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Supernatural: The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray Review

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  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: VC-1
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Discs: 4
  • Studio: Warner
  • Release Date: September 1, 2009
  • List Price: $79.98
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Overall
rating4
The Series
rating3-5
Video Quality
rating3-5
Audio Quality
rating3-5
Supplemental Materials
rating3-5

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

More Screen Captures (12 Total)

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG and thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

rating4-5

The CW’s successful series Supernatural returns for a second go on Blu-ray with this release of Supernatural: The Complete Fourth Season. In Season Four the Winchester brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), dive deeper into the darkness as Dean is pulled form the pits of hell by a powerful angel, Sam begins to explore his psychic powers with the help of a beautiful demon named Ruby and the two brothers are thrust into a battle between Heaven and Hell.

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The Winchester brothers must stop the powerful demon Lillith from breaking sixty seals that will release Lucifer and bring on the Apocalypse, wiping out all mankind. Meanwhile, the brothers continue to crisscross the country hunting down all sorts of weird, evil, and unusual phenomena. From encounters with Dracula in an ode to fifties B-movies entitled “Monster Movie” filmed entirely in black and white, a seductive Siren, and a wishing well that makes dreams come true — until they turn sour — to traveling back in time to see the instant where their mother made a deal with the yellow-eyed demon that would start them down this path, the Winchester brothers have their hands full with dark, heart-pounding adventure in Supernatural: The Complete Fourth Season.

Over the course of their first two seasons, Supernatural struggled somewhat to remove itself from comparisons to The X-Files, but starting in Season Three and now in Season Four the series seems to have hit its stride. Although there is still a resemblance to The X-Files, Supernatural relies less on paranoia and conspiracies and more on what the title implies — the things that go bump in the night. Never mind the minor inconsistencies such as Dean’s disbelief in God or the Devil, despite his complete acceptance that angels and demons exist. Supernatural is a world of its own and even the stand-alone episodes are a joyride.

Video Quality

rating3-5

BDDefinitionsupernatural4-g1080

Just as the previous release of Supernatural: The Complete Third Season arrived, so does The Complete Fourth Season from Warner, in a 1.78:1 1080p/24 high bitrate VC-1 encoding that looks incredibly strong. Perhaps it is in my imagination, but Season Four looks just a tad bit softer than Season Three, but otherwise, it full of detail from, clothing to facial features. The series’ atmospheric production is captured with strong shadow details, inky and stable blacks and great contrast that shows no signs of clipping. Flesh tones are accurate, colors are vibrant, the original 35mm grain structure is well preserved and there are no signs of compression artifacts. There are moments, however, where grain level jumps considerably and there is some vertical noise in the picture as well. This looks to be something in the source more than in the transfer, but it is difficult to tell exactly where in the chain it came from.

Audio Quality

rating3-5

BDDefinitionsupernatural4-i1080

Sadly, Warner has also chosen to once again provide the excellently mixed Supernatural with nothing more than a lossy English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.  Although dialogue is clean ad intelligible and the overall mix engulfing with a good use of discrete panning in the surrounds, separation sometimes breaks down during louder passages. High frequencies are just a tad harsh and ambience a little tight and squeezed, but overall, it is effective in capturing the mood of Supernatural.

Supplemental Materials

rating3-5

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Kudos to Warner for providing so many of the supplements on Supernatural in 1080p high definition, but the bulk of the interesting material resides in Disc 4’s The Mythologies of Supernatural: From Heaven to Hell feature.

The supplements available on this release are:

Disc 1:

  • Commentary on “In the Beginning” with Executive Producer Eric Kripke and Writer Jeremy Carver
  • Additional Footage (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
    • “Lazarus Rising” Extended Scene 36 — Dean and Castiel in the barn
    • “In the Beginning” Extended Scene 9 — Mom Sneaks out of the house.
    • “In the Beginning” Extended Scene 17 — Kid talks while leaning on tree
    • “Monster Movie” Deleted Scene 6 — Sam and Dean walking to the pub
    • “Monster Movie” Deleted Scene 18 — Sam and Dean watch mummy on a security camera.
    • “Yellow Fever” Extended Scene 17 — Dean trips out reading.

Disc 2:

  • Additional Footage (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
    • “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester” Extended Scene 18 — Castiel and Uriel in the park.
    • “Heaven and Hell” Extended Scene Scene 17 — Dean, Anna, Ruby and Sam in the barn.
    • “Heaven and Hell” Deleted Scene 29 — Castiel and Uriel in the forest.

Disc 3:

  • Additional Footage (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
    • “On the Head of a Pin” Extended Scene 5 — Uriel and Castiel have a job for Dean.
    • “The Monster at the End of This Book” Extended Scene 1 — Sam and Dean in comic book store.
    • “The Monster at the End of This Book” Extended Scene 37 — Zacharia tells chuck to keep writing.

Disc 4:

  • Behind the Story:
    • Commentary on “When the Levee Breaks” with Executive producer Robert Singer and supervising producer Sera Gamble
    • Commentary on “Lucifer Rising” with executive producer Eric Kripke
    • The Mythologies of Supernatural: From Heaven to Hell (1.78:1; 1080i/60) — Discussion on the theology and myth referenced in Supernatural.
  • Additional Footage (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
    • “The Rapture” Deleted Scene 2 — “You hung over or something?”
    • “Lucifer Rising” Extended Scene 32 “Castiel and Chuck”
  • Extras:
    • Gag Reel (1.78:1; 1080p/24)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

rating4

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Supernatural: The Complete Fourth Season keeps The CW’s paranormal series alive with fresh stories and slick production. It arrives on Blu in a solid transfer from Warner that should satisfy fans of the series.

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