Chancer: Series One

January 28, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Stephen Crane (Clive Owen) seems to have the life most men only dream of, handsome good looks, luck with the ladies, and a job that keeps him in the lap of luxury. His apartment is high end, his girlfriend Joanna (Susannah Parker) is gorgeous, and he is able to make big risks pay off at his analyst position at one of London’s top banks. His ethics are not exactly notable, as he will do what he has to in order to get his desired results. When he agrees to help his friend Gavin (Matthew Marsh) save his family’s floundering car dealership however, even Crane might lack the needed talent to turn things around. As he uses every trick he can think of to get the business back on track, Crane also deals with his chaotic personal life. But can Crane do the impossible, even as he loses his girlfriend and burns his former employer in the process?

This show is being released thanks to the stardom of lead Clive Owen, but is Chancer a great series or just a chance to see Owen before he hit the major leagues? I found Chancer to be a solid show and to Owen’s credit, he carries the show and when the focus is on him, that’s when the material shines. Owen does what he does best, playing a smooth operator with a dark side and this show gives him ample room to showcase his skills. He isn’t as polished as he is now, but he handles the role well and you can see the foundation on which his stardom was built. When Chancer moves its focus off Owen, that is when it loses ground and falls into mediocrity. The stories are plentiful, but few that don’t involve Owen work well. All in all, Chancer is a solid series and you can tell how Owen turned into a star, so this first volume is recommended.

Video: How does it look?

The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. I enjoyed the show, so it pains me to report that it doesn’t look good in this presentation. I watched this on both a 65″ rear projection screen and a 50″ plasma, both yielded soft, low resolution images that were a disappointment. I suppose on a smaller screen, the defects would be less visible, but even so, I think fans will let down here by the treatment. In addition to being soft, the contrast is too dark and detail is obscured, not to mention a lot of digital noise, which only worsens the experience. I won’t say these episodes are unwatchable, but you won’t hear much praise.

Audio: How does it sound?

This sounds better than it looks, but that isn’t saying much. The audio is inconsistent, with some scenes coming across as well as you’d want, while others range from too loud to too quiet. You’ll need to keep your remote handy, as you’ll be adjusting it from time to time to save your ears the strain. Not much else to say, sometimes its good and sometimes its bad.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This release includes some production photos, as well as filmographies on prominent cast members.

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