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Homicide: Life on - Comp Seasons 1 & 2 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Daniel Baldwin , Richard Belzer , Alan Taylor , Barry Levinson    DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product details

  • Actors: Daniel Baldwin, Richard Belzer, Andre Braugher, Clark Johnson, Yaphet Kotto
  • Directors: Alan Taylor, Barry Levinson, Bruce Paltrow, Christopher Menaul, John McNaughton
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 27 May 2003
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008PHCZ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 158,709 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic stuff 30 Mar 2004
By A Customer
I cant wait for this to come out on region 2 disc. Homicide is the best police program there is out there, exploring the effect of this type of work on the police who carry it out. I didnt like homicide when i first saw it, but give it a couple of episodes and you will be hooked, its gritty, realistic approach is not for everyone. and right up to the final series it does not fail to deliver. the strange thing is when you watch the early episodes after you have seen the very last one, you can see where it was heading all the time....well worth getting into!!!!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring on Region 2 30 April 2006
By Mac
I have been waiting to buy this since first seeing an episode of Homicide whilst on holiday in Canada in 1999. First they showed it on UK tv at a ludicrously early hour in the morning and wondered why no-one watched it. Now they tempt us with a dvd in a format we cannot watch. Is this some kind of conspiracy to stop the Brits seeing the finest, grittiest, hardest-edged US cop drama ever produced. It has been so long that Pembleton has turned into a crook and Kellerman has been shot dead by Vic Mackey. And while I am on the soapbox: give us The Shield series 3 in region 2 format.
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65 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Top-to-Bottom, Side-to-Side, it had Quality! 26 April 2003
By George McAdams - Published on
Verified Purchase
Back in the mid-1990's, I was connected with an organization called "Viewers for Quality Television," or "VQT." It was a group of people championing television programs, especially dramas, that didn't get much attention from the Emmy's, but should have.

"Homicide Life: Life on the Streets" was one of our shows we fought for. While NBC stuck with it, often halfheartedly, for several years while erratically scheduling it alternately in good time slots (following the Superbowl one week, then not showing it for several weeks), then moving it to a different night every couple of months, e.g. January 1993 (Sunday), Feb-March 1993 (Wednesday), then keeping it off the air until January 1994 (Thursday), and then moving it after a few months in October 1994 (Friday), it was doomed to fail, but we watched it anyway...hoping that we'd get to see another episode.

The characters were an odd collection of people who cared about what they did, and we as viewers cared about them: Ned Beatty as Stanley (the Big Man), Richard Belzer as Munch, Daniel Baldwin as Beau Felton, Andre Braugher as Frank, and Yaphet Kotto as Lieutenant Giardello (Gee).

SPOILER ALERT! I could write ten pages about wonderful moments from this show: The "small talk" of Stanley and Munch. The pain Frank felt after the death of Crosetti in December 1994. the shooting of Felton, Kay Howard (Melissa Leo) and Stan in January 1995. The warmth of the snowball fight at the end of one show in December with Christy Hyde singing "Have yourself a very Merry Christmas" in the background.

This was great Television that through the advent of DVD we'll be able to watch again and again. Which only goes to show you that in a world that often, from time-to-time, looks like it is going to hell in a handbasket, something wonderful, like these first two years of Homicide, come along.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of THE BEST cop shows ever! 31 May 2003
By "rsmon77" - Published on
I remember stumbling upon the show sometime around 1993 during what is ultimately one of its truly classic episodes ("Three Men and Adena", an episode solely regarding an interview with a suspect in a horrible murder), and stuck around up until it's eventual cancellation years later. The fact that it survived for as long as it did, despite being rather unconvential in its execution (a cop show not revolving around car chases and gun fights) is a credit indeed. The first 13 episodes (which make up the first two seasons it was on the air) boast some truly powerful stories. As impressive is the cast, boasting Yaphet Kotto as Al Giardello, the tough but level-headed Lieuteant of the unit, Richard Belzer as the manic John Munch, who drives his elder partner (played by Ned Beatty) completely nuts. Then there's the twisted partnership between rookie detective Bayliss (Kyle Secor) and the often volatile Pembleton (Andre Braugher), which creates some of the series' truly chilling moments (such as the aforementioned "3 Men and Adena"). And there's more that plays into the intersting tapestry that is "Homicide: Life On The Street." To say it influenced many of the cop shows today would be more than true. In its genre, the show still stands as one of the best of the best, period.
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A universe of talent in Baltimore 1 Oct 2003
By Jason A. Miller - Published on
Verified Purchase
The technical complaints about the "Homicide: Seasons 1 & 2" DVD box set are 100% accurate. The typos on the package, and the lack of English captioning (for one of the most dialogue-intensive shows on TV), betray a lack of planning behind this long-awaited (and relatively expensive) release.
However, watching the first 13 episodes of the series removes all other qualms about the set. It's important just to get these shows on DVD and put them back into the public eye. Here's a cop show with no gunfights and no car chases. Although "Law & Order" mostly followed the same rules, here the cops themselves are the attraction, played by a terrific ensemble cast of character actors. Obviously there's Richard Belzer, whose Detective Munch has been used everywhere else from two "Law & Order" series, "The X-Files", and the film epic "A Very Brady Sequel" (!). And Munch is just a minor character in this box set. More prominent cast members (who sadly didn't make it to the show's later, full-season runs) include Ned Beatty as the worn-out Stan Bolander, Daniel Baldwin as good-old-boy Beau Felton, and Jon Polito's Lincoln assassination conspiracy theorist Frank Crosetti. You may remember Polito from his current role as California lieutenant governor Cruz Bustamante.
A good way to judge the quality of a TV show is to scan the cast and production credits and see what became of the team a decade later. Apart from big-name directors Barry Levinson and Bruce Paltrow, two Season 1 episodes were directed by Martin Campbell, who revived the James Bond franchise with "GoldenEye" a few years later. Familiar names in the guest cast include Edie Falco (recurring as the wife of an injured patrolman), Julianna Margulies (as Bolander's second-season love interest), the always welcome Luis Guzman as a doomed coffin maker, and Jake Gyllenhaal, playing Robin Williams' kid in the second-season opener.
The glue that holds the show together is the Season 1 story arc revolving around the murder of schoolgirl Adena Watson. We trace the investigation through the eyes of nervous rookie detective Tim Bayliss (the underrated Kyle Secor) and his partner Frank Pembleton (Andre Braugher, given to mesmerizing fits of Shakespearean fury). Yaphet Kotto ("Koto", as per the box) takes the cliched role of the minority squad leader and turns in a joyful, fiery performance that equals Braugher's at every turn. Also standing out is the episode with Williams, which deftly turns from an examination of victim's rage to a (somewhat sympathetic) look at the killer's mind. By definition, most other cop shows don't go within a thousand miles of that approach.
The commentary by Levinson and Tom Fontana on the pilot episode is above average; however, that's all we get. There's a useless episode from some A&E true crime series; however, the song list, episode trailers, and casting featurette are decent additions. Season 3 is on its way, and none too soon. In the meantime, watch these episodes again.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of a classic series! 13 July 2005
By Cam T. - Published on
Homicide: Life on the Street debuted on NBC, when it's 'sister series' Law & Order was in its 3rd season, taking viewers to Baltimore, with a new group of detectives, played by a great cast!

Leading the squad was Yaphet Kotto (Alien) as Lt. Al Giardello (called G by his officers), with Andre Braugher as Detective Frank Pembleton, who took rookie detective Tim Bayliss, played by Kyle Secor, under his wing. Other detectives who partnered up in the first two years of Homicide included Detective Stanley Bolander (Ned Beatty), twice-divorced, cynical wise-cracker Detective John Munch (played by Richard Belzer, who later reprised Munch on Law & Order; Special Victims Unit), Detective Meldrick Lewis (Clark Johnson), Italian Detective Steve Crosetti (Jon Polito), tough female cop Detective Kay Howard (Melissa Leo), and troubled family man Detective Beau Felton (Daniel Baldwin). These varied detectives investigated 2-3 cases in one episode, making a very different style for the series from Law & Order, though it was just as hard-hitting and gritty as the 4-series franchise.

Also filled with recurring support characters, such as politically-minded college educated but inexperienced Col. Barnfather (Clayton LeBoeuf), shot blind Officer Chris Thormann (Lee Tergesen), and sexist/ racist Irish Officer/Detective Roger Gaffney who, IMHO, wouldn't know a murder victim from a Pop Tart. These last 3 characters recurred frequently throughout the entire series, and (to my disappointment) Gaffney never got killed. Oh well.

Special bonus! Robin Williams guest stars in a 2nd season episode as a tourist whose wife is gunned down in front of him and his two kids while vacationing in Baltimore.

Like L&O, Homicide was shot on location in Baltimore, lending an air of authenticity to the series. Sadly, the Fells Point police station this series was filmed in is now closed down, though tourists can still see it, and go to the Waterfront Bar, which Lewis, Bayliss, and Munch bought in Season 3, which sells Homicide merchandise!

This was the beginning of a great series, and you'll enjoy the hours spent watching it, instead of watching these stupid reality shows that are polluting the airways now. Send a message to Hollywood! Buy the DVD sets, and don't watch reality shows!!!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Homicide: The Best in the Cop Genre 1 Feb 2005
By Ryan - Published on
Homicide: Life on the Street is one of the very few cop shows that is character-driven, combined with great storytelling and superb acting all around. Others have mentioned the fine camera work and visuals and I agree that the gritty images lend themselves to this dark drama. The bonus materials are few and I must admit that the commentary on the pilot, "Gone for Good" was not as rewarding as I had hoped. Still, I bought this DVD set for the episodes themselves and I certainly wasn't disappointed. It is nice to watch the original uncut programs and the sound and picture are superior to the reruns shown on cable. Homicide is not a whodunit mystery program. Often, we know who the killer is early in the show. The conflict comes as we watch these hardened Baltimore detectives

struggle to obtain evidence, confessions and occasionally deal with the morality and immorality of man's inhumanity to man. Nor is Homicide a cut-and-dried affair where the cops always catch the bad guys in the end. Often the murderer will escape justice, as best proven by Tim Bayliss's tracking of the murderer

of Adena Watson. This is a major plot thread throughout the first season and will reappear as the series goes on. There is no graphic violence on this show, save the occasional sight of blood or glimpse of a dead body. Nor do we find any sex; no bare bottoms or breasts to help hype the ratings.

One of the strengths of Homicide is it's ability to deal with racial issues in a realistic manner that isn't too preachy. Tokenism isn't one of

this show's failings. There are several strong black characters in the show and as we come to know and respect them, it is easy for us to look past their

race and appreciate their unique characteristics. The true star of the show is Frank Pembleton (Andre Braugher) who rightfully won an Emmy for his performance at the time of his departure after the sixth season. His abilities are best demonstrated when Pembleton forces a confession from a man who is innocent in "Black and Blue." None of these characters are perfect. Some of the detectives are lazy, others are arrogant and others are just burned out. Yet, we can all appreciate them in spite of their weaknesses.

The most powerful episode of the series is contained in the first season, "Three Men and Adena,"

in which Pembleton and Tim Bayliss (Kyle Secor) spend 12 hours interrogating a suspect in the murder of an 11-year-old girl. Other standout episodes include "Bop Gun," in which Robin Williams plays a grieving father angry with himself and the process after he watches his wife shot down during a botched robbery. Also, "See No Evil," "Son of a Gun," and the series premier, "Gone for Good." There are times when the plot moves too slowly and we get bogged down in the small details as evidenced by the episode, "Night of the Dead Living," but this problem is cleared up by the second season.

In these first two seasons, we come to know and

love characters who won't last through the entire series run, including Steve Crosetti (Jon Polito), Kay Howard (Melissa Leo), Stan Bolander (Ned Beatty)

and Beau Felton (Daniel Baldwin.) We also meet other characters who will remain as solid staples of the show including John Munch (Richard Belzer), Al

Giardello (Yaphet Kotto) and Meldrick Lewis (Clark Johnson.) With this top-notch cast, combined with authentic police stories and unique visuals, Homicide

is truly a groundbreaking series. Any fan that respects the genre should own this DVD set, for it is human drama television at its finest.

Episode List:

*Gone for Good (Series pilot/premiere)

*A Ghost of a Chance

*Night of the Dead Living

*Son of a Gun (Guest star Edie Falco)

*A Shot in the Dark

*Three Men and Adena (Guest star Moses Gunn)

*A Dog and Pony Show

*And the Rockets Dead Glare

*Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

*See No Evil (Guest star Wilford Brimley)

*Black and Blue

*A Many Splendored Thing (Guest star Julianna Margulies)

*Bop Gun (Guest star Robin Williams)
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