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4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 3 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Pan's UHD release excites with style and audio but lacks in 4K upgrade, a mixed bag for fans.

    Pan 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Pan's Ultra HD Blu-ray enchants with vibrant HDR colors and detailed textures, yet struggles with dark scene depth and occasionally oversaturated reds, offering a mixed yet visually striking experience.

  • Audio
  • Dolby Atmos mixes provide an immersive and dynamic listening experience, enhancing action with nuanced soundscapes and discrete object placement, complementing the narrative's tone.

  • Extra
  • Pan's Ultra HD release pairs a bonus-feature-rich Blu-ray with a bare UHD disc, including disappointing director commentary and engaging featurettes on the film's lore, casting, villains, and imaginative sets.

  • Movie
  • 'Pan,' a twist on Peter Pan's origin, dazzles less in UHD than hoped, yet Joe Wright's creative vision and heartfelt performances offer a fresh, enjoyable perspective, contrary to its harsh critiques.

    Video: 75

    The Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of "Pan" traverses a vibrant yet inconsistent visual journey, propelled notably by its HDR encoding. Initially, the film's digitally shot sequences, derived from a 2K digital intermediate and up-converted to 4K, promise an enchanting exercise in high dynamic range (HDR) enhancements. This promise holds true in sequences brimming with color - for instance, the visually arresting scenes involving Tiger Lily's tribe or the climactic battle boasting an explosion of hues, where HDR’s prowess is unmistakably advantageous, offering a dazzling array of colors that leap from the screen. Scenes bathed in primary colors revel in vibrancy, particularly capturing the lush environment of the island natives and their vivid attire with a splendor that showcases the potential of HDR's wider color gamut. However, this upgrade does not remedy all aspects of the film's visuals. The darker segments of "Pan," including its monochromatic opening and the dimly lit confines of Blackbeard's mines, fail to significantly benefit from HDR treatment. These sections were anticipated to gain depth and contrast for a more profound visual impact, yet they remain largely unaltered, lacking the deep blacks and the nuanced shadow details that would elevate the viewing experience.

    Detail and texture reproduction stand as commendable facets of this UHD presentation, with the HEVC H.265 encode beautifully highlighting intricate costume details, from the worn fabric of Peter and Hook's attire to the elaborate ornamentation of Blackbeard's garb, alongside the natural textures of the island environments. Faces reveal lifelike nuances, with every pore and wrinkle discernible, contributing to the overall immersion. Notwithstanding, issues with color grading are noted, particularly the oversaturation of reds leading to instances where explosions resemble cartoonish blobs rather than genuine fiery blasts. Despite this flaw, the visual presentation's dedication to detail is evident in both character close-ups and wider landscape shots, enhancing the film's fantastical elements.

    On balance, "Pan's" leap to 4K UHD Blu-ray is a mixed bag gleaming with moments of undeniable brilliance juxtaposed against segments that fall short of their potential uplift. While HDR enhances the vivacity of already colorful scenes, dark sequences see negligible improvement, leaving a gap in achieving a uniformly enhanced viewing experience. The impeccable clarity and texture details throughout, paired with the strikingly vibrant portrayal of Neverland's flora and the diverse fabrics of its inhabitants, underscore the strengths of this format. However, these visual strengths occasionally stumble, notably in less lit environments and in the handling of certain colors. The journey through Neverland in 4K HDR thus emerges as a vividly detailed yet somewhat uneven spectacle, reflective of both the format's potential and its limitations in elevating "Pan's" visual narrative.

    Audio: 83

    The Dolby Atmos surround mix for the 4K UHD Blu-ray of "Pan" provides an engaging and immersive audio experience, effectively utilizing the height and object-based capabilities of the platform to enhance the storytelling and action sequences. The soundtrack is particularly notable for its seamless integration of music, environmental sounds, and discrete effects, which are carefully balanced to complement the film's thematic elements. The orchestration of the music score subtly adds depth and spaciousness, while the dynamic range during action scenes, such as the forest invasion in chapter 7 and the fairy realm encounter in chapter 10, brings a visceral level of immersion that correlates tightly with on-screen events. The sound field becomes vividly alive, with even the minute details of audio cues being expertly realized, contributing to a balanced and entertaining listening experience.

    Expanding upon the capabilities of Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the Dolby Atmos mix elevates the audio presentation by making full use of the height channels, which extends the sound field for an even more impactful experience. During action-packed sequences, objects and characters move with flawless panning across the room, from front to back and through the overhead channels. This provides a tangible sense of motion and presence, making viewers feel as though they are part of the adventure. In quieter moments, the soundscape is rich with the ambient noise of the environment, from wildlife to rustling leaves, creating a captivating dome effect that places listeners directly in the midst of the on-screen world.

    Furthermore, the lossless mix excels in its rendering of John Powell's score, which is spread widely and evenly across channels with remarkable warmth and fidelity. The front soundstage offers plenty of space for the music to breathe, highlighting intricate details and individual instruments with exceptional clarity. Background sounds are constant yet nuanced, effectively filling the entire scene and adding layers to the atmospheric dome effect. Dialogue remains clear and focused in the center channel, while the low-end adds significant depth to explosions and action sequences. This results in a soundtrack that is both fun and thrilling, providing an auditory feast that enhances every moment of "Pan."

    Extra: 69

    The "Pan" 4K UHD Blu-ray presents an intriguing array of extras on the accompanying standard Blu-ray, emphasizing behind-the-scenes insights, albeit the actual 4K UHD disc lacks any. The Director's Audio Commentary by Joe Wright is somewhat underwhelming, marked by lengthy silences and only sporadic technical commentary, which may leave enthusiasts wanting more. However, the featurettes provided add substantial value. "Never Grow Up: The Legend of Pan" offers a compelling overview of the original story along with a glimpse into the creative process behind this adaptation’s Neverland. Similarly, "The Boy That Would Be Pan" delves into the casting of Levi Miller and his embodiment of the iconic character. "The Scoundrels of Neverland" and "Wondrous Realms" explore the film's antagonist Blackbeard and the visually stunning sets respectively, albeit in a manner that seems designed to captivate a younger audience primarily.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Director's Audio Commentary: Feature with Joe Wright providing sparse technical insights and anecdotes.
    • Never Grow Up: The Legend of Pan: A look into the original Peter Pan story and the creative vision behind Neverland in this film.
    • The Boy Who Would Be Pan: Insights into casting Levi Miller as Peter Pan and his interpretation of the role.
    • The Scoundrels of Neverland: An exploration of the film’s antagonists, including Hugh Jackman's Blackbeard.
    • Wondrous Realms: A child-friendly guided tour through the movie’s set pieces and concept art.

    Movie: 74

    In the cinematic journey back to the enchanting realms of childhood wonder, "Pan" offers audiences a visually spectacular origin story that endeavors to answer long-standing mysteries surrounding one of literature's most enduring characters, Peter Pan. At the heart of this narrative is Levi Miller's Peter, a plucky 12-year-old who escapes the drab confines of a London orphanage, only to find himself in the vibrant yet perilous world of Neverland. Director Joe Wright stitches together a tapestry of adventure, friendship, and self-discovery, as Peter allies with the likes of Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) and James Hook (Garrett Hedlund) against the formidable pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman). Although "Pan," one of Warner Brothers' early forays into 4K UHD, does not significantly elevate the visual experience beyond its Blu-ray counterpart—with slight disappointments in image upscaling and a challenging response from hardware compatibility—it still captivates with its design and spectacle.

    Despite facing hurdles in critical acclaim and falling short of becoming a commercial hit, "Pan" is a testament to Joe Wright's vision and creativity, bringing a fresh perspective to the lore of Peter Pan. Wright's knack for crafting visually stunning scenes—evident in exhilarating sequences such as a dogfight over London and the initial descent into Neverland—proves engaging. However, it's the marriage of these visuals with storytelling where "Pan" finds its spirit. Through its inventive screenplay, it ventures into the backstory of Peter Pan, exploring themes of identity and belonging with a familial warmth that appeals to both children and adults alike.

    While "Pan's" ambitious visual effects and musical choices occasionally miss their mark, leading to a somewhat inconsistent tone, the film’s strengths lie in its ability to weave together moments of brilliance which resonate with the adventurous spirit at its core. The performances, coupled with Wright’s direction, illuminate a journey of wonder and transformation. In essence, "Pan" serves not only as an origin story but as an invitation to revisit the realms of imagination, offering an experience that may grow richer upon rewatching. Despite its initial reception and technical setbacks in 4K UHD presentation, this film remains a noteworthy addition to the canon of Peter Pan adaptations, urging viewers to look beyond its flaws and embrace its celebration of childhood dreams and heroism.

    Total: 70

    The Ultra HD Blu-ray release of "Pan" presents a mixed bag for both fans of the film and 4K enthusiasts. While the movie itself is viewed by some as a style-over-substance take on the classic Peter Pan tale, the technical aspects of this release warrant mention. The high-definition video quality is excellent, providing a visually rewarding experience. However, the Ultra High Definition video rendering doesn't mark a significant improvement over the standard Blu-ray, leaving some to question the necessity of upgrading. Despite this, the audio experience is notably enhanced with a rewarding Dolby Atmos mix, ensuring an immersive audio experience that complements the visual presentation.

    For those pondering whether to add the 4K UHD version to their collection, it seems that unless one is a hardcore fan or a dedicated collector of the latest formats, there might not be a compelling reason to choose this over other versions. The supplementary material provided doesn't offer new incentives, maintaining a package that could be described as fair but not revolutionary. It's worth noting, however, that for those who appreciate Joe Wright's unique directorial vision and the creative style imbued within "Pan," the 4K UHD presentation still offers an opportunity to experience the film with superior audio and visual quality, albeit with some minor issues.

    In conclusion, while "Pan's" Ultra HD Blu-ray release doesn't drastically improve upon its high-definition counterpart, its strengths in audio and visual presentation make it a worthwhile consideration for enthusiasts eager to enjoy movies in the best quality available. Critics of the film might not find new reasons to change their opinion, but devotees and 4K adopters will find enough value in this edition to justify giving it space on their shelves. This release underscores the ongoing challenge for home entertainment – balancing the allure of technological advancements with the intrinsic value offered in each edition.