Tags: Bitsie Tulloch, Blu-ray, David Giuntoli, David Greenwalt, Grimm, Jim Kouf, Reggie Lee, Russell Hornsby, Sasha Roiz, Sean Hayes, Silas Weir Mitchell, Stephen Carpenter, UltraViolet, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
has an average rating of 7.6 on IMDb
1080p in VC-1/AVC on FIVE 50gb discs
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
are ALL in Hi-Def and very worthwhile
– 2011 – 2012
– 951 minutes
Overall Verdict – Recommended
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Show Itself was created by Stephen Carpenter, David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf. Stephen Carpenter’s previous credits include writing the screenplays for the films “Blue Streak” (1999) and “The Man” (2005). David Greenwalt’s previous credits include producing on the shows “The X-Files” (8 episodes in 1997), “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (122 episodes from 1997 – 2002), “Angel” (110 episodes from 1999 – 2004) and “Eureka” (11 episodes in 2006). Jim Kouf’s previous credits include writing the screenplays to the films “Stakeout” (1987), “Rush Hour” (1998) and “National Treasure” (2004) as well as serving as a producer on such films as “Kalifornia” (1993), “Con Air” (1997) and “Criminal Intent” (2007) which he also wrote and directed. It’s also worth noting that actor/comedian Sean Hayes serves an an Executive Producer on the show along with these three guys. It’s pretty safe to say amongst all four of them that they have some serious experience in the business.
The show borrows from the original fairy tales and stories written by The Brothers Grimm. The Brothers Grimm were responsible for making popular (in some cases adapting) such fairy tales as “Little Red Riding Hood“, “Rapunzel“, “Hansel and Gretel“, “Sleeping Beauty“, “Rumpelstiltskin“, “The Frog Prince“, “Snow White” and “Cinderella” to just name a few. Most all of these have been adapted over the years into children’s stories and animated films yet their works were never really intended for children. In fact most of their work was quite dark and disturbing and intended for adults. That’s where the show’s creators decided to take their approach to this show. They used the basic creatures and such discussed in the works of the brothers Grimm and adapted them into existing in real life in a more believable manner. They also chose to use the typical format of a investigative crime drama and add this fantasy element to it.
The main character here is a Portland Homicide detective by the name of “Nick Burkhardt” (played by David Giuntoli) who discovers his ability to see these creatures, thought to be that just of myth, living amongst society. He first starts to see people morph into these creatures which leaves him a bit confused until his aunt comes to visit and informs him that he descended from a long line of criminal profilers known as “Grimms” that are in charge of keeping the balance between humanity and the creatures. These creatures are known as “Wesen” (pronounced VES-sin) which is German for creature. Each of these type of Wesen have their own name to describe them as you’ll soon learn. Joining our main character Nick on the Portland police force you have his partner detective “Hank Griffin” (played by Russell Hornsby), “Sgt. Wu” (played by Reggie Lee) and “Captain Renard” (played by Sasha Roiz). Joining our main character at home you have his girlfriend “Juliette” (played by Bitsie Tulloch) which he plans to marry.
After Nick’s visit from his aunt things change drastically in his life. She leaves him with her trailer full of books and instruments used by Grimms. He learns more and more about his ancestors and the types of creatures that he encounters. Along the way, actually in the first episode, Nick manages to meet his first Wesen that he becomes friends with. This Wesen is a “Blutbad” (wolf-creature) by the name of “Eddie Monroe” (played by Silas Weir Mitchell) who helps Nick with his first Grimm-style investigation as it involves another wolf-creature who has kidnapped young girls. Monroe is not your typical Blutbad, as he’s changed and learned to control his powers and refuses to harm others. Eventually he will become Nick’s go-to man for info about Grimm history and about other creatures.
As I mentioned earlier this show is a blend between your typical investigative crime drama where we see a crime committed in the opening of the show and the rest of the show involves catching the criminal. However, the fact you have non-traditional criminals like these creatures it means that Nick can’t tell his partner Hank or his other co-workers about what he knows. He has to confide in Monroe who knows his secret, that he is a Grimm. Nick also decides to keep this ability of his a secret from his girlfriend which leads to some problems along the way. So, that sets up the basic plot to this show.
The complete 22 episodes of the first season are included and are as follows:
- Episode 1 – “Pilot“
- Original Air Date: October 28, 2011
- Original Air Date: November 4, 2011
- Original Air Date: November 11, 2011
- Original Air Date: November 18, 2011
- Original Air Date: December 8, 2011
- Original Air Date: December 9, 2011
- Original Air Date: December 16, 2011
- Original Air Date: January 13, 2012
- Original Air Date: January 20, 2012
- Original Air Date: February 3, 2012
- Original Air Date: February 10, 2012
- Original Air Date: February 24, 2012
- Original Air Date: March 2, 2012
- Original Air Date: March 9, 2012
- Original Air Date: March 30, 2012
- Original Air Date: April 6, 2012
- Original Air Date: April 13, 2012
- Original Air Date: April 20, 2012
- Original Air Date: April 27, 2012
- Original Air Date: May 4, 2012
- Original Air Date: May 11, 2012
- Original Air Date: May 18, 2012
To most this idea of combining a typical investigative crime drama with these creatures of fantasy may sound a bit outrageous, however you’d be surprised how well it actually works. The show has developed quite a following so far and has also been nominated for a Primetime Emmy award. It’s now running in its second season with new episodes airing Fridays at 9PM on NBC. “Grimm” proves to have some really likable characters and some cool makeup and visual effects that make the creatures come to life. If you enjoyed shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” — which a few of the creators worked on — then you’ll most likely enjoy this. It’s a unique show and perhaps an acquired taste but it’s definitely one that has already established a cult-following of sorts.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using both the VC-1 and AVC MPEG-4 codecs on FIVE BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Discs) in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. As listed on IMDb’s technical specifications, this show is shot digitally in Hi-Def using the Arri Alexa camera. A little bit of information on how they use this camera and how the show is shot can be found HERE in an article on the website Collider.com from a set visit. As you’ll learn this camera was actually approved by the famous cinematographer Roger Deakins — The Coen Brothers cinematographer — although he does not serve as DP on the show. In regards to cinematography here it’s actually two guys Cort Fey and Eliot Rockett that have served as directors of photography on the show — so far. From the very first episode you’ll notice that this can look downright spectacular at times with an impeccable amount of detail in every shot, especially close-ups, and it has some excellent cinematography as well. The black level is perfectly solid, the fleshtones are accurate and the color palette can be definitely vibrant at times. There’s some occasional “flicker” in some darker scenes that seems to be from artificial light sources. This flicker isn’t too bothersome as it only lasts for short periods. The show’s original makeup special effects and CG effects used to create the creatures hold up rather impressive in Hi-Def and don’t show off any flaws.
Disc 1 uses 43.5GB total. Disc 2 uses 46.4GB total. Disc 3 uses 45.4GB total. Disc 4 uses 45.5GB total. Disc 5 uses 38.0GB total.
All and all this delivers a very impressive Hi-Def visual presentation that is well worthy of a “4.5 Star Rating” for overall video quality. I’ll have to admit, it came very close to earning a perfect score for video quality but some of the darker scenes just didn’t seem as visually pleasing to me as others. If the entire show looked like how most of the daytime exterior shots do it would have definitely earned perfect marks for video quality. Lastly, I’d like to comment that I find it very strange that some of the show — namely the first disc — is presented in the VC-1 codec while the rest of the show — namely from the second disc on out — is presented in the AVC MPEG-4 codec. This is very odd. Can’t say I’ve ever seen this on a Blu-ray release of a TV show.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. The show in its first season sounds absolutely awesome from the very first episode up until the last. The music featured in the show as well as obviously the original music by Richard Marvin sounds great with a very impressive amount of rear channel use and LFE (bass) presence throughout. The rear channels not only get used for music but also for ambient noises and such. Action scenes here pack quite the “punch” so-to-speak. Gunshots sound pretty intense and very realistic. Dialogue is delivered very distinctly through the center channel and is never drowned out by the music or the action elements. That being said, no volume adjustments need to be made here. One episode with the most amount of LFE is the fifth episode which has a rave setting on a few occasions. The music here from that rave is downright thumping in terms of bass, as you’d expect for it to be. That episode also has some beautiful music on the violin thrown in as well. The sound effects here used for the creatures come across very intense themselves and can be a bit startling at times. This show’s 5.1 lossless mix never once comes close to being the slightest bit “dull” and in fact proves to be awesome, as I said, from the first to the last episode. All and all this earns itself a perfect “5 Star Rating” for overall audio quality. It does the show justice and definitely helps fit the mood and sound effects help deliver some scares along the way as well.
Bonus Materials are ALL presented in Hi-Def (HD) video with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo @192kbps sound — unless otherwise noted below.
DISC 1 includes:
- Deleted Scenes “Pilot” Episode (3:39 – HD)
DISC 2 includes:
- Deleted/Extended Scenes for Episodes:
- – “The Three Bad Wolves” (2:46 – HD)
- – “Let Down Your Hair” (4:27 – HD)
- – “Game Ogre” (3:50 – HD)
- – “Of Mouse and Man” (1:53 – HD)
DISC 3 includes:
- Deleted Scenes for Episodes:
- – “Tarantella” (1:27 – HD)
- – “Three Coins in a Fuschbau” (2:41 – HD)
- – “Plumed Serpent” (0:24 – HD)
- – “Island of Dreams” (0:48 – HD)
DISC 4 includes:
- Deleted Scenes for Episodes:
- – “The Thing With Feathers” (3:20 – HD)
- – “Love Sick” (0:45 – HD)
- – “Leave It To Beavers” (1:37 – HD)
DISC 5 includes:
- Deleted Scenes for “Woman in Black” Episode (3:00 – HD) includes Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo @256kbps sound.
- “Gag Reel” (3:12 – HD) proves to be rather funny.
- “Grimm Guide” (HD) is an interactive feature that lets you look virtually through a book that includes info and media on creatures and a glossary. The creatures covered here range from Bauerschwein to Ziegevolk. You’ll see sketches of the creatures and a short video clip of the creature from the show. The glossary, as the name suggests, serves as a bit of a dictionary of sorts of terms used in the show, telling their meaning and origin such as German. This feature is a Blu-ray EXCLUSIVE and cannot be found on the DVD release.
- “The World of Grimm” (10:50 – HD) is your basic “making of” featurette that includes interviews with members of the cast and crew. The folks interviewed here include David Greenwalt (Executive Producer), Todd Milliner (Executive Producer), Sean Hayes (Executive Producer), Bitsie Tulloch (“Juliette“), David Giuntoli (“Nick“), Sasha Roiz (“Captain Renard“), Russell Hornsby (“Hank“), Jim Rouf (Executive Producer), Silas Weir Mitchell (“Monroe“) and Reggie Lee (“Sgt. Wu“). There’s also a bit of behind-the-scenes on set footage, discussion of the original Grimm fairytales and tease about what to expect in the second season of the show.
- “Grimm: Making Monsters” focuses on the makeup and visual effects used to make the creatures in the show. This includes interviews with members of the crew and cast. The folks interviewed here include David Giuntoli (“Nick“), Barney Burman (Special Makeup Effects Creator), David Greenwalt (Executive Producer), Jim Rouf (Executive Producer), Russell Hornsby (“Hank“), Silas Weir Mitchell (“Monroe“), Reggie Lee (“Sgt. Wu“), Andrew Clement (Prosthetic Makeup Designer), Jim Clark (Visual Effects Supervisor) and Michael Miller (Lead Compositor). This has some on set footage and behind-the-scenes glimpses at makeup being applied as well as the visual effects team showing you a bit of how they do the blend of CG and makeup or sometimes entirely use CG for creatures. There’s actually less CG used here than you think though and more makeup. The CG is primarily used for blending the actor with their morph to being in makeup as the creature. You’ll learn here that the Special Makeup Effects Creator Barney Burman had previously worked on J.J. Abrams reboot of “Star Trek” for which he won an Academy Award for his special makeup effects work.
- “Audition Tapes” for the following actors:
- – David Guintoli (1:30 – HD)
- – Silas Weir Mitchell (3:13 – HD)
- – Russell Hornsby (1:43 – HD)
- – Bitsie Tulloch (3:19 – HD)
- – Reggie Lee (1:10 – HD)
- – “Scares” (1:33 – HD)
- – “Morphs” (2:28 – HD)
- – “The Language of Grimm” (1:38 – HD)
Overall, the bonus materials here prove to be very worthwhile as they are both entertaining and informative. You get a total of 13 Deleted Scenes from select episodes, 4 Featurettes, 5 Audition Tapes, 3 Highlight Reels and a very cool “Grimm Guide” interactive feature. Plus there’s the physical bonus material that comes in the form of the 2 Collectible Trading Cards, the packaging itself includes a great deal of info about the terms used in the show and there’s the digital bonus of UltraViolet digital copies of each episode in the season. The bonus materials total up to around 72 minutes in length. Not too bad. It’s certainly enough to keep you entertained after you finish watching the season.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Please be PATIENT with the slow loading times and keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.