Growing up, monster movies were the main staple of my television viewing. I loved anything creepy that aired on the boob tube and I got a bigger thrill anytime a monster themed television series debuted. Of course, my thrill was usually short lived, as such television series seldom lasted fro more than a few episodes. Still, I persisted in my viewing and eventually cool TV series such as THE X-FILES and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER took a long-term foothold on network schedules. The latest series to resonate with television audiences is SUPERNATURAL, which combines elements of THE X-FILES, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and short lived personal favorite KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER. However, instead of being just a retread, SUPERNATURAL puts its own fresh spin on things that go bump in the night, while also keeping the proceedings edgy and hip.
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 boysí mother. Over the years, hunting has become the Winchester family business, with the boys following in their fatherís footsteps and killing every supernatural beastie that they encounter along the highways and back roads of America. Season three of SUPERNATURAL finds Sam and Dean continuing their hunt for ghosts and monsters, not to mention the demon that holds the contract to one of the brotherís souls. However, the brothers Winchester do find help coming their way from rather unexpected sources.
SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON ($60) comes to DVD in a five-disc set that features the following sixteen episodes that were aired during the writersí strike abbreviated year three: The Magnificent Seven, The Kids Are Alright, Bad Day At Black Rock, Sin City, Bedtime Stories, Red Sky At Morning, Fresh Blood, A Very Supernatural Christmas, Malleus Maleficarum, Dream A Little Dream Of Me, Mystery Spot, Jus In Bello, Ghostfacers, Long-Distance Call, Time Is On My Side and No Rest For The Wicked.
Warner Home Video has made all sixteen episodes that comprise SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. Like the preceding collections, the episodes contained in SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON look just great for standard definition. Image sharpness and detail are excellent for something produced at the television level. Again, the process work is a little weak in comparison to shots without any 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 isnít excessive. Digital compression artifacts maintain a low profile.
All the episodes that comprise SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON are offered with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks. These are high quality television level soundtracks with a nice amount of channel separation. Not surpassingly, 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. A Portuguese language tracks is also provided. English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese and Thai 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 that have been spread throughout the set. Seven episodes include A Close Look segment that features members of the production team talking about favorite moments from said episodes. Featurettes include From Legends To Reality: Supernatural Effects and Impala Featurette: A Look Inside the Classic 1967 Chevrolet Impala, which are fairly self-explanatory. Ghostfacers! Confessionals Minifeaturette Gallery is a spoof of reality TV. A Gag Reel closes out the supplements.
SUPERNATURAL is one hell of a great horror series- it well written, nicely acted, plus its spooky good fun. The episodes look and sound pretty darn sweet; certainly besting your weekly standard definition broadcast. If you are a genre fan, SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON is a must have. Highly recommended.
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