Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms / Blood & Iron (4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Review)

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Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms / Blood & Iron (4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Review)
Rated: UR/Region A/1:78/4K (2160p)/Number of Discs 2
Available from Lionsgate Films

Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms (2006)
Directed By: Phil Weinstein, Tad Stones
Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones

In this first animated feature from Director Tad Stones (Buzz Lightyear of Star Command), and Creative Producers Mike Mignola (creator of HELLBOY comics) and Guillermo del Toro (writer/director of the HELLBOY movie), a folklore professor becomes unwittingly possessed by the ancient Japanese demons of Thunder and Lightning.

I’m a fan of Hellboy and I loved the comics, so if the early movies didn’t totally scratch the itch you had for the character, this movie might help that just a bit. Backed with a heck of plot, this is just the type of Hellboy movie you want to see, even if it is animated. We have violence and a very cool atmosphere that helps drive this one home to the viewer. Hellboy is basically going one on one (more or less) with a bat-deity here. On top of that, it has an army of mummies running flank with it, so it gives Hellboy’s buddies something to do here in this one as well. This one is much more along the lines of a fantasy-action flick and I think people will be more than content with that. Had the original run of the movies went on I’d have not minded at all to have seen something like this make a live-action jump. But as it is here, it’s fine and serves the needs of any Hellboy fan. Sadly, I don’t know if I’d say the 4K is as strong as one would have probably hoped, but it does look like a nice enough upgrade from what the movie had in normal HD. Again, as for the movie, it’s a moody little atmospheric number, but it does bring the goods on the violence and action side of things.

QUALITY OF TRANSFER: 85%

Hellboy Animated: Blood and Iron (2007)
Directed By: Victor Cook, Tad Stones
Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones

When Hellboy, Liz Sherman, and Abe Sapien are assigned to investigate the ghost-infested mansion of a publicity-hound billionaire, they uncover a plot to resurrect a beautiful yet monstrous vampire from Professor Bruttenholm’s past. But before they can stop her bloodbath, Hellboy will have to battle harpies, hellhounds, a giant werewolf and even the ferocious goddess Hecate herself.

Are you ready for Hellboy taking on some vampires in animated form? Well, I hope so, because like the first Hellboy animated movie, this one is pretty darn good as well. Like before, it packs the mood and the violence to blind in all the near gothic elements everyone who digs this character likes. Adding in some vampire action is really only an added bonus and they fit in very well with the usual content of Hellboy. One of the things keeping these movies afloat and it really shows here is the fact they got Ron Perlman here to do the voice. I mean, they got everyone from the movies but Ron Perlman is a very hard person to try to replace and his performance here even in just a voice side of things really shows it. This is another animated movie that like the one before isn’t really popping in 4K, but the movie is equally as solid and you get enough of an upgrade to justify the purchase.

QUALITY OF TRANSFER: 85%

Extras

– DOLBY VISION PRESENTATION
– ENGLISH DOLBY ATMOS AUDIO TRACK
– “A New Breed: Creating the New Hellboy” Featurette
– “Conquering Hellboy: The Actor’s Role” Featurette
– “A View from the Top: The “Heads” Sequence” Featurette
– “Tales from the Tomb: A Look Inside Blood & Iron” Featurette
– “‘Iron Shoes’ with Introduction by Mike Mignola” Featurette
– Sword of Storms Audio Commentary FeaturingHellboy Creator Mike Mignola, Supervising Producer-Director Tad Stones, and Director Phil Winstein
– Blood & Iron Audio Commentary Featuring Mike Mignola, Tad Stones, and Vic Cook
– “Reversal of Fortune, Professor Bloom’s Story” Featurette
– Optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles

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