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2 stars
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Overall Grade
2 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
1.5 Stars
HD Video Quality
3.5 Stars
HD Audio Quality
3.5 Stars
Supplements
1 Stars
High-Def Extras
0 Stars
Bottom Line
Skip it

Crossing Lines: Season One

Street Date:
January 21st, 2014
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
February 18th, 2014
Movie Release Year:
2013
Studio:
Lionsgate
Length:
499 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Unrated
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

'Crossing Lines' is yet another addition to the police detective drama, one that we have seen done many times before it. There is nothing original or fresh with this series. Maybe the only thing that it has going for it is that it's actually filmed on location overseas in Europe, rather than the Hollywood studios in good ole' California. That being said, not every location is true to its setting, meaning that some shots of Paris might be filmed in Prague and so on. But still, that is better than most of the international spy thriller shows that are on prime-time today.

This show has several problems plaguing it. In addition to not being original or packing a fresh beat, the story is riddled with dark and brooding character backgrounds that literally interrupt the task at hand, which is to track down big bad criminals across continents and nations. And each character has a dark secret, which is met with clunky dialogue and long tangents that take away our time in each episode from getting to the actual main plot of each case. It's as if the writers couldn't come up with enough action and suspense throughout each episode, so they added in some junk that doesn't make sense to fill out the hour.

'Crossing Lines' centers around a group of people from various backgrounds that have been recruited as special agents in an international police force for the I.C.C. (International Crime Court), which is off the grid. This rag-tag team pursues high-end criminals across country lines. This sounds a lot like Interpol to me, which is a very real organization. Hell, even the series mentions Interpol, but I fail to see a difference here. Maybe it is because they are "off the grid" here, that makes them special and deserving of a show.

All members of this newly found team come from some sort of police officer background and all specialize in something different. Whether it be weapons, crime, technology, mafia, or leadership, the team seems to come together right at the very end to solve a crime. Needless to say, it gets repetitive. Whether they are tracking a serial killer that leaves a dead body in every city capital that they visit or someone with a bigger crime network, the unit doesn't seem to do much other than find a few clues and talk about their twisted past. It's a sloppy story structure and the series suffers. I was shocked to find out this has been renewed for a second season.

With veteran actors like William Fitchner and Donald Sutherland attached to this project, I thought this would have been better o every aspect. Sure the actors turn in decent performances, but seem one-note most of the time, due to the shoddy script and story arcs. If 'Crossing Lines' wants to keep on the air for future seasons, it needs some serious improvements on writing and story.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

'Crossing Lines: Season 1' comes with a decent 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The entire show has a muted color aspect to it. There are a lot of grays, browns, and shades of beige. And for being set overseas in Europe, I expected more vivid colors. When some of the primary colors do show up, they look glossed over.

Nothing seems to pop off-screen. The detail looks fairly sharp in most places with some well-defined closeups that show individual hairs on the actor's faces and some good make up blemishes. There is some light banding from time to time, but other than that, this is fairly issue free. I expected more from this video presentation, but it's not the worst I've seen.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix and should have a bigger sound than it does, with it being a police crime thriller that it is. This is mostly dialogue-centric, which sounds very good. The dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to understand. There are no instances of cracks, pops, or hissing.

This audio track is mostly front heavy, which is unfortunate, because there are plenty of instances for some great surround noise, with gun fights, explosions, and other ambient noises. Sure, there are a few scenes that make use of the rear speakers, but it's not very often. I wish this had a more robust and better balanced audio mix.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

  • Behind the Lines (HD, 11 mins) - Here is a short extra that has some cast and crew interviews about the making of the show. They also discuss how true some of these organizations and practices are. Fairly interesting.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

There are no HD exclusives.

Final Thoughts

'Crossing Lines: Season 1' does nothing new to change the police crime thriller genre. Its clunky story telling and cliched character backgrounds ultimately bring down the series. If they focused more on the tasks and crimes at hand, then this would be a much better show. The video and audio could be better and the only extra is average at best. I'd skip this one all together.

Technical Specs

  • 3 50GB Blu-ray Discs

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/AVC MPEG-4

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.78:1

Audio Formats

  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles/Captions

  • English SDH, Spanish

Supplements

  • Behind the scenes featurette

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