Blu-ray Review: ARROW: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

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Based on the characters from DC Comics,  ARROW is executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, Wendy Mericle and Sarah Schechter. The series stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Arrow, Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance/Black Canary, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Willa Holland as Thea Queen, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, with John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn, and Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance.

After defeating his most formidable foe to date and riding off into the sunset with longtime flame Felicity Smoak, Oliver Queen (aka The Arrow) left Star City with the hopes of beginning a new life. But will Oliver ever truly be able to leave behind his past as The Arrow, and, if so, what becomes of the team he has worked so hard to assemble? Will military vet John Diggle, Oliver’s sister Thea Queen, and lawyer-turned-vigilante Laurel Lance continue Oliver’s fight without him? And with Malcolm Merlyn having ascended to the top of the League of Assassins as the new Ra’s al Ghul, is anyone really safe?

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In the fourth season, Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), the leader of H.I.V.E., arrives in Star City as the new big bad and this guy causes all kinds of grief and heartache for Team Arrow. He has plans to destroy everything and start over from scratch and it’s up to Team Arrow to stop him. Neal McDonough did a fantastic job playing this cold-hearted supernatural snake. There was another two-part crossover episode featuring the return of Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) and these were also a lot of fun. We get the introduction to the villain Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) who ends up being the main villain in the first season of Legends of Tomorrow. Not only do we get to meet this immortal dirtbag but we see the return of several fan favorite heroes as well, including John Constantine played perfectly by Matt Ryan.

The DC superhero Vixen (Megalyn Echikunwoke) gets to make her live-action debut mid-season and does an outstanding job, along with the crazy cool special effects that come with her. Megalyn Echikunwoke already voices the character on her own animated series that airs on CW Seed and she does a great job bringing the character to life. This is a live-action character that I’d like to see more from in the future! Emily Kinney reprises her role as Brie Larvan aka Bug-Eyed Bandit that we previously saw The Flash go up against. She has a few new tricks up her sleeve this time around.  Amy Gumenick also makes another appearance as Cupid for a sharp Valentine’s episode. I wouldn’t mind seeing this fun character show up at least once every season because she has so much to offer plus she cranks out these great cheesy one-liners. There’s more characters who show up but you get the idea of how loaded this season is.

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The writing for season four continued to be interesting and things got even a little more darker at times for Oliver and company than what they went through in season three which was pretty dark. All of the main characters either had some family drama going on or relationship issues to deal with this season and none of it really ended well for any of them this time. Some characters made their return from the grave and some sadly made their departure from the series. Once again, Arrow dealt with more deaths and farewells this season and one  of them was a really sad goodbye. It’s crazy how this all works. By the way, those two Smoak girls definitely bring some drama with them. They’re about the only thing about this series that get on my nerves. Oliver still gets his flashback scenes that kind of links to whatever it is he’s going through in each episode. The talented cast did another amazing job with these interesting characters this season that truly was an emotional rollercoaster for them as well as the viewers.

So what else makes a show like Arrow tick? The sets and locations for this series continued to look impressive and large in scale, especially for a television series. Team Arrow got a brand new high-tech headquarters and a lot of neat new gadgets thanks to Cisco and Team Flash. Every field member also got a costume upgrade this season as well as their own code names which means Oliver finally started going by Green Arrow and it’s about time. Even Diggle borrowed half of Magneto’s helmet so he could hide his true identity while fighting crime. There was also some great action and impressive special effects included with each episode. When they brought in the supernatural element this season it meant there would be more visual effects used and it all looked great.

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The packaging comes with a nice slipcase – the same kind all of the other home video release like this from WBHE come in. The front features the artwork you see up top and the back includes season four details, an image of the Green Arrow, and list of special features. There’s also a booklet inside that includes a list of the episodes with synopsis, original airdates, more images, and series credits. All four of the Blu-ray discs have a green tint and feature a silhouette of the hero and logo. Inserting each disc, the menu screens were simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Arrow: The Complete Fourth Season went in a little bit of a different direction and brought in a new supernatural element with the introduction of Damien Darhk and Neal McDonough did a great job bringing this comic book villain to life on the small screen. It was also great to see Matt Ryan play John Constantine one more time. All of the main cast continued to bring it as far as their characters go. Every team member is important in this series and has something to contribute so it’s not like there’s a few filler bodies just hanging around doing nothing like some series do. Once again, Stephen Amell does an outstanding job as the hero and he has made this character his own – he is the Green Arrow! So, I wonder how he’ll do as Mayor? One thing is for sure and that’s the fourth season included more characters (old and new) and more crazy action and well choreographed fight scenes and that’s a plus as far as I’m concerned. This four-disc Blu-ray set releases on August 30th and is worth checking out so go ahead and add it to your Arrow home video collection.

Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Run Time: 4 Discs / 23 Episodes / 1018 Minutes

  1. Green Arrow
  2. The Candidate
  3. Restoration
  4. Beyond Redemption
  5. Haunted
  6. Lost Souls
  7. Brotherhood

8a. Legends of Today (The Flash; 1st part of 2-hour crossover event)

8b. Legends of Yesterday (Arrow; 2nd  part of 2-hour crossover event)

  1. Dark Waters
  2. Blood Debts
  3. A.W.O.L.
  4. Unchained
  5. Sins of the Father
  6. Code of Silence
  7. Taken
  8. Broken Hearts
  9. Beacon of Hope
  10. Eleven-Fifty-Nine
  11. Canary Cry
  12. Genesis
  13. Monument Point
  14. Lost in the Flood
  15. Schism

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (1.78:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 / French and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Special Features: Good Stuff! There’s over an hour and a half of extras that include the 2015 Comic-Con Panel, never-before-seen featurettes, deleted scenes, and a gag reel.

  • Star Crossed Hawks featurette
  • Star Crossed Hawks: The Hunt for Vandal Savage featurette
  • Smooth Criminal: The Damien Darhk Story featurette
  • Arrow: 2015 Comic-Con Panel
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Digital HD Copy

 

 

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