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The Flash: The Complete First Season

The Flash: The Complete First Season
Studio: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Format: Available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, and for Digital Download
Home Video Release Date: September 22nd, 2015

Synopsis: Central City forensic investigator Barry Allen is, always charming and - as a result of a scientific experiment gone awry - now the fastest man alive! He's The Flash, zigzagging through the action-packed new series from the creative team behind Arrow and based on the supersonic DC Comics character. With his life shadowed by his mother's murder, and his father wrongly convicted of the crime, Barry finds that his newfound power of super speed grants him the ability to move through Central City like an unseen guardian angel. Barry quickly discovers he's not the only "metahuman" created by the explosive disaster...and that not everyone is using their new powers for good. Now, to protect the innocent, Barry and his close friends who know his secret race to combat evildoers, in one astonishing adventure after another.

The Flash: The Complete First Season Blu-ray release will include 1080p Full HD Video with DTS-HD Master Audio for English 5.1. The 4-disc Blu-ray will feature a high-definition Blu-ray and a Digital HD copy of all 23 episodes from season one.

The Flash stars Grant Gustin (Arrow, Glee), Candice Patton (The Game), Rick Cosnett (The Vampire Diaries), Danielle Panabaker (Justified, Necessary Roughness), Carlos Valdes (Arrow), with Tom Cavanagh (Ed, The Following) and Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order). Based on the characters from DC Comics, The Flash is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (Arrow, Brothers & Sisters, Everwood, The Mysteries of Laura), Andrew Kreisberg (Arrow, Fringe), Sarah Schechter (Arrow, The Mysteries of Laura, Pan) and David Nutter (Game of Thrones, The X-Files).

Special Features:
*The Fastest Man Alive!
*Creating the Blur
*The Chemistry of Emily and Grant Screen Test
*Behind the Story: The Trickster Returns!
*DC Comics Night at Comic-Con 2014 Presenting Gotham, The Flash, Constantine and Arrow
*Audio Commentary
*Deleted Scenes
*Gag Reel
Includes UltraViolet

The Flash: The Complete First Season Blu-Ray Review
By James Harvey

The Flash is, arguably, not only the best superhero show on television right now (sorry, Arrow and Supergirl), but it can also stand up with some of the best superhero movies to date. A fantastic cast, fun stories, great special effects and excellent character work, The Flash came out of the gate utterly confident and, man, it manages to stand its ground episode after episode. Whether a die-hard comic fan or a newbie, this series is one that anyone can turn on and just get pulled right into.

CSI investigator Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) is endearingly book-smart, somewhat awkward late and – as a result of a traumatic accident – the fastest man alive! With his life shadowed by his mother's murder and his father wrongly convicted of the crime, Barry finds that his newfound power of super speed grants him the ability to move through Central City like an unseen guardian angel. Barry quickly discovers he's not the only "metahuman" created by the explosive disaster, however – and not everyone is using their new power for good. Now, Barry and some close friends who know his secret, do battle with a host of evil "metahumans" that build to a pretty earth-shaking finale.

I'll be brief in reviewing the series - there's so much to cover, and so much that should remain a surprise - since I think this is a show that is worth going into as fresh as possible. And also, there's just so much I love about this series that a simple review just won't do it justice. I could ramble on and on about how much this show gets right, but it's really something that needs to be seen. It's such a tonal change from what we've seen before from DC Comics that is feels so fresh, so new.

A spin-off of the equally popular Arrow TV series, The Flash offers a fun, upbeat take on the classic DC Comics superhero, and he actually comes off as DC Comics' answer to Spider-Man. The show is able to mold Allen into an every-man, with work problems, girl issues and regular situations on top of the metahuman mayhem he has to deal with every week. What also helps is the show's developing narrative, which helps keep the show's formula from getting stale. True, there is a "freak of the week" vibe to some of these episodes, but it's the character development and subplot progression that really makes this show something special. As with any show, we do get some weak episodes, but overall the show stays remarkably consistent and pretty solid from the get-go. What's also awesome about The Flash is that it also just goes for it when it comes to embracing it's comic book origins. We even get an episode focused on Gorilla Grodd, a telepathic ape! Gorilla Grodd!

What also helps is just how likable the entire cast it. Allen enjoys being The Flash, and his team equally enjoy helping out. Cisco Ramon and Caitlin Snow, two genius friends who aid Allen in his crime-fighting, provide plenty of levity and comedic bits, giving ample balance for the odd times the show goes a little dark. Jesse L. Martin is also huge stand-out for this series. Playing Allen's adoptive father, Martin brings a sense of weight and legitimacy to the series and creates an incredibly inspiring authority figure. Tom Cavanagh, who plays a sort of mentor to The Flash and his friends, provides a great contrast for Martin's character.

I've only touched upon the show very lightly because, honestly, there's so much about this show that should be discovered on its own. The amazing chemistry between the cast members, the show embracing its comic book roots, the twists and turns, all of it is best left as spoiler-free as possible, which will be hard to do since some of the biggest surprises made pretty big headlines in the nerd world. That said, this is an excellently realized show. Characters feel real, the chemistry is on point, and a lot of the down-to-earth aspects of the story are pretty relatable. Toss in some pretty great sci-fi fun and it's easy to see why this show garnered so much critical acclaim - and I believe a handful of awards - during the first season. It's a rare show that hits the ground running right out of the gate, and we can only hope future seasons will be able to stay the course.

Now, looking at the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment's Blu-ray release of The Flash's first season, it's a great release. Given that Blu-ray is becoming a second fiddle to digital releases, it's nice to see the studio still putting some work into these titles. The package art is fantastic, with a nice foil sheen that really makes the art pop.

Starting with the audio and video aspect, the image is fantastic and as clear as can be. Color looks natural and full, and black levels are dark and inky. And everything look so crystal clear, so much so that Barry's costume arguably looks better here than TV previous broadcasts and online releases. The special effects even look better, even if the budget is a shade more apparent. In terms of audio, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is simply awesome. The dialogue is nice and clear, and the action sequences produce a nice, clear sound. Barry's powers also sound impressive an the sound track manages to keep up with his fast blurs across the screen. The show has never looked or sounded better than it has right here.

In terms of bonus content, The Flash: The Complete First Season comes with several deleted scenes, featurettes, screen tests, a gag reel, and a few other goodies spread out over the entire four-disc set. The bonus features kick off with the excellent commentary on the pilot, by Executive Producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg and DC Comics CCO Geoff Johns, which sets the bar for a nice collection of bonus content. Featurettes include a look at the special effects, the history of The Flash, Mark Hammill's return as The Trickster (reprising the role from the original 1990s The Flash series), the show's appearance at the San Diego Comic-Con and a short look at the chemistry between Gustin and Emily Beckett (Felicity Smoak from Arrow). The featurettes are very well done, and actually provide a nice overall picture of the series, tackling the show from an assortment of different angles. The comic origins, the show itself, it's debut, it's special effects, some of the cast, it's great!

The deleted scenes, included on each disc, provide a few extra moments from the series to watch, but it's also understandable why most were chopped out. The gag reel is also fairly entertaining, for its short run time, and provides some great moments that emphasize the great chemistry among the cast. The collection is wrapped up by a collection of trailers. All in all, a solid collection of bonus content.

I gotta say, I am surprised the crossover episode where The Flash appeared on Arrow wasn't included here. That should be here. It's not a huge loss, but disappointing nonetheless.

Overall, The Flash: The Complete First Season is a fantastic releases in terms of both the main feature and the bonus content, all of it housed in flashy package (pun intended). The show itself is an absolute blast from start to finish. Yes, some of the episodes are can be a shade weak, but overall the show is consistently strong from start to finish, with an epic season finale that DC Comics fans will love. The bonus content nicely supports the main feature, giving a broader look at the show's main characters, as well as showing how this show came together behind-the-scenes. Add in a spectacular audio/video transfer, and this is a can't-miss Blu-ray release. The Flash is easily the best superhero show on television, and is just a great show - period - and it definitely deserves to be added to one's home video collection. The Flash: The Complete First Season comes Highly Recommended.

The Flash: The Complete First Season is now available to own on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Download from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.


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