TITLE: LOST - THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON - THE JOURNEY BACK: EXPANDED EDITION
DVD Release Date: December 8, 2009 (ABC Studios/Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 5
Number of Episodes: 16 (17 hours)
Running Time: 731 minutes
Total Running Time of Special Features: approx. 114 minutes of extras + 86 minutes of audio commentaries
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, Spanish, French languages and subtitles; Closed Captioned
• Audio Commentaries from Crew on 2 episodes
• “LOST on Location” - on 7 different episodes
• “Making Up for LOST Time”
• “Mysteries of the Universe”
• “An Epic Day with Richard Alpert”
• “LOST Bloopers”
• “8 Deleted Scenes”
• “Building 23 and Beyond with Michael Emerson”
We have to go back! After season four, we saw six of our castaway’s leave the island and the fate of the others were in jeopardy, especially Jin. Everything changes in season five and time travel plays a key role in the season. Will Jack, Kate, Sun, Sayid, and Hurley go back to the island? What about little Aaron? How does Locke die? Is he alive again? These are just some of the questions answered in the explosive and shocking fifth season of LOST now on DVD from ABC Studios!
In this fifth season DVD, we have a nice five-disc set with deleted scenes and an incredible vault of exclusive bonus features. The episode story of LOST twists, turns, and time-shifts like no other show, so that is why Matt Roush of TV Guide says “you’d be crazy not to watch.” And don’t forget the sixth and final season premieres on ABC on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 9PM ET, as the show moves to a new night!
“Lost” season five stars Naveen Andrews as Sayid, Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond, Jeremy Davies as Daniel Faraday, Michael Emerson as Ben, Matthew Fox as Jack, Jorge Garcia as Hurley, Josh Holloway as Sawyer, Daniel Dae Kim as Jin, Yunjin Kim as Sun, Ken Leung as Miles, Evangeline Lilly as Kate, Rebecca Mader as Charlotte, with Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet, and Terry O’Quinn as Locke. Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert recurs.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
This season was excellent. We got 17 hours of very interesting stories, including the shocking two-hour season finale! Each episode is needed to be watched as the season is intense and addicting and of course serialized. I will relay my favorites of the 17, though I love them all! In the season premiere, “Because You Left,” as a result of Ben moving the island, the survivors left on the island begin skipping through time; meanwhile, three years later in Los Angeles, Ben starts convincing the Oceanic 6 to return to the island. In part two of the season premiere, “The Lie,” while Ben and Jack try to round the Oceanic 6 up, Sayid and Hurley are on the run from the law; meanwhile, back on the island, the survivors, still skipping through time, come under attack. In “316” Eloise explains that the Oceanic 6 have a very limited window to return to the island, and leaves Jack instructions to bring one of his father's items to John Locke. In “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham,” John Locke, now alive again and back on the island after the second plane crash, flashes back to his return to civilization, where he is brought in by Charles Widmore and asked to convince the Oceanic 6 to return to the island. In “LaFleur,” the survivors left on the island, now led by Sawyer after Locke's departure, find themselves back in the 1970s, where they are now forced to become members of the Dharma Initiative. In “Namaste,” Jack, Kate and Hurley wind up on the island in 1977, where they meet up with Sawyer and also join the Dharma Initiative; meanwhile, Sun is stuck on the island in the present with Ben and the other passengers after the plane crash. In “Whatever Happened, Happened,” Jack refuses to help save young Ben after Sayid shoots him, so Sawyer and Kate turn to Richard Alpert for help; meanwhile, what Sawyer said to Kate on the chopper is revealed, as well as what Kate did with Aaron before the flight. In “The Variable,” Faraday returns to the island and tells Jack that his mother, Eloise Hawking, lied to them--they don't belong on the island. He then initiates a dangerous plan to get them back home. On the two-hour season finale, “The Incident,” Jack and Sayid's plan faces resistance from Sawyer, Juliet, and Kate in 1977 while in 2007 Ben and The Others/Hostiles reach Jacob at the Foot of the Statue, and are soon met by the 316 survivors, who reveal the contents of their mysterious package.
Recurring stars include Jeff Fahey as Frank Lapidus, L. Scott Caldwell as Rose, Sam Anderson as Bernard, John Terry as Christian Shephard, Alan Dale as Charles Widmore, Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert, Sonya Walger as Penny Widmore, Doug Hutchison as Horace Goodspeed, François Chau as Pierre Chang, Patrick Fischler as Phil, Eric Lange as Stuart Radzinsky, Zuleikha Robinson as Ilana, Jon Gries as Roger Linus, Sterling Beaumon as Young Ben, Reiko Aylesworth as Amy and Fionnula Flanagan as Eloise Hawking. Other guest stars include Cheech Marin, Susan Duerden, Lance Reddick, and Brad William Henke.
Former regular cast members return for guest spots: Malcolm David Kelley as Walt, William Mapother as Ethan, Tania Raymonde as Alex, Marsha Thomason as Naomi, and Michelle Rodriguez as Ana Lucia.
The packaging is very good and similar to the previous sets. It is a nice slip sleeve that is easy to take out and put back in. On the front of the slip sleeve is the “Lost” logo in aqua blue color with buildings surrounding it. Underneath that we see a nice cast photo with Ben, Sawyer, Kate, Jack, Sun, Hurley, Desmond, Locke, Charlotte, Sawyer, Juliet, Faraday, and Miles. Jin is missing. Beneath that it says “The Complete Fifth Season, The Journey Back - Expanded Edition” and has the number “5” below that (for season five of course) surrounded by palm trees. We have a nice blue and white color scheme this season. White indicates the flashes that happen early on this season. The back of the sleeve has more of the blue and white color and buildings and palm trees in the background and three different episodic photos from the show. Below that, there is a synopsis of the show and set. There is also a nice darker blue box highlighting the bonus features on this set and technical specifications.
When we take the slip sleeve out, we get to the case. The front of the case has the same cast photo from the slip sleeve, but it is bigger. The back of the case has five nice high quality photos with again a blue color scheme and palm trees in the background. When we open the case once, on the left side we see a pocket holder for inserts with the show logo and disc-by-disc breakdown. The first insert is about ABC Studios’ other TV on DVD products, ABC.com Music Lounge, Lost the Official Magazine, and more. The second insert is a Blu-ray disc catalog that seems old. The final insert tells you how to save $20 from this Lost Season 5 DVD. On the actual case where the booklet goes, we see the thing Eloise Hawking used to find the island is now in the background. On the ride side we have four nice color photos with those palm trees in the background. Discs one and two are in the middle panel. Opening once more, we now see discs three & four on one panel and discs five & six on the far right panel.
Like the previous sets, the discs are overlapped with two other discs. I hate overlapping, but why change now since all seasons have been like that? Each disc fits the blue and white color scheme. Once again the disc artworks are of items from the season. Disc 1 has the donkey wheel Ben used to move the island and the disc holds episodes 1-3. Disc 2 has what looks like Eloise Hawking’s station and holds episodes 4-7. Disc 3 has artwork of the Jughead bomb and holds episodes 8-11. Disc 4 has the back of that huge statue on the island and holds episodes 12-15. And disc 5 has artwork of that compass exchanged by Alpert and Locke and holds the season finale and all of the bonus features. Wow! When you remove the discs, we are continued with artwork of the thing Eloise uses to find the island.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are again perfect for this show. Just like the show, they are mysterious and attractive. We are first started with the quick theme used on the opening title screen then we get to the main menu. Again, each menu screen is different on each disc and has nice background music and sound effects. Disc 1 has a shot of inside of Hurley’s microwave at his house with the hot pocket inside! Disc 2 has a shot of the Jughead bomb. Disc 3 has a shot of Locke lying on the ground at night in Tunisia. Disc 4 has a shot of the ‘70s Dharma-ville. And disc 5 has a shot of the back of the huge statue on the island. The menu options are Episodes, Bonus Features, Set Up, Play All, and Sneak Peek. Bonus Features are only on the discs with commentaries and of course the final disc. Set Up has where we can change the Audio Options (English, French or Spanish), turn on the Captions (English, French or Spanish), how to Register Your DVD, and Return to Episode. The Episodes option takes you to the episode menu screen, where we can choose which episode by episode title. Each time we select episodes or any other sub menu, the great background music from the show plays. Sneak Peeks has more ABC/Disney related promos/trailers such as a promo for LOST: The Final Season on ABC. Auto trailers play before the main menu on disc one and we get ABC on DVD/Blu-ray, Everybody’s Fine, and Surrogates.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video is in Widescreen and the audio is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, but there is actually an option to change it to 2.0 for whatever reason again. Spanish is only in 2.0 but French is in 5.1. I really like the widescreen on the DVDs and it looks great again for this set! I have HDTV at home, so I’m used to better, but I don’t have a Blu-ray player. There are chapter stops for each episode, usually 7 or 8 per episode. Each episode runs mainly about 43 minutes, give or take a few seconds. Nothing is edited and if there were, it would be a disgrace since this season just aired from Jan-May 2009. ABC/Buena Vista is always great with their shows on DVD, especially the current ones, so not to worry LOST fans. Original music, which is in some episodes during the closing scene, is all intact I believe. The season finale, which originally aired as a two-hour episode, is in its two-hour form at over 86 minutes. Also of note, we get to watch the actual closing credits again! On the network airings, they are in split screen form with ABC promos for the following week on the right side. The closing credits are about 36-38 seconds and have a nice touch to it. The following are the episode runtimes:
1. “Because You Left” (43:06)
2. “The Lie” (42:13)
3. “Jughead” (43:08)
4. “The Little Prince” (43:09)
5. “This Place is Death” (43:10)
6. “316” (43:12)
7. “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” (46:26) - originally extended on ABC
8. “LaFleur” (43:04)
9. “Namaste” (43:09)
10. “He’s Our You” (42:31)
11. “Whatever Happened, Happened” (43:13)
12. “Dead is Dead” (43:07)
13. “Some Like it Hoth” (43:12)
14. “The Variable” (43:09)
15. “Follow the Leader” (43:07)
16/17. “The Incident” (86:05)
Now to the special features! The first four seasons had everything we could imagine for that time...season five is not a let down at all but we don’t have as much as usual. The set has over 3 hours worth of bonus materials, including audio commentary, but that is below normal for a LOST set. Still, quality over quantity matters.
We have only two audio commentaries on this set, as normally a set would have four episodes with audio commentaries. On disc one there is audio commentary for the season premiere “Because You Left” from executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. Before the commentary starts, there is a disclaimer saying watch out for spoilers! Damon reveals lots of spoilers from later in season five, so you need to watch all the episodes first then come back to this one listen to the commentary. That Damon! The final audio commentary is on disc three for the episode “He’s Our Your.” Commenting on this episode is executive producers/writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. There is no spoiler warning on this one, so it is safe...but just watch all 17 first then come back to this one just in case. All of the commentaries can be accessed in the bonus features option on their respective discs. Now to the big stuff ... the actual disc with the real extras ... disc five!
First up we have, “Making Up for LOST Time,” which runs 13:47. Find out how the time shifting back and forth is done! Interviewed are Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Francis Chau, Diane Frauenholtz (script supervisor), Lizabeth Maggini-MacKay (key set costumer), Tim Beach (art director), Aaron Milsap (set costumer), Jean Higgins (co-executive producer), Jonathan A. Carlson (production designer), Paul Zybszewski (supervising producer), Carol Bayne Kelley (set decorator), Elizabeth Sarnoff (co-executive producer), Jack Bender (executive producer), Daniel Dae Kim, Rebecca Mader, Stephen Williams (co-executive producer), Alan Dale, Michael Emerson, Adam Horowitz (executive producer), Doreen F. Schultz (department head hair stylist), Greggory Nations (co-producer/script coordinator), Melinda Hsu Taylor (co-producer), Edward Kitsis (executive producer), Steve Laporte (make-up dept. head), Jeremy Davies, Ken Leung, Yunjin Kim, and Naveen Andrews.
Then next we have a VERY cool featurette called “Mysteries of the Universe.” It runs 26:13 and was originally an ABC.com special this past season. This was fictitious TV series that aired on ABC in 1982. It almost looks very real, too. Good job to whoever thought of this and made it. This fake show looked at mysteries of the universe, and among them were the Dharma Initiative. You won’t want to skip this one, it is cool and interesting! You even get a 1982 ABC bumper ID in the beginning and towards the middle there is a promo for a “new series” on ABC called Matt Houston! So cool and creative idea by ABC Studios!
Next up we have the “Lost: On Location” featurettes. We get behind the scenes on a scene or two being produced. This season we have on location segments from 7 episodes. I won’t spoil anything, but here are the episodes featured and who were interviewed. “The Lie” (4:18) has interviews with Jennings Fowler (production staff), Michael Trisler (stunt coordinator), Sean Whalen (played Frogurt), Rebecca Mader, Josh Holloway, Ken Leung, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Kim Koscki (stunt double). Next up is “The Little Prince” (5:14) and has interviews with Brian Vollert (key rigging group), Dustin Gomes (assistant location manager), Tommy Lohmann (camera operator), Stephen Williams (director), Mark “Kiki” Kalaugher (chief lighting tech.), Adam House (rigging gaffer), Archie K. Kahuna (special effects supervisor), Victor Lozano (marine coordinator), Chris Barnes (lead painter), Tim Beach (art director), Ken Leung and Josh Holloway. For the episode “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” (6:15), interviewed are Conrad Palmisano (stunt driver), Michael Trisler (stunt coordinator), Richard Gershman (1st assistant director), Jack Bender (director), Jim Triplett (associate producer/location manager), Ane Tranetzki (best boy grip), Hubie Kerns (stunt double/driver), and Terry O’Quinn. Next up is the episode “Namaste” (4:49), interviewed are Jorge Garcia, Paul Zybszewski (supervising producer/writer), Evangeline Lilly, John Bartley (director of photography), Elizabeth Mitchell and Francis Chau. Then we have the episode “He’s Our You” (4:48), interviewed on location are Norman Kali (2nd assistant director), Josh Holloway, Elizabeth Mitchell, Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz, Archie K. Kahuna (special effects supervisor) and Evangeline Lilly. Next we have the episode “Whatever Happened, Happened,” (4:58) and we have interviews with Sterling Beaumon (young Ben), Damon Lindelof, Elizabeth Mitchell, Josh Holloway, Carla Bowen (2nd assistant director), Carlton Cuse, and Nestor Carbonell. Finally, we have a location special on the season finale “The Incident” (7:12) and interviewed are Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof, Jack Bender, Matthew Fox, Josh Holloway, Tim Beach (art director), Jean Higgins (co-exec producer), Rob Kyker (prop master), Archie K. Kahuna (special effects supervisor), Michael Trisler (stunt coordinator), and Mark Pellegrino (Jacob).
Then we have the tour guide special “An Epic Day with Richard Alpert” (12:14). On this we see what actor Nestor Carbonell does on one full day of shooting. This shooting was on April 1, 2009, which was the season finale. It is very interesting and a very long day! Then we have another tour featurette, titled “Building 23 and Beyond” (12:00). This featurette is a behind the scenes look at building 23 at ABC/Disney offices in Burbank, CA. If you recall, the offices were toured by Evangeline Lilly on the season three DVD, now Michael Emerson heads to Burbank to tour these offices! He sees and meets so many people for the first time!
Deleted Scenes (13:04): We get eight deleted scenes here. I can’t really talk about them until you see them yourself. It is always neat to see what was cut for time or cut in general. If it was cut for time, I wish they would put them in the actual episode where it belongs. We get one less deleted scene than the last set, but these scenes are longer in length.
LOST Bloopers (3:48): Hilarious flubs and mistakes from almost the entire cast. It is fun to watch and it isa big longer than the last set’s bloopers.
A LOST DVD never disappoints, but this one doesn’t have as many special features as we are used to. But what they have still rivals anything in quality. I look forward to this set every year and have a blast watching. I take an entire day nearly out of this and love it! Too bad I only have one more to do of these next year, as the series will end this season. There were just a few flaws, such as the overlapping discs, like always, and the quantity of the extras was down a bit...but quality is never questioned. Other than that, once again this set deserves many awards. That “Mysteries of the Universe” extra is in the same league as last season’s “The Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lie” extra. Both are genius special features and I can’t choose which is better! Both are a must watch! Season 6, the final season, will start airing on ABC starting February 2, so re-watch or watch for the first time before the season starts. By the time you finish reading this review and watching the set, you’ll want to party like it is 1977...or 1974...or 2007. Whatever year it is, LOST is one of the finest shows ever!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 4/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 12/12/09
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