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I give those Winchester boys credit; the brothers certainly have some staying power, entering into an eight season on The CW Network. Considering that each brother has been dead and has gone to hell on separate occasions, with one brother returning with a soul and the other without- not to mention being pawns in a war between heaven and hell, those Winchester boys don't look likely to be packing up their marbles and going home anytime soon. For those unfamiliar with SUPERNATURAL, the series combines elements of the X-FILES and BUFFY along with those found in the short-lived KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER. SUPERNATURAL rounds things out with bits and pieces of road trip/buddy movies.

The basic premise of SUPERNATURAL follows the formerly estranged Winchester brothers- Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) who were reunited after their father disappeared while hunting the supernatural creature that killed the boys’ mother. Since their mother’s death, "hunting" has become the Winchester family business, with the boys following in their father’s footsteps… 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 seven continues with the fallout in the aftermath of the war between heaven and hell. God remains an absentee father, which other players vie for power seeking ways to become "the almighty" or just a reasonable facsimile. However, taking on the mantle of God, isn't easy and the method for acquiring the necessary power unleashes a new level of supernatural baddie, something that has been locked away since nearly the beginning of creation. The season seven cast of SUPERNATURAL also includes Jim Beaver as fellow "hunter" Bobby Singer and Misha Collins as the angel Castiel, who previously helped the Winchesters avert the apocalypse- but has since bit off a bit more than he can chew.

SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON ($60) comes to DVD in a six-disc set that features the following twenty-three episodes that were aired during year seven: Meet The New Boss, Hello, Cruel World, The Girl Next Door, Defending Your Life, Shut Up, Dr. Phil, Slash Fiction, The Mentalists, Season 7, Time For A Wedding!, How To Win Friends And Influence Monsters, Death’s Door, Adventures In Babysitting, Time After Time, The Slice Girls, Plucky Pennywhistle's Magic Menagerie, Repo Man, Out With The Old, The Born-Again Identity, Party On, Garth, Of Grave Importance, The Girl With The Dungeons And Dragons Tattoo, Reading Is Fundamental, There Will Be Blood, and Survival Of The Fittest.

Warner Home Video has made all twenty-three episodes that comprise SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. Like earlier DVD collections, the episodes contained in SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON look fine for the standard definition level, but the episodes would likely look much better in high definition. Maybe it's just that my eyes have become spoiled by watching so much high definition, but watching TV shows in standard definition doesn't impress very much. Image sharpness and detail seems more than respectable for something produced at the television level intending to be aired in standard definition. Process work appears a little weak in comparison to shots without any visual effects. Colors usually have a nice level of saturation, but things sometimes appear intentionally de-saturated. Blacks are accurate, whites are crisp and contrast is strong for broadcast fare. The elements from which the episodes are transferred are free from defects. There is some grain/video noise, but it isn’t excessive. Digital compression artifacts are a bit more noticeable than one would like.

All the episodes that comprise SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON are offered with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks. SUPERNATURAL as a series, features good quality television level soundtracks, which come with a nice amount of channel separation. As expected, the forward soundstage is dominant. The rear channels do provide some active effects, as well as ambient sounds, and a bit of musical fill. Dialogue is crisply rendered and remains totally understandable. No other language tracks have been included on the disc, but English, French and Spanish 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. Through the menus, one has access to standard episode selection and set up features, as well as some extras that have been spread throughout the set. Running Audio Commentaries are featured on three episodes: Slash Fiction, Death’s Door and Survival Of The Fittest. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Directing The Supernatural (twenty minutes), Washboards & Tommy Guns: Scoring "Time After Time After Time" (twenty five minutes) and Jensen Sings Outtake (two minutes). Deleted Scenes are provided for eight episodes, as is a Gag Reel, which closes out the supplements.

Season seven of SUPERNATURAL provides fans with more adventures featuring the Winchester Brothers and things that go bump in the night. The episodes look and sound fine for standard definition.


Supernatural: The Complete Seventh Season



DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2012 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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