Articles

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - September, 2011

ARTICLE INDEX

"The Vampire Diaries Season 2" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle

movie-september-2011-vampire-diaries

Synopsis

Season 2 of The Vampire Diaries picks right up after Katherine’s return at the end of Season 1 and the town of Mystic Falls is once again plunged into supernatural intrigue.  The love triangle of Elena (Dobrev), Stefan (Wesley) and Damon (Somerhalder) have their hands full protecting not only each other but all their friends and loved ones.  The main plot concerns Katherine’s desire to secure the Moonstone in order to lift the curse that dooms vampires to the darkness and werewolves to turn at the full moon.  Things become much more complicated as we are introduced to the originals; the first generation of vampires whose powers are extreme to say the least.  And it turns out Elena is special too, a Doppelganger who is part of the curse-lifting ritual.  By season’s end, Klaus, the leader of the originals has everything he needs to break the curse and change the world forever.  Will he succeed?  Find out in Season 3!


Specifications

  • Warner Brothers
  • 2010-11, Color, Not Rated, 15 Hr 27 min (22 Episodes)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Codec: AVC
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: No

Commentary

OK I admit it, I enjoy teen vampire stories.  I like the Twilight movies and Vampire Diaries is even better in my opinion.  Yes, it’s a soap opera and yes, it’s predictable; but the action and witty writing make it fun to watch.  Ian Somerhalder is a superb actor and I enjoy his performance immensely.  He brings evil cynicism to a whole new level.  Paul Wesley does the brooding, dark, trying-to-be-good vampire thing pretty well and Nina Dobrev, in a dual role as Katherine the evil vampire and Nina, the do-no-wrong heroine, does an excellent job.  The story can get a bit confusing as the writers throw in several major red herrings.  It helps to watch all the episodes in short succession rather that spreading things out.  It’s a bit violent for the youngest kids to watch but mid-teens on up should have a good time with this one.

Technical

Video is a bit disappointing.  The color palette is very warm and flat in all but the brightest scenes.  Dark material shows a lot of crushed detail even though it’s not as black as it could be.  Overall detail is very good and is the only thing that saves the picture from being poor.  I am glad this show is available on Blu-ray because the broadcast, even in HD, looks pretty bad.  I know vampires, werewolves and witches are a dark subject but a little color once in a while would be nice.

The audio presentation is quite good.  Dialog and ambient effects are very clear and used appropriately.  This is one of the few TV shows that makes good use of the LFE channel with plenty of musical and sound effect moments that will rattle your furniture.  Dynamic range is very wide, almost comparable to a movie.  If you have a killer sound system, The Vampire Diaries will utilize it fully.  Even the surrounds get some use during the action scenes, and they are aplenty.

Extras

Bonus features include five brief documentaries on werewolf lore and some behind-the-scenes material.  There is also a gag reel and 20 minutes of deleted scenes.