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Lost: The Complete Fifth Season(TV) (2009)
After a somewhat mysterious sequence of events, an oceanic flight from Sydney to LA crashes on what appears to be a deserted island. The chance of being found and rescued is fairly small, so the survivors have to cope with a set of challenges. They have to learn to survive on the island, a mysterious place with enough dangers on its own. Also, they have to learn to live with each other if any success is to be expected. And finally, they have to live with themselves and their pasts. Interwoven with the events on the islands are flashbacks to the pasts of 14 main characters. Step by step, we learn a little more about their diverse and unexpected pasts as the group's quest to survive takes shape.
For more about Lost: The Complete Fifth Season and the Lost: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray release, see Lost: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on November 26, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 5.0 out of 5.
Starring: Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Jorge García, Josh Holloway, Terry O'Quinn, Naveen Andrews
Directors: Jack Bender, Stephen Williams, Tucker Gates
» See full cast & crew
Lost: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray Review
As addicting as it is absorbing, this penultimate season delivers...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, November 26, 2009
As much television as my wife and I watch year in and year out, few series suck us in as readily and deeply as Lost. Unlike the vast majority of shows currently polluting the airwaves, its creators are more interested in advancing a smartly penned story than in pandering to what has become an increasingly finicky fanbase; more concerned with the natural evolution of their characters than in the rabbits they pull out of their proverbial hats (a genuine feat considering the number of twists and turns that populate its episodes); more focused on nuance than on whichever subplot they can employ to tie up loose ends, on asking questions rather than providing answers, on delivering the unexpected instead of offering easy solutions. Those of us who've stuck with Lost have committed ourselves, for better or worse, to its winding journey, not a final destination. As others have scoffed at Lost's prevailing sleight-of-hand, we've come to adore Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse's mastery of the series' most beloved elements. As others have walked away shaking their heads, we've leaned in farther, clinging to every clue, every mystery, every word, every desperate soul that has graced the screen. Call me an addict, call me an apologist, I just know I'm a fan.
Lost plot synopses are vicious beasties. Reveal too much and you risk spoiling all the fun; reveal too little and you fail to convey the richness and complexity of the series' storylines. Thankfully, after lapping up four stunning seasons, anyone preparing to tackle Lindelof and Cuse's fifth trip to the Island should be intimately familiar with each character and subplot, meaning I'm off the hook. Suffice to say, in the wake of a truly shocking fourth season climax, the surviving survivors of Oceanic 815 find themselves separated from each other, the time stream and, at times, their own sanity. Tasked with righting past wrongs and uncovering the secrets surrounding the origins and function of the Island, the castaways fight for their lives and, ultimately, to preserve the very fabric of time and space. However, season five is startlingly different than previous seasons. Mainstays Jack (Matthew Fox) and Kate (Evangeline Lilly) take a back seat as self-proclaimed prophet John Locke (Terry O'Quinn), manipulative mastermind Benjamin Linus (Michael Emerson), sharp-tongued troublemaker Sawyer (Josh Holloway), lovelorn Other Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell), and fast-talking brainiac Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) step into the spotlight. Identity is questioned, the boundaries of life and death are challenged, and roles are reversed, often to the detriment of all involved.
Still, despite its numerous left turns and dust-ups, Lost is a fresher, more intriguing, more engaging series for every change it undergoes. Flashbacks and flashforwards are more enigmatic and effective; to the writers' great credit, viewers are left to feel as displaced as their favorite survivors. Riddles are more interesting and answers more satisfying; as always, each mystery births another, but each revelation provides a clearer picture of the Island, its inhabitants, and its history. The characters are less predictable, and their actions are less reactionary and more thoughtful; Jack has undergone a complete 180, Sawyer steps up to fill a void, Locke finally begins to grasp his destiny, Ben is rendered helpless and powerless for the first time in his adult life, and formerly minor players are elevated to the ranks of integral characters. While cranky fans will surely disagree with some of the choices Lindelof and Cuse have made, it's difficult to deny how enthralling it all can be for anyone willing to let go and savor the ride. Blood is spilled, eyes are opened, and unconscionable sins are committed, but the heart of the tale and the momentum of the mythos remains intact. Even a late-season game-changer, a What just happened? moment if there ever was one, elicits excitement, curiosity, and the burning desire to know where Lost will go in the course of its sixth and final season.
So how does an established show thrive while being assaulted by so many fundamental changes? Simple: through the hard work and unabashed investment of all involved. The actors, both series vets and rookies alike, push themselves to the brink, infusing their characters with strikingly real emotions and raw, vulnerable personalities. Each one is challenged with new material, as well as new aspects of their castaway's psyche, yet each one connects the threads of everything that's come before with everything set to come. It helps that the writers room has such a firm grasp on the survivors, their plight, and the subtleties of the Island. Plot holes are few and far between, leaving little for discriminating viewers to pick apart. No conversation is wasted, no clue left to spoil. Even when entire episodes are devoted to characters who previously had mere minutes of screentime, the writers rarely skip a beat. Regardless of who takes center stage, hero or villain, Lost is as strong and involving as it ever was. It's precisely this harmony of craftsmanship and craft, writing and acting, that allows the series to so effectively surprise and envelop its audience week after week.
If I have any complaint this season it's that separating the castaways into two groups makes for an at-times frustrating viewing experience. With Locke and Jack divided by time itself, their fascinating relationship (one of my favorite aspects of the series) unfortunately falls by the wayside. Yes, Locke and Ben's pairing is just as interesting, but I really missed the philosophical debates waged by such contrasting personas. Similarly, bad-boy Sawyer -- long the castaways' Han Solo -- is thrust into leadership, a development that works for the most part, but occasionally neuters the snarky rebel and leaves him wallowing in responsibility. Luckily, neither issue is distracting enough to detract from the overall experience. I would imagine most Lost enthusiasts will quickly shrug off any disappointing developments in the hope that the upcoming sixth season will redeem any perceived missteps. As it stands, if you've made it this far into the series proper, you're already primed to grin and gasp your way through The Complete Fifth Season. I can hardly wait to see where Lindelof and Cuse will take us, but if this time-twisting, seventeen episode tour de force is any indication, it will be a gripping end to a truly arresting series.
Lost: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray, Video Quality
Fans can debate the merits of Lost's visual aesthetics until they're Blu in the face; it won't change the fact that the series' high definition video transfers (courtesy of Disney) represent some of the finest television presentations on the market. The Blu-ray edition of The Complete Fifth Season is no different, offering Losties a stunning 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer that's as satisfying and technically proficient as the four full-season releases that have preceded it. The show's palette, while in a constant state of flux, is teeming with vibrant colors, inky blacks, and lifelike skintones. Likewise, contrast is bold and rewarding, dimensionality is outstanding, and shadow delineation is as revealing as Lindelof and Cuse have intended it to be. And detail? Let's just say if you've never seen an episode of Lost on Blu-ray, you're in for quite a treat. Fine textures pop, close-ups are a godsend, edge definition is extremely crisp, and grain has been perfectly preserved. Yes, noise spikes in low-lit scenes and minor softness invades a relative handful of shots, but each instance should be attributed to the series' photography, not the studio's encoding efforts. I didn't notice any significant artifacting, ringing, crush, aliasing, or smearing, and banding -- though occasionally apparent when torch lights push back the darkness or time-travel whiteouts assault the screen -- is kept to an absolute, negligible minimum.
Proud owners of Lost's previous seasons will be thoroughly pleased with the care Disney has afforded The Complete Fifth Season. I'm sure some viewers will pick each episode to pieces but, rest assured, their complaints will trace back to Lindelof and Cuse's intentional choices rather than Disney's high-quality presentation.
Lost: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Like its previously released seasons, Lost's latest outing boasts an unequivocally immersive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track that makes the most of every sinister thoom, eerie creak, and unsettling rattle The Complete Fifth Season has on tap. Dialogue is clear and distinct, only succumbing to the chaos of the Island when the series' creators deem it so. Effects are crisp and wonderfully prioritized, engulfing the survivors of Oceanic 815 whether they're exploring underground chambers, abandoned way stations, or stretches of lush jungle. Along the way, LFE output is proficient and aggressive, the rear speakers bristle with movement and ambient effects, and acoustics are incredibly convincing. How convincing? A submarine doesn't just sound like a sub, it sounds like the cramped, metal shell it appears to be. A quaint home doesn't sound like a house, it sounds like the warm, inviting respite its owners have built it to be. The ruins of an ancient civilization? The confines of a heavily shielded bunker? The cab of a tiny van? The same. To that end, directionality is precise, pans are silky smooth, and dynamics are as bold and weighty as any Lost junkie could hope for. In short, Disney should be commended for making The Complete Fifth Season a sonic showcase worthy of any discerning audiophile's praise.
Lost: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
You may have noticed I updated my supplements score, and rather dramatically at that. With just two audio commentaries and a limited assortment of hit-or-miss special features, The Complete Fifth Season's supplemental package initially struck me as underwhelming and unfulfilling. Yes, most of the set's video content is presented in high definition, and yes, three to four hours of bonus material is adequate, but I expected much more from a high profile television release, particularly a Disney-helmed production generously spread across five BD-50 discs. However, after digging through a mere portion of the set's BD-Live "Lost University," I've changed my mind. Diehard fans will get their money's worth from this sprawling feature alone. Count me among the thoroughly impressed.
Lost: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The Complete Fifth Season may not be the place series newcomers should start, but longtime Losties will chew their nails and crack their knuckles through every intense, absorbing episode. It not only left me wondering how Lindelof and Cuse are going to conclude their engrossing broadcast epic, it thrilled, entertained, and drew me deeper and deeper into what was already a mesmerizing mythos. The Blu-ray edition is just as rewarding. Its video transfer and DTS-HD Master Audio track are nothing short of amazing, and its supplemental package (thanks to a magnificent BD-Live monster called "Lost University") should keep fans busy over their Christmas vacations. Disney has done it again, just in time for the holidays.
Lost: Other Seasons
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• Order Lost Season 5 Blu-ray, Save $20 on a Previous Season - December 12, 2009
For a limited time, order 'Lost: The Complete Fifth Season' on Blu-ray at Amazon and pick up any of the previous seasons for a savings of $20. Add both titles to your cart and proceed to checkout to receive your $20 credit. You must purchase both titles together ...
• Today on Blu-ray - December 8th - December 8, 2009
When the Harry Potter film series concludes in 2011, star Daniel Radcliffe will have aged 10 years since first appearing as the young sorcerer and, if the films' success continues, generated over $9B in world-wide box office receipts. Today, the sixth film in the ...
• Lost University Enrollment Now Open - September 23, 2009
Enrollment has opened for Lost University, so now fans of the popular television series can now sign up, print out their personalized Student ID card, take a placement test, and even complete their first course. The university opens officially on December 8th with ...
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