Homeland: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-25-2013, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
85





Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2012
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 628 minutes
Genre: TV Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Claire Danes, Damien Lewis, Mandy Patinkin, Morena Baccarin, David Harewood, David Marciano, Diego Klattenhoff, Jamey Sheridan
Directed by: Various
Music by: Sean Callery
Written by: Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 10, 2013







"It hits home…"


Film Synopsis:

Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Lewis) is now a U.S. congressman, and former CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Danes) has returned to civilian life. But when a new and potentially devastating terrorist threat emerges, Brody and Carrie's lives become intertwined once again and they resume their delicate dance of suspicion, deceit and desire.

My Take:

Set roughly six months after the events of the Season 1 finale, the episode opens with news of major unrest in the Middle East as Israel has bombed nuclear facilities in Iran, with Iran vowing retaliation. The Central Intelligence Agency is approached by a former asset who is a wife of a Hezbollah district commander. She says she has information on an imminent attack on America. However, she refuses to talk to anyone but her former handler, Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) who is struggling to maintain balance in civilian life as a teacher.

Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), settling into his new role as a Congressman for Virginia's 2nd congressional district, is approached by Vice President Walden (Jamey Sheridan) who wants to float Brody's name as a potential running mate for his presidential run. Brody happily accepts the offer. Later on, he meets with Roya Hammad (Zuleikha Robinson), a journalist who reveals herself to Brody as an ally of Abu Nazir. She relays an assignment that Nazir has passed along to him. Brody is to retrieve a list of potential attack targets from a safe in CIA Deputy Supt. David Estes' office. Brody correctly ascertains that Al-Qaeda intends to hit one of these targets and refuses at first, reluctant to be responsible for deaths of civilians. Roya says that the world is at war and Brody needs to pick a side. If his allegiance is truly with Al-Qaeda, he will retrieve the list.

Claire is temporary invited back into CIA fold in order to help obtain information from the asset in Lebanon. With her help it bears fruit leading to an op targeting the elusive Abu Nazir. Unfortunately the plan is derailed when Nazir is tipped off which points the finger at someone in the inside. Meanwhile Saul makes a dramatic discovery in Lebanon, one that will prove once and for all that Carrie wasn’t crazy and that Nicholas Brody isn’t America’s golden boy. David Estes brings in a new analyst named Quinn to head up the Abu Nazir case which comes as a surprise to both Saul and Carrie. Based upon Saul’s findings Brody comes under suspicion and is targeted by the CIA eventually agreeing to work with them in order to ascertain Abu Nazir’s plans.

Now working together Brody and Carrie come face to face with the past dredging up what both had thought was long behind them. Saul does a little behind the scenes detective work only to discover that covert plans have been set in motion to cover up the past deeds of high ranking government officials with his team right smack in the middle. Brody’s family continues to cope with his circumspect behavior amidst continuing familial issues including a serious incident involving daughter Dana. Suspicions abound, treachery lurks around every corner and the imminent threat of Abu Nazir’s promise hangs in the balance. Before the season ends debts will be paid, blood will be spilled and truths will be revealed. Or will they…?

Homeland is set to a post 9/11 narrative that is scripted with taut pacing, personal themes and character driven elements where conflict abounds and nothing is a given. Season two continues in that vein as the storyline builds over the course of its 12 episodes and features a variety of enriching subplots that interconnect the main plot points. The subject matter is relevant but that isn’t what drew us in as much as the interwoven interpersonal drama. The characters are well developed as is the air of mystery surrounding them and the morally suspect nature of their connection to the proceedings. There are viable plot twists some of which you might see coming and some you might not that go hand in hand with the melodrama, romance and thrills. The show’s writing continues to compliment the performances of the core cast members headed by Claire Danes (who just won her second Emmy for her portrayal of Claire), Mandy Patinkin and Damian Lewis who I thought was much better this season than last. They are aptly supported by an excellent ensemble that compliments the show.

Homeland makes for an exciting, provocative and engaging TV series that hasn’t lost its edge going into its third season which premieres on Showtime on September 29th. We’ll be watching…

Season two’s 12 episodes are spread over three BD-50 Blu-ray Discs that come housed in a standard amaray style case with slipcover that contains a flip type insert to hold the discs. Here is the list of season one’s episodes:
  1. The smile
  2. Beirut is back
  3. State of independence
  4. New car smell
  5. Q&A
  6. A Gettysburg address
  7. The clearing
  8. I’ll fly away
  9. Two hats
  10. Broken hearts
  11. In memoriam
  12. The choice


Parental Guide:

The show contains thematic material, sexual content, partial nudity, violence and language.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 82

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 88

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692


Homeland Season Two comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.

This is an excellent high definition video rendering that features well resolved images, defining sharpness and two dimensional depth. Colors are beautifully rendered with revealing delineation, tonal warmth and vibrant textures. Fleshtones appear descriptive with discernible complexional variety that brings out the finest gradations in the differing complexional types among the cast. Blacks are a solid shade of deep black with excellent dynamic range and discernible highlights. Contrast is well balanced which enriches both light and dark onscreen elements. I saw no signs of video related anomalies or artifacts.

The DTS-HD MA soundtrack features crystal clear dialogue, gratifying dynamic range and a subtle, yet enriching surround sound mix. I was pleased with its use of spacial dimension and directional cues to create a realistic and occasionally immersive sound field. This worked hand in hand with show’s music, and active sequences to build tension and drive its thematic elements. I thought it sounded quite good.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Return to the Homeland: Filming in Israel – 7 minute featurette

  • (HD) Exclusive: The Border: A prologue to Season three – 2 minutes

  • A super 8 film diary by Damian Lewis – 11 minutes

  • (HD) Deleted scenes

  • (HD) The Choice: the making of the season finale – 15 minute featurette




Final Thoughts:

Nominated for a 2013 Emmy for Best TV Drama Homeland is an engaging, character driven TV drama that features excellent writing that revolves around a post 9/11 narrative that takes audiences on a tautly paced and provocative trip down the rabbit hole. Season two proves that the show hasn’t lost its edge and continues to push the envelope. It makes its way to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox via a satisfying offering that features rewarding high definition video quality, crystal clear lossless sound and a middling supplemental package that includes an exclusive glimpse at season three. If you’re a fan or are looking for a worthwhile TV series to check out on Blu-ray Homeland deserves a look.





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





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post #2 of 13 Old 09-25-2013, 07:10 AM
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Great review, Ralph, as always.

I'm very much looking forward to S3, although it's going to be a tough adjustment since I "binged" on S1 and S2. I didn't have much interest in this show initially, but I soon found myself engaged pretty intensely once I gave it a chance.

Solid show!
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-25-2013, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summa View Post

Great review, Ralph, as always.

I'm very much looking forward to S3, although it's going to be a tough adjustment since I "binged" on S1 and S2. I didn't have much interest in this show initially, but I soon found myself engaged pretty intensely once I gave it a chance.

Solid show!

Greetings,

Great to hear from you AJ! smile.gif

I agree that it's tough waiting week to week for each installment. Hopefully season three can maintain the pace set by the first two... cool.gif


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post #4 of 13 Old 09-25-2013, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Great to hear from you AJ! smile.gif

I agree that it's tough waiting week to week for each installment. Hopefully season three can maintain the pace set by the first two... cool.gif


Regards,



Thanks Ralph! As one of your royal subjects, I have continued to enjoy your reviews from a distance during my period of inactivity....nice to be back though smile.gif

I must ask you the million dollar question...Have you seen True Romance yet? lol
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-25-2013, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summa View Post

Thanks Ralph! As one of your royal subjects, I have continued to enjoy your reviews from a distance during my period of inactivity....nice to be back though smile.gif

I must ask you the million dollar question...Have you seen True Romance yet? lol

Greetings,

Don't ask AJ!!! redface.gif

In honor of your return it will be my next watch when free time permits... smile.gif


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post #6 of 13 Old 09-25-2013, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Don't ask AJ!!! redface.gif

In honor of your return it will be my next watch when free time permits... smile.gif


Regards,

LOL that's too funny....after all this build up and persistence on my part, I just hope you enjoy the darn thing whenever you do get around to giving it a look! tongue.gif
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-25-2013, 08:15 AM
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I actually though season two was superior to season one. The tension seemed more real and there were a number of OMG endings to episodes that kept me up late at night watching the next one to find out what was going to happen!

Great review Ralph.

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post #8 of 13 Old 09-25-2013, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post

I actually though season two was superior to season one. The tension seemed more real and there were a number of OMG endings to episodes that kept me up late at night watching the next one to find out what was going to happen!

Great review Ralph.

Greetings,

I would agree that the suspense and flow of the plot proved more engaging this season than last. Thanks Dave...smile.gif


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post #9 of 13 Old 09-25-2013, 06:23 PM
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I tried to get into this show last season but MY GAWD IT WAS SOOOOoooooo BORING AND DIDN'T SEEM TO BE GOING ANYWHERE..................................................................!


I gave up on it I guess around the 7th or 8th episode?

It was an episode or 2 after the 2 of them went to that 1 log cabin in the middle of nowhere for the weekend and had some fun! biggrin.gif

It just seemed so silly.

Did I give up on this show to soon?

I mean come on really?!?!

The whole point of trying to prove he's a terrorist but just waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for him to show that he is just got so old.

Then when they finally went to the cabin in the woods, I was like, "Come on this is just ridiculous." rolleyes.gif

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LOL
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post #11 of 13 Old 09-26-2013, 12:37 PM
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I must disagree with quality of S2 vs S1. S2 jumped the shark. Became very implausible in the final 5 eps or so. I almost gave up on the show and am not excited at all for S3.

Showrunners are the same as those of 24, and i think it shows. Became more "pulp" in S2 than S1.

IMHO, does not compare to great TV like breaking bad and the wire. Closer to 24
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post #12 of 13 Old 09-26-2013, 01:47 PM
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I'm not sure that Breaking Bad and The Wire are hurdles that every other series needs to clear. I agree that S-2 fell short in many ways, but that doesn't mean S-3 will. In any case its still a better series than 90% of what's out there.
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post #13 of 13 Old 10-04-2013, 09:05 AM
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I am a big fan of this show.

The first season was good, the second was GREAT!

I have the premier recorded on my DVR and will watch it right before the second episode comes on this weekend

Trying to enjoy the simple things in life.

 

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