Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Smallville: The Complete Second Season

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
9 out of 10
Extras Rating:
9 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: N/A

Starring:
Tom Welling as Clark Kent/Kal-El of Krypton
Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang
Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor
Sam Jones III as Pete Ross
Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan
Eric Johnson as Whitney Fordman
Annette O'Toole as Martha Kent
John Schneider as Jonathan Kent
John Glover as Lionel Luthor

Special Features:
All 23 episodes on six discs, two with commentary, five with deleted scenes

The Chloe Chronicles - webisode investigations

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Visual FX of "Smallville"

Christopher Reeve: Man of Steel

Gag Reel

Other Info:
Widescreen
Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
Spanish and French Subtitles

Synopsis:
This is the second season of the Smallville series that aired on the WB network in 2001. Twenty-three episodes are included on this DVD. They include the following:

Vortex, Heat, Duplicity, Red, Nocturne, Redux, Lineage, Ryan, Dichotic, Skinwalker, Visage, Insurgence, Suspect, Rush, Prodigal, Fever, Rosetta, Visitor, Precipice, Witness, Accelerate, Calling, Exodus

"Girls, homework, kryptonite. Don't miss a single second - the entire second season! Clark Kent lives in Smallville, but in many ways he's out of this world - and so is this spectacular series that provides a fascinating spin on Superman lore. This 6-disc collection includes all 23 second-season episodes plus bonus materials worthy of a hero. Among the episode highlights: Clark grapples with his true calling. Is he on Earth to serve humanity or perhaps destroy it? Lex gets married - twice! Lana moves in with Chloe, adding a new dynamic to their Clark dilemma. Martha and Jonathan receive miraculous news. Lionel pulls devious strings. And Pete becomes a keeper of the Clark secret. One thing we can't keep secret: the legend grows stronger in Smallville!"

The Movie:
Being a big Superman fan, I've always enjoyed the Smallville TV series. I watched the first season regularly, but got sidetracked and missed most of the recent seasons. So getting the second season on DVD was quite a treat for me because it allowed me to catch up on all the episodes I missed. Plus, with my 2 year old son becoming another Superman fan, I wanted to have these shows for him to watch when he’s a bit older.

The second season seems to get progressively better from the first. The "monster of the week" formula, though fun, is mostly put aside in favor of stories exploring Clark's past and the development of his powers. In this season Clark discovers his heat vision, the effects of red kryptonite, and the origins of his homeworld. This voyage of self-discovery is quite exciting, especially for Superman fans like me. The Superman legend is also given a twist as they reveal that Kal-El may have been sent to Earth to conquer it, not save it. It's quite a different spin on the character that is intriguing.

Out of the second season episodes, I'd have to say one of my favorites is "Rosetta," mainly because of the cameo appearance by Christopher Reeve. He plays a Stephen Hawking-like character that decodes a message from Krypton meant for Clark. It's nice to see Reeve, the definitive Superman, passing on the torch to Tom Welling. Not only is it a defining moment for the character, but for Superman fans as well. Making the scenes even more fun are the subtle inclusions of the Superman theme and the Krypton theme by John Williams. Look for more Superman logos placed here and there throughout the show.

Other highlights in the series include "Red," written by Superman comic writer Jeph Loeb. On this show a class ring with a stone of red kryptonite changes Clark's personality and releases his dark side. If you ever wanted to see what an evil Clark would be like, this is for you. (I guess he turned evil in Superman 3, too, but I'm trying to forget that.)

Tom Welling continues to show that he's a great Clark Kent. Seeing how good he and the rest of the cast are makes me realize more and more that I'd like to see these folks make the next Superman movie. It's a natural progression for the show and I'd really like to see Welling put on the Superman costume on the big screen for the first time.

The Extras:
The following extras are included along with the six DVD set:

Deleted scenes – A few deleted scenes are included on each disc. Though brief, they give you a little glimpse of what you missed on the show.

Commentary – Two episodes on this DVD have commentary – Red and Rosetta. Tom Welling, Kristin Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum, James Marshall, and Greg Beeman provide one commentary for the two episodes. Their conversation is fast paced, informative, and funny. While Kreuk is very quiet most of the time, Rosenbaum is constantly cracking jokes and keeping things lively. Providing the other commentary are Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. It's not quite as dynamic as the previous commentary, but is still very informative and of interest to Smallville fans. Both are definitely worth checking out.

The Chloe Chronicles - webisode investigations – I never checked these out, but they were apparently features online at the Smallville website. In this video feature, Chloe interviews characters associated with the people featured in recent episodes. It is set up as if it is a video for class and Chloe is an investigative journalist. While it didn't really grab my attention, I thought it was a clever idea and a nice tie-in to the TV show.

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Visual FX of "Smallville" – This 15 minute video discusses the special effects featured in the TV show. They get into detail about how they created the "bullet time" effect of Clark running through frozen rain, Clark jumping across buildings in a single bound, and flying through a tornado as a pickup is torn apart. They're able to accomplish quite a bit on a low budget and their effects help raise the quality of the show.

Christopher Reeve: Man of Steel – This short video discusses Christopher Reeve, his association with Superman, and how he was recruited for the guest cameo on the show. Many of the cast and crew are interviewed saying how honored they are that Reeve took part in the show, thus kind of giving them his blessing. I was impressed with just how much Superman knowledge Reeve really has and I, too, think it's a fantastic thing for Reeve to take part in the series.

Gag Reel – This is your typical blooper video containing line flubs, falls, and other slip ups by the cast. One of the most amusing is Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor doing his best Austin Powers imitation on a plane. Be warned, though, the gag reel contains some language that you wouldn't typically hear on the TV show.

The Bottom Line:
If you're a fan of Superman, this is a required addition to you collection. Even if you're not a big fan, this is an excellent show worth checking out. You'll probably be a big Superman fan afterwards anyway.

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