Arts 592

Published on September 29th, 2009 | by Greg


Quick Hits: Lie To Me and Prison Break: The Final Break

We haven’t reviewed a lot of TV shows, but it’s not that our writers don’t watch any television. More often, it’s simply that by the time the actual season release on video or DVD comes about, we’ve already seen most if not all of the episodes. So, while movies often make their way to our pages, it’s got to be a pretty special show to warrant a viewing months after the show’s season has ended.

That’s the case with Prison Break for instance, which ended recently after an excellent first season and three of less-even quality. The show was once quite popular locally and even internationally, thanks to a pretty great cast of characters and a decent plot and gimmick. After the first season, the core gimmick disappeared, and with it a good portion of the audience and reason to watch. But a few of us here remained loyal to Michael, Lincoln, Sara, and the gang throughout their various schemes, escapes, betrayals and travels until the finale earlier this year.

If you watched the finale, you probably weren’t sure what to make of the last scenes, which jumped ahead into the future. That’s where Prison Break: The Final Break comes in, filling that gap and a few pieces of the puzzle. The problem is, of course, that you already know what is going to happen, so this movie is not just for fans but for serious fans who miss the show and want or need more. In other parts of the world, apparently, this movie aired as the two episodes that it was filmed as, though in the United States these weren’t aired and instead released in this format. It feels a bit crammed here, and with the only extra being a few deleted scenes, it also feels a bit rushed. Available on both Blu-ray and regular DVD, there really isn’t anything of particular note differentiating the Blu-ray version that we tried- the transfer is fine, audio good, and the video certainly looks crisper. But the slightly low production values come through a bit more clearly on the HD video. That being said, it’s probably worth the extra $5, provided that you have a Blu-ray player. $20 on Blu-ray, $15 on DVD, available widely online.

Lie to Me, on the other hand, largely escaped our notice during the regular TV season (too busy mourning Battlestar Galactica and savoring Lost, most likely). Starring the excellent Tim Roth, we’re happy to report that the show is smart, entertaining, and mostly easy-to-like. We’ve watched the first season (a bit too short at only 13 episodes), and it’s grown on us. The second season began last night, and is already living up the promise of the show.

With a gimmick that might seem in danger of quickly running out of steam, the show instead turns into a core concept which they use in remarkably flexible ways. One show will revolve around sports, another around the military, and each time we’re following Dr. Lightman and his employees as they attempt to detect, reveal, and explain the lies that fly about from various sources. There is enough micro-expression fact to make the show a bit more remarkable than various other crime dramas, and enough fiction to make it suspenseful and enjoyable. It lacks the serial panache of great TV- there don’t seem to be big questions hanging over the entire show like, say, Life or Lost or TSCC- but it works well regardless. The Blu-ray transfer was pretty impressive here, perhaps because portions of the show are quite well produced, and we liked the only major bonus feature, a featurette giving background on the real science behind the show. If you don’t already have a full schedule (or have a hole until Lost appears), definitely give Lie to Me a chance. $40 or so online, or $34 for the DVD version.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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