Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 22 Old 02-08-2014, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

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

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
90





Studio and Year: HBO - 2013
MPAA Rating: TV-MA
Feature running time: 555 minutes
Genre: Drama/Action/Adventure/Fantasy

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/Castilian DTS 5.1, Spanish/Polish Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Lain, Spanish, Castilian, Polish, Brazilian, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Starring: Peter Dinklage, Nikolai Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington, Iain Glen, Alfrie Allen, John Bradley, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stehpen Dillane, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Conleth Hill, Sibel Kekilli, Rose Leslie
Directed by: Various
Written by: D.B. Weiss & David Benioff based on the “Song of ice and fire by George R.R. Martin
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 18, 2014







"Sometimes those with the most power have the least grace"


Film Synopsis:

In Season 3, the battling families of the Seven Kingdoms continue to fight for power as bonds are strained, loyalties are tested and cruel fates are met. The Lannisters barely hold on to power after a savage naval onslaught from Stannis Baratheon, while stirrings in the North threaten to alter the overall balance of power. Robb Stark, King in the North, faces major calamity in his efforts to build on his victories over the Lannisters, and beyond the Wall, Mance Rayder and his huge army of wildlings continue their inexorable march south. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen - reunited with her three fast-maturing dragons - attempts to raise an army to sail with her from Essos, in hopes of eventually claiming the Iron Throne for herself.

My Take:

In the third season of the hit HBO original series based on the bestselling book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. This epic drama is set in the grounded fantasy continent of Westeros, where ambitious men and women of both honor and ill-repute live in a land where summers and winters can last years. In Season 3, family and loyalty will be the overarching themes, and many critical plot points from the first two seasons will come to a violent head, with several major characters meeting cruel fates. While a primary focus continues to be on King's Landing, where the Lannisters barely held onto power after a savage naval onslaught from Stannis Baratheon, stirrings in the North threaten to alter the overall balance of power in Westeros. Robb Stark, King of the North, will face a major calamity in his efforts to build on his victories over the Lannisters in Season 2, while further north, Mance Rayder (new character) and his huge army of wildlings begin an inexorable march south to scale the Wall. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen - reunited with her three deadly, fast-maturing dragons - attempts to raise an army of slaves to sail with her from Essos to Westeros, in hopes of eventually overthrowing the Iron Throne.


I was late the Game of Thrones phenomenon and didn’t begin watching it until season three. I haven’t read any of the books so my exposure to it going into viewing season three was limited and held only to what I had heard from friends that have been following from the outset. Needless to say it was a challenge trying to put the various storylines, characters and their correlation or lack thereof together. Once I began putting the pieces and associations in place I was able to begin absorbing the show’s cache of characters and the multitude of subplots.

The primary plots playing out over the course of the season and the ones that I found to be the most interesting/entertaining were Jon Snow and Ygritte, the evolution of Jaime and Brienne’s relationship (the bear pit!), the wedding of Tyrion and Sansa and its effects on Shae, the unrelenting cruelty of Joffrey counterbalanced by Tywin’s affirming interference, my girl Daenerys Targaryen obtaining “The Unsullied” and continuing her unswayable quest, the Brotherhood Without Banners, the Hound and Arya, Tyrell family matriarch Lady Olenna and her insightful manipulation of those around her, last but not least is “The Rains of Castamere” and the wedding, wow.

Part political thriller, part epic fantasy, season 3 bristles with fights, a bit of torture, numerous betrayals, reanimated corpses and a rather important severed hand. Based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling book series A Song of Ice and Fire, Games of Thrones Season Three is truly an engaging and at times shocking experience that was worth every minute. Season three features returning cast members Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Aidan Gillen (Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Richard Madden (Robb Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon), Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Rory McCann (Sandor "The Hound" Clegane), Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Conleth Hill (Varys), John Bradley(Samwell Tarly), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), James Cosmo (Commander Mormont), Stephen Dillane (Stannis Baratheon), Carice van Houten (Melisandre), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Sibel Kekilli (Shae), Rose Leslie (Ygritte) and Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell).

New cast members include: Ciarán Hinds (Mance Rayder), Diana Rigg (Lady Olenna Tyrell, Emmy®-nominated for her role), Mackenzie Crook (Orell), Clive Russell (Brynden "The Blackfish" Tully), Nathalie Emannuel (Missandei), Kerry Ingram (Shireen Baratheon), Paul Kaye (Thoros of Myr), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed), Ellie Kendrick (Meera Reed), Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion), Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane), Philip McGinley (Anguy), Tara Fitzgerald (Selyse Baratheon), Tobias Menzies (Edmure Tully), Anton Lesser (Qyburn), Ian McElhinney (Barristan Selmy), Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton) and Noah Taylor (Locke). The series executive producers are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger, Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, George R.R. Martin, Vanessa Taylor; produced by Chris Newman, Greg Spence.

Season three’s ten episodes are spread over five BD-50 dual layered Blu-ray discs. The integrated bonus material contains multiple featurettes, extended and deleted scenes, and audio commentaries. Additional features on the BD release include interactive guides, illustrated histories, and an extensive feature on the creation of "The Rains of Castamere," containing nearly two hours of never-before-seen material, as well as new looks at the infamous "Red Wedding." The set comes housed in an attractive and sturdy cardboard keep case that comes with a translucent embossed slipcover.


Parental Guide:
The show contains graphic violence, language, sexual content, graphic 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.**


Audio: 90

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


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699



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=109947&d=1210373692

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

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


Game of thrones Season Three comes to Blu-ray from HBO featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3 Mbps.

This high definition video presentation offers clear, refined images that primarily boast a relatively subdued color palette that is rarely eye catching but conveys the earth tones and time period specific clothing, locals and sullen complexions with aplomb. There are instances where deeper more vivacious hues are utilized and their presence is not only welcomed but their application is purposefully vivid and boldly stated. The rendering of fine detail can range from exquisite to moderate. This leaves certain long range and mid level shots with less dimensionality but not to the point of appearing soft. Black levels fluctuate however contrast is stable which when coupled along with the prevailing use of low level lighting mates well with the visual style of the presentation. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts/anomalies and felt that this high definition presentation closely mimicked and bested the series’ original broadcast quality.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack isn’t bombastic or overly aggressive but that doesn’t prevent it from being remarkable. Its attributes come in the form of superlative high level detail, defining clarity, and subtly distinctive surround sound that doesn’t disappoint. This is a sophisticated sound design that incorporates a vast number of sounds/effects that are intricately mixed to engage the listening position. Bass can be deep and room energizing but never rises inappropriately in prominence. The mix expertly handles the delicate blend of music, discrete/ambient sounds, crystal clear dialogue and low frequency effects as it weaves an aurally stimulating pattern across the soundstage.

Bonus Features:

  • * Exclusive * In-Episode Guide - In-feature resource that provides background information about on-screen characters, locations and relevant histories.

  • (HD) * Exclusive * "The Rains of Castamere" Unveiled - Get an in-depth look at the creation of the most pivotal episode of Season 3 in this comprehensive interactive exposé featuring cast and crew.

  • (HD) * Exclusive * The Roots of Westeros - Explore the interconnected web of relationships, rivalries and conflicts between the noble houses of Westeros with this interactive guide.

  • (HD) * Exclusive * Histories & Lore - Learn about the mythology of Westeros as told from the varying perspectives of the characters themselves in this 16 segment interactive feature.

  • (HD) "A Gathering Storm" Featurette - Look back at the stormy events of Season 2 in this 14-minute recap with cast and crew.

  • (HD) "The Politics of Marriage" Featurette - The concept of matrimony in Westeros is all about making power plays and political alliances. Cast and crew examine this ancient institution and its place in Game of Thrones – 8 minutes

  • (HD) "Inside the Wildlings" Featurette - Go beyond the Wall with this introduction to the wildlings to gain a better understanding of their backstory – 6 minutes

  • (HD) New Characters of Season 3 - Meet the new faces in Season 3: Olenna Tyrell, Missandei, Mance Rayder, Tormund Giantsbane, Orell, Jojen & Meera Reed, Blackfish & Edmure Tully, Thoros of Myr and Beric Dondarrion – 9 minutes

  • (HD) Deleted/Extended Scenes - Five deleted and extended scenes.

  • Audio Commentaries - 12 commentaries with cast and crew including David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, George R.R. Martin, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Michelle Fairley, Kit Harington, Richard Madden and more.

  • Bonus DVD

  • Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

In the third season of the HBO original series Game of thrones which is based on the bestselling book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, this epic drama, set in the grounded fantasy continent of Westeros, family and loyalty will be the overarching themes, and many critical plot points from the first two seasons will come to a violent head, with several major characters meeting cruel fates. Although I didn’t join the fray until this season I found myself completely take in by it and enjoyed every minute. Season three from HBO looks and sounds terrific in high definition and contains an assortment of fan friendly bonus features that enhance the experience on Blu-ray Disc. This five disc set is a must have for fans and comes recommended if you’re looking for a rewarding and darkly entertaining TV series.

Here is the season four promo:



attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS4910 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-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
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
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SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
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post #2 of 22 Old 02-08-2014, 11:52 AM
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Are you not gonna go back and see season 1 and 2?It must have been a challenge to start this show on season 3.
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post #3 of 22 Old 02-08-2014, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieDigital View Post

Are you not gonna go back and see season 1 and 2?It must have been a challenge to start this show on season 3.

"a challenge"? biggrin.gif I'd say darn near impossible. wink.gif

I have to admit, Ralph seems to understand it better than I do, and I've seen seasons 1 and 2.

What I can afford, when I can afford it...
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post #4 of 22 Old 02-08-2014, 01:50 PM
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Is it just me, or are the scenes with the dragons absolutely thrilling? By that I mean I get chills down my spine!
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post #5 of 22 Old 02-08-2014, 03:21 PM
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I'm probably the hugest GoT fan out there. The season 1 blu ray set is an outstanding picture quality demo...all of it. Content-wise, I'd rate season 3 as better than season 2, but not better than Season 1, which is just outstanding. I can't wait until Season 4...i read all the books and can definitely say there's a lot to look forward to in Season 4!
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post #6 of 22 Old 02-08-2014, 07:02 PM
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Game of Thrones ROCKS!!!

Ralph, watching season 1 & season 2 is REQUIRED!! Reading the books.... optional.wink.gif

I was immediately hooked when I saw the first episode of season one. Went and
Bought the book series soon after that. Can't wait for season 4! biggrin.gif

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This may be blasphemous on this forum, but while I really enjoy the HBO series and already have season 3 on pre-order, they are not nearly as enthralling as the books. That said, without making each season as long as the first three put together, I think the GOT series does a wonderful job of capturing the "feel" of the books. More so than any other book to video series other than Harry Potter.

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post #8 of 22 Old 02-09-2014, 05:45 AM
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I started watching GoT about 3 or 4 weeks ago. Was a pain to get the past episodes from DTV until I discovered HBO Go on my Roku 3. Simply thrilling series thus far. I enjoyed S1 immensely, and S3 was just great. The Rains of Castamere simply blew me away.
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post #9 of 22 Old 02-09-2014, 09:16 AM
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HBO Go is only the best companion app ever to be created!!!  But when the Blu Ray is released, GoT S3 be worth picking up on Blu Ray. We get so accustomed to the quality of our cable providers and internet streaming for TV shows, but neither hold a candle to the crisp a/v presentation inherent to blu ray; especially for a series like this with some sprawling scenery and vivid (at times) sets! 

 

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I've been following Game of Thrones (on blu-ray only) from the very beginning and am quite anxious to see the third season. Can't wait for it's arrival!

Thanks for reviewing it Ralph, and I hope you get to see the previous seasons very soon. smile.gif

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Season 1-2 is a must, just viewing season three there is so much story being missed..King P, you gotta do it..I love this show...in my top 5 of shows, The Wire, Prison Break, Sapranos are in the ranking as well.
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Can't wait to rewatch this season. For my money, it was the strongest yet!
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post #13 of 22 Old 02-10-2014, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post

Can't wait to rewatch this season. For my money, it was the strongest yet!

Hey there StormShadow--you're not a Glen Cook fan, are you?  I know the name StormShadow from the letter books in The Black Company series...

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Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

Hey there StormShadow--you're not a Glen Cook fan, are you?  I know the name StormShadow from the letter books in The Black Company series...

Nah, couldn't come up with an AOL user name 17 years ago (wow, half a lifetime for me!), so decided to go with my favorite GI Joe character for some (god only knows) reason. I tend to stick with it for all online handles
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post #15 of 22 Old 02-13-2014, 09:21 AM
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Love Game of Thrones. I actually got my WIFE to watch these with me. This is remarkable because she hates fantasy / medival stuff. She refuses to watch Lord of the Rings. But she was on board with GoT and watched every episode with me.

Ralph- would you like to borrow my brand-new copies of GoT season 1 and 2 on Blu-ray Disc for some reviews, or just to watch? I'm guessing seeing these 2 seasons would be very rewarding for you.

Glad to see that the Audio/video presentation stacks up. HBO really has done a fantastic job with this series, all things considered.
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post #16 of 22 Old 02-13-2014, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by djkest View Post

Love Game of Thrones. I actually got my WIFE to watch these with me. This is remarkable because she hates fantasy / medival stuff. She refuses to watch Lord of the Rings. But she was on board with GoT and watched every episode with me.

Ralph- would you like to borrow my brand-new copies of GoT season 1 and 2 on Blu-ray Disc for some reviews, or just to watch? I'm guessing seeing these 2 seasons would be very rewarding for you.

Glad to see that the Audio/video presentation stacks up. HBO really has done a fantastic job with this series, all things considered.

Greetings,

Thank you so much for the incredibly generous offer djkest! My review schedule is a bit tight right now but when things slow down I may just take you up on it! wink.gif


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post #17 of 22 Old 02-13-2014, 12:10 PM
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I just started watching Season 1 for the first time on Blu Ray and man I love these discs. For a person like me who hasn't read the books and never heard of this before watching the show it definitely helps to watch the interactive guides on the characters and the history of what happened prior to what is seen on the show.
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I watched season 1 a while back and it didn't thrill me...I think I had enough drama in my own life at the time.. but based on Ralph's review of season 3, I decided to give season 2 a try and OMG!! eek.gif am I hooked. It took 3 days to finish and I'm drooling for season 3 which I'll try to watch slow because season 4 hasn't started yet and I don't have HBO...yet wink.gif.
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post #19 of 22 Old 02-13-2014, 05:05 PM
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7 long weeks till Season 4 starts, can't wait!!
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having watched the show on demand and recently on my dvr, this show keeps getting better and better. I bet the bluray version is just as good as seeing it on my hdtv on fios with better audio and picture quality. My favorite episode of the series is still Red Wedding.
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post #21 of 22 Old 02-26-2014, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Thank you so much for the incredibly generous offer djkest! My review schedule is a bit tight right now but when things slow down I may just take you up on it! wink.gif

Regards,

Just let me know when you are ready. Some of the things you missed in seasons 1 and 2 (spoiler free):
The Legacy of Nedd Stark
John Snow and Bran Stark's Backstories
Peter Dinklage's great performance in season 2
The Red Woman....
The Battle of Blackwater Bay
The transformation of Jamie Lannister
The depravity of Cersei Lannister

Oh, and my wife and I have now watched the first 4 episodes of Season 3 (again, but now on Blu-ray). Such a fantastic series. It looks and sounds so great, and one thing I am really impressed with is the volume and clarity of dialog esp on this season. We are able to watch it on -40 and understand everything without waking up our toddler who sleeps nearby.
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post #22 of 22 Old 02-26-2014, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djkest View Post

Just let me know when you are ready. Some of the things you missed in seasons 1 and 2 (spoiler free):
The Legacy of Nedd Stark
John Snow and Bran Stark's Backstories
Peter Dinklage's great performance in season 2
The Red Woman....
The Battle of Blackwater Bay
The transformation of Jamie Lannister
The depravity of Cersei Lannister

Oh, and my wife and I have now watched the first 4 episodes of Season 3 (again, but now on Blu-ray). Such a fantastic series. It looks and sounds so great, and one thing I am really impressed with is the volume and clarity of dialog esp on this season. We are able to watch it on -40 and understand everything without waking up our toddler who sleeps nearby.

Greetings,

Sounds great and will do djkest! smile.gif

Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviewer
My Home Theater
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Game Of Thrones The Complete Third Season Blu Ray

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