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Hellboy: Sword Of Storms and Blood And Iron 4K UHD Review

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“Sword Of Storms” and “Blood And Iron” get the 4K treatment.

With the 2019 “Hellboy” film around the corner, the two animated Hellboy films (“Sword of Storms” and “Blood and Iron”) have been released on 4K as tie-ins. In “Sword of Storms,” the story involves a possessed Professor, two ancient demons (Thunder and Lightning), an ancient sword that has trapped the aforementioned demons (who are trying to be released into the world), and Hellboy being transported to a strange ancient Japanese dimension filled with creatures. “Blood and Iron” is a much more traditional horror story about ghosts, a vampire woman (Erzebet), Hecate, and Professor Broom’s past. Of course, the B.P.R.D. and its members like Liz and Abe Sapien are involved in these adventures as well.

Fans of the Hellboy comics and movies will undoubtedly find much to admire about these two animated films especially with creator Mike Mignola co-creating the stories with Tad Stones, Guillermo Del Toro being involved as a producer (although I don’t know how much involvement he had), and cast members from the two films reprising their roles (namely Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones and John Hurt). The films themselves are full of what you’d expect from the Hellboy franchise included giant monsters, horror elements, comedy, and snappy one-liners from the titular red demon.

If you’re a more casual fan of Hellboy like myself, it might be a bit of a struggle to get through these two animated films. They’re not bad by any means, they’re just clunky in terms of editing and story construction. They also both feel overlong and, in the case of ‘Sword,’ anti-climactic (although it is still the better of the two films). The movies are at their best when they focus on Hellboy (who is strangely not in ‘Blood’ as much), more humorous moments to liven up the sluggish pacing, and the stranger elements like floating heads, artifact spirits, Hecate, and so on. The animation itself is also fairly well done as it manages to pay homage to Mignola’s comic work while also having its own animated interpretations of the characters and universe.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 2160p. How do they look? Both films get a nice upgrade and crisper animation (although the transfers due show the budgetary constraints).

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? The Atmos track is also a step up from the Blu-ray and DVD audio tracks as it provides a much more dynamic sound.

Extras:
* Blu-ray copy
* Digital copy
* Commentary on “Sword Of Storms” by Mike Mignola, Tad Stones and Phil Weinstein and on “Blood And Iron” by Mike Mignola, Tad Stones and Vic Cook. Both tracks provide insight and analysis to the films.
* An intro to “Blood and Iron” by Mike Mignola.
* “A New Breed: Creating The New Hellboy”- A featurette on the animated versions of the characters.
* “Conquering Hellboy: The Actor’s Role”- A look at the voice cast.
* “A View From The Top: The Heads Sequence”- A featurette on the floating heads sequence from “Sword of Storms.”
* “Reversal Of Fortune: Professor Broom’s Story”- A 20 minute extra about “Blood And Iron” and Professor Broom’s arc.

* ‘Tales From The Tomb: A Look Inside Blood And Iron”- The title says it all.

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April 7, 2019 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , , , ,

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