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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Adventure > Science Fiction > TV > Smallville: The Complete Ninth Season (2009 – 2010/Warner Blu-ray)

Smallville: The Complete Ninth Season (2009 – 2010/Warner Blu-ray)


Picture: B+     Sound: B     Extras: C     Episodes: C+



Superman has survived many epic battles, but how he survived on Smallville for nine seasons is beyond me.  Recently released on Blu-ray is Smallville: The Complete Ninth Season which supposedly chronicles the transformation of Superman from country boy to Metropolis savior.  The truth is that Smallville, for several seasons now, has gone from a tale of self discovery to a watered down superhero saga.  The writers had long ago exhausted source material in terms of delivering a true ‘Smallville’ story; in turn forcing their hands to construct a series that leaned more toward Super-man than Super-boy.


Now nine seasons deep, this Smallville release is one for the fans; if you have not joined the series by this point, now is not the time.  We join Clark Kent in Season Nine as he is now a heroic vigilante watching over Metropolis.  The series has made a habit out of taking one idea and running with it for way too long and Season Nine is not different.  The pattern of dragging things out continues as this season focuses on Kandorian Clones (Kryptonian?) led by none other than General Zod.  This only one instance of exhausting plot lines, but this season is full of them.  It seems all too forced as relationships are strained, heroes are pushed to their limits and Clark’s past may destroy his future.


Even as the series has transformed more into a DC soap opera, the relationships and chemistry between actors remains strong and avenues are explored that are true to known comic lore, while adding their own Smallville elements (even if they are a bit tired).  On top of established characters like Chloe showing their darker side, many other heroes like that of Hawkman make an appearance this season.  Whereas much of the season appears to be a ‘blur,’ it was adequate and seeing as how Season 10 is the last season, hopefully the writers/directors/actors will deliver a heroic farewell performance worthy of Superman.


The technical features on this Smallville Season 9 Blu-ray are well in line with the previous Season 8 release.  The picture again is presented in a 1080p High Definition 1.78 X 1 Anamorphic Widescreen VC-1 Encoded image that is impressively clear, balanced, and colorfully vibrant.  Again the colors pack a vibrant punch with framing, inky blacks that are just as powerful.  I cannot note any artifacting and the detailed, sharp image is admirable again on this Blu-ray presentation.  The sound is a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound that is adequate, but a far cry from what a superhero series should be and especially on Blu-ray.  The soundscape is lacking as some elements of atmosphere come from the rear along with music, but on the whole the surrounds are not fully utilized.  The dialogue is crisp, clean and clear as it projects from the front, existing as the shining moment for the audio track.


The extras include 2 Audio Commentaries on episodes “Kandor” and “Idol” that are only mildly entertaining with little insight or detail.  Also included are some deleted scenes that neither add nor detract from series.


Smallville was an entertaining series that had its time and as the series comes to a screeching halt, we can see both the shining moments and missteps as one entity that amounts to some very entertaining television.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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