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DVD Shopping Bag: Smallville Season 8 on Blu-ray

My Season 8 Trade Paper Back

By Robert T. Trate     September 01, 2009
Source: Mania.com

Smallville Season 8 on DVD and Blu-ray
© Bob Trate


“With Kristin Kreuk and Michael Rosenbaum leaving the series, season eight has a lot to prove right away”. Those words were written by yours truly just shy of a year ago about season eight of Smallville (see review of season seven). Honestly I felt I could give Smallville another chance but with it being on the same night as my favorite non genre show I decided that watching Smallville as a complete season is the best way to do it. A digital trade paper back for the series if you will. I can burn through the season in a week instead of having to suffer through it throughout the year. After all, isn’t that really the best way to watch television? I know several people who tend to watch Lost this way. Smallville season eight, released last week on Blu-ray and DVD, did have a lot to prove and it started out on the right foot. Unfortunately it wavered and fell back into the same trappings that have plagued the show since season one.
Season eight opens with the Green Arrow’s (Justin Hartley) “Justice League” trying to find Clark Kent (Tom Welling) and find out if Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) did indeed die. Luthor Corp is already in the Arctic trying to piece together what happened to the greatest comic book villain in the history of syndicated television. Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) is in a secret facility and under examination for her rapidly growing intelligence. The show is shoulder deep in dilemmas, problems, superheroes and to top it all off Clark is once again powerless. Though this might seem like a typical device to get Clark into trouble it really fleshes out Tom Welling’s abilities as an actor and helps him completely assume the role of leading man for the show. Since Welling always had Rosenbaum to fall back on when the scenes got tough, I didn’t think he could carry the show on his own. For the first ten episodes he proves it time and time again. Even the scene stealing and fan favorite Justin Hartley, in a much more expanded role, takes a back seat to Welling. Welling finally has some room to grow his character. Gone is the on and off again relationship with his precious Lana (Kristin Kreuk). Smallville and the Kent Farm are now simply bases of operations and not the centerpieces to the story. Clark is grown up and the stories are reflecting that.
Metropolis is the new centerpiece to the show, despite it looking worse than the old Flash TV series set. It is here that Clark and Lois (Erica Durance) compete for by lines and each other’s affections. Welling really has perfected his hidden smirk and uneasiness around Durance completely falling for her a little bit each time. Durance has Lois Lane down pat yet never really reveals whether she is in love with Clark or not. This could be a conscious choice by the actress but one has to wonder how long she can keep her affection tied down. Perhaps she is waiting for Superman to enter into their love triangle.
No, season eight is not a bunch of episodes playing with, will they or won’t they get together. With Rosenbaum’s departure, he probably wanted to either grow as an actor or his hair back, the show has become a quest for his villain. The search for Lex is on despite his departure, but Rosenbaum’s presence is certainly felt over the course of the season. They are quick to flash images of a man connected to machines and wearing a green ring with an “L” on it to remind you that he is out there, somewhere. This might sound like the producers took a page from Inspector Gadget’s Doctor Claw but it works. It is subtle though what really drives home the Luthor presence is Cassidy Freeman’s portrayal of Tess Mercer. Chosen by Lex from “obscurity” she takes over Luthor Corp and the Daily Planet. Freeman is cunning and carries her own against a cast which has worked together for over seven seasons. This isn’t like inserting Supergirl (Laura Vandervoort) into last season. Tess Mercer is a force to be reckoned with and carries Luthor’s villain legacy to new heights.
Now you are probably thinking this review or thoughts on the series don’t reflect Mania’s own Stephen Lackey who reviewed the season while it was on. I often wondered what he complaining about. Since I wasn’t watching I couldn’t really chime in with my own two cents. The season starts off good but then does a huge belly flop and lands right back into that dismal place called Lanaville. Chloe and Jimmy Olson (Aaron Ashmore) are getting married and who turns up? No, not Doomsday, I’ll get to him a minute, Lana. Bam! The show reverts back to its love lorn romance between Clark and Lana. Suddenly the leading man that Welling has become goes back to that kid from season three. This drags on for five episodes and totally kills the vibe for the season. Lois disappears for most of this time ruining the only real weight they could have added to the show. This could have been Clark’s turmoil deciding between these two different women. Instead they reveal that Lana was kidnapped and given superpowers, again. Though we all know Kreuk left to peruse her movie career (insert laugh here). Her return only hinders the overall plot for the season. It is as if they only had Kreuk for a brief time and had to put her in somewhere. Why would the producers think they needed her to continue the story? News flash: Clark doesn’t end up with Lana. It is time to move on. This season was their chance to escape from the Dawson’s Creek formula and they blew it.
Once Lana leaves the show it slowly crawls back from the brink and continues with the Doomsday plot it was hatching at the beginning of the season. Sam Witwer plays a paramedic named Davis Bloome who, thanks to the numerous press releases, will become Doomsday. Though at first this seems utterly ridiculous to have Doomsday appear so early in the Superman mythology. It surprisingly works. Bloome is both dark and charismatic and instantly develops a relationship with Chloe. They have several scenes between them that outshine seven seasons of Clark and Lana. Bloome’s back story is well thought out but as Doomsday arrives, during Chloe’s wedding, everything gets put on hold for Lana. The final smack down between Clark and Doomsday does occur but it loses all its punch as it just took too long to get there. Remember that I watched it all at once not over the course of a season.
There are a lot of great superhero moments in season eight. The best being the appearance of the Legion, however their screen time was not nearly long enough. Oliver Queen, aka the Green Arrow, really shines throughout the season as a man torn between his definition of justice and being a hero as strong as Clark. Hartley’s performance warrants his own show and season eight proves that. Unfortunately there are not enough guest villains in the series. The show has long moved past the freak of the week but with the insertion of Chloe’s foundation helping these people the door is left open to more of them in future story lines. Hopefully we will see more villains of the Toy Man’s (Chris Gauthier) caliber in season nine. Season eight started out great but to suffer through another year waiting week to week to see if the writers can escape their now historic formula isn’t worth the time. I’ll wait another year and then check out the latest trade paper back Blu-ray season.  
For those of you that can’t wait season nine of Smallville begins on the 25th of September withthe episode titled “Savior”.
Another Day ~ Shannen Doherty, David Ferry, Julian McMahon, and Kristina Nicoll
Big Boss [Blu-ray] ~ Bruce Lee
Black Mama, White Mama/Foxy Brown ~ Sid Haig
Coffy/Friday Foster ~ Booker Bradshaw
Cotton Comes to Harlem ~ Godfrey Cambridge
The Evil That Men Do ~ Antoinette Bower, Charles Bronson, Ernesto Gómez Cruz, and Roger Cudney
Fist of Fury [Blu-ray] ~ Bruce Lee
High Crimes [Blu-ray] ~ Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, James Caviezel, and Amanda Peet
Holy Flame of the Martial World **SHAW BROTHERS** ~ Siu Chung Mok
The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes: Set 1 ~ Peter Vaughan
Slaughter/Slaughter's Big Ripoff ~ Jim Brown
Sin Nombre ~ Paulina Gaitan, Marco Antonio Aguirre, and Leonardo Alonso
State of Play ~ Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren, Ben Affleck, and Rachel McAdams
State of Play [Blu-ray]
Truck Turner ~ Isaac Hayes, Yaphet Kotto, and Alan Weeks
Ah My Goddess Complete Collection: Volumes 1-6 ~ Aya Hisakawa
Fate Stay Night (Viridian Collection)
Freedom, Vol. 2
Kaze No Stigma, Vol. 2: Fire
His & Her Circumstances DVD Collection (Anime Value/Kare Kano)
School Rumble: First Semester (Viridian Collection)
School Rumble: 2nd Semester - The Complete Collection
The Wallflower: The Complete Series
Adventures of Batman and Robin: The Joker/Fire and Ice
Adventures of Batman and Robin: Poison Ivy/The Penguin
Batman: The Animated Series - The Legend Begins
Batman: The Animated Series: Secrets of the Caped Crusader
Batman Beyond: The Movie ~ Stockard Channing, Kevin Conroy, Teri Garr, and George Takei
Ben 10: Alien Force, Vol. 4
G.I. Joe A Real American Hero: The M.A.S.S. Device ~ Chris Latta, Michael Bell, and Frank Welker
Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights ~ Charlie Adler, Greg Burson, Brian Cummings, and Eddie Deezen
Scooby-Doo Meets the Harlem Globetrotters
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: Season One, Vol. 3 - Hello Mummy
Scooby-Doo Meets Batman
Shaun the Sheep: Little Sheep of Horrors ~ Shaun the Sheep
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Season 8
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye ~ Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Chris Latta, and Corey Burton
What's New, Scooby-Doo?, Vol. 7: Ghosts on the Go
What's New, Scooby-Doo?, Vol. 2: Safari, So Good
What's New, Scooby-Doo?, Vol. 10: Monstrous Tails
Lilacs in the Spring ~ Sean Connery, David Farrar, Alan Gifford, and Kathleen Harrison
Blacula/Scream Blacula Scream ~ William Marshall
Death Scream
Methodic ~ Brandon Slagle, Niki Notarile, Rachael Robbins, and Charles Cyphers
To Dance with Death ~ Brinke Stevens
Braveheart [Blu-ray] ~ Mel Gibson
Gladiator [Blu-ray] ~ Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, and Oliver Reed
M*A*S*H [Blu-ray] ~ Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Sally Kellerman, and Kim Atwood
Monster (2003) [Blu-ray] ~ Charlize Theron
Monster (2003)
A Tale of Cinderella ~ Joel Aroeste
Alien Planet ~ Wayne D. Barlowe, Curtis Clark, James Garvin, and Jamie Haines
Doctor Who: The Deadly Assassin (Episode 88) ~ Tom Baker
Doctor Who: Image of the Fendahl (Episode 94) ~ Tom Baker
Doctor Who: Delta and the Bannermen (Episode 150) ~ Sylvester McCoy
Fire and Ice [Blu-ray] ~ Leo Gordon, Hans Howes, Alan Koss, and Cynthia Leake
Humanity's End ~ Jay Laisne, Rochelle Vallese, Cynthia Ickes, and William David Tulin
Impact ~ David James Elliott, Natasha Henstridge, and Benjamin Sadler
All in the Family: Complete Fourth Season ~ Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner, and Sally Struthers
All in the Family: Complete Second Season (3pc)
All in the Family: Complete Fifth Season
All in the Family: Complete First Season
All in the Family: Complete Sixth Season
All in the Family: Complete Third Season
Brothers and Sisters: The Complete Third Season ~ Calisita Flockhart, Sally Fields, Rob Lowe, and Rachel Griffiths
C.S.I. Crime Scene Investigation: The Complete Ninth Season ~ Marg Helgenberger, George Eads, Paul Guilfoyle, and Eric Szmanda
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The Ninth Season [Blu-ray]
Fraggle Rock: Complete First Season
Fraggle Rock: Season 3
Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series Collection
Heroes - Season Three ~ Jack Coleman, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Hayden Panettiere, and Milo Ventimiglia
Heroes: Season 3 [Blu-ray]
Rescue Me: Season 5, Vol. 1 ~ Denis Leary, Mike Lombardi, Steven Pasquale, and Daniel Sunjata
Supernatural: The Complete Fourth Season ~ Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beaver, and Misha Collins
Supernatural: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray]
Two and a Half Men: The Complete Sixth Season ~ Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, and Angus T. Jones
Gaumont Treasures: 1897-1913 ~ Felix Mayol
TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Science Fiction (2001 A Space Odyssey / Soylent Green / Forbidden Planet / The Time Machine 1960) ~ Keir Dullea, Charlton Heston, Walter Pidgeon, and Rod Taylor
TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Horror (House of Wax 1953 / The Haunting 1963 / Freaks / Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1941) ~ Vincent Price, Julie Harris, Wallace Ford, and Spencer Tracy
TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Murder Mysteries (The Maltese Falcon / The Big Sleep / Dial M for Murder / The Postman Always Rings Twice 1946) ~ Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Grace Kelly, and Lana Turner
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.


Showing items 1 - 10 of 23
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miket@jartrealestate.com_home 9/1/2009 5:02:40 AM

Smallville drives me crazy. Isn't it time for Clark to become Superman already and if Welling doesn't want to suit up fast forward the show ahead 5 years and recast Clark and call the show Metropolis.

StarlightGuard 9/1/2009 5:03:18 AM

it was funny...the other day, my brother was here and he leaned his head in momentarily to bitch and moan about how much Smallville Season 8 cost...

I was surprised, knowing full well they were on up in the 50 dollar range...I basically told him to "shut the hell up," as it's been that costly since I bought seasons 1 and 2 some years ago...

oh look...lots of Batman cartoons....Hanso Shall Be Pleased...

and no comedy and\or love Mania style? why not?

I've never watched Supernatural...is anyone particularly fond of it?

a female friend of mine was surprised at how I've never seen, and went on to state how it'd likely be something I would watch, and then continued on to say how "pretty" the guys are...

hanso 9/1/2009 6:01:33 AM

$50?  Is he buying Blu ray?  I think you can get the DVD at $40 the most, unless you go to Borders where they rape people with their movie prices.  Right now you can find Smallville season 1-7 for $20 at Best Buy, Amazon and probably Target. Your brother may want to hold out till next year to buy Season 8 for $20.

I'm checking out Disney's Earth and State of Play this week.

Oh and Movielord, there is no good way to watch Smallville.  It sucks.  I still feel bad for everyone that watched the entire last season waiting for a Clark vs. Doomsday showdown and then got stuck with a 1 minute scene in the season finale.

StarlightGuard 9/1/2009 8:10:31 AM

yeah, 50 is the regular price at Best Buy, Walmart, etc...and that's standard dvd...Blu Ray costs more...up to 20 bucks more....

I don't know about Borders, but Barnes and Noble up in Fayetteville is equal rape happy....I wouldn't dare buy a movie from them....no matter how hard it is to find anywhere else....I'll go to Amazon before I do that....and I don't even like to buy stuff online

littlemikey979 9/1/2009 8:21:09 AM

I am i alone in thinking that the final "fight" between clark and doomsday was the lamest thing on tv.

hanso 9/1/2009 8:29:11 AM

Amazon is awesome to buy movies & books through and they almost always are cheaper than stores.  I bet you can find Smallville 8 for $40 or less.  It's rare that they have their new TV dvd's for more than $40.

I usually get all my stuff from them and I've never had a problem.

Hobbs 9/1/2009 8:57:39 AM

I agree with hanso Starlight. Wait a year and you'll be able to get it for 20 bucks. I regulary see Smallville seasons at Best buy for under that price especially the first seasons. 

As for Supernatural...noticing like I have the things you seem to be into I think you would enjoy it.  I've watched each season and looking forward to the new one.  Like any TV series you have your bad episodes but its FUN....sorry hanso I know the fun issue is a touchy subject but I hope you will cut a TV show some slack.  Except for Lost, which I expect better of, all I usually want out of a TV series is to be entertained and Supernatural delivers on that.

StarlightGuard 9/1/2009 9:46:43 AM

well considering I really haven't bought any movies....lately, I don't think I'm in any danger of buying Smallville yet...

like i keep saying, I keep waiting to see what's going to be on blu and just wait for that to come out...it doesn't keep me from buying some things that likely won't be on blu though....I don't see a demand for The Golden Girls on blu ray :)

(yes, I admit it....I watch the dirty old women...it's funny, shut up -- I also like MASH)

still don't have Twilight on dvd...mostly because the blu ray version is only five bucks more than the two disc edition (criminals) so I'll just spend the extra five and get it over with

will finish completing my Futurama, X-Files, Buffy, and Angel collections though...

I may check out Supernatural....not sure when, but you know...someday...

karas1 9/1/2009 11:29:57 AM

Supernatural is great.  The guys are really hot.  But knowing that would not attract you Starlight, let me say that it is a show that has the ability to do many things.  Some episodes are really scary and some are really funny and some are in between.  Most of them are pretty good, well written. 

The actors are good enough to pull off both drama and comedy and not all actors can.

It's a show about things that go bump in the night but mostly it's about the relationship between two brothers

Oh, and the guys are really hot.  Sometimes they have a hot chick guest starring to keep the 18-34 male viewers happy.

Give it a try.  It's much better than Smallville.

Kara S

StarlightGuard 9/1/2009 11:58:02 AM

girls....show them a pretty face and they're all a quiver, totally unlike us manly men, right guys?

(starlight, we want you to direct the next Twilight movie)


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