Review: Femme Fatales: The Complete Second Season (DVD)
Title: Femme Fatales: The Complete Second Season
Release Date: July 16, 2013
Studio: Entertainment One
Original MSRP: $29.98
Number of Discs: 3
MPAA Rating: NR
The audio review for this DVD is available on Episode 328 of the podcast.
Femme Fatales is an adult oriented crime drama airing late nights on Cinemax in the US. Filled with plenty of guest stars week to week, including such names as Eric Roberts, Vivica A. Fox, Robert Picardo and more, the noir inspired anthology series focuses on women as the ultimate heroes (or anti-heroes) in each of the stories.
While the casts and storylines form stand-alone episodes, there is some crossover, allowing each episode to be part of a bigger mythology. Much like Rod Serling in the classic Twilight Zone, each episode of Femme Fatales is introduced by “Lilith”, the one constant in every single episode. She also appears as a minor character in the episodes.
The stories themselves range from interesting to exciting to amusing, and that’s part of the fun, since you never know what you’ll be getting from episode to episode. While the writing certainly won’t win any Emmys, not every plot twist can be seen coming from a mile away. They’re also not always what you’d expect as we veer into science fiction and super heroes in two of the episodes. Whatever the plot may be, you can always be sure it’s going to end badly for someone, usually the guys.
Many of the stories are influenced by either well known or very obscure noir style movies dating as far back as the 30′s and 40′s. The commentary is especially interesting to listen to as most of the influences are brought up by the creator and producers.
Now, being a late night Cinemax series, you’d expect plenty of nudity and adult situations, and Femme Fatales certainly delivers on that front. Even here though, it varies from episode to episode and while at times, it may seem shoe-horned in just to fill some space, it actually does advance the story in some instances.
Made for TV under various lighting conditions, the video quality is a bit of a mixed bag. For the most part, things look sharp and crisp. However, there are times, mostly during low light scenes, where heavy grain becomes apparent. It’s not terrible by any means, just a bit jarring when going from a very clean signal to a noisy one and back again.
The voices come across quite clear in this dialogue heavy drama. The music… while it sounds fine, the actual music playing isn’t really my thing. With all original music, done for the shows, the producers tend to hit you over the head with lyrics pretty much describing (in general terms) what’s happening or what’s about to happen. When the sex scenes start you’ll get a mix of that narrative type music or the standard late night Cinemax soft-core type music.
Tons of great stuff here, again proving the value of physical media over streaming.
- Audio Commentary For every episode with the stars and creators
- Libra (Episode 12) The International Version with Audio Commentary
- Libra Rising (12:44) – The Making of Libra (Episode 12)
- It’s Not Personal, It’s Just Business (9:43) – The Making of Family Business (Episode 7)
- Libra Motion Comic (0:55) – Short action sequence
- Defining Femme Fatales (7:53) – Cast and crew discussing what the series is about
- Lilith: Daughter of Darkness Featurette (2:47) – Tanit Phoenix discusses her character Lilith
- The Beautiful Femmes of Femme Fatales Featurette (3:08) – The women of Femme Fatales discussing their characters
- Second Season Red Carpet Premiere (1:15) – Edited clips of the stars at the premiere of the second season
- 2012 San Diego Comic Con Panel (17:34) – With the producers and stars of the second season
- Hell Hath No Furies Alt. Credits (0:50) – 70′s credit sequence
- Deleted and Extended Scenes (13:03) – For every episode
Interesting noir stories with some surprising plot twists and occasional comedy (along with a healthy dose of nudity) make Femme Fatales a really fun show to watch.
The audio commentary on every episode makes the DVD set worth it but when you add in all the other featurettes it really becomes a no brainer. If you like film noir style stories, you’ll probably enjoy this series a lot.
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