'Arrow' has quickly become one of the more popular shows on television in addition to be one of the more-likable superheroes as well. That may be due to the excellent talent of the cast and crew, and their hardworking and talented ideas to bring this character and universe to life, which of course is dark, gritty, and mysterious like most other DC endeavors as of recently. If you're a fan of 'Arrow', you'd be able to see the similarities in some of your favorite films and television shows.
I would venture to say that 'Arrow' has similarities to Batman, with a hint of 'Lost' in the mix as well, pushing the series forward. I know that may sound strange, but we have a very wealthy guy who moonlights as a hero/vigilante, stopping crime wherever and whenever he can, while trying to solve the most vicious crime cases in the city with fancy gadgets. Then there is the 'Lost' aspect, with too many flashbacks to our main character on an island, which I felt took away from the more entertaining moments of this season.
That all being said, this third season of 'Arrow' is quite good, highly entertaining, and plays more like a big set up for the next season or two. As season three begins, we have Oliver/Arrow still fighting crime and solving cases as he revels in how the politicians and civilians perceive him and praise him. Sure, the leaders of the city can't say they want vigilantes running wild, but they acknowledge how well Arrow has kept Starling City safe, well at least for a short minute, that is until the new villain named Werner Zytle (Peter Stormare) shows up and causes chaos and destruction.
Early in the season, there are quite a few shocks with some of the characters, which was a lot of fun to watch and see where the writers took us, which mostly involved Laurel (Katie Cassidy) who becomes her alter ego of Black Canary. But perhaps the best new character is a former Superman, named Brandon Routh who comes into play as Ray Palmer/The Atom. He steals every scene he's in, and his story arc is quite incredible. Season three does a good job of answering some questions we've had about our characters from the past seasons, but like in 'Lost' fashion, each aspect raises even more questions.
There were a few more flashback sequences than I would've liked to see here, but they were almost always necessary to forward the story and set up what's to become an epic fourth season. I wouldn't say this third season was as action-packed as the previous two seasons, as this season focused more on character development and adding even more characters to the show, but almost everything is executed very well. Stephen Amell still owns the 'Arrow' character and was always a delight to see where he'd go next. 'Arrow: Season Three' has all of the right elements that keep this series on top.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Arrow: The Complete Third Season' comes from Warner Home Video with 4 - 50GB Blu-ray discs and the digital copy of every episode. The discs are housed in a blue plastic cast with two inserts, one of which gives episode information as well as character names. There is also a cardboard sleeve the set is housed in.
'Arrow: Season Three' comes with a very good 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This third season is in line with the past two seasons of the show, which looks great, although there are some minor issues. Detail is almost always vivid and very sharp throughout or when scenes are well lit. Closeups reveal individual hairs, beads of sweat, makeup blemishes, and facial lines quite well. The costumes in the show also look excellent, showing each stitch nicely. Wider shots also look excellent as well, never going soft in the well-lit segments.
That begin said, there is a lot of low-lit scenes in this show, which gives way to some video noise and some slight crush. In these scenes where the CGI effects are in full effect, things can look a bit soft. Other than that, the image looks great. Colors seem to pop off screen when they can and are well-balanced and saturated. Black levels are deep and inky for the most part and the skin tones are natural, although there is some green tint that crops up for obvious reasons here. Overall, this video presentation is quite strong, leaving it with solid marks and free of any major issues.
This release comes with an excellent lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and is everything want it to be. Sound effects and ambient noises are loud, robust, and pour from the surround speakers quite often, leaving you fully immersed in your viewing room. When the arrows fly through the air, we get some excellent directionality and crossovers in the speakers that will make you feel like something flew over your head. The big action sequences also pack a powerful punch on every level. Each sound is layered and prioritized to give the most realistic and best sound.
The score always adds to the suspense and drama to the show without drowning out any dialogue or sound effects. Speaking of the dialogue, it's always crystal clear and easy to follow, and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, or high shrills. The LFE is excellent and the dynamic range is very wide, with some good rumbles of bass in each episode. This audio presentation has high marks for sure.
Commentaries - There are two commentary tracks here. One is on 'The Climb', the other is on 'The Calm' with some of the show's producers, who talk about setting up the story and production.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 16 Mins.) - There are ten deleted scenes in total, spread across each disc. If you're a fan of the show, these are worth watching.
The Man Beneath the Suit: The Atom's First Flight (HD, 8 Mins.) - This extras centers on Ray or The Atom and looks into his character. There are also some interviews with Brandon Routh himself.
Nanda Parbat: Constructing the Villain's Lair (HD, 23 Mins.) - Here is an in depth look at one of the best sets that was constructed for this season.
Second Skins: Creating the Uniforms of 'Arrow' (HD, 18 Mins.) - Here we look at the wardrobe designed by costume designer Maya Mani for the show.
Gag Reel (HD, 4 Mins.) - Some fun missed cues, flubbed lines, laughter, and mistakes.
'Arrow' at Comic Con 2014 (HD, 29 Mins.) - Here is the Comic Con panel of 'Arrow' from last year with the cast and crew talking about the upcoming season and answering fan's questions.
'Arrow: The Complete Third Season' was a lot of fun, although it wasn't the most action-packed installment we've seen yet. There is a lot of character development here, with some great new characters entering the frame. This season is one big set up for future seasons that should boost ratings and show off new heroes. I can't wait. The video and audio presentations here are both excellent and the extras are informative and entertaining. If you're a fan of the show, this season comes highly recommended!