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CSI: Season 5.2 DVD Review

CSI: Season 5.2

June 26, 2006

Director: Richard J. Lewis, Kenneth Fink, Danny Cannon, Nelson McCormick, ,
Starring: William Petersen, Marg Helgenberger, Gary Dourdan, Jorja Fox, George Eads, Eric Szmanda, Robert David Hall, Paul Guilfoyle,

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DVD Review

CSI, Crime Scene Investigation is a popular American TV series 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 T.V. screen with CSI having an edgy fast paced, ultra stylized aesthetic.

Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the world and tourists flock in and out every day, some to try their luck in the casinos, some to try their luck against the Las Vegas Police Department. Crimes are committed, and in steps Crime Scene Investigation team. Using amazing attention to detail, scientific skill and the latest technology, CSI analyze the scene, examine the evidence, follow the clues and piece together what happened to solve the mysteries. There is no such thing as the perfect crime; there is always a trace of the truth left behind.

Regular viewers of Bruckheimer productions won’t be disappointed as the super savvy, super sexy, hip and cool philosophy’s all transfer to television superbly. The quick cuts, clever transitions, funky score, the ghosting flashbacks to what might of happened, the graphic close ups of blood, bodies and body parts, the mixture of dark shadows and nonsensical multi-colored back lighting and tints, gives CSI the highly original feel it rightly deserves. Tag on some dry humour, cheesy one-liners, complex enigmas and the perfect blend of fact and fiction to give the show its lighter elements. The scripts are expertly crafted and paced brilliantly, and even if there are one to many plots to follow at once or an over abundance of technical jargon is spouted at you, audiences will always be trying to devise a conclusion with the CSI team.

Season Five Part Two holds the remaining thirteen episodes of the season at approximately 40 minutes each, and includes a two-part finale episode called Grave Danger, previously available as a separate release (and reviewed here on whatdvd.net ). Grave Danger was not only nominated for an Emmy Award but the story has been devised and also directed by Quentin Tarantino. After responding to a call about body parts being found at a dumpster site, CSI officer Nick Stokes is kidnapped and buried alive in a glass coffin which contains a loaded gun, a tape recorder, a web-cam and a limited amount of oxygen. It’s a personal race against time, right up to the “hold your breath” climax to the season and a rough year for the CSI regular cast. See how the team deal with being split up into day and night shift teams, Greg leaving the lab and now a full time field agent, and Ecklie hovering round the corridors just waiting for someone to slip up.

As the show goes from strength to strength, it very rarely breaks its “you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all” formula and Season 5 is no different, but Season 5 does get more personal, with Nick being buried alive, a whole episode dedicated to Captain Jim Brass who travels to Los Angles to help his daughter and a suspended Sara Sidel is forced to tell Grissom how she feels about him. This second half boxset also brings plenty of guest stars including Aisha Taylor (Friends, Bad Boys), Frank Gorshin (Batman TV series), Tony Curtis (Some Like It Hot) and Donna Murphy (Murder One, Spiderman 2, World Trade Centre) who all seamlessly fit right in around the staples.

Special Features:

As usual on CSI boxsets the commentaries are a mix of patchy bits of behind the scenes information and just saying what your seeing, which is a slight disappointment, as you’d expect more from the crew who spend all year making this show.

The same happens again with the extra titled Producers on the scene and in the lab – and nice but ultimately pointless feature for anyone who has half a brain, as the producers take you through the reasoning for certain procedures and experiments done on the show which should be already obvious for anyone who has watched it.

But saving the extras are two neat little pieces called CSI: Tarantino style and Postmortem: Season 5, the first includes an interview with Tarantino and you get a real sense for his enthusiasm and his vision for what he wanted to do with the show. The second has vox-pops from the main cast and there thoughts on the somewhat controversial direction that CSI Season 5 takes.

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: 73%

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