"Venom" is the evolution story of Marvel Comic's most enigmatic, complex and badass character. Eddie Brock (Hardy) is a broken man after he loses everything, including his job and fiancée. Just when his life is at its lowest, he becomes host to an alien symbiote, which results in extraordinary superpowers ––transforming him into Venom. Will these powers be enough for this new lethal protector to defeat great evil forces, especially against the far stronger and more weaponized symbiote rival, Riot? (Gary Reber)
Special features include Venom Mode; three deleted and extended scenes (HD 05:00); seven featurettes: "From Symbiote To Screen" (HD 20:03), "The Anti-Hero" (HD 10:01), "The Lethal Protector In Action" (HD 09:14), "Venom Vision" (HD 07:02), "Designing Venom" (HD 05;34), "Symbiote Secrets" (HD 02:40) and "Select Scenes Pre-Views" (HD 13:53); two music videos (HD 07:45); Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse sneak peek (HD 03:34); upfront previews; and a Movies Anywhere digital copy code.
The 2.40:1 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 Mini and XT and RED Monstro 8K VV camera systems and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. A 3D stereo conversion was performed by DNEG Stereo, but apparently no 3D Blu-ray Disc™ is available, so one had to experience it theatrically. The picture looks fantastic. Resolution is superb, with razor sharpness exhibited throughout, including nuanced clothing, costumes, objects and environments. Facial features, skin pores, facial hair and hair and beard stubbles also are nicely detailed. Digital visual effects are perfectly integrated with environments and characters. The color palette is naturally saturated with rich and warm hues that often pop. Dense and dark scenes are wonderfully accented with color. Fleshtones appear accurate in hue variations. Overall, there is a blueish/grayish cast apparent throughout the segments involving the L.I.T.E. laboratory. The wide color gamut is apparent throughout with hue gradations providing excellent eye candy. HDR contrast is superb with deep, solid black levels, revealing shadow delineation, and bright highlights such as vehicle lights, ambulance lights, staging lighting, fluorescent lighting, etc., all appearing brilliant. WOW! segments start at the beginning from 02:09 to 04:16, 37:36 to 38:40, 58:22 to 59:40, 01:05:52 to 01:08:10, and 01:20:50 to 01:22:49. This is one of the finest 2K upconverted to 4K presentations thus far and is reference quality throughout. Be sure to stay for the entire end credit roll for a "Spider-Man" Short. (Gary Reber)
The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is terrific with excellent fidelity and prodigious bass extension. The sound is dynamic and nicely directionalized with an aggressive surround presence. Nuanced atmospherics effectively enhance realism, whether during interior scenes in the LIFE laboratory or Eddie's apartment, or in the exterior. Sound effects are powerful and dynamic, aided by .1 LFE extension to sub-25 Hz frequencies, such as the intense crash scene, which opens the movie. Throughout sounds deliver an effective sense of depth and dimension. The orchestral score is wonderful, with strong brass accents and superb fidelity, as well as dimensionality, with a wide and deep soundstage and aggressive extension to the four surrounds and the height layer. Dialogue is consistently intelligible with generally good spatial integration.
The Immersive Sound element is effective from the start with helicopters panned in the height layer voices and alarm sirens in the laboratory and all manner of sound effects such as birds chirping, fluorescent lighting ringing, forest sounds, tree branches breaking, an airport announcement, a body slam to the floor, drone swoops, car crashes, a countdown announcement, and other effects. The orchestral music score is dominant and aggressive, which really enhances the sense of immersion. Still, far more could have been achieved but wasn't.
This is an effective holosonic® spherical surround presentation that delivers humorous thrills and excitement with dynamic and immersive reference-quality impact. (Gary Reber)