Captain Marvel 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 241, July 2019

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.
Marvel/Walt Disney Entertainment
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Sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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Set in the 1990s, "Captain Marvel" follows Carol Danvers (Larson) who possesses superpowers and becomes one of the universe's most powerful heroes when Earth (C53) is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. Leaving her earthly life behind, Danvers becomes a member of an intergalactic elite Kree military team called Starforce, led by their enigmatic commander, Yon-Rogg (Law). But after Danvers has trained and worked with the Starforce team, and become a valued member, she finds herself back on Earth with new questions about her past. While on Earth she quickly lands on the radar of Nick Fry (Jackson), and they must work together against a formidable enemy in the form of the Skrulls––the notorious Marvel bad guys made even more dangerous by their shape-shifting abilities––and their leader, Talos (Mendelsohn), who is spearheading a Skrull invasion of Earth. (Gary Reber)

There are two alternate versions of the movie: the movie with an introduction by Directors/Screenwriters Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck and the movie with commentary by the two; six featurettes: "Becoming A Super Hero" (HD 06:40), "Big Hero Moment" (HD 03:31), "The Origin Of Nick Fury" (HD 03:33), "The Dream Team" (HD 02:44), "The Skrulls And The Kree" (HD 03:31), and "Hiss-stericl Cat-titude" (HD 03:23); six deleted scenes (HD 08:47); a gag reel (HD 02:02); upfront previews and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa 65, Panavision Millennium DXL and RED Weapon 8K VV Monstro 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 conversion was performed by Stereo D and Legend 3D, but no 3D Blu-ray Disc was provided for review. Nor are any of the IMAX sequences shown at their full IMAX aspect ratio. The picture can be visually stunning, both with respect to Earth (C53) and outer space. While minor digital noise can be detected in lower-light segments, noise is never objectionable. Clarity and sharpness are excellent, with fine detail evident in alien makeup and prosthetics effects, alien and human attire, facial features including skin pores, hair, lines and wounds from battle, as well as a wide range of engaging object textures. The Earth scenes, such as the urban areas surrounding Los Angeles and a military complex, are likewise sharply and clearly resolved. HDR contrast exhibits deep blacks, revealing shadow delineation, and effective natural lighting and bright-spot production design. The wide color gamut displays excellent color fidelity with shades of hues that pop, such as Captain Marvel's blue photon blasts and red costume, all exhibiting nuanced tonal variations. Fleshtones appear realistic in terms of hue and character complexion. WOW! segments are from 04:42 to 07:06, 18:18 to 21:50, 42:50 to 44:06, 01:30:48 to 01:32:38, and 01:40:56 to 01:43:44.

This is a picture that delivers visually engaging imagery and humorous fantasy entertainment. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack iis dynamic sounding with strongly traversed directionalized and weighty surround envelopment and at times penetrating deep bass. But to fully realize the dynamics, the sound level needs to be raised to your system's calibrated volume level, which should be an average 85 dB SPL at the listening position. (Remember, there is no volume control in a dubbing stage or movie theatre.) Deep bass energy accompanies photon blasts and other sound effects, such as the intense battle scenes in space and the starships powering through space. Sound effects deliver a full compliment of panned effects with evoking soundstage and soundfield engagement. Atmospherics are effectively supportive and at times spatially dimensional with respect to scene locals. The orchestral score is dynamic and fluid, extending fully to the four surround channels. There is also popular 90's music in the mix. Dialogue is consistently intelligible, though, the ADR production is wanting in spatial integration.

The Immersive Sound element is comprised of the orchestral score extension, ambience din, and short sound effects, such as jet airplanes flying, racing carts, and light wind. Sound effects include whizzes, flash-whipping transients, buzzes, seagulls, booms, transit rail sounds, machine and airplane rattles, crashing and disruptive decoupling sounds, and swooches. Also voices are heard such as Baning's and Skrulls' voices, a metro announcement and Captain Marvel screams and grunts.

This is a fun and diverse soundtrack with a very distinct feel, for greater spacial awareness, both in high-impact action scenes as well as in less demanding but not less critical sound elements. (Gary Reber)