True Blood (Blu-ray) Season One Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 67 Old 05-09-2009, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=142265&d=1241877737
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

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

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

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

86






Studio and Year: Warner/HBO - 2008
MPAA Rating: TV-MA
Feature running time: 720 Minutes
Genre: TV/Drama/Horror

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, French DTS 5.1, Spanish DTS 2.0
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese
Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Chris Bauer, Jim Parrack, Carrie Preston
Directed by: Various
Written by: Various
Created by: Alan Ball based on the novels by Charlaine Harris
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 19, 2009







"Thou shall not crave thy neighbor"



Film Synopsis:

TRUE BLOOD chronicles the backwoods Louisiana town of Bon Temps... where vampires have emerged from the coffin, and no longer need humans for their fix. Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin works as a waitress at the rural bar Merlotte's. Though outwardly a typical young woman, she keeps a dangerous secret: she has the ability to hear the thoughts of others. Her situation is further complicated when the bar gets its first vampire patron - 173-year old Bill Compton (Steven Moyer) and the two outsiders are immediately drawn to each other.




My Take:

True Blood is a one hour HBO TV series that takes place in the back woods Louisiana town of Bon Temps. It is a small community where everyone knows everyone else. The people of Bon Temps are your typical small town folk who take an active interest in each others business and seem to get along pretty well regardless. The world in which they reside is different. In their world vampire and humans coexist together in society. This was made possible by a scientist's invention called Tru Blood, a synthetic blood which can be bought at most local mini-marts and provides sustenance for vampires. Like humans they now have civil rights and an association to protect them. No longer do they have to “feed” on humans and their existence while not common place is looked upon as a regular occurrence. There are still many though who remain distrustful and apprehensive of them. Debates about the appropriateness and safety of allowing them to live among humans is a topic that is regularly debated among religious leaders and government officials.

In Bon Temps the presence of vampires has been much less of an issue until now. Local waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) knows how it feels to be an outcast. Since she was a child she has had the ability to hear people's thoughts. It lead to many problems both within her family and out which made her feel different. She has learned some level of control over it when around family and friends but with her job as a waitress at Merlotte’s bar she often has trouble controlling the rush of images and thoughts that flood her mind. She tends to see things differently than most and is open-minded about the integration of vampires. This is particularly true in the case of a hansdome 173 year old vampire who shows up at Merlotte’s one evening. His name is Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), and he has come back to Bon Temps and moved in just down the road from Sookie. She is immediately drawn to Bill because for some reason she can’t read his thoughts. Despite warnings from her friends Sookie becomes closer to Bill and suddenly finds herself drawn into a series of mysteries following Bill's arrival. Her pursuit of the answer will put her faith in her relationship with her friends, family and Bill to the test.

Season one’s plot revolves around the murders of young women in the town of Bon Temps. The likeliest suspect is Jason, Sookie's brother, who has had sex with several of the victims and has developed an addiction to V-juice (vampire blood) which like a drug has a variety of effects when consumed by humans. At first, Sookie wonders if her brother is guilty, but then thinks he is not; at the urging of her grandmother, she begins to use her gift to try to solve the mystery. Along the way she encounters a few interesting obstacles and discovers a multitude of surprises that reveal that the vampires aren’t the only ones in the small town of Bon Temps who have dark secrets.

This is an original show that feels unlike most other vampire based themes. Alan Ball is no stranger to successful cable television series. Six feet under was another well conceived and executed creation of his. Like that show this one’s dark side isn’t overtly so (even though we are talking about vampires). Its strength is drawn from strong, interesting characters and intelligent writing. Anna Paquin is a talented actress who has been in the business for a long time for someone so young. She has no trouble carrying the torch as the show’s center piece. While I think she is great my favorite character is Tara (Rutina Wesley). She is Sookie’s straight talking, take no crap, BFF and consummate scene stealer. The show is perfectly paced as the storyline plays out over the season’s twelve 1 hour episodes. It draws you into this alternate reality (of sorts) that feels relatively normal outside of the rather obvious (or maybe not) elephant in the room. Most would initially consider that elephant to be the vampires that have come to town and the assertion that they are inherently evil. Assuming that is true than you probably aren’t looking hard enough because there is more to the events and people of Bon Temps than meets the eye. THAT is what makes this show so interesting and fun to watch. The season is spread out over five BD-50 dual layered Blu-ray discs. The bonus content is integrated and viewable by selecting the Enhanced viewing option that accompanies each episode. When applicable there are pop-ups (both video and text based) that features lots of trivia (both faux and actual), interviews, background on characters, animated maps, hints, behind the scenes content and more. There are also six audio commentaries by writers, directors, and cast members that further enhance the viewing experience. I found that I quickly became addicted to this show and look forward to checking out its second season.




Parental Guide:

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






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)

Audio: 88



  • 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: 84


(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=109946&d=1210373692

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

True Blood: Season one comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner/HBO featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 19 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.2 mbps.

This 1.78:1 framed video presentation offers good high definition resolution that has a gritty, filmic texture that works very well with the show’s theme. Images are stable and relatively sharp with plenty of discernible texture and revealing fine detail during close-ups. Many of the show’s sequences are shot in uneven and low lighting. Grain tends to take on more prominence during these segments which sometimes left backgrounds appearing a little muddled. For the most part Shadow delineation and depth is quite good. Blacks have excellent dynamic range and contrast is slightly elevated but is never a detriment to fidelity. Colors are snappy and bright and sullen and muted where appropriate. Fleshtones appear descriptive with variable depth that brings out the finest gradations in the differing complexional types among the cast. I was happy to see a lossless soundtrack included with this set. The DTS-HD MA sound quality is among the best I have heard from a TV based soundtrack. The presentation is open sounding with superb rendering of spatial sounds and off camera directional cues. Dynamics are punchy and sharp without being harsh or edgy. Bass response is deep, authoritative and on occasion room filling. Voices are clearly intonated with smooth sibilant free highs that offer excellent delineation that makes small inflectional changes detectable. Surround activity is abundant and predominantly comes in the form of atmosphere generating ambience however there is also effective use of discretely placed sounds that occasionally emanate from both the front and rear channels. The result is a fairly immersive and involving soundscape that augments the show’s dark theme.



Bonus Features:


  • (HD) Enhanced viewing option for each episode – which includes pop-up video/text with trivia (both faux and actual), faux commercial ads interviews, background on characters, animated maps, hints, behind the scenes content and more

  • Six audio commentaries featuring creator/cast/crew – Discs 1, 2, 3, 5 on various episodes




Final Thoughts:

True Blood is a well written, character driven show that pushes the envelope with its eclectic premise which is drawn from the novels by Charlaine Harris. I appreciated its evolving, multi-layered story and different perspective on the vampire genre. Season one left me hankering for more and I look forward to seeing what Season two has to offer. The show looks great and sounds superb in high definition. The bonus content left me wanting and its implementation didn‘t make direct access to its features available. Regardless I found this to be a compelling, fun and dark drama series that is worth checking out. Kudos to HBO for coming up with yet another winner in True Blood.








attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
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Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
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SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
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post #2 of 67 Old 05-09-2009, 07:17 AM
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just to let you know Ralph, you actually called her "snookie" in the 5th paragraph I believe

Great review for a great show, I cannot wait for the second season to start!
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post #3 of 67 Old 05-09-2009, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackass414 View Post

just to let you know Ralph, you actually called her "snookie" in the 5th paragraph I believe

Great review for a great show, I cannot wait for the second season to start!

Greetings,

Got it! Thanks..

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post #4 of 67 Old 05-09-2009, 11:14 AM
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An original and interesting HBO series that my wife and I watched faithfully last season. It seemed to be running out of steam toward the end of the season - or it could be that I was becoming more jaded. I felt the most interesting actor in the show (and one not included in your review listing) was Nelsan Ellis who plays the gay short-order cook and drug-dealing Lafayette Reynolds. He was a delight to watch in his role. For anyone who hasn't seen the series it's a recommended rental.

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post #5 of 67 Old 05-09-2009, 11:21 AM
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What an irritating cover!!
Was it necessary to slap that annoying blue information bar on the cover?
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post #6 of 67 Old 05-09-2009, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

An original and interesting HBO series that my wife and I watched faithfully last season. It seemed to be running out of steam toward the end of the season - or it could be that I was becoming more jaded. I felt the most interesting actor in the show (and one not included in your review listing) was Nelsan Ellis who plays the gay short-order cook and drug-dealing Lafayette Reynolds. He was a delight to watch in his role. For anyone who hasn't seen the series it's a recommended rental.

Greetings,

I agree Mr G., Lafayette is quite colorful indeed..


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post #7 of 67 Old 05-09-2009, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
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What an irritating cover!!
Was it necessary to slap that annoying blue information bar on the cover?

Looks like a removable cello wrapper.
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post #8 of 67 Old 05-09-2009, 02:56 PM
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I happened to catch an episode of this one night and thought it was really interesting. I'm not typically big on vampire films, but after "Let the Right One In" I'm more open to the newer takes on the genre.

Thanks for the review, Ralph...this was a reminder to me to check out the rest of these episodes from this season
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post #9 of 67 Old 05-09-2009, 07:10 PM
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I love love LOVED this show! I'm on the fence about buying the BluRay though....soooo much money
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post #10 of 67 Old 05-09-2009, 11:41 PM
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The release date is May 19th, the reviewer posted the wrong date.

TheHDRoom has the unboxing photos of the blu-ray set (the blue banner is removable)

I can't wait for the new season!
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post #11 of 67 Old 05-10-2009, 02:36 AM
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Looks like a removable cello wrapper.

Good..
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post #12 of 67 Old 05-10-2009, 04:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edbars View Post

The release date is May 19th, the reviewer posted the wrong date.

TheHDRoom has the unboxing photos of the blu-ray set (the blue banner is removable)

I can't wait for the new season!

Greetings,

Date corrected. The banner is just part of a cardboard disc info piece that comes off. The case itself is actually made very well.


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post #13 of 67 Old 05-10-2009, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post

I love love LOVED this show! I'm on the fence about buying the BluRay though....soooo much money

It's not too bad a price if you pre-order at Amazon right now, of course that's all subjective of course.

I remember back in the mid 1980's purchasing single movie LaserDiscs like Weird Science and paying $29.00 and not even blinking so prices today on DVD's are cheap to me in comparison.
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Nice review. I like the story.
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post #15 of 67 Old 05-11-2009, 01:54 PM
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Anna Paquin is smoking hot.

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post #16 of 67 Old 05-11-2009, 09:59 PM
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I can't wait to see this. If it reeks it's going on Fleabay though...
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post #17 of 67 Old 05-12-2009, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 357 View Post

I can't wait to see this. If it reeks it's going on Fleabay though...

I watched it when it was airing on HBO, and I enjoyed it immensely. If you ever enjoyed Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, you'll definitely get into this.
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post #18 of 67 Old 05-13-2009, 01:53 PM
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I know the second season starts next month. I guess it is time to sign up for digital cable again. Does anyone know how to search this forum by movie ratings. I think the score should be put in the subject.
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post #19 of 67 Old 05-14-2009, 09:34 AM
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Overrated show that wasn't worth the hype. Just my opinion however.
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post #20 of 67 Old 05-14-2009, 11:49 AM
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I would have normally skipped this show (I'm not into the former or current vampire craze) but was handed a DVD copy of episode 1 in the lineup at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall. A few days later I was bored and decided to give it a spin before tossing it and was hooked 10 minutes in. This turned out to be one of my favatore shows of the year.
I'll be out on May 19th to grab this one.
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post #21 of 67 Old 05-14-2009, 01:47 PM
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Great review Ralph. Will you do John Adams and Generation Kill? John Adams has amazing video quality on HBO-HD, both had pretty good audio too.


BTW - It looks like HBO listened to what I said on the survey that was in the BOB box set. AVC video and 24bit DTS-MA - my only complaints were the Warner VC-1 and the 16bit audio(I actually reasoned why I was disappointed). Warner's Concert disc seem to be using higher bitrate AVC and 24 bit audio too. Now if only their film division could figure out how to use the full potential of the disc.

Yay HBO.

Ridiculous codec tier sig gone. Still AVC/24bit lossless fanboy.

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Most Major studios>Small Studios>dogs>cats>Warner(the guys that do new movies)
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post #22 of 67 Old 05-14-2009, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post

I love love LOVED this show! I'm on the fence about buying the BluRay though....soooo much money

5 BD-50's for $45 at Amazon. Seems reasonable to me.

I've only seen a little of the show, but it seems like something I'd really enjoy. I hate starting a show in the middle of its season. I'm going in blind.
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post #23 of 67 Old 05-14-2009, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowrage View Post

Great review Ralph. Will you do John Adams and Generation Kill? John Adams has amazing video quality on HBO-HD, both had pretty good audio too.


BTW - It looks like HBO listened to what I said on the survey that was in the BOB box set. AVC video and 24bit DTS-MA - my only complaints were the Warner VC-1 and the 16bit audio(I actually reasoned why I was disappointed). Warner's Concert disc seem to be using higher bitrate AVC and 24 bit audio too. Now if only their film division could figure out how to use the full potential of the disc.

Yay HBO.

Greetings,

SR, If they send them I will cover them...


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post #24 of 67 Old 05-16-2009, 04:52 PM
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does anyone know what the in store price will be on the release date? like walmart or best buy?
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post #25 of 67 Old 05-17-2009, 08:13 AM
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Is it really just Region A? Other sites report A,B,C.

Thanks!
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post #26 of 67 Old 05-17-2009, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by c_mack9 View Post

does anyone know what the in store price will be on the release date? like walmart or best buy?

Best Buy & Target will both be $44.00.
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post #27 of 67 Old 05-18-2009, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icehouse View Post

Best Buy & Target will both be $44.00.

Sure, I finally use Amazon to buy blurays, and they are more expensive than Best Buy.
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post #28 of 67 Old 05-18-2009, 12:35 PM
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Amazon is actually cheaper..$44.00 and no tax.
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post #29 of 67 Old 05-19-2009, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icehouse View Post

Amazon is actually cheaper..$44.00 and no tax.

That's true, but I'm used to them being much lower in price.

It's been shipped but won't get it until Wednesday.

Art
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post #30 of 67 Old 05-19-2009, 11:28 AM
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It is a great, I love it. I think I might fork up $32.99 for it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post

I love love LOVED this show! I'm on the fence about buying the BluRay though....soooo much money [IMG]http://www.***********************/track/img/3358/s09v0317fvxp/00.gif[/IMG]

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