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Everyday DVD Bargains


Banshee: The Total Fourth Season (Blu-ray)

THE SEASON:

As our resident Banshee reviewer, I was pleased to obtain the fourth and final season in my mailbox to screen. I respect the showrunners for allowing the series to go out on a higher note rather of operating the pulp spectacle into the ground. Soon after the botched heist at the finish of last season, Lucas Hood (Antony Starr) is no longer sheriff of Banshee, Pennsylvania, and instead nurses his wounds at a secluded cabin on gangster Kai Proctor’s (Ulrich Thomsen) home. In a bold and unexpected twist (do not read additional if you want to know completely nothing about the storyline of this season), catalyst-for-problems and sexpot Rebecca Bowman (Lili Simmons) has been murdered, which devastates Uncle Proctor and rattles Hood. Turns out the troubled woman comforted Hood in his time of need and was producing plans to branch away from her uncle’s organization. The season sees Hood browsing for Rebecca’s killer, fighting Neo-Nazis and reuniting with old buddies. This final, eight-episode run is an fascinating and suitable send-off for a wildly entertaining show.

Banshee has by no means caved to convention, and I have problems neatly summarizing its plot and merits when recommending the show to pals. It is violence, sex, humor, the Amish, cons, gangsters, Neo-Nazis, murder, seduction, and so forth. I was surprised Banshee killed off Rebecca, but it tends to make sense. She somehow became the most tragic figure in a internet of sin a lady plucked from her conservative upbringing and thrust into a corrupting planet. I consider now that Proctor was not in fact screwing his niece. The show hinted at the possibility final season, but the cold, tough gangster loves her in a distinct, significantly less carnal way. The hunt for Rebecca’s killer rapidly focuses on a satanic cult, led by horned psychopath Declan Bode (Frederick Weller), and Eliza Dushku swoops in to support as Unique Agent Veronica Dawson, a streetwise FBI profiler battling her own demons. Elsewhere about town, a new leader of the Aryan Brotherhood, Calvin Bunker (Chris Coy), emerges to battle Proctor for his business empire. Calvin’s brother, Kurt (Tom Pelphrey), is a gone-straight Banshee deputy, and he joins the new sheriff, Brock Lotus (Matt Servitto), to finally rid Banshee of its criminal underbelly.

This final season is as unpredictable, crazy and over-the-prime as ever, which is to be anticipated from Banshee. Proctor and Rebecca began to feud final season more than Proctor’s decision to allow the Aryan Brotherhood to operate his trafficking empire. Rebecca wanted the job, but Proctor had different plans. As soon as Calvin gets a taste of success, he starts possessing larger dreams. Complete of hate and unrestrained rage, Calvin is even far more hazardous than Proctor. Further complicating matters, Calvin’s wife Maggie (Casey LaBow) wants out of the life, and runs to Kurt for protection. There is, as usually, a lot going on this season. Also addressed are the kidnapped Job (Hoon Lee), Carrie’s troubled daughter Deva (Ryann Shane), and bar owner/Hood ally Sugar (Frankie Faison). These several plot threads might have tripped up a lesser show, but Banshee proves quick, furious and efficient in weaving all these characters into the drama.

If absolutely nothing else, Banshee is a distinctive show that will not be effortlessly duplicated. Cinemax is the perfect residence for such a gonzo, pulpy series. The violence, sex and depravity of earlier seasons are here, too, but they by no means really feel exploitative. This is an unrestrained show complete of terrible characters and ugly realities. The acting is again powerful, particularly from Starr, Thomsen and Dushku, whom I enjoy. In a decidedly Banshee move, Dawson is a wounded bird who turns to crack cocaine to ease her job anxiety, a habit she picked up working undercover on inner-city streets. The Bunker brothers’ storyline is surprisingly powerful, specifically when Kurt agonizes over how to deal with Calvin. When Hood reveals his ultimate deception to Lotus, the show delivers an additional surprisingly affecting dramatic moment. The secrets of Rebecca’s death are fitting for the character, and Banshee does a good job laying down clues with out revealing the killer’s motive until the intended moment. This fourth and final season of Banshee is a fine and fitting cap to a decidedly unique and entertaining series.

THE BLU-RAY:

Image:

If you have noticed my evaluations for the earlier 3 seasons, you can guess that this season’s 1.78:1/1080p/AVC-encoded transfers are exceptional. You’d be appropriate, as the HD presentations help the varied cinematography with outstanding clarity and fine-object detail. Sharp, crisp and clean, these transfers provide expansive wide shots, intimate close-ups and bold, completely saturated colors. Black levels are powerful, shadow detail is good, and pans are mostly clear. Other than some minor digital noise in nighttime scenes, these are stellar presentations.

SOUND:

The discs supply theater-top quality 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mixes. As explosive and immersive as a blockbuster action mix, the soundtracks offer outstanding dialogue reproduction and layering. Ambient effects like traffic, outdoor noise, and office chatter surround the viewer in every single episode. The frequent action effects are bone rattling, in the best way. Gunfire whizzes about the space, a vehicle wreck rocks the subwoofer, and an explosion levels the house theater. French and German 5.1 DTS dubs and a Spanish two. DTS dub are integrated, as are English SDH, French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish subs.

PACKAGING AND EXTRAS:

This 3-disc set comes in a hinged Blu-ray case with two-sided artwork. Details about every of the eight episodes is listed on the reverse. The case slides into a cardboard slipbox with clever artwork that is thematically related to that of earlier seasons. As with earlier releases, you get Episode Recaps, Deleted Scenes, and a couple of Zoomed In featurettes, all in HD, as properly as two Audio Commentaries and Cast Retrospectives.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

This Cinemax series is some thing I stumbled upon without having prior understanding, but it turned out to be a single of my preferred shows of the final decade. This fourth and final season of Banshee is a fine conclusion for the show, and provides closure for the characters. The Blu-ray release is technically excellent and comes Extremely Advisable.

William lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and appears forward to a Friday-afternoon matinee.

What Do You Think?


Blu-Ray Testimonials


Banshee: The Total Third Season

Judge David Johnson has a time-share in Banshee if anyone’s interested. Anybody?

I’d like to say Banshee is the very best show you’ve never ever heard of, but by now it’s almost certainly protected to say that there’s sufficient of a cult following to free it from “hidden gem” status. As it enters the house stretch, Banshee: The Complete Third Season shows why it really is top of the meals chain when it comes to small screen noir pulp.

The story so far: Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), one particular-time felon turned Banshee sheriff, continues his masquerade as a lawman—all although eyeing “that 1 last score.” His allegiances are stretched when he develops a genuine relationship with his one of his deputies, testing his commitment to the heist life.

Meanwhile, Carrie (Ivana Milicevic), Lucas’s former flame and daughter of the vi vicious gangster Rabbit (the Massive Bad of the final two seasons) is living estranged from her household, operating a crap job at a diner and banging a deranged Army colonel in her spare time. And back in Amish gangster land, Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) maneuvers to tighten his grip on the lucrative criminal enterprises in Banshee.

But almost everything is set to go up in flames when a psychopathic tribal leader from the Redbones gang goes on the literal warpath, bringing death and violence to Lucas and his friends—which in turn ushers Lucas into a new vortex of brutality.

Which translated into: damn fine Tv! Oh yes, believe it: Banshee: The Full Third Season delivers almost everything fans of the show have come to really like about this over-the-leading masterpiece. In truth, there are two episodes contained within this overall-excellent providing that represent the finest the show has to offer you, both on the pulpy guilty pleasure end and the you-know-forget-the-bloodshed-and-nudity-this-show-is-genuinely-excellent side.

* “A Fixer of Sorts”—Lucas finds himself in the clutches of a morbidly obese gangster who travels in the back of a tractor trailer, while also dealing with a rogue FBI agent who knows his secret, although withstanding torture from a thug making use of one thing that appears like an electrified Energy Glove. Meanwhile, 1 of the all-time greatest fights ever choreographed transpires in Kai’s driveway. All of this in about 50 minutes of runtime, a quintessential Banshee episode filled with over-the-leading colorful villains and gore. Pulpy. Guilty. Pleasure.

And…

* “Tribal”—The greatest Banshee episode to date and some of the finest episodes of tv you will ever see. It is essentially “Assault on Precinct 13” with some surprisingly successful emotional gut-punches. Plus it introduces Bunker (Tom Pelphrey) in a massive way, a reformed Nazi hunting for a job as a cop. Prime-grade Tv all around.

These two episodes are worth investing in this season by themselves, but, thankfully, there is even more meat on the bone. I won’t divulge something, but the Redbones conflict, Proctor’s (oft-bloody) politicking and that psycho colonel play prominent roles, all top to a compelling final scene—and some intense anticipation for the series swan song.

Banshee is a show that pops in HD, but if DVD is your only choice, it will suffice. The normal-def set serves up all episodes in 1.78:1 widescreen, joined by a 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. The generous amount of extras contain: “zoomed in” mini-featurettes, segments on the fighting choreography, the iconic title sequence and the huge, violent finale, deleted scenes, commentary on pick episodes and the “Banshee Origins Microseries.”

DVD Verdict