DC's Legends of Tomorrow - Season 1 (Blu-ray) (2016)

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Released 31-Aug-2016

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Adventure Featurette-DCís Legends of Tomorrow: 2015 Comic-Con Panel
Outtakes-Gag Reel
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Jonah Hex: Hex Marks the Spot
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Fantastic Voyage: Touring the Waverider Set
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-History in the Making
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2016
Running Time 681
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Dermott Downs
David Geddes
Gregory Smith
Glen Winter
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Arthur Darvill
Brandon Routh
Victor Garber
Caity Lotz
Wentworth Miller
Dominic Purcell
Casper Crump
Franz Drameh
Ciara Renťe
Martin Donovan
Falk Hentschel
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $49.95 Music Blake Neely


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080i
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
French
Norwegian
Spanish
Swedish
Portuguese
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

††† Another offshoot of The CWís DC television universe, Legends of Tomorrow effectively plays out like the networkís answer to the Justice League, as it brings together a ragtag team of characters from Arrow and The Flash for their own separate action-packed adventure. And in addition to its Justice League influence, thereís also a welcome Doctor Who vibe to the material, which is no coincidence since co-creator Andrew Kreisberg is a lifelong fan of the iconic BBC program. Legends of Tomorrow certainly lacks the ďpopĒ of The Flash and isnít quite a home run right out of the gate, but itís a worthy addition to this superhero universe, and thereís plenty of light-hearted fun to be had thanks to brisk pacing and often impressive special effects. Still, it does fall short of snowballing into something overly memorable or remarkable.

††† In the 22nd Century, immortal tyrant Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) rises to prominence and conquers the world. A Time Master named Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) loses his wife and child at the hands of Savage, and becomes determined to defeat the genocidal maniac in the past to prevent the planetís destruction. Alas, the all-powerful Time Council denies Hunterís request to alter the timeline, compelling the time-travelling adventurer to go rogue. Needing help in his quest, Hunter rounds up an unlikely group of heroes: Ray Palmer/The Atom (Brandon Routh), Sara Lance/White Canary (Caity Lotz), Firestorm (Victor Garber and Franz Drameh), Leonard Snart/Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), Mick Rory/Heatwave (Dominic Purcell), and Savageís eternal enemies Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee) and Carter Hall/Hawkman (Falk Hentschel).

††† Suffice it to say, the mission to defeat Savage is not as easy as it sounds, prompting a battle that stretches across many different time periods and timelines. This allows each episode of Legends of Tomorrow to have its own distinctive visual style - thereís even an episode set in the Old West, while another adventure takes place in a grim futuristic vision of Star City. ďArrowverseĒ outsiders are advised to think twice before watching Legends, as the show is connected to both The Flash and Arrow, and a Supergirl crossover is on the horizon. The story would be easy enough for the uninitiated to follow, but the team of characters have a lot of baggage, and were effectively established in the other shows. (Hunter is a brand new character to this TV universe, however.) Not to mention, Savage was first set up in a two-part crossover event that ran across The Flash and Arrow. So yeah, itís advisable to do your homework before watching this one.

††† Luckily, the ensemble cast is on-point, especially Darvill, who actually featured on Doctor Who as one of the Eleventh Doctorís companions in the fifth and sixth seasons of NuWho. Heís a smart pick for Hunter, and Darvill embraces the chance to play such a role, submitting a highly charismatic performance. He also handles the more dramatic material with ease. In addition, itís nice to see Prison Break alumni Miller and Purcell here, with Miller in particular doing extremely well as the charming thief. Another highlight is the perpetually likeable Routh, getting a much-deserved second chance to play a superhero after the infamous misfire of Superman Returns, while Garber provides requisite gravitas as Professor Martin Stein. Out of the guest stars, itís Johnathon Schaech who makes the biggest impression as Jonah Hex, and his single appearance will leave you wanting to see more of him. There are appearances from other Arrowverse characters, including Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), but thereís no sign of Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) this season, despite his appearance in the early promotional trailer which actually suggested a whole different direction for this series.

††† Legends of Tomorrow was reportedly very expensive for The CW, with the series carrying the same budget as a twenty-three-episode season despite only having sixteen episodes. Especially considering the television origins and fast turnaround time, the special effects are consistently impressive throughout the colourful, enormously creative action scenes. And when the heroes are locked in action mode, the show often favours intricate tracking shots featuring many of the titular legends in one frame. Furthermore, the period recreations are fun, including many different decades in the 20th Century, as well as the aforementioned Old West. However, digital effects arenít perfect - some of the rotoscoping work is noticeably rough at times.

††† On a less positive note, some aspects of the show are undeniably cheesy, and more often than not, it doesnít feel as if the heroes are in any danger. While this does make for some enjoyable action beats, it also detracts a certain punch from the mayhem. In addition, some aspects of the season donít really work or fail to gain full traction, including the contrived love tangents. Additionally, try as it might, Legends lacks the emotional punch of The Flash, an issue which is likely traceable to the sizeable ensemble cast. Perhaps more pertinently, though, despite the constant change of scenery, there isnít enough story material to fill these sixteen episodes (which is a shorter run than the usual CW programs in the first place). As a result, Legends does entertain, but itís not as riveting as it should be - in fact, it often feels disposable. Season 2 of Legends (apparently a skin-of-its-teeth renewal, due to this seasonís massive budget) will reportedly only consist of thirteen episodes, which may make for tauter storytelling. Fingers crossed that the story itself is more engaging.

††† If youíre seeking a gritty, Christopher Nolan-esque superhero show, Legends of Tomorrow is not for you. This is instead a bright, colourful series which remains bloodless for the most part, even though it does have its brutal moments, particularly in the last few episodes. Iíll certainly keep watching, especially if the roster of heroes continues to change up (címon Constantine!). Thereís room for improvement, but I still enjoyed this first season, corny as it oftentimes is.

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Transfer Quality

Video

††† Much like the recent Blu-ray release of Supergirlís first season, Warner Bros/Roadshow have crammed an unreasonable amount of content onto as few discs as possible. Whereas each disc of Supergirl contained seven episodes (on average), Legends of Tomorrowís sixteen-episode first season is spread across only two discs, with eight episodes per disc plus special features. Thatís a staggering six hours of content on each BD-50! Understandably, this presentation does have big issues as a result of such severe compression, but itís still serviceable for the most part. Nevertheless, it pales in comparison to other titles with much better compression, such as Doctor Who or the king of all television Blu-ray releases, Game of Thrones.

††† Presented in 1.78:1 widescreen (in keeping with the original broadcast), this 1080p transfer suffers from noticeable compression problems, but looks a bit better than Supergirl, probably because Legends of Tomorrow carries a different look and had more money for special effects. When the transfer is at its best, it does look strong, with vibrant colours and nice definition. In ideal lighting conditions, facial hair is well-defined and sharpness is on the same level we come to expect from a Blu-ray. But being a digitally-shot show, it does look a bit flat on the whole, and it never quite reaches the level we have come to expect from big-budget theatrical productions. More pertinently, the compression robs the image of intricate details and textures which should be more prevalent.

††† In order to cram so many episodes onto each disc, the bitrate for the show usually sits around the low teens, though it does slip into single digits at times, and looks understandable dire whenever it does. Particularly under low-light conditions, there is visible noise (which could be source-related) and pixilation (particularly in backgrounds), and scenes often look a touch smeary and/or soft. Macroblocking also crops up during the fast action scenes, as well as banding (see Hunter using his flashy tool to recruit the team in the first episode) and even a bit of ringing.

††† Legends of Tomorrow could undeniably look better with more breathing room (seriously, is a three-disc set - which was originally advertised - too much to ask for?), but this is nevertheless a watchable transfer which is better than nothing. Hopefully it isnít long before Warner stops their sudden cost-cutting measures with discs.

††† Multiple subtitle options are available.


Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

††† As per usual, Warner Bros/Roadshow delivers in a big bad way in the audio department, providing a mightily impressive DTS-HD MA 5.1 track which does justice to this bombastic comic book show. Dialogue is primarily front-centric, and it comes through with agreeable clarity, never becoming overwhelmed by the music or sound effects. Deliberate surround activity is infrequent, but the action scenes do see the surround channels roaring to life, making for an enveloping listen. Thereís sufficient oomph to the gunshots, explosions and punches, while Blake Neelyís score is precise and clear.

††† Itís a professionally-mixed track from top to bottom, and levels are thankfully consistent. There may be issues with the underwhelming video presentation, but Legends of Tomorrow sounds magnificent on Blu-ray, with no issues to report.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

††† With episodes being evenly split across the two discs, the selection of extras is also split evenly. Hereís what we have:

Disc 1:

DCís Legends of Tomorrow: 2015 Comic-Con Panel (HD; 18:49)

††† A tradition for these DC television shows, here we have a truncated version of the 2015 Comic-Con panel for the show, which was hosted by Geoff Johns (like Supergirl) and took place a few months before the first episode aired. The panel discuss the set-up for the show as well as the approach, and the Doctor Who influence is even mentioned. Thereís some nice stuff here, though of course itís nothing in-depth.

Gag Reel (HD; 7:00)

††† This is amusing. Starting out with a retro í70s-era television opening for the show (very well-done), here we have a sizeable collection of on-set tomfoolery from the shoot. A huge number of bloopers involve (the ostensibly very cheap) props and sets falling apart, and there are even little gags presumably put together by the SFX department. Itís clear that everybody involved had a great time making this show.

Disc 2:

Jonah Hex: Hex Marks the Spot (HD; 6:59)

††† This first behind-the-scenes featurette is concerned with the standout Jonah Hex episode, which saw the gang visiting the Old West. The producers discuss the production design and sets, while Schaech (who plays Jonah) and various crew members talk about the character and his place on the show. Good stuff, but a bit too short.

Fantastic Voyage: Touring the Waverider Set (HD; 8:53)

††† As implied by the title, this segment is all about Hunterís time-travelling spaceship, the Waverider, which was designed and named specifically for the show (no comic-book precedent existed). The interior design is touched upon (the Alien series served as inspiration), and the production designer walks through the ship to point out all the little intricate details. Fascinating, but still too short for my liking.

History in the Making (HD; 13:04)

††† Here we have a more in-depth look at the making of the show, which briskly runs through the process of creating each episode. Bizarrely, there are no cast interviews - the only interviewees here are the folk who work behind-the-scenes, with producers and other crew chiming in to discuss special effects and production design. There isnít even any on-set footage, just clips from the show. This should be longer and more substantial, but Iíll take it nevertheless.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

† † All versions worldwide appear to be identical. Buy local.

Summary

††† I didn't love Legends of Tomorrow, but it's an undeniably enjoyable show, especially if you like superheroes and colourful action. This first season still leaves room for improvement, however.

††† The video transfer is serviceable, but clearly suffers due to the insane amount of compression. Audio is fine, and there is a small but nice selection of supplements. A mild recommendation.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Callum Knox (I studied biology)
Friday, October 14, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDPlayStation 4, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42LW6500. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationLG BH7520TW
SpeakersLG Tall Boy speakers, 5.1 set-up, 180W

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