Heroes (2007) - Season 2 [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Drama / Fantasy / Science Fiction
Universal || NR - 482 minutes - $69.98 || August 26, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-08-26


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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

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Tim Kring (created by)
Cast: Hayden Panettiere, Jack Coleman, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Masi Oka, James Kyson Lee, Milo Ventimiglia, Greg Grunberg, Ali Larter


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • U-Control (BD Exclusive)
  • BD-Live (BD Exclusive)
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Alternate Ending to 'Genesis'
  • Heroes Season 2: A New Beginning
  • Takezo Kensei: Sword Saint
  • Genetics of a Scene
  • The Drucker Files
  • Tim Sale Gallery of Screen Art
  • Untold Stories
  • NBC.com Featurettes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (DTS MA 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

There's a classic term for television called "Sophomore Slump" when a hit show tends to fall off a bit in its second season. Numerous shows come to mind (more recently “Friday Night Lights”) but for “Heroes”, I have a bit more sympathy. The reason why is because I believe the 100-day writers’ strike affected Season Two in a way where, had they continued on with the other twelve planned episodes, the "slump" would have fixed itself. I'll touch on a few of the things I didn't like about season two.

“Heroes” season 2 picks up four months after the devastation that could have happened in New York. Peter is presumed dead, Nathan dropped out of the race for Governor, D.L. is dead, Claire and her family have re-located to California and Hiro is in 1671 Japan. Slowly over the next few episodes we figure out that certain characters are not dead, we get introduced to several new "heroes" and my favorite character of Season One Hiro is falling in love.

Going on any further would ruin the season for you but after all the flack Season Two received... I actually enjoyed it. Now, some of you may call me insane but let me explain myself. On broadcast television you watch one episode at a time. Over the course of eleven weeks Season Two unfolds and for some, Hiro spent way too much time in Japan. I 100% agree with that, but the power of Blu-ray (and DVD) allows me to watch seven weeks of episodes in the course of an afternoon. Story lines that took months to complete on Television took only a few hours. I truly believe Season Two of Heroes is very strong if you are watching it on your own time, rather than being forced to wait each week for a new episode on NBC. With that said, let’s get into some of the bad things of Season Two.

The characters of Season Two are simply not around each other enough. Peter is stuck in Ireland way too long finding out who he is. While I actually enjoyed the character of Kaitlan, I would much rather see Peter forge a relationship with a fellow female 'hero' character than a normal person.

Next up would be Claire - she was so important in Season One but in Season Two (for most of it) she is forced to be a 'normal' person in California all while juggling an annoying new boyfriend West. Yawn. Shouldn't she be out kicking butt or communicating with the other heroes she met previously? A new addition to the cast is Monica, a young female in New Orleans who figures out she can copycat anything she sees with the help of Micah. Yet again we are subjected to spending way too much finding out her ability and by the end of the season we simply don't care.

Hiro, my absolute favorite character of Season One, is literally stuck in Japan for seven episodes while he helps his childhood hero Takezo Kensei become a true "hero". This is by far one of the worst plot lines of Season Two as everything they go into could have easily been done in two or three episodes and then put Hiro back with everyone else. Poor Ando is stuck in an office for almost the entire season as he deciphers the scrolls Hiro has hidden for him to help tell the story.

Then we have Maya and Alejandro - two of the most useless characters on Television (right next to Paula and Nikki from Lost Season 3). Maya does nothing but cry in every scene while Alajandro tries to calm her down. They do a lot of running...and running...and crying...and running...and crying all to get to American to see Dr. Suresh to hopefully find a cure for Maya's powers. Along the way they meet a certain villain and things finally start to pick up.

Now on to the good things. Nathan and Matt certainly are the stars of the season as they both try to figure out who is trying to kill all the people located in a certain photograph. The individuals are all somehow related to other Heroes we met, being Hiro’s father, Nathan and Peters parents, Matt's dad...and soon they realize that something they did is causing the deaths of others. Nathan is less of a stuck-up prick this season and Matt gets some amazing story lines that will have cement his future on the show.

While I took some issues where some of the already introduced and new characters went, we still have a bunch of other great changes in store for Season Two. Easily the best addition of to the season has been Elle (Kristin Bell) who works for The Company. She may only be in a few episodes in the season, but her presence certainly picked up the show from the stale position it was in. Every scene she was in just felt better and she is certainly a welcome addition to that cast.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All Special Features are presented in HD.

U-Control (Profile 1.1/2.0 Players Only) - Outdoing the previous Season of Heroes on Blu-ray (and HD DVD) this packs PiP commentaries for every episode of the season! It’s a mix of cast and crew and while I enjoyed most of them, I'd recommend giving the last episode "Powerless" a watch. Also included are the Hero Connections. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

BD-Live - At the time of writing this feature is not yet available to view. It looks to be another round of trailers/TV spots like before. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

Deleted Scenes (~25 Minutes) - A mix of deleted scenes, most being extended scenes from previous episodes. While I really like a certain deleted scene (we finally see what power Hiro's father has), one of them bugged me because the character (when Mohinder and Monica first meet) simply wouldn't act like that at all. Glad that was replace with what we actually saw on screen.

Alternate Ending to Genesis (~17 Minutes) - An interesting look at what would have happened at the writers’ strike not occurred. We essentially lost an entire "volume" of the show titled Exodus, which the alternate ending made it out to look pretty damn cool. Shame. Also included is a eleven minute discussion with the creators and what would have happened had the season continued as planned.

Heroes Season 2: A New Beginning (~15 Minutes) - A fluff piece that goes into the main story lines of Season 2. Not worth watching.

Takezo Kensei: Sword Saint (~25 Minutes) - A "fake" documentary that showcases Kensei. Not bad at all, but I was so sick of the Kensei storyline by the time this rolled around who would really want to watch it?

Genetics of a Scene (~23 Minutes) - A really great featurette that goes into great detail of four scenes throughout the season.

The Drucker Files (~8 Minutes) - I have no idea what this is. Apparently this is a character from the Heroes comics?

Tim Sale Gallery of Screen Art - A showcased look at the different paintings used for this season.

Untold Stories (~12 Minutes) - A selection of scenes shot for Episode 12 & 13 that will never be used again (due to canceling the Exodus Volume). We get tons of scenes with Elle and Sylar...some good stuff!

NBC.com Featurettes (~5 Minutes) - I'm not even sure what these are. A collection of 3 poorly done CGI videos that shows a Vegas hotel crumbling and what appears to be Peter and Nathan at the end of Season 1.

My only nit-pick with the special features is that the Commentaries are only available through U-Control; standard audio ones are not available. This means if you have a Profile 1.0 player you are out of luck.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

“Heroes” Season 2 presents all Eleven Episodes in 1.78:1 (VC1) spread across 4 Discs (2 BD50's and 2 BD25's). Since the show received a slightly bigger budget for Season 2 quality is a bit better than Season One, I didn't notice as much of the added "digital noise" and scenes appeared much cleaner. Mr. Bennet's purple Copy Kingdom shirt especially popped anytime he was wearing it on screen as did the outfits Elle wore.

Universal has once again included English 5.1 DTS MA tracks for all eleven episodes and much like Season One, they sound great. I wasn't blown away with the tracks since the show was (and especially this season) is very dialog heavy, but scenes with Hiro and Kensei sounded great. Dialog is as clear as possible and this may rank as one of the best presentations of TV on HDM to date.



.::OVERALL::.

As with Season One, I rate TV on HDM differently than I do for films. Since the sources are usually a bit rougher and have lower budgets, they simply cannot compete with the big budget films available on the format. It would simply not be fair to compare the two so I do not. My scores on Picture and Audio Quality reflect experience with other TV on HDM (HD DVD and Blu-ray).

“Heroes” Season Two flows better when watching it on Blu-ray (or DVD) and if you didn't like it at all on Network Television I would recommend picking it up and giving it another go around. While some of the story lines will still suck (Hiro, Maya and Alejandro), others feel tighter when you can view them at your own pace. Picture and Audio quality is top notch for this season and it’s loaded with hours of bonus features that will keep you busy until the premiere of Season Three.