60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2006
Apparently I didn't read enough of the reviews because at least one of the reviews I read lead me to believe that this was the complete third season as it was seen in the US-it's not. Part of the confusion is because of the difference between the Canadian and US broadcast seasons. In the US, the show only had three seasons-I was expecting the full 26 episodes, especially given the inflated price of the set (I second another reviewer-you can find a cheaper source than Amazon).
Despite what another reviewer indicated, it does NOT include the four episodes that weren't shown in the US the first time around, since they are all part of the "4th Season" (is Amazon shuffling it's reviews or something?)
So a warning to all-this set only has the 13 episodes that comprised the _Canadian_ 3rd season:
41: Burning Down the House
43: I Could's Been a Defendant
44: Strange Bedfellows
45: Mountie and Soul
46: Bounty Hunter
47: Seeing is Believing
48: Spy vs Spy
49: Dead Guy Running
50: Perfect Strangers
52: Mountie on the Bounty 1
53: Mountie on the Bounty 2
And a final Plea to Amazon-I've submitted this as a suggestion so many times my fingers are bleeding, so if anyone else wants to take up the call: INCLUDE THE @#@$#!%$@# EPISODE LISTS IN TV-DVD DESCRIPTIONS!!!!!
51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2006
There are two camps in the DS fandom: those who fangirl the "real" Ray from the first two seasons (played by David Marciano) and those who adore Ray Kowalski (Callum Keith Rennie) from the last season. This DVD set is the last, third season (as seen in the US, instead of broken into two seasons as it was in other countries) and depending on which camp you fall into, you'll either love it or hate it.
The DVDs themselves are only of average quality, not really what you'd expect from a professional DVD release. More like something that you'd find on VHS. There aren't any good features, either, and CKR is nowhere to be found on the box. But on the other hand, the entire third season is here. No having to buy a whole other box set just to get the last few eps.
As for the show itself, it definitely took a different turn in the last season. I thought it started taking itself less seriously in most eps (there were exceptions for character development) and with Paul Gross at the helm as both actor and producer, it took more chances. Supernatural story lines (not out of the realm of believability, considering that the ghost of Fraser's dead father has been hanging around since the first season), Fraser becoming a bit more "superhero-like" in his abilities (which I saw as tongue-in-cheek, not bad writing), and most definitely a nod to fans of slash with major subtext between Fraser and Kowalski. (Something that pleased CKR fans, but made "real" ray fans do Linda Blair _Exorcist_ impressions; major split in the fandom.)
Paul Gross put more fun in the third season and yes, the writing could get wacky, as could the acting, but they were all having fun and if you look at it from that angle, you get a good laugh out of it. The finale is probably one of the best parts (aside from the two-part "Mountie on the Bounty"). It took that wackiness to a new level with the "resolutions" of the characters (the actors got to decide how they wanted their characters to end up), and best of all (depending on your view point), Fraser and Kowalski actually do ride off into the sunset together. In a dog sled. With Stan Rogers' "Northwest Passage" playing in the background.
Sweet? Funny? Just plain bad? It's all a matter of opinion, but whichever you choose, it's not dull. Due South never failed to be exciting and surprising, and the third season was a good example.
48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2006
True, the US sets are cheaper than the Canada sets (though if you buy the canada sets from Amazon.ca, they're LOTS cheaper than buying them as imports from Amazon.com). True, the Canadian sets have difficult packaging (DVD overlay and spindles that require a lot of pressure before you can pop out the disk without risk of damage). True the first two Canadian season sets use the dreaded "flipper" (2-sided) disks. True what we saw in the US as a third season of 22 (missing four episodes, by the way) was produced and broadcast in Canada as two seasons of 13 each -- and the third and fourth DVD sets are released separately too. (Does the US "third season" set have all 26?) And most ironic truth of all: if I'd known that by waiting, I'd have gotten all three sets cheaper from an American distributor, I'd've taken that route too.
However -- the Canadian sets feature pristine transfers. (I've read that the US sets use videotape as the masters; I'm not sure where this info comes from, but it doesn't make sense that the masters would be any different than what the Alliance sets drew upon, since they license the material.) The Canadian sets feature disks running at the highest speed. (The American disks are single sided because they jam twice the normal amount of eps. per side, and run at a slower speed. That, it seems to me, would account for VHS-like resolution.) The Canadian sets, for whatever it's worth, do feature accurate packaging (the right cast members listed and featured in illustrations). And finally --
-- small thing though it may be --
-- the Caniadian Final (4th) Season set does have a small but utterly delightful extra. Paul Gross does a running commentary for both parts of CALL OF THE WILD. I can live without most commentary tracks I hear, but this is one you'll return to. It's witty, wryly funny and thoughtfully observed.
I won't tell you not to save the dough on the American release, I empathize ... I'll only tell you, the Canadian sets have more vibrant sound and video. And in the end, it's what's ON the DVD that matters the most ... isn't it?
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2004
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I was excited to hear that I could purchase the Due South TV Series on DVD through Amazon since it was unavailable here in Australia (& since my VHS tapes were showing disintegration from the many times I was watching them!)
For Seasons 1-2, I was disappointed to find the packaging format was quite poor and there wasn't anything by way of DVD extras (not even out-takes). I also had problems with reading a couple of episodes even after attempting to clean the DVD disc surface.
When I purchased Season 3, I was also disappointed to find that it really only had half the number of episodes that make up a normal season, thereby forcing viewers to have to purchase the second half (and given the AUD$ exchange rate, does end up being quite expensive).
The only redeeming feature for the Season 3 release was that the episodes were not double sided this time around and they were properly labelled.
Overall, I'm just happy to have my own copies of the TV series that I enjoy immensely.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
The VHS tape masters were used for the U.S. Platinum DVDs. The budget minded buyer can go for the cheaply mastered U.S. DVDs.
But those wanting quality will go for THIS much higher priced Canadian DVD from Alliance. These are mastered for DVD by the production masters. You can save alot of money by ordering them directly from Amazon's Canadian Division (click on the Canadian button at the bottom of this page).
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2006
Ignore what the cover looks like, this is season three with CKR as Ray (Kowalski). And it's season three the way those of us in the US saw it, as one big season, not broken up into two seasons.
Once again, don't go looking for anything in the way of features; it's just the episodes and the quality could be better. But for the money and for the chance to finally have the season the way you saw it instead of having to buy two seperate sets, it's well worth getting.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2005
I'm a faithful amazon customer but they've messed up on this one. Check your local Best Buy store, ya gotta buy it in the store, not online. Found seasons I and II there recently, both approximately $20. Season 3 will show up at Best Buy, found out today, on 8/9/05, again at around $20, nice quality package, sounds better all around than what you get for the higher price. Good DVD quality put out by Platinum Disc, LLC. Love this show, by the way, and am thrilled to have it on disc to watch anytime.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I am at a loss to understand the confusions and quibbles of some of the reviewers of this final set of Due South CDs. Paul Gross's portrayal of Benton Frazer is more refined than ever, and his new partner, Ray Kowalski, is played by Callum Keith Rennie to perfection. Like Gross, Rennie is a master actor. The two of them clearly formed a close bond making these episodes. Their relationship as Benton and Ray undergoes a series of transformations right to the close of the final episode, perhaps one of the most open and perplexing and hopeful and beautiful closing episodes of any series, matched perhaps by the final episode of Six Feet Under in which quite the opposite occurs and every character's destiny is made perfectly clear.
The shifting from the first Ray to the second was a situational, contractural necessity. The writers brilliantly turned it into a splendid plot twist, confusing Benton Frazer and the viewer quiet thoroughly for most of the first episode of the season - and then resolving the mystery as both silly and sinister and letting us get on with the season.
I commend to all who read this the other tv series and films in which either Paul Gross or Callum Keith Rennie appear. Most of them are good films, and Gross and Rennie can even make the Grade B ones shine with their acting. Happily, most of them are currently available. Just search on Paul Gross or Callum Keith Rennie.
Canada has a thriving, first-rate film "industry." We in the United States tend to remain ignorant of the great Canadian directors (such as Denis Arcand), writers (such as Paul Haggis) and actors (such as those in Due South and Slings and Arrows). Yes, you too, Draco, the masterful, hunky-husky canine actor who played Diefenbaker with a wolfy woof.
Maybe that's why the DVDs sell so inexpensively - their value is underrated to begin with. Our loss if we ignore them; our great delight if we get to know them.
My Canadian brothers and sisters: I thank you very kindly.
Writing this review reminds me of the time when, making our way north of Vancouver, my partner and I were on the track of - well, a story for another occasion.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2005
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I love Due South. I love Paul Gross. I love Callum Keith Rennie. I kind of hated these discs. First, they're ridiculously expensive, especially considering that this isn't even the full 3rd season, just the first half. They're packaged poorly, with one disc overlapping another, which is just a big scratch waiting to happen.
Apparently, Alliance Atlantis has recently issued a new version of these discs, which is the entire 3rd season, including the last two episodes, "Call of the Wild 1&2," which is available on its own for now. This new version not only has the entire season, but it costs around $20 instead of $80. However, Amazon doesn't carry it--people have only been able to find it in the Best Buy stores, not online. I don't know who I should be frustrated with this about--Alliance Atlantis or Amazon. I'm leaning towards being annoyed with Alliance Atlantis, since they have a history of not really caring whether or not fans of the show can have access to it on DVD.
So, for price and poor presentation, this lost two stars. The content, however, is fantastic. I love this show so much. It's nothing like the hardboiled cop or crime scene shows on TV now. It's much more innocent, delving occasionally into cheesy, but I can't help loving it because of the characters. Paul Gross is fantastic as the repressed Mountie with issues the size of the Northwest Territories. Callum Keith Rennie is one of my favorite actors, and when he came on to the show in the 3rd season as the tough-talking, tortured, romantic, Ray Kowalski, he introduced a dark edginess that had been lacking the first two seasons.
The alliteration in the last paragraph was completely accidental, by the way.
One day I'll find that $20 copy of season 3 with all the episodes on it, but until then, this will have to do. Although, I recommend clicking on the "used and new" link over on the right instead of buying straight from Amazon. I got a brand new copy for around $45, which is far better than $80.
36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
I found out about the domestic release of Due South on Amazon.com, and rushed out to buy all three seasons. The Canadian box sets are $80 Canadian, so buying all four seasons from Canada is an expensive proposition. The American release costs a third of that, and contains the pilot to boot, which wasn't included until the Season 3 box set in Canada.
Due South followed the misguided adventures of Benton Fraser, a constable in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as he tracked his father's killers to Chicago. After closing the case, his Canadian superiors advised him to lie low, so he remains in Chicago as a liaison at the Canadian consulate and works cases with Ray Vecchio, Chicago cop, along with his deaf wolf Diefenbaker (named after a former Canadian Prime Minister). The Canadian/American and wilderness/city culture clash leads to some humorous moments along the way.
The picture quality is noticeably grainy since it was taken from videotape rather than the masters, but for the great price (I now have all the seasons for less than one season of the Canadian box set), it's a compromise that was worth it. Like the Canadian set, there are no extras, also no closed captioning. Menus are bare bones and include episodes and chapter menus (hardly "interactive" menus as stated on the box). The packaging is a big step from the clunky Canadian design, featuring an attractive foldout cardboard case with large photos of Ray, Benton, and Dief.
The DVDs are single sided, meaning easier handling. All 26 third season episodes are here, including the two part "Mountie on the Bounty" and two part series finale "Call of the Wild." Nicknamed "The show that would not die," Due South was resurrected from the dead for the third season, when they were already destroying sets and many of the original cast had other work. David Marciano (Ray) was replaced by Canadian tough guy Callum Keith Rennie from Hard Core Logo. Marciano's absence was explained by having him on an undercover drug bust in Mexico, and Callum was a stand-in as Ray. Paul Gross took on the triple hats of actor, director, and producer, as well as doing most of his own stunts. And the show took a much darker, gritter, sexually charged tone in its final reincarnation. Citing reading Due South slash fiction (homoerotic fan fiction), Gross included elements (real or implied, your call) of homoerotic tension between Kowalski and Fraser, more violence, explicit songs on the soundtrack, and a less family friendly tone in general. My greatest disappointment was with the series finale, in which the storylines are wrapped up in an improbable, flippant way that insulted fans of the first two seasons. Et tu, Benton?
Hardcore fans will want the third season (originally split into two seasons in the US), but the best episodes are in the first two seasons with the "real" Ray. And what's up with the packaging? All the box art shows David Marciano instead of Callum Keith Rennie--not a major gripe, but inaccurate to say the least.