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I am – Hercules!!

Apparently if you already have either or both of the first two seasons of “Lost” on DVD and elect to upgrade to Blu-ray, Disney Home Entertainment apparently offers a $20–per-season mail-in rebate. (Says my packages: offer expires 6/16/2010; offer valid only in the U.S. and Canada.) Aside from the “season-play” feature (which teaches your Blu-ray player to remember where you left off in the season, even if it’s on another disc), the annoying promos for newer Disney Blu-ray releases, and the gorgeous high-definition video for the episodes and menus (but not the extras), the Blu-ray editions do not seem to differ from the standard-definition DVD editions issued in 2005 and 2006. I love the Blu-ray edition of “Lost’s” first season, for how gorgeous the show looks in HD, and also for the SD Paley Fest excerpts and the deleted scenes, at least two of which are laugh-out-loud funny. If the “Lost” pilot were a movie, it would have been one of my 10 favorite movies of 2004, right up there with “Sideways” and “The Incredibles” and “Kill Bill” and “Team America.” What you get:

* “Pilot” commentary by creator-writer-director J.J. Abrams, creator-writer Damon Lindelhof and non-writing executive producer Bryan Burk. This commentary is unusual in that it lasts longer than the actual episode; through the miracle of “branching” DVD technology, Abrams is able to (if you’re watching in “commentary mode”), stop the episode and switch to behind-the-scenes footage, over which he continues to comment at length about certain aspects of the episode.
* “Walkabout” commentary by actor Terry O’Quinn, writer David Fury and director Jack Bender.
* HD versions of “Pilot,” “Tabula Rasa” and “Walkabout.”

* “The Moth” commentary by actor Dominic Monaghan, executive producer Damon Lindelhof and executive producer Bryan Burk.
* HD versions of “White Rabbit,” “House of the Rising Sun,” “The Moth” and “Confidence Man.”

* HD versions of “Solitary,” “Raised by Another,” “All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues” and “Whatever the Case May Be.”

* “Hearts and Minds” commentary by actors Maggie Grace and Ian Sommerhalder and writers Carlton Cuse and Javier Grillo-Marxuach.
* HD versions of “Hearts and Minds,” “Special,” “Homecoming” and “Outlaws.”

* HD versions of “… In Translation,” “Numbers,” “Deus Ex Machina” and “Do No Harm.”

* HD versions of “The Greater Good,” “Born To Run” and “Exodus Part One.”

* HD versions of “Exodus Part Two” and “Exodus Part Three.” The seventh disc also has all the non-commentary extras, and is divided into three sections: “Departure,” “Tales From the Island” and “Lost Revealed.”

“Departure” includes:
* “The Genesis of Lost” (8:40): A documentary in which ABC exec Lloyd Braun reveals he wanted to make “Castaway: The Series.” J.J. Abramas reveals how he built on that idea.
* “Designing a Disaster” (7:59): A documentary detailing, among other things, how they got the middle part of a widebody jet from a plane graveyard in the Mojave Desert to a beach in Oahu, and how they got the front of the same widebody to a jungle on the same island. All in six weeks.
* “Before They Were Lost” (22:55): A documentary examining the unusual “Lost” casting process, which saw the show’s masterminds creating new regular characters tailored to actors they met and liked. Hurley, Sayid, Sun and Jin were among those unmentioned in the original outline ABC bought. We’re reminded that the original plan was to have Michael Keaton play Jack, and that Kate was originally supposed to emerge as the leader of the survivors.
* “Audition Tapes” (27:34): We see all 13 of the 14 of the regulars (Terry O’Quinn had already worked extensively with Abrams on “Alias”) run through some script pages. We get to see Yunjin Kim read for Kate. We get to see Matthew Fox, Dominic Monaghan and even Jorge Garcia play Sawyer.
* “Welcome To Oahu: The Making of the Pilot” (33:20): This is largely a how-they-did-it doc, dealing with those horrifying mid-flight scenes, and the monster in the trees, and the polar bear, and the guy-gets-sucked-into-a-jet engine gag, and other things. (Some interesting stuff about the series’ strange musical score too.)
* “The Art of Matthew Fox” (6:07): Fox discusses the many photos he took on the set as sad music plays.
* “Lost@Comicon” (1:50): A look at how high anticipation was for the series, even months prior to its premiere, thanks largely to Internet buzz.

“Tales From the Island” includes:
* “Lost: On Location” offers short behind-the-scenes documentaries about individual episodes, including “House of the Rising Sun” (7:19), “Confidence Man” (4:24), “All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues” (4:56), “Whatever The Case May Be” (2:58), “Hearts and Minds” (6:20), “Special” (3:05) and the finale, “Exodus” (9:21), plus “The Trouble With Boars” (5:09), a look at the difficulties wrangling the animals during several episodes.
* “On Set With Jimmy Kimmel” (7:15) sees the host of ABC’s late-night talk show visit the cast in Hawaii.
* “Backstage With Drive Shaft” (6:40) teaches us, among other things, how a snippet of dialogue from the Phil Donahue show became the lyrics of Charlie’s biggest hit.

“Lost Revealed” includes:
* “The Lost Flashbacks” are two scenes cut from “Exodus.” One deals with Claire and the doomed pilot discussing psychics (3:07); the other deals with Sayid buying a necktie to impress Nadia (1:28).
* “Deleted Scenes” include “Smoking” (1:10) with Charlie and Sawyer having a meeting of the minds, “Chicken or Lasagna” (0:43) with Hurley trying to engage a silent Locke, “Kate and Sayid” (1:09) with one realizing something about the other, “The Climb” (2:02) with Shannon’s hilarious reaction to Charlie’s attempt to impress her, “The Tell” (1:04) with Locke and Walt discussing liars, and “Partners” (0:55) with Boone and Shannon visually contrasting Sun and a handcuffed Jin.
* “Bloopers From The Set” (4:17) is lots of flubbed lines and falling down.
* “Live From The Museum of Television and Radio” (10:56) presents comic highlights from last March’s Paley Festival Q&A with Abrams and nine members of the cast.
* “Flashbacks & Mythology” (7:28) has ABC entertainment president Stephen McPherson explains that it was the pilot’s flashbacks that made “Lost” a series rather than just a movie. J.J. Abrams explains the flashbacks allowed him to make half of each “Lost” episode into a “Twlight Zone”-like anthology series. We learn how the creators sought to visually distinguish the look of the flashback scenes from the non-flashback scenes. The making-of docs are just incredible, depicting as they do the speed with which the pilot – certainly one of the most compelling two hours of entertainment ever televised – became a last-minute ABC reality. I think my very favorite extras, though, are two incredibly funny Charlie-centric deleted scenes from the pilot: one with him chiding Sawyer for smoking; another depicting him trying to seduce Shannon with another a capella rendition of “Y’all Everybody.” I can’t imagine how painful it was to excise these scenes; the one with Shannon, especially, is just comedy genius. Hilarious also are the 11 minutes of excerpts from last March’s “Lost” Paley Festival event in Los Angeles. Josh Holloway scoffs at the idea that Dominic Monaghan even got to read for Sawyer. Jorge Garcia has a great story about Ian Somerhalder that ends with “And that’s how we say ‘Hello.’” Holloway remembers how completely overshadowed he was by the presence of Harold Perrineau, who auditioned the same day Halloway did. J.J. Abrams has a great answer when somebody asks when Claire will have her baby. The biggest knee-slapper comes when Garcia relates how his mom reacted to the news that one of the main “Lost” characters would die in the first season.

A lot of us loved the second season of “Lost” but not everybody loved every second of it. The show was nowhere as funny as the pilot J.J. Abrams co-wrote and directed. I miss Shannon, who used to be hilarious. Hurley used to be a lot funnier too, and I think I liked Locke better when I thought he was a sinister badass. I hate when the flashbacks don’t tell us anything about Dharma Island (and they frequently didn’t).

But all my bitching won’t take away from the greatness of “Henry Gale” and Mr. Eko and his Jesus Stick. I loved our introduction to Swan Station, and the Hanso Foundation and the Dharma Initiative. I loved all the stuff with The Tailies. I loved Walt somehow standing in the middle of the jungle, dripping wet, talking to Shannon. I loved finding out what Ethan Rom was doing with Claire. I loved finding out what happened to Michael.


Five of the 24 season-two hours carry commentary tracks.

2.1, “Man of Science, Man of Faith,” features a commentary track by writer-showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, producer Bryan Burk and director Jack Bender. (It’s revealed that the title refers to Jack only, not Locke.)

2.9, “What Kate Did,” features a commentary track by Evangeline Lilly, director Paul Edwards, director of photography Michael Bonvillain.

2.10, “The 23rd Psalm,” features a commentary track by Lindelof, Cuse and Burk.

2.16, “The Whole Truth,” features a commentary track by Yoon-jin Kim, Daniel Dae Kim, writer Christina M. Kim and – so that everyone on this commentary doesn’t have the same last name – writer Elizabeth Sarnoff.

2.18, “Dave,” features a commentary track by Jorge Garcia, Cynthia Watros and Bender.

Bonus Disc

In new (but distressed) footage shot for the DVD, the fellow we know as both Dr. Marvin Candle and Mark Wickmund introduces the bonus disc, noting that is it divided into three phases.

Phase 1: Observation

1A. Fire + Water: Anatomy of an Episode (31:45) Looks at the “baptism-crazy Charlie episode,” taking viewers from its conception in the writers’ room in Burbank to the location scouting, production design, constuming, and shooting in Hawaii, then back to Burbank for post-production. See Honolulu double for Britain and Dominic Monaghan give accent tips to the kid who plays pre-teen Charlie.

1B. Lost: On Location

1B1: Adrift (3:17) explains, among other things, that the Dharma tattoo on the shark was really meant as more of an “Easter egg” viewers really wouldn’t be able to see, but which wound up much more brightly lit than producers intended.

1B2: Everybody Hates Hugo (3:45) Backstage at the first Hurley-flashback episode of the season. Learn that Harold Perrineau, Josh Holloway and Daniel Dae Kim became pals while stuck in the Tailies’ ditch-prison.

1B3: Abandoned (4:37) As the last Shannon-flashback episode is shot, Naveen Andrews reveals it was his idea for Sayid to hook up wth the beautiful blonde American.

1B4: Collision (3:18) The first Anna-Lucia-flashback episode demonstrates that Michelle Rodriguez is a lot more smiley off camera than on.

1B5: The 23red Psalm (4:22) As the first Eko-flashback scene is filmed, learn that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was not told of Eko’s crime-lord past when he signed on. Also surprising? Akinnuoye-Agbaje came up the name “Eko.” The original name for the character was “Amekka.” I think.

1B6: The Whole Truth (5:15) Yoon-jin Kim speculates that the father of Sun Kwon’s fetus could be “anyone or anything.”

1B7: Dave (5:43) We get to see what Jorge Garcia’s stunt double looks like as the scene with Hurley beating down Sawyer is filmed.

1B8: S.O.S. (4:47) We learn during the Rose and Bernard Story that L. Scott Caldwell, who plays Rose and recently lost her new husband to cancer, was its inspiration.

1B9: Two For The Road (4:31) Learn that, because cars with steering wheels on the right can be hard to find in Hawaii, large and elaborate “mirror signage” was created so that the negative for some exterior scenes could be flipped to simulate Australian motor vehicles.

1B10: Live Together, Die Alone (5:08) The last moments on set for Cynthia Watros and Harold Perrineau are documented.

1C. The World According to Sawyer (4:31) A compilation of the vast number of insulting pop-culture references made by con man James Ford. Learn that Josh Holloway now calls Evangeline Lilly “Freckles” off-camera too.

Phase 2: Conditioning

2A: The Lost Flashbacks

2A1 Abandoned

2A1a The Wake (1:29) Shannon learns at her father’s wake that her stepmom is throwing her out of the house.

2A1b The New Au Pair (1:08) Shannon starts a job looking after the kids of a horny-looking married Frenchman.

2A2 Lockdown

2A2a Locke’s Father (:49) Locke explains to the clergyman overseeing his father’s funeral service that he really didn’t know his father.

(An interesting omission from these deleted flashbacks is the Jolene Blalock footage shot for 2.2. Are producers saving it for a future Sawyer-centric episode?)

2B: Deleted Scenes

2B1 Seeing Walt (1:18) Sun asks Shannon what Walt was trying to tell her.

2B2 A Little You Time (1:34) Charlie tries to wake Locke, offers to care for Claire’s baby and complains about being left out of the loop with regard to what’s going on with Swan Station.

2B3 Sawyer’s Visitor (1:15) Inside the Tailies’ ditch-prison, Sawyer has a short conversation with (I think) an unseen Libby, who wants to know if he was really on 815.

2B4 Dinner Time (1:20) A dialogue-free scene in which Sawyer suspiciously accepts food from his Tailie captors.

2B5 Special Delivery (:36) The Tailies are disappointed by the contents of a crate that’s washed ashore.

2B6 Ana Lucia’s Prisoner (1:20) Libby explains to Sayid that Shannon’s death was an accident.

2B7 Libby & Claire (1:09) Claire learns she’s got something that belongs to Libby.

2B8 Connected (1:14) Michael asks Locke if he thinks Swan Station’s computer is connected to computers in other stations

2B9 I Need To Know (1:12) Claire asks Sayid if he knew there were drugs inside the Virgin Mary statues.

2B10 The Doctor’s Solution (1:26) Ana tells Eko that Jack wants to go after The Others.

2B11 What’s Your Story? (2:38) Hurley and Libby discuss their lives. She claims to have been married many times. He reveals how much he won in the lottery.

2B12 Weakness (:36) Sayid argues against trading “Henry” for Walt.

2B13 Are You All Right? (2:03) Sun learns Rose lost a daughter.

2B14 I Miss … (:44) Hurley and Libby discuss home and we learn of Hurley’s pet.

2C: Lost Bloopers (4:06) Includes a “Brokeback Mountain” parody featuring Sayid and Locke!

2D: Channel 4 U.K. Promo (1:06) An amazing amazing what-the-fuck AMAZING promo, directed by photographer David LaChapelle, featuring the entire season-one cast dancing around the crashed and flaming 815 in special wardrobe and makeup. Wow!!

Phase 3: Conclusions

3A: Lost Connections (Intro: 1:56) An unusual interactive maze that uses very short flashback clips from the first two seasons to illustrate all the regulars’ unlikely connections prior to boarding Oceanic Flight 815.

3B: Mysteries, Theories and Conspiracies (10:17) Creators (including J.J. Abrams in a rare appearance), cast members and fans discuss what they think is happening out there on Dharma Island. “People put more time into their theories on the show than we do into plotting the show,” admits showrunner Carlton Cuse. “The second half of the third season will be about opening up the show in a whole new way that I don’t think anybody sees coming,” says showrunner Damon Lindelof.

3C: Secrets From The Hatch (15:47) Cuse says the creators were surprised that fans reacted so negatively to their long-held plan of ending the season without exploring what lay beneath the hatch. Abrams says the original plan was to get into the hatch much earlier. Lindelof remembers Abrams mentioning the hatch in their very first “Lost” meeting together, but Abrams did not know what lay beneath. “We’ll figure that out later,” he explained. An early idea, apparently, was to have something like Disney’s Tomorrowland down there, a vision of the future from the 1970s. An early view via cell-phone of the under-construction Swan Station reportedly frightened Abrams because he thought it looked like “Star Trek.”

A babe fest. In the second episode of “Everwood’s” much-improved second season, Kristin Bell plays a cheerleader with ruptured breast implants. This is the season in which we got to see the most of Nora Zehetner (“Heroes,” “The Brothers Bloom”) as coma-boy Colin’s alluring sister. Sarah Lancaster (sister of the title character on “Chuck”) joins the cast as hot college student Madison. Sexy Kellie Waymire, killed by cardiac arrhythmia in 2003 at age 36, played her last role ever in 2.11. For the girls there’s hilarious Chris Pratt (“Parks and Recreation”) as Amy’s dim older brother Bright. Big props to Rina Minmoun, who wrote five of the season’s episodes, including the first and last, before she eventually went on to “Gilmore Girls” and “Pushing Daisies.” The DVD set out today contains more than 40 minutes of deleted scenes, enough to fill a whole extra episode. Highly recommended.

Transformers: The Complete First Season (25th Anniversary Edition) contains the three-part 1984 miniseries that launched the franchise as well as all 13 first-season episodes. Extras include: * “Triplechanger: From Toy To Comic To Screen: The Origins Of The Transformers” * Printable “Transport to Oblivion” script * Rare PSAs * Archival Hasbro toy commercials * A “limited-edition” Autobot magnet

Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb” has nothing to do with television, but it is – alongside “Holy Grail,” “Modern Romance,” “Airplane!” “Anchorman,” “South Park,” “Pulp Fiction,” “The Graduate” and “Annie Hall” – one of the 10 funniest motion pictures I’ve ever seen, so I am breaking format because I can’t believe it’s finally out in HD! Amazon has it for $22.49, almost three bucks cheaper than the $25.37 they’re charging at DeepDiscountDVD! Now if they’d just come out with HD versions of “Paths of Glory,” “Lolita” and “The Killing” already …

Herc’s Popular Pricing Pantry

The first four extra-crammed seasons of “Lost,” $39.99 last week, are momentarily $24.99/season!!
Last week a season of “The Office” was $29.99; this week seasons two through four are $18.99/each!!

If you don’t get all the love for the late, great David Carradine, feel strongly encouraged to have a gander at his compelling, seminal, badass early-1970s TV series, arguably his finest work and coincidentally just $15.99/season at the moment.

Three weeks ago a season of “The Simpsons” sold for $29.99!! Select seasons of “The Simpsons” have suddenly plummeted for the moment to $12.99 each!!

Select season sets for “Arrested Development,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and “Prison Break” are all $12.99 each!!

The first season of “Burn Notice,” typically north of $30, is momentarily $12.99!!

“From The Earth To The Moon,” the entire extra-packed signature edition, has fallen to its lowest price ever: $11.99!! People were paying $49 for this set last year.

The Blu-ray version of “Mad Men’s” first season is momentarily $24.49!! That’s cheaper than the DVD version!!!

The first 10 seasons of “Cheers,” one of the four funniest sitcoms ever forged, with Woody and Norm and and Lilith Sternan and Nick Tortelli, have fallen for the moment to $15.99 or less each!!

Hercules says the funniest sitcom of the 1960s was “The Andy Griffith Show,” and its season sets are only $16.99 each as part of the same big CBS sale …

$19.49 Shield!! (61% OFF!!)

$18.99 Complete Animated Trek!!

If you want to own LOST in HD, you can save big by clicking on the Blu-ray Lost Sale!!

TV-on-Disc Calendar

Last Week The Cleaner 1.x Danny Phantom 3.x Father Knows Best 3.x Get Smart 3.x Last of the Summer Wine 1979 Making Fiends 1.x Mistresses Vol. 1 My Family 3.x My Family 4.x My Family 3.x/4.x The Norman Lear TV Collection Open All Hours: The Complete Series Perry Mason 4.x Vol. 1 Reaper 2.x Shaun The Sheep Vol. 3 The Shield 7.x South of Nowhere 3.x Survivorman 3.x Time Warp: The Complete Series Time Warp: The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Waiting For God 4.x Whose Line Is It Anyway?: Best Of Zane Grey Theater 1.x Zoey 101 3.x Zoey 101 4.x Z Rock 1.x
This Week

Burn Notice 2.x

Burn Notice 2.x (Blu-ray)

Everwood 2.x

Family Guy Vol. 7

FBI Files 3.x

Generation Kill (Blu-ray)

House of Payne Vol. 4 I Can't Believe I'm Still Single 1.x

John Adams: The Complete Miniseries (Blu-ray)

Lost 1.x (Blu-ray)

Lost 2.x (Blu-ray)

Murdoch Mysteries 1.x

Nature's Most Amazing Events

Nature's Most Amazing Events (Blu-ray)

Saving Grace 2.x

The Secret Life Of An American Teenager 2.x

Sergeant Preston of the Yukon 2.x

Snoop Dogg's Father Hood: Best Of Vol. 1 Spaceballs: The Animated Series

Tom & Jerry's Greatest Chases Vol. 2

Transformers 1.x

World's Toughest Fixes
Next Week Bizarre Foods Vol. 3 Blood Ties 1.x The FBI Files: Best of 1998-2000 Ghost Hunters: Fans' Favorite Investigations The Girls Next Door 5.x Monster Squad: The Complete Collection Reba 6.x Reba 1.x-6.x Tom and Jerry: The Chuck Jones Collection
June 30 Blue Murder Vol. 4 Dog The Bounty Hunter: Best Of 5.x Eastbound & Down 1.x Entourage 5.x Eureka 3.x
Readers Talkback
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  • June 17, 2009, 7:34 p.m. CST

    Lots of good stuff

    by MysteroidSeijin

    A lot of good dvd releases to look forward to. I'm especially looking forward to Parker Lewis. What a great show that was.

  • June 17, 2009, 9:26 p.m. CST

    Does that LOST money...

    by vincentkv

    come with the sets if I buy from Amazon?

  • June 18, 2009, 3:54 p.m. CST

    I'm often tempted to buy Lost dvds but then

    by ThrowMeTheIdol

    I think, really, how rewatchable is it? To some people maybe a lot but doubtful that it is to most people including me.

  • June 19, 2009, 12:07 a.m. CST

    Get 3 Seasons of Lost on Blu-ray for $30!

    by SMB

    Right now Barnes and Noble has a buy any 2 bluray or dvd and get the 3rd one free. Lost bluray are 10% off bring the price to $63 each. Kick in the $40 rebate and sell your First 3 seasons for $20 each and it works out to $3 per season , plus a little tax. That's what i did anyway, can't go wrong!

  • June 21, 2009, 12:44 a.m. CST

    25$ LOST!

    by daggor

    At TARGET!!!! Got mine, right off the shelf, no shipping. Blooomp!