Blu-ray
Recommended
3 stars
Amazon
$22.24
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Overall Grade
3 stars

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

The Movie Itself
3.5 Stars
HD Video Quality
4 Stars
HD Audio Quality
3.5 Stars
Supplements
1 Stars
High-Def Extras
0 Stars
Bottom Line
Recommended

Falling Skies: The Complete Fifth Season

Street Date:
February 2nd, 2016
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
March 3rd, 2016
Movie Release Year:
2015
Studio:
Warner Bros.
Length:
440 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Unrated
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

'Falling Skies' had a lot going for it when it first aired in 2011. It had a semi-decent budget and was the new flagship show on TNT about a giant alien invasion that basically wipes out Earth with few survivors. These survivors come together to fight back the alien invasion in this post-apocalyptic world. Add to this the involvement of Steven Spielberg as Executive Producer of the show. This show looked to provide a great amount of human struggle on both a physical and emotional level, and might have been something that we had never seen before.

However, throughout the series, TNT and the writers never took a chance or even a risk in showing something daring or original. The show never pushed the bounds or created a new or fresh environment for us to sink our teeth into and become hardcore fans for years to come. That all being said, 'Falling Skies' still had enough action, interesting characters and plot lines, and some entertaining moments throughout the series to still garner fans and five seasons.

This series was just so capable of doing so much with this genre, but it fell short, because it never took the risk, but instead stuck to the usual genre tropes here, which is a shame, because when you have Spielberg at your disposal and talent like this show had, you expect more. The fifth and final season of 'Falling Skies' consists of ten episodes, which speeds along the final act of the show, with the 2nd Mass battling the Espheni and finally figuring out what the aliens are there for. From surprise skitter attacks, to betrayals, death, and redemption, these ten episodes put forth their best effort to wrap things up by episode ten.

Life in the 2nd Mass is course tiresome for all with the endless battles and attacks on everyone. Death is everywhere with very little victory. Food and water is constantly being threatened or running out and the endless question of how just to defeat these aliens is top priority. There are some melodramatic moments with the relationships that all come to a conclusion on either good terms or bad, but the action sequences this season takes the spotlight. Whether it be battling a few aliens at once or taking out an entire ship, the action seems to never stop this season.

While all this is happening, along with the melodramatic moments, it just all seems like time-filler until the final two episodes can wrap things up nicely, and not taking chances on showing something that would change television or even push boundaries. Still, 'Falling Skies' was a good enough show that held enough interest to keep people watching for five years. It just won't be as memorable as it should or could have been.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats 

'Falling Skies: Season 5' comes with two 50GB Blu-ray Discs that are Region A locked and a digital download code insert. The discs are housed in a hard blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. There is also another insert that lists each episode with a brief synopsis.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

'Falling Skies: Season Five' comes with a great 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. If you've seen this show, you know you're not in for a colorful, happy tale of adventure. Instead, this is a bleak post-apocalyptic alien invasion story that is as black and grey as the color themselves. The color scheme alike is mostly black and grey, which shows up nicely on all fronts.

There are few primary colors in the form of scattered war-torn clothing or canned foods, but other than that, this is a very neutral and steely cold color palette. It does look nice though. The detail is very sharp and vivid throughout, never going soft, with the exception of a few heavy CGI sequences. The closeups reveal every intricate detail in the war-torn new world with tattered weapons, dirty clothing, and mangles props. They also reveal individual hairs, good makeup effects, and wrinkles nicely.

Wider shots also look sharp, which gives this series some nice visual depth. The black levels are deep and inky throughout with almost zero crush, and the flesh tones are true in nature with the natural grim lighting. There is some minor video noise and banding, but it's hardly anything to write home about, leaving this video presentation with solid marks.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

This release comes with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 MA mix and is on par with the previous seasons. When the action is heavy and the explosions are plentiful, is when you can expect the fully immersive sound to flow through your speakers. That being said, some of the big sound effects aren't as full and robust as they could be.  For instance, the gun blasts and hits and kicks all sound a little muffled and don't pack a punch like they should. On the other hand, the alien weapons and explosions sound incredible.

Ambient noises are quaint, but come through enough to set the scene. Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow and perfectly balanced and prioritized in each scene. The score always adds to the tone and emotion of each episode without drowning out any dialogue or other noises. The directionality is spot on as well. I wouldn't compare this to the big action films or television shows in regards to its sound design, but it gets the job done nicely. I just wish there was a tiny bit more to it. The LFE is great and the dynamic range is wide here, leaving this with decent marks.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

Farewell to the Skies Featurettes (HD, 14 Mins.) - The main stars of the series talk about their characters over the course of the show and their favorite storylines. There are seven different actors here, including Noah Wyle, Colin Cunningham, Doug Jones, Sarah Carter, Connor Jessup, Drew Roy, and a Skitter.

Cast Goodbyes (HD, 1 Min.) - A very short extra in which the main cast talks about their favorite memories, filming the show.

A Look Back (HD, 3 Mins.) - Again, a very short extra in which the main cast talk about ending the show and how grateful they are to be in the series.

2015 WonderCon Panel (HD, 49 Mins.) - Some of the cast from the show do a Q & A with fans at WonderCon.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

There are zero HD exclusives here.

Final Thoughts

'Falling Skies' had a good run. It wasn't the best show on television, but it had enough fans, charm, action, and decent story telling to keep it going for five seasons long. Everything wrapped up nicely with some twists and turns here and there. I have a feeling that if 'Falling Skies' were on AMC or FX or even HBO, that it would have been one of the better shows of our generation, but it wasn't. I don't think 'Falling Skies' will be remembered a long time from now, but it certainly had a lot of great moments throughout the series with some innovative stories and characters. If you're a fan of the show, you'll enjoy this season as it serves as a good ending to the series. The video and audio presentations are both good, however the extras are too short to gain anything of real value, considering this is the last season. Still, this last season and series is recommended, but just for the fans.

Technical Specs

  • 2-Disc Set + Digital Copy

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p MPEG-4 AVC

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.85:1

Audio Formats

  • English Dolby TrueHD 5.1

Subtitles/Captions

  • English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

Supplements

  • Farewell interviews with the cast and crew, including Noah Wyle, Colin Cunningham, Doug Jones and more, as well as "A Look Back," an exclusive group interview with Doug Jones, Colin Cunningham and Sarah Carter.
  • Cast Goodbyes
  • A Look Back
  • 2015 WonderCon Panel

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