Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season(TV) (2013)
Ichabod Crane is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers.
For more about Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season and the Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray release, see Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on September 11, 2014 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Nicole Beharie, Orlando Jones, Tom Mison, Katia Winter, Lyndie Greenwood, Nicholas Gonzalez (I)
Directors: Ernest R. Dickerson, Nick Copus
» See full cast & crew
Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review
Sleepy no longer.
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, September 11, 2014
There are few images as spooky in the entire annals of literature as that of the headless horseman who haunts Washington Irving's timeless tale of one Ichabod Crane. The image of a headless horseman actually predates Irving's account by at least a few centuries, with tales by such legendary writers as the Grimm Brothers utilizing it before Irving made it so unforgettable in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Irving's timeless tale has been adapted countless times for television and film, including entries as disparate as Walt Disney's The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad and Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow. This new television iteration takes one beat from Burton's approach by having the police involved with the mystery of the headless horseman, though in this case the setting is contemporary and both the horseman and Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) have mysteriously appeared in 21st century Sleepy Hollow, much to everyone's consternation. There's therefore a fish out of water (or timeframe) aspect to the series that provides some of its lighter weight material, while the spooky supernatural underpinning that helped to define Irving's original piece bubbles just beneath the surface, breaking through at regular intervals as if to "reassure" the various characters that there's something extremely mysterious going on in the quaint and picturesque New York village.
It becomes evident rather quickly in Sleepy Hollow that the show's creative team is following in the well worn footsteps of such supernaturally themed shows as The X Files, something they themselves reference in one of the commentaries included on this new Blu- ray set. But there are important differences here, including the fact that neither of the two main characters is an avowed skeptic. While Crane may be more of a believer due to his unexpected "resurrection" several centuries after his supposed demise during the Revolutionary War, the young policeman with whom he eventually is partnered, Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), has her own convoluted backstory that makes her at least somewhat willing to concede that otherworldly events have been haunting her hometown of Sleepy Hollow since she herself was a child. That leaves some of the traditional "Scully-izing" pooh-poohing to such characters as Captain Frank Irving (Orlando Jones), Mills' superior and a man who initially at least is looking for tried and true rational explanations for what's been going on.
Sleepy Hollow has a fairly convoluted mythology built into its conceit, but it's one that show wastes little time in divulging and then slowly building upon. Ready? Okay, here we go. In this version Ichabod Crane is a black ops member of sorts for none other than George Washington, working on some super secret plans that may have an occult foundation. He is warned about a Hessian soldier who must be stopped at all costs, and that turns out to be the headless horseman (who becomes headless courtesy of a well timed saber swipe by Crane himself). However, Crane is mortally wounded in the battle, and his wife Katrina (Katia Winter), who just happens to be a "good" witch, puts a spell on Ichabod, putting him in stasis. Unfortunately, Crane's blood has mixed with the horseman's, and so the two are now inextricably linked. Katrina and a well meaning priest throw the horseman's headless body in a nearby river, but centuries later, some hidden force reaches out and awakens the horseman, and the linked Ichabod in the process. Once Ichabod and Abbie attempt to figure out what's going on in the 21st century, a few well timed discoveries as well as some telepathic dreams from Katrina, who is trapped in some kind of magical dream world, let the pair know that the horseman is one of those horsemen—as in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalpyse. Got all that? Whew. (One thing the show's writers did not get is the correct name of the Biblical book from which Sleepy Hollow culls much of its mythology. It's the Book of Revelation. As in singular. Not "revelations". )
The series combines certain procedural elements with the creepier supernatural elements that defined such former shows as The X Files. But it's those very supernatural elements that both offer Sleepy Hollow its most distinctive aspect while at the same time hobbling the series. How can that be? Take The X Files as a salient case in point. Scully and Mulder trotted hither and yon chasing down all sorts of boogie men and other inexplicable phenomena. Here, in Sleepy Hollow, everything is confined to one location, making the series an increasingly fragile construction of happenstance and spooky goings on in a quite limited geographical region. The fact that the show wants to make these happening global, if not downright cosmic, is distinctly at odds with everything being centered in one tiny village. Increasingly throughout the first season, the series repeatedly relies on a "monster of the week" that momentarily sidelines Ichabod and Abbie on their overall quest to quell the horseman and his siblings. In this regard, Sleepy Hollow has some of the same claustrophobic issues that plague the somewhat similar Haven.
There are also some troubling signs that Crane's inability to cope with the modern world is going to provide shticky fodder for little humorous interstitials. A little of this gambit goes a long way, and it will be instructive to note how much the show depends on this technique going forward. In the meantime, there are some very interesting aspects to this show, despite some occasional missteps in the first season. The interplay between Mison and Beharie is quite enjoyable, and the show does have a great, Gothic atmosphere that serves the show very well. That said, Sleepy Hollow has a very tricky tightrope to walk here, hoping that the mythological aspects of the show don't become so farfetched that the entire premise becomes unsupportable. The show's writers are going to have to have their heads screwed on very tightly going forward.
Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray, Video Quality
Sleepy Hollow is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1. Shot digitally with the Red Epic, Sleepy Hollow is a nicely sharp and detailed looking series in high definition, despite the prevalence of a lot of dark and/or color graded sequences. The show's flashbacks as well as Katrina's dream world are tweaked to be somewhat desaturated and even smeary looking, but fine detail is still exceptional, especially in close-ups. The contemporary world of Sleepy Hollow is fairly autumnal and wintry looking throughout many episodes, and so colors are often tamped down, though always accurate looking. A lot of the CGI is rather soft looking, with many scenes featuring the headless horseman looking almost painterly at times. Contrast is generally quite strong, and shadow detail is also above average even in nighttime sequences. There are no real issues with artifacts here, and Sleepy Hollow is quite evocative looking in its first season.
Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Sleepy Hollow's lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix offers excellent fidelity and good placement of some great sound effects. Listen for example in the opening episode when the modern day priest (who looks a lot like the priest back in Revolutionary War times) attempts to subdue the horseman with chains, and there's a wonderfully quick panning sound that explodes toward the rear channels. The galloping horse of the horseman also provides good panning sounds, and a number of other spooky doin's have nicely rendered foley effects which help to set the appropriately creepy mood. Dialogue is always presented cleanly and clearly and there are no problems to report.
Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Sleepy Hollow's second season will probably tell the tale more fully as to whether this show can sustain its artifices without seeming to be sillier than it sometimes already has the tendency of being. There's a lot to like about this show, however, including a nicely acerbic turn by Mison as Crane, and an unusually nuanced portrayal by Beharie as the modern day cop with a troubled (and troubling) past. Some of the mythology may seem a bit over contrived at certain points, but there's no denying that Sleepy Hollow is often a quite inventive reimagining of classic characters and tropes. Technical merits are very strong on this Blu-ray set, and Sleepy Hollow comes Recommended.
Sleepy Hollow: Other Seasons
Use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons to agree or disagree that the title is similar to Sleepy Hollow. You can also suggest completely new similar titles to Sleepy Hollow in the search box below.
Similar titles suggested by members
Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray, News and Updates
• This Week on Blu-ray: September 16-23 - September 14, 2014
For the week of September 16th, Warner Home Entertainment is bringing the new Godzilla to Blu-ray. Other titles Sony's Ghostbusters I & II two-pack, Lionsgate's Season Two set of the great NBC procedural Hannibal, and Warner's value-priced release of the bad-movie ...
• Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray - July 1, 2014
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release on Blu-ray Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season. The three-disc Blu-ray release will be available for purchase on September 16th.
Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
» Show more forum discussions for Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray
Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2014 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.