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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - August, 2012

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"Grimm: Season One" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko

movie-august-2012-grimm

Synopsis

The stories of the brothers Grimm are some of the most famous works in all of folklore: Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, and Rumpelstiltskin are just a few of their many stories.   For centuries, we’ve all believed that these were just fairy tales; but what if there was truth to the tales?  Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) is used to seeing strange things, but when he starts seeing fleeting images of monstrous creatures in the faces of seemingly normal people, he starts to doubt his sanity.   It turns out that Nick is one of the few remaining descendants of the brothers Grimm, and his kin have been tasked with controlling supernatural creatures (called wesen) for centuries.  Thrust into a completely new world, Nick must use his police skills and unique abilities to keep the peace between humans and wesen.

Specifications

NBC/Uniersal

2012, Color, Not Rated, 15 Hrs 51 min (22 Episodes)

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

1080p

Codec: AVC

English 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio

Starring:  David Giuntioli, Russell Hornsby, Bitsie Tulloch, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz, and Reggie Lee

Directed by numerous directors

Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

I did not catch a single episode of this show during its TV run, so I went into this with neutral expectations.   I was expecting a watered-down, kid friendly version of the Grimm tales, but what was delivered is a pretty dark (and technically more realistic) version of the original stories.  Each episode focuses on a new character from the Grimm tales, with all of your favorites finding their way in.  Even more interesting is that the characters don’t always fit in with your expectations.   Take Monroe for instance – a reformed “Blutbad” (Big Bad Wolf), who has sworn off his flesh-eating days and turns into one of Nick’s closest friends and advisors.  Each individual story is unique enough to keep things interesting while continuing to build a sinister core plot line that Nick will need to deal with in the future.  The scripts are solid, though there are some occasional hokey scenes and dialogue.  In general the acting is solid, although a few of the supporting characters could use some improvement .   The special effects are pretty good for a television series, but they are obviously CGI.  The overall quality of the episodes improved as the season progressed, so I’ve got high hopes for the second season.  Overall, this is an entertaining series, particularly if you are a fan of the fairy-tale genre.

Technical

As is typical for most modern television series shot for HD, the picture is excellent.  The image is consistently sharp, with solid black levels and good contrast.  Colors are accurate and flesh tones look spot on.  You can spot a bit of noise in darker scenes, but it is not distracting.   The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is a bit less consistent.  Action scenes sound great, with plenty of volume and lots of LFE and surround usage.  The more passive moments are very front-focused, with very little in the way of ambient effects. 

Extras

Included in this 5-disc set is an interactive guide to the creatures, deleted and extended scenes, audition tapes, a gag reel, visual effects progressions, and “The World of Grimm” and  “Making Monsters” featurettes.    There is also a nice little “Wesen dictionary” on the inside packaging that can help you with your German as well as keeping all of the creatures straight.