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4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 3 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Okja on 4K UHD offers stunning visuals/audio, divisive story; a must for fans.

    Okja 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Ultra HD presentation impresses with lifelike textures, vibrant colors, and sharp details in shadows and highlights, elevating the visual storytelling.

  • Audio
  • Engaging Dolby Atmos mixes deliver immersive experiences with well-placed audio objects, clear dialogue, and balanced dynamics, enhancing viewer immersion without aggressive overuse.

  • Extra
  • Okja's special edition features a rich collection of interviews, insights into creative processes, promotional content, and technical details, all encapsulated in a meticulously designed package.

  • Movie
  • Okja, a blend of adventure and critique on capitalism, delivers uneven tones and performances but amazes with visuals and a heartfelt bond between Mija and a superpig.

    Video: 95

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "Okja" delivers an exceptional home viewing experience that stands out, particularly on large screens. The Ultra HD video quality shines through right from the start, with a remarkable reproduction of textures and details that breathe life into each scene. From the intricate features in characters’ faces to the vivid depiction of both natural and harsh man-made environments, such as verdant Korean forests and stark industrial interiors, the visual fidelity is consistently impressive. The application of high dynamic range (HDR) and wide color gamut technology further enhances this effect, providing depth and vibrancy to colors that would otherwise blend into the background. This visual enhancement ensures that the thematic elements of the film are both aesthetically pleasing and impactful.

    Criterion's UHD edition of "Okja" noticeably surpasses its Blu-ray counterpart by fully utilizing the film’s original 4K source material. The meticulous preservation of details, coupled with expert color saturation and deep, nuanced black levels, all benefit from HDR enhancement. This, along with Dolby Vision support (for compatible setups), showcases the filmmakers' vision with unparalleled clarity and realism. While occasional mild aliasing detracts slightly from an otherwise flawless video quality, these moments do little to mar the overall exceptional viewing experience. The film’s cinematography is effectively elevated through a combination of careful lighting, background manipulation, and notable CGI work, particularly in rendering the titular character with a convincing presence amidst the live-action elements.

    Under the supervision of cinematographer Darius Khondji and director Bong Joon Ho, the native 4K transfer presents a nearly perfect picture quality that dramatically outperforms its streaming counterpart. The encode highlights fine details across a variety of settings, making every aspect of the film's world—from individual hairs on characters to the distinct lettering on city ads—strikingly clear. Despite minor instances of aliasing, the contrast and brightness are expertly balanced, producing pristine whites and deep blacks that add a compelling depth to the image. The Dolby Vision HDR presentation further enriches the visuals with a lush palette of colors that align beautifully with the narrative’s shifts in tone. This results in a demo-worthy video presentation that fully immerses viewers in the captivating world of "Okja," demonstrating what can be achieved with careful attention to technical quality in home media releases.

    Audio: 92

    The Dolby Atmos soundtrack of "Okja" on the 4K UHD Blu-ray presents an active and enveloping audio experience that brilliantly complements the film’s visual storytelling. This meticulously crafted mix excels in its dynamic use of the Atmos platform, employing a skillful blend of atmospheric sounds and discrete effects that are positioned both around and above the viewer. The result is a palpable sense of immersion, gracefully enhancing the narrative's emotional depth and environmental texture. Ambient sounds and dialogue are seamlessly integrated, with the audio stages meticulously arranged to mirror onscreen actions and locations, drawing the listener deeper into the film's eclectic and vibrant world.

    The audio presentation shines equally during quiet moments and intense action sequences. Subtle sound elements in serene scenes are portrayed with exquisite detail through the surround and height channels, while more vigorous scenes amplify the excitement with robust soundscapes that extend into the listening space's farther reaches. Dialogue clarity is maintained across languages, supported by forced subtitles for non-English speech, ensuring no narrative nuance is lost. The soundtrack maintains a commendable balance between softer and louder segments, navigating the quiet/loud dynamic with precision without resorting to shortcuts, thereby sustaining audience engagement throughout.

    Bong’s dark comedy benefits immensely from an Atmos soundtrack that fully leverages object-based audio to create an expansive and immersive auditory experience. From the nuanced rustling of tree leaves to the bustling city ambience, sound elements traverse the 3D space with impressive fluidity and realism. While dialogue clarity and prioritization stand out, the mix also delivers detailed musical scores and sufficient low-frequency impact that complement the onscreen drama effectively, despite a desire for a slightly stronger bass presence. This Dolby Atmos mix is a testament to audio engineering excellence, providing a richly textured accompaniment to the visual feast that is "Okja.

    Extra: 80

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray of "Okja" showcases an extensive collection of extras on the accompanying Blu-ray disc, all of which dive deep into the creation and conceptualization of this cinematic gem. The extras include engaging conversations between director Bong Joon Ho and various collaborators, shedding light on multiple facets of the film’s production from its groundbreaking visual effects to the intricate costume and production design. Noteworthy are the interviews with actors An Seo Hyun and Byun Heebong, which provide insight into their experiences and the depth behind their characters. Additionally, the disc offers a constellation of short programs, featurettes, and promotional materials that enrich the viewer's understanding of "Okja," complemented by technical extras such as English subtitle translation options. Particularly insightful are the director’s video diaries and the creative thought process documented in these discussions and interviews, providing fans and cinephiles alike a comprehensive look into the filmmaking journey.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Completing the Journey: A video conversation with director Bong Joon Ho and producer Dooho Choi, including photos, concept art, and film clips.
    • Creating Life: An audio interview with cinematographer Darius Khondji, featuring on-set footage and finished film clips.
    • A New Form of Love: Video interview with lead actor An Seo Hyun and her screen test.
    • One More Time: Video interview with Bong Joon Ho and actor Byun Heebong.
    • A Real Animal: Discussion with VFX supervisor Erik-Jan de Boer and animation supervisor Stephen Clee on visual effects.
    • Creative Collaboration: Insights from production and costume designers on their contributions to the film.
    • Netflix Featurettes: Short promotional video pieces on various production aspects.
    • Director's Diary: Bong’s personal insights captured in a short diary format.
    • On Okja: Brief feature on the film’s concept.
    • Mija: A focus on Okja’s lead human character.
    • Visual Effects: Exploration of the VFX used.
    • Dolby Atmos: Discussion on the film's sound design.
    • Teaser & Trailer: Promotional teaser and full trailer for the film.
    • Web Videos: Marketing videos from The Mirando Corporation.

    Movie: 82

    Bong Joon-ho's "Okja" melds the touching narrative of a young girl's unwavering determination to save her pet, a genetically modified "superpig," from the clutches of a capitalist mega-corporation, with visually stunning and emotionally charged storytelling. As Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun) embarks on a daring quest that unveils a sinister global conspiracy, the film fluctuates between the innocence of her rural life and the harsh realities of corporate exploitation, delivering a poignant critique of environmental degradation and animal rights. Despite its seemingly conventional premise, the film transcends genre boundaries, leveraging Bong's adeptness at navigating complex themes with a nuanced touch, thereby crafting a narrative that is as intellectually engaging as it is heartfelt.

    However, "Okja" struggles with tone inconsistency and pacing issues which impact its overall cohesion. The stark contrast between its dark thematic undertones and moments of fanciful escapism occasionally feels disjointed, detracting from the narrative’s flow. Moreover, the character portrayals, especially the antagonists led by Tilda Swinton's Lucy Mirando and Jake Gyllenhaal's Johnny Wilcox, oscillate between caricature and depth, at times undermining the story's more serious messages. Despite these hitches, the film's technical achievements, particularly in visual effects, are noteworthy. They convincingly animate the titular character, Okja, blending him seamlessly into various environments and interactions with human characters, which remains a visual highlight.

    The ensemble cast delivers varying performances with Ahn Seo-hyun standing out for her compelling portrayal of Mija, whose journey is marked by resilience and purity of intent, even as other performances may falter. Whereas some characters' motivations feel muddled amidst the broader commentary on capitalism and environmentalism, Mija’s single-minded purpose to save Okja provides an emotional anchor for the audience. Ultimately, "Okja" presents itself as a multifaceted film that, despite its flaws, prompts reflection on crucial contemporary issues, making it a unique and thought-provoking viewing experience.

    Total: 88

    Bong Joon Ho’s "Okja," a film that combines a conventional coming-of-age narrative with an unconventional fantasy adventure, has been released on Ultra HD Blu-ray in a 4K/Blu-ray Combo Edition by The Criterion Collection, garnering mixed reactions from audiences and critics alike. The film, known for its passionate anti-cruelty message, outstanding visual effects, and strong lead performance by Ahn Seo-hyun, also faces criticism for its tonal inconsistencies, mixed messages, and uneven supporting performances. Despite these divergences in opinion, "Okja" showcases Bong's skillful direction and creative vision, echoing the environmental themes and humanistic concerns seen in his other works like "The Host," "Snowpiercer," and "Parasite." This edition particularly shines in its technical presentation, offering beautifully rendered video quality in both HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR, alongside a terrific Dolby Atmos immersive listening track, ensuring a visually stunning and sonically immersive experience for viewers.

    The 4K UHD package is highly praised for its nearly immaculate Dolby Vision HDR presentation and highly engaging Dolby Atmos soundtrack, making it a demo-worthy addition to any collection. Moreover, the array of new and legacy bonus features enriches the viewing experience by providing deeper insight into the film's production and thematic depth. While the film's content may provoke mixed feelings, its technical merits are undeniably top-notch, underscoring The Criterion Collection’s commitment to quality.

    In conclusion, "Okja" on 4K UHD Blu-ray presents a polarizing film in its best possible light, combining Bong Joon Ho's unique storytelling with superior audiovisual quality that satisfies the technical aficionado's appetite. Whether you're revisiting the film or experiencing it for the first time, this release is bound to evoke strong feelings, supported by an exceptional A/V presentation. For fans of the director or collectors seeking the definitive edition of the film, this package comes highly recommended, though newcomers are advised to stream the film first to gauge their personal resonance with its multifaceted narrative and stylistic choices.