The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2011
MPAA Rating: TV-14
Feature running time: 587 minutes
Genre: TV/Crime Drama
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Mireille Enos, Billy Campbell, Joel Kinnaman, Michelle Forbes, Brent Sexton
Directed by: Various
Music by: Frans Bak
Written by: Veena Sud & Soren Sveistrup
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 13, 2012
"Who killed Rosie Larson?"
The Killing details the police investigation and culminating events surrounding the murder of a high school girl. Three interlocking stories rotate around the investigation which seem to have roots that run deep and ties that suggest that there may be more to this case then meets the eye.
From writer, executive producer and series show runner Veena Sud (Cold Case) The Killing is a crime drama that ties together three distinct stories around a single murder including the detectives assigned to the case, the victim's grieving family, and the suspects. Set in Seattle, the story also explores local politics as it follows politicians that may have a connection to the case. As the series unfolds, it becomes clear that there are no accidents; everyone seems to have a secret, and while the characters think they've moved on, their past isn't done with them.
The Killing stars Mireille Enos as Sarah Linden, the lead homicide detective that investigates the death of Rosie Larsen; Billy Campbell as Darren Richmond, Seattle's City Council President who is now running for Mayor; Joel Kinnaman as Stephen Holder, an ex-narcotics undercover who joins the homicide division and is assigned to the murder investigation; Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton as Mitch and Stan Larsen, Rosie's grief stricken parents. I knew nothing about this TV series prior to receiving it other than what I had read in its press release. It sounded interesting enough and as a fan of AMC TV and the subject matter I was all in. The Killing is a well written show that relies heavily on the effectiveness of its characters to convey the thematic weight of its subject matter. The plot is simple, a teenage girl disappears and is found murdered. The task at hand for the investigating detectives is obviously to find out who killed her, but what really drives the show over the course of season one is WHY? There are pieces of a puzzle that slowly begin to form a picture however just when you think you have the next piece it is discovered that there is one needed to connect the two.
There are three distinct and connective subplots that revolve around the murder. There is Rosie's parents/family who clearly loved her, but are people that have jagged edges that raise questions about their propriety. The two detectives, Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder, she being a competent and thorough investigator whose personal life suffers in favor of her steadfast commitment to case resolution and he, a sketchy undercover archetype who is essentially her polar opposite. Lastly there is Councilman Darren Richmond, an honest mayoral candidate with a penchant for aligning himself with people that thwart his chances for winning the upcoming election. Secrets abound as the looming question of whodunit keeps viewers guessing. The last and most intriguing element to the show is the victim herself. Was she simply a victim or was there more to HER than meets the eye? The 13 episode season (which includes the pilot) is filled with wonderfully infused melodrama, compelling characters and edgy themes that make for a solid hour of TV. Season Two kicks off on AMC on April 1st 2012 and I will be front row center. If you enjoy a good TV crime drama The Killing is worth checking out. The Killing's 13 one hour episodes are spread over three BD50 Blu-ray Discs the bulk of the bonus content located on Disc 3.
The rating is for thematic material, language and some disturbing images.
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.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
The Killing: The complete first season comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3 Mbps.
The 1.78:1 framed video has an overtly granular texture that gives it a gritty edge that coincides with the show's thematic tone. This isn't a glossy and noticeably vibrant presentation although many of the daytime exterior sequences exhibit a higher level of brightness and lucidity. Colors generally look natural but are rarely visually engaging. Fleshtones look great with plenty of subtle delineation and where appropriate tonal warmth. Images are resolved well for the most part and offer excellent refinement during close ups. The sweeping vista views of the forest locations and Seattle cityscapes don't have an infinite level of dimension and long range acuity but offer crisp definition and revealing textures. Blacks are deep but with a crushing effect in lower lit scenes that negatively impacts depth. Detail in shadows and uneven light is appreciable but the finest gradations are obscured. I noticed a few instances of what appeared to be compression related noise against dark backgrounds but otherwise saw no other egregious signs of image degrading artifacts. I found this video presentation to appear consistent with the show's artistic intention which makes for a satisfying albeit less than impressive high definition viewing experience. The DTS-HD MA soundtrack features crystal clear dialogue, potent dynamics 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.
- Audio commentary (Pilot) with Veena Sud
- Audio commentary with cast members on episode Orpheus descending
- (HD) An autopsy of The Killing - 16 minute featurette
- (HD) Deleted scenes -13 minutes
- (HD) Gag reel - 4 minutes
- Orpheus descending - Extended season finale
From writer, executive producer and series show runner Veena Sud The Killing is an involving, compelling and well written crime drama that ties together three distinct stories around a murder case, including the detectives assigned to the case, the victim's grieving family, and the suspects. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring faithful high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound and a middling supplemental offering that is highlighted by a pair of audio commentaries. I watched Season One on Blu-ray with my family. We are hooked and eagerly awaiting the premiere of Season Two on April 1st. If you enjoy a good TV crime drama that takes sort of a different approach, The Killing is worth checking out.
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I haven't seen the original Danish series but believe that Veena Sud (the driving force behind this show) is involved in that show as well. My guess it is probably every bit as entertaining.
Oddball: Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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There's an article about this show in today's nytimes.com and how pissed off viewers got with the last episode. I thought it went kind of downhill as the season went on, and the lead actors were not all that interesting to watch. But I will be there for Season 2--it certainly beats the umpteenth variation of Law & Order.
Well, I think the problem is more that it went downhill fast, and by the end most people were just watching to see the answer... so when people didn't get an answer, it made it even more of a waste. I won't be tuning in for season 2, that's for sure.
Glad to see they continue with the misleading tagline right on the Blu-ray/DVD cover too.
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