Sons of Anarchy Season Five (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-30-2013, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

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

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2012
MPAA Rating: TV-MA
Feature running time: 895 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, Spanish, French
Starring: Ron Perlman, Katey Sagal, Charlie Hunnam, Kim Coates, Mark Boone Junior, Maggie Siff, Tommy Flanagan, Ryan Hurst, Theo Rossi, Danny Trejo, Harold Perrineau, Dayton Callie, Jimmy Smits, Rockmond Dunbar
Created by: Kurt Sutter
Written by: Kurt Sutter, Liz Sagal, Chris Collins, Regino Corrado, Marco Ramirez, Brady Dahl
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 27, 2013

"Let the actions define the man"

Film Synopsis:

From creator Kurt Sutter comes the adrenaline-charged Sons of Anarchy, featuring extended episodes and kicking into high gear with its biggest, most explosive season ever! As SAMCRO's new president, Jax is surrounded by ruthless enemies and gut-wrenching betrayal. With Gemma fighting for control of the family and a bloodthirsty Clay out for revenge, Jax finds himself haunted by the sins of his past. Alliances are forged, friends are murdered, and loyalties are put to the ultimate test. Now, with the truth in sight, Jax must do whatever it takes to secure the legacy of brotherhood and protect his family --- even if it costs him everything.

My Take:

An FX original TV series, Sons of Anarchy, is an adrenalized drama with darkly comedic undertones that explores a notorious outlaw motorcycle club’s (Son of Anarchy or SAMCRO) desire to protect its livelihood while ensuring that their simple, sheltered town of Charming, California remains, just that, Charming. The MC must confront threats from drug dealers, corporate developers and overzealous law enforcement officers. Behind the MC’s familial lifestyle and legally thriving automotive shop is a ruthless and illegally thriving arms business. Their outlaw style subculture manages the seduction of money, power, and the daily threat of bloodshed.

With Jax now sitting at the head of the table he is in a position to effect change with the ultimate goal being his separation from the club in the hopes of he, Tara and the boys starting anew. Unfortunately things quickly heat up beginning with the Niners seeking revenge for the killing of Veronica Pope who turns out to be the daughter of a very powerful crime lord who WILL avenge her. That situation leads to one of the most devastating and unforgettable moments in the shows history. With all of the heat brought on by transporting drugs for the cartel Jax moves to cut ties and seeks other means of earning which leads to partnering with Nero Padilla who runs an escort service.

In the meantime Clay, who is recovering from his gunshot wounds, is no less dangerous as his conniving and double dealing in an effort to supplant Jax leads to more trouble than he could have imagined and once again places him and the club in the crosshairs. Tara takes a stand with Gemma which leads to repercussions that ultimately threaten the very thing that Tara is trying to protect. Jax secretly devises a plan that will bring about a full circle reckoning but what he doesn’t see is the head on collision between the two women in his life that will leave one of them on the outside looking in.

I have been a fan of this show since day one and we never miss it. I love the development of the storyline, depth of the characters, and the grounded manner in which they go about their business. They are well written which clearly establishes their connection and reinforces their strength while enhancing their likeability. Yes they are criminals but looking beyond that they live within a definitive and structured subculture where without rules survival would be impossible. Creator/writer Kurt Sutter did his home work and has come up with a superb balance of good and bad that allows acceptance and forgiveness as we bond with and ultimately root for them. The cast (both regulars and guests) is perfectly placed and primarily consists of seasoned actors with pedigrees that make them well suited to their characters.

Hands down this season of Son of Anarchy is among if not the show’s best. We watched it during prime time and each episode seemed to get better as it gathered momentum hurtling toward the cliff hanging finale. Watching as old alliances broke down, new ones were formed and the internal struggles within SAMCRO escalated it was hard to predict where things would end up. We clearly wanted to see Clay get his comeuppance and our ability to overlook Gemma’s meddling/interference/selfishness in lieu of her love for Jax became increasingly difficult even in light of her assistance with the Clay situation. This season we see a different side to Tara as she grows increasingly more protective of her family and vigilant in her efforts toward that end. Most definitely the season’s biggest blow involves the loss of one of its most beloved characters. Kurt Sutter and company handle it perfectly as it truly is a powerfully jarring moment that fans will never forget.

Season five’s 13 episodes are spread over three BD-50 Blu-ray discs with the bulk of the bonus features contained on disc three. Season four offers plenty of ass kicking, gunplay, inner conflict, several truly satisfying moments and some surprising, dare I say shocking twists that you may or not have seen coming. As with the prior three seasons no stone goes unturned as the show builds to a thrilling climax that left me hankering for more of this character driven, well written, and compelling TV drama. Looking forward to September 10th!

Parental Guide:

This show contains strong violence, thematic material and language that would not be suitable 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=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

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

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

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

Sons of Anarchy Season Five comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 20 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 Mbps.

Season Five of Sons of Anarchy positively translates to video on Blu-ray Disc and features excellent high definition quality that boasts warm, inviting colors with deeply saturated primaries and vivid hues. Fleshtones are naturally delineated with warm tonal highlights and discernible complexional variety among the cast. Detail is abundant as images look crisp with clearly resolvable texture, and dimensionality that on occasion offer a near infinite visual perspective. Blacks are rich with excellent dynamic range and appreciable gradational stages. Contrast is strong which provides plenty of pop to colors and whites without overemphasis or loss of detail. The video has a punchy, pleasing, and pristine quality that looks great throughout.

The DTS-HD MA soundtrack features crystal clear dialogue, robust dynamics and an enriching surround sound mix. I was impressed with its use of spacial dimension and directional cues to create a realistic and occasionally immersive sound field. This worked hand in hand with shows excellent music score, and action based sequences to build suspense/tension and drive its thematic elements. This appears to be a faithful and high quality audio/video presentation that looks and sounds great on Blu-ray from Fox.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Deleted scenes from episodes 1,3,5,8,9,11,13

  • (HD) Audio commentary with cast/crew on episodes 1 & 12

  • “Creator’s cut” (additional episodes) on episodes 2,4,6,9,13

  • (HD) Gag reel – 4 minutes

  • (HD) Opie Winston – 6 minute featurette

  • (HD) Kurt Sutter: Creating Anarchy – 3 minute featurette

  • (HD) Fan concert at the “Clubhouse” (the set) – 19 minutes

Final Thoughts:

Sons of Anarchy is a compelling TV drama that features strong, well written characters that are capably brought to life by the show’s superb cast. Creator Kurt Sutter has done an excellent job with the show’s continuing contemporary storyline which keeps interest high as it competently engages with ample amounts of action, drama, and suspense. I look forward to September 10th when the show’s sixth Season kicks off. The series comes to high definition from 20th Century Fox Blu-ray in a well rounded package that looks and sounds great and offers fans insights from the perspectives of the cast/crew at the show’s production. If you are a fan this set is worth adding to your collection. If you haven’t seen Sons of Anarchy I highly recommend you check it out.


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
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 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

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviewer
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-30-2013, 07:59 AM
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Agree with the series review Ralph – it’s a must watch! FX and AMC are putting out amazing shows right now.

If a TV show or movie has a violent or heavily dramatic scene it usually doesn't affect me much after the credits roll – I can separate the show/movie from ‘real life’.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
However, I can’t recall another moment in recent years that left me open mouthed and speechless like in episode 3 - "Laying Pipe". Opie’s final scene was intense. I remember just sort of being in a numb state after the episode. I turned off the TV and just sat there for a minute… The next day I talked it over with one of my co-workers, who is a fan as well. He had a similar reaction.

My only fear with season 6 is that they don’t jump the shark – how much more “stuff” can these guys get into?

My living room budget build: Vizio e65-f1/ Denon S640H / DefTech PC1000 / DefTech D7 / DefTech ProSub 60 / Dayton Sub1200
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-30-2013, 01:51 PM
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I really dislike this show. When I first started watching, I hoped it was like Sopranos with bikers. Instead, it's like 24 with bikers, Jax being Jack Bauer. Henry Rollins was an interesting character, but alas, his character died along with my interest.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-30-2013, 07:54 PM
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I enjoy this series and have added each season to my collection.
Great review king P . smile.gif
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-01-2013, 05:36 AM
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All currently available seasons are in my wish list, but I've not seen a single episode of any season yet, although I am planning to purchase the entire series on blu-ray.

Thanks for reviewing it for us Ralph... your comments regarding season five have made me even more anxious to get started with it! smile.gif

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