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Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    84
    from 5 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • A lukewarm sequel with excellent A/V but lacking original's charm.

    Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    98
  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom's UHD Blu-ray dazzles with its 8K source and 4K DI, delivering razor-sharp, vivid visuals and immersive textures, making it a reference-quality spectacle for home theaters.

  • Audio
    93
  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom's Dolby Atmos mix excels in immersive, wide soundstage effects yet disappoints with a front-heavy approach and moderate low-end, lacking full 3D audio depth despite clear, dynamic audio.

  • Extra
    78
  • Explore 'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom' through detailed featurettes, diving into new worlds, villain enhancements, and behind-the-scenes magic on UHD Blu-ray with slipcover and digital code.

  • Movie
    75
  • Aquaman's sequel faces mixed reviews, emphasizing a simple plot full of digital effects, humor, and recycled themes, amidst overshadowing controversies.

    Video: 98

    Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom's leap to Ultra HD Blu-ray is crafted from an impressive 8K source, with the final presentation being delivered through a pristine 4K digital intermediate. This superb clarity makes the video presentation truly stand out, especially on large screens, capturing every fine detail with remarkable sharpness that never diminishes, even in the film's bustling underwater sequences or during rapid action scenes. The HEVC H.265 encoding ensures the transfer is razor-sharp, showcasing the laborious details in costumes, settings, and creatures that fill this vivid world. Moreover, the decision to present the film in a full 1.78:1 aspect ratio, which remains consistent across various landscapes, enhances the viewing experience by utilizing the full potential of modern displays without any compromise to the cinematic quality.

    The application of Dolby Vision HDR adds an extra layer of visual delight, intensifying colors and enhancing contrast to produce images that are both striking and nuanced. From Aquaman's shimmering armor and bioluminescent underwater vistas to the meticulous texture work on surfaces and character close-ups, the color palette is rich and well-saturated, bringing every scene to life with luminous precision. Blacks are deep and inky, allowing for superior shadow detail and adding depth that makes the high dynamic range content truly pop, ensuring that every frame benefits from a vibrant, yet balanced contrast. The brightness levels are impeccable, providing a crisp brightness that doesn't override details but instead highlights them, making for an image quality that's as close to perfect as possible.

    Warner Bros.' transfer of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom on Ultra HD Blu-ray sets a new bar for home theater presentations, making it a reference-quality disc that enthusiasts will covet for demonstration purposes. The visual splendor of this release, from its unparalleled clarity and depth to its masterful execution of color and contrast, thanks to a deft Dolby Vision HDR pass, ensures that it's not only a showcase for the technical capabilities of the format but also a testament to the film's rich and dynamic visual design. With a combination of comprehensive detailing across both practical and CGI-enhanced elements and a meticulous balance of vibrant colors against the deepest blacks, this disc represents the pinnacle of home cinema excellence.

    Audio: 93

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack of "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" delivers a complex and layered audio experience that demands attention. From the immersive underwater dialogue to the dynamic height channel utilization, the mix dives deep into the cinematic sound, offering a presentation filled with clarity, distinction, and an active soundscape. The ambience of water churning, ice cracking, and voices maneuvering through the sonic array enhances the overall experience, ensuring a soundscape that's both wide and precisely immersive. Even amid the most vigorous action sequences, the mix maintains a prioritization of vocals, ensuring dialogue clarity is never lost in the sea of sound.

    While the sound design boasts several high points, including an admirable low-frequency extension and active surround sound presentation, it presents a somewhat front-heavy mix that at times feels restrained, especially during sequences that could benefit from a more expansive audio leveraging. The positional effects, such as rushing water and cracking ice, offer a testament to the soundtrack's potential, yet the overall execution appears slightly cautious, holding back from fully exploiting the Dolby Atmos system's capabilities. This is notably evident in the less pronounced activity of the ceiling channels and the bass that, while adequate, occasionally lacks the depth one might expect from such a visually and thematically grand spectacle.

    Despite these criticisms, "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" stands as an aural spectacle on its own. The blend of English Dolby Atmos, Digital 5.1 options, and multiple subtitle choices cater to a broad audience. Dynamics are consistently impressive across various elements—from music to environmental sounds—complementing the active surrounds and height channels that immerse viewers directly into the action. However, as outstanding as the 7.1 lossless track may be for generating an engaging listening environment, when placed under the microscope of 3D audio design expectations, it does leave some room for desire, highlighting a dichotomy between what is achieved and what could potentially be unleashed in an already vibrant audio-visual journey.

    Extra: 78

    The "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" 4K UHD Blu-ray extras deliver an engaging dive into the making of this underwater epic, balancing technical insights with character deep-dives. Director James Wan and his team unravel the complexities behind some of the film's most ambitious sequences, from the visually stunning yet sinister Necrus, the Lost Black City, to the high-tension Escape from the Deserter World. Fans of villainy will revel in "It's a Manta World," offering a closer look at Black Manta's enhanced menace. Equally, the lighter "Oh, TOPO!" provides a delightful pause, celebrating Aquaman's cephalopod sidekick with humor and warmth. These featurettes are impeccably detailed, mixing behind-the-scenes footage with interviews from key cast and crew, including stars Jason Momoa and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Despite the collection's somewhat standard behind-the-scenes format, the array of subjects covered - from special effects and set design to character arcs and action choreography - ensures a comprehensive companion piece to the cinematic experience.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Finding the Lost Kingdom: An in-depth exploration of the sequel’s ambition and execution with insights from director James Wan and lead actor Jason Momoa.
    • Aquaman: Worlds Above and Below: A dive into the various environments of the film, focusing on the visual effects that brought them to life.
    • It’s a Manta World: A featurette centered around the evolution of Black Manta, including discussions on costume design and character development.
    • Necrus, The Lost Black City: Details on creating Necrus from concept to screen, revealing the inspirations behind its legendary status.
    • Escape from the Deserter World: Behind-the-scenes look at creating one of the film’s key sequences, featuring concept art and execution strategies.
    • Brawling at Kingfish’s Lair: Insight into one of the film's major action scenes, from initial concept to the final on-screen battle.
    • Oh TOPO!: A short tribute to Aquaman’s octopus sidekick, highlighting its role and featuring comments from the filmmakers.

    Movie: 75

    Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, directed by James Wan, wades through familiar waters with its simple, family-centric plot, driving home themes of unity and forgiveness. The movie re-engages audiences with the vibrant underwater world of Atlantis and its myriad of digital effects that range from astonishing to questionably executed, particularly the portrayal of underwater hair and animal characters. The plot rehashes the conflict with Black Manta, seeking vengeance with the aid of the mythic Black Trident, introducing an ancient evil force. The narrative's reliance on a straightforward storyline and predictable elements of heroism and villainy is counterbalanced by moments of visual grandeur and a focus on familial bonds, adding layers to the characters of Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) and his half-brother Orm (Patrick Wilson).

    Despite superficial enhancements in special effects and action sequences, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom struggles to navigate through its lengthy runtime without succumbing to sensory overload or veering into the absurd. The incorporation of climate change themes feels outdated, while the humor and camaraderie that buoyed the original film are submerged beneath a sea of lackluster scriptwriting and forced comedy. Nevertheless, Momoa's charisma as Aquaman shines through, making certain sections of the movie entertaining against the tide of its shortfalls.

    The sequel's ambition to blend swashbuckling adventure with a message on environmental consciousness ends up muddled amidst a tumult of action scenes and underwhelming character development. Even with commendable attempts at visual spectacle and nods to pressing global issues, the film feels like a missed opportunity to explore new depths in storytelling or character arcs. The movie's spectacle often distracts from its narrative weaknesses, but it still provides a sanctuary for fans seeking simple, escapist enjoyment in the superhero genre. Critics and audiences alike may find the sequel's waters murkier than those of its predecessor, making it a voyage that many might not be as enthusiastic to embark upon again.

    Total: 84

    "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom," the sequel to the initial Aquaman release, arrives with a shimmer that seems dimmer than its predecessor. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment delivers this sequel on 4K UHD Blu-ray/Digital, boasting an exceptional Ultra HD video quality that sharply brings the colorful and immersive underwater world of Atlantis to life in a manner best appreciated in this format. However, the film itself struggles to make a significant splash. It lacks the novel humor and sense of high-seas adventure that marked its first outing, with performances, particularly from Jason Momoa, that remain robust but are marred by a storyline that often feels clownishly executed. The Dolby Vision HDR presentation is striking, providing a reference-quality visual experience, but the audio, while decent, doesn't reach the potential heights of its Dolby Atmos capabilities. This disparity in the film's technical prowess versus its narrative execution leaves a bit to be desired.

    The supplemental package provided is fan-friendly, offering a basic collection of bonuses that dive into the making of this undersea journey. It's clear that enthusiasts who enjoyed the theatrical run will find value in this home video treatment, despite the film not being the most compelling blind buy for newcomers or those seeking a repeat of the original's charm. The noise factor of the sequel is unignorable, with moments of intended humor not always landing as expected and a retread of the original's formula without significant innovation or swashbuckling fun.

    In conclusion, while "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" on 4K UHD Blu-ray showcases Warner Bros.' adeptness at delivering superior video quality and a visually stunning presentation of Atlantis, it finds itself adrift in comparison to its forerunner. The film itself may not break new ground or redefine superhero movies, but for fans of the franchise or those looking to complete their collection, it remains a visually enticing, if narratively underwhelming, addition. The excellent visual quality and fan-geared bonuses make it worth considering for aficionados of the DC universe, setting a benchmark for how superhero films can look at home even if they don’t always hit the mark in terms of story and laughter.