SRP $69.99 1.77:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 BUENA VISTA

BUENA VISTA has released the entire first season of “ALIAS” on dvd.  We can’t recommend this title enough. To be fair, this reviewer had absolutely no interest in watching any of the airings initially, and caught one of them during the mid-second season, becoming hooked.  It’s the kind of show, where one doesn’t absolutely have to know what transpired in previous episodes to enjoy the current one, but it certainly makes one want to go back and find out.  Thankfully, now viewers have that chance. 

“ALIAS” is one of those rare, special shows, which one feels they have to turn others on to it, and we have no reservations in doing so!  Truth be told, this reviewer still isn’t a Jennifer Garner fan! It’s hard not to be annoyed with Garner’s incessant pouting, and continued naiveté’ , from one episode to the next.  However, as frustrating as it is to watch her character make some incredibly stupid moves, one can’t help but to get totally caught up in the plot, and of course root for her. 

Garner stars as Sydney Bristow, whom only recently has found out that the clandestine agency she’s been working for(SD-6), is not part of the C.I.A as she originally thought. In fact, it’s an organization so nefarious, it puts “S.M.E.R.S.H.” and the other Bond-like villainous organizations to shame!  Upon finding out the truth of her employers, she becomes a double agent for the real C.I.A., and the season is off to a rapid-faced start! 

“ALIAS” combines stunning cinematography, incredible production design, consistently respectable performances, and well-written scripts, achieving a wonderful payout for the viewer.   

BUENA VISTA has presented the show with 1.78:1 aspect ratio and 16:9 enhancement.  While the show looked great on tv, it looks even better here!  Colors are more vibrant, and detail is consistently remarkable!  While there are some minor flaws, artifacts are present in spots, the overall quality is excellent!  Fleshtones appear natural throughout.

BUENA VISTA has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. While it’s not as aggressive as we’d have liked, there are a fair amount of surround effects, employed at the right moments to boost the tension to a given scene.  Most of the separation is targeted towards the front. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from separation. 

BUENA VISTA has thrown in some noteworthy extras for this release!

Creator Jeffrey Abrams and Jennifer Garner provide commentary and introduction for the pilot episode.  It’s a laid-back, fun commentary, wherein both offer their share of reminiscences of the series, as well as some funny moments.  There’s also some interesting production info as well. 

Another commentary features the cinematographer, producer and director Ken Olin. This one’s much more technical than the Garner one, and fans of the show with aspirations to get involved in the industry will surely enjoy it.

Executive producers Alex Counter, Roberto Orci and John Eisendrath provide commentary for the unique “Q&A” episode, basically a best of for the season, intent on catching newcomers to what they’ve missed out on already. This commentary is more involved with production info than the previous two. 

The best commentary is undoubtedly the one offered for “ALMOST 30 YEARS”. Garner and most of the cast are featured here, simply talking about their first season, with a breezy, attractive demeanor. 

A featurette, “PILOT PRODUCTION DIARY” offers behind-the-scenes footage of the pilot episode.  Abrams also provides narration, allowing for those sitting on the fence about the show, to get a good idea of what it has to offer.

“INSIDE STUNTS” is a brief documentary look at the show’s complex stunt sequences, of which there are many!  Entertaining, interesting, and “too” short!

BUENA VISTA has included a deleted scenes section(ho-hum) and a fun gag reel. 

“ALIAS: FIRST SEASON” shouldn’t be missed!!!