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Viva Las Vegas!!! Three years on the air and this show is still a whole lot of fun. Sure, this series absolutely nothing like actually living in Vegas, but the illusion is always so much better than reality. Taking place at the fictional Montecito Resort & Casino, LAS VEGAS follows key members of the casino’s staff as they deal with high rollers, shady characters and the soap opera of their personal lives. Coming into season three, big changes happen as a newly revamped version of the Montecito opens with a new owner. Personality clashes between the new owner and the existing members of the staff cause problems for all involved. However the new owner’s tenure at the resort casino proves surprisingly short-lived. Also in keeping with the more soap opera like aspects of the show, new romances take flight, old romances are rekindled and old relationships continue to crash and burn.

The cast of LAS VEGAS features James Caan as Big Ed Deline, the Montecito’s President of Operations, who just happens to come from a CIA background. Josh Duhamel is Danny McCoy, Ed’s right hand man, who is now the Montecito’s Head of Security and Surveillance. Nikki Cox is Mary Connell, Danny’s lifelong best friend and the Montecito’s Hotel Manager. James Lesure is Mike Cannon, whose engineering degree is put to good use on the security and surveillance team. Vanessa Marcil is Samantha "Sam" Marquez, the Head Casino Host, who has a way with the high rollers. Molly Sims is Delinda Deline, Ed’s heartbreaker daughter who has worked her way up to the Montecito’s Entertainment Manager. Making repeated visits to the Montecito during season three of LAS VEGAS are Cheryl Ladd as Big Ed wife Jillian Deline, Dean Cain as Sam’s rich estranged husband Casey Manning and Lara Flynn Boyle as Monica Mancuso, the Montecito’s new owner- at least at the start of season three.

LAS VEGAS: SEASON THREE UNCUT & UNCENSORED ($60) comes to DVD in a five-disc set that features all twenty-three episodes that were aired in the show’s third year. The twenty-three featured episodes are as follows: Viva Las Vegas, Fake The Money And Run, Double Down, Triple Threat, Whatever Happened To Seymour Magoon?, Big Ed De-Cline, The Real McCoy, Everything Old Is You Again, Bold, Beautiful, And Blue, Mothwoman, For Sail By Owner, Down & Dirty, Bait And Switch, The Bitch Is Back, And Here's Mike With The Weather, Urban Legends, Coyote Ugly, Lyle & Substance, Like A Virgin, Cash Springs Eternal, All Quiet On The Montecito Front, Chaos Theory, Fidelity, Security, Delivery and Father Of The Bride.

Universal Studios Home Video has made all twenty-thee episodes of comprise LAS VEGAS: SEASON THREE UNCUT & UNCENSORED available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. In general, these episodes look like winners. The levels of sharpness and detail are pretty terrific, although this is still clearly a television production. Occasional shots are mildly soft, but it’s never a problem. Colors are nicely saturated and the flesh tones appear pretty darn natural. Blacks are accurate and the whites are stable. Contrast is good for a television production, without any unnecessary "flatness" in the image. There are no defects in the source materials from which the episodes were transferred. Additionally, there is a little apparent grain, in place, but again, not a problem. Digital compression artifacts are generally well contained.

For this release, all the episodes that comprise LAS VEGAS: SEASON THREE UNCUT & UNCENSORED feature soundtracks in the Dolby Digital 5.1 channel format. Again, the episodes sound great for a television production- with the 5.1 encoding adding more clarity than what is offered on matrixed tracks. Not surprisingly, most of the sonic information is contained in the forward soundstage. The rear channels do chime in for occasional active effects, as well as ambient sound and musical fill.  Fidelity is great for a television caliber production, the sound effects are pretty believable and music sounds great. Once again, fans will be disappointed as the show’s American theme song A Little Less Conversation has been replaced on all of the episodes with its overseas theme music. However, dialogue is cleanly rendered and completely intelligible. The bass channel is solid and keeps everything grounded. No other language tracks are provided, but English and Spanish subtitles have been included.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard episode/scene selection and set up features, as well as a couple of extras. First we have a Gag Reel, which clocks in at seven minutes, and then we have In With the New, which is a two-minute time-lapse look at the building of the new hotel.

LAS VEGAS is a fun series that is a perfect embodiment of the illusion of sin city. Universal does their usual fine job with the DVD set, and thankfully, have moved away from DVD-18 which finicky beasts to say the very least. If you glitzy fun, a bit of action beautiful people- then you’ll want add LAS VEGAS: SEASON THREE UNCUT & UNCENSORED to your personal TV on DVD library.



Las Vegas: Season 3



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2006 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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