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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another superb US import
An excellent series charting the life of Mafiosa Tony Soprano as well as his family and associates. The gangster genre has undergone many different interpretations over the years, with the highlights being the obvious: Godfather, Once Upon A Time In America etc. However, it is about time a well-made, well-acted and ultimately realistic portrayal came to the small screen -...
Published on 28 Nov 2003 by Miss Clare O'Reilly

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow and boring
Don't know what all the fuss is about. Slow and boring
Published 27 days ago by Mr. Mk Ndoko


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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another superb US import, 28 Nov 2003
This review is from: The Sopranos: Complete HBO Season 1 [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
An excellent series charting the life of Mafiosa Tony Soprano as well as his family and associates. The gangster genre has undergone many different interpretations over the years, with the highlights being the obvious: Godfather, Once Upon A Time In America etc. However, it is about time a well-made, well-acted and ultimately realistic portrayal came to the small screen - and the Sopranos is it, without a shadow of a doubt. Gritty and violent, yet sardonic and sexy, this series is another fantastic import from HBO. Its popularity is well deserved, and despite some criticism in later series when the focus drifts onto secondary (and more annoying) characters, this first series heralded a new class of tv shows. Highly recommended.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just when I thought I was out..., 9 Dec 2003
This review is from: The Sopranos: Complete HBO Season 1 [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
they puuulll me back in!
Back in your chair to watch the rest of the Sopranos, that is!
This first season of the Sopranos is a real beauty. A great cast (unbelievable acting-debute of Steven Van Zandt!). Great music (Tindersticks e.g.). Great cinematography (little spoiler: Tony's first attack). Great script and quotes. And the necessary humor.
This great show comes in a 4-disk dvd-box. The box-art is really nice. There are some extra's (audio comment of the director for the pilote, an interview with the director,..) but not very much. And maybe also good to know if you're non-UK: there are subtitles for most European languages.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top quality show, 19 Sep 2007
This review is from: The Sopranos: Complete HBO Season 1 [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
The first season of The Sopranos starts off well and gets better and better with each episode. Rather than focussing solely on the mafia lifestyle, there's also a great deal of domestic drama, and it's interesting to see Tony Soprano (much like any other head of a family) trying to find a decent work/life balance. He has the demanding family at home, but also the demanding "family" in his day to day business dealings.
Overall the first season is a great introduction to a show that continued to get better and better for the next few seasons.
A very good starting point, and excellently written.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it........ It's an offer you can't refuse!, 26 Feb 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Sopranos: Complete HBO Season 1 [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
The Godfather, Goodfellas, Donnie Brasco...I loved them all, but somehow The Sopranos passed me by along with the hype (I must have been sleeping with the fishes). Until recently, that is, when my Boss (as in line manager not Mafioso) suggested that, in light of my appreciation of the above classics, I might give The Sopranos a look.
So, with an objective, post hype and critical eye I started to watch series one in February 2004.
Absolutely amazing, I am utterly addicted to this masterpiece of imagination. It portrays the life of a man who seems to have it all; the money, the house, the cars, the ladies, the power.......but he's just as fallible and vulnerable as the rest of us (he may go a little further than most when faced with adversity) but still you find yourself almost identifying and actually rooting for this mob boss.
He's a family man as well as a gangster and it is in this guise that we get the balance and insight into ordinary humanity that empowers the viewer to empathise with Tony Soprano and forgive his excesses in his alter ego of Mafia Don. These two worlds are abridged magnificently by Tony's frank and increasingly open discourse with his Psychiatrist, Dr Melfi.
Their evolving relationship serves to show the viewer the tenderness that Tony is capable of feeling (when he's not "whacking" people) and allows him to express his inner feelings. This lends itself to ever increasing character knowledge and complexity of Tony Soprano, engaging the viewer to want to find out more about Tony and his complex life.
Forget Big Brother, this is the ultimate insight into human nature and all its facets.
I have just ordered the 2nd, 3rd and 4th series through Amazon on the strength of the 1st series and I'm only onto episode 9!
The down side?......Once you've watched the Sopranos you've been spoilt - ordinary TV shows will just pale into insignificance. Brilliantly written, brilliantly acted, amazing sub-plots that offer real depth and complexity and characters that make you laugh and cry in the same breath.
Bada Bing!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly the "family redefined". Gritty, funny, fantastic!, 10 April 2001
By 
Ms. S. A. Prayle (North West of England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
James Gandolfini and co are a breath of fresh air when considering the wealth of US series' actors breezing onto UK screens. The first series of The Sopranos is a classic, a reliable purchase even if you have no knowledge of the show.
The series combines the best bits of US-gangster action from movies like the Godfather and Goodfellas, and the 21st century culture shock of drugs and therapy. Tony Sopranos struggles under the stress of his Uncle's new found gang leadership and of course the trials and tribulations of family life.
Along for the ride (and for great entertainment) are fellow mafia friends Paulie, Pussy, and Christopher (played by the fabulous Michael Imperioli) among others.
The Sopranos deserves its critical acclaim and Emmy successes, and is certainly a must-have for your DVD collection! Highly recommended!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty non hollywood view of mob life, 23 Jan 2002
By 
K. Foley (England.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The Sopranos are just your average New Jersey Italian/American family.Yeah right. Tony has issues. He is a dangerous man to argue with and always gets what he wants.Meanwhile his wife is in denial. She loves the luxuries but is uncomfortable with how Tony gets to pay for them.She is seeking help from the regularly visiting priest who is in love ....with her cooking. On the other hand Tony is seeking help from a shrink. Not a good thing to let your enemies know.Tony juggles to control his emotionally problems with his problems of mob control.A bit of flexing muscle is his way of letting of steam.Good when you need to live up to the image of Boss of the New Jersey family business.But family is family and how do you handle it when your uncle believes he is the rightful Boss. Simple, flex the only muscle that Tony doesnt use often enough. His mind.
The whole series is a mixture of violent mob everyday life and volatile family life. A definate must see. But you need to take 13 hours out of life to watch coz you dont want to miss a thing.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Goodfellas left off..., 30 May 2001
By A Customer
This is the jewel in the crown of my DVD collection.
After seeing nearly every retro-gangster movie, this progresses to a new level. The ideas of exploring how the family is affected and how old mafia values are lost is unrevealed terrain and has a devastating effect by taking everything that is essential to a gangster movie and adding everything that makes a TV series good. It gives you a chance to see the workings of a mafia family in more detail and the sub-plots that intertwine both the crime aspect and family aspects make this a thoroughly intriguing TV show.
Do yourself a favour and splash out on this. Enjoy!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bada bing!, 21 April 2001
By A Customer
This was already the best ever television series and it is even more compulsive watched in large chunks rather than per episode. The packaging (us version) is pretty good too! Picture quality is excellent especially if you have a widescreen television.
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the race for the best, it's down to the wire, 30 Dec 2009
By 
OEJ & SKY - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Well, I've heard arguments about which TV series is the best ever, and the two that keep being named are The Wire and The Sopranos. Personally I can't pick a winner, they're both outstanding in their different ways. This is the first time I've seen either of them in Blu-Ray however, and it makes for a worthwhile bonus for something that, of its kind, is nigh-on perfect. Even its flaws are lovable.

This is the first series from 1999, made up of 13 episodes:-

The Sopranos (Disc 1)
46 Long (Disc 1)
Denial, Anger, Acceptance (Disc 1)
Meadowlands (Disc 2)
College (Disc 2)
Pax Soprana (Disc 2)
Down Neck (Disc 3)
The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti (Disc 3)
Boca (Disc 3)
A Hit is a Hit (Disc 4)
Nobody Knows Anything (Disc 4)
Isabella (Disc 4)
I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano (Disc 5)

These episodes come on five separate discs - note that if renting from Lovefilm, and possibly elsewhere, one disc gets you three episodes on each of the first four discs but only one episode on the fifth. So you might need to order all five separately in order to see the whole of Season 1 which is the best part of 12 hours long in total - and of course, there are no commercial breaks!

For those who may recently have been rescued from a decade on a desert island, this is an occasionally violent and foul-mouthed drama/comedy built around the stresses and strains of New Jersey 'don' Tony Soprano, although the life of organised crime is a lot less exotic now than in the days of Omerta and the cinematic icons the characters openly adore. These days, there is no such thing as a code of silence, people will grass on others to lower their prison sentences, and generally speaking nothing about this lifestyle is remotely glamourous - which is of course as it should be and how it undoubtedly is in reality. In the case of Tony Soprano, he struggles to maintain his sanity in a world in which he has to balance ordinary family life with organised hits and the many various problems he faces as a mob boss. Right from the start, Tony Soprano seeks psychiatric help from a therapist played by Lorraine Bracco, well-known for a slightly different role a decade earlier in Goodfellas. It's high-quality soap opera, with an excellent script and direction.

Having only seen this in Blu-Ray I can only guess at the improvement over SD but I found it instantly better than expected, seeing as it was filmed before Blu-Ray existed. The facial close-ups displayed the superior picture quality at its best, with every pore and follicle clear and distinct. A TV series as good as this doesn't need high-definition to entertain, so this is icing on the cake.

Audio soundtrack options are:-

English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Spanish DTS 2.0
Castellano DTS 2.0
French DTS 2.0
German DTS 2.0

While subtitles can be set in several languages:-

English, English SDH, Spanish, Castellano, French, German, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Portuguese

There cannot be much doubt about it - The Sopranos is as good as it gets for home TV entertainment for those with a liking for mafia-related drama spiced with a dash of real humour. In fact, it's a must-have, and if you haven't seen it yet, then you're in for a real treat. Get the whole set - and don't stop there, get all six seasons while you're at it. 86 episodes in all, of top-notch gangster nirvana.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unbelievably good, 22 Dec 2005
By 
hillbank68 "almac1975" (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Sopranos: Complete HBO Season 1 [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
I heard talk of 'The Sopranos' when it first appeared on British TV but thought the title too daft for it to be worth looking at. More fool me. I have all the series now, 1-5, and am frequently staggered by the brilliance of the enterprise, and how it has unfolded and developed. I lent Series 1 to a friend ; he rather shamefacedly told me later that he had sat down to watch the first episode in a morning and, totally transfixed, watched the whole series right through. It gets you that way, and I can't think of much else that does. A modern classic.
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The Sopranos: Complete HBO Season 1 [1999] [DVD]
The Sopranos: Complete HBO Season 1 [1999] [DVD] by James Gandolfini (DVD - 2003)
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