Meg, The 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 234, December 2018

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Warner Home Video
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Action/peril, bloody images, and some language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Jon Turteltaub
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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In "The Meg," a deep-sea submersible––part of an international undersea observation program––has been attacked by a massive creature and now lies disabled at the bottom of the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean...with its crew trapped inside. With time running out, former deep-sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Statham) is drawn out of self-imposed exile by a visionary Chinese oceanographer, Dr. Zang (Chao), against the wishes of his daughter, Suyin (Bingbing), who thinks she can rescue the crew on her own. But it will take their combined efforts to save the crew, and the ocean itself, from this seemingly unstoppable threat––a prehistoric 75-foot-long shark known as the Megalodon. Thought to be extinct, the Meg turns out to be very much alive...and on the hunt. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the featurettes "Chomp On This: The Making Of The Meg" (HD 12:09) and "Creating The Beast" (HD 10:25), upfront previews, and a Movies Anywhere digital copy code.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, optimized for IMAX and reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa Mini and SXT camera systems and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. A stereoscopic conversion was performed by Legend 3D, but Warner has not announced a 3D Blu-ray Disc release. This is a incredible-looking picture with excellent clarity and sharpness. HDR contrast is terrific with fantastic bright white highlights that contrast with the excellent black levels and shadow delineations. Lighting and production design excels at creating a visually compelling image. The interiors of the submersibles, the massive control rooms of the MANA One research laboratory, above and below deck or in the water, provide intense contrast, as well as the final scene at China's Sanya Bay. The color palette is wonderfully enhanced with a spectacular wide color gamut that exhibits revealing hue variations throughout. WOW! segments are numerous such as from 01:02 to 01:38, 24:05 to 25:06, 34:34 to 38:36, 52:05 to 55:34, 58:54 to 01:01:44, 01:07:38 to 01:08:25, 01:35:04 to 01:36:08 and 01:38:16 to 01:39:46. The picture really grabs one's attention with superb clarity and sharpness, as well as effective HDR contrast and brilliant color fidelity that delivers excitement. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack was remastered specifically for the home theatre environment. The soundtrack delivers an aggressively dynamic and powerful soundfield with directionalized surrounds at all four vectors, with not only sound effects but also voices at times. The sonic depiction of the deep ocean is nicely energized with deep, sub-25 Hz .1 LFE waves of bass that enhances the excitement. There is, of course, the low-frequency impact of the prehistoric shark ramming various objects, from submersibles to boats to the MANA One. During segments with the Meg there are the metal sounds of submersibles being crushed and hauls slamming. Subtle atmospherics and ambiences nicely create the soundscapes of the various environments, whether in the oceanic lab, on boats, or in the ocean. Foley sound effects also are excellent. Underwater pressures, air bubbles, air locks closing, splash movements and other similar water effects, including a boat capsizing, a swim platform wrecked, and kids' noises in the ocean further enhance the excitement. All through, dialogue is intelligible and nicely integrated spatially. The orchestral score shifts with the intense and not-so-intense scenes with a powerful dynamic presence that extends the soundstage wide and deep with a strong extension to the surrounds.

The Immersive Sound element is heavily carried by the dynamic orchestral music, which effectively extends to the height layer throughout with an aggressive screen front presence and slightly less level in the rear height layer. The music immensely enhances the sense of spherical dimension. Other elements are sound effects such as dripping water, underwater sounds, objects breaking in a submersible, yelling voices, strong winds, helicopter blades shutting down, English and Chinese voice announcements that reverberate through submersible and MANA One, a submersible crashes into underwater topography, the Meg ramming submersibles, water pressure rumbles, giant squid suction, alert and hazard sirens, a lowering sound of a submersible cylinder, the Charlotte boat capsizing sound, a piercing sound inside a helicopter, helicopters crashing in the ocean, glass shattering on a submersible attacked by the Meg, and much more. While this is one of the best Immersive Sound productions to date, there are still large gaps where scenes have no height layer sounds. The sound designers still are deficient, and numerous opportunities to create spherical soundscapes are not addressed..

This is a reference-quality, adrenaline-inducing thrilling and aggressive holosonic® spherical surround soundtrack experience that will ignite a capable home theatre sound system. (Gary Reber)