24: Season One DVD Collection [DVD]
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DVD Special Features:
Season 2 Preview
Subtitles: English for the hearing impaired
Original aspect ratio: 16x9 widescreen
Sound Quality: Dolby Digital 2.0
Such a simple idea--yet so fiendishly complex in the execution. 24, as surely everyone knows by now, is a thriller that takes place over 24 hours, midnight to midnight, in 24 one-hour episodes (well, 45-minute episodes if you extract the ad breaks). Everything to take place in real time--on-screen and off-screen time the same--which means no flash-backs, no flash-forwards, no nice handy time-dissolves. Every strand of the plot has to be dovetailed and interlocked to make sure that things happen just when they should, in the right amount of time. Not that easy.
Creator Robert Cochran and his team of writers and directors have done a pretty impressive job in putting the jigsaw together and keeping the tension ratcheted up high, as Federal Agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) hares around LA trying to stall an assassination attempt on a black Presidential candidate and rescue his wife and daughter from the clutches of the Balkan baddies. Twists, turns, revelations and cliffhangers are tossed at us with satisfying regularity. Its not perfect: we get some hokey plot devices (instant amnesia, anybody?) and the final twist, once you start thinking back, makes no sense whatsoever. There are altogether too many huggy family moments ("I love you, Dad." "I love you, son"); and as for überbaddie Dennis Hoppers "Serbian" accent
Even so, this is undeniably mould-breaking TV. Sutherland, rescuing his career from the doldrums in one heroic leap, fully deserves his Golden Globe. Sets and locations are artfully deployed--we gain a real sense of LAs splayed-out geography--and Sean Callerys score is a powerful, brooding presence. Like Murder One and The Sopranos, 24 is one of those series future TV thrillers will have to measure themselves against.
On the DVDs: 24 is released in a six-disc box set. On discs 1- 5 there are no extras, but disc 6 includes the "alternative" ending and a preview of Series 2, presented by an urbane Kiefer Sutherland, that tells us precisely nothing. The transfer, in 16x9 widescreen and 2.0 Dolby Digital sound, does the high production values of the original every justice.--Philip Kemp
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But this one was a bit underwhelming. It seemed to be based on Adrenalin. Set up past paced and scary situations where everyone is racing against time. A buzz.
Trouble is its hard to make a series last on adrenalin alone. They just needed a lot more ideas. Here they pretty much had one plot idea: family member gets kidnapped and then rescued. Over and over. I got a bit restless. By the end, I just didn't care.
Creativity - that's what was lacking. Narrative inventiveness. I found myself longing for something new to happen.
Also character interest and colour. Compare all the wonderful characters in Heroes for example. The Senator with no character flaws - is this memorable? The wife who always went behind his back every time. Predictable. The hero who is indestructible. Yawn. Anxious looks from wife.
The actors were pretty good over all. But just let down badly by the writers.
Keifer Sutherland tells us at the end that season 2 will be more of the same. I think I'll pass on that.
With the extra security in the US after 9-11, this great army of European terrorists would find it hard to get in to the country, without then rampaging around L.A. killing as they went. The Police Department, FBI and CIA would have been out in force, the body count far less and the action over well before evening. (Doesn't anybody read the books of Michael Connelly and Robert Crais?)
It's unbelievable that even the most determined terrorists would kidnap the same family three times, or was it four, in one day just to fill in the hours.
It was also quite obvious that the writers were making it all up as they went along, because last two hours were so unbelievable considering the events of the day, that they had obviously no idea when they started what the ending would be and had to film two, what a cop-out.
Encouraged by the reviews on Amazon I also bought Seasons 2 and 3 but after watching this I feel like I've spent six months in Afghanistan and I'll have to take a break to get into the "beyond belief" mode again before I can tackle the rest.
Definitely 3 stars for the concept of this show. The score would be more, if the plot had been more consistent.
The action is relentless, gripping, and tense. The plot is a rollercoaster of twists and turns, making 24 an addictive watch. Sutherland is fantastic, as is the rest of the stellar cast.
Once you start watching 24, it's difficult to stop. Highly recommended!
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