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The Adventures of Superman - The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons


TITLE: THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN - THE COMPLETE THIRD AND FOURTH SEASONS


Info:

DVD Release Date: June 20, 2006 (Warner Bros. Home Video)
Color
MSRP: $39.95
Number of Discs: 5
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: 706 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 20 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: Subtitles in English, French and Spanish (episodes *only*); Closed Captioned.
Special Features: Adventures of Superman: The Color Era; Faster than a Speeding Bullet: The Special Effects of Adventures of Superman; Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman (excerpts from the new documentary produced by Bryan Singer and Kevin Burns) and a "Superman: Braniac Attacks" trailer.


Introduction:

Faster than a speeding bullet ... more powerful than a locomotive ... it's SUPERMAN and he's flying back onto the DVD shelves in this 5-disc Season 3 & 4 collector set! "The Adventures of Superman" was broadcast from 1952 through 1958 and stars George Reeves as Clark Kent, the mild-mannered reporter who would turn into Superman to "save the day." Also starring in this timeless classic are Noel Neill as Lois Lane, Jack Larson as Jimmy Olsen, John Hamilton as Perry White and Robert Shayne as Inspector Bill Henderson. The third season of "Superman" was actually the first season to be broadcast in full color. Some say the series wasn't the same after the color episodes, but I disagree, it's just as good! The third season produced 13 half hour episodes. Also included on this set are the 13 season four episodes that were produced! So we get a combined set, 26 episodes, to match the first two seasons!


Episodes Included:

The episodes you can find on this set are:

Disc 1
1 - Through the Time Barrier (Season 3)
2 - The Talking Clue (Season 3)
3 - Lucky Cat, The (Season 3)
4 - Superman Week (Season 3)
5 - Great Caesar's Ghost (Season 3)
6 - Test of a Warrior (Season 3)

Disc 2
7 - Olsen's Millions (Season 3)
8 - Clark Kent, Outlaw (Season 3)
9 - Magic Necklace, The (Season 3)
10 - Bully of Dry Gulch, The (Season 3)
11 - Flight to the North (Season 3)
12 - Seven Souvenirs, The (Season 3)

Disc 3
13 - King For a Day (Season 3)
14 - Joey (Season 4)
15 - Unlucky Number, The (Season 4)
16 - Big Freeze, The (Season 4)
17 - Peril By Sea (Season 4)
18 - Topsy Turvy (Season 4)

Disc 4
19 - Jimmy the Kid (Season 4)
20 - Girl Who Hired Superman, The (Season 4)
21 - Wedding of Superman, The (Season 4)
22 - Dagger Island (Season 4)
23 - Blackmail (Season 4)
24 - Deadly Rock, The (Season 4)

Disc 5
25 - Phantom Ring, The (Season 4)
26 - Jolly Roger, The (Season 4)
SP - Adventures of Superman: The Color Era
SP - Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Special Effects of "The Adventures of Superman"
SP - Look Up In The Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman
SP - "Superman: Braniac Attacks" trailer


Packaging:

The cover art for this release is similar to that of the 2nd season set. But this time it features a split shot of "Clark Kent" and "Superman". It's in full color and a nice design. The case, again, is flip-fold and you open it up to reveal all the episode titles and a little description of them, as well as the discs. And the overall design is that of a comic book. It's a fun design and consistent with the first few releases. Disc 1 features George Reeves as Superman. Disc 2 features George Reeves again, this time as Clark Kent. Disc 3 features Noel Neill as Lois Lane. Disc 4 features Jack Larson as Jimmy Olsen and Disc 5 features John Hamilton as Perry White. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-6; Disc 2 contains episodes 7-12; Disc 3 contains episodes 13-18; Disc 4 contains episodes 19-24 and Disc 5 contains episodes 25-26 and the three special features included on this set.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The main menu is the same as before. It's almost like a "live" comic book. Once again, the menu selections feature a few seconds video clip. The main selections to choose from are "Play" which let's you play all of the episodes without being interrupted. "Episodes" in which you go to another menu and select the episode you want to watch. "Languages" is where you can choose from French or Spanish subtitles, or a spoken language of English. The final selection, found on Disc 5, is "Special Features" in which it takes you to another menu to select the bonus features you want to watch. It's a really cool design, again, and I'm glad they kept it!


Video and Audio Quality:

Well, this is the first time "The Adventures of Superman" is in color on DVD (the first two seasons were in black and white), and the video is better than I expected. A little soft at times and a little fuzziness here and there, but overall, it's quite good! The audio itself is a little low at times, but all you really need to do to correct that is turn up the volume. Each episode runs around 25-26 minutes in length, so they are definitely uncut, no need to worry there. Unfortunately, there still aren't any chapter skips!


Special Features:

* Adventures of Superman: The Color Era (approx. 7 minutes)
Well, there's not much to say about this ... it's a documentary feature on what it was like to go from Superman in Black and White to Superman in color (such topics range from rebuilding all the sets in color as well as re-shooting the special effects and Superman's "new suit"). It features interviews with Noel Neill ("Lois") and Jack Larson ("Jimmy"). Also interviewed is Gary Grossman ("Superman Serial to Ceral"), Jan Alan Henderson (actor/historian), John Field (TV historian), Jim Nolt (TV historian) and David Chantler (a writer on the series).

* Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Special Effects of "The Adventures of Superman" (approx. 7 minutes)
A really nice bonus feature on the special effects used on "The Adventures of Superman"! It features, again, interviews with Gary Grossman, Jan Alan Henderson, Noel Neill, Jack Larson and Jim Nolt but this time, Thol "Si" Simonson who oversaw all of the special effects on "The Adventures of Superman" is also interviewed. Such topics included discussion of the time wires suspending George Reeves broke and why special effects are so important to a series like this.

* Look, Up In The Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman (approx. 6 minutes)
This features excerpts from the new documentary produced by Bryan Singer and Kevin Burns. The main gist of the feature itself is to chronicle the story of Superman throughout the decades the character has been around. It's nice this set included some exceprts from it. I was going to watch the special anyway, but these portions just make me all the more excited to watch. Featured throughout are Bryan Singer (director of "Superman Returns"), Dean Cain (Superman in "Lois & Clark"), Annette O'Toole (Martha in "Smallville"), Brandon Routh (Superman in "Superman Returns"), Margot Kidder (Lois of the original "Superman" movie), Jack Larson (Jimmy in "Adventures of Superman") and Noel Neill (Lois in "Adventures of Superman").

* "Superman: Braniac Attacks" trailer (approx. 36 seconds)
Basically what it says in the title, it's a trailer for the special made-for-DVD release of "Superman: Braniac Attacks".


Final Comments:

Powerful. Wonderful. Colorful. Those are the words Warner uses on the back of the box to describe this set - and I totally agree! It was all of the above. I love the design of the set, hands down. But what makes this set SO worth it, is the bonus features. The three main special features are enough alone to make you want to buy this set! They may seem like the generic "documentary" used on a lot of sets, but I love that kind of stuff, so I'm thrilled to see a few of those types on this set! Overall, another fantastic release by Warner Brothers and here's hoping they top themselves for the final two seasons!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 (Shawn Eaton) on 06/14/06

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000EU1Q3Q/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=175050


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