Boss: Season One Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 1:78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
- Subtitles: English, Spanish
- Subtitles Color: White
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: Not Rated
- Run Time: 450 Mins.
- Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Blu-ray Release Date: July 24th, 2012
- List Price: $39.97
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(All Blu-rayDefinition.com screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
In this first season of Boss, we’re introduced to Mayor Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammer), known through the city of Chicago simply as ‘King of Chicago’. Ruling his domain with a kind of iron fist, Kane stops at nothing to get the job done mixing in scandals with betrayals. Even though he has the tag as a dangerous man, very few know Kane is hiding a dark secret, one that just may cost him everything. Turns out Kane has a degenerative brain disorder, which is slowly ripping away everything from him. Unable to trust his memory, or anyone close to him, Kane must somehow figure out exactly who is on his side and who wants him out. What results is an entertaining Season One, highlighted by an engaging, intense performance from Grammer.
Dramas like these aren’t really new in this day-and-age. The old person in power, typically corrupt, doing anything to remain in the top spot. There’s no new ground covered here in Boss, but there’s also nothing wrong with that, just as long as the performances are riveting. Luckily here, the acting (particularly that of Grammer, who won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Drama) is top notch. Grammer is ruthless, cunning, yet also very humane at times. The initial sequences reveal a tough as nails Mayor, who strikes fear in all those around him simply by lowering his eyes. Upon finding out his diagnosis, Grammer descends into a more humanistic role rather than the above everyone else kind of “god” role.
It’s after this news, that the series becomes something memorable. The acting on all fronts improves, the direction is stylistic at times, and the tone of each of these eight included episodes transitions from the kind of series we may just skip past, into the kind of show that defines fine, quality TV drama.
Boss: Season One arrives with a 1:78:1 aspect ratio, AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer, which for all purposes is solid. Shot using Arri Alexa Camera, Zeiss Ultra Prime Lenses, the series has a somewhat grayed out, muted palette meant to capture the Chicago locale. Fine detail, facial closeups and contrast levels all are accurate. We can easily make out the wrinkles on the face of Kane, clearly showing the aging this job is having on him. Nothing appears to be overly washed out, nor did I notice any real present issues. Grain levels are kept in check, there’s no instance of any scratches or damage to the print. All in all, this is a solid effort from Lionsgate.
The series’ DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track is impressive. Dialogue is well reproduced throughout, with no instance of drop out or muddled dialogue. Atmosphere, at times, makes the series what it is. Little aspects like the background of a car passing, or dialogue, is nothing overly special. More it’s how series composer Brian Reitzell added in effects to bring in a kind of brooding, chilling feeling to the music. LFE, thanks to Reitzell, is occasionally deep, giving us a solid low-end. This isn’t the kind of demo-worthy track. More it’s one that just may surprise audiences, as it shocked the heck out of me. Truly, this track helps to bring home all the elements in a near-perfect manner.
The supplements provided on this release are:
- Episode Commentaries with “Boss” Executive Producer Farhad Safinia, Director of Photography Kasper Tuxen, and Executive Producer Richard Levine
- “The Mayor and His Maker” with Kelsey Grammer and Farhad Safinia – This runs 16:39 and is a sit-down interview with Grammer and Safinia, as they discuss the origins of the series and some of the plot points/goals they aimed to achieve in making this show.
The Definitive Word
While Boss doesn’t necessarily cover any new ground with its premise, the series works thanks in part to the excellent acting. Lionsgate’s Blu-ray is excellent as well, with fine V/A, as well as an interesting interview featurette. I’d say definitely give this one a look if you enjoy well-made TV Drama.
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