[06/18/03 - 12:00 AM]
'Smallville' Tops Latest Slate of DVD Releases
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- Warner Bros. Home Video is set to release "Smallville: The Complete First Season" on DVD on September 23. The news comes after early indications the company would not release the series on the format until early 2004.

The six-disc set will feature all 21 first season episodes in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby 2.0 surround. Extras on the set, which retails for $64.92, include audio commentary on the first two episodes, deleted scenes from the pilot, an interactive tour of Smallville, storyboards, TV spots and a link to the official Smallville site featuring added bonuses. Based on the information provided by Warner Bros., this is essentially the Canadian release of the series' first two episodes with the remaining 19 episodes tacked on.

"Smallville" is just one of many TV series getting the DVD treatment in the past couple of weeks. Here's a breakdown of the latest news:

-- "Highlander: The Complete Second Season" (July 29, MSRP $89.95) - Anchor Bay Entertainment will serve up year two of the syndicated drama next month. The massive nine-disc set features all 22 second season episodes presented in 4:3 full screen and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. Extras include talent bios, complete scripts for several episodes and DVD-ROM links to other downloadables.

-- "The Best of Ripley's Believe It Or Not!" (August 26, MSRP $19.95) - Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment will release an 88-minute compilation of the TBS' series best moments including such segments as the "Lizard Man" and the "Wardrobe in a Bottle." Extras include a DVD-ROM link to three additional segments on the series' official web site as well as a $10-off coupon good towards admission to any "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" museum in the U.S. or Canada. Final picture/sound specs were not available.

-- "Jim Henson's The Storyteller Collection" (August 26, MSRP $24.95) - Columbia TriStar will also serve up all nine episodes of the short-lived HBO series directed by Anthony Minghella ("The English Patient") and narrated by John Hurt. Final picture/sound specs were not available.

-- "Mr. Show: The Complete Third Season" (August 26, $34.95) - Warner Bros. Home Video is set to release all 10 episodes of the HBO series' third season in a two-disc set presented in full screen and Dolby 2.0 stereo. A large slate of extras include audio commentaries on all ten episodes by the cast and crew, the 30-minute "Best of Mr. Show: Fantastic Newness" documentary featuring new material, the "Drugachusettes" music-only track with score by Eban Schletter, footage from Mr. Show at the 1997 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival and several TV spots for the series.

-- "C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation - The Complete Second Season" (September 2, $89.95) - Paramount Home Entertainment will offer up the second season of the highly-rated drama, this time in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen with Dolby 5.1 surround. Four featurettes ("Behind-the-Scenes," "Make-Up," "Music" and "Special Effects") round out the extras on the six-disc set.

-- "The Outer Limits: The Original Series - The Complete Second Season" (September 2, $69.95) - MGM Home Entertainment will release the second (and final) season of the 1960s classic on three DVD-18 discs. All 17 episodes are remastered in their original 4:3 aspect ratios and English mono sound. No extras are mentioned aside from a booklet with episode and airdate information.

-- "The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror" (September 2, $14.95) - 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has a compliation of the annual feature on the animated series. A list of the specific segments were not available however the disc will include a bonus montage of "Kang and Kodo's finest moments."

-- "Stargate SG-1: The Complete Fourth Season" (September 2, $69.95) - MGM will also offer up the fourth season of the popular sci-fi series. The five-disc set features all 22 episodes in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby 5.1 surround. Extras include include a documentary, audio commentary on each episode by the filmmakers and cast (a first for the series), plus two "Secret Files of the SGC" featurettes.

-- "Xena: Warrior Princess - The Complete Second Season" (September 9, MSRP $89.95) - Anchor Bay has the full sophomore year of the syndicated drama. Final picture/sound specs and extras are not available.

-- And finally in a post to the official "Freaks & Geeks" web site, co-creator Judd Apatow told visitors his short-lived series may be headed to the format after all. You can read the complete posting by clicking here. Previously, "Geeks" was said to be in "music rights hell" as far as getting a DVD release. Apatow also mentions "Undeclared" may be headed to DVD as well.

  [june 2003]  


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