V: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Elizabeth Mitchell as Erica Evans
Morris Chestnut as Ryan Nichols
Joel Gretsch as Father Jack Landry
Logan Huffman as Tyler Evans
Laura Vandervoort as Lisa
Morena Baccarin as Anna
Scott Wolf as Chad Decker
Christopher Shyer as Marcus
Lourdes Benedicto as Valerie Stevens
Mark Hildreth as Joshua
Charles Mesure as Kyle Hobbes
Roark Critchlow as Paul Kendrick
Scott Hylands as Father Travis
David Richmond-Peck as Georgie Sutton
Lexa Doig as Dr. Leah Pearlman
Rekha Sharma as Sarita Malik

Special Features:
Breaking Story: The World Of V
Actor’s Journey From Human To V
An Alien In Human Skin: The MakeUp Of V
Executive Producers Commentary On Episode 11, Fruition
The Visual Effects Of V
Unaired Scenes

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Languages
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 520 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the series:

“They arrive. Earth’s first alien encounter begins when huge motherships appear over 29 major cities. The visitors – the Vs – are human-like beings who know our languages and bring awesome gifts of healing and technology. People everywhere welcome them as saviors. But a fledgling resistance is on the rise, determined to reveal the shocking truth. The 2-disc, 12-episode season one of this amazing series combines sci-fi thrills with dazzling technical virtuosity. Adventure awaits.”

“V: The Complete First Season” is not rated.

Mini-Review:
I was a fan of the original “V” series. I think most children of the ’80s watched it or the sequel or the ongoing series. Who can forget the rat eating aliens? Or the alien baby? Or the ripped off faces with lizard skin underneath? So when I heard they were remaking the series, I was onboard. I watched the first episode and liked it. I caught the second and third episodes as well. But as my DVR began to fill up with unwatched “V” episodes, I eventually gave up on the series. I think I simply got bored with it. It was the same thing each time – the aliens are bad but are pretending to be good, meanwhile the resistance builds up their forces against them. You could skip episodes and still follow what was going on. More significant events happened late in the series, but not quite fast enough to keep me engaged.

I have to give credit to the creators for the cast. They pulled actors from every sci-fi or genre series from the last 10 years. You have Elizabeth Mitchell from “Lost” as Erica Evans. You have Morena Baccarin from “Firefly” as Anna. There’s Laura Vandervoort of “Smallville” as Lisa. Throw in “Battlestar Galactica’s” Michael Trucco and “Firefly’s” Alan Tudyk and you can see how casting these favorites was a big part of the strategy in getting viewers. It certainly worked because I enjoyed seeing them in these roles.

“V” was noteworthy when it first aired because people compared Morena Baccarin as Anna to newly elected President Obama. There were parallels with health care reform, the news media’s love affair with the new leadership, etc. What’s ironic is when you watch the bonus features, the creators make it clear they were intending to make parallels between the outgoing Bush administration and the “V” aliens. Despite their intentions, I think it’s more interesting if a show takes a conservative slant since Hollywood simply never does it. It’s also interesting that people could watch the same show and come away with a completely different interpretation of the message. That, to me, is the most interesting aspect of “V.” “Battlestar Galactica” was great at disguising social commentary as sci-fi, and “V” learned that lesson and repeated it.

If you liked “V,” then this Blu-ray should make you happy. You get the full series in HD, a batch of deleted scenes, commentary on one of the episodes, and a few featurettes. One covers the practical effects in the film like the alien skin, fake human flesh, etc. In another they discuss the visual effects like the spaceships, virtual sets, and other things. The final featurette talks about adapting the original “V” series, the social commentary, and character development.

I’d recommend “V: The Complete First Season” to fans of sci-fi, fans of the original “V,” and fans of “Battlestar Galactica.” I think those people are most likely to enjoy this remake. I got bored with it, but I’m willing to give it another chance.

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