Plot: What’s it about?
The Sons of Anarchy is a motorcycle club based in Charming, California, but it has brothers in several other areas. The club’s co-founder Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman) runs a garage with some of the mechanics around, but he also fronts a gun running ring and dabbles in other trades to keep his club in business. Clay’s second in command is Jax (Charlie Hunnam), his wife’s son and the son of the club’s deceased co-founder. While Jax is loyal to the brotherhood, he is sometimes torn when it comes how it is run, especially when it veers toward violent crime. At the same time, the Sons face threats from rival biker gangs, the federal government, and even internal conflicts. But regardless of what trouble knocks on the door, Clay, Jax, and the rest of the Sons will answer and make sure the club remains in power.
While the premium cable channels tend to get more spotlight for their original shows, FX has knocked out a chain of great shows in their own right. The network’s hits such as Nip/Tuck, The Shield, Rescue Me, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia are impressive, but would Sons of Anarchy continue that tradition? I was drawn to the show’s concept, but also the cast, with Ron Perlman, Katie Segal, and a host of remarkable character actors all involved. The show’s momentum hadn’t dropped at all in this third season, as the writing remains strong and on the mark. The storylines are numerous, but the show is able to balance them all and juggle all the arcs in superb fashion. The writing is great in this third season, with both short and long arcs in place, paying off previous strands and weaving new ones moving forward. Not to mention the cast, which shines and the depth of the roster is something to behold. In short, Sons of Anarchy is another triumph for FX, so this release is of course highly recommended.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 widescreen. These episodes look excellent, with great depth and the kind of detail we expect from high definition. A few instances of softness do pop up, but man, this show looks awesome. You’ll see more detail in facial features than you’d ever want to, not to mention textures on all you can see. This is simply remarkable and aside from those rare scenes that look off, this is dynamic and great showcase material. The colors are dead on as well, from the rich blacks to the shocks of red blood that surface. I can’t mark this one the full five because of the soft touches that crop up, but this is one impressive visual treatment.
Audio: How does it sound?
The DTS HD 5.1 soundtrack is quite good, with more presence than expected, but this is by no means a bombastic level audio experience. The surrounds don’t get constant use, but between the motorcycle engines, gunshots, and musical soundtrack, there is some good presence. Aside from that however, the audio remains rather basic, mostly dialogue and low level stuff. That is fine though, as those scenes don’t require too much presence. All in all, a better than expected audio presentation, even if a little more oomph would be nice at times. This release also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
You can check out four all new scenes that set the stage for the fourth season, a pair of featurettes, deleted scenes, and a gag reel. This release also includes extended versions of select episodes.