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

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

88






Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2010
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 588 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, Taylor Sheridan, Ally Walker, Michael Beach, Dayton Callie, William Lucking
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 30, 2011







"Let freedom ride"



Film Synopsis:


Charlie Hunnam stars as Jackson Jax' Teller, a man whose love for the brotherhood is tested by his growing apprehension for its lawlessness. Katey Sagal stars as Gemma Teller Morrow, Jax's force-of-nature mother, who along with Ron Perlman as Clarence Clay' Morrow, Jax's stepfather and MC President, have their own darker vision for the club. Chaos and confusion reign after Jax's infant son is kidnapped and Gemma is framed for murder. When Abel's trail leads SAMCRO to Belfast, Ireland, secrets are revealed and the bonds of brotherhood are shattered. Jax is left reeling with more questions than answers as he struggles with the legacy of his father, the future of the club, and the fate of his family.


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. For those not familiar with the show here are my introductory comments from my review of the show's first season:

Sons of Anarchy revolves around a California motorcycle club called the Sons of Anarchy. The club is lead by Clay (Perlman) and is run by a strict code of ethics and conduct that is pretty much what you'd expect from bikers. The club maintains a hierarchy that includes various positions such as vice president, sergeant at arms, treasurer and runs all the way down to the lowly prospects. Jackson Jax Teller (Hunnam) is second in command as well as a second generation member and is primarily the show's central character. His father was one of the clubs founders but he died from injuries sustained after being hit by a tractor trailer when Jax was a boy. His mother Gemma (Sagal) is now Clay's old lady and keeps a watchful eye over Jax while maintaining a fair amount of influence over both men. Each member of the club brings an important element to its purpose. The purpose is for the club to thrive through various means which unfortunately place it in direct contravention of state, local, and federal laws. Jax has no qualms about the club's purpose or seeing it through. He is intelligent and forward thinking (most of the time) and doesn't always see the need to handle matters in the traditional sense. This occasionally puts him at odds with Clay which raises eyebrows among the other members of the club.

Season Three picks up with the cliff hanging kidnapping of Jax's son Abel, and Gemma on the run after being framed for murder by crooked ATF Agent Stahl. The opening storyline plays out with SAMCRO struggling in their efforts to find Abel while Tig (who has been sent along to watch over Gemma) and Gemma lay low in Oregon. Things get interesting when Gemma pays a visit to her estranged father, who suffers from dementia and now has a live in caregiver. Meanwhile the club works to raise the funds to finance the search for Abel while managing pending weapon's charges and escalating violence in Charming. Gemma gets matters with her father in order and quietly returns to Charming to discover the state of affairs involving her grandson and the charter. When all signs point to Abel being taken to Ireland, SAMCRO (including Gemma) makes the trip and unites with members of the Irish charter. Unfortunately locating Abel is anything but simple and SAMCRO finds themselves caught in the middle of brewing conflict between rogue IRA member JimmyO and the True IRA Council who seek to use them as a means to an end with the promise of locating/returning Abel. Not one to be played Jax sees the handwriting on the wall and secretly aligns himself with an unlikely source to turn the odds in his favor. Gemma has secrets of her own as discoveries from ex-husband John Teller's past loom large in Belfast. Treachery is afoot and threatens to land SAMCRO six feet under as the situation in Ireland escalates. Things aren't running smoothly back in Charming as the remaining charter members encounter intimidation, violence and scheming perpetrated by the greedy desires of a local urban developer. Tara is left to suffer with a very personal dilemma but finds a friend/confidant that she never saw coming. Unfortunately that isn't the only thing she never sees coming. Soon debts will be repaid, secrets revealed, and retribution for past deeds fulfilled as the season's events culminate in yet another eye opening finale.

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. Season three's 13 episodes are spread over three BD-50 Blu-ray discs with the bulk of the bonus features contained on disc three. Season Three offers plenty of ass kicking, gunplay, inner conflict, several truly satisfying moments and one or two twists that you may or not have seen coming. As with the prior two seasons no stone goes unturned as the show builds to a thrilling and cliff hanging climax that left me hankering for more of this character driven, well written, and compelling TV drama. Can't wait for September 6th!





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.**


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


Audio: 86


  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:





Video: 90


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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Sons of Anarchy Season Three comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox 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 4.1 Mbps.

Season Three 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:


  • Disc 1:

  • Audio commentary (Episode So) featuring Kurt Sutter, Dave Erickson, Chris Collins, Regina Corrado, Liz Sagal, Marco Ramirez

  • (HD) Deleted scenes

  • Extended episode So

  • Season Play mode


  • Disc 2:

  • Audio commentary (episode Firinne) featuring Kurt Sutter, Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Maggie Siff, Timothy Flanagan

  • (HD) Deleted scenes

  • Season Play mode


  • Disc 3:

  • Extended episodes - Bainne and June wedding

  • Deleted scenes

  • Audio commentary (episode NS) featuring Kurt Sutter, Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Mark Boone Junior, Kim Coates, Tommy Flanagan, Theo Rossi, Ryan Hurst, Dayton Callie

  • (HD) The future begins now: (four quick snippets of what's to come in season 4)

    1. Pay phone
    2. Tara & Piney
    3. Jax meets Thomas
    4. Mexican basketball
  • (HD) Directing the finale with Kurt Sutter - 5 minute feature

  • (HD) Episode NS table read with the cast/crew - 44 minutes

  • (HD) Gag reel - 3 minutes

  • (HD) Bike customizer - 15 minute documentary of a custom bike build by Southern California's Illusion Cycles for the Wounded Warrior Project

  • Fox Movie Channel at Season Three 3 premiere - 5 minutes

  • Season Play Mode

  • BD-Live: Live Extra's - Son's at Comic-Con 2011





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 6th when the show's Fourth Season kicks off. The series comes to high definition from 20th Century Fox Blu-ray in a well rounded package that not only looks and sounds great but offers fans an entertaining look behind the scenes at the show's prpduction. 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-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen

Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-93 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 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

Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator

Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
 

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I watched this season on Amazon HD streaming. No complaints on PQ there either, but no 5.1 audio.


I have to say that this series has gone well past the point of believability, and I often find myself in disbelief that any of these story lines could ever happen. Personally I think they need more drama and less action in the story. I just don't believe that anybody would actually want to live a life like this with no monetary gains to speak of.


Gun running is extremely profitable these days, but the guns are moving south of the border, not north. This show seems to ignore this truth.
 

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The last episode was probably the best executed season finale I've ever seen. I didn't think there was any way to reasonably resolve all the loose ends, but it was extremely satisfying.


I don't believe it is too authentic to real biker sub-culture just based off the motorcycles they ride (883's, really?) and Jax's tennis shoes/hoodie, but the character interaction and dialog just suck you in for the ride.


Art
 

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I love this show--but like a lot of movies I also love (Sucker Punch?), it is best served when you check believability at the door and just enjoy the ride.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by adpayne
I don't believe it is too authentic to real biker sub-culture just based off the motorcycles they ride (883's, really?) and Jax's tennis shoes/hoodie, but the character interaction and dialog just suck you in for the ride.


Art
What .. ?? Most of SAMCRO ride Harley Davidson Dyna Wideglides with various degrees of customization ..
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkdragn
What .. ?? Most of SAMCRO ride Harley Davidson Dyna Wideglides with various degrees of customization ..
My bad. Apparently I know even less about motorcycles than I thought I did. I'm glad my Army buddy who owns a bunch of Harleys doesn't read this board.



Thanks for the correction.


Art
 
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