NARCOS: Season One Blu-ray Review

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In 1975, Pablo Escobar got into the drug trade and became the biggest drug runner in the world.  When the drugs hit the US, there was a surge of violence and crime unlike anything ever seen in the states.  He was making money hand over fist daily to the extent that they had nowhere to stash all the cash.  The show follows the DEA agent Steve Murphy as he unfolds the history and conflict between his government agency, Escobar’s empire, and the Colombian officials.

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Now, obviously a lot has been dramatized for TV but there’s a lot of good information here.  I’m fairly certain that this is arguably the best depiction of Pablo Escobar and his rise to power in Colombia during the 70’s & early ‘80s. This also shows how bad crime and drug problems were in most places but really down in Miami.  The actor who portrays Pablo Escobar is spot on with the way he looks as well as his ruthlessness with a soft side.  Obviously, I have never met El Padrino but from what I’ve read and seen from old newsreels and such, this is accurate depiction of how things unfolded.  Netflix again has made a high-quality show and I think if they ask their audience, they would find out that people probably don’t mind the subtitles as long is the content is interesting.

Wagner Moura – Pablo Escobar
Boyd Holbrook – Steve Murphy
Pedro Pascal – Javier Peña
Joanna Christie – Connie Murphy

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The transfer is a 1080p AVC presentation.

The transfer looks crisp and full of bold coloring.  There are so many excellent scenes that take advantage of the Blu-ray technology.  The series has been shot with Red Epic cameras so the images come from a digital source.  The rich greens in the beautiful foliage of Colombia jump off of the screen and bring the realism to the show.  The contrasting creates even lines, keeping the objects on the screen nicely separated.  The details are sharp and come out in most of the different settings.  There are some scenes that suffer from artifacts and black crushing but it isn’t very distracting.

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The audio is a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix.

Like the video, the audio tends to immerse you in the story being told.  The narrator describes what’s happening so the sound moves between him and what is on screen.  The score also helps describe the tone of each scene with the voices layered over that.  The realistic effects are reproduced well and sound better in the DTS-HDMA mix that the Dolby Digital mix through streaming. The LFEs are also very strong and give the speakers a nice little workout.

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Disc One
-Descenso-Audio Commentary: Executive Producer & Director Jose Padilha and Actor Wagner Moura.

Disc Two
-Explosivos-Audio Commentary: Executive Producer Chris Brancato

-Establishing the Route: This gives a background of how the series went from the idea stage to screen.

-The Colombian Connection: This featurette talks about the positives of shooting in Colombia

Disc Three
-Despegue-Audio Commentary: Director Andi Baiz and Executive Producer Eric Newman

-The Language Barrier: The featurette discuses creating a bilingual show.

-Deleted Scenes

Episode List
1. Descenso
2. The Sword of Simón Bolivar
3. The Men of Always
4. The Palace in Flames
5. There Will Be a Future
6. Explosivos
7. You Will Cry Tears of Blood
8. La Gran Mentira
9, La Catedral
10. Despegue

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Disc Details
3-disc set
UltraViolet digital copy

Running Time
492 minutes total

Edition Ratings
Rated TV-MA

Region Coding
Region Free

Video Resolution
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Audio Mixes
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

English SDH

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NARCOS and Netflix are happy to have each other.  It gives Netflix a chance to have a grittier show than the Marvel shows.  As for NARCOS, this is a streaming service that gives a lot of leeway when it comes to content and you need that with this story.  The Blu-ray looks awesome and the audio is somewhat better than getting it right from Netflix.  There are some very good bonus features so don’t forget about them.  This is a very entertaining show but be ready to read a lot of subtitles if your Spanish is a little rusty.  Again, I believe this is accurate but I don’t know for sure because unless he is some distant relative, I have no first hand info.  Think of this like a mesh of films like BLOW and SCARFACE but with a much more detailed explanation of events on the creation of the business in South America.  As a whole, I highly recommend picking this up and signing up for Netflix for season 2.


Order your copy from Amazon

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About the author

MEDIA JOURNALIST | Michael is a fanatic about all both cinema old and new. He collects anything from 1:6 Scale, 1:12 Scale, and vinyl Collectibles plus Slipcovers and Steelbooks. He loves pop culture, writing, reviewing films & collectibles, and journalism. An avid Batman, The Joker and anything comics junkie, he will also chat it up about pretty much anything. Go ahead and ask...