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post #1 of 13 Old 12-31-2013, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
89





Studio and Year: Warner - 2013
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 654 minutes
Genre: TV/Crime/Thriller

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, Spanish Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Annie Parisse, Shawn Ashmore, Natalie Zea, Valorie Curry, Nico Tortorella, Adan Canto, Kyle Catlett
Directed by: Various
Music by: John Frizzell
Written by: Kevin Williamson
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 7, 2014







"Lock your doors and don’t trust anyone"


Film Synopsis:

When notorious serial killer Joe Carroll (Purefoy) escapes from death row and embarks on a new killing spree, the FBI calls former agent Ryan Hardy (Bacon), a psychologically scarred veteran who captured Carroll nine years earlier, after Carroll murdered 14 female students on a college campus where he taught literature. Knowing Carroll better than anyone and close with Carroll's ex-wife, Claire, Hardy works closely with an FBI team, which includes no-nonsense agent Jennifer Mason and sharp upstart Mike Weston, and soon discovers that Carroll was not only communicating with a network of killers in the outside world, but has much more planned than just a prison escape-and there's no telling how many additional killers are out there.


My Take:

The Following, is the brain child of creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson (“The Vampire Diaries,” “Dawson's Creek,” the “Scream” franchise) and is a psychological thriller that stars the well-traveled and competent Kevin Bacon in his primetime series debut.

When notorious serial killer JOE CARROLL (James Purefoy) escapes from death row, the FBI calls former agent RYAN HARDY (Bacon) to consult on the case. Having since withdrawn from the public eye, Hardy was responsible for Carroll's capture in 2003, after Carroll murdered 14 female students on the Virginia college campus where he taught literature. Hardy is a walking textbook of all-things Carroll having written a book about him, Hardy probably knows him better than anyone and would perhaps qualify as Carroll's only psychological and intellectual match. But the Ryan Hardy who broke the Carroll case years ago isn't the same man today. Wounded both physically and mentally by his previous pursuit of this serial killer, it's been a long time since Hardy has been in the field. This new investigation is his redemption, his call to action.

In contrast to the original investigation years ago, Hardy isn't calling the shots anymore. He works closely with an FBI team, which includes young, razor-sharp MIKE WESTON (Shawn Ashmore) and FBI Specialist DEBRA PARKER (Annie Parisse), who is brought in to lead the investigation into Carroll and his followers. Although Weston seems to idolize him, most of the team considers Hardy to be more of a liability than an asset. But Hardy proves his worth when he uncovers that Carroll was covertly communicating with a network of followers in the outside world. It quickly becomes obvious that he has more planned than just a prison escape. The FBI's investigation leads Hardy back to CLAIRE MATTHEWS (Natalie Zea), Carroll's ex-wife and the mother of the criminal's young son, JOEY (newcomer Kyle Catlett). Close during Hardy's initial investigation, Hardy turns to Claire for insight into Carroll's next move. The tension rises when Carroll's accomplices kidnap his intended last victim (guest star Maggie Grace) from 10 years ago. Hardy becomes ever more determined to end Carroll's game when he realizes that the psychopath intends to finish what he started.

The spellbinding drama will follow Hardy and the FBI as they are challenged with the ever-growing web of murder around them, orchestrated by the devious Carroll, who dreams of writing a novel with Hardy as his protagonist. But since anyone anywhere could be a follower, how do you know who to trust?

My wife and I watched the entire season one in prime time. The pilot and first few episodes had us pretty well hooked as we enjoyed the unfolding plot and the edgy nature of the storyline and characters especially Hardy who was as broken as they come but completely likeable. Somewhere around episode five there was a noticeable shift in the subtext of the writing. Suddenly there were too many convenient contrivances where Joe Carroll’s every plan was executed to perfection and his never ending network of followers included not just a cache of easily manipulated college students/loners but people of wealth, status, law enforcement officials and more. This led to no one being above suspicion and an artificial sense of mistrust for every new face. We continued to watch and the spiraling escapades of Joe and his minions rose to absurd levels making the large contingent of law enforcement officials led around by “consultant” Hardy to look like buffoonish amateurs.


While we didn’t enjoy that aspect of the show we liked the characters and the fact that the writers weren’t afraid to introduce shock value by killing them off or trying to see how many twists the plot could carry. I don’t want to say that we were making fun of it because that wasn’t the case however it lost the edgy suspense and thought provoking elements that drew us in to begin with. We didn’t give up and saw it through to the end which played out well but as expected. The Following seems to have amassed a decent fan base and I can see why. Its unfolding plot, dark theme and variety of suspense would easily appeal to a wider audience. When you add Kevin Bacon’s presence to the mix the tolerance for the shortcoming in the writing goes up a click or two. We will more than likely tune in when season two debuts in January to see where things go. There is plenty of potential so let’s hope that things pick up and take the show to the next level.

Season One’s 15 episodes are spread over three BD-50 Blu-ray Discs that come housed in a standard amaray style case (with flimsy matching slipcover) that contains flip type inserts to hold the discs. The set includes the series on DVD as well which pushes the disc count to seven requiring the case to be roughly the height of two single Blu-ray cases.

Here is the season one episode list:

1. Pilot
2. Chapter Two
3. The Poet’s fire
4. Mad Love
5. The Siege
6. The Fall
7. Let me go
8. Welcome home
9. Love hurts
10. Guilt
11. Whips and regrets
12. The Curse
13. Havenport
14. The end is near
15. The final chapter




Parental Guide:

The TV series contains violence, mild sensuality, and thematic material that would be inappropriate for younger viewers.



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: 88

(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=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

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



Video: 90

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


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

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

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

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

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


The Following Season One comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 16 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.1 Mbps.

By choice I would say that The Following isn’t bright or overly colorful. The chromatic palette consists mainly of cooler tones and muted secondary hues with the occasional interjection of primary colors that don’t offer much in the way of visual stimulation. This makes for a rougher visual style that works quite well with the show’s thematic tone. Resolution is excellent but the nature of the photography isn’t always lent to the high gloss definition that provides an infinite sense of depth. There are many instances where detail is clearly resolvable with discerning visual perspective and rich clarity. On the other hand there are times where delineation and sharpness is less tangibly defining. Close ups tend to be outstanding and offer plenty of appreciable refinement in the physical features and weave of the fabric in the clothing worn by the cast. Contrast is stable over the course of the presentation and blacks, while not inky, have good dynamic range and are gradationally satisfying. I didn’t note any overt signs of video related anomalies and thought that this presentation as a whole was excellent.

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio sound like the video quality is quite good. Dynamics are robust and defining without being strident or edgy. Dialogue is rendered with appreciable tonal expression and excellent room penetration through the center channel speaker. The front soundstage is diffused with notable separation and articulated detail. The presentation makes ample use of the surround platform. At times it opens up quite nicely to create an involving listening environment that contains a mix of directional and ambient sounds. Bass response doesn’t reach subterranean levels however it appropriately supports the source elements and provides a tight, punchy low end.


Bonus Features:

  • From a dark place: Maximum Episode Mode of extended pilot – containing audio commentary and focus points

  • (HD) The thrill of horror: The Creator behind the following – 13 minute featurette

  • (HD) The follower’s den – short featurette

  • (HD) The cult of Joe Carroll: Inside the Followers – 18 minute featurette

  • (HD) The Following Production chronicles – 27 minute on-set behind the scenes timeline

  • (HD) The Poe mask – 2 minute featurette

  • (HD) The Following: Free Megan – 2 minute featurette

  • (HD) Unaired scenes

  • Bonus DVD

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

The Following, is the brain child of creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson (“The Vampire Diaries,” “Dawson's Creek,” the “Scream” franchise) and is a psychological thriller that stars the well-traveled and competent Kevin Bacon in his primetime series debut. For us season one started off better than it finished but it’s an entertaining crime/thriller TV series that has the potential to even better. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home entertainment featuring top notch and faithful high definition audio/video coupled with a fan friendly supplemental package that is worth exploring. If you’re a fan of the series this set comes recommended. If you’re curious you can give it a rental or catch the show on Demand. The Following season two debuts in a few weeks so be sure to check your local listings.



attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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post #2 of 13 Old 12-31-2013, 11:13 AM
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I watched this as it aired this last year and really enjoyed it. It is a very good twist on your standard cop/bad guy drama and I hope the next season is good too.

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post #3 of 13 Old 12-31-2013, 05:56 PM
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this is a great show
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-02-2014, 11:56 AM
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Good review Ralph but gotta disagree. Terrible show. FBI is portrayed as complete inept buffoons and followers are supernatural ninjas who can escape any situation and have access to better equipment.

Worst of all, it actually insults the audience with its stretches of plausibility and disbelief.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-03-2014, 11:42 AM
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I agree Glav, BD might be great but its another "check your brains at the door" series.

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post #6 of 13 Old 01-03-2014, 01:05 PM
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Never underestimate the power of TV writers to take a reasonably good story and destroy it with idiotic characters and just plain bad writing. They make the characters do whatever is needed to move the story where they need it to go, without any regard for plausibility or character development.

Need the bad guys to get away? No problem, just have the keystone cops show up with no backup, preparation or regard for who they're dealing with. Do this at least once per episode to make sure the story lasts all season. How many times can you let a crazy cult member fool you into getting close enough to kill you? [/rant]
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-03-2014, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

Never underestimate the power of TV writers to take a reasonably good story and destroy it with idiotic characters and just plain bad writing. They make the characters do whatever is needed to move the story where they need it to go, without any regard for plausibility or character development.

Need the bad guys to get away? No problem, just have the keystone cops show up with no backup, preparation or regard for who they're dealing with. Do this at least once per episode to make sure the story lasts all season. How many times can you let a crazy cult member fool you into getting close enough to kill you? [/rant]

Greetings,

The Keystone cops....I love it and so true. biggrin.gif


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post #8 of 13 Old 01-03-2014, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

Never underestimate the power of TV writers to take a reasonably good story and destroy it with idiotic characters and just plain bad writing. They make the characters do whatever is needed to move the story where they need it to go, without any regard for plausibility or character development.

Need the bad guys to get away? No problem, just have the keystone cops show up with no backup, preparation or regard for who they're dealing with. Do this at least once per episode to make sure the story lasts all season. How many times can you let a crazy cult member fool you into getting close enough to kill you? [/rant]


I totally agree with the above. I was hooked in the beginning but the episodes became dumber and dumber to the point of laughing at the characters.
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-03-2014, 03:51 PM
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Rule #2:
When you're chasing the bad guys with your partner(s), always split up so they can get you one at a time.
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-04-2014, 10:15 PM
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This show was teetering on the comedy genre by the second half of a season due to its ridiculousness.
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post #11 of 13 Old 01-08-2014, 01:01 AM
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This show seems to have really gained a following, and I've always been a fan of Kevin Bacon, but I share the sentiments of a few folks who posted above. I refuse to watch season 2 because of what happened to me last season. I thought it started off promising enough, but then around the fourth or fifth episode I really began getting frustrated by some of the issues mentioned above. The only problem was that my curiosity as to the outcome was strong enough that I had reached the point of no return, and I literally felt obligated to watch the remainder of the season even though I was not enjoying it whatsoever. After the finale, I vowed that I would never watch a single minute of the show again, because I don't want the same thing to happen.

I hated nearly every minute of it...watch at your own risk! lol
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post #12 of 13 Old 01-11-2014, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Summa View Post

This show seems to have really gained a following, and I've always been a fan of Kevin Bacon, but I share the sentiments of a few folks who posted above. I refuse to watch season 2 because of what happened to me last season. I thought it started off promising enough, but then around the fourth or fifth episode I really began getting frustrated by some of the issues mentioned above. The only problem was that my curiosity as to the outcome was strong enough that I had reached the point of no return, and I literally felt obligated to watch the remainder of the season even though I was not enjoying it whatsoever. After the finale, I vowed that I would never watch a single minute of the show again, because I don't want the same thing to happen.

I hated nearly every minute of it...watch at your own risk! lol

Wow, this is like you were in my head. It's the EXACT experience I had with the show. Now I even refuse to watch commercials for the new season. I reflexively change the channel like it's a feminine hygiene ad.
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post #13 of 13 Old 01-12-2014, 11:19 AM
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Wow, this is like you were in my head. It's the EXACT experience I had with the show. Now I even refuse to watch commercials for the new season. I reflexively change the channel like it's a feminine hygiene ad.

lol, I get a sick feeling in my stomach when I see the commercials come on, as well...and I'm sure it's only going to get worse. Just another reason why I try to watch almost everything on my DVR after the fact, so I'm not held hostage by this torture any longer
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