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Alcatraz: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]

4.4 out of 5 stars 376 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Alcatraz: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

In 1963, all prisoners were transferred from Alcatraz Island Federal Penitentiary. Or so we were told. Now America's worst criminals – known as the 63s – are returning to the streets of San Francisco to repeat their grisly crimes. It's up to top-notch Detective Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) and Alcatraz expert Diego "Doc" Soto (Jorge Garcia) to work with FBI Agent Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill) and Dr. Lucy Banerjee (Parminder Nagra) to learn why the 63s are back and to uncover a much larger, more sinister threat. Get locked into The Complete Series of this suspenseful, mysterious and action-packed drama from executive producer J.J. Abrams (Fringe, Lost).

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Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 16, 2012
  • Run Time: 572 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (376 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008B4MMSK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,712 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By The Blue Thunder Bomb VINE VOICE on July 1, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
While this is a review for the first and, sadly, the only season of J.J. Abrams' ALCATRAZ, this will also be, in part, a rant against Fox Broadcasting and how quickly they forgot their roots.

Let's begin with the review though. First, a quick rundown of the plot: Back in March of 1963, Alcatraz officially closed. All the prisoners were transferred to other prisons. This is the official story, but it's not the way it happened. In actuality, 256 inmates of Alcatraz as well as 46 guards mysteriously vanished and no one knows where... until now, that is. Mysterious and shadowy Federal Agent Emerson Hauser (the terrifically underrated Sam Neill) appears in San Francisco just around the time that our main protagonist SFPD Detective Rebecca Madsen (the talented and lovely Sarah Jones, who doesn't have a lot of credits to her name) loses her partner to a fleeing suspect. Madsen comes into direct contact and conflict with what Agent Hauser is trying to do when two men are murdered in the same day by a man who was one of the vanishing convicts and also looks exactly the same as he did in 1963. Enlisted in the search for this killer is the cuddly, lovable and very intelligent comic geek man-child Dr. Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia aka Hurley from LOST) who is considered to have written the definitive works on Alcatraz and its inmates. Along with Hauser's assistant, Dr. Lucy Banerjee (the talented and lovely Parminder Nagra, who first made a splash as the co-star of BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM and then onto ER), they form something of a secret task force to find the rest of the missing "63's".
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Format: DVD
The Fox midseason replacement TV series "Alcatraz" is built around the fascinating premise that the 1963 closure of the notorious federal prison was a cover story for the sudden and unexplained disappearance of the inmates and their guards. San Francisco police detective Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) becomes involved in the mystery when her partner is killed by a man who is supposed to be dead, one of the missing "63's". Rebecca is recruited into a secretive federal task force run by FBI agent Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill), formerly an Alcatraz guard and now in search of the former inmates as they resurface in modern-day San Francisco to resume their criminal careers, mysteriously unaged and still fully lethal.

The story is told on parallel tracks, as Hauser, Rebecca, and Rebecca's unlikely partner Dr. Diego "Doc" Soto (Jorge Garcia) pursue the criminals in the present, while their backstories are told in flashback. The hulking Doc, a comic book store owner and expert on Alcatraz, forms a surprisingly effective team with the diminutive but spunky Rebecca, tracking the "63's" while trying to figure out what secrets Hauser might be hiding in his underground command center on Alcatraz. Each show dropped fresh clues on how and why the inmates might have disappeared, and suggest a conspiracy at work. Each show also expands on the separate and somewhat conflicting agendas of Hauser and Rebecca. The series makes full use of its excellent San Francisco and Alcatraz filming venues, including a spectacular "Bullit" car chase scene in the season finale.

"Alcatraz" is something different, part dark police procedural, part science fiction mystery, and all fun. The season finale was a fast-paced and terrifying cliff-hanger; here's hoping the series gets a second season. Highly recommended.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Alcatraz" COULD have worked and worked well...I think its only major flaw was that some of the episodes, particularly midseason, felt more like a crime procedural ("hey, another inmate appeared, let's go get 'im") than a surreal mystery. If only EACH ep had given us a bit of the plot points! It seemed like several went by with little more than a tease into the three keys, the '63s, and the sleazy Warden's master plan...and then in the season finale we had major points all dumped at once!

Still and all...this could have been MAGNIFICENT in a second season. I detest Fox for pulling it.

My question is, WHY can this story not continue in graphic novel form?? Hey you producers and writers, if you're reading this, FINISH THE STORY! I want more Senator BadA-- (aka Hauser -- as Sarah Jones so perfectly called him), more Doc, more Becca, more Warden! I wanna know how it ENDS! Bring in Joss Whedon, bring in any of the supremely talented writers and artists working in comics today, and let this continue the same way "Firefly/Serenity" has! At least let us find out what the heck happened!

Kudos to all who worked on this show. It did not deserve the treatment Fox gave it.
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JJ Abrahms, the creator of the long-running suspense serial Lost starts a new series with elements of mystery, magic and police procedural, however, those looking for realistic procedural should look elsewhere but those looking for serial mysterious suspense should be right at home.

Alcatraz, arguably America's most famous prison was closed in 1963 with all inmates transferred, but that isn't what happened the opening voiceover informs us. Instead, the prisoners and guards disappeared into the ether and were never seen again. Until 50 years later when the criminals start reappearing, unaged and unchanged and committing the horrendous crimes they were incarcerated for.

A young detective with a family connection to Alcatraz catches the first homicide connected with the mysteriously reappearing prisoners. Of course no one else knows this and she figures it out fairly quickly with the help of an Alcatraz historian, Dr. Soto. The detective and Dr. Soto stumble on a mysterious organization tasked with catching the prisoners as the reappear and finding out what happened in the first place. The viewer is given hints that this organization is not all that it seems and that the prisoners may have been the subject of medical experiments that may or may not be related to the current predicament.

Perfect combination of weekly arcs for new viewers and longer arcs for those who like to follow a mystery. Mr. Abrahms excells at grab you by the throat openings but sometimes has trouble with middle and last acts. Viewers will have to see if Alcatraz follows this pattern or breaks it. Intriguing and worth a look.
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