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Prison Break: Season 1 (2005)

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Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: “Pilot” -- Creator Paul Scheuring and actor Dominic Purcell Rating:6.0/10 (1 vote) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by The Cubist on January 10th, 2007:Find all reviews by The Cubist
They shot 16 hour days for the Pilot which was very tiring for all concerned. They praise the show’s production design and how it contributes to the cinematic look. Scheuring talks about the challenge of casting the roles of Michael and Lincoln but tends to start most comments with “This is the guy...” or “In this scene...” which gets tiresome pretty fast.
Commentary 2: "Pilot" -- Director Brett Ratner and editor Mark Helfrich Rating:8.0/10 (2 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by The Cubist on January 10th, 2007:Find all reviews by The Cubist
Ratner agreed to shoot the episode only if he could use his crew that works on his movies. When working on the Superman movie he tested Wentworth Miller and liked him. They both didn’t end up making that movie but Ratner remembered him when they cast for the Pilot. The director is surprisingly engaging and informative: everything that the first one with Scheuring should have been.
Commentary 3: “Cute Poison” -- Creator Paul Scheuring and cast members Dominic Purcell and Wade Williams Rating:7.7/10 (3 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by commentary addict on January 9th, 2007:Find all reviews by commentary addict
Surprising and fascinating to hear not only the behind-the-scenes info regarding the construction of this episode, but also to hear how affable and kind actor Wade Williams is (in direct contrast to his character) and how much more likeable and self-effacing Dominic Purcell is (freed from the figurative and literal shackles of his PB alter-ego, Lincoln Borroughs).
Commentary 4: “Cute Poison” -- Writer Matt Olmstead and actor Silas Weir Mitchell. Rating:6.5/10 (2 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by commentary addict on January 9th, 2007:Find all reviews by commentary addict
Definitely the inferior of the two "Cute Poison" commentaries. Olmstead is less insightful than his head-writing/show-creator counterpart (Scheuring) and Silas Weir Mitchell comes off as a bit annoying and arrogant.
Reviewed by The Cubist on January 10th, 2007:Find all reviews by The Cubist
I liked this one. They provide plenty of interesting and amusing anecdotes filming this episode. Some highlights include a story about Peter Stormare and enduring Chicago’s crazy weather.
Commentary 5: “Riots, Drills and The Devil (Part I)” -- Creator Paul Scheuring and cast members Dominic Purcell, Amaury Nolasco, Wade Williams, Robert Knepper and Sarah Wayne Callies Rating:8.3/10 (3 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by commentary addict on January 10th, 2007:Find all reviews by commentary addict
My favorite of the PB commentaries so far, even though there apparently weren't enough mics to go around for Wade Williams and Amaury Nolasco (so Scheuring refers to them as "the peanut gallery" - you really can't hear them that well). Dom Purcell does an eerily good Robert Knepper impersonation (Knepper: "I can’t even do me that well"). Sarah Wayne Callies is very personable and funny (and sexy - even on audio!). And the cast seems very comfortable with each other and to enjoy each others' company (at one point, SWC playfully asks Dom, "Can I punch you in your big head?"). Plus, we learn an amazing fact about what the Scofield's devil tattoo was supposed to be, right up until two days before production (hint: he's very different than the devil, and explains why Sucre was having a moral dilemma about the drilling).
Commentary 6: “Riots, Drills and The Devil (Part I)” -- Director Robert Mandell and writer Nick Santora Rating:7.0/10 (2 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by commentary addict on January 10th, 2007:Find all reviews by commentary addict
Writer Nick Santora really saves this commentary, as director Robert Mandell doesn't really offer us much (other than asking good questions to Nick regarding the writing process on the show). Mandell even mispronounces some character names. But Santora (who used to be a practicing criminal attorney in New York) gives us some juicy tidbits about how the premise of this story's construct mirrors an old MASH episode and how Cherry's role as the "human snack tray" was inspired by a similar incident involving a Hollywood producer. Plus some amusing info about how PB isn't allowed to be shown in Michigan prisons, and an actual prison break in which part of the escape route took the escapees under a billboard advertising the show Prison Break. Very meta.
Commentary 7: “Riots, Drills and The Devil (Part II)” -- Scheuring and cast members Dominic Purcell, Amaury Nolasco, Wade Williams and Peter Stormare Rating:8.0/10 (6 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by The Cubist on January 10th, 2007:Find all reviews by The Cubist
Stormare who talks about growing his hair for the role and not playing his character like a traditional Italian mob boss. He is a very funny guy and great to listen to. One wishes that he spoke up more as his comments, including a story about John Heard, are very entertaining.
Reviewed by commentary addict on January 10th, 2007:Find all reviews by commentary addict
I enjoyed Peter Stormare in this as well. Meanwhile, microphones are finally rounded up for Wade Williams and Amaury Nolasco (relegated to the backround of Part 1's commentary), and... well, Wade doesn't usually have too much to say. But Amaury gets in a couple of solid anecdotes (including one about his mom watching the show and its filming). I especially enjoyed the ever-informative Scheuring talking about exact episode lengths and agonizing over the padding of certain scenes. Once again, the cast seems to get along famously, sometimes getting so loose as to go into MST3K territory (from which some very funny one-liners occasionally emerge).
Commentary 8: “Odd Man Out” -- Producer Garry Brown, director Bobby Roth and writer Karyn Usher Rating:6.0/10 (2 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by commentary addict on January 10th, 2007:Find all reviews by commentary addict
My least favorite of the Season One commentaries so far. Though writer Karyn Usher is somewhat agreeable and upbeat, producer Garry Brown is very dry (ironic, for such a waterlogged episode) and director Bobby Roth either had a touch of laryngitis or just talks like a more soft-spoken Clint Eastwood - either way, he was quite hard to hear. A lot of technical info on this commentary - info about multiple sets for the water tank scene and such. The most interesting tidbits regard a tattoo/bible verse that was cut from the episode and Wentworth Miller's superb swimming skill (he was on the swim team). I would say skip this one if you're just looking to hear a few of these commentaries and not all of them.
Commentary 9: “Brother’s Keeper” -- Creator Paul Scheuring and cast members Dominic Purcell, Amaury Nolasco, Wade Williams, Robert Knepper and Sarah Wayne Callies. Rating:7.7/10 (3 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by commentary addict on January 10th, 2007:Find all reviews by commentary addict
Since this was my favorite episode of the first season, and most of the cast was present on this commentary, I was surprised to see it had such a low initial vote here (6). Then it started and I learned that it was the actors' first time viewing the finished episode, so they started out kind of quiet. "Oh, I get it now," I thought.

But as the episode progressed they got more chatty, and - though Scheuring makes a very odd and awkward attempted joke about Sucre stealing "pesos" - he mostly cheerleads them all through what turns out to be quite a satisfying outing. Lots of interesting information about color palettes for different story arcs, reasons behind character motivations and locations, etc. Sarah Wayne Callies is winsome as usual and Dom Purcell cracks wise and breaks the tension of a few otherwise serious scenes. Not quite my favorite commentary of the bunch, but I'll give it an 8.
Commentary 10: “Brother’s Keeper” -- Director Greg Yaitanes and writer Zack Estrin Rating:7.0/10 (1 vote) [graph]Login to vote or review