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Revolution: The Complete First Season(TV) (2012-2013)
A group of revolutionaries must battle a governing dictatorial militia 15 years after an instantaneous global shutdown of all electronic devices known as the Blackout.
For more about Revolution: The Complete First Season and the Revolution: The Complete First Season Blu-ray release, see Revolution: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on September 4, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Billy Burke, Tracy Spiridakos, Giancarlo Esposito, Zak Orth, Elizabeth Mitchell
Directors: Guy Norman Bee, Nick Copus
» See full cast & crew
Revolution: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review
I take my post-apocalyptic drama black. No cream, no sugar, please.
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, September 4, 2013
Walk into a theater, flip on the TV, toss in a Blu-ray. There's no shortage of post-apocalyptic entertainment for your pessimistic perusal. Hope, certainty and warm-fuzzies aren't exactly on the rise, and Hollywood is there, ever at the ready, with all the escapism a growing cynic might need. NBC's Revolution, though, commits a number of cardinal post-apocalyptic sins in its first twenty episodes; sins I wouldn't expect from a series guided by the likes of executive producers J.J. Abrams (Alias, Lost, Fringe) and Bryan Burk (Lost, Fringe, Person of Interest), and helmed by creator/executive producer Eric Kripke (Supernatural). End-of-Days connoisseurs will want to search out their fix elsewhere.
In Revolution, a family struggles to survive in an unfamiliar America, fifteen years after a permanent worldwide blackout has left overgrown cities, treacherous militias and heroic freedom fighters in its power-depleted wake. A journey of hope and rebirth, the series is seen through the eyes of a strong-willed young woman named Charlie Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos) who has lost members of her family in the blackout's tragic aftermath, but has gained a new family and a new purpose. Together, with a rogue band of survivors -- including her secretive mother Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) and formerly estranged uncle Miles (Billy Burke), an ex-marine and militia leader -- she sets out to overthrow the dangerous Monroe Militia, restore both the power and balance of power, and ultimately re-establish the United States of America.
Revolution starts strong, or at least takes a strong step in the right direction, skipping past the chaos that immediately followed the series' global blackout and vaulting more than a decade into the future, long after lines have been drawn, borders have been established, and the most fascinating grabs at national power have begun. Unfortunately, that far-flung scale is quickly abandoned in favor of a smaller family drama that offers little in the way of surprise and even less in the way of emotional or dramatic scope. Here are yet another band of post-apocalyptic survivors doing their best to carve out a life in yet another frightening future, without any sense that they've been fundamentally challenged or changed over the last fifteen years. Revolution could take place six months later, given how little the passage of time really matters. It's all arbitrary, which is fitting since the same could be said about almost everything that propels or affects the Mathesons and their brothers-in-arms. The series mythos, its twists and turns, allegiances and betrayals, wars and rebellions, tough choices and difficult decisions... Kripke's lights-out saga is an at-times infuriatingly generic assortment of clichés and genre tropes strung together by convenience and by-the-books tragedy. Instead of flipping each cliché and trope on its head, though, a la Kripke's Supernatural, each one is simply presented at face value, and with a level of earnestness and conviction usually reserved for more ingenious narrative trickery and plot developments.
The infection that stunts the series' growth quickly spreads from Kripke and company to their otherwise talented cast. Spiridakos doesn't have much of an arc to work with, while too much import is heaped on her character's shoulders; Burke looks the part, but Miles, as written, is too reminiscent of other iconic sci-fi gunslingers to leave a lasting mark; the Mitchell we see in Revolution is more V than Lost, unsure of what to do with the rampant melodrama piled at her feet; scene-stealer Giancarlo Esposito seems to have been cast solely to rehash the menace and villainy he brought to Breaking Bad with ice-cold criminal kingpin Gus Fring; Zak Orth fields too genre archetypes, the guilt-ridden survivor and the tech wiz, without scripts that might allow him to explore either one in meaningful ways; poor J.D. Pardo is forced to convince us that his Jason Neville would abandon his father and cause for the love of Charlie, not to mention any chance to look all sexy-pants for her while firing a bow; Colm Feore is on board to be, well, Colm Feore, and other character actors follow suit, filling one-dimensional roles beholden to the Mathesons' story. Then, of course, there's the pendants... ahem, The Pendants (a word that shall henceforth be whispered in hushed, reverential tones): the mother of all MacGuffins and the near-literal keys to unraveling the mystery -- and the effects -- of the devastating event that brought technology and humanity to their knees.
It doesn't help that the show struggles to live up to the standards set by The Walking Dead. And yes, comparisons are impossible to avoid. From performances to production design, locations to costumes, writing to visual effects, cinematography to music, Revolution rarely stands apart, and very rarely rings true. Forget the plot holes, abundant as they are. Forget the sometimes god-awful dialogue, pervasive and wince-inducing as it tends to be. Forget the constant barrage of cliffhangers, which seem to stack from scene to scene until... Jengaaaa! There's just something inherently false on display at all times. Something that permeates the entire series, from start to finish. A network malaise, or perhaps even a palpable desperation. A need to scratch a Lost itch, fill a Fringe void, or compete with cable juggernaut The Walking Dead. It's imitation meat, through and through; meat that lacks natural color, flavor and, above all, nutritional value. Revolution joins Falling Skies as a genre series whose protein-starved fanbase -- however satisfied its viewers may feel after each episode -- is in dire need of real food: the kind infused with real drama, real suspense and real End of Days mettle. This just isn't it.
Revolution: The Complete First Season Blu-ray, Video Quality
Warner delivers another pristine 1080p/AVC-encoded television presentation that's as crisp and clean as its faux-grit digital source allows. Contrast is quite hot and crush is an issue throughout -- particularly during nighttime sequences, where unforgiving shadows overtake anything and everything that slips out of the series' (bizarrely bright and effective) candle and lantern light -- but so goes Kripke's Revolution and its chosen style, courtesy of directors of photography David Moxness and David Stockton. Colors are harsh and scorched when the sun is up, fairly natural when the action moves indoors, and rich and lovely come dark; always with able-bodied primaries and deep, deep blacks, all precisely as the showrunners intended. Detail is excellent as well, with nicely defined edges (sans significant ringing), well-resolved textures and, contrast leveling notwithstanding, decent delineation. If I have any complaint, it's that minor macroblocking and banding creep into the mix, suggesting a bit more breathing room (five discs rather than four perhaps) might have cleared up any lingering problems. Still, Revolution: The Complete First Season rarely disappoints. Fans will be more than pleased with its Blu-ray debut.
Revolution: The Complete First Season Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Revolution makes an impact with an agile, armed-and-ready DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track; one that only underwhelms when the series' sound design fails to create a fully convincing post-apocalyptic soundscape. Dialogue is clear, intelligible and competently prioritized, although voices struck me as a bit diluted during a few especially busy action sequences. Likewise, the LFE channel is strong, assertive and ever poised to deliver its low-end payload... when, that is, it isn't sidelined in favor of Christopher Lennertz's score, which tends to surge aggressively mid-battle. All the same, gunfire, explosions, (spoiler incoming) the occasional engine or helicopter rotor, and general bedlam that ensues fare well, and even lend potentially feather-light scenes some much-needed weight. Rear speaker activity is notable too, with ample ambience and directional flair, despite the presence of too many overly stagy sound effects that spoil any realism the otherwise reasonably satisfying soundfield has to offer. All told, Revolution sounds great. Not as great as it looks, but close.
Revolution: The Complete First Season Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet Combo Pack Contents (Subject to Change): The initial combo pack release of Revolution: The Complete First Season features a side-entry slipbox (with the original pressing), a thick 9-disc snap case, four BD-50 discs, a standard DVD copy of the first season (spread across five DVD discs), and an UltraViolet digital copy of the entire season (Flixster download via redemption code, expires 9/3/2015). Please note: the Revolution UltraViolet digital copy is not iTunes compatible.
Revolution: The Complete First Season Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Revolution coulda been a contender. Instead, it's the antithesis of The Walking Dead: neat, tidy and all too artificial. Absent is Kripke's signature edge, his knack for dark humor, his low-budget wherewithal. This is a network primetime drama through and through, and it suffers accordingly. Warner's Blu-ray release is much better, with a terrific video presentation, a solid DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, and a decent supplemental package. Commentaries or a Picture-in-Picture track or two would have gone a long way, but only the most diehard fans will raise any objection. If you're one of those fans, add The Complete First Season to your cart without hesitation. If you have yet to sample Revolution, though, proceed with caution.
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Revolution: The Complete First Season Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Exclusive Giveaway: Revolution The Complete First Season - August 30, 2013
Blu-ray.com and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment are offering three members a chance to win a copy of Revolution: The Complete First Season, which stars Billy Burke, Tracy Spiridakos, Giancarlo Esposito, Zak Orth, David Lyons, Daniella Alonso and Elizabeth Mitchell. ...
• Revolution: The Complete First Season Blu-ray - June 6, 2013
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has announced the Blu-ray release of Revolution: The Complete First Season, which stars Billy Burke, Tracy Spiridakos, Giancarlo Esposito, Zak Orth, David Lyons, Daniella Alonso and Elizabeth Mitchell. The BD/DVD/UltraViolet combo ...
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