March 15, 2006

Lost: The Series Pilot Episode (2004)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment

83 mins. · PG
16x9 · 1.78:1

Format
UMD

Audio
English - Stereo

Subtitles
English

Extras
Featurettes, Narrated Photo Essay From Matthew Fox

Starring
Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia, Naveen Andrews, Dominic Monaghan, Evangeline Lilly, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Review by
Murray Wasylnuk


Rating



(2004)

ABC's "Lost" series has garnered a huge fan base, won multiple Emmy Awards, yet I never seemed to take the time to watch this show on television. Now its not that "Lost" doesn't appeal to me, it's simply a matter of me personally choosing to spend my limited time with DVDs and viewing only select favorites on primetime television.

With terrific offerings like "CSI" and "Law and Order" as some of the well produced dramas available, you really are forced to choose you programming wisely. The general time constraint that we face in everyday life subsequently allows you to miss out on something really great that may appeal to your tastes. Such is the case with ABC's "Lost", a program that was simply overlooked when it came to me deciding what to watch in a virtual broadcast jungle filled with dramas, sitcoms and the overabundance of reality-based programming. You might even say that "Lost" became lost to me.

With Buena Vista Home Entertainment's release of "Lost the Series Pilot Episode Part 1 & 2" on UMD for Sony's PSP, I decided to finally watch a sampling of the show while providing a check-up of the disc for you.

Thinking that surviving a plane crash would be a challenge all on its own, for survivors of Oceanic Air flight 805, the mystery and adventure is only beginning. After their plane tears apart mid-flight and crashes on a strange, yet tropical island in the Pacific, the survivors are quickly forced to rely on inner strengths as they come face to face with the many secrets found in this bizarre tropical locale. Witnessing everything from the intense shrieks of a strange creature that stalks the island to an out of the ordinarily placed polar bear! And this is just in the first two episodes of the show. I had now idea that "Lost" would offer something truly fascinating and entertaining. It now makes sense to me that "Lost" has the fan base that it does, by producing something totally original from what looks on the surface to be your typical plane crash survivors battling the odds, and instead brings you deeper and deeper into the mystery they face each and every week.

Featuring great performances from Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia, Evangeline Lilly, Dominic Monaghan and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, to name a few and paired with creators J.J. Abrams (Alias), Damon Lindelof and Jeffrey Lieber all contribute to produce the winning combination that makes up "Lost".

Buena Vista Home Entertainment bestows a truly amazing transfer of "Lost the Series Pilot Episode" for UMD. Never seeing the quality of the complete first season of "Lost" on DVD, one could only imagine how good the presentation is if the UMD looks this good! Rich color saturation works well with the wide color pallet used throughout the show, while maintaining naturally appearing flesh tones. An opulent black level insures every minor detail available is visible in the final presentation; from the tiniest rivet on the plane wreck to fine points noticed within the foliage of the jungle; you are in for a visual spectacle. The razor sharp image does not show any signs of video compression or the slightest spec of dust, just a spectacular exhibition awaits you on this UMD.

The Stereo mix manages to provide the listener with a great soundstage that displays good bass and overall volume levels while utilizing the supplied mini-bud headphones. Vocals are reproduced to appear natural, while capturing all of the tension and excitement that makes up "Lost".

I was more than intrigued to give the "Lost" disc a peek, especially since it comes packaged with some really cool extras, something that most UMDs are void of. With "Lost: The Series Pilot Episodes Part 1 & 2" you get a great little behind-the-scenes featurette titled "The Genesis of Lost" that offers details of how this show almost didn't see the light of day and how writers came up with some truly original ideas to make "Lost" one of the more fresher shows currently on network television.

"Designing a Disaster" is a cool featurette that showcases the challenges faced with constructing the massive plane wreck set, with the use of a real plane that had to be cut up for the production of the show. "Before they were Lost" takes you inside the process of casting "Lost" and how all of the characters and actors came to be. "The Art of Matthew Fox – A Photo Essay of the Lost Pilot" is also worth the time invested to view. Here Matthew Fox narrates a montage of photos that he took during the production and how he got the idea from Jeff Bridges, who takes panorama shots of behind-the-scenes from most films that he works on and later gives a set of copies to the cast and crew as a souvenir, now that's pretty cool indeed.

"Lost at Comic-Con: A Glimpse into the Series Debut" is a short section that shows the cast at Comic-Con experiencing the overwhelming fan response to "Lost" and also looking on as fans watch the pilot episode for the first time. A brief commercial for "Oceanic Air" completes this well rounded added value section for the UMD of "Lost the Series Pilot Episode".

My only disappointment comes from only being able to experience the first two parts of the series pilot, which comes to us on this UMD. I easily could have watched more of the show; maybe a complete first season on UMD is in the works perhaps? If not, I could always tackle the complete first season on DVD as I'm sure the additional episodes would not disappoint.

If you have never seen "Lost" on television, I might easily recommend the complete first season on DVD as the UMD only provides you with a taste of a really well produced show. For fans of the show that want a portable version of "Lost", the reasonably priced UMD comes loaded with extras to compliment the two-part series pilot and might make a good additional purchase to complement your collection. Kudos easily goes out to Buena Vista Home Entertainment for producing one of the better UMDs available on the market today.


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