Black Panther 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 228, June 2018

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
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Prolonged sequences of action violence, and a brief rude gesture
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Ryan Coogler
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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(French Language):
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"Black Panther" is the story of T'Challa (Boseman), a young African prince who takes on the mantle of King and Super Hero. The movie features a fierce group of Wakandan women, including Nakia (Nyong'o), a War Dog and Wakandan spy; Shuri (Wright), T'Challa's little sister and tech wizard; and the Dora Milaje, the all-female Wakandan Special Forces led by Okoye (Gurira). They team up with reluctant ally CIA Agent Everett K. Ross (Freeman) to help T'Challa defend Wakanda against the forces threatening to destroy it. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Director Ryan Coogler; the featuettes: "Director's Intro," "From Page To Screen: A Roundtable Discussion" (HD 20:27), "Crowning Of A New King" (HD 05:34), "The Warriors Within" (HD 06:08), "The Hidden Kingdom Revealed" (HD 06:57), and "Wakanda Revealed: Exploring The Technology" (HD 06:16); four deleted scenes (HD 06:53); a gag reel (HD 01:38); an exclusive sneak peek at "Ant-Man And The Wasp" (HD 02:26); "Marvel Studios The First Ten Years: Connecting The Universe" (HD 08:39); upfront previews; and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa XT Plus camera system and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. Theatrically, a 3D version with conversion by Stereo D and Legend 3D was exhibited, but no 3D Blu-ray Disc has been released. The picture was also specially formatted at 1.90:1 in IMAX®.

Picture quality is fantastic! The cinematography by Rachel Morison is fantastic! The color palette is vibrant throughout with hues that pop off the screen. One segment is a car chase at night in South Korea with incredible city lights and specular brights that make for a visual tour de force. Colors are nicely saturated throughout with rich and warm natural hues. Fleshtones retain naturalness and complexity of complexions. The wider color gamut is apparent in every scene with impressive shading, Colors such as white, black, and red really are stunning. HDR contrast is superb with deep black levels, brilliant whites, and exact and revealing shadow delineation. Resolution is superb throughout with fine detail that vividly defines facial features, skin pores and lines, hair, beards, clothing garbs of every description, and complex object textures. The Black Panther suit is just one of the garbs that reveal very fine definition. Technology attributes are incredibly well defined, as well as the elaborate set designs in both forefront and background settings. Special visual effects are convincing. And the earthy landscapes surrounding Wakanda are perfectly natural. WOW! segments are throughout, especially stunning from 00:14 to 01:36, 20:18 to 25:10, 28:38 to 29:22, 39:21 to 40:56, 48:50 to 51:35, 01:16:47 to 01:20:30, 01:32:38 to 01:34:33, and 01:49:18 to 01:50:55.

This is a spectacular reference visual experience that is a home theatre showcase and one of the finest 4K Ultra HD motion pictures. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is spectacular, with a compelling dynamic quality that fills the holosonic® spherical surround soundfield, Credited as Sound Designer is David C. Hughes, who has done a fantastic job creating and orchestrating the sound elements. The orchestral and choral music score is prominent throughout and occupies the soundstage wide and deep and extends aggressively to the surrounds, with a subtle extension to the height channels. The music is wonderful. Atmospherics are realistic as well as Foley sounds. The atmospherics also extend subtly to the surrounds. Sound effects are dynamic, such as car chases, car and spacecraft crashes, spacecraft, rivals fighting, raging fires, gunfire, Wakanda weapons, blasts, explosions, a magnetic train, and all manner of violent combat. Deep bass is prominent as well, with powerful extension in the .1 LFE and main channels. The bass sounds natural and not exaggerated. Throughout, dialogue is intelligible and nicely integrated spatially, with excellent subtitles when dialogue is in African.

The Immersive Sound element is essentially the ear-level sonics sans dialogue extended to the height channels. The orchestral and choral score is most prominent. Atmospherics and sound effects occupy the height channels more subtly. Sonics include wind, thunder, gunfire, rustling sounds, spacecraft engines, breaking glass, heavy kick sounds, sounds of speeding cars and engines and squealing tires, waterfalls, punching and falling sounds, train movement, and other minor effects.

This is an exceptionally well-crafted soundtrack that is rich in music and dynamics that provides an impressive showcase that perfectly complements the incredible imagery. (Gary Reber)