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Heroes: Season 3(TV) (2008-2009)
They thought they were like everyone else... until they woke with incredible abilities.
For more about Heroes: Season 3 and the Heroes: Season 3 Blu-ray release, see Heroes: Season 3 Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on August 27, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Hayden Panettiere, Milo Ventimiglia, Masi Oka, Zachary Quinto, Adrian Pasdar, Ali Larter
» See full cast & crew
Heroes: Season 3 Blu-ray Review
I'm sad to say I've finally reached my breaking point...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, August 27, 2009
There's no easy way to say this, Heroes, so I'll just come out and say it. I know we've had a good run, and I appreciate how much you've worked to make me happy, but... I think it's time we see other people. I was one of the first people to overlook your Season One mishaps; inconsistent superpowers, nagging plot holes, character discrepancies and all. I even defended you when the Writer's Strike brought your second season to a shaky end. But your last twenty-five episode run... well, it's just embarrassing. How many plot redactions can one man stomach? How many glaring gaps in logic can one fan overcome? How many episodes can a single show squander without going anywhere? How many deaths, twists, and gotcha gags are you willing to employ to lure me back week to week? Honestly, it's all become quite tiresome, and I can't take much more. With so many more compatible series in the television sea, I think we're both wasting our time. No, no... don't cry. I just think it's time we stop kidding ourselves. It's time for a change; a change I've needed for a while now. I wish you the best, I really do, but I have to move on.
Break-ups are hard, but the prospect of enduring another episode of Heroes is harder. For three seasons, creator Tim Kring's wobbling superhero series has earned a respectable fanbase, given its NBC overlords a rare hit, and given us one of the finest Mr. Spocks this side of Leonard Nimoy. Still, for all of its success, Heroes has forgotten what once made it such a must-see television event. Its writers' have brushed aside character development in favor of contrived intrigue, and traded cohesive storytelling for leftfield plot twists. They've taken series standouts -- the time-bending Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), the deliciously demented Sylar (Zachary Quinto), and the ever-enigmatic Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman), just to name a few -- and reduced them to flailing caricatures in their own mythos. They've dampened their own heroes and villains' powers in a desperate attempt to plug up emerging plot holes. (What? Hiro could just go back in time and prevent it all? Um... crisis of conscience! Loss of powers! Nose bleeds! Anything to stop him from traveling through time!) They've taken once promising characters and abilities -- Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere) and her healing factor, Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) and his mental maneuverings, and the Haitian (Jimmy Jean-Louis) and his power-sapping presence -- and reduced them to gimmicks; agents of exposition, convention or, in most cases, convenience.
Sadly, the writers haven't stopped there. Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) and Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia), once conflicted brothers and potential nemeses, have switched sides and allegiances more times than I care to count; Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy), once an annoying source of interference and contention, has been transformed into an even more annoying power-hungry nuisance whose motivations change as often as his appearance; Niki Sanders (Ali Larter), or whoever she happens to be in any given season, only exists to further the other characters' confusion; and Angela Petrelli (Cristine Rose), the series' stern matriarch, regularly vaults from mommy dearest to vicious villain to misunderstood freedom fighter, sometimes in the course of a single episode. More distressingly, new heroes and villains -- hip speedster Daphne Millbrook (Brea Grant), the fabled Petrelli patriarch (Robert Forster), unrelenting baddie Emile Danko (Zeljko Ivanek), and a variety of others -- are, more often than not, wasted on lame subplots, used to populate inconsequential side stories, or sacrificed solely to leave gullible series fans gasping for air.
Don't get me wrong, I don't blame the actors or their fine performances. Regardless of how laughable the dialogue can sometimes be or how incoherent the storylines occasionally become, Oka, Quinto, Coleman and crew genuinely invest their all in each and every scene. Their efforts are commendable, their performances have kept me invested in the fates of their characters, and their collective work is the only reason I've stuck with the series as long as I have. Quinto, not Kring, makes me want to know what Sylar will do next. Oka, not members of the writers' room, helps me to feel empathy for Hiro. Coleman, not some mind-blowing script, leaves me wondering if the Company man will ever shed his duty and finally put his family first. And the scripts? The writers have admittedly generated some truly remarkable ideas. However, they tend to either draw out those ideas ad nauseum, toss them by the wayside the moment a new plot thread captures their attention, or simply leave them underdeveloped and, ultimately, hanging. The writers rarely have a handle on what makes each character tick and, more symptomatic of the series' downfall, seem more interested in telling an exciting story, no matter the cost, than in providing series fans with a stable foundation or, at the very least, an innovative narrative. Frankly, every time I grow attached to something in the show, it's eviscerated, killed, or fundamentally altered.
Before this review devolves into a rant, let me end with this: Heroes is in dire need of new writers; writers with a fresh vision, a passion for storytelling, and an understanding of how to make an ensemble drama, particularly one brimming with superpowers and dreams of world domination, work from week to week. I don't want to watch a show where every single character is in a constant state of flux. I don't want to stay with a series whose plot threads rely on the latest twist or turn to claw its way out of the writers' room. And I certainly don't want to tune in to something that has become predictable in its unpredictability. At this point, I can sense twists coming from a mile away; allegiance shifts are a dime a dozen; deaths barely register; new powers fail to entertain; and old mainstays, even my favorites, have become stuck in a proverbial rut. If Heroes has any hope of surviving, or even maintaining the audience it has, it needs a creative transfusion. If it has any hope of winning me back, it has to stop changing its characters and start changing its direction. Simply put, I'll rejoin its fold the moment it stops dabbling in the trappings of its comicbook roots and starts forging its own path.
Heroes: Season 3 Blu-ray, Video Quality
If you've already suffered through the wildly uneven, terribly inconsistent video transfers that accompanied the Blu-ray releases of Heroes: Season One and Season Two, you probably have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Season Three's underwhelming 1080p/AVC-encoded presentation. Rampant noise, unpredictable contrast leveling, and unnatural skintones abound (flushed faces and splotchy cheeks are regular offenders); blacks are frequently crushed, whites are often overheated, and delineation is as unyielding as they come; and detail ranges from crisp and refined to spongy and indistinct. It's a shame too. For every sharp close-up that appears with gorgeous primaries and striking textures in tow, a disappointing shot lumbers onto the scene, murky colors and waning clarity in hand, undermining the legitimate merits of the presentation. Granted, many of these shortcomings can be traced back to the series' original source -- as well as its creators' intentions -- but the results are jarring, ugly and, above all else, disappointing. Thankfully, Universal has addressed some of the complaints the high definition community at large had with its Season One and Season Two presentations. Specifically? Artifacting is no longer a significant issue, banding isn't as noticeable, and edge enhancement, while still a constant distraction, isn't as glaring and persistent as it once was.
If the majority of Season Three's scenes looked as stunning as its best shots, I'd probably be more forgiving of such wayward mishaps. However, when every scene (and sometimes every shot) is so drastically different than the last, it becomes quite a chore to simply sit back, sink in, and enjoy the presentation. Technically sound? Indeed. The stuff of top tier legend? Hardly. Heroes' HD broadcast might impress some TV fans, but its Blu-ray transfer is too ungainly and unwieldy to warrant any serious praise.
Heroes: Season 3 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Do you enjoy low-end frequencies? I know I do. That's why I'd like to introduce you to the rumbling world of Heroes, a booming, bass-heavy utopia where footsteps often sound like falling trees and fists sound off with the same intensity as collapsing buildings. Universal's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track certainly doesn't lack power -- the series' isn't-it-all-shocking musical score packs more punch in three duh-duh-ahs than most releases offer up in the midst of a sixteen car pileup -- but it does lack prowess and precision. Directionality isn't nearly as accurate as I expected, dialogue is a tad pudgy for my tastes, and the rear speakers, while quite active throughout the proceedings, bounce between overly aggressive and somewhat passive. I have no doubt many fans will be pleased with what they encounter, and I'll be quick to admit my detachment from several episodes left me more than enough opportunity to nitpick everything I was hearing, but Season Three's mix rarely impressed me. Still, most every line is intelligible and reasonably prioritized, pans are smooth, dynamics are strong, and LFE output is, as I mentioned before, beefy and assertive. Above average at best, passable at worst, Heroes: Season Three gets the job done, but little more.
Heroes: Season 3 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Heroes: Season Three lands on Blu-ray with a daunting bevy of extras including twenty-five (that's right, twenty-five) Picture-in-Picture audio commentaries, a variety of exclusives, and all of the supplemental content that appears on the standard DVD edition. Sweetening the deal? The vast majority of the material is presented in high definition (the set's deleted scenes are the only SD holdouts). Sure, some of the lesser featurettes and commentaries are a bit hit or miss, but, with more than twenty hours of content to plow through, I doubt anyone will care.
Heroes: Season 3 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I've given Heroes about as much leeway as I'm willing to give and, unfortunately, it continues to disappoint me at every turn. Gaping plot holes, nonsensical developments, and squandered opportunities overwhelm almost everything the series does correctly. I don't intend to stick around to see what happens in its fourth season. Alas, the Blu-ray edition of Season Three doesn't do the series many favors. Its video transfer is an inconsistent letdown, its DTS-HD Master Audio track is merely decent, and its massive supplemental package is its lone saving grace. Diehard fans will probably find more value tucked in its five discs, but I couldn't shake the feeling that almost everything could have been better.
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Heroes: Season 3 Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - September 1st - September 1, 2009
There is a bit of controversy with one of today's releases, so I'm just going to get this out of the way as quickly as possible to avoid any further distraction. While not a horrible presentation, the Blu-ray release of Gladiator' does not live up to the promise ...
• Final Specs for Heroes Season 3 Revealed - June 4, 2009
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has revealed the final specs for the Blu-ray release of 'Heroes: Season 3, which is due to hit store shelves on September 1, day-and-date with the DVD. As with previous seasons of the series, video will be 1.78:1 1080p accompanied ...
• Heroes Season 3 Blu-ray in September - May 27, 2009
Universal Studios Home Entertainment is releasing the third season of 'Heroes' on Blu-ray on September 1, day-and-date with the DVD release, including "Volume 3: Villains" and "Volume 4: Fugitives". As with previous seasons of the series, video will be 1.78:1 ...
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Heroes: Season 3 Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
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