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The Wire: Season 3 (2004)

Dominic West , John Doman , Tim Van Patten , Ernest Dickerson  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (247 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dominic West, John Doman, Idris Elba, Aidan Gillen, Wood Harris
  • Directors: Tim Van Patten, Ernest Dickerson, Agnieszka Holland
  • Format: AC-3, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: August 8, 2006
  • Run Time: 720 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (247 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,706 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Wire: Season 3" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 12 episodes on five discs
  • Commentary by creator David Simon and producer Nina K. Noble on Time After Time
  • Commentary by writer Richard Price on All Due Respect
  • Commentary by David Simon on Dead Soldiers
  • Commentary by writer George Pelecanos and director Joe Chappelle on Middle Ground
  • Commentary by David Simon and producer Karen L. Thorson on Mission Accomplished
  • Q&A with David Simon and creative team, courtesy of the Museum of Television & Radio
  • Conversation with David Simon at Eugene Lang College, the New School for Liberal Arts

Editorial Reviews

With volatile issues of Baltimore city political reform as its narrative focus, the third season of The Wire superbly maintains the series' astonishingly consistent status as the greatest "novel for television" ever created. While the Baltimore police department's wire-tapping investigations continue to monitor the intricate and now legitimately fronted drug ring of Russell "Stringer" Bell (Idris Elba, smooth as ever), detective Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West) continues his loutish ways, navigating through a series of shallow sexual conquests while doing some of the best cop-work of his career. Stringer's ex-convict partner Avon Barksdale (Wood Harris) is back in the picture and bent on eliminating a drug-dealing competitor named Marlo (Jamie Hector), and Baltimore P.D. Major Howard "Bunny" Colvin (Robert Wisdom) tries his own defiantly independent brand of street justice by essentially legalizing drugs in "Hamsterdam," where isolated sections of the city are established as open drug-dealing zones, utterly without the knowledge or approval of Colvin's superiors. As city councilman Tommy Carcetti (Aiden Gillen) plots his own ruthlessly ambitious strategy for the mayor's seat, Baltimore officials, McNulty's wire unit, and the entire Baltimore P.D. stand poised for the inevitable fallout from street-level and executive-level manipulations of power.

Of course, this is just the tip of a very large iceberg, as The Wire continues its labyrinthine yet tightly controlled chronicle of over 50 characters, major and minor, who are all flawlessly woven into the fabric of these 12 remarkable episodes. For season 3, series creator David Simon continued to recruit a top-drawer lineup of reputable writers (including novelists Richard Price, Dennis Lehane, and George Pelecanos) and directors (including Ernest Dickerson, Tim Van Patten, and Agnieszka Holland), and by the time a major character is killed in the season's penultimate episode (arguably the series' finest yet), it's clear that The Wire has earned its crown as the most ambitious and intelligent crime drama in the history of American television. DVD extras are excellent, as usual, including five illuminating episode commentaries (an absolute must for devoted fans of the series), a Q&A session with cast & crew moderated by renowned TV critic and author Ken Tucker, and a classroom conversation with Simon that delves deeper into the creative process of the series. Having deservedly earned its renewal for a fourth season (out of a projected five, according to Simon), The Wire delivers surprises aplenty (keep a close watch for startling revelations) while proving, yet again, that cable-TV is the place to be for anyone seeking respite from the relative mediocrity of mainstream network programming. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

The heat is on in Baltimore. The drug war is being lost, bodies are piling up, and a desperate mayor wants the tide turned before the election. But the police department hasn't got any answers. With the demolition of the Franklin Terrace towers, Stringer Bell and the Barksdale crew have been forced to improvise. But no matter how hard McNulty and the detail try, the dealers always seem to be one step ahead of the game.

DVD Features:
Audio Commentary
Episodic Previews
Episodic Recaps
Audio Commentary:Five audio commentaries with creatorDavid Simon, director Joe Chappelle, writers Richard Price and George Pelecanos, and producers Karen L. Thorson and Nina K. Noble
Interviews:Q&A with David Simon and Creative Team, Courtesy of the Museum of Television & Radio Conversation with David Simon at Eugene Lang Collete, The New School for Liberal Arts

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
128 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great news! Series 3 on DVD - at last! June 2, 2006
HBO have at long last, decided to release this on DVD and thank goodness. The Wire is undoubtedly the best TV around these days since "Homicide: Life on the Street". No surprise then, I guess that the same man (David Simon) had/has a big hand in both series.

Unlike most crime/cop shows that have a beginning, middle and end in the one episode, the story here is spread over the entire series. We're seeing stuff that kicked off in Season 1 still developing in Season 3. Some viewers find this challenging - this certainly isn't a show you can watch while cooking dinner or chatting to your buddies on the phone. It's sad that ratings have dropped though because if you give the show the undivided attention it deserves and focus on the story, complex as it is, the rewards are truly immense.

After the drama on the docks that was the main focus of Season 2, Season 3 takes it back to the streets where we most like it. The Baltimore drug wars rage on, with Avon Barksdale, played by Wood Harris, out of jail to find his territory of corners under threat from young & ruthless upstart, Marlo, played utterly convincingly by Jamie Hector. Stringer Bell has held things down while Avon's been away but his methods have been questionable, to put things mildly. Stringer gets his comeuppance this season though and as much as I hated the character - and admired Idris Elba for playing it so well - I honestly didn't see his comeuppance coming in the way it eventually did. Scorching scriptwriting!

The police are desperately trying to keep up. Major "Bunny" Colvin, played by Robert Wisdom, comes up with the 'brilliant' idea of creating a 'safe zone' for drug sale and use in the city and this area gets dubbed Amsterdam.
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66 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Way down in the hole? Hardly August 28, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
After a virtuosic first season and an ambitious (but not quite as thrilling) second season, The Wire's third season proved to be the best one yet. Even though it hasn't been embraced by the public at large (like, say, The Sopranos), the show has received gobs of critical acclaim and delivers the goods, too, every week. I think that not only is The Wire a better show than The Sopranos (which is, admittedly, a truism), but it is a show which better reflects our post-9/11 mindset than its erstwhile New Jersey neighbor. The Sopranos is a product of another time, the zeitgeist of the late 1990s, with its constant putdowns of moneyed, whining, shrink-visiting, latte-sipping, politically-correct hipsters (the Eagles song "Get Over It" being perhaps the definitive cultural manifesto of the time). That show produced three excellent seasons of TV, but then 9/11 changed the world and Tony, Paulie, et al, never managed to get back ahead of the curve. The Wire was formed in direct response to 9/11 and links the drug war to the War on Terror, in both a direct and indirect sense, while examining the institutions (both legitimate and seamy) and the individuals that inhabit them. Although the show is described (even by itself) with such terms as "gritty" and "unvarnished", it is actually not so simple--in the show, as in life, few people fall into the sinner and saint categories. Leaders in these institutions are generally rational and even the antagonists occasionally speak uncomfortable truths. The result is a universe in which we find people's character defined not by their social or economic position. Read more ›
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Show on HBO!! May 30, 2006
I watched Seasons 1 & 2 again last week and came to the realization that it was the best show on HBO. I used to have Sopranos in my top spot, but the Wire has passed it. It has the patience and intelligence I wish the Sopranos could consistently maintain. However, the Wire has only had three seasons and the Sopranos six, so it is might be harder for Chase and crew.

Season Three picks up where Season 2 left off with Daniel's new team investigating the dope in Baltimore. Like the two previous seasons having a theme (1-streets & police, and 2-dock workers and smuggling) this season involves the politics.

Season 2 is still my favorite, but all three seasons are amazing. The third continues the standards of the previous two seasons with excellent writing, acting, and pacing. Robert Wisdom who potrays Major Colvin and Aidan Gillen who plays Councilman Thomas 'Tommy' J. Carcetti are excellent new additions who hold their own to an exellent ensemble.

Thank you HBO for making a 4th Season, despite lower ratings. The critics are right, this is the best drama on TV.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
In Season 3 of David Simon's groundbreaking series, Lt. Daniels' Major Crimes Unit has turned its attention back on Westside drug dealers. Ultimately, as in Season 1, the targets are the drug kingpins Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell.

But while in Season 1 and 2 the police were the clear heroes of the show (if notoriously flawed and human), in Season 3 The Wire's subtle critique of the drug war becomes a more significant theme. The police-work conducted by McNulty, Greggs, Daniels, and Freeman remains exciting and heroic, but their efforts are now on the margins of the true movement and import of the story. When Barksdale is finally busted, it is not so much the result of their police-work as the anonynmous tip of Stringer Bell. Bell (an charismatic and compelling character in his own right, who continues to grow in Season 3) has become increasingly disenchanted with "the game", and reaches out to "Bunny" Colvin of the Western with information on Avon. In the end it is questionable whether Major Crimes has accomplished anything, or whether it was the relationships with actual people forged by Colvin's humanity that actually made a positive difference.

Major "Bunny" Colvin of the Western District has become sick of the drug war--convinced that the tactics employed do not constitute real police work. So he starts pushing all drug trafficing in his district into 3 zones where drug dealing is more or less legalized. In the meantime, he hides this strategy from his bosses, while his friend "The Deacon" begins organizing outreach and condom/needle distribution among the addicts who begin gathering in these districts and no longer have to hide. "The Game" gradually becomes gutted from the inside out, as the violence associated with drug dealing is no longer necessary.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wired
Great show , good seasons , how can a person not be addicted to this shoe , I know i am !
Published 5 days ago by michelle lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable!
Highly recommended program for anyone who likes to follow character evolution. We can't wait to start the 4th Season after finishing this one!
Published 14 days ago by robin martinez
5.0 out of 5 stars season is good
Good show. Loved the first season Did not care for second season but third season goes back to what hooked me.
Published 16 days ago by Ant
2.0 out of 5 stars Knockoff, not an HBO product (SPOILER)
Which I didn't even notice, until the very biggest scene in the entire season, when Omar and Brother Mouzone kills Stringer, the video stopped playing. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Justin Vest
5.0 out of 5 stars The WIRE!!!
If you've never seen it, get it! But start from the beginning with Season 1. If you don't know anything about street life, this is a good educator on just how real it can get.
Published 25 days ago by icpurple
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wire - Season 3
I just had to have this on my Kindle! I own the series on dvd, it's so handy that I can watch "The Wire" while I travel, exercise, etc...
Published 25 days ago by Robin
5.0 out of 5 stars top of the chart
Feel like I'm part of the neighborhood. Hate to see the series ending. Too bad there isn't more show like this.
Published 25 days ago by jack fair
3.0 out of 5 stars Overrated
Many people refer to the Wire as one of the greatest shows ever. I don't see it. It's pretty boring compared to the actual greatest shows ever (Friday Night Lights and Breaking... Read more
Published 26 days ago by Anthony Pangilinan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great show!
One of the DVDs had a small hiccup in Episode 6. It got stuck and we had to fast-forward to avoid that part of the DVD, thereby missing a few minutes of that episode. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Scott W.
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS A VERY WELL MADE SERIES
Characters ring true to the police I have known. In addition, spouses rarely have a complete 180 degree reversal of opinion toward a mate and this series does a fine job of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by wyman2004
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Topic From this Discussion
Not until 2008 apparently - from, April 20 2007:

Q: Any idea on when HBO will be airing the final season of "The Wire"? Or when they'll be releasing season four on DVD? I think it's the best show on TV, and the anticipation is killing me.
-- Pam, North Versailles

Rob:... Read more
Apr 30, 2007 by PkM |  See all 4 posts
the price
I'm pretty sure most HBO DVDs are this price when they're first released, or at least close to it.
Sep 2, 2006 by R.J. Dorado |  See all 4 posts
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