A&E // 2010 // 1140 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // December 6th, 2010
He's the toughest man on television.
Duane "Dog" Chapman has had quite the ride ever since the beginning of Dog the Bounty Hunter the popular A&E television program that follows him and his family as they track down and arrest criminals on the run. Both Dog and his show have seen several ups and downs during the past years, and A&E is now giving fans a chance to experience it all together on Dog the Bounty Hunter: Wild Ride Megaset, a collection of eight DVDs featuring Dog's most intense chases, two special documentaries, numerous featurettes, and additional content.
Dog's presence in the media has been substantial over the years, and I'm sure pretty much everyone with a working TV set has at least heard of him. For those still unfamiliar with the show though, here's a quick recap of what Dog the Bounty Hunter is actually about: Duane Chapman is an avid bounty hunter who has inspired his family to join him on the mission of putting fleeing criminals behind bars. Each episode features at least one case, following the Chapmans as they gather information, receive tips about their targets, track them down, and work out a plan to make an arrest. The nature of the show obviously makes for entertaining reality television, and some chases can indeed get a little rough.
The first six discs feature forty-five episodes picked by Dog himself (so it says on the DVD covers). Although they're not all as exciting as you may think, most give viewers a good sense of how fast-paced and action-packed Dog's job can really be. The content is more or less balanced; some are really suspenseful and compelling while others take a quick break from all the action to offer a deeper glimpse into the life of a family of passionate bounty hunters. Needless to say, these discs feature all the major highlights from each of the show's seasons.
Once you've worked your way through the episodes, discs seven and eight await you with two specials. The first one is The Wedding Special, a two-part program that focuses on Dog's and his bride Beth's Hawaiian wedding. Think of it as an extended episode during which Dog and his boys hunt down a couple of criminals while Beth hunts down a dress and tries to get everything wedding-related done before it's time to say "I do." This wedding special doesn't qualify as one of the show's memorable episodes, but the hunts for bad guys before the ceremony do add the necessary amount of action to please the fans.
The Arrest: The Family Speaks is the second special, and this 45-minute documentary follows the events that led to the arrest of Dog and his posse following their spectacular capture of serial rapist Andrew Luster in Mexico. Shortly after taking the criminal into custody, Dog, Tim and Leland were themselves arrested by Mexican police, and what followed was a long battle for justice that weighed down the Chapman family for a while. Although the piece does a good job at explaining how it all came to the incident, it's rather outdated. The chiefs at A&E could've spiced it up a bit with a more recent follow-up, but you won't see anything like that on this disc. The Arrest offers solid information for those unfamiliar with the whole thing, but loyal fans of the show won't learn anything new here at all.
This brings up a crucial aspect that eventually comes in handy when trying to decide whether to invest in this set. If you already own all kinds of Dog the Bounty Hunter DVDs, this collection won't offer you anything new, but if you're new to the show or never bought discs, this is the ultimate set to add to your collection. It offers many thrilling episodes and the specials, and it also comes loaded with a series of extras many will enjoy.
Indeed, pretty much each DVD has some sort of special feature to offer. Besides photo galleries, cast biographies, promos, and additional scenes, this set also offers a bunch of featurettes and the Take This Job episode that featured Dog's work and eventually caused the success of Dog's show. Also included is a documentary titled Year of the Dog, which chronicles all sorts of events that had an impact on the Chapman family in 2006. This piece actually turns out to be a lot more informative than either of the two specials mentioned above, primarily because it provides a great insight into the life of Dog and his posse without focusing on one single event.
Before I wrap, let me mention the technical specs. All episodes are featured in full frame with a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo audio transfer. Older episodes obviously don't look as sharp as more recent ones, but for what this is, the quality of image and sound works just fine. Slam everything on this set together and you end with close to twenty hours of Dog material.
Dog the Bounty Hunter: Wild Ride Megaset features some great episodes and a lot of extras, but it doesn't really come loaded with new stuff older releases were missing. A&E hasn't done the best job of releasing Dog the Bounty Hunter content on DVD, but this may be an indication that they may be thinking about releasing entire seasons in the future. For now, though, this set is definitely worth it for those who have never owned a Dog DVD.
Review content copyright © 2010 Franck Tabouring; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 1140 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Scenes
* Photo Galleries
* Official Site