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Eli Stone: The Complete First Season
Eli Stone The Complete First Season
Actors: Jonny Lee Miller, Natasha Henstridge, Loretta Devine, Matt Letscher, Sam Jaeger
Directors: Chris Misiano, David Petrarca, Ken Olin, Michael Lange, Michael Schultz
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television
PG     2008     9hr 19min

Follow Eli Stone (Jonny Miller) on his quirky quest for answers in this exciting and upbeat comedic drama. When Eli awakens to an unending George Michael soundtrack that only he can hear, gets dive-bombed by a WWI biplane ...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Jonny Lee Miller, Natasha Henstridge, Loretta Devine, Matt Letscher, Sam Jaeger
Directors: Chris Misiano, David Petrarca, Ken Olin, Michael Lange, Michael Schultz
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Drama, Comedy, Drama
Studio: Touchstone / Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/02/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 9hr 19min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: French, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Lisa D. from COPPER CENTER, AK
Reviewed on 12/22/2012...
Eli Stone is a terrific lawyer based show. Jonny Lee Miller is just great as Eli Stone. The shows are a mixture of drama, humor, musical number, and faith. I've only seen it on DVD (first season), and I can't believe I missed it when it was on TV.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Betty G. (Rowlena) from SOUTH SALEM, NY
Reviewed on 1/29/2009...
Eli Stone is one of those shows that makes you think, question and act. Eli starts the show as an incredibly selfish high paid lawyer who is all about himself. Then the appearance of a private concert by George Michael in his living room, changes everything. On a mission from The Higher Power Eli changes everything about his life and starts changing other peoples in the process.

A great cast of characters ranging from a selfish head of the firm to Eli's doctor brother and the clients are just as varied from a mom who wants to sue vaccine makers to a doctor that might be be the reason that several people are dead. This is a show not to be missed. But sadly season two looks like it will be the end of this wonderful show.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

A genuine "feel good" series
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 07/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Warning! Many, many spoilers! Do not read if you want to avoid spoilers!

The 2007-2008 television series has to go down as one of the most unfortunate in recent decades, not primarily because of the quality of the shows - there were, in fact, an unusually large number of very high quality shows - but because of the large number of truncated seasons that so many shows experienced. We also saw a smaller number of midseason series. For instance, the eagerly awaited new Joss Whedon series, DOLLHOUSE, starring Eliza Dushku, was initially planned to appear for seven episodes this spring before returning next fall for a new regular slate of shows. Now it has been postponed to the fall, where it will be the most eagerly anticipated new show of the 2008-2009 season.

But one thing the writers strike did mean was that the few new midseason shows had little or no competition. I was really looking forward to TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, and was delighted when it didn't disappoint. But just before it debuted I started hearing about a new series called ELI STONE. To be very honest, under normal circumstances I would never have tried it. I would have had a full slate of shows that I was already committed to and I simply wouldn't have bothered to work it into my schedule. Furthermore, it was set at a law firm, and I generally detest shows set in law firms. But the early reviews by critics were positive if not ecstatic and I had virtually nothing to watch on TV until my favs began to crank out new episodes following the resolution of the WGA strike. So starved for new shows I decided to give it a shot.

From the very beginning ELI STONE was at least decent and fun. I wasn't blown away, but each episode was enjoyable enough to bring me back the next week. Jonny Lee Miller (who felt more "American" to me than any of the actors from Great Britain or Australia portraying one of my fellow countrymen) was instantly likable as an up and coming attorney who suddenly begins having strange visions as the result of a brain aneurism. His acupuncturist suggests that there might be a purpose to his aneurism, that he might, in fact, be called by his visions to be a modern day prophet. Credence is granted to this as his visions lead him to help people he had seen in his visions but whom he had never met in actual life. Gradually one person after another comes to have "faith" (Eli's first vision is of George Michael singing the song "Faith" while standing on his coffee table in his living room) in Eli, even the initially hard-hearted head of the law firm, played wonderfully by Victor Garber.

All of this would be well and good except for one thing: with each episode the series developed more and better layers. The show started off good, but by the end of its 13-episode run it was approaching something not far from great. The moment that illustrates ELI STONE at its best - OK, ONE MORE SPOILER ALERT! - was an episode from near the end of the season. Eli has a vision. He is on Time's Square in New York (made even more unusual in that the series takes place in San Francisco), tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people crowded about, holding signs that read "Live Brave!" Eli sees a platform with a podium and a young but charismatic black man take his place behind the podium and begin to speak, beginning with his name. Eli sees this as a vision that he is supposed to help him. Discovering that he is currently a prisoner in the California penal system Eli takes on his case, eventually leading to uncovering systematic civil rights abuses at the prison. The man he came to help was not released, but at least the possibility of his eventual release was created. You think perhaps at this point that this episode was over, that all the central points had been made. But as Eli leaves the office building his vision returns, the young man once again speaking on the podium. Eli is further astonished to see himself standing at the base of the platform, one of his coworkers standing near him holding what is obviously his and her child. And in the speaker's next words we understand that he wasn't the point of this great assembly, which is what Eli had assumed, but was there merely to introduce the central figure for the evening, Eli Stone himself. The episode fades out with an expression of shocked incredulity on Eli's face. The whole scene might be my favorite moment from any show of the entire 2007-2008 season so far (and that is saying a lot with shows like PUSHING DAISIES and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS out there).

The show is made even better by a very, very good cast. I've seen Jonny Lee Miller in a lot of things over the years, from HACKERS (where I believe he met Angelina Jolie, with whom he was long involved) to MANSFIELD PARK, but he's never been someone I thought of as someone who could anchor a show. But he certainly does here. I already mentioned Victor Garber. This show might center around Eli Stone, but without Victor Garber in his role, many of the vision scenes would not work. Many people may be aware that Garber, in addition to being a talented actor (most know him as Jack Bristow on ALIAS) is a phenomenally gifted Broadway musical performer. He puts his musical skills on display frequently on the show. Similarly, Loretta Devine, who plays Eli's assistant, is a ferociously talented singer and she gets her own opportunities to sing. The beautiful Natasha Henstridge plays Eli's former fiancé and Garber's daughter and brings a lot to the show as someone no longer with Eli, but someone who still cares a great deal for him. I could mention many others, but I'll stop with two. Matt Letscher has many wonderful moments as Eli's brother. One of the highpoints of the season occurs when Eli relives his father's death through the eyes of his brother. And I instantly loved Julie Gonzalo as the new and idealistic assistant who frequently takes second seat in Eli's cases. Her involvement on the show leads to one of the show's best shout outs. Eli and Maggie (played by Gonzalo) go to Hawaii in search of a key witness in a case. As they are walking along Maggie makes a suggestion about how they might locate him. In his mildly snappish reply Eli calls her "Veronica Mars." Gonzalo had, not coincidentally, played Parker on VERONICA MARS, the ditzily happy roommate of Veronica's friend Mac.

There are two things that I really loved about ELI STONE. First, I really appreciate the fact that it got better and better as the season went along. So if you give this a try and don't like it at first, just wait. It starts off OK but ends up a thing of beauty. Second, this is perhaps the finest "feel good" show on TV. I wouldn't rank it as one of the very, very best shows on TV (I'd group it in the next tier of shows). It isn't quite in the same category as FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, LOST, PUSHING DAISIES, or MAD MEN, but it is ultimately upbeat and hopeful to a degree that those are not. FNL has many, many dark moments as many characters perpetually struggle with their own demons. LOST is often dark, but BATTLESTAR GALACTICA is so much darker that it makes LOST look like HAPPY HOUR. MAD MEN deals with a bunch of cut throats. Even PUSHING DAISIES, perhaps the most magical series in the history of TV, mixes much of its magic with some genuine darkness. But ELI STONE is all about hope. With his vision on Times Square we even know -- more or less -- how this whole thing ends. We know who he will end up with romantically. We know that he will achieve great things. What we don't know is how things will progressive from here to there. But the happy ending has been put in at the beginning. And moreover the tone of each episode is very positive and upbeat. Like I said, a feel good show.

The only possible problem is that we do not yet know if ABC is going to renew ELI STONE. The ratings for the last few episodes were good if not stunning. The word is that execs in ABC like the show. And I believe that a buzz for it was building near the end of its run. I would be dishonest if I didn't say that I think the chances for its renewal are very good. In the meantime I recommend that anyone who likes good TV go out and watch this show. Either stream it off ABC.com or get these DVDs when they come out. Make yourself a fan. I promise it won't be difficult."
Well worth gettng hooked
Lorelei | Quincy, IL | 07/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"WARNING: SPOILERS!!

Because the nearest ABC station is over 100 miles away, and has been in a running spat with the two satellite/dish companies, up until I got my HD converter hadn't seen a ABC show in two years. (Life's too short to try to watch all the downloads) Wish I'd had the chance to see this show first run -- thank heaven for reruns.

Wildly funny with a lot of heart, this kind of series is very difficult to pull off. If the creators aren't careful it's easy to drown in syrup, and too hard an edge grinds down your characters. "Eli Stone" threads this needle with precision. Themes of belief, faith, whether higher powers are guiding Eli, and a not-so-subtle call for social justice. The first season's arc grows everyone, not just Eli, and Eli and Nate's father grows the most -- a sweet trick since he's been dead for ten years. Sliding relationships, office politics, courtroom drama and cases drawn from real life problems are balanced by the rowdy goofiness of his visions' musical numbers. It seems there's never a good time to have a full-on hallucination. ("Good Lovin'" from #4 and "I Feel the Earth Move" from #8 are favorites.)

The cast is consistently wonderful. Have loved Victor Garber for years, way before "Alias", and it's great to see him not only act but perform. Julie Gonzalo, Natasha Henstridge, Loretta Devine, Matt Letscher, and James Saito are all excellent, not a clunker in the bunch.

But the show hangs on Jonny Lee Miller, and I must admit, he's been amazing. Miller has an marvelously expressive face. From confusion and embarrassment to desperation, sympathy, sarcasm, cunning, panic, innocence and sometimes fury when he's defending his clients. You can always see what's passing in Eli's head. But Miller's voice is just as amazing, practically every line has an softness or an edge that pulls your attention, makes you listen. Full blown drama to light comedy, he's been incredible to watch.

(Warning: spoilers ahead!) Glad the show has been renewed. The creators have carefully planted a half-dozen story threads. Eli and Maggie are destined for each other, but she's currently engaged. His ex-fiancee, Taylor, still loves Eli, but can't believe in his visions. In episode 12, Eli both accurately predicted an earthquake and prevented a disaster. But the season's finale neatly sidestepped how the city will view him, Eli has to go public now. But the most intriguing question is: how has he changed? Has he changed? Eli had the aneurysm causing his visions removed. While the surgery was a success, a hemorrhage and heart attack so damaged his brain his brother was about to pull the plug. Odd thing though, even without the aneurysm, even while comatose, Eli was still fulfilling his mission and trying to convince a dying cancer patient to fight to live. Did the aneurysm give Eli his visions, or was it just a scientific excuse? Will the visions still come? And now Eli has brought himself back, out of the coma. A miracle that everyone will have to accept or deny.

Hope the suits at ABC keep their fingers off this show, Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim have proved they know what they're doing. Really looking forward to the fall."
Well Worth Your Time
R. E. Somers | Aiken, South Carolina United States | 07/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"We watched this show, at first, with very guarded reservations. We are Victor Garbor fans and just wanted to see what the show was about. I must say, that after the first episode, we were hooked. Yes, it is quirky and not at all real-life, but it is very good. We highly recommend that you give this series a try. It has a lot of heart and feel good moments."