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Leverage - The 1st Season Review




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Rating
Video:   9/10
Audio:   9/10
Extras:   5/10

Awesome show!
by Gord Lacey (All reviews)
7/21/2009

    Leverage is a slick and crafty drama following a team of expert thieves who take down corrupt corporations in elaborate high-tech schemes. Insurance investigator Nate Ford (Academy Award-winner Timothy Hutton) exposed scams and recovered stolen items worth millions. But his life hit the skids when his insurance company allowed his ailing 8-year-old son to die. Years later, Nate gets even as the leader of a specialized team of thieves, computer experts and con artists that right corporate and governmental injustices against honest citizens. To expose corruption, Nate will do wrong for all the right reasons - he will provide Leverage.
When I read the synopses of Leverage I thought, "Cool, sounds like a good show..." I asked around and the people who had seen the show really liked it. The description reminded me of a few other shows, The Equalizer and Vengeance Unlimited, two shows I really enjoyed.

This 4-disc set includes all 13 episodes from the first season:

Disc 1 (2:23:22)
The Nigerian Job (57:18)
The Homecoming Job (42:52)
The Wedding Job (43:12)

Disc 2 (2:09:36)
The Snow Job (43:12)
The Mile High Job (43:12)
The Miracle Job (43:12)

Disc 3 (2:52:48)
The Two-Horse Job (43:12)
The Bank Shot Job (43:12)
The Stork Job (43:12)
The Juror #6 Job (43:12)

Disc 4 (2:09:36)
The 12-Step Job (43:12)
The First David Job (43:12)
The Second David Job (43:12)

Video

Shot in HD, Leverage looks great on DVD. There was some noise in a few of the night scenes, but otherwise it was a great picture. The show doesn't have a credit sequence, so there's nothing to skip over. I was a bit annoyed that there wasn't a "play all" on these discs, especially since I watched a disc (or more) at a time.

Audio

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track on this release was absolutely wonderful. The sound designers working on the show made great use of the 5.1 mix; there were a number of times I turned my head because I heard a noise "behind" me, only to realize it was the show. Very good stuff, though I'm sure the lack of subtitles will annoy some people.

Extras - How we rate extras

Commentary Tracks
Impressive - there are commentary tracks on every episode. Unfortunately I didn't have time to listen to them all, but I hope to be able to go back later and catch up on them.

Deleted Scenes (26:19)
Deleted scenes from nearly all the episodes.
The Nigerian Job (5:13)
The Homecoming Job (5:58)
The Snow Job (4:22)
The Mile High Job (0:25)
The Miracle Job (0:47)
The Two-Horse Job (7:51)
The Bank Shot Job (1:12)
The 12-Step Job (3:30
The Second David Job (0:31)

Leverage: Behind the Scenes (12:40)
Dean Devlin hosts a behind-the-scenes look at the show.

Anatomy of a Stunt Fight (3:23)
A bunch of behind-the-scenes shots from a big stunt fight.

The Cameras of Leverage (2:14)
Apparently the show uses some fancy cameras because they have a short featurette on them. I wish there was a director of photography talking about why they chose the Sony XDCAM PMW EX-1 camera instead of just showing us some shots of it in action.

Leverage Gets Renewed (2:52)
This is pretty funny - the show got renewed.

Beth Riesgraf's Crazy Actress Spoof (5:02)
This is a short film starring Beth Riesgraf.

Summary

Okay, this show blew me away! The entire time I was trying to think what shows it reminded me of, and I came up with the perfect combination of shows; The A-Team (which was also mentioned in one of the featurettes), and Hustle, a BBC series about a bunch of con men (and woman). I absolutely loved the characters, the style of the show, and the writing. I was howling during a few episodes because the lines were hilarious, and other shows had me clapping. I really got into this show while watching it, and by the end of episode 13 I was annoyed it didn't go on longer. Luckily the show has already been renewed for a second season (they even have a featurette on it), so next year I can look forward to watching 15 episodes of the show. Yeehaw!

If you like Hustle or The A-Team then you have to pick up Leverage. The show is top-notch, and the DVD presentation is great (they just need a "play all" on season 2). This is one that should be owned, or at least rented.


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