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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 Years in the waiting...
Almost ten whole years ago now the US got their hands on Malcolm in the Middle: Season 1 on DVD. The set sold so well that FOX immediately announced plans for a Season 2 set to be released in 2003. Those plans fell through. Why? All because of music clearances. Due to FOX being... not entirely forward thinking it would have cost a fortune to be able to acquire the rights...
Published on 13 Feb. 2012 by C. Ellis

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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars R2 Release: Technical Quality Issues
I've just acquired the R2 Release and given Disk 1 an initial playing. I've owned the R1 Release for some time, and I think it goes without saying that Malcolm in the Middle is a superb series from start to finish and much loved by many. I therefore submit this review for those interested in the technical quality of this Release compared to the previous R1 "NTSC" set sold...
Published on 25 Oct. 2012 by Buzz Lightyear


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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 Years in the waiting..., 13 Feb. 2012
By 
C. Ellis - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Malcolm in the Middle: The Complete First Season [DVD] (DVD)
Almost ten whole years ago now the US got their hands on Malcolm in the Middle: Season 1 on DVD. The set sold so well that FOX immediately announced plans for a Season 2 set to be released in 2003. Those plans fell through. Why? All because of music clearances. Due to FOX being... not entirely forward thinking it would have cost a fortune to be able to acquire the rights for the music used in the show to release on DVD and thus the show became suspended in limbo for years and years and years.

For many years I've been keeping a close eye on TVShowsonDVD.com for Malcolm to appear. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air seasons 5 and 6 were announced on there after a 4-year gap for the same reason of music costs and when the news broke I was overjoyed, however this website does not report the Region 2 (UK) releases. Today, I was flicking through the ratings for my favorite TV shows, making sure they were 'okay'. I was a bit curious about how 'Supernatural's ratings had decreased over the last season or two which led me to learn all about the 'Friday night death slot', that wiki article lead me to Malcolm in the Middle, which was shunted to this death slot in it's final season resulting in it's cancellation and upon scrolling down the page I saw the news. The news that Fabulous Films would be releasing all 7 seasons in the UK this year.

I let out a squeel of joy, what I had been waiting for for so many years was finally a reality. Anyway, every month now, culminating in a 'Complete Collection' before Christmas a new season of Malcolm in the Middle will be released on DVD. It's been a long and tumultuous wait but that is finally over now. If you're a fan of 'Malcolm' please make sure you go out and buy it, the last thing we need is poor sales resulting in only half the seasons getting the released or something. Also there's (hopefully) the possibility of a Blu-ray release soon.

Anyway, it's a fantastic show and definitely deserves a 10/10. If you've never seen it before watch it, you wont be disappointed!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Malcolm in the Middle - Series 1, 8 Feb. 2015
By 
Mr. Beaumont - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Malcolm in the Middle: The Complete First Season [DVD] (DVD)
It's always nice to go right back to the start with TV shows, and Malcolm in the Middle it's no different. The first thing I noticed was how young they all look, including Malcolm, Reese & Dewey. As for this DVD itself, there is full English subtitles, & also a documentary on the show along with a few other little extras.

Disk 1
Series 1 – Episode 1, Pilot, 9th January 2000
Series 1 – Episode 2, Red Dress, 16th January 2000
Series 1 – Episode 3, Home Alone 4, 23rd January 2000
Series 1 – Episode 4, Shame, 6th February 2000
Series 1 – Episode 5, Malcolm Babysits, 13th February 2000
Series 1 – Episode 6, Sleepover, 20th February 2000

Disk 2:
Series 1 – Episode 7, Francis Escapes, 27th February 2000
Series 1 – Episode 8, Krelboyne Picnic, 12th March 2000
Series 1 – Episode 9, Lois vs. Evil, 19th March 2000
Series 1 – Episode 10, Stock Car Races, 2nd April 2000
Series 1 – Episode 11, Funeral, 9th April 2000
Series 1 – Episode 12, Cheerleader, 16th April 2000

Disk 3:
Series 1 – Episode 13, Rollerskates, 30th April 2000
Series 1 – Episode 14, The Bots and the Bees, 7th May 2000
Series 1 – Episode 15, Smunday, 14th May 2000
Series 1 – Episode 16, Water Park, 21st May 2000
Extras
Malcolm Vision (a few bloopers)
A Stroke Of Genius (50min documentary on the show)
Season One Promos (7mins of Fox trailers for the show)
Dewey's Day Job - portrait of Erik Per Sullivan (5mins documentary on Erik away from the show)
Cold Opens (4 alternate show openings)
Season One Gag Reel
Deleted Scenes
Behind The Middle (preview of season 2)
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars R2 Release: Technical Quality Issues, 25 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Malcolm in the Middle: The Complete First Season [DVD] (DVD)
I've just acquired the R2 Release and given Disk 1 an initial playing. I've owned the R1 Release for some time, and I think it goes without saying that Malcolm in the Middle is a superb series from start to finish and much loved by many. I therefore submit this review for those interested in the technical quality of this Release compared to the previous R1 "NTSC" set sold in the US.

Firstly, I discovered that the picture format on the R2 disks is actually 720 x 480 at 30fps. R2 is normally formatted for PAL compatibility, which would require 720 x 576 at 25fps (576i 50Hz). What we have here is the same picture format as the R1 release, which is intended for the NTSC standard. Both Releases are interlaced (480i 60hz). The menus and navigation are almost identical to the R1 Release.

I quickly noticed a problem with a juddering effect on panning scenes, where the motion appears to be rather jerky. On investigation, this looks to be due to the source material having been de-interlaced and then re-interlaced. This results in a bigger, so less fluid movement between each frame, as well as every fourth frame being shown twice in a five-frame set; all contributing to the effect, which personally, I find quite distracting. The R1 Release does not suffer this problem. It also suggests this R2 transfer is from another video source rather than from the original film.

Also to note are the average bit rates on the R2 Release Disk 1, which are significantly lower than the R1 set. I thought this might be to make space on the dual-layer disk for the Original Pilot, which is not on the R1 set, but curiously, less than 7Gb of the available 8.5Gb is actually used.

The early episodes do seem to exhibit quite a bit of grain and noise. This was also apparent on the R1 Release so I suspect the source material is to blame, but in my view, it is made worse by higher compression here. Things do improve, however, once past the first few episodes.

There is another, more serious flaw with this R2 transfer. An example can be seen on Disk 3, in episode "Smunday", where there are several low-light scenes in Lois' bedroom. Sadly, shadow detail is crushed to oblivion and blacks are rendered as purple and blue! This is tehnically pretty poor. The R1 Release is streets ahead in comparison with decent solid blacks and good shadow detail.

On the positive side, this R2 Release (excluding the Extended Pilot) does indeed have the 16:9 aspect ratio, whereas the R1 Release is all 4:3, as originally shown on TV. I have compared the picture areas and can confirm that the 16:9 framing has been achieved without cropping the top and bottom of the original picture. I did read somewhere that the original format was 16:9 on 35mm film, so this is a definite plus for widescreen viewing.

Overall, a little disappointing. Even though the 16:9 aspect looks great, the technical flaws are, in my opinion, unforgivable.

Sadly, I think we will have to wait a long time for a decent 1080p Blu ray transfer from the original film at 24fps; now that would be something...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, original comedy, 2 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Malcolm in the Middle: The Complete First Season [DVD] (DVD)
Perhaps the clue is in the name - Mr Parodi?? It was certainly a parody of an objective review...

While it does cover a lot of the same ground of other sitcoms, MitM is an original take on a dysfunctional family (now if you want to look at plagiarism perhaps you should check out the more recent series The Middle - a fairly unsubtle rip-off).

This is not to denigrate other series such as Roseanne, The Simpsons, etc., which are wonderful. It shouldn't be a competition to say which series is best; let's just say that America has over the last 50 years have come up with some of the best comedy on the planet (along with an awful lot of dross - Two and a Half Men anyone??).

Let's hope the remaining seasons appear soon!

Highly recommended
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MITM Series One R2 - Episodes 5 stars, DVD set 4 stars, 26 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Malcolm in the Middle: The Complete First Season [DVD] (DVD)
'I want a better family.'

The adventures of a boy genius growing up in a crazy family and unfair world. This is the show's premise, but it offers so much more. The characters and situations are quirky and amusing, it's just like an exaggerated version of real life. Kindly dad Hal abdicates control, and escapes work mundanities and family chaos by retreating into a world of his own where he is still, or wants to be, a boy. These scenarios provide much of the show's lighter comedy. Mom Lois is loud-mouthed, opinionated and a control freak, making her unpopular, yet she keeps the household running despite the chaos. It is fascinating watching the interaction of the characters and seeing why they behave as they do. For example, the parents seldom give their lively boys quality attention, so it's hardly surprising the boys are mischievous at times. Eldest brother Francis has 'mother issues', is a delinquent, and rebel at military school. Reese is an underachiever, the school bully, he's hopeless at school but when it comes to inventing schemes to cause trouble and mischief he's outstanding. Dewey, the traumatised youngest, also escapes into his fantasy world, where he imagines he is treated better. The show is also populated by eccentric larger than life supporting characters, for example Commandant Spangler, Lois's workmate Craig Feldspar, and Malcolm's teachers and gifted classmates including loyal best friend Stevie.

Stuck at the centre of all this is cynical Malcolm, IQ 165 but easily outwitted by his mother. He's a genius and is placed in the Krelboyne advanced class at school, where he is surrounded by geeks, but just wants to be a 'normal' popular teen. He's put upon, not listened to, his needs not met. He craves popularity but can be tactless, critical and complaining. He has a low opinion of others, yet is genuinely hurt when people don't like him. Malcolm worries about everything, and a lot of the show's comedy stems from his reactions to the situations he finds himself in. He can also be charming, loyal and fight against the odds for what he believes is right. His tirades against unfairness can make him unpopular, and some of the show's darker comedy stems from watching him set himself up for inevitable disappointment.

The show is insightful, amusing, well written and incredibly well acted. Frankie Muniz is perfect as feisty, loquacious Malcolm, his performance has passion, contrast (for example the contrast between the genius Malcolm is and the normal teen he tries to be) and plenty of subtle details, and he is excellent at conveying Malcolm's nervousness and embarrassment. His natural warmth and charm offset some of Malcolm's less likeable chacteristics, which are understandable in context. I love the way Malcolm engages the viewer with his commentaries to camera embellished by various apposite facial expressions. Jane Kaczmarek and Bryan Cranston (Lois and Hal) are outstanding, really plausible and convincing as the parents. Their acting is so good they could easily pass off as a real married couple with four lively boys! As Malcolm's brothers, Christopher Masterson (Francis) Justin Berfield (Reese) and Erik Per Sullivan (Dewey) are also outstanding in their own unique ways and also bring plenty of talent and commitment to their roles, which they get into with assured confidence and gusto. The cast work and blend together really well, which is so important. Clearly a lot of thought went into the richly varied music soundtrack which is usually appropriate and adds to the scene it accompanies. At its best the show is something special, and benefits from repeated viewings because there is so much to appreciate and enjoy.

Episodes are in widescreen 16/9 except an alternative version of 'Pilot' in 4/3 and are NTSC (not PAL). While picture quality for the most part is very good, in some episodes there are flaws not evident on the Region 1 (4/3) release or broadcasts, most obvious is very annoying picture juddering on even quite slow panning shots. Picture and sound freeze momentarily in 'Sleepover' at 17'05 and after the titles in 'Funeral'. Special features are the same as the Region 1 release including optional subtitles and a very interesting 42 minute documentary about the creation of the show. A qualified 5 stars, buy this set for widescreen, but if you have the Region 1 set (luxury packaging and no picture judder) don't ditch it when you buy this set.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FINALLY - MALCOLM ON DVD !!!!!, 14 Feb. 2012
By 
Mr. M. RALPH "ralph_109" (U.K - KENT) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Malcolm in the Middle: The Complete First Season [DVD] (DVD)
Woooooooooooooooooooooooooo - Been waiting for this moment to come. - FINALLY Malcolm in the middle is comming to DVD in APRIL 2012!

This is a much loved show by me and has been since it first aired -

I really cant wait to get all 7 Series on DVD :D
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far from in the middle - this is top class comedy, 18 Aug. 2012
By 
The Truth "How it is" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Malcolm in the Middle: The Complete First Season [DVD] (DVD)
Forget the name. There's nothing in the middle or mediocre about this series, it remains one of the funniest shows I've ever seen.

Each episode is packed full of great acting, wonderful stories, hysterical jokes and truly inventive and original scenarios.

It's hard to pick your favourite character they're all so good with Hal, Reece and Malcolm himself being particular favourites of mine.

There are 16 episodes in this first season box set, including the pilot, and some of them are pure genius - for instance the episode where Hal teaches Malcolm to rollerskate is laugh out loud until snot comes out your nose funny.

If you haven't seen Malcolm in the middle, you really must, and even if you have it's just great to go back and visit these first few episodes anyway. They include:
1) The Pilot
2) Red Dress
3) Home Alone 4
4) Shame
5) Malcolm Babysits
6) Sleepover
7) Francis Escapes
8) Krelboyne Picnic
9) Lois Vs. Evil
10) Stock Car Races
11) Funeral
12) Cheerleader
13) Rollerskates
14) The Bots & The Bees
15) Smunday
16) Waterpark
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1.0 out of 5 stars Great series, unwatchable DVDs, 25 Jun. 2015
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This review is from: Malcolm in the Middle: The Complete First Season [DVD] (DVD)
I have attempted to buy this series from Amazon 4 times now, and each time I get a terrible quality DVD. Not just a bad picture, but unwatchable in red and green only. Has anyone else had this issue? Or have I just had really bad luck?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, 10 Jan. 2013
By 
bookworm (redhill, england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Malcolm in the Middle: The Complete First Season [DVD] (DVD)
Having seen many episodes over the years, usually out of sequence, it's great to be able to view in the order they were made. Not eveyone's cup of tea, but the antics of this disfunctional family make me laugh.
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4.0 out of 5 stars My Review, 5 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Malcolm in the Middle: The Complete First Season [DVD] (DVD)
The DVD arrived in its factory seal wrap and it also arrived quickly. The DVD works fine on my DVD player but there is a crack in the case so it doesn't close properly but no other problems apart from that.
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