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post #1 of 1 Old 02-12-2013, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

Studio and Year: Lionsgate - 2012
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 379 minutes
Genre: TV/Drama/Comedy

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

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish, Kevin Nealon, Justin Kirk, Alexander Gould, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Directed by: Various
Written by: Various
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 12, 2013

"Who got smoked?"

Film Synopsis:

Mary-Louise Parker stars in this original comedy series as a suburban California mother who is forced to start selling marijuana when the unexpected death of her husband leaves her and her family in dire financial straits. The last time we saw Nancy (Parker) and the Botwins, it was through the scope of a hit man’s rifle. Nancy had sprung from the joint and gone to New York City, where she made a fresh start doing what she does best – selling pot and making enemies. Now, everyone’s wondering who put out the hit…and who got smoked?

My Take:

Weeds is wonderfully offbeat and brutally honest in its characterizations. It’s recurring tale of suburbia as seen through the adventures or rather misadventures of the marijuana dealing Botwin family, lead by matriarch Nancy, and the social and familial dysfunction that ensues makes for great half hour cable TV. The series tackles various subjects via subplots that revolve around emotional stability, drug abuse, race relations, homosexuality, teen pregnancy and moral fiber. Season eight is the final season and picks up where season seven ended. Here is a quick season snapshot:

Nancy recovers from her gunshot wound and embraces a future in legalized marijuana with Silas; Silas meaningfully reconnects with an old girlfriend; Shane finds it difficult staying on the right side of the law in his new career as a cop; Doug starts a fake homeless shelter, which leads him to creating his own cult; Andy and Jill's romantic relationship comes to a halt when Jill reveals the truth about her pregnancy; Andy takes radical steps to achieve his dream of being a father; Stevie learns the true story about his father, which leads to a huge life change.

This season we see Nancy taking steps to get her life in order (yeah right) but as you might expect those plans seem to get derailed more often than not as she struggles with a new romance, Jill and Andy’s peculiar idea of a relationship, Silas’ desire to prove himself and Shane pulling away from the familial nest in the hopes of making it as a member of NYPD. Season eight as in past seasons uses Nancy as the foundation from which the narratives remaining components are built. It works of course but the contexture isn’t as definitively rich as I’d hoped. As the season/series winds towards its conclusion the tangled webs are neatly untangled. Going into the final two episodes which are combined in a one hour finale we are given a glimpse into the “future” where we get the opportunity to see where life’s choices have left the Botwins.

There is a binding sentimentality associated with the episode as Nancy is forced to face the ramifications of a life spent creating numerous hills/valleys that left tattered emotional breadcrumbs that can’t be followed by those she cares about. The only real solution stares her directly in the face leaving her unsettled but fortified. I would say that the ending was apropos if not a bit overdue. Weeds has continued over the past few seasons feeling somewhat like a plane on autopilot. Regardless it has been a great run and the series has given us lots to extol about. It will be missed.

Parental Guide:

This series contains violence, language, sexuality/nudity and drug references/content.

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: 86

(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=109945&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: 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

Weeds Season Eight comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.2 Mbps.

This is an excellent high definition video rendering that features well resolved images, defining sharpness and two dimensional depth that appear faithful to the show’s original elements. 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, robust dynamics and a subtle, yet enriching surround sound mix. I was pleased with its use of spatial dimension and directional cues to create an apropos and occasionally immersive sound field. This worked hand in hand with show’s music, and accentuated the show’s thematic elements. I thought it sounded quite good.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Weeds season eight: The wrap up! – 11 minute roundtable discussion with creator Jenji Kohan, and producers Roberto Benabib and Matthew Salsberg

  • (HD) “Clippin’ the buds” – 11 minute featurette featuring interview with members of the cast and experts discussing the medicinal use of marijuana

  • (HD) Everyday advice from Guru Doug – 6 minute faux feature with Kevin Nealon in character

  • (HD) 5 deleted scenes

  • (HD) Gag reel – 13 minutes

  • 3 Audio commentaries: Episodes “God willing and the creek don’t rise” (cast), “It’s time” and “Messy” (crew)

Final Thoughts:

Weeds has come a along way since we first met Nancy Botwin, a desperate widow that dipped her toe into the pond to find the ripples reaching well beyond her wildest expectations. I would say our experience of the show over the past eight seasons has been similar. Alas this final season doesn’t resonate as deeply but still makes for an entertaining half an hour of cable television. Season Eight comes to Blu-ray featuring excellent/faithful high definition video, crystal clear lossless 7.1 channel sound and a middling assortment of supplements that don’t quite befit a series sendoff. Longtime series fans that already own the show on home video can feel free to add this to their collection.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

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