Alcatraz: Complete Series (BLU-RAY)


On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Bonus Features

Alactraz Island of Intrigue, Unaired Scenes, Gag Reel, Ultra Violet Copy

It's known as a prison that couldn't be escaped from as well as for being one of the toughest prisons around. Alcatraz was the home for the worst criminals that lived in America for 33 years until one day it no longer was a federal prison. According to the records and public knowledge the 256 inmates were transferred to other prisons but the truth is that all 256 prisoners and 46 guards disappeared without a trace on March 21, 1963. Now 49 years later some of those missing men are coming back to continue their evil deeds but now there's a chance someone's directing them to kill. With no record and believed to be dead, these men will be hard to find and stop but San Francisco homicide detective Rebecca Madsen (played by Sarah Jones) hunt these men down with the help of Dr. Diego Soto (played by Jorge Garcia). As these two unlikely partners search for answers they find themselves in a mystery that they never knew even existed.

When Alcatraz first came on I thought about watching it but decided that with all that I had on my plate (or maybe I should say my DVR), I just didn't have the time to start a brand new series. Alcatraz had a great idea for a plot where the real reason of Alcatraz shutting down was because everyone that was in it one night just disappeared and now almost 50 years later they are starting to reappear. Having that mystery of what happened to these people, why did it happen, how did it happen added on with why are they back, why now and not before or later, where were they, what were they doing, how did they stay the same age, is someone in control or was it natural, and so, so, soooo many more questions that the show could have been great. With all these questions Alcatraz could have went on for a number of seasons and I think at first this was the plan but sadly it was canceled with only 13 episodes.

Now I say sadly because after watching this series I came to really enjoy the show, so of course it had to be canceled. As I said the plot is one that was a good idea and could have went far but there was also the actors giving some life to the show. Even though I'm a fan of Jorge Garcia, I found myself liking him as the smart Dr. Soto who owns a comic book shop that also is an expert in Alcatraz knowledge. He was funny, he was witty, and he knew when to be that guy that had to get something done but then say that odd joke to lighten the mood. Sarah Jones does a decent performance as a determined cop who stumbles onto a huge mystery that ends up having ties to her family and even though she is told to leave it alone she of course gets deeper involved in it. This show was fun to watch as I tried to figure out how everything tied together as I waited for more clues to be dropped. It's this format of giving the glimpses into the past showing the prison as it was before the people disappeared to the present to show them on some sort of mystery mission for someone. I was really enjoying the mystery of the show and would have liked there to been more episodes so I could have had let the show pull me into it.

However, as much as I like the show I realized why it was canceled even with all that it had going for it. What I think hurt Alcatraz the most was that each episode turned out to be the same format of having the lost inmate reappearing, doing something (usually killing someone), Rebecca and Dr. Soto find out, Emerson (played by Sam Neill) wouldn't tell them anything, we get some flash backs, and then the bad guy is caught. Every episode felt like a freak of the week, or in this case, inmate of the past coming to present of the week. Now this is fine for first 2 to 4 episodes but along with those episodes there need to be answers or some sort of reason as to what is going on being given. Then some episodes that explain some stuff, maybe a few that centers on only 1 inmate or guard but doesn’t end in that same episode. Even though it was interesting to see who the new inmate was it wasn't interesting enough to be the only plot for every episode. Also Sam Neill played a character that didn't seem to grow any. I was already tired of his gruff, I'm not going to give you any answers or explanation or help into this mystery we are all working on attitude. If Alcatraz had his character growing sooner and less of the same who will be next format I think this show would have made it to at least a full first season instead of only 13 episodes.

Alcatraz might not have been on air for long but those 13 episodes look nice on this Blu Ray. With it's 1080p resolution the picture quality was quite impressive. There's a lot of different color tones being used here, from the cold look of the past inside the prison to the present with it being a brighter and little warmer place to be. All the different tones are clear, the colors are sharp, making the picture look really nice. This show also has good audio levels where I was able to hear it clearly on my television set as well as on my new portable Blu Ray player. My only gripe about this Blu Ray is that with a series that's only 13 episodes and it being one of such a mystery, I would have liked to seen some features talking about the full extent of the show, it's plot, and what the writers wanted to do with it. Though there is the gag reel so that's a plus.


Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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