US Twin Peaks Season 2 DVD Box Set Review by Nick Hyman

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US Twin Peaks Season 2 DVD Box Set Review by Nick Hyman

Postby dugpa » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:00 pm

Nick sent this in today. Enjoy!

===============================================


Twin Peaks: The Second Season DVD (CBS/Paramount)


The first thing you'll notice about the long-awaited second season of Twin Peaks on DVD is how horribly ordinary the packaging looks. I'm sure if David Lynch were to look at the half-assed Photoshop design on the set, he would cringe. I know they were trying to make the set resemble the first season, but it looks and feels cheap in every respect.

Luckily, we don't have to judge a book by its cover. While, the three slipcases are also sub-standard, the content found on the six discs is phenomenal and underwhelming at the same time. The second season has simply never looked or sounded so good. The transfer is striking, as you can tell by the vibrancy of the burnt-in titles during the opening credits. Those of us who have viewed these episodes multiple times and in every format in which they've been released will also appreciate the new 5.1 sound mix that was supposedly supervised by Lynch himself. Each episode also has an English 5.1, Spanish 2.0 and Portuguese 2.0 sound mix and accompanying subtitles to boot. The other great news is that the Log Lady intros are here in their entirety (with subtitles) and appear before each episode.

Sadly, this set is sorely lacking in the extras department, and that's even taking into account the major surprise found on disc six. The first season DVD set will probably never be bested simply because all seven episodes included had an informative audio commentary. Perhaps a full season's worth of commentaries is probably too much to ask for, but don't we long-waiting fans deserve at least one season two episode with commentary?

On the other hand, the first season DVD set's poorly videotaped interviews pale in comparison to season two's interviews, which are handsomely photographed with what looks like a 24P digital camera. Scattered over discs 1-6 are interviews with Jennifer Lynch discussing The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer as well as episode directors Todd Holland, Caleb Deschanel, Dwayne Dunham, Stephen Gyllenhaal, and Tim Hunter discussing their experiences with the show and why the show endures. As good as these interviews are, the sixth and final disc has a more primitive version of the interactive grid from the first season set, featuring several new interviews with actors discussing three categories: origin, production, and legacy. I won't give away some of the stories (some of which I've never heard before), but the list is impressive: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn(!), Dana Ashbrook, Gary Hershberger, James Marshall, David Duchovny(!!), Kimmy Robertson, Don Davis, Mary Jo Deschanel, Lenny Von Dohlen, and Charlotte Stewart are all featured here.

These extras are great, but ironically, the imagination is somewhat lacking. Where are the Georgia Coffee commercials? The Lynch/Frost-directed ABC commercials? Commentaries? Additional interviews with Lynch, Frost, Badalamenti, Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise, Grace Zabriskie, Lara Flynn Boyle, Michael J. Anderson, Diane Keaton, or the Phil Donahue Twin Peaks episode? Behind-the-scenes footage? Invitation to Love episodes and deleted scenes? What about a comprehensive documentary about the shows impact and influence, Fire Walk With Me deleted scenes, or so much more? CBS/Paramount, I've laid it out there for you"”go to it.

This set seems to be for those who already have an imported version of the pilot and the first season and who want to own the series in its entirety. If that's the case, then you can start planning a marathon now. However, we've been promised that a comprehensive set, Twin Peaks: The Complete Mystery, will be released before the end of the year, and will include both seasons as well as the first U.S. DVD release of the pilot. The Complete Mystery set should include unique extras that are not on the first or second DVD sets that have already been released, and nothing from the previous releases, including this latest one, will carry over. I'm crossing my fingers for wealth of extras (see above) and perhaps a new DVD of Fire Walk With Me that includes deleted scenes. Too good to be true? I hope this ideal Twin Peaks DVD collection becomes a reality before I become a man in a smiling bag.

By Nick Hyman

http://www.undertheradarmag.com
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Last edited by dugpa on Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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autohypnosis
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Postby autohypnosis » Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:47 pm

Thanks for the review, Nick. I can't wait to get this set; I've never seen the second season on anything other than low-quality VHS.

Like you, I hope the forthcoming complete series box set will include some great extras that neither of its predecessors have.

I imagine the pilot included in that set will be the true (broadcast) pilot, and assuming it is, I hope the set includes the material from the European/VHS pilot that wasn't part of the broadcast pilot or incorporated into the series as a bonus feature. Even though it makes little to no sense in the context of the series, I really enjoy watching that "ending."

Anyone else ever wonder why Lynch was willing to be interviewed fairly extensively for the "Wild at Heart" DVD but not his other DVDs? Granted, there's far less mystery involved in that film than everything he's done since, but it'd be great to have some interviews with Lynch discussing "Twin Peaks" in depth - not to give anything away, but more for behind-the-scenes stories and the like.
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Postby jmichael » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:31 pm

I think Lynch mentions on the "Wild at Heart" dvd that he was very grateful to MGM because they allowed him to start from scratch after the first transfer that was made for the dvd turned out to be beneath his standards, so that may have lead to him agreeing to the interview. It may also have come at a time when he had a little less on his plate, schedule wise.

I remember when "Eraserhead" came out on dvd, some in the DL.com chat room asked David if he would do a "Stories" featurette like he had done for EH. David replied that he would, but he didn't remember any stories from the time he was making TP!

I'm not surprised season two doesn't have audio commentaries. Lynch dislikes them as a concept, and since he was more involved in the making of this set, he may have asked for them not to be included this go around. Which is too bad - I thought that some of the commentaries on season one were great. However, the directors I'd most like to hear from, aside from Lynch himself, are all represented here.

Though, wouldn't a Diane Keaton commentary be fascinating??
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Postby autohypnosis » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:19 pm

Good point on Lynch possibly just not having the amount of time to do an interview for TP that he did for WAH.

I'm still at a loss as to how Lynch has managed to do everything he's done recently: Make/distribute/promote "Inland Empire," write/record a book, promote his foundation, put together an art exhibit, etc. It's really quite astounding.

It'd be great if whoever's putting together the extras for the complete series set could round up all the major players - actors, directors, crew - from the series to get some new interviews.

There was so much that basically couldn't be discussed in the first season extras because so much hadn't be revealed at that point. I'd love to hear people discuss, for example, their thoughts on the finale and what they think happened to the characters.

A Diane Keaton commentary, I could live without. But yeah, the first season commentaries were great, and it's not as if they were saying anything to demystify the series. I can understand Lynch's dislike of commentaries - he doesn't like the idea of someone talking while you're actually watching the show/movie - but it almost amounts to the same thing as interviewing someone and cutting to clips from the show while they're talking.
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SUBTITLES

Postby tocoelho » Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:43 am

Could you please confirm if it has portuguese subtitles?

Thanks.

Best regards,

Tocoelho
shemsha
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Any info on english subtitles?

Postby shemsha » Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:15 am

I am very interested in knowing whether the first season has english subtitles or not. CC doesn't help me...

Thanks!
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Postby Juan Franela » Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:43 pm

How much money must be made off me? I preordered Season 2, and now I have to face the fact that I'll have to buy the 'complete mystery' to get me mits on the pilot? Oh, the humanity!

My only consolation is the fact that I'll FINALLY get to watch the 2nd season on something other than my worn out VHS copy. Still...

Any word on the 2nd season soundtrack that Badalamenti was rumored to be working on? Will that be part of the 'complete mystery'?

Regardless, thanks for the review, Nick. I'm looking forward to issue #76!
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Postby sloclub » Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:53 pm

The extras mentioned would be nice. I've been indecisive about ordering TP season 2 or waiting for THE COMPLETE MYSTERY. Dang it, I'll get both. That'll be solid gold.
Through the darkness of futures past,
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One chants out,
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fire walk with me.
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Postby Raymond » Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:34 am

I have a descent DVD region one of the pilot. Maybe I'm non critical or am missing something?

Season 2 will indeed complete the Twin Peaks DVD compilation for me. Including FWWM. Perhaps I'll bite for the Complete Mystery package later on if I'm feeling flush. Short of that, I should be complete with Season 2 and all Twin Peaks DVD'd.
Now in the "if only" dept: a Lost Highway region 1 DVD which may never be made.
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Re: SUBTITLES

Postby minister_x » Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:20 am

tocoelho wrote:Could you please confirm if it has portuguese subtitles?

Thanks.

Best regards,

Tocoelho


Confirmed.

shemsha wrote:I am very interested in knowing whether the first season has english subtitles or not. CC doesn't help me...

Thanks!


It has both, despite reviews mixing French subtitles and other such rubbish in.

Nick (in the review above) has it spot on:
English, Portuguese and Spanish subtitles on EVERYTHING (Log Lady and Interviews and episodes)

It also contains English CC, not that that matters to many!

:D
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Re: SUBTITLES

Postby Red Room » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:56 pm

Hey "RedRoom"... You took my name, albeit minus the gap! :shock: Now that's gonna confuse
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Closed Captioning

Postby goodguyseatpie » Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:24 pm

It also contains English CC, not that that matters to many!


It matters to me! I judge the quality of a dvd on only a few criteria: quality of transfer, how easy the menu is to use, and the presence of a quality closed captioning track.

I am not hard-of-hearing myself, but my girlfriend is deaf. Even when I'm not watching something with her, I have the captioning turned on, because I find that I pay attention better and remember more of the dialogue if I do.

English, Portuguese and Spanish subtitles on EVERYTHING (Log Lady and Interviews and episodes)


I am very please to read this, because most dvd's do not give any subtitles or captions to the extras, which makes the extras virtually worthless to deaf and hard-of-hearing people (and ESL people).

Cheers!
GGEP
------------
It's "deaf" or "hard-of-hearing". "Hearing impaired" is demeaning.
minister_x
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Re: SUBTITLES

Postby minister_x » Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:48 pm

Red Room wrote:Hey "RedRoom"... You took my name, albeit minus the gap! :shock: Now that's gonna confuse


Changed to my regular alias :D

goodguyseatpie wrote:
It also contains English CC, not that that matters to many!


It matters to me! I judge the quality of a dvd on only a few criteria: quality of transfer, how easy the menu is to use, and the presence of a quality closed captioning track.

I am not hard-of-hearing myself, but my girlfriend is deaf. Even when I'm not watching something with her, I have the captioning turned on, because I find that I pay attention better and remember more of the dialogue if I do.


My apologies, and I appreciate having English CC as well as regular English subtitles on R1 releases - that way, if I want to watch with English but miss something, CC usually has it (the ending of "Two Cathedrals" from The West Wing, for instance)...it just tends to be that the majority of comments I hear, if only from non-US residents, is for English or English HoH subtitles on DVD releases (as they are playable on all DVD machines). For myself, I would rate a DVD with English HoH better than English CC - as they almost describe the same thing, but the CC wipes out more screen information and the HoH are playable on regular non-US DVD players!

The worst offenders are those without any subtitles releases in English territories - even more so if they don't have CC! So it's pleasing to see Paramount brought them both over for this release :)
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Postby gentlegiant » Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:50 pm

Forgive me for being daft, but what's the "major surprise found on disc six"? Wasn't able to get to the store today ... sigh ...
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Postby ElGato » Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:22 pm

Watched Ep 8 from the new Season 2 set last night and browsed thru some other episodes. Video quality is comparable to the excellent OOP Season 1 set (I'm viewing on a 92 in screen), but the audio is a definite downgrade - and I'm not just talking DTS to Dolby. If I had to bet...these are not 5.1 remixes; rather, they sound like stereo to 5.1 conversions, which may also explain the lack of bonafide stereo tracks in this set.

IIRC Lynch and John Neff did complete 5.1 remixes for the first 7 episodes - with Neff no longer in-house, it makes sense that complete remixes were not done for the 20+ episodes in Season 2 - that's a time-consuming (i.e. expensive) job.

The dynamic range between music and dialogue is much more compressed in Season 2, dialogue is sometimes muffled and slightly distorted at times, and I did not hear any discrete, localized sound fx in the rears - unlike Season 1. I have not seen all the episodes yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is consistent across the board.

The audio, however, is quite listenable, and there is some ambient surround action, probably from steering the Dolby Surround info and out of phase stuff into the rears and re-encoding as "discrete" 5.1.

Still worth getting - we finally have Season 2! Now bring on the pilot as a standalone release!

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