Chuck: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: VC-1
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Rating: Not Rated
- Run Time: 563 Mins.
- Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
- Studio: Warner Home Video
- Blu-ray Release Date: May 8th, 2012
- List Price: $49.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
In this fifth and final season of Chuck, Chuck’s best buddy Morgan (Joshua Gomez) now has the Intersect in his brain. Unlike Chuck carefully utilizing the benefits of this, Morgan seems to treat this newfound power as kind of a road to becoming a bigger (i.e. more famous) man. Along the way, in these 13 episodes, Chuck finds himself occasionally at odds with Morgan over the Intersect. Claiming he doesn’t miss having this, he soon learns exactly what this new Intersect is all about. Other topics include Casey reconnecting with a former flame, Sarah and Chuck trying to figure out married life as well as Ellie and Mike (aka”Captain Awesome”) adjusting to the new little addition to their lives. While it was sad to see the series finally end, I will say that Schwartz and crew ended the series at the right time. Still funny, still great….still and always classic TV that Josh Schwartz is known for.
I’ve always had a fond place for the writing of Josh Schwartz. Ever since watching the first season of Chuck, I’ve since gone on to watch his highly underrated series The O.C. (it’s not just about teens in the OC) as well as subsequent seasons of Chuck. Throughout all his series, there’s one aspect of his writing that remains constant. Schwartz knows how to capture the emotions of each and every character in a manner that is top notch. Take for instance Chuck. At first glance he may come off as a bumbling geek, separated from the world because of his oddities. As the series progresses, we learn Chuck is the exact opposite. A family man with a big heart that will do anything for those in and around his life. Schwartz has a keen style of writing, one that makes each character feel special, the kind of character we want to remember.
Minus his character development, Schwartz also adds humor and wit to each sequence. Perhaps because I’m such a fan of the series, I’m labeling this review with accolade after accolade. Do note, though, that I will never say Chuck is the greatest series ever created. Chuck isn’t that and never will be. It’s a good show simply because the episodes handle all ranges from funny to sad, from charming to witty. And that’s all we can really ask for a series.
The series’ 1:78:1 framed, VC-1 encoded, transfer is quite solid. With that said, Chuck‘s hi-def transfer over the previous seasons has been good, but nothing amazing. While I did find the same lingering issues in this fifth season (varying colors look great in one sequence and flat in others), I found they weren’t as problematic this time around. While I did mention the colors a bit, this season’s palette contains more consistency than before. Colors are more vibrant, not as bland, more steady, less dull. Grain is still present throughout, but more a fine layer nothing overly obtrusive. DNR was an issue in previous seasons (more the first), but no sequence or character looked overly ‘glossy’.
Chuck: The Complete Fifth Season arrives with a lossless English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. While Warner has been lambasted for not supporting lossless tracks on their TV releases, I was very pleased to see a lossless offering on this fifth season. Putting aside my excitement, I found that a lossless track is a solid upgrade. Do note that this is a fairly front heavy mix only occasionally opening up the atmospherics. LFE is mostly subdued rarely giving anything more than a subtle rumble. Dynamics are reserved for moments via musical cues or background activity like gunshots or other characters. Minus that, the audio quality is only so good here. I would have given this a 3/5 but decided to bump it up to a 3.5/5 duly in support of Warner finally using lossless audio. I’m sure fans will be pleased.
The supplements provided on this release are:
- Chuck Vs. The Final Episode – This is a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the final episode of the series. Cast interviews and general feelings of the series wrapping are shown.
- Sandwiches and Superfans – This is a kind of tribute to the true fans of the series, the ones who petitioned to the network after the series was almost cancelled.
- Spy Tunes – Here we’re given a glance into the scoring of the series.
- Chuck: The Beginnings – This shows how the series exactly came into formation.
- Chuck: Through the Years – This glances into how the series has changed over the 5 years it has been on.
- Chuck: The Future – Varying cast members give insight into the future.
- Declassified Scenes – Here a collection of mostly worthwhile deleted scenes are shown.
- Gag Reel – A few minutes of gags are found here.
- Commercials – Here the full-length commercials for the Buy More, made by Captain Awesome and Mike, are shown.
- Commentaries – Two commentaries, with Creator/Writer Josh Schwartz as well as Executive Producer Chris Fedak and actors Joshua Gomez/Zachary Levi, for the final 2 episodes are available.
The Definitive Word
This isn’t the kind of title you’re going to blindly buy one day. Being in the fans category, I found the video to be serviceable, audio improved and features interesting enough to warrant a recommendation.
Additional Screen Captures