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Old 01-10-2021, 05:05 AM   #101
Nick Michalak Nick Michalak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnamorphicWidescreen View Post
And - though I was very impressed by the Picture Quality (PQ) in the 1st season DVD set, I'm very underwhelmed by the PQ in the 2nd season. The picture - while not horrible - is "soft" (for lack of a better word), and the night scenes are hard to make out at times. Also, there are a lot of video artifacts - especially in the earlier episodes. The first season DVD's were a lot sharper/clearer, which is why the deficiencies of S02 especially stand out.

Yes, these S02 DVD's are far better than VHS rips - and definitely look better than when the episodes were originally broadcast on TV back in the '80's. However, I'm wondering why these aren't as good as the S01 DVD's - possibly the limitations of the source material/prints?!
I believe the VEI DVD sets were sourced from the broadcast master tapes. Their release of season one is reportedly NOT the same quality as the Universal Region 1 set. Even watch the season 2 bonus episode "Beyond Control" on the Universal S1 set, and compare it to the version on the VEI set - it's clearly from a lower quality source. The Universal set was sourced from the film negatives.

This is all very strange as Universal has typically done a really nice job with 80s shows like Knight Rider and Miami Vice on DVD. I remember watching Knight Rider for the first time on DVD, and seeing the leaps and bounds in quality over the tired old broadcast versions. I bought the original DVD release of The Equalizer Season One, and it was at the same level of quality. But when they pawned the show off on VEI it was done on the cheap, and I never bought anything beyond season 2 because I was so disappointed with the quality. I never got to see the show until it ran on SpikeTV for a couple of weeks in late 2006, and the short runs it had on Universal HD on cable. So, this substandard DVD release has prevented me from watching the full series.
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Old 01-10-2021, 06:21 AM   #102
AnamorphicWidescreen AnamorphicWidescreen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Michalak View Post
I believe the VEI DVD sets were sourced from the broadcast master tapes. Their release of season one is reportedly NOT the same quality as the Universal Region 1 set. Even watch the season 2 bonus episode "Beyond Control" on the Universal S1 set, and compare it to the version on the VEI set - it's clearly from a lower quality source. The Universal set was sourced from the film negatives.

This is all very strange as Universal has typically done a really nice job with 80s shows like Knight Rider and Miami Vice on DVD. I remember watching Knight Rider for the first time on DVD, and seeing the leaps and bounds in quality over the tired old broadcast versions. I bought the original DVD release of The Equalizer Season One, and it was at the same level of quality. But when they pawned the show off on VEI it was done on the cheap, and I never bought anything beyond season 2 because I was so disappointed with the quality. I never got to see the show until it ran on SpikeTV for a couple of weeks in late 2006, and the short runs it had on Universal HD on cable. So, this substandard DVD release has prevented me from watching the full series.
Yes. This was/is exactly my experience in watching The Equalizer on the Region 1 DVD sets:

I initially watched S01 on the stand-alone DVD Universal release (6 Disks) and was impressed by the PQ. Currently, I'm watching Seasons 2-4 on the VEI DVD releases. And, there is a noticeable drop in quality from Seasons 2-on.

Going along with this, it's notable that the VEI DVD releases only include 4 Disks for each season (21-22 episodes each), whereas the Universal S01 DVD release included 6 disks. In addition, IIRC the Universal S01 release included subtitles - and the VEI DVD sets don't include subtitles. So, it's extremely evident that the VEI DVD sets were cheaper to produce, and it shows.

However, since the VEI DVD sets are the only way to see S02-S04 in Region 1, I'm putting up with this - given that I really want to re-watch the show. Also, I streamed the series years ago - and the streams were of even worse PQ than the VEI DVD sets.

Last edited by AnamorphicWidescreen; 01-11-2021 at 02:07 AM.
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Old 01-11-2021, 10:32 PM   #103
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Default Season two episode "Memories of Manon: Part 2"

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnamorphicWidescreen View Post
Memories of Manon is one of my favorite (2-part) S02 episodes. I liked how it introduced the character of Phillipe Marcel & his daughter Yvette. The story-line was very well-done, and I liked the espionage/mystery elements (the clue left in the garden, etc.)
[Show spoiler]The revelation about Yvette being McCall's daughter was not one I saw coming the first time I saw this - great writing here. In re-watching the episodes recently, I got the impression that Yvette may have suspected McCall was her father at this point, even though she didn't actually find out definitively until S03.
Watched last night the concluding part of the story "Memories of Manon". Even though I couldn't at times quite understand the actions of guest star George DiCenzo's mobster character, I still thought this was a satisfying conclusion to the story which partly centred around the identity of someone called Chrysalis.

Some well shot scenes which included the angles used (two scenes in particular had MCall and Kostmayer in a shooting range with Jon Polito's mobster character, and the shot of the two glasses (whisky?) in McCall's apartment where he and Control were having a drink).

The story hardly didn't feel like it dragged. To cap it all off, there was a satisfying end to some characters (referring to
[Show spoiler]Kostmayer's line "Return to sender").


Initially I thought I wasn't going to like this episode (the recap didn't last too long. In some American series, there have been recaps lasting up to around six minutes), but it got better as it went on. One of the best scenes was when it seemed McCall nearly told Yvette he was her father.

I couldn't remember the clue left in the garden. AW, were you thinking of the earlier episode "Beyond Control"?
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:52 PM   #104
AnamorphicWidescreen AnamorphicWidescreen is offline
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Some more S04 episode reviews:

-"The Day of the Covenant": Scott's new South African gf is being stalked & targeted by someone. McCall gets involved, and both he & Scott find out that she has some demons in her past (both literal & figurative) that she brought with her to NYC.
[Show spoiler]Very tragic episode, with a sad ending.


-"The Visitation": A doctor that McCall had been involved with years before comes to NYC & ends up trying to stop the spread of a deadly contagion brought from another country. This episode hits especially close to home due to the current pandemic. UK actress Jenny Agutter (Logan's Run, An American Werewolf in London) guest stars.

-"Zebra 17": Extremely disturbing episode involving the mysterious deaths of homeless men who are picked up by a certain ambulance. Bill Atherton guest stars.

Some sequences in this episode involve the ambulance speeding along NYC streets @ night - with a rock/pop soundtrack playing; great ambience here. This reminds me somewhat of the underrated film "Bringing out the Dead" (1999); this stars Nicolas Cage as an ambulance driver in NYC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanBlue View Post
I couldn't remember the clue left in the garden. AW, were you thinking of the earlier episode "Beyond Control"?
You're right - the scene with the
[Show spoiler]clue left in the book (which led Kostmeyer to the garden)
was in "Beyond Control. This occurred when McCall was helping a woman whose uncle was connected to "work" from McCall & Control's past.

I've gone back & modified my post.

Last edited by AnamorphicWidescreen; 01-13-2021 at 04:04 AM.
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:45 PM   #105
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor Echo View Post
Articles in U.S. newspapers at the time reported that the producers of THE EQUALIZER wanted no part of any crossover with MAGNUM as they felt their show was much superior to the quality and tone of MAGNUM. From what I remember, the two part idea was then reconfigured for MAGNUM and SIMON AND SIMON, which was a much better fit than THE EQUALIZER would have been.

If these reports were true I have to say that I agree with the producers of THE EQUALIZER. MAGNUM is a decent show with lots of good episodes, but there are also a lot of blatantly ridiculous episodes filled with juvenile attempts at humor, something that would have been way out of place in THE EQUALIZER.
When I found out about this idea for a crossover with the original Magnum, P.I., I thought straight away that the look of both shows wouldn't work together (sunny Hawaii and gritty New York City). Also, the logistics would have been a nightmare if castmembers appeared on the other show.

One of the things I love about the original Equalizer show is that gritty look, and it's a dark series (both in the tone of the show and the lighting at times). Edward Woodward is very believable in the role of McCall.

I had got as far as the seventh season before I took a break from Magnum, Simon & Simon and Murder, She Wrote (still haven't gone back to them). I can see why Magnum in this season had new energy. The first two seasons were very good, partly because they followed on straight after the original Hawaii Five-O. But to me, it seemed that the crossover with Simon & Simon (it originally aired in the States in the autumn/fall three years before The Equalizer started in the States) benefitted Simon & Simon in the long run. The quality of it's scripts improved (and there was some substance). But Magnum went on a decline with the quality (I think this was around the time that the creator (?) left to launch Airwolf (they later returned to Magnum), with a lot of episodes having a sports theme, too many comedy plots and episodes with relatives of Higgins (played by John Hillerman).

And before I forget, Tom Selleck only appeared in a couple of scenes in the Simon & Simon part of the crossover. And it seemed that Magnum really didn't like the Simon brothers, like he was irritated by them (he had respect for Jessica Fletcher though).
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Old 01-18-2021, 11:16 PM   #106
AnamorphicWidescreen AnamorphicWidescreen is offline
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I recently finished re-watching The Equalizer S04. It was bittersweet to see these final episodes, given that I didn't want the show to end. I had seen (via streaming) the series in it's entirety only once before years ago, but this was the first time I had seen the series exclusively on the DVD sets - which, despite their deficiencies, are superior to any previous version of the show that I've seen.

As to my favorite season of the series, I would have to say S04 - which, overall, I found slightly better than S03. Though, all of the seasons were incredible.

Some more S04 reviews:

"Starfire": A strange, seemingly mentally ill man (Michael Moriarty) is befriended by a child who is trying to help him. He claims that he's being targeted by aliens that are out to kill him, and that he is an alien himself.
[Show spoiler]It's later proven that he was a former engineer that is actually being targeted by his former company due to corporate secrets that he has about the company's lack of safety protocols re: their equipment, etc.


Very well-done & poignant episode. Though I typically don't like sci-fi elements in gritty crime dramas like The Equalizer (that are very much rooted in reality), this story worked here - though I'm glad they didn't make a habit of episodes like this.

"Prisoners of Conscience": McCall is asked to help when a Central American poet is kidnapped by a "death squad" from his native country.
[Show spoiler]As McCall investigates, he realizes that the elderly man who is behind the kidnapping is the same one who killed McCall's father back in the early 1950's. Tim Woodward (Ed Woodward's son IRL) guest stars, playing McCall's father in a dream sequence. Very poignant/sad & nostalgic episode, especially when McCall is remembering his youth. This is also the first & only time that we find out that McCall's mother was American - and also other details about his childhood/upbringing.


IMHO, this is the best episode in the entire series - superb.

"Heart of Justice": Excellent episode that dealt with several criminals that had victimized & almost killed a man's wife & unborn child, all of whom are being let back out on the streets.
[Show spoiler]The man decides to take the law into this own hands, and McCall gets involved when the sister-in-law asks him for help. To make matters more complicated, there is a vigilante roaming the NYC streets who is killing criminals that have escaped justice. Great episode that is both sad, but also ultimately uplifting.


"Endgame": An innocent young woman is set up to make it look like she intentionally killed a work colleague during a game of paint-ball;
[Show spoiler]the woman's lawyer sister is also set up to make it look like she committed a crime. McCall gets involved, and uncovers a conspiracy by a wealthy criminal who wants revenge on the lawyer for justifiably convicting his guilty son years before.


Amazing episode, with an unexpected ending.

Last edited by AnamorphicWidescreen; 02-15-2021 at 04:32 AM.
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Old 02-13-2021, 11:43 PM   #107
Liberty Bell Liberty Bell is offline
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There was a question earlier about how McCall got his money. He mentioned it in 02x01 Prelude - it was a form of insider trading, where he would learn in the course of his work about international events that would affect certain companies and trade on that knowledge before it became public.

Several years ago there was a minor scandal in the US when it was publicized that members of Congress could legally trade stocks based on non-public information they gained as part of their work in Congress. When this hypocrisy was publicized they passed a law prohibiting that.
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Old 03-02-2021, 11:47 PM   #108
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Quote:
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There was a question earlier about how McCall got his money. He mentioned it in 02x01 Prelude - it was a form of insider trading, where he would learn in the course of his work about international events that would affect certain companies and trade on that knowledge before it became public.

Several years ago there was a minor scandal in the US when it was publicized that members of Congress could legally trade stocks based on non-public information they gained as part of their work in Congress. When this hypocrisy was publicized they passed a law prohibiting that.
Could you quote which post in this thread asked the question about McCall please. Many thanks.
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:04 AM   #109
AnamorphicWidescreen AnamorphicWidescreen is offline
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Quote:
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Could you quote which post in this thread asked the question about McCall please. Many thanks.
I suspect the post being referred to was mine:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnamorphicWidescreen View Post
-Robert McCall is obviously wealthy. He's retired, lives in luxury in an expensive NYC apartment, drives an high-end car, and is easily able to afford to hire expensive "contractors" to help him with his various "jobs". I suspect he attained his wealth from his past work (for which he was probably paid very highly), and/or possibly an inheritance (this is purely speculative, however), etc.

It's also notable that he rarely accepts much (if any) $ from any of the people he helps, given that most of the people that come to him don't have much money to begin with. He's obviously helping these people out of altruism, and possibly to make up for some things he may have done in his past?!
That being said, my post didn't really ask a question as to where/how McCall got his wealth. I was just surmising that his obvious money was due to his past employment with "The Company", or possibly he inherited the wealth. However, I fully admit this is purely speculative - since, IIRC, this wasn't directly addressed in the show.
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:15 AM   #110
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Default Season two episode "Solo"

Watched last night, the second season episode "Solo". When Forces TV repeat the series again, I'll keep an eye out to see if what I've read on the IMDb trivia page for this episode is correct, that it's been omitted from their complete run of the original Equalizer TV series. I'm guessing the obvious reason is because Kevin Spacey guest-starred in the episode.

This was an odd episode. Not sure if it was a good or very good episode, or somewhere inbetween. Some things worked, and some things didn't. Regarding one of the other guest stars, I didn't find Lindsay Crouse believable as McCall's latest love interest. Compared to his previous love interests or near-love interests, I didn't find her character believable.

Also guest-starring (in the second of his three appearances as Company employee Jonah) was actor Austin Pendleton. Making the first of two appearances as (techncially) one of McCall's police contacts was actor Leon Russom as Sergeant Worley. He would appear again in the third season episode "Something Green" (where the character had been promoted to Lieutenant).

There were some really good action sequences in the episode, and I liked the ending with the first sign of winter (a shot of snow blowing in, on the street where McCall's apartment is).

There were also a couple of music tracks heard (one was played during the opening scene in the bar where McCall meets Lindsay Crouse's character, and the other was played later on in another bar/club-set scene).
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:17 AM   #111
bladerunner6 bladerunner6 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnamorphicWidescreen View Post
I suspect the post being referred to was mine:



That being said, my post didn't really ask a question as to where/how McCall got his wealth. I was just surmising that his obvious money was due to his past employment with "The Company", or possibly he inherited the wealth. However, I fully admit this is purely speculative - since, IIRC, this wasn't directly addressed in the show.
I think he told his son about the origins of the money. I think it was one of the ones with Lori Loughlin.
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:28 AM   #112
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnamorphicWidescreen View Post
I suspect the post being referred to was mine:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnamorphicWidescreen
-Robert McCall is obviously wealthy. He's retired, lives in luxury in an expensive NYC apartment, drives an high-end car, and is easily able to afford to hire expensive "contractors" to help him with his various "jobs". I suspect he attained his wealth from his past work (for which he was probably paid very highly), and/or possibly an inheritance (this is purely speculative, however), etc.

It's also notable that he rarely accepts much (if any) $ from any of the people he helps, given that most of the people that come to him don't have much money to begin with. He's obviously helping these people out of altruism, and possibly to make up for some things he may have done in his past?!
That being said, my post didn't really ask a question as to where/how McCall got his wealth. I was just surmising that his obvious money was due to his past employment with "The Company", or possibly he inherited the wealth. However, I fully admit this is purely speculative - since, IIRC, this wasn't directly addressed in the show.
Thanks for the helpful explanation. When there has been plenty of discussion, it's easy to forget some things (and it's not been done deliberately). So your reply was a helpful reminder of where in the thread it was discussed about McCall and how he possibly got his apartment etc.
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Old 03-22-2021, 11:55 PM   #113
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Default Season two episode "A Place to Stay"

Watched last night, the second season episode "A Place to Stay". For starters, the show was back on form after the previous episode. It felt like an Equalizer episode, yet looking back at what I had seen, it was like a documentary about what was going on at the time. The Marianne Faithfull song Running for Our Lives really set the mood for the story.

Debuting in this episode was actress Chad Redding as Sergeant Alice Sheppard, one of McCall's police contacts. Thought she played a very good part, certainly not one-dimensional. I'd forgot about the ending, which felt like an epilogue to the story.

At the start of the episode, I noticed that the total runtime was nearly two minutes longer than the majority of the episodes so far in Fabulous Films UK's DVD set of the second season (and yet the previous episodes this season haven't had any music cut out or substituted).

That shot of the family's house at the beginning of the episode, along with the music and the sounds of the arguing etc. really told a story, hammering it home, that it wasn't a happy house. Some of the scenes later on felt a bit cliched, but those were outweighed by what worked in the episode.

Something was mentioned later on in the episode about
[Show spoiler]a dead female's body discovered, having been thrown out of a car. Was this the character Judy, the body in the morgue, who the missing girl's mother and father came to identify, and whose belongings McCall asked the coroner if he could check them?


After this episode originally aired in the States, the series went on hiatus for a couple of months. Did another show air in it's timeslot (example, a mid-season replacement?)?

Last edited by OceanBlue; 03-29-2021 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 03-29-2021, 11:18 PM   #114
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Default Season two episode "Coal Black Soul"

Watched this past weekend, the second season episode "Coal Black Soul", an episode which was almost an excellent episode for me (I'd give it four and half stars).

Before I rewatched this episode, based on the synopsis, it had the hallmarks of being a classic episode. And in a way it was. The story veered into cliche towards the end, but they did it in a way which brought it back from going too much into cliche).

The story had a dark tone to it, and for the majority of the time the acting followed this. The locations used and the cinematography were suitable for the tone. I did notice though that there must have been a quick change in the weather during the filming of the episode in New York City, because in some scenes they clearly had heavy snowfall, but in other scenes (those in the city, there was no snow in sight (but I have noticed on recent shows, that when they shoot in winter, you usually don't see a lot of snow in the centre of the city).

I thought the ending was a good one
[Show spoiler](McCall seriously considering stopping the Equalizer newspaper advert, partly because of the danger his ladyfriend had been in).
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