Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|24 - Season 3 |
Slim - Pack
Actors: Kiefer Sutherland, Elisha Cuthbert, Carlos Bernard, Reiko Aylesworth, James Badge Dale
Directors: Brad Turner, Bryan Spicer, Frederick King Keller, Ian Toynton, Jon Cassar
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
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Member Movie Reviews
John L. from WILLIAMSBURG, IA
Reviewed on 9/18/2011...
My wife bought the six season set for my Christmas present. Every weekend for the next month I was glued to the recliner in front of the plasma... Six weekends of "24" marathon! What a great gift. Course, since I did nothing else for a month and a half other than watch the tube (no "honey-do's" done...), doubt that she'll do that again. Absolutely fantastic series.
Well worth watching, but more uneven than Seasons One or Two
Ron Cronovich | Kenosha, WI | 06/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Season three begins 3 years after season two. Jack Bauer has returned from a deep undercover assignment, where he infiltrated and won the trust of the Salazar brothers, two drug dealers with ties to terrorist cells. Jack's assignment ended successfully with the capture of Ramone Salazar, and the season begins with Jack paying a visit to Salazar in jail. At the same time, a mysterious van drops off a dead body at a National Health Services facility in Los Angeles. The body had been infected with a weaponized virus, and the delivery is clearly a signal that terrorists are threatening to unleash havoc in L.A.Are these two events connected? Jack has to find out, but he is struggling with an incredible burden that may affect his job performance. As in the previous seasons, Kiefer Sutherland again is exceptional, and easily worthy of the awards he's earned for his performance in 24. The third season brings back a few characters from Season Two, and introduces many new ones. Tony Almeida is back, and is running CTU side by side with Jack. Michelle Dessler, another CTU worker that was Tony's love interest in Season Two, is also back, and by the second half of Season Three, Michelle becomes a very important character. Reiko Aylesworth, who plays Michelle, really shines as her character takes on new importance and new responsibilities. And finally, Dave Chappelle, a by-the-book guy from "Division", returns from Season Two. Chappelle has the authority to oversee CTU, and usually disapproves of Jack's unorthodox methods. Chappelle played a minor role in Season Two, and does again in Season Three, except that he becomes the center of a particularly thrilling episode late in the Season. Season Three also sees the return of Nina Myers and Sherry Palmer, the two villians we love to hate. Nina's entrance into the storyline is too coincidental to be plausible, but you quickly forgive the writers for this, because her storyline is very good. If you are familiar with Jack and Nina's history, you will find the climax of Nina's storyline in Season Three to be thrilling. Both of these women are complex characters, and their relationships with their "men" (Nina to Jack and Sherry to the President) are complex and interesting.
Jack's daughter Kim is back, and is now working at CTU as a computer geek. It seems that Jack got her the job so that he could keep an eye on her and insure that she wouldn't get stuck in any mountain lion traps. The writers mostly avoid the mistakes they made with Kim's character in Season Two. There are new characters, I will only mention two. Jack has a new, young partner named Chase Edmunds. Chase is a young version of Jack, highly competent and willing to step over the line to get results. Chase also idolizes Jack, though events during Season Three will put their relationship to the test. The other new character is a young computer expert named Chloe. She has no social skills (she is frequently and unintentionally rude to her co-workers, and after a while this behavior gets to be a running joke), but Chloe makes up for it with exceptional skill at her job. There are many times when Jack, Tony, or Chappelle give her a near impossible task that would ordinarily take hours, but they need it done in minutes. Chloe always rises to the occasion. That's as much as I can tell you without giving anything away. Now, as to the quality of Season Three: There are some truly great episodes, and the plot has some really neat twists and turns. However, like most critics, I believe that Season Three is more uneven than Seasons One or Two, and has more episodes that are just "okay" rather than truly great. Still, Season Three is well worth watching, and I really respect the writers for reinventing "24" every season - they don't repeat the same formula every year, they work hard to come up with something new and different and exciting, and for the most part, they succeed. Another reviewer here said the season finale was lackluster. I respectfully disagree, I thought it was as good as the finale to Season Two. In order to appreciate the very last scene, you need to remember all the trauma that Jack has been through in this long day; viewers who didn't see every episode, or didn't remember everything, probably cannot feel the impact of the final scene. But if you watch Season 3 on DVD, you can see all the episodes without waiting a week or more between episodes, so you will remember everything and really enjoy the final scene. However, I agree with that reviewer's disappointment over the fact that Season Three brushes off major plot points from Season Two without satisfactorily explaining them - namely, the assassination attempt on President Palmer, and Jack's relationship with Kate. Clearly, the writers decided to abandon these storylines and wanted to wrap them up with minimal effort on their part."
The dark horse of 24
Joe Kenney | Dallas, TX USA | 08/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are those who will tell you that Season 3 of 24 was a failure, a scattershot season of episodes with no clear direction or planning. Others will tell you that the season was perfect, the best the show's ever been, and that if you can't keep up with it, then that just means you're not intelligent enough to enjoy good writing.
Don't believe either of those people.
Season 3 is the best AND the worst of 24. Season 1 was suspense, Season 2 was action. The producers attempted to combine the two for the third season, and in many cases they succeeded. The final seven episodes are as tense as the first 13 of Season 1 (and that's saying something!), with a later episode in particular (in which main villain Saunders orders the death of CTU head Ryan Chappelle) ranking in as probably the best single episode the show's ever done. However, there was a very, very big problem with the third season of 24: the writers had no idea what they were doing.
This isn't idle speculation. The writers in fact admitted this, toward the end of the season, during a massive publicity push by Fox to get back viewers who'd faded away over the year. Let me ask you this: if you were a writer on a critically-praised TV show known for pushing the limits, with a viewing public who loves nothing more than to pick apart piecemeal the words and motives of each character, would YOU make up the story as you went along, off the top of your head? Well, that's what the 24 writers did. They merely planned out the first few episodes (up to the revelation of the sting operation), and after that they basically created the rest of the story on the fly. Occasionally this worked, but most of the time it didn't. Luckily, about 17 episodes in, they finally decided to get to it and actually plan the storyline, much as they had in Season 2. A pronounced improvement immediately occurred.
Here's the plot of Season 3 in a nutshell: It's three years after Season 2, and there's a fatal virus that might soon be unleashed on Los Angeles; Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) must go undercover to stop the plan within 24 hours. Sounds simple, but this story unfolds as if it has been written by Thomas Pynchon. Seemingly simple subplots spiral out of control, characters and their stories are introduced, given much screen time, and abruptly dropped, and the "real time" concept the show nailed so well in Season 1 is pushed aside. There's no way the events this season could happen in 24 hours. I'm not saying the events shown in Seasons 1 and 2 could have, I'm just saying that those two seasons were tight enough that you didn't mind. Not true here.
If you had to pick out one thing which represents the lost direction the season took, I would point you to the President Palmer storyline. In past, his part of the plot was usually the most dramatic, with Jack's storyline concentrating on the action. This season starts off promising, with the president still recuperating from the "test virus" he was given at the end of Season 2. We meet the President's new lady friend, who happens to be his doctor, as he prepares for a speech with a conniving political rival. We also meet Palmer's new Chief of Staff, his brother Wayne. But don't get too comfortable with this storyline. It's dropped hard. You'll also meet several other new characters who get heavy screen time, like Kyle Singer and Ramon Salazar. Salazar in particular is basically a co-star throughout the first several episodes. But just like that, these new characters are gone, not mentioned again. It's more jarring than I make it sound. Sure, previous seasons had characters pop up and disappear quickly, but never to the extent as seen in Season 3.
I keep hammering the negatives, but I don't intend to. It's just that I was so impressed with the previous seasons that it was a shock watching the direction the producers took in Season 3. But I want to make it clear that there are many good things about this season. The previously-mentioned final seven episodes stand out, and there are a few well-done action scenes scattered about. We also get a resolution to the Nina Myers storyline, which was overdue. That actually was another thing about Season 3 that upset so many 24 fanatics, the Nina fans in particular.
The suspense and tension rockets during the final episodes. There are two very nice action scenes that exceed anything the show has done: a helicopter attack on a building right before dawn, and a standoff between Saunders' men and CTU's SWAT teams. Another great thing about Season 3 is that Jack's daughter, Kim, is mostly out of harm's way. So there's no more of that useless "Kim's foibles" stuff going on, like the unending escapades she got into in Season 2. I do however wish that there was more emotional content this season. One of the great things about the second season was how character arcs would progress and resolve; I'm thinking in particular of George Mason's final scenes, and Jack's reunion with his daughter in the last episode. There really isn't much of that in Season 3, though the producers do attempt to reach those levels toward the end, with Tony Almeida's reunion with wife Michelle, and Jack's final scene in the last episode.
That brings me to Jack. In Season 1, he was an ordinary guy with a wife and kid, who when needed could turn into a superheroic man of action. Season 2 went even more into the superhero route, and I have to admit that I like the Season 2 version of Jack best. But in Season 3, he's just a mess. In the first episode we find out that he's hooked on heroin, and for the most part of the season, he verges on the edge of darkness. Seriously, Jack Bauer is mostly an anti-hero in Season 3. This is actually a good thing, as it shows the lengths he will go to protect his country. So don't expect any instances of Jack attempting to heroically save others, as he did his wife early in Season 1, and Kate Warner in Season 2. This season, Jack will kill ANYONE who stands in the way of his mission. Oh, and speaking of that heroin problem? It's yet another subplot that's set up in the first half of the season, only to be unceremoniously dropped midway through.
Acting is uniformly great throughout, especially Keifer Sutherland, who does a fantastic job portraying the emotionally-wrecked main character. Dennis Haysbert as President Palmer doesn't nearly get the chance to shine as he did in Season 2, but he's good regardless. James Badge Dale does good work as Jack's younger partner Chase, even though he isn't given many good lines or much of anything to do. Reiko Aylesworth however steals the show as CTU agent Michelle Dessler; she carries a few of the final seven episodes, and her acting range is excellent. Just makes it all the more startling that the producers announced at the very end of the season that Aylesworth (and many other actors) would not be returning in Season 4. Season 4 hasn't even begun production yet, so I can't judge it. But surely, has retooling a series EVER been a good thing?
In summary, Season 3 is not the choice introduction for this often-great series. It is, however, required viewing for those who enjoyed the previous seasons. Many lingering plotlines from the past are resolved, though a few are tantalizingly left open, of course. The production values are higher than they've ever been, and when the writers actually decide to plan ahead, the episodes can be stunning. I again refer to the Chappelle episode, as well as a flawless episode early in the season in which Jack must escape a prison that's under a riot. I've pointed out the stumbles here because I know the show can do better, and there are many, many instances in which it does so throughout Season 3. However, there are just too many missed opportunities to give it a perfect score, and that's a shame.
24 Falters A Bit With Season 3 But Is Still Excellent
Jordan | Sacramento | 06/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"24 is by far my favorite television show of all-time. The first two seasons were the greatest roller-coaster rides that I have experienced in any medium of entertainment. So does Season 3 live up to the excellent standard set by those masterpieces? Not quite. The main problem with Season 3 is cohesiveness, or lack thereof. No season of 24 has ever been entirely written in advance. The first twelve episodes of Season 1 were, and that was not coincidentally the greatest stretch in the show's history. Although there was some weak transition into the second phase of the plot in Season 1, you still walked away from the whole thing feeling like it was one big story. Season 2 left you with a similar impression, perhaps even moreso than Season 1. Season 3 simply does not do this. When you're done with this, you get the impression that after the 8th episode or so, it was written as they went along, freehanded, which is most likely true. You leave with the feeling that you just watched three seperate stories only related by the solitary common factor of the Cordella Virus. As each new phase of the plot began, the preceding phase was almost entirely written out. Which brings us to the second problem, subplots. It appears that the writers, throughout the show's history, have always tried to have three seperate plotlines in play. In Season 1 they totally suceeded, with Jack's plot, Teri and Kim's plot, and the excellent David Palmer part of the plot. Past that, it hasn't been so good. Season 2's third plotline with Kim was unanimously considered to be the worst part of Season 2. In Season 3 things aren't a whole lot better. It seems the writers couldn't come up with a steady third plotline, so they had a variety of them, and boy are some of them terrible. Most (in)famous is the Chloe's Baby plotline. This turned out to be a gigantic waste of time over absolutely nothing, and like all of the third plotline subplots, it was pretty much never mentioned again once it was resolved. I realize this review has been entirely negative so far, and that really gives the wrong impression over this season. It was still GREAT. The main plotline was always moving at a fast, action-packed pace, if not a bit jaded as I mentioned before. The characters are very real, and the acting is great, particular Kiefer Sutherland and Dennis Haysbert, In the end this is an excellent series, but you'll probably end up wishing they had kept going with the plotline that was in place before Jack headed down to Mexico.(NOTE: Once the DVD set is release I'll edit my review to comment on the DVD features)"