It’s The Apocalypse All Over Again!
Well, who’d have thunk it, me reviewing some DVDs, before January, definitely not me, but here I am, with scans and an opinion on the DVD boxed sets.
First off, as weird as it may seem to some of you, we here in New Zealand don’t get the entire season in one boxed set, we get it in two, go figure, I’m betting it’s so they can get more money off poor saps, like me, who just have to buy them, and at NZD$89.99 per boxed set that’s a lot of extra cash!
Well, lets start off with a run-down of the features of the DVDs...
Season 4 part 1...
- Episode 4.01: Deep Down
- Episode 4.02: Ground State
- Episode 4.03: The House Always Wins
- Episode 4.04: Slouching Toward Bethlehem
- Audio Commentary for "The House Always Wins"
- Episode 4.05: Supersymmetry
- Episode 4.06: Spin The Bottle
- Episode 4.07: Apocalypse, Nowish
- Episode 4.08: Habeas Corpses
- Audio Commentary for "Spin The Bottle" and "Apocalypse, Nowish"
- Featurette: "Angel And The Apocalypse"
- Episode 4.09: Long Day’s Journey
- Episode 4.10: Awakening
- Episode 4.11: Soulless
- "Buffy" and "Angel" Trailers
Well, overall, the season started off fairly slow as far as my point of view goes. But as with anything, it picked up towards the mid-point, namely around the time The Doomsday Beast shows up (I know, I know, you can just call him The Beast, but they call him The Doomsday Beast on the backs of the DVD covers)
High points for the first half of the season include, Gwen, Vegas, The Lornettes, Fred dressed as a demon, the really cool rain of fire, Lorne’s memory spell backfiring and everyone thinking they’re teenagers for the entire episode.
The Angel And The Apocalypse featurette I’d give 3 pints of blood out of 5. It;s basically a look behind the scenes at "Apocalypse, Nowish" where we first see The Beast emerge from the earth. Explains how they did the natural disaster things that herald the apocalypse, including a small note that no birds were harmed in the birds slamming into the windows scene in the episode. Includes interviews with Steven S. DeKnight (Writer of "Apocalypse, Nowish") Mike Gasper (Special Effects Coordinator) Vern Gillum (Director of "Apocalypse, Nowish") Kelly A. Manners (Producer) Jeffrey Bell (Co-Executive Producer) and Mike Massa (Stunt Coordinator).
The audio commentaries for "The House Always Wins," "Spin The Bottle" and "Apocalypse, Nowish" all allow insights into the difficulties of filming the shots, and even some of the more funny behind the scenes stuff that happened.
Unfortunately the last bonus, the Buffy and Angel trailers leaves a lot to be desired, these are simply ads for the DVDs, BtVS seasons 2 thru 6, AtS seasons 1 thru 3 and an ad about what Fox considers makes a good DVD. 1 pint of blood out of 5.
Season 4 part 2...
- Episode 4.12: Calvary
- Episode 4.13: Salvage
- Episode 4.14: Release
- Episode 4.15: Orpheus
- Audio Commentary for "Orpheus"
- Episode 4.16: Players
- Episode 4.17: Inside Out
- Episode 4.18: Shiny Happy People
- Episode 4.19: The Magic Bullet
- Audio Commentary for "Inside Out" and "The Magic Bullet"
- Episode 4.20: Sacrifice
- Episode 4.21: Peace Out
- Episode 4.22: Home
- Audio Commentary for "Home"
- Featurettes: "Prophecies: Season 4 Overview" "Unplugged: Season 4 Outtakes" "Last Looks: The Hyperion Hotel" "Fatal Beauty And The Beast" and "Malice In Wonderland: Wolfram And Hart"
This half of the season rocked in my opinion, well, with the exception of Angel’s white and yellow stripped shirt, that was just... Ew. The fall of The Beast, the Rise of Jasmine, The Fall of Jasmine and The takeover of Wolfram & Hart. All in half a seasons work for Team Angel
High points for the last half of the season include, Faith, Angelus, Willow, more Gwen, those dandy special effects when Cordy gives birth, Darla, Evil Cordy (face it, like Evil Willow, she’s cool!), and Jasmine’s downfall, she throws a car off a bridge at Angel for crying out loud!
The featurette "Prophecies: Season 4 Overview" brings you a general overview of the season, dealing with the ramifications of season 3 and the season’s end, including comments by Joss Whedon (The Man himself), David Fury (Writer/Director/Consulting Producer), Steven S. DeKnight (Writer/Director/Co-producer), Jeffrey Bell (Writer/Director/Co-Executive Producer), David Boreanaz (Angel), J. August Richards (Gunn), Amy Acker (Fred), Alexis Denisof (Wesley) Vincent Kartheiser (Connor), Andy Hallett (Lorne still in full make-up complete with horns). And can I just say that to my ears Alexis Denisof’s voice has too many "R"s in it when he speaks out of character, and Amy’s voice is different too, I think it’s actually a lot prettier out of character. For this featurette, I give a 4.5 pints of blood out of 5 definitely worth a look.
"Unplugged: Season 4 Outtakes" has some of the funny outtakes from various episodes, some highlights are David doing a Superman impression while hanging from the ceiling from the episode "Calvary" Alexis doing his karate from "Spin the Bottle" Alyson and Alexis interacting from "Orpheus" and Amy unable to stop giggling from the starting of "Home". For this featurette, I give a 5 pints of blood out of 5 In my opinion, you could buy the DVDs just for this it’s that worth it!
For a fairly sad featurette, "Last Looks: The Hyperion Hotel" takes you on a short tour of the hotel set with production designer Stuart Blatt. Gives us a run down of when we first saw the hotel and where the scenes are shot (Stage 7 at Paramount Studios). And tours of the room, where we find that Angel’s room has served as the rooms for most of the characters, with the exception of Jasmine, who’s suite is way over the top! Then the basement which has been moved a lot apparently and part of the basement set is used for Connor’s loft. And lastly we get a little behind the scenes idea as to why they’re tearing down the hotel sets. For this featurette, I give a 3 pints of blood out of 5 definitely worth a look.
"Fatal Beauty And The Beast" gives us a look at The Beast and Jasmine including comments by The Beast himself Vladimir Kulich, the "Former Power Jasmine" Gina Torres and the man himself Joss Whedon. Vladimir tells us what Skip Schoolnik described The Beast to him as "He’s really big, and he’s really mean, and nobody can stop him" then onto how long it took to get all made up, and how once all made up you start feeling like you look. We then focus on Jasmine, and find that Gina was the first person they thought of for the role, and that Gina thought putting out this image of a strong and beautiful woman of color was prefect. For this featurette, I give a 4 pints of blood out of 5.
Why did Joss introduce Wolfram and Hart? Well in "Malice In Wonderland: Wolfram And Hart" we find that Joss wanted not to give Angel a nemesis, but a whole team of nemeses. This featurette has one really funny comment by Joss about having constantly rotating heads of department, and occasionally falling over heads of department (cue the clip of the scene where Lilah takes over the department). Includes comments by Joss, Steven S. DeKnight, David Fury, Stephanie Romanov (Lilah), Alexis Denisof and Jeffery Bell. For this featurette, I give a 5 pints of blood out of 5.
As with the first half of the season the audio commentaries for "Orpheus" "Inside Out" "The Magic Bullet" and "Home" bring you the directors and writers perspectives, and views on filming the episodes in question.
Overall I give these two DVD Boxed Sets a total of 4 pints of blood out of 5. A must have for any fan (like me who’s already got seasons 1 thru 3 on VHS)