CSI: MIAMI - SEASON ONE - EPISODES
Region 2 (UK) Edition
Reviewed by Mike Hadfield
Chappelle, Tucker Gates, Scott Brazil, Bryan Spicer, etc.
David Caruso, Emily Procter, Adam Rodriguez, Khandi
ďlightning doesnít strike twice!Ē Yet Jerry Bruckheimer has proved them
wrong. In fact, you could take all his lightning strikes and run a small
countryís national grid with them! Not content with producing some of the
biggest blockbuster movies of recent times (Top Gun, Armageddon,
Pirates of the Caribbean), he has now cast his magical spell over
Bruckheimer gave us CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, set in Las
Vegas, which follows a team of forensic police detectives solving all
kinds of grisly and gory crimes. This became an instant hit on the other
side of the Atlantic, and quickly gathered a huge following over here,
where, thanks to Channel Fiveís quick purchase, it became essential
viewing on Tuesday nights. A well-plotted and fast-edited programme to
keep you guessing right till the end.
couple of seasons, the producers decided to create a spin-off, CSI:
Miami. Like its older brother, it follows a team of forensic
detectives, but this time working in the brilliant sunshine and
magnificent scenery of Miami-Dade county. The leader of this small team is
Horatio Crane, played to perfection by David Caruso (formerly of NYPD
Crane always strives to control the situation around him, and stops at
nothing to root out the culprits in whatever crime he is investigating. He
is ably supported by Calleigh Duquesne (pronounced Dew-kane, played by
Emily Procter, ex-West Wing), Eric Delko (Adam Rodriquez,
ex-Roswell), Medical Examiner Alexx Woods (Khandi Alexander),
Timothy Speedle (Rory Cochrane) and Megan Donner (Caruso's NYPD Blue
squeeze Kim Delaney). This is an ensemble that gels incredibly well.
all look fantastic - whether roaming along sandy beaches or searching
hotel rooms for vital bits of evidence. The only problem with the
characters is that you donít really become involved with them. They come
along and work with each other to piece the clues together but you donít
really get to KNOW them! The original CSI quickly built up a background
story for all its key cast members. However, by the end of the first half
of Miami we still donít know much about their personal lives, so
donít really care about many of the characters. They are not as ílikeableí
as their Las Vegas counterparts. Despite this, the quality of acting makes
up for this deficiency.
of production, they really pull out the stops for the first episode. We
have a small jet crash into the Everglades that has to be seen to be
believed. Itís amazing what can be achieved on television these days! This
first episode, Golden Parachute, launches us immediately into the
search for answers, with members of the team arriving and getting to work
quickly and efficiently.
of the production is very bright, especially compared to the Vegas version
(now informally known as CSI: Vegas, to avoid confusion) which is
usually very dark. This was obviously a stylistic approach taken by the
producers to make the programme look quite different to its predecessor.
Happily, the snappy-editing and camera work that characterise the original
CSI series is also featured here and this gives it a very familiar
the episodes in this half-season set, we have a number of unusual deaths
and situations. One of my favourites is Losing Face, regarding the
teamís search and analysis of the aftermath of a bomb attack. This second
episode is even better than the first. Remarkably this standard is
maintained across all the episodes. Most US TV series are patchy at best.
Scenes are given added impact and urgency by the use of handheld cameras Ė
making you feel part of the action. This works very well indeed. CSI:
Miami also has itís fair share of gory moments Ė this is definitely
not a series for the squeamish!
Miami was deliberately shot with very saturated colours and distinct
bright lighting to give it a different visual feel. It really does look
like no other series on TV. I am happy to say that Momentum have also
given us a first-class transfer. Colours are stable and there is no sign
of bleeding or edge enhancement. Whether you are watching fast action
sequences or the more subdued and slower sections, the colours are vibrant
and clear. This DVD has rock solid images with no picture artefacts at
all. Channel Fiveís broadcasts of the show were very good but this is a
whole new level! Video is presented in its original 16:9 anamorphic
widescreen ratio. MPEG-2 encoding is excellent (6.1Mb/sec).
menus (which are also 16:9 widescreen) are animated and have sound
effects. Navigation is obvious and clear. Each episode has just three
chapter points. English Hard of Hearing subtitles are also available.
presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 (at a bitrate of 448kbps). Quite simply,
this is the best surround mix for television I have ever heard! It is
stunning! Dialogue is firmly centred but the effects and music envelope
you from the rear speakers with amazing clarity. In fact, all the speakers
are used to great effect and it gives you a truly cinematic experience in
your own home. The sound mixers of this programme deserve many awards for
what they have achieved here.
THE BONUS MATERIAL
for this release are fairly superficial but still nice to have. They are:
Miami Trailer (1m) (4:3 ratio).
a typical promo clip for the pilot episode and was intended to promote the
series on US TV. The sound is quite íhissyí. This is an R2 exclusive
Commentary on Golden Parachute by Joe Chappelle (Director) and Steven
pleased to have a commentary on the pilot episode, by its writer and
director, because it allows them to give us a good insight into the
film-making process. They explain how the look and feel for the show was
established, and also describe the great difficulties the pilot had when
shooting in the Everglades. Itís a great technical commentary and left me
wanting to hear more. Letís hope we get some more insights like this in
the next set.
Creating CSI:Miami and CSI:Miami Uncovered
two twelve-minute featurettes provide interviews with many members of the
cast and production team. They are not intended as full in-depth
documentaries about the programme but do serve to introduce the characters
and situations. We get a fair amount of behind-the-scenes coverage showing
members of the cast and crew enjoying themselves. Everyone seems to be
having a ball making this series, and that shines through in the finished
episodes. Both of these featurettes are presented in 4:3 format.
disappointing aspect of this release is that itís only half the season.
Why does Momentum continue to release programmes in half-season sets? Itís
about time they joined all the other companies (Warners, Universal, etc)
in releasing full season sets.
also have been a nice touch to give us the first ípilotí episode for
CSI: Miami (the characters were introduced in one of the final episode
of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation's second season,
Cross-Jurisdictions). This was included on the US full-season box set
but has been omitted here. It appears that it will not even be included on
the second half of the season either.
these quibbles, Momentum has created a superb set. They have taken care in
preparing the episodes for DVD and as a result have given us the very best
transfer you are likely to see from a TV series. Full marks also for
creating a truly impressive sound mix. Great Show! Great Discs! Buy them