Blu-ray
Rent it
3.5 stars
Overall Grade
3.5 stars

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

The Movie Itself
2.5 Stars
HD Video Quality
4.5 Stars
HD Audio Quality
4 Stars
Supplements
3 Stars
High-Def Extras
2 Stars
Bottom Line
Rent it

Revolution: The Complete First Season

Street Date:
September 3rd, 2013
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
December 5th, 2013
Movie Release Year:
2012
Studio:
Warner Brothers
Length:
857 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Unrated
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

Another network, another show about the apocalypse. No matter if you're at home or at the theater, there always seem to be an apocalyptic movie or TV show you can watch. Hollywood is obsessed with these end-of-world projects. Maybe Hollywood knows something we don't. With the huge success of 'The Walking Dead', 'World War Z', and any other world apocalypse show, NBC wanted to cash in on this idea. So the creator of 'Lost', J.J. Abrams, creator of 'Fringe', Bryan Burk, and the creator of 'Supernatural', Eric Kripke all came together and formed an apocalyptic show called 'Revolution'. This apocalypse doesn't have aliens, zombies, or monsters in it though. But the lack of electricity is what sent our world in downward spiral till its ultimate collapse. The idea is strong with this one, but the execution and maybe the fact that it's on NBC gives this series a less than average rating.

I know it's all about the money, but I would hope that these primetime networks could push out a little more quality more often than they do. And this is supposed to be a gritty end-of-world show, it's completely polished, vague, and suitable for the entire family, which it shouldn't be, given the plot. There isn't anything here that is a surprise, although the show would like to leave you in suspense at every break and fear of what's to come next. But the problem here is that you already know what's coming, because it's so blatantly obvious. If you're looking for that next great show or movie about the apocalypse, then you might want to look elsewhere.

If you're unfamiliar with the premise of 'Revolution', the backstory is that something happened over a decade ago that caused all the electricity to stop. Nothing electronic works anymore. No cars, boats, trains, or planes work. Not to mention TVs, computers, or phones. And since we as a people cannot supposedly function without this (they functioned over 150 years ago), a 'Mad Max' scenario has played out with evil militias and criminals stockpiling weapons, holding out on all the food, killing people, and trying to take over the world with their evil plans.

Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot of epic scope here as the series takes place more than a decade after the fall of civilization and centers on the Matheson family as they try to survive the militias and find a way to restore the electricity to the world. We take in this apocalyptic world through the eyes of Charlie Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos), a young woman who has seen some of her family killed in the huge blackout aftermath, but has formed a group of survivors as they never seem to avoid danger on their quest. Charlie's uncle Miles (Billy Burke) is an ex militia leader and is now a good guy, and the two look for Charlie's younger brother who was kidnapped by the militia. There is also a tech geek who knows science and technology, and a few other people who can handle weapons. It's all very stereotypical, uninteresting, and nothing you haven't seen before.

The creators of this show must have loved Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring) from 'Breaking Bad', because they cast him in a villain role, and it's pretty much the same character. Throughout this first season, we see the small history of the blackout, some of Charlie's family members who might have had a role in the blackout, and some decent action scenes throughout the 20 episodes. The set pieces, effects, and talent here are very good. However, the script and storyline hinder all of these. These actors try their best with what they're given, but it comes off as lazy and tiresome. Esposito is fun to watch though.

Sure, some main characters come to their bitter end in the first season, which should be causing shock and awe, but it is very predictable and formulaic throughout. There is not one scene where you would say, "I didn't see that coming." I know this is currently in its second season, but this show just doesn't live up to its competition on other networks.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

'Revolution' comes with a great 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The detail is very sharp with well-defined facial textures that show wrinkles, makeup applications, blemishes, and some great costume stitching. Colors are very saturated and seem to be very bright, especially in the outdoor daytime scenes. Things tend to neutralize out when stuff is happening indoors.

Blacks are deep and inky with the flesh tones coming across natural and smooth. The contrast is a little wonky at times, but I believe that was the intention of the show, to bring out this harshness of reality while outdoors in the open. There was some very minor banding and motion blur, but nothing that would hinder your viewing experience. Overall, this is a solid video presentation.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

This release comes with a great lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix which sounds very good, however for being an apocalyptic series, it doesn't quite stack up as well as it could. The dialogue is always clear and easy to understand, but sometimes is downed out by the score and many sound effects. That being said, there were no pops, cracks or hissing in the audio.

The surrounds get a decent workout here with gunshots buzzing by, screaming, explosions, and engines trying to turn on. The LFE is great and the dynamic range is wide. There is some good directionality here as well. But for being this type of show, I expected a little bit more ambience and all out sound of dread and danger. It sounds good, but not where it should be.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

  • Creating a 'Revolution' (HD, 20 mins) - Eric Kripke and some of the show's designers talk about the design, costumes, locations, and props used in the show.
  • An In-Depth Look at the 'Revolution' Pilot (HD, 15 mins) - J.J. Abrams, Eric Kripke, and Jon Favreau, along with a few cast members talk about the pilot, the storyline, the acting, and the production of the show.
  • Webisodes (HD, 16 mins) - Here are five webisodes that you can enjoy.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 20 mins) - Here are 11 deleted scenes that are spread across the 4 discs.
  • Gag reel. (HD, 2 mins) - A short gag reel of flubbed lines and laughs.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

  • 'Revolution' Cast & Creative Team at 2013 PaleyFest (HD, 29 mins) - The cast and crew answer questions at the famous PaleyFest event about the series. These are always great.

Final Thoughts

'Revolution' looks nice and has a great premise. But overall, it doesn't stack up well to the other apocalyptic films or tv shows out there. It's too polished and predictable. The video presentation is great and the audio sounds good, but could have been more. The extras are fun here as well. If you're a fan of the show, then by all means, get this blu-ray. If you're a first timer to the show, rent it.

Technical Specs

  • Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet Combo Pack

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/AVC MPEG-4

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.78:1

Audio Formats

  • English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • French DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Spanish DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Japanese DTS-HD MA 5.1

Subtitles/Captions

  • English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Finnish, Swedish, Dutch, Norwegian, Japanese, Danish

Supplements

  • An In-depth Look at the ‘Revolution’ Pilot – Featurette
  • Creating a Revolution - Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • NBC.com Webisodes
  • Gag Reel

Exclusive HD Content

  • Revolution Cast & Creative Team at the 2013 Paley Festival

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