Smallville: Season 9 on Blu-ray brings the ever continuing adventures of Superman before he dons the blue and red of his super hero fame and joins the Justice League of comic book legend.
Film making 15/25
Bonus Features 5/25
Smallville by season 9 is for diehard fans who really like the show, no picking up this show mid season and understanding much of what is going on. Falling somewhere between Superman and Superman II of film legend the series now falls to fans and pretty much no one else.
If you haven’t been watching Smallville as a fan or even casual viewer jumping into season 9 is probably not a good idea but what the heck, I live for reviewing. I think I have one of the coolest jobs and a great way to test a shows story and just how good it is would be jumping into it somewhere mid season.
Don’t watch a series from the start but jump somewhere in the middle and watch an episode, if it makes you want to start the series from the pilot it’s a hit. If you just can’t understand what’s going on or it doesn’t entice you to watch more leave it be and get your money back.
I figured I would take a risk and jump into the later episodes of the series and review Season 9 when the release hit my inbox but I guess it was a mistake. The show is alright and I definitely can understand what is going on but it just does not make me want to watch more.
The story line is easy to follow even when it goes three directions at once and I think that is one problem with the series currently, just too much going on at once. I can understand and applaud the introduction of a dynamic young actor as Major Zod who will become a big foe of Clark Kent/Superman.
The main theme of Season 9 is this new foe and his becoming Superman’s arch nemesis but they add in a bit too much with other characters and their side stories. Lois and Clark with their intermingling is an ongoing theme throughout any Superman but they add more than just the current villain and the usual relationships you know.
Adding in smaller semi super villains and heroes throughout the season just brings more questions than answers with how the whole smaller characters fit into the bigger picture of the justice league. I think they did admirably but the series seems to be prolonging the story of Clark Kent gaining his full powers and attaining the superman status he eventually will.
I think that is the main problem with Smallville, it has taken nine seasons to go from him being dropped off in farm country to a super hero in the big city. Nine seasons is a bit much for the story to have to fill in and there are only so many villains and side missions a super hero can work through.
Video for Smallville Season 9 is soft and has a definite look to it that seems intentional but also seems a bit comic book looking. Effects are probably the biggest obvious part but other things like skin tone and general color make it look odd at times.
The general color is decent and darks are good but skin tone seems a bit too dark and toward a dramatic effect more used in horror films than a super hero series. Other noticeable problems are effects that are at times decent looking and other times are terrible making effects questionable at times.
Generally the video is good and sometimes very good but there are times it is not good so it is a bit hit and miss, audio is not much better as well. Dolby Digital 5.1 sound tracks do not belong on Blu-ray, there is plenty of room for a series so why not go with lossless audio quality.
The surround sound is average and low frequency effects are not as good as they could be so the sound is average or a bit above but nothing to really brag about. Audio works well enough and the problem is not that it is bad but that it is not as good as it could be with a simple lossless sound track instead of just an above average one.
Bonus content amounts to things a serious fan would be interested in and not ones a newcomer would care much for and only amount to about an hour of extras. Bonus features include audio commentary on two episodes, a brief bit about Zod and a thirty minute making of feature that is really the only extra worth viewing more than once.
Special features are light and the only one worth viewing much at all is the Absolute Justice thirty minute feature so this Blu-ray season is light on bonus content. Smallville Season 9 is more for fans and less for someone interested in seeing what all the fuss is all about, they just take too much time to get to the good parts.
Smallville takes nine seasons to go where the original films Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980) with Christopher Reeves went in two short films. Taking a few seasons to get through Superman/Clark Kent’s upbringing, coming to grips with his powers and taking on some smaller villains would be fine.
Taking nine seasons just seems like drawing out the inevitable and fans are sure to wonder after a few why it’s taking so long to get to the meat of the story. Season one started out pretty good with 5.9 million viewers and season two went upward but since then viewers have been falling and season nine has cut the initial count down more than half.
Smallville Season 9 on Blu-ray may be a fans only series by now but it still is pretty decent and good enough for at least a rental for anyone wanting to see what all the fuss is about.