DVD REVIEW: The 4400

Paramount
Movie •••½ Picture/Sound •••½ Extras½
The title refers to 4,400 people who are individually snatched by a mysterious light over a period of many years and then all returned at the exact same time. Although its outer wrapper is science fiction, the show continues to succeed because of the very human stories inside - family members have died, spouses have moved on to new partners. There's nothing too visually spectacular about the 12 episodes here, but nor is there anything wrong with them. The widescreen picture is clean, with good contrast and color for a TV series. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks are more effective. Center-channel dialogue is clear, and surround effects not only help create ambient space but heighten the action sequences. Extras, however, are throwaways. The frivolous commentaries sound like they might have been the focal point of a party, and they're jarring, coming from a cast and crew that have created such endearing characters. Of the three production featurettes, two are worthless and one is only slightly better. [TV-14] English, Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Surround; letterboxed (1.78:1) and anamorphic widescreen; one single-layer and three dual-layer discs.

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