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"Justified" - Season - (1) - {Blu-ray}
Reviewer:
Wayne Klein
Studio: Sony
Genre:
TV - Series
Release Date:
1/10/11
Special Features:

See Below

Review:

While you can take the Old West out of America, you can't take the Old West out of some men. "Justified" demonstrates that even with the passage of time some people stay stuck in the past. Some people want realism with their dramas me I go for the entertainment factor as long as the writing, direction and acting are all good. Justified" is exceptional fun. Timothy Olyphant stars as Marshall Raylan Givens gets relocated back to Kentucky after a "justified" shooting. He didn't want to go home and there are people that don't want him there either both friends and enemies including his ex-wife Winona played by Natalie Zea from Hung: The Complete First Season_who has remarried and unnerves her by breaking into her house in the middle of the night for a talk. At point in discussion the violence and anger that surrounds Givens comes up. "You're the most angry man I know" Winona tells Givens giving us a clue to the buried resentment beneath the reserved and placid surface that Givens projects. He has good reason; his father was/is a grifter and will take advantage of his son as if he was a complete stranger and his mother died under mysterious circumstances which gave Givens an unstable home environment. In rebelling against his dad Givens turned towards the law rather than away from it. Givens also must confront his past when he goes head-to-head with racist drug kingpin Boyd (Walton Goffins of The Shield: Complete Series)who used to mine coal with Givens when they were teenagers. ***

That's where the fun begins for Givens. Imagine In Plain Sight: Season One crossed with elements of Deadwood: The Complete Series [Blu-ray] throw in some elements of the noir genre and you've got "Justified". You could also just imagine anything written by Elmore Leonard and you'd have the same thing since "Justified" is based on a character from two of Elmore's novels and one short story (which forms the basis of the first episode). Like a lot of Leonard's work "Justified" incorporates a lot of different genre elements blending them into a unique tasting TV confection that's worthwhile to take a taste of but you may find just one taste isn't enough. ---

Image & Sound:

The presention for Blu-ray is crisp with a sharp looking picture. The show is shot in high def digital and receives a transfer that puts the broadcast version to shame. I'm not going to suggest that means that the colors pop--the show has an austere look to it which compliments the mood of the series. Colors are accurate throughout and while I did notice some minor occasional digital noise the presentation here is, for the most part, top notch with little in the way of artifacts. ***

Audio sounds quite nice with an active 5.1 mix that comes alive particularly during action sequences. There is still subtle activity even during a calm discussion between Givens and Boyd in a face off in the kitchen of Boyd's sister-in-law as the two sit at a dinner table waiting to see who will draw first.

Special Features:

For those interested in the special features we get four audio commentaries featuring writer/producers Graham Youst ("Speed")& Fred Golan, director Michael Dinner and actors Timothy Olypant & Natalie Zea among others. We also get featurettes including "What Would Elmore Do?" focusing on the challenge of bringing his work to the screen convincingly, "Meet the Characters" and "The Story of Justified" that gives us background on the plot. "The Marshals" gives us a brief history of the Marhsal Service while "Shooting for Kentucky" demonstrates how a show shot in Pittsburg (and L.A.) can be made to look like it is shot in Kentucky.

Final Words:

"Justified" has top notch writing and direction and is exceptional. Olymphant continues to demonstrate terrific screen presence (which, unfortunately, no one has really captured on the big screen save with the film "The Crazies"). Hopefully he'll find a big screen role that will allow him to use his considerable screen presence and acting ability to maximum effect. It could be though that Olymphant's home truly is on TV--he's able to convey considerable depth to his characters and as he demonstrated with "Deadwood" he can convey a rich depth of character beneath the calm menacing facade that he projects. ***

Will you feel "Justified" in spending some coin on this series? Absolutely.

 

 
 
 
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