Smallville – The Complete Fifth Season (HD-DVD)
B+ Sound: B Extras: C+ Episodes: B
has had a number of incarnations since his original debut in the 1938 issue of Action Comics #1. Throughout the evolution of Superman we have
seen him played by a variety of actors, some talented, some not. We have seen him in black & white, in
color, animated, live action, and everything in-between. Such greats as George Reeves and Christopher
Reeve have dawned the suit, and such Superman hopefuls as Dean Cain and the
short lived, syndicated TV Superboy
Gerard Christopher and John Newton (who Christopher replaced) have given it a
go. With each adaptation of the caped
man in blue, a new twist, spice, or vision is given to the classic hero series. Smallville
– The Complete Fifth Season, which like all its’ predecessors has taken it
upon itself to revamp the Superman series in a whole new light, is one of the
very first shows TV shows to come to an HD format.
series takes place in the hometown of future hero Superman (AKA Clark Kent),
Smallville. For the most part we as an
audience have viewed Superman as Superman, and worried little about ‘the
becoming.’ The Smallville series explores the deeply tangled and rooted past of an
extraordinary ‘man’ as he experiences the people and events which make him the
hero he is to become. This interesting
concept centering on the future ‘Man of Steel’ remains fresh, innovative, and
engaging even after an amazing six seasons.
the evolution of the series we have seen Clark Kent progressively discover his
powers and his reason for existence. By
the end of Season Five it is clear
that he is no longer Clark Kent but Superman, with a forthcoming future that
only time can tell what it brings. In this
pivotal Season an array of new characters are introduced, while we say goodbye
to old favorites. Also where much of the
tale of Superman has always focused on the ‘SMASH,’ ‘BANG,’ and capture the bad
guys mentality, Smallville deeply
invests itself and its storylines within characterization and the emotional
struggles that each character faces. The
series has always done an excellent job of treading the thin line between
sappiness and action/adventure, using a cast with good chemistry to tell the
epic tale of a growing hero.
of this series includes Tom Welling as Superman/Clark Kent, Michael Rosenbaum
as Lex Luthor, Kristin Kreuk as Clark's love interest Lana Lang, Allison Mack
as the sleuth Chloe Sullivan, Annette O’Toole as Martha Kent, and John
Schneider as Jonathan Kent. The show is
well cast and the actors do a unique job of bringing the DC inspired storyline
to life. In this Fifth Season, we see the Clark Kent, Lex Luthor relationship
transform into even greater disarray of distrust, hatred, and paranoia explode. A love triangle spirals out of control
between Clark, Lana, and Lex, the audience never quite sure who is to win this
emotional battle. The beautiful Erica
Durance reprise her role as the sassy Lois Lane, in turn finding herself being
a vital role to a dark, twisted storyline involving herself in Jonathan Kent’s
run for political office against the Luthor clan, as well as a few suspiciously
tense sexual moments between her and Clark.
Not to spoil the twists and turns of the season, but certain characters
we bid a fond farewell (some even several times… unusually), making this season
even more epic as well as important. In
the end, the series has held its ground and ratings over the past six seasons
and shows no signs of slowing down; with a great premise, classic superhero
entangled designs, and a stunning cast this series can only fly higher.
the series is wildly entertaining, it does take quite a few Superman liberties
to infuse an array of superhero elements and characters. This season, the audience experiences some
great appearances from such superhero legends as Aquaman (A.C. in the episode ‘Aqua’ which did not lead to the expected
spin-off), Cyborg (Victor Stone in the episode ‘Cyborg’), and yes even Zod makes a dark, spiritual cameo in this
season. This introduction of crucial
Superman characters is not a first for the series in the past seeing such
greats as Professor Hamilton, Perry White, Krypto the Super Dog (Shelby in this
series), The Flash, and many more.
that so many Superman references are made throughout the series that if a
person were to blink the exciting mention would be easily missed. Some purists may view this infusion of ‘The
Superman World’ so early within Superman’s life as an abomination of the true
storyline, but this reviewer finds it to be much deeper and interesting. Surely some elements, such as having Lois
Lane show up so early, are confusing to the whole scheme of things but most elements
work and are well executed. Superman is
not a normal being, he is an alien, he is super human, and he was sent to earth
to save mankind. Introducing other
superheroes early on as well as such characters as Lex Luthor, provides a
deeply rooted plot that Superman did not merely pop-up in Metropolis one day
and fight crime, but his immanent future was always there waiting to pounce.
concept of Superboy was established originally back in the 1940’s and continued
through to the early 1980’s, though Superman creator Jerry Siegel disapproved
greatly of the concepts being portrayed.
In the 1940s - 80s period, Superboy wore the Superman outfit and fought
smaller crimes, was with often with The Legion Of Superheroes and later had a
love interest in Lana Lang. In 1985,
however, DC Comics decided to overhaul Superman’s outdated past and make it
clearer. DC Comics established that
though the young Superman did fight crime on some scale, he never dawned the
classic Red and Blue suit until he arrived in Metropolis. Also at this time DC made clear that Lex and
Superman had some involvement prior to Superman (AKA Clark Kent) arriving in
Metropolis. When Superman died, a new
younger Superman as a Superboy also arrived with some success. With this said, Smallville with its “at times” slight deviations only strengthens
and broadens the Superman Universe.
1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is a real surprise, with better color
range and scale than most feature films we have seen in either format. There is also solid depth and detail that more
feature films should have in both formats.
The color schemes are actually lost somewhat (maybe too much) in regular
analog TV broadcasts and even in the HD broadcasts, so fans will we very happy
with this set.
Digital Plus 5.1 mix is pretty good for a TV show, even though many are doing
more than simple stereo these days.
However, in most cases, their audio turns out to be pumped up emptiness
while this show shows real ambition in its sound mixes. It never overdoes it and offers some of the
best character of a live-action DC Comics series since the first season of
Wonder Woman with Linda Carter during the WWII years.
include Smallville's 100th Episode: The Making Of A Milestone, creating
the Episode Reckoning, audio commentary
on 2 Episodes, unaired scenes, Vengeance
Chronicles Promo Webisodes and an HD-exclusive visual effects interactive
feature talking about this season’s opening show.
Smallville is an excellent series that has
always showed promise and continues to grow.
Each episode of Season Five
leaves an audience begging for more with each twist and turn. This Season even puts to rest the classic Mallrats dilemma of can Superman have
sex with someone other than Wonder Woman?
More Superman, more Superheroes, more evil, more action, more Smallville. The series continues to Steel our hearts and
Superman-related titles on DVD and HD-DVD, you can go to0 the links below:
1978 MOVIE HD-DVD
DVD 4-Disc Set
II – RICHARD DONNER CUT HD-DVD + DVD
RETURNS (HD-DVD/DVD Combo Format Edition)
RETURNS THEATRICAL REVIEW
II (Theatrical Cut DVD)
- Michael P Dougherty II and Nicholas Sheffo