J.D. Lafrance
CSI: Miami: Season 3.1 DVD Review

CSI: Miami: Season 3.1

June 5, 2006

Director: Duane Clark, Fred Keller, Scott Lautanen,
Starring: David Caruso, Emily Procter, Adam Rodriguez, Khandi Alexander, Sofia Milos, Jonathan Togo,

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DVD Review

J.D. Lafrance

CSI, Crime Scene Investigation is a popular American T.V. 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, producing a cop show with a difference.

In 2000, CSI took T.V. to new levels and then just 2 years later came its first spin-off, moving the action from Las Vegas to a more open spaced, brighter colored, tropical, sun-kissed location of Miami. Amongst the bikinis, palm trees, sun-cream and shades lurks an evil that’s never on holiday. Murder! In steps the Crime Scene Investigation team. Using amazing attention to detail, scientific skill and the latest technology, Head Criminologist, Horatio Caine (Caruso) leads his unit to analyze the scenes, examine the evidence, follow the clues and piece together what happened to solve the complex enigmas. There is no such thing as the perfect crime; there is always a trace of the truth left behind.

Regular viewers of Bruckheimer films won’t be disappointed as the extra savvy, super sexy, hip and cool philosophies all transfer to television superbly. The quick cuts, slow motion, clever transitions, funky score, the ghosting flashbacks to what might have happened, the graphic close ups of blood, bodies and body parts, mixing in with orange (sunny) tinted establishing montages and nonsensical multi-colored interior lighting, gives CSI: Miami, the highly original feel it rightly deserves.

The stories use the Miami town to its advantage and have several water/sea/everglades plots and this season 3 box set throws a few surprises up including the death of a regular character in the first episode and his impressive replacement in episode three. There’s even an extraordinary hour long episode in which Miami is hit by a tsunami, which is essential viewing for all, and makes good use of computer and special effects and is sheer entertainment. We are even treated to, what looks like, some series spanning story arcs when Detective Salas shows up to work with a black eye and also with the growing relationship between Caine and State Attorney Rebecca Nevins. However Miami does fail where both CSI and CSI: NY has prevailed, regarding the smooth delivery of dialogue. David Caruso’s smarmy one-liners are so dry that they whiz right past cheesy, charming and humorous and straight to groan-out-loud twaddle and seriously spoil an otherwise relatively faultless show.

After the atrocity that was Session 9, David Caruso is lucky to still be in work and really needed to pull something special out of the bag and, with some nice talent backing him up, just about manages it but in comparison to Gill Grissom (CSI) or Mac Taylor (CSI: NY) is a lackluster leading man.

Watch out for plenty of special guests from around the world of American television and the occasional “the moral of story is” type speech unnecessarily shoved to the foreground in what is (apart from the odd gem) the worst season of the least impressive incarnation of CSI, but is still damn fine television and way above most of the crap clogging up the idiot box.

Special Features:

As with the other CSI commentaries, the actors do not feature on them and are a patchy mix of informative tidbits and just saying what’s happening on the screen. Although fans might like the commentary on the stand out episode of the set “Crime Wave.”

Two small features which are remarkable good: Deep Blue Sea shows us the behind scenes of the more individual element of CSI: Miami, the underwater investigations. The Special Effects feature is well put together showing scenes involving explosions, stunts and computer effects. It cover the whole of season 3 briefly but mainly focuses on “Crime Wave” (the tsunami episode), which rightly deserves the extra attention.

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


Rating: 65%



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