Blu-ray Review “The Sopranos: The Complete Series”

Number of discs: 28
Starring: James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Tony Sirico, Dominic Chianese
Creator: David Chase
Studio: HBO Studios
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Rated TV-MA
Running Time: 4680 minutes

Series: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Every once in a while, a show comes along that changed television. “The Sopranos” was one of those shows. It built HBO to what it is today. The series is respected as one of the greatest television series of all time…and I easily agree. I remember dating back to 1999 watching the very first episode and being completely hooked from the start. During that time, I was hooked on mobster films like “Casino” and “Goodfellas” (in fact this series shares 27 actors with the 1990 Martin Scorsese gangster film), so this show was an epic TV version of those films. The cast is just simply outstanding including  James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, Tony Sirico and numerous others. I miss this show and I miss James Gandolfini but at least now we have the complete series available in one collection on Blu-ray.

Official Premise: For six seasons, fans have devotedly watched Tony Sopranos deal with the difficulties of balancing his home life with the criminal organization he leads. Audiences everywhere tuned in to see the mob, the food, the family, and Catch up on, or re-watch your favorite episodes of the Sopranos with The Sopranos: The Complete Series DVD Set. For six seasons, fans devotedly watched Tony Soprano deal with the difficulties of balancing his home life with the criminal organization he leads for a very good reason: groundbreaking dramatic storylines. Audiences everywhere tuned in to see the mob, the food, the family, and who was next to get whacked. Celebrate the show that Vanity Fair called, “the greatest show in TV history”. Between 1999 and 2007, The Sopranos was honored with no less than 21 Emmy Awards and 111 Emmy nominations!

This 28-disc Blu-ray release features all 6 seasons from this series, adding up to 86 episodes. The seasons break down as follows: Discs 1-4: The Complete First Season, Discs 5-8: The Complete Second Season, Discs 9-12: The Complete Third Season, Discs 13-16: The Complete Fourth Season, Discs 17-20: The Complete Fifth Season, Discs 21-24: Season Six, Part 1, Discs 25-27: Season Six, Part 2 and Discs 8: Exclusive Bonus Features. HBO is releasing this Complete Series was a combo pack with a Blu-ray + Digital HD copy included. The 1080p transfers are good from season one to great by the end of the sixth season. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is a bit more balanced and sounds great throughout the entire series.

The special features are great even though alot of the content is ported over the previous DVD releases. There are 25 audio commentaries, which sounds amazing but some of good and some are not. I picked a few hear and there on some of my favorites and I realized that very quickly. Other than that there are a bunch of rather short featurettes spread across each of the 27 discs. Some of the highlight extras ported over is a nearly 80 minute interview with creator David Chase by Peter Bogdonavich, which discusses the series in-depth. There is also a decent featurette focusing around “The Music of The Sopranos” with David Chase, Steven Van Zandt and Dominic Chianese.

The main draw for the special features is easily the 28th disc, which offers all new high definition bonus content, including a 46-minute retrospective, two round table discussions between David Chase and members of his cast and crew, a 2-part interview with Chase, and deleted scenes for all 6 seasons of the series. This Blu-ray exclusive content runs about three hours and is worth the purchase of the release itself. “Defining a Television Landmark” is a 45 minute look into the effect this series had a television. “Supper with The Sopranos” is a 75 minute dinner conversation with David Chase and various guests. This is easily the best special feature on the entire release. Lastly there are over 20 minutes of lost scenes from each season.

 

“The Sopranos: The Complete Series” Blu-ray with Digital HD arrives on November 4th

THE SOPRANOS®: THE COMPLETE SERIES BLU-RAY WITH DIGITAL HD
Collectible Box Set Featuring All Six Seasons of the Groundbreaking Series Available for the First Time on Blu-ray with Digital HD, November 4, 2014. Just in Time for Holiday Gift Giving

Complete Series Blu-ray Set is Packed with More Than Five Hours of Bonus Content, Including a Never-Before-Seen Feature Exploring the Legacy and Impact of the Game-Changing Series

New York, NY (June 4, 2014) – Fifteen years after making its revolutionary debut and radically altering the TV landscape, fans of the legendary HBO® series The Sopranos can now experience the show like never before. This fall, all 86 episodes of the beloved Emmy®, Golden Globe® and Peabody Award-winning series are available for the first time in a Blu-ray with Digital HD collector set in 1080p high definition. With 28 Blu-ray discs packaged in an elegant box set featuring iconic artwork from the series, The Sopranos: The Complete Series Blu-ray ($279.98) is an essential addition to any home entertainment collection. Featuring all six seasons plus bonus materials, this must-have set will be out in stores exclusively from HBO Home Entertainment on November 4, 2014 – just in time for the holidays.

Blu-ray with Digital HD Set Special Features
The Sopranos: The Complete Series Blu-ray comes with a free Digital HD copy of all 86 episodes, and the set is also loaded with more than five hours of bonus material including a new and exclusive feature exploring how The Sopranos came to be and how it transformed the television landscape. “Defining a Television Landmark,” which runs approximately 45 minutes, features all-new interviews with cast, crew, celebrities, filmmakers and academics — including series creator David Chase, star James Gandolfini, Academy Award® winning director Steven Soderbergh, Emmy® Award winner Jeff Daniels and Golden Globe winner Steve Buscemi — discussing the impact and influence of the groundbreaking series, with brand new archival footage. Additional bonus material includes lost scenes, two round table dinners with cast and crew, 25 audio commentaries and much more.

About The Sopranos
For six seasons, millions of viewers loyally tuned in to HBO to watch the drama unfold as modern-day mob boss Tony Soprano juggled responsibilities between his family and his other “family.” Hailed as “a remarkable achievement” by the Wall Street Journal and “the greatest show in TV history” by Vanity Fair, David Chase’s drama series The Sopranos stars three-time Emmy® winners James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano and Edie Falco as Tony’s wife Carmela, plus Lorraine Bracco as therapist Dr. Jennifer Melfi, Emmy® winner Michael Imperioli as Tony’s nephew Christopher Moltisanti and Dominic Chianese as Uncle Junior. Other series regulars include Robert Iler as Anthony Soprano, Jr., Jamie-Lynn Sigler as Meadow Soprano, Tony Sirico as Paulie Walnuts, Steven Van Zandt as Silvio Dante, Aida Turturro as Tony’s sister Janice, Steven R. Schirripa as Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri, John Ventimiglia as Artie Bucco, Vincent Curatola as Johnny Sack, Frank Vincent as Phil Leotardo and Ray Abruzzo as Little Carmine.

The Sopranos: The Complete Series
Exclusively on Blu-ray with Digital HD
Street Date: November 4, 2014
Order Date: July 22, 2014
Rating: TV MA
Runtime: Approx. 83 Hours
Price: $279.98

James Gandolfini, award winning star of “The Sopranos,” dead at 51

James Gandolfini, whose performance as mob boss Tony Soprano in HBO’s seminal series “The Sopranos” earned him multiple Emmy Awards, has passed away in Rome after an apparent heart attack. He was 51.

The New Jersey born actor first made an impression when he made his Broadway debut in the revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire” in 1992. I was fortunate to see the show during it’s limited run and Gandolfini more than held his own against top billed stars Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange. Film fans will remember him as the hit man assigned to kill Patricia Arquette in Tony Scott’s adaptation of Quentin Tarantino’s “True Romance.”

Memorable supporting performances in films like “Get Shorty,” “A Civil Action” and “Fallen” led him to what would be the role he will most be associated with, Tony Soprano. His work earned him six Emmy nominations (and three awards) as well as four Golden Globe nods (with one win). He took advantage of his new popularity by getting lead roles in such films as “The Last Castle,” “The Taking of Pelham One, Two Three” and last year’s Best Picture nominee “Zero Dark Thirty.” He also gave an amazing performance (my words) giving voice to the character of Carol in the film adaptation of “Where the Wild Things Are.” He also returned to Broadway in 2009, earning a Best Actor in a Play Tony Award nomination for “Gods of Carnage.”

He was seen on screen earlier this year in the Steve Carell comedy “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” and, according to the Internet Movie Data Base, has two more film projects being released posthumously.

 

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