Smallville-The Complete Second Season (2001)

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Released 10-Jan-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Filmmakers - Two Episodes
Audio Commentary-Cast And Filmmakers - Two Episodes
Deleted Scenes-6
Featurette-Christopher Reeve: The Man Of Steel
Featurette-Faster Than A Speeding Bullet: The Visual FX Of Smallville
Featurette-The Chloe Chronicles
Outtakes
DVD-ROM Extras
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 951:56 (Case: 1109)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (6)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Greg Beeman
Kenneth Biller
David Carson
D.J. Caruso
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Tom Welling
Kristin Kreuk
Michael Rosenbaum
Sam Jones III
Allison Mack
Eric Johnson
Annette O'Toole
John Schneider
John Glover
Case ?
RPI $79.95 Music Jim Adkins
Kevin Bassinson
Eva Cassidy


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Italian
Dutch
Hungarian
Turkish
Greek
Romanian
Bulgarian
Arabic
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    If you’ve ever been a fan of comics, as I was in my youth, you will no doubt have come across DC Comics most famous superhero – Superman. I must confess that, having actually read many a Superman comic myself and having finally made up my mind on the issue, I’m not all that much of a fan. In short, he irritates me. In either alias, Superman the man of steel himself or the mild-mannered and unassuming Clark Kent, this guy is a total goodie two shoes, with nary a flaw, and sporting US patriotism like a badge of honour. The finest Superman stories ever told were those where the Man of Steel faced off against Batman – the now classic Frank Miller story The Dark Knight Returns, and the series that relaunched the Batman comics from the doldrums, No Man’s Land.

    The show Smallville is a retelling of the early years of Superman, upgraded to the twenty-first century, and is a marked difference on the comic books. The young Clark Kent (Tom Welling) has come to earth in a meteor shower that has created all untold hell for the inhabitants of Smallville, Kansas, including killing the parents of Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk), and rendering the spoilt little rich boy Alexander ‘Lex’ Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) completely bald. In addition to these things, the meteor shower has gifted Martha and Jonathan Kent (Annette O’Toole and John Schneider) with a son they could never have, but also given rise to many a nasty character bent on wreaking havoc in small town America.

    While trying to keep his emerging superpowers a secret from society and those closest to him, Clark enlists the help of his friends Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) and Pete Ross (Samuel L Jones) to destroy every nasty that rises up in town.

    Picking up where the first season left off, the second season follows along these lines:

Disc 1

1. Vortex (2) (41:01)

    After the twister has ripped through Smallville, will Clark find his Dad before it’s too late, or his secret is exposed?

2. Heat (41:38)

    At the onset of puberty, Clark discovers his heat-ray vision.

3. Duplicity (40:26)

    Poisoned by kryptonite, Dr. Hamilton begins a search for Clark’s lost spaceship which Pete finds in a field.

4. Red (42:09)

    Why is Clark acting so strange? Where did his bad boy attitude come from?

Disc 2

5. Nocturne (40:22)

    Who is the boy who is leaving poetry for Lana? And why is he locked in a basement?

6. Redux (39:18)

    Why are so many Smallville High kids dying of old age?

7. Lineage (42:05)

    What really happened on the day of the meteor shower? And why does Jonathan blame himself for some terrible secret?

8. Ryan (41:20)

    Ryan, the little boy who can read minds (from the episode Stray in the first season) is in trouble, but can Clark save him?

Disc 3

9. Dichotic (40:42)

    How is the same boy managing to date Chloe and Lana ... at exactly the same time?

10. Skinwalker (40:14)

    Is Clark the man mentioned in an ancient Indian prophecy? And what is the wolf-like creature killing off Lexcorp employees?

11. Visage (41:50)

    Whitney is back from the war ... or is he?

12. Insurgence (42:18)

    When Lionel Luthor and Martha are taken hostage, it’s up to Clark to save the day without having his identity discovered.

Disc 4

13. Suspect (40:49)

    When Lionel is shot at the Luthor manor, Clark’s dad is fingered as the number one suspect.

14. Rush (41:07)

    Why are a group of students at Smallville High attempting such dangerous stunts? And will Clark fall under the same madness?

15. Prodigal (42:08)

    Lex finds his long lost brother Lucas and attempts to use him to turn against their father.

16. Fever (41:53)

    When Martha accidentally inhales kryptonite dust, she goes into a coma. Can Clark and Jonathon save her?

Disc 5

17. Rosetta (42:21)

    Clark travels to New York to recover a message from his home planet from a scientist named Dr. Swann (Christopher Reeve).

18. Visitor (41:04)

    Is there another Smallville High student from Krypton?

19. Precipice (42:06)

    Has Clark gone too far in helping someone out? How will he get himself out of a lawsuit?

20. Witness (40:20)

    Who are the super-strong robbers in town? And what is their connection to LexCorp?

Disc 6

21. Accelerate (42:23)

    How are Lana’s visions of her dead friend connected to Lionel’s plans for the Indian caves?

22. Calling (1) (42:11)

    When Dr. Walden emerges from a coma, he has one thought on his mind – kill Clark Kent.

23. Exodus (2) (42:11)

    What will Clark choose – Smallville and his friends, or ruler of Earth?

    While many people have made comparisons between this show and Buffy, I must say that I am yet to see the link. While Joss Whedon’s show succeeded by reversing stereotypes, interweaving real life themes with total fantasy, and creating oddly believable and definitely likeable characters who were all flawed in their own ways, Smallville exhibits few of these traits. I found the writing in Smallville to be entertaining but ultimately derivative, the characters largely two-dimensional and lacking in the types of flaws that make people relatable to, and the show devoid of the banter and rich dialogue that made Buffy one of the best shows on TV. The characters of Smallville speak in platitudes and clichés, much like the DC Comic, and are ultimately, in this reviewer’s opinion, somewhat predictable.

    Do not get me wrong – this is not a bad show, not by any stretch of the imagination. It is, for the most part, fun and passable entertainment, and better than a lot of the other crap that is claiming space on the airways these days. It is just that it tries too hard all of the time to be bigger and better than it is, rather than having fun at its own expense, and it’s pretty-boy and -girl cast are just all too perfect. In the end, it just all feels a little too glossy and slick for me.

    If you are a fan of the Superman comics, you will probably like Smallville. I have tried very hard to enjoy it, and for the most part got a kick out of the series. However, I probably would have liked it a lot better if I were a kid, but as that magic number thirty creeps ever closer I find that while this show is good, it’s just not for me. Although I can enjoy Buffy time and again, as it is clearly marketed at a wide audience (including those post the big three-oh), Smallville is definitely one for fans of the comic series, or adolescents.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Thankfully, the show has been transferred in its original ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer for this second season is good, but not flawless. It exhibits a touch of softness which smudges the background a little, and graininess in the foreground that, once you register it, can be a little irksome. No matter how much I played around with my system, I could not correct these faults to my satisfaction.

    On the upside, the picture is very detailed, and shadow detail is above average. Colour, too, is very rich, with nice glossy primary colours shot through the show. It feels sometimes like being in a plastic children’s playground at McDonald’s, but there you have it.

    There are no MPEG artefacts, and only the faintest of background moire. Unless you go hunting for these things, though, you are unlikely to discover them.

    There is a little more dirt than I would have expected from a show of this era, but nothing terribly distracting.

    All episodes have subtitles available in English, French, Italian, Dutch, Hungarian and Turkish. They are white with a black edge and are easy to read.

    The dual-layer pauses are hidden between the second and third episodes on each disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Sadly, audio is available only in English, French and Italian in 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo.

    This is a decent track, with well reproduced dialogue and a good spatial feel to it. There were no sync faults that I saw, and the clarity was not bad.

    There is a bit of left-right action going on to give it a stereo feel, and the music has a good range and feel to it. Given the number of popular songs used on the soundtrack here, that’s not such a bad thing, but the musical selections are definitely going to date this show very quickly.

    The subwoofer didn’t get a peep.

    The foreign language tracks appear to be fine, although there is a noticeable loss of ambience as a result of the overdub process.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menus

    All menus are in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. There is a short intro with little snippets from the season that you should skip. The main menus have the theme song in 2.0 Dolby Stereo. The other menus are static and silent.

Audio Commentaries

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Stereo, there are 4 audio commentaries for the following episodes:

Deleted Scenes

    There are 6 deleted scenes in this set for the following episodes:

    They are presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Stereo soundtrack.

Disc 6

    All special features on Disc 6 are presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Stereo, unless otherwise specified.

Featurette - “Christopher Reeve: Man Of Steel” (10:22)

    A look at the original Superman, Christopher Reeve, and how he was integrated into the show for a ‘passing of the torch’.

Featurette - “Faster Than A Speeding Bullet: The Visual FX of Smallville” (11:23)

    A look at the visual FX used in the show, including an interview with Visual Effects Producer Mat Beck.

Featurette - “The Chloe Chronicles” (14:55)

    These are a series of video diaries by Chloe documenting the history of Smallville and various odd occurrences related to the meteorites.

Gag Reel (6:06)

    The usual on-set stuff ups.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Smallville: The Complete Second Series has been available in R1 for a while now. However, it looks as if it is largely identical to the R4 release, except for the NTSC/Region Formatting difference. Buy whichever you can find the cheapest.

Summary

    Smallville: The Complete Second Season is good teenage fun, but unless you’re an avid fan of the comic, it’s unlikely to appeal once you cross the mid-20s barrier.

    Video is good, although a touch soft and at times a little grainy.

    The lack of any form of surround sound here was a big waste, and a 5.1 Dolby Digital mix would not have gone astray.

    Plenty of extras here, though, to sift through after the episodes are over.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

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