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SMALLVILLE:

THE COMPLETE TENTH SEASON

Running a total of ten seasons, SMALLVILLE has become the longest-lived American fantasy genre show (based upon a comic book character or otherwise). Offering an alternate spin on the pre-cape and tights-wearing saga of Man of Steel, SMALLVILLE has, in its ten-season run, created its own unique mythology that differs from the comics, which proved to be one of the series biggest strengths, not to mention one of biggest draws. Comic fans tuned into SMALLVILLE to see how the series would spin the established mythos and characters in unique and unexpected ways. What I liked the most about SMALLVILLE was that the series creative team was never disrespectful to the material, but I was oh so glad that they never treated the Superman mythology like some sort of holy relic that was carved in stone, and hence, un-changeable. Perhaps that is the reason why SMALLVILLE remained fresh and fun for its entire record setting, ten-season run.

The season ten cast of SMALLVILLE features Tom Welling as Clark Kent/Kal-El, Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan, Erica Durance as Lois Lane, Cassidy Freeman as Tess Mercer and Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow. Past season regulars John Schneider, Annette O'Toole, John Glover, Laura Vandervoort, Callum Blue and Michael Rosenbaum return to make guest appearances across season ten. SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE TENTH SEASON ($80) comes to Blu-ray Disc in a four-disc set that features the following twenty-two episodes that were aired during season ten: Lazarus, Shield, Supergirl, Homecoming, Isis, Harvest, Ambush, Abandoned, Patriot, Luthor, Icarus, Collateral, Beacon, Masquerade, Fortune, Scion, Kent, Booster, Dominion, Prophecy and the two part Finale. Season ten of SMALLVILLE finds the series’ protagonist on his continued his evolution towards becoming the world’s greatest superhero, but facing new challenges. Highlights of season ten include a secret cloning lab, marking the possible return of Clark’s ultimate nemesis; Clark reveals more about himself to Lois as the relationship moves to the next level; the government moves against superheroes declaring them vigilantes and terrorist, which endangers Clark and his friends; an alternate version of Lionel Luthor emerges from a parallel universe; and finally, a looming darkness slowly falls over the Earth… foreshadowing something that even the future Man of Steel may be unable to stop.

Warner Home Video has made all twenty-one episodes from SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE TENTH SEASON available on Blu-ray Disc in 1.78:1 wide screen presentations that have been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. In the new codec, the episodes that comprise SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE TENTH SEASON feature even stronger 1080p presentations than they have in the past. Image sharpness and clarity are high caliber. In addition, the levels of fine detail and depth are all impressive, especially in close-ups, where every nuance in the actors’ faces is clearly visible. Some shots display mild softness, but those instances are in the minority and don’t reflect the overall image quality. Some CGI elements are a bit iffy, but those are postproduction issues and not related to the Blu-ray masters. Colors are almost always bright, vibrant and fully saturated. Primary colors always pop, as any good comic book should. Blacks appear deep and the whites are crisp. Contrast sometimes has been given a stylistic push, while shadow detail is very strong. There are no notable defects in the source materials. Mild grain/noise is sometimes present in the image.

All the episodes that comprise SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE TENTH SEASON are presented on Blu-ray Disc with 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks. Going lossless marks a real improvement over the previous sets, with improved fidelity for music and sound effects. SMALLVILLE features a fairly strong sound design for a weekly television series, but no one will confuse these soundtracks for that of a theatrical production. There are some nice channel separations, across the front during the more active sequences, while the rear channels reinforce the sound with goodly amounts ambient sound and musical fill. The bass channel keeps the sound from being anemic, but doesn’t demonstrate ground-shaking properties. Dialogue is clean and easy to understand. Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as, as well as the supplemental materials. Running Audio Commentaries are provided for Lazarus and Kent. Unaired Scenes are included with the following episodes: Shield, Supergirl, Abandoned, Beacon and Scion. Other supplements include: Back In The Jacket: A Smallville Homecoming (celebrating the 200th episode Homecoming), The Son Becomes The Father (the evolution of Clark Kent’s fathers/son relationships across ten seasons) and a Music Video for How Do You Do.

SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE TENTH SEASON sees the record setting superhero series off on a high note. The Blu-ray presentations look absolutely terrific, and sound pretty darn sweet with lossless encodes. SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE TENTH SEASON gets the recommendation.

 
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE TENTH SEASON 


Smallville: The Complete Tenth Season [Blu-ray] (2010)

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DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 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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