Arrow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review

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Oliver Queen is from a rich family, who was in a terrible shipwreck. For five years he was stranded on a remote island in the pacific and his family thought he was dead until a ship passing by finds him. After he returns to his home in Starling City, he is barely recognized by anyone from his old life and has clearly changed since being lost. He finds out that his city is being controlled by the rich and the poor are being taken advantage of. Armed simply with a bow and arrows, he becomes a vigilante dubbed by the media as The Hood and promises to save his city.

Arrow is a show based on the DC comic book character The Green Arrow and is on the CW. It has similar tones to the show Smallville but with a much darker feel. It was created by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg. Stephen Amell is the lead and he plays the part perfectly as a tough survivor who is trying to play dual roles without letting his enemies find out who he is.

Now, the show refers to him as The Hood but in this review, it’ll cause less confusion calling him The Green Arrow. It’s my only big qualm that he never called himself that to stay true to the comic books. That being said, I really do like the show a lot and it does a great job of staying away from being mediocre. It uses a variety of characters and enemies from the expanded DC universe from the well-known to the more obscure. Also being a huge fan of comic books, it’s easy for me to geek out over the choices of villains.

Directors and cast
Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen and Arrow/The Hood
Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance
Colin Donnell as Tommy Merlyn
David Ramsey as John Diggle
Willa Holland as Thea Queen
Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen
Paul Blackthorne as Detective Quentin Lance
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak

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The 1080p AVC transfer of the Arrow looks incredible. For the most part, it’s a very clean video with crisp lines and fine details. The coloring in the scenes from the present is bold and very warm. Even during some of the lower lit scenes, the greens are still strong. During the flashbacks on the island, the coloring is intentionally dull to differentiate the time periods. I personally think this is done to make the time in which the Queen is there not look glamorous… In the filming and maintained in the transfer is a slight grain that I think is a perfect touch. I think if it wasn’t there, the show would lose that grittiness it needs. The only place it gets the video into a little trouble is during the flashbacks. The flashbacks are heavy with the grain and contrast that at times it can be almost too much. I’d say that this is a successful transfer and done well.

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The DTS-HD MA audio track is strong and utilizes the entire home theater. With it being an action show, there are a lot of cross channel movements of effects as well as during the scenes with gunfire and arrows of course. This also includes explosions with a solid bass track and highs for separate pings and ricochets. The mix itself could be a little cleaner at times when some of the sounds need to be separated but overall the sound is excellent.

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The extras on the release are good, quality extras that have a lot of behind the scenes info.

Supplements
Arrow Comes Alive! – This documentary with executive producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg goes in depth behind the creation and conception of the series.

Arrow: Fight School/Stunt School- this featurette shows what the actors had to go through to make the show as action packed as possible.

2013 Paley Festival Q&A – this is a highlight featurette of the panel from the Paley festival.

Deleted scenes- these are scenes high were cut from some episodes this season.

Gag Reel- the gag reel is short but it’s a funny featurette.

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Edition Ratings
TV-14

Disc Details
All 23 complete episodes
9-disc set (4 BDs, 5 DVDs)
UltraViolet Digital Copy

Video Resolution
1080p MPEG-4 AVC

Audio
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles
English SDH
French
Spanish

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This is a comic book fan’s dream show and it’s well done. I think it’s done an excellent job of taking a character with not the biggest following and giving him a pretty cool origin story. One thing I didn’t mention earlier is that the show seems like the Green Arrow could easily be swapped out as Batman. I don’t know if the original idea was to find a character that could be made into a darker hero but it works. With the character being a vigilante and he fights crime with no limits as long as he has achieved his goal. The release is excellent with an exceptional transfer, great audio mix, and not a lot but quality extras. If you’re into comic books or even on the fence about the show, I highly recommend picking this one up.

Order your copy from Amazon

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About the author

MEDIA JOURNALIST & STAFF WRITER | Michael is a fanatic about all cinema. He collects many things from movies to Steelbooks to 1/6 Scale Collectibles and vinyl collectibles. He loves pop culture, writing, reviewing films & collectibles, and journalism. Anything that is even slightly related to these things are always on his radar and most definitely a comic book nerd. He is also, of course, a Batman junkie and will chat it up about pretty much anything.