Case Number 24578

SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON (BLU-RAY)

Warner Bros. // 2011 // 961 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // September 28th, 2012

The Charge

Chow down.

Opening Statement

The Winchester brothers, Sam (Jared Padelecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), return for another round of monster-slaying. This time, they're up against an ancient evil that predates angels, demons, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They're Leviathan and they're back on earth to eat some fools.

Facts of the Case

Season Six ended with Castiel (Misha Collins), the Winchesters' angel pal, hopped up on some bad mojo. Having devoured the energy of the Leviathan after opening a portal to Purgatory, the newly powered cherubim develops a raging God complex. Worse, he inadvertently unleashes the Leviathan on the unsuspecting populace. The monsters have a taste for human flesh and they see a prime opportunity to a) regain their former homeland, and b) dine like kings.

As is typically the case, Sam, Dean, and surrogate father figure Bobby (Jim Beaver) are the only ones standing in the way of complete global meltdown. And before they can even face off with the Leviathan (who, by the way, are indestructible), they'll have to contend with the usual rogues gallery of demons, angels, monsters, and time travel.

The Evidence

This is the second season since showrunner Sera Gamble took over the reins from series creator Eric Kripke, and I have to say she's done a pretty good job. Supernatural remains a fun show and appointment viewing for the Johnson household. While it may not score the critical and pop culture acclaim of the Whedon-verse supernatural shows, this is the best genre television has to offer. There's deep mythology to play with, monsters-of-the-week, season-long arcs, copious blood and gore, and a nifty sense of humor.

The real juice of the show comes from its two leads. By now, Ackles and Padalecki can do this stuff in their sleep, but still seem to be having a good time. They're not mailing anything in, and for a seven year old show with ratings far from stratospheric, that's nothing to sneeze at. Then again, Supernatural has a rabidly devoted fan base (diminutive as it may be), so I'm thinking these guys feel the need to bring it each and every week or suffer the wrath of a crazy high-schooler with a GPS and cattle prod.

For this season, the new heavy is the Leviathan. They look like people, can take on different identities, bleed black ink, can't be killed, and instantly turn their faces into meat grinders. It's a good creature, its mythology birthed wholly from the minds of the writers, and tethered to the Biblical setting the show has trafficked in. The Leviathan threat is omnipresent, but Sam and Dean still have time to go on individual adventures, battling Japanese demons, the Jersey Devil, Osiris the Egyptian god, killer clowns, and even themselves; though it all leads to a final confrontation with the Leviathan. If you're fully invested in the series and its characters, you'll be rewarded; lots of old faces come back in big ways, but not everyone survives.

So, yes, another winner. There's a hefty amount of enjoyment to be had here, with no real downturn in quality. And if you find the recent crop of new fall shows about as appealing as whooping cough, why not check this series out from the beginning?

WB's Blu-ray release is a top performer. The 1.78:1/1080p transfer is tight all around, pushing out some razor-sharp detail and resolution. The CGI effects aren't bad -- especially considering the budget -- but the boosted picture quality doesn't do the Leviathan transformations any favors. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio is an active mix that effectively pumps out the frantic action and generic-TV-sweeping-soundtrack. Extras: A cool, if superfluous "Creature Fest Drive-In," which arranges a handful of behind-the-scenes extras into a grindhouse drive-in animation scheme; three episode commentaries; a lengthy documentary on the direction of the show; an interview with the composers; outtakes and deleted scenes. Good stuff.

Closing Statement

Supernatural: The Complete Seventh Season is smart, funny, bloody genre TV with a top-shelf Blu-ray. Keep it coming!

The Verdict

Not Guilty. Carry on wayward sons.

Review content copyright © 2012 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Video: 100
Audio: 95
Extras: 95
Acting: 90
Story: 90
Judgment: 90

Perp Profile
Studio: Warner Bros.
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)

Audio Formats:
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)

Subtitles:
* English (SDH)
* French
* Spanish

Running Time: 961 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Commentaries
* Deleted Scenes
* Featurettes
* Gag Reel

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0460681/combined