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CSI: NY: Season 1 part 2 DVD Review

CSI: NY: Season 1 part 2

April 2, 2006

Director: Rob Bailey, Norberto Barba, Danny Cannon, Duane Clark, Emilio Estevez, Tim Hunter,
Starring: Gary Sinise, Melina Kanakaredes, Carmine Giovinazzo, Vanessa Ferlito, Hill Harper, Eddie Cahill, ,

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DVD Review

CSI, Crime Scene Investigation is a popular American TV series, attracting 17 million viewers an episode, that has swept across the world spawning many spin offs, video games, comics, novels and heaps of other merchandise, just like many other American shows such as Buffy, X-Files, 24 etc… So what gives CSI any weight? Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (Bad Boys, Con Air, Pirates of the Caribbean), his movie magic comes to the TV screen with CSI having an edgy fast paced, ultra stylised aesthetic.

In this third conception of CSI, the stories have moved away from the razzle dazzle, high roller, sun-kissed lifestyles of Las Vegas and Miami and placed in the much more dim and gritty location of New York. With a brand new cast and characters and a brand new darker (almost film-noir, in places) style, CSI:NY brings a more grown-up feeling to the franchise.

Gary Sinise (Forrest Gump, Apollo 13) returns in the second half of the first series, as Mac Taylor, ex-marine turned First Grade Detective and in charge of investigating crime scenes, examining evidence and piecing together the clues to resolve the perplexing, peculiar and occasionally primitively brutal murders that take place on the streets of New York. Using amazing attention to detail, scientific skill and the latest technology, the CSI team are back and proving that the evidence never lies.

As with the other CSI incarnations NY follows the familiar structure of a crime is committed or a body is found and two members of the team are called in, as the other two investigate another crime somewhere else and the audience follow both stories to their conclusions. Where CSI:NY excels is its use of New York, as the high rise, claustrophobic atmosphere plays as the perfect backdrop to gangs beating a kid to death in the snowy woods, brides mysteriously dropping dead on their wedding day, sniper helicopters gunning down corrupt police officers and human statues turning out to be dead bodies.

The biggest difference in the new series is that it’s less ‘Bruckheimer’. The familiar CSI traits are here, quick cuts, the flashbacks to what might of happened, the occasional graphic close up, but this time happening under a blue tint and some very sepia looking morgue and autopsy scenes. All of the actors come from excellent television backgrounds such as Friends, Sex in the City, 24, NYPD, Shasta McNasty, Sopranos, and Due South.

In this Season one, part two set, containing episodes 13 -23, watch Second Grade Detective Danny Messer, excellently played by Carmine Giovinazzo, step up a bit more and in the “The Dove Commission” break CSI convention by letting the audience in on a little bit of his past, something the show quite noticeable avoids. This kind of rarity is noticeable in “The Closer” as well and could be accredited to the guest director for both episodes, the Breakfast Clubs Emilio Estevez. As usual though plots are solved in the same episode leaving no room for series spanning crimes or stories and making it demanding to have an emotional attachment to the detectives’ characters.

Special Features

If its commentaries you want, refer back to part one of the series as there is only one commentary for this second half set. But the small features at approximately ten minutes each are pretty good.

A feature called “The worlds largest crime scene”, referring to New York, with a few tidbits on why the city was chosen for the new season and what its like filming there. May have been more prominent on the part one set but still – nice.

Also impressive are the two featurettes on the third disc, as the CSI:NY cast and crew take us through working with animals on the show, including rats, elephants and dogs. Plus the set design team show us the tricks and secrets behind building and filming the main offices for the series. A must see for any fan.

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance

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Rating: 72%

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