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Returning for a sixth season, SUPERNATURAL is definitely one genre show with some staying power. Considering that most genre shows are short lived, SUPERNATURAL joins the ranks of such TV series as THE X-FILES and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER that held on for the long haul. While combining elements of the X-FILES and BUFFY with those of a short-lived show like KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER, SUPERNATURAL maintains its own sense of individuality, and travels its own road to success.

The basic premise of SUPERNATURAL follows formerly estranged brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) who were reunited after their father disappeared while hunting the supernatural creature that killed the boys’ mother. Over the years, "hunting" has become the Winchester family business, with the boys following in their father’s footsteps and killing every supernatural beastie that they encounter along the highways and back roads of America. While SUPERNATURAL seemed to start out as a monster of the week series, the last several seasons have played out a rather grandiose story arc, while still maintaining the show’s edgy and hip, dark and brooding spin on the world of things that go bump in the night.

Season five of SUPERNATURAL is definitely on of the series best, and finds the apocalypse close at hand… Lucifer has been released from his prison and set loose upon the Earth. The SUPERNATURAL mythology further complicates matters by having God AWOL. The angels have been left to their own devices for far too long, and the majority of these unshepherd angels are warmongers that little better than demons of hell that they are so eager to vanquish. Unfortunately, Sam and Dean have been pawns in the coming war between the forces of heaven and hell- with both sides having continuing designs of the Winchester Brothers. However, Sam and Dean have tired of dancing to the tune played for them by heaven and hell- and try to find a way to stop the apocalypse, while circumventing the plans laid out by both sides. The season five cast of SUPERNATURAL also includes Jim Beaver as fellow "hunter" Bobby Singer, Misha Collins as the rebellious angel Castiel who has come to the aid of the Winchesters, Kurt Fuller as the manipulative angel Zachariah and Mark Pellegrino as Lucifer.

SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON ($70) comes to Blu-ray Disc in a four-disc set that features the following twenty-two episodes that were aired during year five: Sympathy For The Devil, Good God, Y'all, Free To Be You And Me, The End, Fallen Idols, I Believe The Children Are Our Future, The Curious Case Of Dean Winchester, Changing Channels, The Real Ghostbusters, Abandon All Hope..., Sam, Interrupted, Swap Meat, The Song Remains The Same, My Bloody Valentine, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, Dark Side Of The Moon, 99 Problems, Point Of No Return, Hammer Of The Gods, The Devil You Know, Two Minutes To Midnight and Swan Song.

Warner Home Video has made all twenty-two episodes from SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON available on Blu-ray Disc in 1.78:1 wide screen presentations that have been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. Like the preceding collections, the 1080p presentations found in this set are truly excellent. SUPERNATURAL maintains its stylized and slightly gritty look into season five, which the Blu-rays render flawlessly. Image sharpness and clarity, as well as fine detail and depth are all impressive for a weekly television series. Close-ups display the strongest level of fine detail and texturing, with the lines and other imperfections on the actors’ skin being clearly visible. Once again, the process work appears a little weak in comparison to shots without any visual effects, but it never really detracts from the overall presentation. Colors are generally rendered with a good level of saturation, although this is somewhat lighting and mood dependent. Flesh tones come across in realistic fashion. Black and whites are on the money. Contrast has been given a stylistic push in places that enhances the grittiness of the show’s visual design. Grain/video noise is in keeping with the show’s intended look and remains rather noticeable.

All the episodes that comprise SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON are presented on Blu-ray Disc with 5.1 channel Dolby Digital 640kbps soundtracks. Again, my preference is for lossless soundtracks, but the standard Dolby Digital gets the job done. The sound designs make concessions for broadcast, and as such are a front heavy. Talky passages dominate, but the sound mixes are enlivened with directional effects, when the action kicks in. The outlying channels do manage to engage rather well, with the most noticeable separations appearing in the forward hemisphere. Fidelity is respectable where the musical component is concerned and the sound effects are fairly convincing. Dialogue is fairly crisp and generally easy to understand. No other language tracks have been included on the disc, but English and French subtitles are provided.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as, as well as the supplemental materials. A running Audio Commentary is featured on one episode: The End. Next are the interactive Apocalypse Survival Guides, which offers multiple featurettes and other behind-the-scenes programs. Ghostfacers offers up the amusing ten-part web series. An Unaired Scene and a Gag Reel close out the supplements.

Season five of SUPERNATURAL is definitely on of the series best- if not the best. The Blu-ray release looks great and sounds just fine. Highly recommended.


Supernatural: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] (2009)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2010 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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