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Sons of Anarchy: Season 3 Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Chines, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 3 (3 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 30, 2011
  • List Price: $69.99

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Sons of Anarchy, Season 3 - Sons of Anarchy

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4.5/5]

With each passing season, cable network FX’s crime drama about the inner workings of a motor cycle gang and their criminal enterprises, Sons of Anarchy, gets more complex, more intriguing, and, let’s face it, just damn juicy! I mentioned it in my review of the Season 1 release, and I’ll say it again, it’s like the Soprano’s in black leather MCs on Harley Davidsons, probably a perfect replacement for HBOs defunct drama.

Now, despite my praises, I have to admit that it is becoming increasingly difficult to suspend disbelief where it concerns SAMCRO’s ability to constantly wriggle their way out of ridiculously impossible situations with the law and rivals in crime. I mean, these guys are like the second coming of the teflon Don – nothing sticks to them. Perhaps if we start seeing some of the protagonists get whacked or seriously incarcerated for their crimes, a lot of them taking place in the harsh light of day, some of these doubts will disappear.

Anyway, in Season 3, SAMCRO is out of prison and still reeling from the kidnapping of Jax’s (Charlie Hunnam) son Abel, Gemma (Katey Sagal) is on the lam after being framed for murder by ATF agent Stahl (Ally Walker), and things are even more complicated than ever between Jax and Tara (Maggie Siff). With no help from law enforcement to find Abel (surprise, surprise) SAMCRO finds themselves heading all the way to Northern Ireland to their Belfast charter and getting into the dangerous territory of pissing off the IRA and an Army-aiding priest (James Cosmo) who just may hold the secret to where Abel is. Their journey also stirs up secrets from the past about Jax’s father, John Teller, probably best kept in the past.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Sons of Anarchy: Season 3 apparently continues to be captured in high definition on a Panavision Genesis HD camera and it arrives on Blu-ray in a progressive 1080p/24 AVC/MPEG-4 encodement from 20th Century Fox. The series has never looked amazing to my eyes, but for whatever reason, be it slightly higher production values or something else, this season looks a bit better on Blu-ray than the others, particular Season 1, which looked very video-like. Season 3 has a more film-like quality to it. Where there is video noise, it looks less harsh and more like natural grain. Flesh tones continue to be spot on, blacks are deep without issues of crush and there is good white balance with high contrast. With all of that being said, there is still some softness here and there and SoA looks just a little less than perfect, but it is still miles above the highly-compressed broadcasts of the series.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is really good at capturing the rumble of those hogs as they tear down the blacktop, filling up the entire soundfield. There’s some good low frequency response to add heft to gunshots, the rumble of engines, and explosions, and dialogue is intelligible even if there are hints of clipping from time to time.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3.5/5]

This releases is fully loaded with creator and actor commentaries for select episodes, deleted scenes, BD-Live exclusives, and on Disc 3, a special min-episode entitled “The Future Begins Now” that gives a glimpse into the future for Jax, Tar and SAMCRO.

The supplements:

Disc 1:

  • “So” Extended Episode
  • Commentary on “So” featuring Kurt Sutter, Dave Erickson, Chris Collins, Regina Corrado, Liz Sagal, and Marco Ramirez
  • Deleted Scenes (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:10:24)
  • Live Extras:
    • Exclusive – Sons at Comic-Con 2011 (1.78:1; 1080p/24) – Q& A at Comic-Con 2011
    • Blu-ray Highlight – Custom Bike Build (1.78:1; 1080p/24) – A look at a custom build bike based on Sons of Anarchy for charity.

Disc 2:

  • Commentary on “Firinne” featuring Kurt Sutter, Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Maggie Siff, and Tommy Flanagan
  • Deleted Scenes (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:14:10)
  • Live Extras

Disc 3

  • Commentary on “NS” featuring Kurt Sutter, Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Mark Boone Jr., Kim Coates, Tommy Flanagan, Theo Rossi, Ryan Hurst, and Dayton Callie
  • The Future Begins Now (1.78:1; 1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1; 00:09:41):
    • Pay Phone
    • Tara and Piney
    • Jax Meets Thomas
    • Mexican Basketball
  • Writer’s Roundtable (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:18:14)
  • Bike Customizer (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:15:45) – Charity bike build for the Wounded Warrior charity.
  • Directing the Finale with Kurt Sutter (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:05:32)
  • “NS” Table Read with Cast (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:44:05)
  • Gag Reel (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:02)
  • Deleted Scenes (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:19)
  • Fox Movie Channel Presents World Premiere – Sons of Anarchy Season 3 (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:05:12)
  • Live Extras

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Season 3 of Sons of Anarchy is still a good guilty pleasure. With the show now starting its fourth season, apparently quite a few people are guilty of taking pleasure in it as well. It’s still bad-ass. It’s still gritty. It’s still completely addictive.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B003L77GKG[/amazon-product]

Sons of Anarchy, Season 3 - Sons of Anarchy

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

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