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24 -TWENTY FOUR- シーズン8(SEASONS ブルーレイ・ボックス) [Blu-ray]
―シリーズ史上最凶核兵器テロリスト VS. ジャック・バウアー、世界の平和を脅かすテロリストの目的とは!?
Perhaps it has become too familiar, too predictable, too 'standard' --- I say all that after rewatching season 8 after an absence of a few years which I often do to a favourite film or series. Perhaps a 1st time viewer wont suffer from those symtoms.
On the plus side Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe) is as outstanding as ever with her blend of petulance, scowling and hostility toward authority; Keifer Sutherland (Jack) holds everything together but is a bit of an automation now even though he shows more gentility than before but also demonstrates that dark side within us of extreme brutality and a lack of remorse.
The others are the usual 24ers ---- a mole within CTU, a boss that appears inept but comes good and strong, traitors in the White House etc.,etc.
Highlights in my view are the return of Gregory Itzin (Logan), an actor designed to play a slimey, twisty-turney character whose every movement captures the essence of the repulsive cowardly ex-President who features late in the season.
Usually the writers very cleverly design the bad guys as objects of hate and loathing (it's that kind of show, shades of the Mission Impossible tv series of the 1960's) but in Rami Malek we have a sympathetic performance of a terrorist for a change ----- I don't think it was the writing, more Malek's ambiguous and superb portrayal of his character. It's no wonder that he won the best actor Oscar in 2019.
Comes with English subtitles and shed loads of bonus features.
As ever, it is up to Jack Bauer to save the day. With the odds so heavily stacked against, can even he avert catastrophe? Will this final season see the end of him?
Creators confess one or two earlier seasons have been on the fanciful side. This one they ensure has feet more firmly on the ground - the aim a worthy climax for a show that from its very start has set exhilarating new standards. The formula is as before - twenty four episodes each representing an hour, tension increased by a frequently split screen and ever ticking clock. Throughout there are twists that truly stun, a dramatically increasing body count, any key figures who survive almost certainly with lives changed forever.
Some may regret certain aspects. When so much is communicated in barely audible whispers, the incessant music track can be a nuisance. The storyline involving agent Dana Walsh may seem unconvincingly contrived. As for Bauer himself! His resilience continues to amaze - he here astonishingly agile despite a savage beating, sadistic torture, two stabbings and at least one bullet.
Critics so inclined may well pinpoint these and other possible weaknesses. I am amongst the millions who simply brush them aside, content to sit back and enjoy one of the best television shows ever.
Extras include interesting "Scene Makers" about the episodes and an entertaining look back over the previous eight years (eight days actually, when one thinks about it). Understandably emotions are high as filming draws to a close.
Kiefer Sutherland has been superb as Jack Bauer, loyal to a fault but remorseless when betrayed - as indeed he is here, a certain death sending him over the edge, he to become a loose cannon bloodily taking revenge. Another great asset throughout the series has been ever-scowling Chloe, she this time round with much more to do.
Behind the camera and in front, all concerned deserve praise. They have created one of television's most action-packed shows - the resulting box sets truly a binge-watcher's paradise.
Many old allies and old adversaries return, but there are many new faces too: among them are Anil Kapoor from Slumdog Millionaire [Blu-ray ], Freddie Prinze Jr from I Know What You Did Last Summer [Blu-ray]  [US Import ] (I imagine I'm the only fan of 24 who saw him in Scooby Doo: Live Action Movie [Blu-ray] [Region Free ]!) and Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series [Blu-ray][Region Free ]'s space-ace Starbuck. the redoubtable Katee Sackhoff.
There's no denying that one or two earlier seasons occasionally went a bit wobbly, but be reassured - the series's final offering is dramatically rock solid. The stunts are still stunning, the twists and turns still startle, the characters still convince and poor old Jack is still put through the emotional wringer. 24 concludes with a reasonable claim to be the most compelling, best crafted thriller ever made for the small screen.
The Blu-rays in this collection give us six episodes per disc in 1080p video and DTS HD Master Audio. I noticed one or two nocturnal scenes where the image was slightly grainy, but these added up to only a few seconds over the season's entire eighteen hours and were nowhere near troubling enough to spoil the edge-of-the-seat excitement. I never regretted paying a few pounds extra for the benefit of high-def over DVD.
In addiction level terms it also deliberately doesn't hook you in straight away but by around episode 10, that's when the rollercoaster starts properly - well worth it, but of course the complete box set generally costs around £50 which is the only reason not to buy this box set.
Ok, a couple of spoilers:
When we found out Dana's secret she suddenly went from a wee wifey scared of her mean ex-boyfriend to a psycho. Complete character change. She'd have got him to go to her flat and then got the baddies to go and top him; she wouldn't have let him interfere with the work she had to so.
And the guy with the vest? When he locks himself in the oxygen tank why not a) kill the power to it so he can't read the instructions on how to re-arm the vest, or b) pump gas into the tank instead of oxygen?
I'm all for a little unrealism - I love the first seven seasons - but the combination of bad acting and poor script made an unbelievable plot unbelievable. Hastings was a very unlikely head of CTU. He just didn't have the Bill-factor.
Rene was a disappointment - perhaps more for my wife who'd already planned 24: The Wedding. But at least the nasty Rusky got his just desserts - and we saw them all over the floor.
And what's with the two missing scenes? Novakovich's murder and the hit on the ambulance? Very poor show.
But the ending? I know Jack is Jack - but how could he know where the drone was for his monologue? Corny. It would have been much better with wandering off with his little manbag (hopefully full of bandages for that nasty (second) knife hole in his stomach) just like David Banner. It was certainly left open for another 24 - hopefully a series (with new writers please) and not a film - it just doesn't translate.
The person who quoted this as the best series-ending of all time hasn't watched Six Feet Under (#1) or The Sopranos (#2).
All of this said, I've still given it four stars, mainly because series 1-7 warranted 8 stars but partly because Jack is still out there and I'm scared of him!
I would recommend this season, but be warned, it's the weakest of a very strong series.
Don’t know if it will make playing a problem as it will take time to watch all the discs
I have been a 24 addict since Series One, have all of them on DVD and rewatched them all last year. I am just so sad it is finally coming to and end and I have delayed watching this series as I could not bear to think that once I have watched it that is that. Totally illogical so gave in tonight and am now having to go off to bed else I will be here all night
Kiefer Sutherland has really made Bauer his own - his performance is so convincing it's hard to believe he is acting.
I really recommend this series and the quality of the blu-ray format is really good. I also enjoyed the extras. 5 Stars!
Of course, when you are watching 24 you have to suspend your perception of reality, and in that respect season 8 is little different, but at the same time there is no silly Chappelle-like assassinations by his own men, no crashing of Air Force One, no cougar and no White House raid. Instead, the season's main plot is possibly its simplest and most clear since season one.
And as a final selling point, a notorious old foe of Jack's reappears for the final quarter of the season and this character's presence was the cherry on the cake to season 8's most notable feature - unprincipled, opportunistic and self-serving politicians. For the first time in the history of '24-world', the show's producers have provided a more mature and TRULY cynical picture of the sordid corruption which surely dominates politics at the highest level, even if it is maybe exaggerated here for dramatic effect.