X-Men: Dark Phoenix 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 247, January 2020

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.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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Intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action including some gunplay, disturbing images, and brief strong language destruction, brief strong language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Simon Kinberg
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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(French Language):
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"X-Men: Dark Phoenix" is the culmination of the X-Men saga. During a rescue mission in space, Jean Grey (Turner) is transformed into the infinitely powerful and dangerous Dark Phoenix. As Jean spirals out of control, the X-Men must unite to face their most devastating enemy yet—one of their own. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Director Simon Kinberg and Producer Hutch Parker; five deleted scenes with optional commentary by Kinberg and Parker (HD 08:22); the making-of featurette "Rise Of The Phoenix" in seven parts (HD 01:20:32):"Story & Pre-Prodction" (HD )09:36), "The Cast" (HD 38:35), "Production Design" (HD 11:33), "Special Effects" (HD 12:47) and "Filming And Editing" (HD 18:19); "How To Fly Your Jet To Space With Beast" (HD 02:03); theatrical trailers and a Movies Anywhere digital 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 in anamorphic Panavision® using the Arri Alexa XT Plus camera system and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. A 3D conversion was performed by Stereo D, but no 3D Blu-ray Disc was provided for review. The color palette is nicely saturated with an overall warmth to the imagery. At times colors pop, and the wider color gamut reveals subtle hue tone shadings, which enhances the stylized picture quality. Fleshtones are perfectly natural. HDR contrast appears well balanced with deep, solid blacks, revealing shadow delineation, and natural-appearing highlights. The production and lighting designs are superb, which makes for an alluring visual experience. Spot lighting provides excellent visual illumination intensities. Visual effects are stunning and nicely integrated into the live action. Resolution is superb. Facial detail reveals the finest of features including skin pores, lines, hair, beards, stubble, and makeup. Other features finely detailed are environmental textures, both interior and exterior.

WOW! segments are from 11:50 to 13:20, 28:34 to 31:39, 01:05:36 to 01:07:24, 01:12:06 to 01:13:21 and 01:38:06 to 01:40:42.

This is a wonderfully colorful and visually dynamic picture that is reference quality throughout. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is dynamic with nuanced segments in interior settings, with intelligible dialogue throughout. The Hans Zimmer orchestral score is beautifully orchestrated and presented with a wide and deep soundstage that extends to envelop the soundfield. Atmospherics are perfectly supportive and enhance the suspension of disbelief. Sound effects are also perfectly integrated such as explosions and blasts, destruction, space ship segments, rain, broken glass, intense military helicopter sounds, the street destruction in New York City and other effects that enhance the dynamics, and are directionalized throughout the soundfield. Deep bass extension in all channels is powerful, often extending to sub-25 Hz, especially in the .1 LFE channel. This low-end foundation is impressively prevalent throughout and enhances the directional atmospherics and powerful sound effects, which are panned through the soundfield to positions within the soundfield, creating an impressive holosonic® effect. The sound effects effectively complement the production design set pieces with a wonderful sound design. Dialogue is intelligible throughout and natural sounding, with good spatial integration, even in the loudest sequences.

The Immersive Sound element is comprised of the synthesizer and choral components of the music score, various atmospherics and sound effects such as momentary thumping sounds during a car crash, bird chirps, synthesizer sound effects, jumpy seat sounds, rumble sounds in the spacecraft, a dog barking, swirling voices around the height layer with accompanying effects and urban sounds, brief reverberant dialogue extension, a truck horn, light rain and thunder, a laser flash swish, choral voicing, objects collapsing and disintegrating, moving train sounds, body slam sounds against the train wall, electrical current buzz sounds and other atmospherics. While there are numerous momentary extensions of sound effects to the height layer, far more could have been achieved, such as the entire orchestral score, to create a more effective spherical surround experience.

This is a masterful soundtrack with well-integrated sound elements that create an engaging holosonic experience at ear level and provides moments of satisfying and effective Immersive Sound. (Gary Reber)