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Mad Men: Season Five Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH,Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 585 Mins.
  • Discs: 3 (3 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Blu-ray Release Date: October 16, 2012
  • List Price: $49.99

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4/5]

The glitz, the glamor, the booze and cigarette smoke are back at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce for this fifth season. Further into the 1960s and the boys club ad agency can’t help but get drawn into the social upheaval all around them. Don (Jon Hamm) finds his marital bliss with Megan (Jessica Paré) challenged as she decides to leave the advertising business and take a stab at acting. The agency inadvertently steps into the civil rights issue when Roger Sterling (John Slattery) clumsily posts an ad proclaiming them “An Equal Opportunity Employer,” as a dig at a rival, without thinking of the consequences. And Lane (Jared Harris) has been hiding money problems from the partners, an issue that will come back to haunt him and the agency with tragic consequences. Meanwhile Joan (Christina Hendricks) has been on maternity leave and worried about her job, but will make her way back and be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice a woman can make in order to help the agency. There is, of course, a lot more going on in season five, but the fun in watching Mad Men is discovering what’s going to happen next. Believe me, season five is a whopper.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Mad Men: Season Five moves from the Super-35 format of the previous seasons to a native high definition production captured on Arri Alexa cameras with Panavision Primo lenses at ProRes 4:4:4 (1080p/24) resolution. It arrives on Blu-ray in a superb and still rather filmic AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement from Lionsgate. What small amounts of video noise are present in the image are rather reserved, looking far more organic and natural than harsh and electronic. Colors still pop nicely, having that saturated pizazz of 1960s glitz while flesh tones maintain a natural appearance, shadows are nicely nuanced, and contrast is strong, even if white levels are a little on the hot side every so often.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack for Mad Men offers straightforward sound, giving a little bit of atmospheric sounds in the surrounds and direct sounds across the front that are clean and full. Lows are slight, but full enough for one to get a sense of realism in the overall sound.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:4.5/5]

The set is loaded with cast and crew episode commentaries plus production featurettes as well as some features on the era, 1966, in which the season takes place.

The supplements:

  • Audio Commentaries:
    • A Little Kiss Episodes 1 & 2 – Commentary with Matthew Weiner and Jennifer Getzinger; Commentary with Jon Hamm and Jessica Paré
    • Tea Leaves – Commentary with Matthew Weiner, Jon Hamm, and Erin Levy; Commentary with January Jones and Christopher Stanley
    • Mystery Date – Commentary with Matthew Weiner and Victor Levin; Commentary with Christina Hendricks and Jay Ferguson
    • Signal 30 – Commentary with Matthew Weiner and John Slattery; Commentary with Vincent Katheiser and Aaron Staton
    • Far Away Places – Commentary with Scott Hornbacher and Dan Bishop; Commentary with Matthew Weiner, John Slattery, Elisabeth Moss, and Jon Hamm
    • At the Codfish Ball – Commentary with Matthew Weiner and Jonathan Igla; Commentary with Janie Bryant, David Carbonara, and Kiernan Shipka
    • Lady Lazarus – Commentary with Matthew Matthew Weiner and Phil Abraham; Commentary with Vincent Kartheiser, Alexis Bledel and Elisabeth Moss
    • Dark Shadows – Commentary with Matthew Weiner and Erin levy; Commentary with Kiernan Shipka, Ben Feldman, and Jessica Paré
    • Christmas Waltz – Commentary with Matthew Weiner and Michael Uppendahl; Commentary with Rich Sommer, Michael Gladis and Jared Harris
    • The Other Woman – Commentary with Matthew Weiner and Semi Chellas; Commentary with Elisabeth Moss, Christina Hendricks and Jon Hamm
    • Commissions and Fees – Commentary with Matthew Weiner and Andre and Maria Jacquemetton; Commentary with Christopher Manley and Jared Harris
    • The Phantom – Commentary with Matthew Weiner and Jonathan Igla; Commentary with Jessica Paré and Julia Ormond
  • Mad Men Say the Darndest Things (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:16:41) – The writers discuss their work developing the characters and dialogue for Mad Men.
  • What is there to Love if Not the Enigma? (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:17:10)
  • The Party of the Century (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:23:05)
  • Scoring Mad Men: Themes of Season 5 (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:27:56)
  • Scoring Mad Men: Inside a Session (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:21:14)
  • The Uniform Time Act of 1966 (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:05:22)
  • Newsweek Magazine Digital Gallery

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

The creators of this series maintained a rather high level of quality, surprises, and intrigue, and, you know, sexiness, across its five seasons. This Blu-ray set is a great way get through the season without all the commercial interruptions and with the best possible picture and sound.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Mad Men: Season Five on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Mad Men, Season 5 - Mad Men

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Purchase Mad Men: Season Five on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4.5/5]


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