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post #1 of 2 Old 09-24-2014, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Defiance: Season Two (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review



Check out our review of this entertaining sci-fi action/adventure series that takes place in the future on a radically transformed Earth where humans and intelligent extraterrestrial species coexist.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

87



Details:

Studio and Year: Universal - 2014
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 565 minutes
Genre: TV Sci-Fi/Action

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
Starring: Grant Bowler, Julie Benz, Stephanie Leonidas, Tony Curran, Jaime Murray, Graham Greene, Dewshane Williams, Trinna Keating, Jesse Rath, Nicole Munoz
Directed by: Various
Music by: Bear McCreary
Written by: Various
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date:


"Tick, Tick, Tick…"


My Take:

In the year 2047, it’s a new Earth – with new rules. Over thirty years after various alien races arrived on Earth, the landscape is completely altered, terraformed nearly beyond recognition. The town of Defiance, on what used to be St. Louis, stands as a living example of what happens when humans and aliens live harmoniously (and often, not-so-harmoniously) together. Amongst the town's many residents are former soldier Nolan (Grant Bowler) and his adoptive Irathient daughter, Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas); the former mayor, Amanda Rosewater (Julie Benz); Rafe McCawley (Graham Greene), a powerful miner; the ambitious, alien Tarr family, Datak and Stahma (Tony Curran and Jaime Murray), along with son Alak and human wife Christie (Jesse Rath and Nicole Munoz) Jaime Murray); lawman Tommy (Dewshane Williams) and cantankerous Indogene Doc Yewll (Trinna Keating). With the Earth Republic - the human run governmental organization with questionable motivations - now in control of the town and a new mayor, Niles Pottinger (Jim Murray), at the helm, the fragile peace Defiance has fought for threatens to be undone.

As Defiance's second action-packed season begins, the lives of the townspeople remain in turmoil as Nolan (Grant Bowler) searches for Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas), Amanda (Julie Benz) deals with a personal loss and Stahma (Jaime Murray) plots to take over Datak's criminal empire. Meanwhile, Earth Republic's control of Defiance brings changes with far-reaching consequences, including a scheming new mayor (James Murray) whose secret agendas push the town towards its breaking point. The events that ended season one continue to unfold as Irisa’s “inner” conflict takes center stage resulting in a global threat that must be addressed. The political maneuvering, double dealing, and shady characters in Defiance is a given while the cache of regulars struggle to maintain the delicate balance (both good and bad) via unlikely alliances and coarse objectives. Season Two’s building storyline follows an aggressive arc that speeds toward a cliff hanging climax.

Over the course of the season various themes including social, familial, political and criminal elements within the show’s futuristic/sci-fi context are explored. The integration of drama and action is balanced well as are the interpersonal relationships that support the continuing subplots. During season one I became attached to this show and didn’t miss an episode of season two. The show plays out like a sort of a sci-fi action/thriller/crime drama where the primary and secondary plots are allowed to breath, which keeps it feeling edgy. I found myself looking forward to each installment and hated having to wait week to week to see what was up next.

As a sci-fi TV serial Defiance probably falls into the middle of the pack within its genre which isn’t a bad thing especially if you enjoy its type of programming. The idea of running the TV show concurrent with the video game is pretty cool. In that light it is something special and for gamers may be of further interest. Here is a little information on the game:

In the game of Defiance, players take on the role of Ark Hunters, specialists in survival, combat and tracking who brave dangerous frontiers to retrieve lost relics of advanced or alien origin in return for great financial rewards (The Arks are the ships that brought the aliens to Earth). Players can search for Arks on their own, simultaneously join tens of thousands of other players for missions or just explore the fully realized, future world of Defiance (it's really, really big). Custom character creation allows players to adopt a human or alien appearance for their Ark Hunter. With weapons, armor and special abilities that evolve with experience.

Defiance Season Two comes to Blu-ray with its 13 episodes spread over three BD-50’s, with the bonus material spread over each. The keep case is of the amaray type (with a corresponding slipcover) with the discs contained in the page style plastic inserts with the center push buttons.


I look forward to catching Season Three when it airs on SyFy next year. Here is the episode listing for Season Two:
  1. The opposite of hallelujah
  2. In my secret life
  3. The cord and the ax
  4. Beasts of burden
  5. Putting the damage on
  6. This woman’s work
  7. If you could see her through my eyes
  8. Slouching toward Bethlehem
  9. Painted from memory
  10. Bottom of the world
  11. Doll parts
  12. All things must pass
  13. I almost prayed





Parental Guide:

The show contains violence, mature themes, sensuality and language.


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:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA



Video: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Defiance: Season Two comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.

By choice I would say that Defiance isn’t bright or overly colorful. The chromatic palette consists mainly of cooler tones and muted secondary hues with the occasional interjection of primary colors that don’t offer much in the way of visual stimulation. This makes for a rougher visual style that works quite well with the show’s thematic tone. Resolution is excellent but the nature of the photography isn’t always lent to the high gloss definition that provides an infinite sense of depth. There are many instances where detail is clearly resolvable with discerning visual perspective and rich clarity. On the other hand there are times where delineation and sharpness is less tangibly defining. Close ups tend to be outstanding and offer plenty of appreciable refinement in the physical features and weave of the fabric in the clothing worn by the cast. Contrast is stable over the course of the presentation and blacks, while not inky, have good dynamic range and are gradationally satisfying. I didn’t note any overt signs of video related anomalies and thought that this presentation as a whole was excellent.

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio sound like the video quality is quite good. Dynamics are robust and defining without being strident or edgy. Dialogue is rendered with appreciable tonal expression and excellent room penetration through the center channel speaker. The front soundstage is diffused with notable separation and articulated detail. The presentation makes ample use of the surround platform. At times it opens up quite nicely to create an involving listening environment that contains a mix of directional and ambient sounds. Bass response doesn’t reach subterranean levels however it appropriately supports the source elements and provides a tight, punchy low end.


Bonus Features:
  • Season One alternate ending
  • Deleted scenes
  • Gag reel
  • Defiance: The lost ones minisodes
  • Jesse does Defiance
  • Digital HD Copy





Final Thoughts:

Defiance: Season Two makes its debut on Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video quality and a fair supplemental offering that is worth checking out for fans. I really enjoy the show and look forward to checking out season three in 2015.






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
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS PC12-NSD
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
DAB and Phrehdd like this.

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviewer
My Home Theater
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post #2 of 2 Old 09-25-2014, 12:50 PM
DAB
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Defiance 2

I have watched Defiance season 1- and onto season 2:
The Sci-Fi Channel has done a good job in production of this show. I hope they keep it up. Watching only on NF-- *note to SF and NF- one or two "appropriate commercial" on the disc wouldn't be bad { to get more income to produce better Sci-Fi shows' } We do not want again & again another car commercial- something related to AVS customers..

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