Tagged: season 1

Lost: Season 1 & Season 2 Blu-ray

Let’s dispense with the obvious stuff. If you’re reading this website and this review, then you already know what Lost is and what it’s about.

And what you really want to know is, why should I upgrade my perfectly good Lost DVDs to the new Blu-ray collections? The answer: because it’s just so doggone pretty!

Seriously, Lost is one of the most ideal made-for-Blu-ray TV shows of all time. Filmed to take advantage of countless gorgeous vistas in Hawaii, Lost is simply stunning at full 1080p resolution. The crisp, lush jungles, the warm, inviting beaches, the beautiful blue ocean. Lost on Blu-ray is as much an advertisement for Hawaii as it is the best format for watching the best show on TV.

I have to admit, though, I was skeptical at first. Having recently begun rewatching Lost all the way back from Season 1, I’ve been deeply impressed with just how sharp the transfer is on my old DVDs. Usually watching DVD-quality picture on a high-def TV screen results in annoying pixelization or fuzzy, low-res eyesores. But the Lost DVDs somehow transcend this, with some of the highest quality and highest resolution image transfers I’ve ever seen on DVD.

So it was going to take a lot to convince me that the Blu-ray experience would not only exceed the DVDs, but prove worthy of handing over another wad of cash to own a bunch of TV episodes I already have. After all, the Season 1 and Season 2 Blu-ray collections contain all of the same bonus features that the DVD collections contain (which we Lostaholics have already watched more than once), with just a couple of added niceties.

As for those new bits, you’ll find the best-possible picture quality, completely digitally remastered just for this release, and uncompressed 5.1 surround sound. There are “enhanced menus” which aren’t really all that different than the DVD menus, and one truly worthwhile addition called “SeasonPlay,” which lets you watch through the entire season, without stopping, and with no credits or other distractions. It’s perfect for those who want to enjoy an entire “volume” of the show from start to finish, with no credits or anything else to get in the way. One episode simply flows right into the next, seamlessly, and once you see it, it becomes the ultimate way of watch the show. It also “bookmarks” your place on the disc when you eject it, and then continues from that point when you put it back in.

Both collections do include a bevy of fantastic extra features, and if you don’t already own the DVDs, the bonuses are worth the price of the collections alone. Go behind the scenes of the making of the show, dig into the thoughts and motivations of the major characters, and listen to the creators and writers explain how the show is conceived week to week. It’s endlessly fascinating, and it’s like crack for making-of junkies like me.

Bottom line: no true Lost fan’s collection will be complete without the Blu-ray collections, which showcase the show in the most authentic, most stunningly beautiful way. Just don’t expect any genuine exclusives to the format.

Images: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

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LOST: Messages From the Island

Lost: Messages from the Island is a gorgeous, full-color, 176-page coffee table book from Titan Books, the same folks that publish The Official Lost Magazine. The short description is that the book compiles the best feature articles from the magazine’s coverage of the first two seasons of the show.

But that hardly does it justice. Messages from the Island is a behind-the-scenes, “making of” junkie’s dream come true. The book has interviews with every member of the entire original cast — and several newcomers that joined in Season 2 — and many of the show’s production crew as well, all of whom talk about the origins of the show and reveal little-known secrets about how it first came together. As such, it makes a perfect companion to any Lost fan’s DVD or Blu-ray collection, since it bears the “official” Lost seal, so to speak.

I particularly enjoyed the separate interviews with Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, who both detail their origins with the show, what a typical day is like for them, and their overall philosophies for how they make the show work. But my favorite parts of the book are the conceptual designs, floor plans, never-before-seen images, and storyboards that show just how much thought, planning, and details go into creating everything on Lost. One feature shows off pictures of the Swan station set, and the attention to detail inside that pivotal location is fascinating. Another shows off side-by-side comparisons of a high-tension moment that has storyboards on one side and stills from the final episode on the other. It’s probably the closest thing we’ll ever get to a true, fully illustrated production diary from the show.

The only caveat I can find is that all of the book’s content is drawn from magazine articles written about Seasons 1 and 2. (Presumably materials from the other four seasons’ worth of magazines is being saved for additional volumes.) Needless to say, all of the book’s content feels quite dated. On the other hand, it is pretty nifty to effectively have a “time capsule” look back at the show’s earliest days, when the cast and crew were excited and full of optimism about Lost’s popularity, yet had no idea where the story was going.

A must-have for all true Losties.

Image: Copyright 2009 ©Titan Books.

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