Game Of Thrones The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray & DVD Review

When it airs on TV — sorry, HBO — Game Of Thrones is not only one of the best written, acted, and directed dramas, it’s also one of the smartest and most intricate fantasy stories in any medium. But even if you’ve already watched it on television or some other device, you’ll still want to pick up the Game Of Thrones The Complete Fourth Season on Blu-ray or DVD, which not only presents this show how it was meant to be seen, but with a number of cool extras as well.

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Of course, if you’ve seen the previous three seasons, you know what you’re getting into with the ones collected on the Game Of Thrones The Complete Fourth Season. It’s still like a Shakespearean or Greek tragedy as written by J.R.R. Tolkien, with more backstabbing and political intrigue than you’ll find on MSNBC and Fox News combined. (And if you haven’t seen them, this is obviously not the place to start; even the season three recap that’s included won’t bring you up to speed on the whole show). But for those who’ve kept up with it, this is still the best way to watch them — well, tied for best with seeing them on HBO, that is — since it not only boast beautiful picture, especially on Blu-ray, without the constant threat of the picture stuttering because your neighbor is using your Wi-Fi…again. And don’t even get me started on why you should buy this instead of illegally downloading it.

This is especially true if your Blu-ray or DVD player is hooked up to a good stereo, as the Game Of Thrones The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD both have far better sound than you’ll find on any tablet.

As for what actually happens this season, that I will not spoil, but suffice it to say that fans will not be disappointed. Well, unless you’re tired of your favorite characters getting killed off, in which case you might want to switch to The Big Bang Theory. Nobody dies on The Big Bang Theory.

Game Of Thrones The Complete Fourth Season doesn’t just have this season’s ten episodes, though. Augmenting them are eleven commentaries: including two each for the ninth and tenth episodes (but none, oddly, for the third). Besides George R.R. Martin — who wrote the original novels this show is based on, as well as some episodes — these discussions also feature such stars as Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Kit Harrington (Jon Snow), and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), as well as a number of the writers, directors, producers, and other people from the crew.

Unfortunately, while these commentaries are informative, not all of them are as fun to listen to because, in three of them, there’s only crew people, which tends to make them a bit too film school-ish; the ones with the actors, by contrast, tend to be a bit more lighthearted and thus fun. Though it does help that all are recorded with the participants in the same room at the same time, since their interpersonal interactions keeps them from being staid.

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Along with the ten episodes and their commentaries, Game Of Thrones The Complete Fourth Season also has numerous extras that, for the most part, are as an engaging as they are enlightening.

First up is the aforementioned “The Politics Of Power: A Look Back At Season 3” featurette, which is especially handy when you consider that the Game Of Thrones The Complete Third Season Blu-ray and DVD came out a year ago.

But while “Politics” can be found on the first disc of the Game Of Thrones The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD, not all of the extras are as smartly located. For instance, the first disc also has the self-explanatory featurette “New Characters & Locations” as well as one called “Bastards Of Westeros” in which Martin, along with members of the cast and crew, discuss the role that children born out of wedlock play in this world, and thus this show. But while both are entertaining and informative, it doesn’t make much sense to have them on the first disc, since you shouldn’t watch them until after you’ve seen all the episodes, the last of which appears on disc four.

Along the same lines, Game Of Thrones The Complete Fourth Season also has two deleted scenes, both of which appear on the last disc instead of in the sections for their respective episodes. But then, they’re not all that interesting — the second hardly counts as a scene — while there’s also nothing that indicates why they were cut.

Thankfully, not all of the extras are so oddly placed. Located on the fourth disc, where it belongs, “The Fallen: A Roundtable” brings all of the actors whose characters died this season together to commiserate. This is easily the best extra on the Game Of Thrones The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD, not only because they got everyone in the same room at the same time, but also because everyone seems to be in good spirits.

This is matched, at least in the humor department, by the equally funny “Season Four Blooper Reel,” which presents two minutes of the cast cracking up, screwing up, and screwing around.

Game Of Thrones The Complete Fourth Season also includes “Behind The Battle For The Wall,” an in-depth, nearly forty-minute-long look at this exciting action scene. Though if you’ve ever seen the making-of featurette of a battle scene from a big action movie — especially one of The Lord Of The Rings or Hobbit movies — you probably won’t learn much.

The Blu-ray version of Game Of Thrones The Complete Fourth Season also has a couple extras not included on the DVD. First, there’s an in-episode guide that lets you bring up text about the characters, locations, and history that are relevant to the scene being watched. Though while it can be quite helpful, it’s best for second viewings, as the text boxes take up way too much of the screen.

Also exclusive to the Blu-ray version of Game Of Thrones The Complete Fourth Season is “Histories And Lore,” an interactive guide with short animated videos that explain the fact and fiction (relatively speaking) about the dragons, The Wall and The Night’s Watch, and other aspects of this world, this story, and thus this show.

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Despite minor issues with the extras, the Game Of Thrones The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray and DVD is the best way to watch this show. Which, if this season is any indication, shows no sign of losing its magic anytime soon.

SCORE: 9.0/10

 

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