Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

The Mentalist: The Complete First Season

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
7 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Simon Baker as Patrick Jane
Robin Tunney as Teresa Lisbon
Tim Kang as Kimball Cho
Owain Yeoman as Wayne Rigsby
Amanda Righetti as Grace Van Pelt
Gregory Itzin as Virgil Minelli
Chris Tallman as Carl Resnick
Rebecca Rigg as Felicia Scott
Maxine Bahns as Jane's Wife

Special Features:
Meet Cast and Creators to Uncover Evidence of a Hit Series
Cracking the Crystal Ball: Mentalist Vs. Psychic - The Question of Superior Mental Acuity Vs. Keen Observation
Unaired Scenes on 3 Key Episodes
Gag Reel

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Portuguese Language
English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, and Thai Subtitles
Running Time: 998 Minutes

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

"'A mentalist is a master manipulator of thought and behavior.' The mentalist is Patrick Jane (Simon Baker in an acclaimed performance), a celebrity psychic whose wife and child are viciously murdered by an elusive serial killer called Red John. Devastated, Patrick admits his paranormal act is fake, renounces his earlier life and uses his astonishing skills of observation and analysis - talents that made him appear psychically gifted - to bring killers to justice. At crime scenes across California, Patrick now helps an elite team of detectives break their toughest cases. But no matter how many criminals he catches, Patrick never forgets his central goal: Find Red John. And bring him down."

"The Mentalist: The Complete First Season" is not rated.

Mini-Review:
It seems like half the shows on TV these days are murder mysteries. The only difference between them is the unique hook each of them has. For "The Mentalist," the hook is that Simon Baker as Patrick Jane solves crimes using his keen powers of observation. Whether it's watching human behavior or notice little details in the environment, he picks up those signs that helps point him to the real killer. This is actually the same hook as another show entitled "Psych." The difference is that "Psych" is a comedy murder mystery while "The Mentalist" is a drama murder mystery with little touches of comedy. And on "Psych" the hero is masquerading as a psychic while on "The Mentalist" Jane is a former psychic. Between the two, "Psych" is much more fun, but "The Mentalist" does have its strong points.

"The Mentalist" sinks or swims based on the performance of Simon Baker as Patrick Jane He's a good looking fellow, but he does have charm and intelligence to back it up. Jane has a bit of a dark side that makes him interesting, too. He's a skeptic and an atheist so much of what he does has a touch of cynicism to it. Jane also used his psychic act to help the police track down a serial killer by the name of Red John. Red John, in turn, murdered Jane's wife and child in retaliation before getting away. Jane finds himself driven to outsmart Red John and bring him to justice. The Red John storyline helps to give the series an underlying storyline that's more satisfying than the standard 'murder of the week' formula. It's kind of like the hunt for the One Armed Man in "The Fugitive." Each episode has its own adventure, but each week you tune in to see if Jane is that much closer to catching Red John. (In fact, every episode has 'red' in its title - Red Tide, Ladies in Red, Redwood, Red Handed, etc.)

While Baker bears much of the responsibility for the show working, he does have a pretty good supporting cast. Robin Tunney as Teresa Lisbon is noteworthy because she's a romantic interest for Jane while simultaneously butting heads with him. But Amanda Righetti as Grace Van Pelt also stands out, not only because of her good looks or her character's rookie status, but because her Christian faith often puts her at odds with the bitter Patrick Jane. It adds to some fireworks for the show that you don't typically see on TV.

Anybody that loves murder mysteries should enjoy "The Mentalist." The combination of Simon Baker, clever murder mysteries, and the ongoing serial killer storyline make it worth checking out.

The bonus features are rather minor. There's a 'making of' featurette, three brief deleted scenes, and a gag reel. There's also a featurette on mentalism vs observation which is kind of funny since they show people that profess to be real psychics.

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