SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON
Entering its seventh year on television, SMALLVILLE has endured to become the longest running genre series currently on television. Despite its longevity, SMALLVILLE continues to place its completely fresh and completely cool spin on the Superman mythology. Hell, season six of SMALLVILLE really kicked some ass and proved to be one of the series best years overall. With some "new" additions from the D.C. Universe of comic book characters, SMALLVILLE begins moving its lead character from being just a super powered Boy Scout doing good deeds, towards his ultimate destiny as the world’s greatest superhero.
With its pent up angst and teen soap opera qualities, SMALLVILLE continues to do what it does best by its reinterpretation of early years of The Man of Steel- that is before he donned his blue tights and red cape and took flight over the skies of Metropolis. Set in the Kansas town of the series title and populated with a cast of young, and highly attractive actors, SMALLVILLE pushes all the right buttons with its intended youthful demographic, while maintaining the integrity of the Superman mythology.
The season six cast of SMALLVILLE features Tom Welling as Clark Kent/ Kal-El, Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang, Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor, Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan, John Glover as Lionel Luthor, Annette O'Toole as Martha Kent, Erica Durance as Lois Lane, Aaron Ashmore as Jimmy Olsen and Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen. SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON ($60) comes to DVD in a six-disc set that features the following twenty-two episodes that were aired during season six: Zod, Sneeze, Wither, Arrow, Reunion, Fallout, Rage, Static, Subterranean, Hydro, Justice, Labyrinth, Crimson, Trespass, Freak, Promise, Combat, Progeny, Nemesis, Noir, Prototype and Phantom. Highlights of season six include Clark having to deal with escapees from The Phantom Zone; Lex and Lana’s continued romance; Lex’s continued descent into darkness; appearances by Green Arrow, Aquaman, Flash, Cyborg and Martian Manhunter- some of whom form an early incarnation of The Justice League.
Warner Home Video has made all twenty-two episodes from SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. Like the preceding sets, these episodes look really good on DVD. Across the board, there is generally sharp image with a good television caliber level of detail. Occasionally, things look mildly soft, but it is never beyond what one would expect from a television production. Colors are very nicely saturated, and are rendered with appealing flesh tones. Blacks are fairly accurate, whites crisp and the level of contrast is just fine. Sitcom flatness is not a big problem with the show’s lighting design. The film elements from which the episodes are transferred are clean; however, some grain shows up in places. Digital compression artifacts remain under the radar.
All the episodes that comprise SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON come with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks (hooray! it’s about time). The mixes are generally pretty darn good, although no one will confuse these soundtracks with theatrical productions. Not surprisingly, the forward soundstage remains dominant, with the rear channels providing occasional active effects, ambient sounds, and some musical fill. The bass channel could pack more oomph, but it does a decent job (somebody should start mixing these genre TV shows with the DVD release in mind). Dialogue is cleanly reproduced and is always easy to understand. No other language tracks are provided for the episodes, but English, French, Spanish and Chinese subtitles are 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 some supplemental materials. Unaired Scenes are provided for the following episodes: Sneeze, Wither, Arrow, Fallout, Hydro, Labyrinth, Crimson, Freak, Combat, Progeny, Nemesis and Phantom. Other supplements include Smallville: Big Fans (thirty minutes), Green Arrow: The Legend Of The Emerald Archer (twenty-five minutes), Smallville Legends: The Oliver Queen Chronicles (six short animated episodes), The Making Of Smallville Legends: The Oliver Queen Chronicles (self explanatory) and Smallville Legends: Justice And Doom (animated digital comic).
Superhero television doesn’t get any better than SMALLVILLE, especially season six, which really rocks. Warner’s DVD collection delivers the goods on the video/audio front. Highly recommended.
reviews are Copyright © 2007 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied
or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.