DVDs: Bonus Points Movies

The Many Pleasures of Getting 'Lost'

washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008

I am kind of a "Lost" fanatic.

Actually, that sentence is not quite accurate. The phrase "kind of" should be removed, and the word "fanatic" should be written in ALL CAPS.

Funny thing about obsessive fans? We tend to hold our favorite TV shows to extremely high standards. That's why I met the arrival of "Lost: Season Four -- The Expanded Experience," on DVD ($59.99) and Blu-ray ($69.99) today, with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. As devout followers of the desert island drama know, the fourth season was, arguably, the strongest in the show's history and, thanks to the writers' strike, the shortest. With only 13 episodes to include in this year's box set, I wondered if the DVD would seem a little on the emaciated side.

Thankfully, the "Lost" crew was smart enough to add a freighter full of bonus features to compensate for the shortened season, making this collection perhaps the most delicious series of DVDs I've dug into this holiday season.

Um, I mentioned I'm a "Lost" FANATIC, right? The good news is I'm not alone, which means all those viewers who spend hours debating such important topics as "Benjamin Linus: Bad Guy With Good Intentions or Certified, Diabolical Freak?" will find similar joy in the treasure trove of extras included here.

Like the "Lost" DVDs that have come before, this one includes numerous behind-the-scenes featurettes, a blooper reel, a handful of deleted scenes, several Easter eggs embedded in its menu screens and a smattering of commentary tracks. (For the record, no one at the Post encouraged "Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof to mention washingtonpost.com's "Lost" Madness feature during his commentary for the episode "The Constant." But we totally love the fact that he did.)

In addition to those usual suspects, Season Four also delivers the fascinating featurette, "The Island as Backlot: 'Lost' in Hawaii," which explains how the production staff transforms various Oahu locations into the many international locales -- including Iraq, Berlin and Tunisia -- where the sprawling drama's story is set. Both collections also include a documentary about how Academy Award nominee Michael Giacchino composes the show's score, a segment that includes footage from a 2007 performance of "Lost" music by the Honolulu Symphony Pops. The Blu-ray contains even more footage from that event.

As solid as the whole package is, two extras are most likely to fire up fans fixated on the future of the Oceanic 815 survivors. The first? "Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lies," a faux expose that raises numerous questions about the story concocted last season by the six crash survivors who returned to civilization. ("Could the Oceanic Six be at the center of one of the greatest conspiracies in recent history?" asks an ominous narrator. Uh, they better be. Or a lot of "Lost" lovers are going to be supremely ticked off.)

And then there's my favorite, "Course of the Future," an interactive feature that requires viewers to place several events from the show in chronological order, a challenge considering the writers' out-of-sequence approach to storytelling. Completing that mission unlocks access to every flash-forward from season four, shown in order, uninterrupted and, on the Blu-ray, alongside notations from the scripts. It's the perfect primer for season five, which begins in January, and yet another reminder that when it comes to tapping into what the fans want, the people behind this television phenomenon are anything but lost.

Most Bizarre Piece of Island Intel: In one of the numerous Easter eggs, Lindelof attempts to explain an important detail about the island on "Lost" ... by using a Plastic Man analogy. After describing how the cartoon character could conceivably stay seated on his sofa while stretching his hand upstairs to grab a coffee cup off of his nightstand, he notes, "The island is the same way. Except the coffee cup is Jack [Shephard]." Yeah. Sure. Totally with you on that one.

DVD Q&A, Dec. 9 at 11 a.m. ET: Fire questions at me during Tuesday's live discussion about holiday DVD gifts. (And don't forget to check out the DVD gift guide for ideas, too.)

'Lost' Book Club Q&A, Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. ET: Also, join me, Liz Kelly and our special guest, Jay Glatfelter of "The Lost Podcast with Jay and Jack," to discuss the December selection in our "Lost" Book Club series, "Mysterious Island."

And in one final programming note: Next week, "Bonus Points" will feature its third annual list of unconventional holiday movies. Got a candidate that didn't make the cut last year or the year before? E-mail me and it will be added to the titles currently under consideration.

More Reviews:

Media Mix serves up snappy takes on the latest DVDs, CDs and more.

Also Available This Week

The biggest box office hit of 2008, "The Dark Knight," is on DVD today. If you missed last week's early review, read it here. For more DVD-viewing options, peruse this full list of the week's debuts.

Coming Next Week

See Meryl Streep belt out some Abba when "Mamma Mia!" arrives on DVD next Tuesday. For a full calendar of what's coming in the weeks ahead, click here.

In Movies:
Section  |  Trailers  |  Current Movie Openings  |  DVD & Home Video

More On DVDS

DVD Section

A comprehensive look at what's out and upcoming on DVD, complete with Post reviews.

Bonus Points Archive

Previous DVD reviews from columnist Jen Chaney.

Oscars 2009

A guide to this year's Academy Awards.

Movies Section

Full film coverage, including news, actor profiles and more from the Post.

PHOTOS: 'Lost' -- ABC; 'The Dark Knight' -- Warner Bros.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company