- Actors: Daniel Baldwin, Richard Belzer, Andre Braugher, Clark Johnson, Yaphet Kotto
- Directors: Alan Taylor, Barry Levinson, Bruce Paltrow, Christopher Menaul, John McNaughton
- Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
- Language: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: eOne Films
- Release Date: May 6 2008
- Run Time: 650 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 138 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00008PHCZ
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #47,727 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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Homicide: Life On The Street: The Complete Seasons 1 and 2
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One of the most critically acclaimed shows in TV history, Homicide: Life on the Streets reinvigorated a tired genre by focusing on the grueling work of solving murders instead of an endless succession of bloody crimes and car chases. Inspired by David Simon's Edgar Award-winning account of Baltimore homicide detectives and brought to television by writer Paul Attanasio (Gideon's Crossing) and director Barry Levinson (Analyze This, The Perfect Storm, Oz), Homicide boasted a powerhouse ensemble cast featuring Ned Beatty (Network, Deliverance), Yaphet Kotto (Alien, Midnight Run), Richard Belzer (Law & Order: SVU), and breakout star Andre Braugher (Frequency, Miller's Crossing). Now this Emmy and Peabody Award winner debuts on DVD with this collector's set featuring all 13 episodes from the first two seasons of Homicide: Life on the Street.
Homicide: Life on the Street was always ahead of its time. As this collection of the first two seasons proves, it still is. Crime dramas that have thrived on cable, like The Sopranos, have benefited from the ground Homicide broke--and inherited many of the talents (like Edie Falco) that made it great. To NBC's credit, particularly then-president and fan Warren Littlefield, it supported the show for seven years, despite several cast changes and lukewarm ratings. Fortunately, critics were enthusiastic from the start and fans were loyal. Awards would roll in, too, culminating in a richly deserved Emmy for Andre Braugher (Frank Pembleton).
Homicide was based on the book by David Simon and created by Paul Attanasio (Quiz Show), Tom Fontana (Oz), and Barry Levinson (Diner). It was filmed in Levinson's beloved Charm City and he directed several episodes, including "Gone for Goode," which introduced the case of Adena Watson (and won another Emmy). It would haunt Tim Bayliss (the underrated Kyle Secor) for the rest of the series. The authentic Maryland locations, unusual cases (many based on real-life incidents), groundbreaking camera work, edgy--often humorous--dialogue, and seemingly improvised acting set Homicide apart from everything on TV. Then there were the directors, like Nick Gomez ("Son of a Gun") and Alan Taylor ("A Dog and Pony Show"), and guest stars, like Gwen Verdon ("A Ghost of a Chance") and Robin Williams ("Bop Gun"). Could this really be network TV? Most times, it didn't feel like it. These 13 episodes present the main characters: Captain Al "Gee" Giardello (Yaphet Kotto), Kay Howard (Melissa Leo), Meldrick Lewis (Clark Johnson), and John Munch (Richard Melzer), whose character would segue to Law & Order: SVU. Ned Beatty, Daniel Baldwin, and Jon Polito also make vivid impressions, but would not remain for the long haul. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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I was wrong. They were abosolutely great! (Of course in many ridiculous ways that children's cartoons are).
I do however have a problem with the packaging. Aside from the front cover (which is very nice), the inside art is terrible! I've had many Jem story books and colouring books that all had great art, so that leaves no excuse for these child-like scribbles.
The design and typographic layout of the package also looks very budget and not at all at the same quality level as the male cartoon equivalent of Jem: The Transformers.
The DVD Menus were easy to navigate, but also cheaply designed. Very boring.
The episode commentaries are also a waste of time as Christy Marx only outlines the plot of the episode, which if you're watching the commentary, you've probably already watched the episode and know what the plot is. Aside from that, plots in the Jem storyline are never very hard to figure out. She doesn't give very much interesting information and constantly pauses for long breaks. It's almost like she was making up the commentary as she was going. Very unprofessional.
I would have liked to see a special picture section showing all the dolls that were available as well as interview with the makers of the toys.
Hopefully something like that will be available if they reissue the rest of the episodes which I will DEFINITELY be buying.
Aside from all the problems this DVD set had, the episodes speak for themselves. Time well spent.
I just hope the next Jem DVD is even better! The interview with Samantha Newark is kinda boring and all she does is talk about what a wonderful singer she is.....She was just the speaking voice of Jem...not the singing voice!
Otherwise...I loved every minute of it!
My favorites were Jon Polito as Det. Steve Crosetti. Polito has done a lot of screen work for the Coen Brothers (Miller's Crossing, The Man Who Wasn't There), and he brought his unique combination of humor and intensity to the role. Andre Braugher is terrific as the terminally eager Det. Frank Pembleton, and to watch him question a suspect is to feel the heat of the interrogation room come right off the TV screen. Whoever thought to cast ex comedian, almost-has-been Richard Belzer as Det. John munch deserves an Emmy for that decision alone. Belzer is simply great as John Munch, creating one of the most unique and surprising characters in the history of television, and one of the most important cop characters of them all - right up there with Det. Joe Friday or Det. Lonnie Briscoe. Lastly, Yaphet Kotto brings his dominant presence as the steady powerhouse, Lt. Gee Giardello.
The show was also a colossal trailblazer - often imitated, never duplicated. The writing was top-notch throughout, the directing was always tight, but the thing to note was the style of the production. Gritty close ups, shifting camera angles, little or now background music, and the depiction of cops as at times willing to break the law to get the guilty - all set a tone and style that was very influential. If you are a fan of The Shield (as I am), watch this series to see where it comes from.
No kidding, this stuff is the shot.
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