The Closer: The Complete Third Season (2007)

Genre(s): Crime / Drama / Mystery
Warner Brothers || NR - 685 minutes - $39.98 || July 1, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-06-23


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): James Duff (creator)
Cast: Kyra Sedgwick, J.K. Simmons, Corey Reynolds, Robert Gossett, G.W. Bailey, Jon Tenney, Anthony John Denison, Michael Paul Chan, Phillip P. Keene, Raymond Cruz, Gina Ravera


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • The Art of Interrogation


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Surround Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Chinese, Portugues

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

TNT’s “The Closer” is, on the surface, looks like just another law show along the lines of “Law & Order” or, on a more quirky/comedic level, “Monk”. And though “Closer” doesn’t break that much new ground in terms of storytelling, but with a colorful character, played by Kyra Sedgwick, “The Closer” stands out with the best and at times surpasses them all.

Since its debut in 2005, I’ve been interested in this TNT series but for various reasons have missed it. But I decided to give this third season a chance. So I’m coming at this as a newbie and I can say that even without seeing seasons 1 and/or 2, I had no trouble following the stories, some of which are fairly self-contained — there are 2-3 episode arcs such as a health scare —, and creator James Duff (who co-wrote the season premiere), opens the season with introductions to each of Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson’s (Sedgwick) team: Sgt. David Gabriel (Reynolds), Det. Lt. Provenza (Bailey), Det. Flynn (Denison), Det. Lt. Tao (Chan), Det. Sanchez (Cruz) and Det. Daniels (Ravera). Now, that’s quite a team, one that rivals “CSI” and “Law & Order” combined.

The basic premise goes like this: The biggest demand the best cops. So when a little girl goes missing, or a Homeland Security official takes a long drive off a short cliff, or a ‘90s serial killer revives his career in the 21st century, the LAPD knows to call Brenda Johnson and her crack team from the Priority Homicide Division. (From DVD back cover)

This season finds Brenda taking on various, and often, gruesome cases. In the season opener, “Homewrecker”, she investigates a triple homicide involving a father, mother and daughter with the son, for a short-time missing, but soon he’s discovered hiding in the home’s attic. This was the perfect episode to open the season with for both fans and new viewers (such as myself) as you get a quick idea of who each character is in no time.

Some episodes do take on issues of race and other things that not only affect the country, but L.A. in particular. Some of the highlights of season three include “Four to Eight”, “Manhunt” and “Saving Face” (a beautiful young woman’s corpse is found inside the casket of a recently deceased retired detective) and “Til Death Do Us Part”, an episode that departs from the linear formula with the story going back and forth between Brenda’s investigation and a murder trial.

This series rides almost entirely on the shoulders of Sedgwick. She’s at times wicked and in your face but at the same time, you can’t help but like her. Some might find her character’s personality off-putting, but I liked it. She’s distinguishable from the rest and really what makes the series go. Sometimes a police prodcedural can become dull and/or repetitive but with an interesting main character and supporting cast, “The Closer” is certainly one of the better dramas currently on television.

If I had just one criticism, it would be the sometimes lack of screen time for J.K. Simmons. Simmons plays Brenda’s boss. He’s the guy that tries to keep her in check when she wants to spend money the department does not have (there’s a story arc concerning budgetary concerns within the LAPD). Obviously with the number of players here, it’s difficult to find time in between the crimes, but Simmons is a fantastic and fascinating actor that I hope he gets more time in the future.

Here is the episode breakdown:

1. Homewrecker
2. Grave Doubt
3. Saving Face
4. Ruby
5. The Round File
6. Dumb Luck
7. Four to Eight
8. Manhunt
9. Blindsided
10. Culture Shock
11. Lover’s Leap
12. ‘Til Death Do Us Part One
13. ‘Til Death Do Us Part Two
14. Next of Kin (Parts 1 and 2)



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Warner Brothers presents “The Closer: The Complete Third Season” on 4 discs in 2 slim cases inside a cardboard slip case.

The set contains several “Police Files” (a.k.a. Deleted Scenes) for various episodes; a gag reel (6:01); and a neat featurette entitled The Art of Interrogation (18:41) which gives a brief history on Miranda Rights and how police officers conduct an interrogation and how they try to get a confession from a suspect.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

“The Closer” is presented in anamorphic widescreen with a 1.78 aspect ratio. Having never watched it in either standard or high-def, I can’t comment on how much better it is by comparison, but this disc looks pretty good overall.

Warner offers up a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 as well as a French Stereo track. This is a dialogue heavy show so the center channel mostly gets used while the others make use of ambient noise and such.



.::OVERALL::.

Although not the perfect set, the show is still well worth the cost. If you enjoy police procedurals, you’ll like this one as well as it offers some interesting characters and cases that distinguishes itself just enough from the others. “The Closer” may not be one of my favorite shows on now, but there’s no denying the quality of work here.