Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Lost - The Complete First Season

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
9 out of 10
Extras Rating:
10 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: TV-14

Starring:
Naveen Andrews as Sayid Jarrah
Emilie de Ravin as Claire Littleton
Matthew Fox as Jack Shephard
Jorge Garcia as Hugo "Hurley" Reyes
Maggie Grace as Shannon Rutherford
Josh Holloway as James "Sawyer" Ford
Malcolm David Kelley as Walt Lloyd
Daniel Dae Kim as Jin Kwon
Yoon-jin Kim as Sun Kwon
Evangeline Lilly as Kate Austin
Dominic Monaghan as Charlie Pace
Terry O'Quinn as John Locke
Harold Perrineau Jr. as Michael Dawson
Ian Somerhalder as Boone Carlyle

Special Features:
Lost Flashbacks -- All-New, Unaired Flashbacks Reveal Additional Secrets

Welcome to Oahu: The Making Of The Pilot -- Behind-The-Scenes Featurette on Lost's Premiere Episode

The Genesis of Lost -- Series' Creators Tell How the Show Was Conceived

Designing a Disaster -- Exciting Insights into The Look of Lost

Before They Were Lost -- Audition Tapes And Personal Stories From The Cast

Commentary by executive producers J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and Bryan Burk on the pilot

Commentary by executive producer Jack Bender, co-executive producer David Fury, and actor Terry O'Quinn on Walkabout

Commentary by executive producers Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk and actor Dominic Monaghan on The Moth

Commentary by executive producer Carlton Cuse, supervising producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach, and actors Maggie Grace and Ian Sommerhalder on Hearts and Minds

The Art of Matthew Fox

Lost at Comic-Con

Lost: On Location

On Set with Jimmy Kimmel

Backstage with DriveShaft

13 deleted scenes

Bloopers from the set

Salute to Lost at the Museum of Television and Radio's 22nd Annual Paley Festival

Lost Scriptscanner

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 1068 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is the description from the DVD cover:

"Get lost in the hottest series of the year. From J.J. Abrams, the creator of Alias, comes the action-packed adventure that became a worldwide television event. Stranded on an island that holds many secrets, 48 people must band together if they hope to get home alive. Now you can experience the nonstop excitement and mystery of every episode, from the show's stunning first minute to its spectacular finale, on a seven-disc set. Presented in a widescreen theatrical format with 5.1 Surround Sound and bursting with more than eight hours of original bonus features -- including unaired Lost flashbacks from the final episode -- Lost is a real find."

Lost - The Complete First Season is rated TV-14.

The Series:
I intended to watch Lost when it first aired on TV, but for whatever reason I missed the pilot episode. Because of that, I was determined not to watch any episodes of it until I could watch them all at once on DVD. Trying to avoid the hype and spoilers was very difficult, but it finally paid off. I was able to have a Lost marathon and watch all of the episodes at once without being spoiled. I was expecting a show that was some sort of combination of Cast Away and Survivor, but that wasn't it at all. While there are certainly elements of both in there, Lost is a heck of a lot more. Most surprising was the supernatural element to the show. I had no idea there were monsters or whatever on the island, so when a giant beast started shaking trees and killing survivors, I was not only pleasantly surprised but thoroughly hooked. This gives the show a Twilight Zone or X-Files feel that is quite unexpected to the uninitiated. Adding to the sci-fi element (which seems to be really underplayed in the promos) is a really solid character drama. The main cast consists of 14 characters, all of which are highlighted at one point or another through flashbacks. I was worried the show would get really stale just being set on an island for 24 episodes, but the flashbacks really allow the series to expand beyond the island and give the characters unexpected and interesting back stories that really hook you and make you care about them. Combine the deep characters with ongoing mysteries and you have a show that's worth tuning in to again and again.

The cast, most of whom are unknowns, is fantastic. I think being unfamiliar with the actors helps bring their characters to life a little bit more since many of them don't have extra baggage of fame with them. One of the most notable is Matthew Fox as Jack Shephard, the hero of the show. It's always nice to have one noble character that audiences can identify with and Jack is it. Evangeline Lilly makes a great love interest for Jack as Kate Austin, a woman with a dark past. She's pretty, mysterious, tough, and a great unknown find for the show. Completing the love triangle is Josh Holloway as James "Sawyer" Ford, the bad boy of the island. Every group of castaways needs a good character to keep tension boiling and Sawyer fits the bill. Also notable are Naveen Andrews as Sayid Jarrah who is a former Iraqi soldier, Emilie de Ravin as the pregnant Claire Littleton, and Jorge Garcia as the large and friendly Hugo "Hurley" Reyes. The most recognizable faces in the cast are Terry O'Quinn as John Locke and Dominic Monaghan (from Lord of the Rings) as Charlie Pace. Locke is a seemingly crazed survivalist with a rather surprising past and Charlie is a former heroin addict and rock star. The two are some of the more colorful characters on the show and rise above their previous fame to establish memorable roles on their resumes.

As much as I have enjoyed Lost, I can still find a few minor nitpicks about it. First off, don't expect any answers to the mysteries any time soon. If the various subplots not being resolved quickly might frustrate you, this isn't the series for you. I just hope the eventual answers deliver good payoff when they are revealed. Another problem with the show is that it focuses on the 14 main characters almost exclusively despite there being over 40 survivors on the island. A black woman, highlighted in the first few episodes, disappears entirely from the show later on. The rest of the characters either wander around aimlessly in the background or just die. (This is even joked about in the season finale.) Maybe they are good characters for spinoff books and comics. Also don't expect the show to have any sort of technical accuracy as far as what marooned survivors would look like, what medical maladies they would face, or how you would construct a raft for an oceanic voyage. Lost is more concerned with story than technical accuracy.

Despite these minor nitpicks, we thoroughly enjoyed the show and are now officially hooked. It's going to be rough watching the second season on regular TV and having to wait a week between episodes. I think if you like dramas, mysteries, romances, or sci-fi movies, you'll find something in Lost that will hook you as well.

The Extras:
The Lost DVD set has some of the best bonus features I've ever seen on a TV series DVD. Here are highlights of what you'll find:

Lost Flashbacks Two unused flashbacks from the season finale are included here. The first shows Claire in the airport talking to the pilot of the doomed aircraft. He reassures her not to believe psychics and that he'll do his best to give her a smooth flight. The second flashback shows Sayid buying a tie in the airport before he goes to meet his long lost love.

Welcome to Oahu: The Making of the Pilot This is probably the most substantial of the bonus features. The half hour feature highlights the scene with the cockpit in the jungle, the polar bear scene, and other major parts of the pilot. There is behind the scenes footage, interviews with the cast and crew and more. I thought it was amusing to see how much trouble they had getting the polar bear to work.

The Genesis of Lost This is a brief featurette talking about how the idea for the show came about. It's kind of amazing to see how it developed from the idea of "Cast Away The Series" to what it is today. It's also interesting to see how they didn't have a script up until the last possible moment. I personally loved how one of the writers won over J.J. Abrams by wearing a Star Wars shirt. He was instantly welcomed into the fraternity of geeks.

Designing a Disaster This feature shows how they took an old airplane, chopped it up, shipped it to Hawaii, and put it on a beach. It's quite an interesting process and one that seems to have been done at the last possible moment.

Before They Were Lost This feature highlights the entire cast and talks about how they were auditioned for the roles. It's interesting to see the actors auditioning for other roles in the show (like the actress who plays Sun auditioning for the role of Kate and Hurley auditioning for Sawyer). You also see how some of the roles were changed or created altogether from scratch based on the personalities of the actors. For example, Charlie was supposed to be much older until they met Monaghan. You also learn that Jack was supposed to be killed early in the pilot and Kate was intended to be the series heroine. Rounding out this feature are the audition tapes of all the main cast members.

Commentary There are four commentaries featuring different cast and crew members. They are for the Pilot, Walkabout, The Moth, and Hearts and Minds. They are all great commentaries filled with all sorts of information. The commentaries with the crew talk a lot more about the story and shooting than the others, but it's all good.

The Art of Matthew Fox Fox, who plays Jack on the series, took a bunch of photos while shooting the pilot for Lost. Many of the candid photos are shown here with him talking about each one of them. It's a unique behind the scenes look at the making of the show.

Lost at Comic-Con This brief feature shows how the pilot was debuted at the San Diego Comic-Con. It's fun to hear Evangeline Lilly talking about how she listened to the crowd's reaction to the show and their visit at the convention.

Lost: On Location While many of the bonus features focus on the pilot, these shorter featurettes focus on specific episodes from the series. One shows them wrangling boars in one show. Another shows them working with bees. It gets a little more in-depth in what is seen in the rest of the series.

On Set with Jimmy Kimmel This is an amusing video from the Jimmy Kimmel show where he visited the set while the series was filming. He hits on Evangeline Lilly, barters with Sawyer, sings with Charlie, and faces the mysterious beast on the island.

Backstage with DriveShaft This feature shows Charlie's band and talks about the origin of their one hit "You All Everybody". It turns out that it was an in-joke started by one of the writers from something he once saw yelled out from an audience member on the Phil Donahue show. It became a catchphrase on the set and was eventually turned into the song.

13 deleted scenes Most of the deleted scenes are rather minor and not missed at all from the show. However, in one funny scene Charlie tries to hint that he's a member of DriveShaft to Maggie Grace and she proceeds to bad mouth the one hit wonders. It's quite funny. Another scene shows why Claire waited so long to name her baby. She was afraid he was going to be taken again.

Bloopers from the set This is your standard blooper reel featuring flubbed lines, forgotten lines, funny faces, and accidents on the set. Everyone has a moment to shine here.

Salute to Lost at the Museum of Television and Radio's 22nd Annual Paley Festival This features a little footage from the Q&A at this festival. Most of the cast is there and it's quite funny to see them all interacting on stage together. They answer some hilarious questions from the audience and generally crack each other up.

The Bottom Line:
If you've followed Lost from the beginning, then you'll want to add this to your collection for the wonderful bonus features. If you've never seen the series, you're in for quite a treat. Buying this DVD is well worth the money.

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