone: “A mysterious girl with a tattoo connection falls into Borden’s (Ukweli Roach) care. He brings her to the FBI team – but her ties to a terrorist organization prove dangerous for all of them.”

A third-level character, Dr. Borden gets a rare moment in the spotlight here – and doesn’t add much. He feels too much like an expository device and fails to help the episode develop. While it comes with a few intriguing elements, “Stone” seems a bit lackluster overall – and the contrived semi-flirting between Borden and Patterson doesn’t help.

Of Whose Uneasy Route: “When criminal hackers infiltrate the building, the FBI goes on lockdown – trapping the team inside and leaving them to confront their personal conflicts.”

The lockdown gives the episode some tension, but it seems to exist mainly to force characters to talk to each other. Despite the contrived nature of this choice, I appreciate any shift from the series’ usual manic nature. The exposition may be clumsy, but it adds a little depth – and I like the comedy from a freaked-out woman trapped in an elevator with Reade and Sarah.

If Love a Rebel, Death Will Render: “After an abandoned baby is found with a tattoo identical to Jane’s, the team races to piece together the child’s identity and saves dozens of infants.”

As Season One draws to a close, “Render” follows a mix of plot elements intended to ramp up the tension and action. For the most part, it does so fairly well, even if I do still occasionally wonder what the series’ overall narrative intends to be. Muddled threads aside, “Render” pushes toward the finale in a positive manner.

Why Await Life’s End: “In the shocking finale, Weller searches for the truth within a heartbreaking and confounding assertion, while Jane reaches out to a former suspect for help with Oscar.”

After all the drama to date, Season One ends with even more theatrics – and it does so reasonably well. “Await” provides answers to a mix of burning questions – not always great answers, but answers nonetheless.

This leaves “Await” as a pretty good finish to a pretty good series. Blindspot struggled at its outset and took a while to get into a groove, but once it did, it became reasonably entertaining. While I don’t think it offers a great series, Blindspot manages to offer something mostly engaging.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C

Blindspot appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. From start to finish, the episodes looked good.

No significant issues with sharpness developed. Some wider elements seemed a bit soft, but those instances didn’t dominate, so the shows usually provided crisp, distinctive visuals. I saw no jaggies or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws were a non-factor as well.

In terms of palette, the series opted for a fairly subdued feel, with an amber or teal sense much of the time. Within those choices, the hues looked well-developed. Blacks came across as dense and tight, and low-light shots demonstrated nice clarity. All in all, I thought the series delivered nice visuals.

Expect fairly positive audio from the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Blindspot. The forward dominated, as the shows featured solid stereo music and a good sense of environment. Elements meshed smoothly and moved across the spectrum well.

In addition, the surrounds added some pizzazz. The back speakers used music well, and effects also created a fine sense of place. The surrounds didn’t have a ton to do throughout the series, but the mix used them in a satisfying manner.

As for the quality of the audio, it seemed good. Speech always came across as natural and concise, with no edginess or other issues. Music was bright and clean, while effects showed nice reproduction. Those elements came across as lively and dynamic, and low-end response appeared deep and firm. The episodes consistently boasted positive audio.

Among extras, we get an audio commentary for the “Pilot”. It offers a running, screen-specific chat from series creator/writer/executive producer Martin Gero and director Mark Pellington. They offer a running, screen-specific look at the series' early challenges, story/character areas, cast and performances, locations, camerawork, music, editing, and connected domains.

While the commentary comes with a reasonable amount of information, it suffers from an awful lot of happy talk. We get praise for much of the episode, and that factor crowds out the spots where useful material can emerge. This isn't a bad track, but it disappoints.

Deleted Scenes accompany 11 episodes. We find clips for “Pilot” (1 scene, 0:52), “A Stray Howl” (3, 5:36), “Cede Your Soul” (4, 5:38), “Sent On Tour” (1, 1:27). “Persecute Envoys” (1, 2:19), “Authentic Flirt” (3, 3:35), “Evil Handmade Instrument” (1, 1:36), “Scientists Hollow Fortune” (2, 1:45), “Rules In Defiance” (1, 2:43), “Mans Telepathic Loyal Lookouts” (1, 1:32), and “Of Whose Uneasy Route” (1, 1:24).

The majority of the snippets tend toward minor exposition and small character beats. Some of these seem more interesting than others, of course, but I can’t say any of them offer much that would add to the shows.

Note that all the sequences come with intros from series creator Martin Gero – those pad the runtimes. He gives us good background for the clips and lets us know why he cut them.

Disc Four includes a mix of featurettes. Casting the Team runs nine minutes, 54 seconds and provides comments from Gero, executive producers Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, and actors Jaimie Alexander, Sullivan Stapleton, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Rob Brown, Ashley Johnson and Audrey Esparza. As expected, “Team” looks at cast, characters and performances. “Team” gives us some minor insights but remains fairly fluffy.

One specific character becomes the focus of Oscar: The Handler. In this five-minute, 15-second piece, we hear from Gero, Alexander, writer/executive producer Christina M. Kim, writers/supervising producers Alex Berger and Brendan Gall, and actor Francois Arnaud. As expected, we learn more about Oscar as well as Arnaud’s performance. We get a smattering of good character notes.

During the three-minute, 23-second Weller Takes Action, we locate notes from Stapleton, Gero, Alexander, Esparza, and stunt coordinator Stephen Pope. “Action” tells us a little about stunts and action, but largely it just praises Stapleton.

Double Vision lasts three minutes, 39 seconds and offers info from Alexander, Pope, Gero, and stunt double Ky Furneaux. This show tells us a little about Alexander’s stunt double. Like the prior pieces, it mixes facts and fluff.

Another supporting character turns into the focus of Rich Dotcom. It takes up four minutes, 43 seconds with details from Gero, Berger, Alexander, Stapleton, Schechter, Gall, and actor Ennis Esmer. This clip tells us more about the Rich character and Esmer’s performance. It resembles the “Oscar” featurette and becomes a decent overview.

Effects dominate the four-minute, 55-second Make It GO Boom. It features Brown, Gero, Alexander, Stapleton, Pope and special effects coordinator Drew Jiritano. “Boom” looks at practical effects, with an emphasis on one scene with an explosion. It presents another decent but less than meaty short.

Tattooed Clues occupies seven minutes, eight seconds and offers notes from Gero, Alexander, Jean-Baptiste, Berlanti, Stapleton, Schechter, Gall, tattoo designer Christien Tinsley and effects makeup Stephanie Pasicov. The featurette looks at the design and meaning of Jane’s tattoos. This becomes one of the more informative of the set’s pieces.

A Bound and Gag Reel lasts four minutes, 26 seconds. It provides the usual array of goofs and giggles. While that makes it nothing special, the reel does seem a little more interesting just as a contrast with the series’ grim nature.

Finally, we discover a 2015 Comic-Con Panel. This runs 15 minutes, 27 seconds and involves Berlanti, Schechter, Gero, and Alexander. The panel examines the series’ origins and development, story/characters, cast and performances, locations, and thoughts about fans. Nothing terribly insightful appears here, but the panel offers some decent thoughts.

After a slow start, Season One of Blindspot turns into a fairly effective action/thriller series. I’d like more consistency but still think the show works pretty well once it gets into a groove. The Blu-rays offer good picture and audio along with a smattering of supplements. Blindspot doesn’t soar, but it creates a generally involving series.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main