HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Falling Skies: The Complete 4th Season
HTS Overall Score:78
“Falling Skies” has been a rather tough watch for me over the years. The last few seasons have been a bit rough. The show focuses on the bleak life after an alien invasion on earth, much like “Defiance”, just without the hope and joy. The show tends to want to focus on what life would be like during an invasion, without any hint or hope of actually winning the war, or moving forward. It’s a slog forward through the muck and grime of the brutality. I actually stopped watching at the end of season 2/beginning of season 3 and left the show for a while, but with the change in direction that season 4 promised, I had to binge watch season 3 and then chew through season 4 to see if it was all worth the wait. The end result is rather mixed. Some of the changes to the show were REALLY good, but others kept more of the same depressing features of the last few seasons. In the end I certainly thought it was the best seasons since season 1, but if you’ve been turned off by the show’s bleakness in the past, this won’t do much to change that.
Heading back to New Charleston to warn the citizens of the internment camps that the Volm are trying to send the citizens to, they end up under attack and are split up into several groups. Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), Colonel Weaver (Will Patton) and several others have been captured and put into an internment camp. Continuing the fight, Tom and the Colonel find ways to slip out of their solitary confinement and map out a portion of the camp in hopes to escape. Meeting up with an unexpected ally, the humans are able to find a way out and lead the prisoners to safety.
Simultaneously, Anne (Moon Bloodgood) is leading a search party for her missing daughter, and trying to find out just what the Esphini are doing with their captured children. They aren’t harnessing them, but they seem to be trying something different, and that is certainly just as disturbing knowing the Esphini’s history. The youngest children are in a Chinatown, holding down the fort with a sort of rudimentary peace, under the command of his younger sister Lexi (whom Anne is searching for).
The show itself is kind of helped by this fragmentation of the main group. It starts off slow, but allows for a lot of character development, something that was sorely missing from the last couple of seasons. We see each character mature and gain a semblance of individuality here. At the same time I had some of the same problems I’ve always had with the show. A lack of cohesion and running at a snail’s pace in regards to the overall plot. The fleshing out of Lexi, Ben and Matt was great, adding a new dimension to the season, but overall I still feel a bit frustrated and yet still intrigued by the long running series. Maybe it’s my innate love of Sci-fi, but I still keep wanting to look for the good in it, hoping it will pick up some steam later on.
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Shoot the Moon
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=47698[/img]The 1.78:1 AVC encoded pair of Blu-ray discs looks quite good, with just a couple of small problems. I noticed that this season had a bit of a wonky contrast level to it, giving the show a slightly washed out look at some times. I had to double check with my previous season sets to make sure, but the contrast issue washes out the blacks just a teensy bit leaving the image looking a tad flat. It’s nothing major, but it is noticeable. Otherwise the show looks fantastic. Colors are always going to be a bit dull with the dark blue gray color grading, but they look natural with very solid detail in every corner. The dirt and grime of the beleaguered soldiers has never looked crisper and cleaner, while the black levels are usually very satisfactory (minus the contrast issue that tends to wash them out a tad). A very solid encode from Warner.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=47706[/img]The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track is actually better than its video counterpart, giving us a very aggressive and powerful track to listen to. Dialog and vocals replication are excellent, with a solid balance to the heavy duty dynamic range in the show. Explosions are deep and guttural, pounding you back in your seat as the chaos ensues. Surround activity is rather impressive, with little ambient noises like footsteps, and the crackling of leaves on the prison camp dirt given just as much emphasis as the gunfire and screams of the battle sequences. LFE is tight and deep, giving us a nice low end for the quitter points and really kicking it up a notch when the action heats up.
• Inside the Episode Featurettes
• Tom Mason: A Man of Tomorrow
• 2014 Comic Con Panel
• Episodic Prequels
• Character Interviews
I have very mixed feelings about this new season. The fragmentation of the main characters helped a lot in getting us to know the other characters more intimately and being able to actually form a bond with them, but the show is STILL a bleak run with a sluggish pace. I don’t mind slow dramas, but this feels almost bleakness for the sake of bleakness. I’ve really tried to like the show more than I do on multiple occasions but there is just something missing that I can’t put my finger on. However, fans of the show should be quite pleased, as this is the best the series has been since the very first season, with better character arcs and a goodly bit more action than the soap opera feel of the previous season. The video is good, and the audio is off the charts, so if you’re a fan, I say it’s a definite add to the collection, if you were hoping for something different, still give it a try, as the change in pace is rather drastic this season.
Starring: Moon Bloodgood, Will Patton, Noah Wyle
Created by: Robert Rodat
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Runtime: 450 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: June 2nd 2015
Buy Falling Skies: The Complete 4th Season On Blu-ray at Amazon
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