24: Season 8 - The Complete Final Season Blu-ray Revie

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24: Season 8 - The Complete Final Season Blu-ray Review
By Rachel Cericola three stars

The Film

After eight seasons, Fox pulled the plug on the action-adventure series, 24. Of course, after all those years, the show had lost a few fans and some of the stories weren't as sharp as they used to be. When it came down to it, though, Jack Bauer and his highly technological crew were just kind of expensive.

Still, 24 made Jack Bauer a household name. People that have never seen an episode of the show know he is one badass hero. Also, star Kiefer Sutherland made quite a comeback for himself, both on and off the set. Both could keep that momentum going, if the rumored 24 movie ever makes it to the big screen.

For now, 24: Season 8 - The Complete Final Season has wrapped up Jack's small screen adventures. Picking up 18 months after season seven, it's now day 8 in 24-land. Don't even try to attempt that math. What's more puzzling is that our beloved Jack Bauer seems to be getting soft. Say it ain't so! Well, it ain't. While the big guy does express an interest in taking it easy, putting up his feet behind a security desk, and watching his new granddaughter flip through her favorite cartoons, that lasts for about a whole 10 minutes of the very first episode. The only problem is a little assassination plot, which brings Jack back, along with Mary Lynn Rajskub, Anil Kapoor, sci-fi fave Katee Sackhoff, and Freddie Prinze, Jr.

While the assassination is just a miniscule portion of this 24-episode set, know that Jack Bauer can't go out with anything less than a bang. That is the main focus here, thankfully, because some of the subplots and characters (Dana? President Taylor?) sort of bring down the awesomeness of Jack Bauer's big finale.

When it comes to TV shows, the eighth season is rarely the best, and that's the case with 24. That said, it's certainly a fitting finale. There are plenty of moments that drag in 24: Season 8 - The Complete Final Season, but what would you expect from a season with 24 episodes? It's certainly more for your money, and not every second is going to be a gem. That said, it sure is fun.

The Picture

For each of its eight seasons, 24 was one of Fox's biggest moneymakers. They didn't give the show back-to-back nights of 2-hour episodes for nothing. The network didn't skimp on the budget either, which is evident in this 4-disc 1.78:1 transfer. There's a ton of special effects and technology on the screen here. That said, it's not always as awesome as it should be. Daytime scenes look the best, with excellent skin tones, good facial detail, and a ton of textures. However, despite delivering the best imagery, those daytime scenes have a few faults. This is most noticeable under bright conditions, when the action hits the streets and even during some of the aerial shots. The images are too bright -- almost blinding, in fact, almost over-exposed. The night doesn't fair much better, with its share of fuzzy moments and murky detail. It's not horrible, but sort of disappointing given the budget of the show and length of this set.

The Sound

Jack Bauer knows how to kick-ass, and this DTS-HD Master Audio track manages to keep up with every single moment. As mentioned, Fox really busted out the checkbook for this series. There's glass breaking, explosions, gunshots, sirens, and helicopters. The track delivers all of those moments with oomph, but it's also so much more. The dialogue stands front and center, perfectly clear, even while the chaos and ambient sounds fill the rest of the soundfield. If only every TV show could deliver this kind of audio on Blu-ray -- well, we'd have a lot more box sets in our own collections.

The Extras

Despite the show's longevity, Fox has delivered a slightly weak selection of extras. Fans will appreciate the few extended episodes, which feature deleted scenes. Also, 21 out of the 24 episodes has its own Scenemaker featurette. This gives an in-depth, but quick, glimpse at a particular highlight in the corresponding episode. Naturally, they all focus on explosions, chase scenes, and other crazy stunts. There are three additional shorts titled, "The Ultimate CTU," "Chloe's Arrest" and "Virtually New York." However, it would have been nice if there was something more in-depth about the show, the casting, the phenomenon, and where the show could go from here.

Final Thoughts

Jack Bauer knows how to go out on a high note, or at least keep us frothing for a big-screen adventure. We love to root for a hero, and 24: Season 8 - The Complete Final Season makes it pretty easy and entertaining. After eight seasons, it would have been nice if Fox had put a few additional special features in this set. Still, if you've amassed the seven other seasons, 24: Season 8 - The Complete Final Season is a complete no-brainer. If you're just getting into the series, you have many hours to put in before you should even consider this set.

Product Details

* Actors: Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Cherry Jones, Anil Kapoor, Annie Wersching, Katee Sackhoff, Mykelti Williamson, Freddie Prinze Jr.
* Directors: Brad Turner, Milan Cheylov, Nelson McCormick, Michael Klick
* Audio/Languages: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English)
* Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
* Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
* Region: A
* Number of Discs: 4
* Rating: NA
* Studio: 20th Century Fox
* Blu-ray Disc Release Date: December 14, 2010
* Run Time: 1056 minutes
* List Price: $69.99
* Extras:
o The Ultimate CTU
o Deleted Scenes
o Scenemakers
o Chloe's Arrest
o Virtually New York

Where to Buy:

* 24: Season 8 - The Complete Final Season Blu-ray (Amazon.com)

Overall three stars
Video two and a half stars
Audio three and a half stars
Movie three stars
Extras two and a half stars


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