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“Smallville: The Complete Ninth Season” {Blu-ray}
Reviewer:
Wayne Klein
Studio: Warner Brothers
Genre:
TV - Series
Release Date:
9/10/10
Special Features:

Audio commentaries, deleted scenes, featurette

Review:

The big “S” on Clark’s chest in the cover art for the ninth season of “Smallville” is a big clue that things are going to be ramped up a big for the ninth season. The original mantra was no tights, no cape, no flying when the show was first introduced. Pretty soon the producers are going to have to come up with a new mantra. ***

At this stage in the show those reading this review probably already know what happened during season eight. If you haven’t seen the previous eight seasons, you shouldn’t dive in here as this is a series that deserves to be followed from the beginning even though the show has been inconsistent over the last nine years. What I will say about the show is that Clark hasn’t donned the cape yet nor has he adopted the name “Superman”. Right now he’s only called “The Blur” which certainly describes how everyone sees him as he does good deeds around town and he’s wearing—black. ---

Image & Sound:

The Blu-ray looks fairly impressive colors look quite strong with nice flesh tones and sharp looking detail for the most part. This is a solid looking presentation of the show the only complaint is that like a lot of recent Warner Blu-rays there are a few too many episodes on each disc. That could be a good thing if it doesn’t impact the transfer quality but it does resulting in occasionally crushed blacks and some issues with fine detail that occur on episodically. ***

Audio sounds quite good although once again I’m perplexed as to why Warner who puts out some amazing Blu-rays (even those where they put too many episodes per disc resulting in a lower bit rate and lower image quality)doesn’t go for the gusto here and include lossless audio. Perhaps it’s a concern due to the fact that the bit rate has already bit somewhat compromised by putting six episodes per disc and, if that’s the case, than I understand their decision. ---

Special Features:

Unfortunately as we see a series continue on most studios feel compelled to offer less in the way of extras because 1) the profit margin is a bit thinner (costs go up for the show as it progresses) ; 2) the fans that would pick up the ninth season are dedicated and will pick it up regardless of whether or not there are extras included. ***

While these both may be true, it would be nice if the studios rewarded the faithful particularly given the economy that we’re faced with and the premium price of a Blu-ray particularly with sales not exactly taking off the way that Warner wanted. ***

We get two commentary tracks for “Idol” and “Kandor” two key episodes from the ninth season. We get deleted scenes for eight episodes and a featurette on one of my favorite characters Zod entitled “Kneel Before Zod” giving us a glimpse behind-the-scenes of the episode from conception to execution. ---

Final Words:

The ninth season of “Smallville” continues to find the series with a solid group of episodes to make the show memorable for fans. The good news is the show hasn’t jumped the shark but the ninth season is wildly uneven in terms of the quality of the scripts and execution.

 

 
 
 
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