TITLE: BREAKING IN - THE COMPLETE SERIES
DVD Release Date: November 6, 2012 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment: Choice Collection)
Color / 2011-12
Packaging: Amaray Case
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 20
Running Time: approx. 564 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Audio: English Dolby Digital
Subtitles and Captioning: None
Special Features: None
We got your back! The series that was canceled and then brought back to life for a second season, but then ultimately canceled again, is now on DVD with all of the unaired episodes! Yes, Breaking In: The Complete Series arrives on a two-disc DVD-R set from Sony Pictures Television’s Choice Collection (Manufacture-onDemand).
Contra Security is not your typical security firm. They have extreme questionable methods to get clients including breaking into other companies' security systems to show their own firm's worth. Led by the peculiar Oz (Christian Slater), Contra hires a crackerjack computer hacker (Bret Harrison) and in season two, they sell out to a global conglomerate overseen by Veronica (Megan Mullally). While Oz and Veronica butt heads over business Team Contra continues to find new and ingenious ways to overcome security systems without disrupting the bottom line in the Complete Series of this quirky comedy.
The series starred Bret Harrison as Cameron Price, Odette Annable as Melanie Garcia, Alphonso McAuley as Cash Spraks, Megan Mullally as Ronnie Mann, Erin Richards as Molly Hughes and Christian Slater as Oz. Recurring are Trevor Moore as Josh Armstrong, Jennifer Irwin as "Creepy" Carol, and Michael Rosenbaum as Dutch Nilbog.
The series produced 20 total episodes for Fox. The first season had 7 and then Fox canceled the series. But in a last minute move, the series was brought back for a second season and ordered for 13 episodes. However, only five episodes aired before Fox pulled the plug. So we have eight never before seen episodes here. We get all of those episodes on this DVD-R set. This DVD-R set is going in airdate order. For the second season, I wish they went in production order because one of the unaired episodes is the second episode produced and it doesn’t make sense to have later on in the season.
Some memorable episodes include the series premiere, “Pilot,” as Cameron, a talented computer hacker, gets caught hacking into a college's computer system to give himself full scholarship for life, he is drafted by Oz to work for him at Contra Security, where he meets Melanie Garcia, Cash and Josh Armstrong, who are then sent on an assignment to test the security at a car dealer by stealing a Lamborghini. In "Tis Better to Have Loved and Flossed," the team is assigned to break into an "old lady's house," but discover that the job is more complicated than it appears, and may have a connection to Oz, while Cameron decides to give up his crush on Melanie, and quickly meets a dentist named Amy (special guest star Alyssa Milano). In “Need for Speed,” the team is hired to help NASCAR Champion, Jimmie Johnson, find out who has interfered with his headset used to communicate with the pit, while Dutch is called in to help with the job. And on the first season finale, “21.0 Jump Street,” the team is called to secure the house of famous boxer Mike Tyson, while Cam is assigned to deal with a case of high school bullying and he quickly meets with his unknown high school sweetheart but thinks he finishes his job until the victim Leslie comes back after obviously being bullied.
The second season saw many changes, including the addition of Megan Mullally and Odette Annable now only a special guest star (as she went to co-star on House). On the season premiere, “Contra Club,” the team is introduced to Contra's new sassy receptionist Veronica "Ronnie" Mann, while Cam, Mel and Cash start to wonder why Oz is being so nice to Ronnie and after they see Oz in a meeting with "Creepy" Carol they go out with Carol to find out what is happening. In “The Blind Sided,” as the team searches for a computer hacker, Oz worries when Veronica allows a young teen to become the office's new intern claiming that he is a clepto, while Cam and Melanie have an awkward night on a stake-out trying to find the hacker and after some fighting they end up having sex...three times and Oz later tells Cam that she loves him but she hates love and that she has left the company and Cam. In one of the unaired episodes, “Chasing Amy and Molly,” when Molly discovers that she is being deported, the office plan a fake wedding for her so she can stay in America, while Oz discovers that he is still married to Amy (Alyssa Milano) he goes home to ask her to sign the divorce papers but she refuses. In “The Nat’ral,” Cam is at his house alone when someone tries to break in. and when he opens the door he sees Melanie! Everything is going fine and Melanie has intentions to return and date Cameron, but Molly returns home and Melanie finds out that Cameron and Molly are married!
Guest stars include Alyssa Milano, Jimmie Johnson, Ted McGinley, Ali Wong, Michael Blaiklock, Mike Tyson, Fred Willard, James Gunn and Tony Hawk. Each episode seems unedited between 21-22 minutes. The runtimes are as follows:
1. Pilot (21:09)
2. Tis Better to Have Loved and Flossed (21:32)
3. Need for Speed (21:38)
4. White on White on White (21:19)
5. Take the Movie and Run (21:14)
6. Breaking Out (21:15)
7. 21.0 Jump Street (22:02)
8. The Contra Club (21:38)
9. Who’s the Boss? (21:40)
10. The Blind Sided (21:38)
11. Games of Jones (21:37)
12. Cyrano de Nerdgerac (21:33)
13. Cash of the Titans (21:01)
14. Double Dragon (21:38)
15. The Legend of Hurley's Gold (21:40)
16. Chasing Amy and Molly (21:40)
17. The Hungover (21:34)
18. Heathers (21:40)
19. The Nat'ral (21:39)
20. Episode XIII (21:38)
The packaging comes in a standard Amaray case and similar to previous Sony Choice Collection sets like Emily’s Reasons Why Not. A cast photo featuring Megan Mullally and Christian Slater is on the cover art with half the faces of Bret Harrison, Odette Annable, Alphonso McAuley and Erin Richards is on the bottom. The show logo and The Complete Series mention are both above this cast photo. The back of the case has about five episodic images along with a bigger photo of Slater & Mullally, with short synopsis of the series and the DVD specs are provided. The same photo of Slater & Mullally on the back cover art is featured on the spine of the case. Inside the case, there is no artwork, just plain black. It would have been great if they included some episode summaries or additional photos (the more Odette Annable, the better!). The discs just have a plain white background, with the Breaking In logo. Generic!
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menu is very basic like other Sony Choice collection (MOD) titles. It just has various televisions in the background with a blue/green tint. They've used this same generic menu on other Sony on demand releases like Emily’s Reasons Why Not. They couldn’t just insert a cast photo (or a hot photo of Odette?), even if it was just the same one as the cover art? The episode titles are listed vertically in a teal box on the left side of the screen. There's a "Play All Episodes" option or you can view the episodes individually. A film canister type icon is next to the option you highlight that turns yellow upon your selection. Unfortunately, there are no chapter stops within the episodes, which is disappointing to me.
Video and Audio Quality:
This DVD set is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media, as we mentioned. Thus, the packaging notes that this disc is expected to play back in DVD Video "Play only" devices, and may not play in other DVD devices, including recorders and PC drives. The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. It looks good to me but not as good as some recent series, as you can see from the screenshots. For the closing logo enthusiasts, we get: Sony Pictures Television and Happy Madison Productions.
The audio is an English Dolby Digital track. It sounds fine and it should for a series that premiered 2 years ago. So there is nothing to worry about here. Unfortunately though, there are no subtitles or closed captioning on any of the episodes. Pretty standard and basic, but both audio and video are very good here. I want to see Odette Annable in HD, though!
Unfortunately, there are no special features included, just like the other Sony Choice Collection (MOD) titles. This is usually the case
with these on manufactured on demand type releases. You just get the episodes here, which are fine I guess, especially for a show that was canned after two seasons and had nine unaired episodes. No expectations.
So I finally got to see those unaired episodes. I liked the first season better since it was more fun, but it was good to see the relationship between Cam and Melanie develop, but it sucked she left (since Odette Annable was cast on House, since Breaking In was canceled momentarily). It was nice to see her make a few special guest appearances in season two, though! She on the first four episodes produced for the season and came back for one final appearance on episode 12 for the season, which was never seen on TV. We get to see episodes 6-13 finally for season two! One of them is the second appearance of Alyssa Milano as Amy.
I’m glad this series was released on DVD. Even if it’s just a MOD DVD-R release, it’s still something! This set has flaws, but I think it is expected since it is a cheapened set. The audio and video are not affected much. They both are very good. Packaging and menus need improving though, but that’s not a major issue. Special features are never expected on MOD stuff, so if we even got something it would have been surprising. This is definitely a release for just the episodes and you get those! I think this show would have lasted if it aired on the actual Fox comedy block they have right now. It would have done about the same as their other Tuesday comedies. It’s a good show and wacky fun. It’s always good to look at Odette Annable’s stunning face and body, and then Megan Mullally brought her enthusiasm to the show in season two. As the theme song says, “We got your back,” so have their back and get this series on DVD. It is good fun, even if you’ve never watched it before, it is worth it!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 2/5
-- Reviewed by Pavan on 01/20/13
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