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Arrow: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray Review)

Arrow S4Just in time for Arrow’s fifth season on The CW, viewers can catch up with the thrilling series as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases Arrow: The Complete Fourth Season on Blu-rayTM including Digital HD and DVD on August 30, 2016. Averaging 4 million viewers weekly for each original episode, Arrow is The CW’s #3 show among Total Viewers, behind The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and the #2 series on The CW amongst Adults 18-34.* The release contains all 23 exhilarating episodes from the fourth season, and The Flash crossover episode; plus over an hour and a half of extra content, including the 2015 Comic-Con Panel, never-before-seen featurettes, deleted scenes, and a gag reel. 

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Season 

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?

When his allies or former team members come to Coast City pleading for his help, Oliver Queen returns to Star City a different man than when he left it.  He’s now happy and in a different place with his super hero philosophies and what he’s seeking in life.  Arrow’s fourth season finds Oliver having to face some of his biggest challenges yet. He’s against a majestic supernatural villain that wants to hit him where it all counts.  Queen will have to deal with problems arising from his sister, a break up, a major death and running for election to become the mayor of the city for which he doth not fail.  Oh and he’s still dealing with fallout from his bro, John Diggle.  There’s a lot going on in this fourth season, but it works.

One thing is for certain, they are starting to brighten things up just a bit on the show.  There’s a bit more humor and things feel a little more friendly.  Make no mistake, this is still Arrow.  Its the toughest and darkest of the shows in this universe (that it created).  However, there’s a difference on the horizon as we are introduced to Curtis who will become Mister Terrific.  Not only does he bring continued diversity in more than one way, but he also brings a much lighter spirit to the team as well.  Curtis is a fun guy, with quips and a real sort of thrill and geek out nature for what he’s slowly being incorporated into.  He’s bumped to a series regular next season, which is good, because the show will benefit from more of him.

We’re deep into the show and in that point where most good television shows really find their best efforts coming out.  Still, season 2 is still where the bar is set, but this current one kept it in close view.  All the shows primary cast members had pretty solid arcs this season and nothing to wild or crazy to report on.  Some of them had some gut punches, but the prime focus and meatiest stuff came with Oliver in the fourth season.  And, as usual, the action on this show still rocks (for network TV).  As long as they keep trucking along and not falling off the path, the show is bound to find that season 2 level of greatness again.  And if not, they can still doe some good.

I found Arrow’s fourth season to be a nice bounce back after the long and trudging third season.  The show is starting to slowly lighten up and become more fun.  While we still haven’t toppled season two’s Deathstroke in terms of villainy, Damien Dark wasn’t too bad.  With the welcome addition of Mister Terrific to the roster as well as potential crazy shake ups that may come with Flashpoint, Arrow still remains a good action-drama with a super hero team to check in on every week.

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Episodes

Green Arrow

The Candidate

Restoration

Beyond Redemption

Haunted

Lost Souls

Brotherhood

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

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

Dark Waters

Blood Debts

A.W.O.L.

Unchained

Sins of the Father

Code of Silence

Taken

Broken Hearts

Beacon of Hope

Eleven-Fifty-Nine

Canary Cry

Genesis

Monument Point

Lost in the Flood

Schism

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail: Arrow is the darkest and most rugged in appearance of the 4 current shows in the running DCTV universe. This fourth season finds a bit of an uptick in brightness, though its still pretty dark.  Details run pretty rampant though, as costumes show every bit of texture and pattern.  Surfaces also tack a lick and show their fine damage.  Forests, dirt paths and such also come in pretty nicely detailed.

Depth:  Movements are free, spacey and cinematic in appearance. The dimensional aspects on display here are decent.

Black Levels: Blacks are very inky and the detail that resonates through them. Despite being a very dark show, detail is not hidden and no crushing was found.

Color Reproduction: Everything errs on the side of dingy, but still manages a bold appearance in its own right. Greens and reds stick out.  This season is a bit more bright and colorful than the previous three, if not by that much.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones appear natural and have a consistent look throughout each episode of the season.  Some episodes may vary on their given look or lighting angle they take for story purposes.  Detail is always high with freckles, wrinkles, blemishes make-up and stubble.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French 2.0 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Castillian) 2.0 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 2.0 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish (Castillian), Spanish (Latino), Dutch, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

Dynamics: Arrow is a an action-based show and definitely delivers in that aspect.  All explosions, gunshots, punches, kicks and arrows being plucked carry a fine layer of detail and distinct follow through on their sound.  Effects are heightened but they weave in perfectly with the tracks scoring and vocals.

Low Frequency Extension: Explosions, arrows piercing things, magical bursts of energy, impaling, guns, vehicle engines and all the like thunderously pound through the sub woofer.

Surround Sound Presentation: From the rear comes mainly ambiance, but some battle scenes and environments provide some interesting action sounds and other kinds of noises to give a good sense of place. The front speakers wonderful connect the action, following it around and accurately depicting pitch and volume.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is crisp, clear and at an ideal volume.

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Extras 

Arrow: The Complete Fourth Season is a 4-disc set that includes an Ultraviolet Digital Copy of each episode.

Disc 1

Deleted Scenes

  • Green Arrow (HD, :27) 
  • Beyond Redemption (HD, 1:14) 
  • Haunted (HD, 3:19) 

Disc 2

Star Crossed Hawks (HD, 11:20) – A discussion on the Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Vandal Savage characters (their history and such), faithfully adapting them into the show and how they fit into the universe.  They also cover the visual effects, super powers and costuming for the characters.

Star Crossed Hawks: The Hunt for Vandal Savage (HD, 11:02) – The story of Hawkman and Hawkgirl’s nemesis, Vandal Savage, from his comic portrayal over the years to his new characterization in The Flash, Arrow and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

Deleted Scenes

  • Blood Debts (HD, 1:26)

Disc 3

Deleted Scenes

  • Sins of the Father (HD, :52) 
  • Code of Silence (HD, 1:35)
  • Taken (HD, :45) 

Disc 4

Arrow: 2015 Comic-Con Panel (HD, 23:19) – Warner Bros Television presents a Night of DC Entertainment at Comic-Con 2015 for Arrow.  Ah, can’t wait to see this exact same intro with Flash actors.  “You’re going in to Hall H”.

Smooth Criminal: The Damien Darhk Story (HD, 14:57) – This explores Damien’s character from his origins in the comics to his portrayal in Arrow.

Gag Reel (HD, 6:02)

Deleted Scenes

  • Canary Cry (HD, 7:23) 
  • Monument Point (HD, :34) 
  • Schism (HD, 1:12)

Summary 

If this is your fourth rodeo in picking up the Arrow series on Blu-ray, then you know the drill.  The extras are nice, fitting and on par with the previous season’s.  Picture and audio quality are “Terrific” as always.  I find these DC universe television shows currently airing on The CW to be a kind of collector’s item (Who knows how long they’ll stream for once the era has passed), so I always say pick them up for the right price.  Usually with these there are some Black Friday steals come November.  But if you gotta have it now, you do pretty much get your money’s worth.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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