Blu-ray Review: Into The Badlands Season 1
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Into the Badlands
Season 1
Blu-ray | DVD | Amazon Instant
Created by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
Directed by David Dobkin, Guy Ferland
Written by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Justine Juel Gillmer, Michael Jones-Morales, Justin Doble, Michael R. Perry
Starring Daniel Wu, Orla Brady, Sarah Bolger, Aramis Knight, Emily Beecham, Oliver Stark, Madeleine Mantock, Ally Ioannides, Marton Csokas, Daniel Burford, Nick Frost
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release Date: November 8, 2016

Created by Al Gough and Miles Millar, AMC’s Into the Badlands sliced its way onto TV in the Fall of 2015. The show was the third highest-rated premiere season in cable history, and the special edition Blu-ray is now available A beautiful blend of martial arts action, insane fight choreography, and period-style drama, Into the Badlands was the story of a dystopian future in which society as we know it has collapsed and is replaced by a futuristic style of feudalism. There are forts led by powerful barons, and each baron has an army of well trained soldiers.

In the 6-episode first season we followed Sunny (Daniel Wu), the best warrior in a fort run by the maniacal Quinn (Marton Csokas). The show is filled with epic fight sequences, battles between competing barons, conspiracies, and secrets about the past, and what is out beyond the Badlands. Co-starring Emily Beecham as The Widow, a competing baroness; Madeleine Mantock as Veil, Sunny’s love interest; Orla Brady, Sarah Bolger, and Aramis Knight as the mysterious M.K., Into the Badlands is nothing like anything that has been on TV before.

The Blu-ray Edition contains two episodic journeys for fans to go on. The first is “Inside Into the Badlands,” which gives a three-to-five minute featurette on each of the six episodes featuring interviews from cast and crew. They delve into the backstories of the world they created, the characters involved, and the how-to of making such an imaginative show. The real exciting stuff is the “Anatomy of a Fight,” which gives a breakdown of the complex martial arts fights and stunts done. We get interviews with Stephen Fung, the fight director, as well as Master Dee Dee, the fight choreographer, as well as the cast and crew involved. Into the Badlands features mainly practical effects, so it is awesome to see old fashioned movie making skills on display here.

Next up in the special features is “Building the World of Into the Badlands.” The creators talk about how dirty the world is, because after all this is a post-apocalyptic future. They discuss the Steampunk influence as well as influence from Asian cinema like Ip Man, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Hero. There are two separate character guides on the Barons and the Clippers. The crew discusses the 99%/1% vibe we get from the distinctions between the Barons and everyone else.

We then head to Fight Camp in New Orleans, Louisiana, where Daniel Wu, Stephen Fung, and the Hong Kong team come together to train everyone for the fight scenes. It’s a literal boot camp for fight scene choreography. For anyone who thinks actors have it easy, watching the men and women of the cast, many who have no experience, sweat and bleed through this was awesome. Daniel Wu relates how important it was to incorporate real Hong Kong-style kung fu into the show.

Finally, included is the 22-minute digital comic, which looks fantastic. Into the Badlands is a show the combines so many genres and styles and yet emerges wholly original in the modern scope of TV. Fans of martial arts, action movies, and Mad Max-style futuristic portrayals need to get this Blu-ray and catch up before Season 2 debuts on AMC in 2017.

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