Superman on Television
Smallville: DVD ReviewReviewed by: Adam Dechanel (AdamDechanel@aol.com)
First off this is NOT a review of the episodes, 1989 (the Pilot Episode) or Metamorphosis. For those reviews see the season one episode guide. This is a review of the DVD itself as so we begin...
June 25th 2002, the mailman delivers the DVD I'd been waiting for, the question is was it worth the wait?
Well that comes later but following is a breakdown of the DVD.
The Case:A very nice case despite the fact its in a Warner's "popper box" it has a nice crisp image of Clark tied to a crucifix. The image has been doctored slightly to include a ghostly 'S' shield and to give Clark blue eyes...
Nit picking? OK First: the Smallville logo doesn't look nearly as cool as a solid blocky color it is much nicer as the glowing logo in the series titles. Though admittedly it IS prominent.
Second: Clark has blue eyes on the front of the case and on the back he has green...(ok sad of me yes?)
Third: The case lists a special feature of a trailer, this is sadly non existent.
The Disc:The disc design is basically a cut and paste of the popper case. It has clear crisp imagery on the print, but it's badly spaced out and looks a bit 'last minute.' Missing that 'oomph' factor.
The Main Feature:The feature is an edited version of episodes 1 & 2 of season one into a 90 minute feature that was premiered as such in some countries. So what's good about that you ask?
First off they've given it a Dolby 5.1 soundtrack. Second they've reformatted the transfer into a widescreen format and sharpened the clarity.
Already you are watching a FILM not a TRANSFER. Where most TV shows are transferred 'as is' and in a stereo track Warner's went that little bit further.
Basically unless you have seen this DVD you haven't seen these episodes at all.
No I REALLY mean it! Crank up your amp and subwoofer during the 1989: The Sky Falls sequence if you don't believe me!
- An audio commentary by the producers and director. A must for the fans, it reveals bucket loads of behind the scenes information! Rating: 5/5
- An interactive map of Smallville. A quick tour and commentary on the main sets of the show. The corn fields, The Kent farm, Lana's house, Luthor Corp, Lex's Estate, Smallville High and Main St. After seeing the interactive maps featured on the Disney DVD's such as Snow White, Dinosaur and Monsters, Inc. Well I had high hopes for this special feature, not as impressive as I had hoped but still a nice addition, the fearues saving grace? Each location is accompanied by more insider commentary Rating: 3/5
- Cast and Crew. CRAP. It lists the cast. It doesn't list filmographies or biographies. It doesn't even list the crew of the aforementioned title. A waste of a feature since a fan would KNOW the cast and a newcomer isn't that stupid they couldn't read the end titles... A waste of time to put on the disc but it IS a standard feature along with production notes that features on 99% of Warner DVD's. Rating: 1/5
- Deleted scenes. With or without commentary. 7 in all. Ross' at the creamed corn factory, Jocks and their trucks, Principal Kwan confronts Jeremy, Lex meets Gabe Sullivan in the fertiliser plant, Pete has breakfast with the Kents and finally Martha and Jonathon discuss Clarks powers. FANTASTIC, I love additional material! It also has commentary accompanying them. Just a shame they didn't offer you the chance to 'branch' them into the main feature. Rating: 5/5
- Storyboards. A fantastic montage showing the development from black and white scrawlings to the finished article. Sequences include: Meteors fall to earth, Smallville wins again, Young Lex in cornfield, Meteors hit Smallville, Clark finds the Kents, Jeremy and Clark face off. Even if you hate montages and storyboard features this is fascinating to watch. Rating: 5/5
The Ambience:What else is new?
The Mike Post End titles theme is noticeably absent, replaced instead by the dream sequence fanfare, it features on the end titles and the DVD root menu. Choosing this theme seemed odd to me, it certainly wasn't the best on the show, but it does grow on you...
What's missing?There are so many things that could have been included that weren't this is just a nit picking wish list.
A music video? Either just the opening titles or the entire track?
TV spots? It IS a TV show after all.
Documentaries? I know Channel Four in England has produced two features on the show.
Cast interviews? They've certainly done enough on the web, TV and in magazines!
Stills Gallery? I know we only ever see the same 10 images promoting the show but it would have been nice to see them collected on the disc.
The Script? Terminator 2, The Simpsons, all are slowly including the script treatment. It would have been nice to have it thrown in.
A game/quiz? The Warner animated DVD's featured them, why not one here!
3D menus? Just because they look cool and it would have been nice to 'virtually' travel around Smallville.
Weblinks? Smallville has three sites on the web promoting the show: Smallville Ledger, Smallville Torch and Smallville Radio. I hate weblinks but surely this should have been included?
Am I just being greedy? YES I admit it!
Kudos to Warners finally respecting the FANS and respecting the show too. This DVD actually improves on the original televised exhibition and packs in a LOT considering it is dedicated to only two episodes. I eagerly await the release of the season one boxed set as this sets a high precedent for it!
Overall: it has it's ups and downs but hell this deserves it's high rating!
OVERALL RATING: 5/5
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