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Cocaine Bear

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    67
    from 3 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Cocaine Bear's wild fun clashes with a disappointing 4K release's value.

    Cocaine Bear 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    90
  • Cocaine Bear's 4K UHD presents a visually stunning upgrade with sharper details, richer colors, and deeper contrast, enhancing its digital craftsmanship.

  • Audio
    80
  • The 4K disc's basic 5.1 track disappoints given the superior Atmos versions on other formats; even with good depth and clarity, it lacks the premium sound expected for its high price.

  • Extra
    77
  • The 4K UHD release of Cocaine Bear bundles standard, lackluster extras and solid commentary across formats. Despite a comprehensive set of features, redundancies across media formats diminish its unique value.

  • Movie
    72
  • Cocaine Bear, a blend of nostalgia and absurdity, delivers laughs and gore with a B-movie charm, nodding to classics while forging its own path. A surprisingly sweet yet wild ride.

    Video: 90

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "Cocaine Bear," shot with Arri Alexa LF cameras and Arri Signature Prime lenses in ARRIRAW 4.5K, gracefully strides into home theaters with a compelling visual upgrade from its Blu-ray counterpart. The film's 2160p resolution leverages a digital intermediate, assumedly the same as its 4K theatrical presentation, embedded in a theatrically accurate 2.39:1 aspect ratio. It boasts a 10-bit video depth along with Wide Color Gamut (WCG) and an HDR10 grade, presenting an image clarity and color richness that nearly transcend the viewing experience. The night scenes and lush vegetative backdrops exude outstanding sharpness and naturalism, supported by high contrast color enhancements that notably deepen blacks without sacrificing detail. While this disc opts for HDR10 over Dolby Vision, the color gradation and shadow detail remain profound, showcasing the film's aesthetic vibrancy and cinematographic finesse.

    Despite its modest budget, "Cocaine Bear's" 4K representation exhibits notable improvements in detail and texture fidelity, especially in close-ups and the dynamic forest panoramas that leverage the high resolution effectively. The digital bear, a central figure, benefits from this resolution bump, appearing more prominent against the detailed backdrops. The HDR enhancement significantly uplifts the visual presentation, ramping up sunlight intensity across numerous scenes for an enriched visual range. Colors, particularly the greens of the forest and the blood reds so crucial to the film's palette, are dense and lively, ensuring that the film's gore and natural scenery are equally compelling.

    Although the leap from Blu-ray to UHD isn't described as revolutionary, it represents a finely tuned visual enhancement. The clarity and intricacy of detail are laudably improved, rendering textures and elements within the film’s universe more pronounced and palpable. The stability and cleanliness of the picture are impeccable, thanks to a meticulous encode that eradicates noise without compromising on image integrity. While some may ponder over the absence of Dolby Vision, "Cocaine Bear's" UHD rendition stands as a testament to the splendor of high-definition physical media, delivering an image quality that wrings every bit of nuance from its digital source.

    Audio: 80

    The audio presentation of "Cocaine Bear" on 4K UHD Blu-ray brings with it a mixed bag of emotions among audiophiles and film enthusiasts alike. At the core of discontent is the conspicuous absence of the theatrically released Dolby Atmos track, which, despite its availability in digital formats like iTunes (albeit as Dolby Digital +), has been replaced on this disc by a 5.1 surround track. This decision stands out as a glaring oversight for a release that commands a significant premium over other formats. While the included lossless 5.1 soundtrack is technically proficient, delivering deep bass, clear dialogue, and an overall immersive experience consistent with modern action soundtracks, the knowledge that a more superior audio experience was readily available but omitted due to possible rights issues or cost considerations is a sore point for consumers expecting the pinnacle of home theater performance from their investment in the 4K format.

    On the other hand, the benefits of the audio tracks that are included should not be wholly disregarded. The Dolby Atmos track, where available, elevates the auditory experience with its added top-end layer, introducing a more atmospheric and immersive quality to scenes with nuanced environmental sounds such as birds chirping and leaves rustling, enhancing the overall engagement of the viewer with the natural setting of the film. Furthermore, this Atmos experience extends to action-heavy sequences, offering heightened effects that contribute to a fuller and richer soundstage, albeit with overhead channels being more seamlessly integrated rather than discretely pronounced. Gunshots and bear attacks specifically benefit from this upgrade, delivering a satisfying punch and low-end jolt that increases the intensity of these moments.

    Despite these strengths in its atmospheric rendering and action sequences, the inconsistent use of channel separation and the apparent concession to lower-budget constraints indicate a missed opportunity to truly showcase what is technically possible in home audio experiences today. The lack of uniformity in sound quality across different release formats, particularly the downgrade in audio specification for what is marketed as a premium product, undermines the potential for "Cocaine Bear" to serve as a demo-worthy material for home theater enthusiasts. Thus, while certain aspects of the audio presentation are commendable, notably for those with access to upgraded Dolby Atmos tracks, the overall approach taken with this release leaves much to be desired for consumers seeking the most immersive and high-quality auditory experience.

    Extra: 77

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Cocaine Bear" packs a mix of standard and engaging extras, though it largely mirrors the content available on its Blu-ray counterpart and certain digital versions. The collection of extras, described as an obligatory inclusion of studio marketing materials, deleted scenes that warrant their initial exclusion, and repeated assertions of the film's over-the-top intent, offers little in the way of novelty. However, the saving grace comes in the form of the audio commentary by Elizabeth Banks and producer Max Handelman, which provides an entertaining and informative dive into the film's production at an enthusiastic pace. Despite the redundancy in availability across formats, this could appeal to die-hard fans or completists drawn to the detailed behind-the-scenes insights and a rarely seen alternate ending.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Alternate Ending: A different conclusion to the film.
    • Gag Reel: A collection of outtakes and mishaps.
    • Deleted & Extended Scenes: Cut scenes offering more content.
    • All Roads Lead to Cokey: The Making of Cocaine Bear: A comprehensive look at the film's production.
    • Unbearable Bloodbath: Dissecting the Kills: An analysis of the film's gory moments.
    • Doing Lines: Actors performing their lines from the script.
    • Audio Commentary: Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman discuss making the film.

    Movie: 72

    Elizabeth Banks' "Cocaine Bear" strides confidently where its conceptually similar predecessors faltered, delivering on the promise of its irresistibly absurd title. This 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation enhances a narrative based on 'true events' from 1985, where a tranquil national park becomes the playground for a drug-addled bear after a low-level drug dealer's cargo unintentionally becomes its fix. Blending the nostalgic tones of 80s creature features like "Tremors" and "Lake Placid" with a contemporary twist, Banks and screenwriter Jimmy Warden leverage the setting to inject a tongue-in-cheek B-movie vibe that resonates with audiences seeking both nostalgia and novelty. The technical radiance of the film in 2160p/HDR video quality paired with Dolby Atmos audio accents the already vivid cinematography, bringing the chaotic beauty of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest and its furry antagonist's rampage to life in stunning detail.

    The ensemble cast shines in their roles, navigating the bizarre premise with a blend of horror, comedy, and unexpected sweetness. From Keri Russell's determined nurse to the endearingly naive children portrayed by Brooklynn Prince and Christian Convery, their collective journey against the cocaine-fueled bear showcases a dynamic range of performances that balance fear, humor, and heart. The film's technical prowess extends beyond its visual and auditory presentation into the execution of both human and bear-led chaos, ensuring scenes of comedic dismemberment and drug-induced frenzy remain entertaining without dipping too far into gratuitous violence or losing their humorous edge.

    Universally, "Cocaine Bear" confronts its own absurdity head-on, employing quick-paced storytelling and character arcs that intrigue rather than alienate. Its successful blend of 80s homage, substance-induced satire, and unexpectedly poignant moments underpins a film that defies expectations set by its own outlandish premise. The detailed 4K UHD release, devoid of new extras but complemented by the inclusion of the standard Blu-ray version, provides fans and newcomers alike a comprehensive window into this zany adventure that manages to be as thought-provoking and layered as it is blatantly fun.

    Total: 67

    Cocaine Bear, a film that revels in its own absurdity, offers an experience that is as unique as its name suggests. While the movie itself is a gory, irreverent, and unapologetic ride that will not suit all tastes, it strikes a surprising balance between outright insanity and unexpected warmth. The presentation of this cinematic oddity on 4K UHD Blu-Ray by Mediumrare Entertainment, however, falls short of expectations. Despite being the sole 4K disc release, its lack of Dolby Vision, compromised audio quality, and an extras package available at a significantly lower price point elsewhere make the £25 financial outlay hard to justify. Those invested in digital collections might find the iTunes version—a near match in quality and content for half the price—far more appealing. Yet, for die-hard physical collectors or first-time buyers, the UHD edition's HDR grading and slight image improvements might still hold value despite these shortcomings.

    Technically speaking, the 4K UHD presentation does boast superior picture and sound qualities that are noticeable and enhance the viewing experience, recommending itself to new purchasers over the Blu-Ray edition. However, given the proximity of its release to the earlier Blu-Ray version and considering the negligible difference in extras, those contemplating an upgrade should perhaps await a significant price drop. The movie's unabashed commitment to its wild premise shines through in both formats, but the tangible benefits of opting for the more expensive 4K release demand careful consideration.

    In conclusion, while Cocaine Bear itself is a fervent, albeit niche celebration of cinematic excess, the 4K UHD Blu-Ray iteration by Mediumrare Entertainment leaves much to be desired. Its technical enhancements do not quite compensate for the steep price and lack of exclusive content, making it a challenging proposition for all but the most dedicated fans or first-time viewers drawn by the lure of optimal audiovisual fidelity. As always, consumer choice will ultimately dictate whether these incremental improvements justify the investment in what can only be described as a polarizing yet undeniably unique film experience.