Experience all the explosive action and shocking twists as Heroes: Season 3 comes to Blu-ray? Hi-Def! Rediscover the phenomenon in this five-disc set that includes all 25 suspenseful episodes from the third season?s volum... more »es, Villains and Fugitives. Plus, go behind the scenes with the show?s writers, stars and artists as you explore hours of exclusive and revealing bonus features.« less
A late season rally might portend better things to come
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 04/28/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There is no way around it: the first half of Season Three of HEROES was as bad as Season Two had been. And there was little hope that it was going to get better. But then it did. Much of the improvement might have been the result of one of the greatest tragedies of the 2008-2009 season, ABC's cancellation of one of the best shows in the history of television, PUSHING DAISIES. But one show's tragedy is another's great fortune. Bryan Fuller, who had been a consulting producer for HEROES in its first and promising season (he was given writing credits on what is to this day by far the greatest HEROES episode ever, the brilliant Season One episode "Company Man," was suddenly freed from PUSHING DAISIES, and was made the new show runner for HEROES after several producers and writers were released from the show. The improvement in the show was not instantaneous, but it was close. By the end of the season the show was as interesting as it had been in flashes in Season One.
Whether it was Fuller or not, the show had by the end of Season Three begun to have a direction once again. Both Season Two and the first half of Three had seen the show go down a series of confusing and generally unpleasant directions. One story arc had minimal connection with what had gone before and all indications were that they were just making things up as they went along. And what they were making up simply wasn't very good. Has the show finally turned around? If the difference has indeed been Bryan Fuller's involvement, it is entirely possible. I just know that by the end of Season Three I was actually looking forward to each episode again. For ages it was simply something I watched because I had been watching CHUCK.
There has been a lot of debate about what went wrong with HEROES, about why it failed to fulfill the potential it displayed in its first season. My own opinion is that the show never took its own name seriously. The truth is that despite its title there were very, very few heroic characters. Having superpowers does not make someone a hero. Being heroic does. But most of the characters were not heroic and most of them struggled more with their own pettiness. And the writers kept taking characters down the most outrageous paths. Like the nerfing of Peter Petrelli, leaving him a defanged puppy. Or making a mess of every character that Ali Larter has played.
But I have much higher hopes for Season Four. Almost all the high points of Seasons Two and Three took place in the second half of this season, after the time when Bryan Fuller took over as show runner. The show now seems to be moving in more interesting directions, and there were dramatically fewer "oh, no!" moments. And in the struggle in the season finale, there was some genuine excitement and true heartfelt tragedy. My confidence in the show hasn't recovered entirely, but for the first time since Season One, I find that I care once again about what happens next."
This season is ok
tammy | chicago, il United States | 04/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Season 3 started slowly but most of us heroes fans were so desperate after a 9 month vacation(due to the writer's strike), that we took what we could get. the writers have not been able to recapture the magic of season 1. they keep bringing in too many new characters that just takes away from the harmony of the original cast. one of the plueses of this season is that sylar has a bigger role and they finally figured out that angela petrelli could be a major player. i love the show as a whole and will be around for season 4, 5 and 6 hopefully."
The Continuation of A Great Show
M. Stanley | Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/27/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Many people have decided that Heroes is nothing ike the first season, and therefore, is a bad show. Some of the reviews constantly compare the show to the first season stating that the show will never, or has not, reached the potential of that season. While I agree, I would also like to give an unbiased review of Season 3.
Season three had two volumes: Volume 3: Villains and Volume 4: Fugitives. First, let's take a look at Vol. 3. The volume took off from the ill-fated Season 2 (Volume 2) ending and tried to make due with. It started off promising with Angela Petrelli manipulating Sylar into thinking he was her son, watching Arthur Petrelli rise to power, and even additions like Daphne made for some interesting story arcs. I liked the idea of the formula, just not how it was executed. And, I even liked the story arc for Hiro. However, my main gripe with this volume was the ret conning of well developed characters as well as the break in mythology. When they ret conned Elle's sociopathic character to be a good girl turned bad by the Company, I was devastated because Elle was a well developed character by the end of Season 2. I also did not like how they tried to weasel her into Sylar's storyline by messing up the main impetus for Sylar's evilness that was developed in Season 1. Then, the whole idea of the catalyst being Claire but no one taking note of it until Volume 3 was a little farfetched. That being said, I did not feel like the show was just so horrible it couldn't be redeemed.
Thus, Volume 4 starts and gives us loyal fans, who understand that sci-fi shows take a few detours in trying to flesh out its mythology, we given some nice story arcs to love. I liked how the show began to go towards the Five Years Gone S1 episode future that many fans loved. I also was intrigued with the character of Danko and how he fit right in with the show. I like the flashback episode "1961" because it gave us some insight into the previous generation of Heroes, and I enjoyed Sylar's whole arc--from the journey to find his father to finally getting the shape-shifting ability--I thought they set his character up well. My gripes with this volume is that they took away Peter's ability and never gave it back. I am not sure why they did that, but it was a major thorn in my side. Also, they kind of acted like Vol 3 didn't happen. No mention of Arthur or Pinehearst, no mention of the formula or the catalyst, and they kind of didn't know what to do with Mohinder once he got an ability.
Overall, the show was trying to find its footing again after the second season was cut short and they had to scrap together a season. I believe that the show is just as good as it was in S1. The only thing is that the characters need motivation (similar to the NYC explosion in S1). However, I would not say that the show isn't as good as S1 because each season since has had it's own pitfalls, but it's triumphs as well. Thanks! "
It was better in the first half
J. J Woehr | Lindenhurst, NY United States | 05/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Some Spoilers: Heroes season 3 stuffs so much in one season that it felt like 2 seasons in one. The first half was better though. How Sylar was used in the first half was brilliant. While the season could have used more of Robert Forster (Jackie Brown) in the 2nd half and he should have been in the series longer. He was fantastic as the Petrali father who wasn't really dead. He's evil and can steal powers by just touching people with abilities. He has a plan to give humans powers and is trying to have a drug created that can do that.
I didn't like how key characters lost their powers though. The season would have been better if Hiro and Peter had there's for example. I like Peter more when he's just as powerful as Sylar. The 2nd half was good and had it's moments but even the season finale wasn't as good as it could have been. It was a brain twister but not even one that made sense, since Claire's blood could have just been used or Sylar's. That's all I'll say about that. But it does make you at least interested in seeing what will happen next."
Best HEROES season so far, special features could have been
A. Dent | Minas Anor, GD | 09/13/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"HEROES and LOST are the 2 more ambitious grand scale Sci-Fi series on today's TV. They both have in common stunning visuals spiked by well executed special effects, relentless action, a lot of it brutal and violent, intriguing story lines occasionally hinting critically at today's social and political realities (government-sponsored torture, the erosion of liberties, the roles played by large and secretive transnational corporations), large casts of great actors and the promise of getting at some core secret that would explain 'everything' but which is always elusive.
Of the two, HEROES seemed to be on the verge of self-dissolution last year, following a promising Season One. I am happy to see the series back on track with a vengeance on Season Three.
HEROES Third season easily tops the first two seasons as the core that survived the frantic struggles of Seasons One and Two understand that 'normal life' is not possible for those blessed or cursed with super powers, not when a government that's jealously trying to maintain its own monopoly on violence is after them and not when there are so many opportunities to 'save the world'. The plot slowly shifts focus from the first 2 seasons' "HEROES vs. the Company" to their constant running and hiding from a secret branch of 'Homeland Security' determined to wipe them out but not before doing a little torture and experimentation on them. Not that what we would politically correctly call 'people with abilities' are all angels. Most of them are not and the struggle continues between the good and the evil ones where the good ones sometimes turn evil and some of the evil ones turn 'good', permanently or only for an episode or two but, interestingly, the old 'company' staff seems to be taking sides between the government and the HEROES and a lot of the plot is driven by their shifting loyalties and what appear to be their own personal agendas.
I hope I will be forgiven but I really don't wish to give away any of the plot's twists and turns because... this season's HEROES is THAT good. It's also possible that most have already watched many or all the episodes on TV and already have an opinion on what HEROES 3 was about. It's probably a lot more productive to discuss the Blu-ray edition which I shall.
My conclusion on 'content' - following the somewhat disappointed 'amputated' Season Two, this Season is a true treat.
To my surprise, after being spoiled by some other very tightly packed seasons, this Blu-ray box is quite large. While the 25 episodes where squeezed on only 5 disks, the box is thicker than I expected. On the positive side, the disks seem to be held securely in place by a new and innovative locking mechanism.
There isn't anything other than the disks in the box but brief summaries for each of the 25 episodes can be found on both the back side and on the interior wall that does not hold disks. The folding carton that holds the disks slides inside a cardboard sleeve.
- PICTURE AND SOUND
As expected, it's 1080p video, 16:9 or 1.78:1 - meaning 'full screen' on an HD TV set, no top and bottom bands. Some of the extra features may be in lower resolutions.
The Sound is DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 with English Dolby Digital 2.0 on the features.
- PRESENTATION AND PLAY
The episodes, about 42 minutes each, run for close to 18 hours.
The menu is relatively well designed but it's not perfect. The 'Play' option will play all episodes on a specific disk but, at least on my PS3, it could not resume play once interrupted. It was not possible to do a 'play all but start from the second episode'. To do so, one would start with 'Play', then fast forward or press the chapter skip button to reach the desired start point. Or episodes could be played individually. Individual episodes are not broken into 'scenes' in the menu.
During play, one can take advance of U-Control which can be turned on or off by pressing one of the colored buttons. During playback, Picture in Picture provides cast and crew commentaries. I found this distracting and I was glad to see that it's possible to play the same commentaries separately from the menu. The other U-Control enhancement is the availability of Hero Connections 'post it' like notes that pop on the screen and provide some information about a specific character that's meaningful within the context of the scene that's playing at the time. Each disk allows for the viewing of the updated Connections network separately from playback.
BD-Live allows for the downloading of a Season 4 preview and, being 'live', it's possible that more features may become available in time.
One annoying defect, at least on a PS3 is the playback becoming unresponsive once the Universal screen saver kicks in. After that, it's impossible to resume watching - pressing play/pause/fast-forward would return 'this feature is not available at this time' and pressing STOP would get me out of the movie and force me to reload the disk.
- SPECIAL FEATURES
They are quite few and thin for this season and many are bad enough to almost cross into the 'unwatchable' territory. After being spoiled with treats such as the story/legend of Takezo Kensei on Season 2, this season's disappoint. There are the obligatory 'behind the scenes' interviews but there is very little as far as 'creative content' is concerned. The short Pinehearst Commercial reminded me of the similar feature we watched while waiting to enter the Terminator 3-D show at the Universal Studios park in Florida and the Alternate Stories features are so bad, one wonders how they made it even as 'extra' features. Same for the Deleted Scenes - clearly, they were deleted for a good reason and watching them proves the director's wisdom not to include them.
CONTENT - 5 Stars PACKAGING - 4 Stars (could have been thinner) PICTURE - 5 Stars SOUND - 5 Stars PRESENTATION AND PLAYBACK - 3.5 Stars SPECIAL FEATURES - 2 Stars (big disappointment)