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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (S1)
BLU-RAY disk
05.14.2009 By: J.A. Hamilton
CSI:  Crime Scene Investigation (S1) order download
Director:
Danny Cannon, Kenneth Fink, Richard J. Lewis, Thomas J. Wright

Actors:
William Peterson
Marg Helgenberger
Paul Guilfoyle

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A team of forensic evidence investigators tackle the never ending string of crime in and about the city of Las Vegas, bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Las Vegas, I can’t imagine a better backdrop for this provocative, smart and very sexy television series. CSI’s first season is a captivating look into the tricky world of crime and evidence. And being the FIRST of its kind, makes this quite a surreal experience, as many of the ideas found here paved the way for some of our more recent shows like DEXTER, not to mention the CSI spinoffs in New York and Miami. Sin City was clearly the perfect place to start, and no sin is taboo, as this show pushes the envelope in ways that were not only unheard of, but very risky at the time. Which is just one of the many reasons this show is still successful today.

I was immediately drawn in by the polished (movie-like) camera work and pulse pounding score that guys like Jerry Bruckheimer and Danny Cannon bring to the table. The storylines found here are well done, intelligent and brought to life with an eager pace. The breakdown of evidence pieced together within the crime scenes is mind-boggling, but logical. I like that CSI comes off as a show you can pick up and watch at anytime (thanks to new cases being introduced with each episode), but don’t be fooled into thinking there isn’t a plot moving forward with them. The pilot (for example) won me over by introducing a clever killer who pops up again in episode eight. I was pissed that the intense cat and mouse game between him and Grissom remained unresolved as the season came to a close, but luckily I can also appreciate a good cliffhanger.

What makes this show “can’t miss TV” in my eyes, is the fact there isn’t a weak link to be found in this cast. William Patterson is hugely talented (I’ll always see him as Pat Garrett), as is Marg Helgenberger who got the gig from having worked with Bruckheimer on BAD BOYS. The main group, Grissom, Nick, Warrick, Sara and Catherine are simply phenomenal together, with a team oriented chemistry you have to see to believe. What makes me connect with these characters most is their humanity. These people are flawed, and they know it. Each with their own set of inner demons. Grissom is my favorite by far (his scene alone on the roller coaster = money), mostly because he’s a modern day Batman, a perfectly well rounded detective.

The science geek in me loved the special effects along with the various forensic tools used to recreate the crimes, the spectrograph, visual polygraph, wound casting, audio forensics, and the insect testing, to name a few. The dialogue used here is extremely witty, and I can’t even begin to tell you about all the priceless one liners (used mostly by Grissom). The writers did take more than a couple plot ideas from some of my favorite psychological thriller flicks (which is to be expected considering the content), but I was cool with it because at no point does this show feel like it’s sponging off these films.

I’m a sucker for intelligent, well written television and this show delivered in spades. Grissom’s Science vs Human behavior attacked each and every one of my senses, sometimes all at once. This show gets better and better with each new episode, but can be a pretty harsh wake up call in regard to the evils of society, which (in all honesty) may not be for the feint of heart. The transfer on Blu-ray looks and sounds flawless, but having not watched the show on TV, I can’t accurately make much of a comparison. CSI is television at its best, that much I can say, a statement backed by the fact this show’s now in its ninth season. And this comes as no surprise to me, cause I’m officially sold and already moving on to season two.
THE EXTRAS
Director’s Cut of Pilot with commentary: Director Danny Cannon loved the show’s premise and was happy for the challenge, being the first show to really tackle crime in this fashion. He’s admittedly not a big fan of morgues and dead bodies though. There were a couple deleted scenes involving a Nick/Catherine affair attached to this pilot, which I’m glad they decided to cut.

CSI People Lie...But The Evidence Never Does: The production team worked over time, reading actual case files, journals and attending conferences to make the show as real and fresh as possible. I laughed my ass off when Bruckheimer referred to the OJ trial as having helped launch the show. Thanks OJ!

CSI Season One - Rediscovering the Evidence: The cast and production team talk about their feelings after the show became a monster hit, nobody expected it and everyone (including the network) was unprepared for the success. It was also hilarious to hear William (Grissom) admit to failing Science class in High School.

Deleted Scenes/Outtakes: Nothing of value here, these scenes being mostly drawn out and awkward. I was rather fond of Grissom and Terry’s flirting scene though, I really think they should’ve hooked up.

Generic Promos: There were mini-trailers for each episode as well as a series promo (along with one for STAR TREK Season One). If you’ve seen one “previously on”, or “this week on” TV trailer, then you know exactly what I’m talking about here.

Gag Reel: Not much in the way of gags, with the exception of Warrick’s squirrel joke. And I can’t seem to figure out why three minutes of eating in silence is supposed to be funny.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
CSI is a stylish, superbly acted, thrillride of a series that won’t only hook you, but have you begging for more. The characters are likeable, the crimes (though sometimes unthinkable) ring true, and who doesn’t love a little Vegas action? I did find the extras a bit lacking though, so I’d say this Blu-ray is mostly suited for high rollers.
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