Warm Bodies Ultra HD Review

Ralph Potts the Ultra HD Blu-ray debut of this story about the power of human connection, as Nicholas Hoult stars as an unusual zombie who forms a special relationship with a human girl as they struggle to survive during a zombie epidemic.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

83

Details:

Studio and Year: Lionsgate – 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 98 minutes
Genre: Horror/Romance

Disc Format: BD-100
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Teresa Palmer, Nicholas Hoult, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco, Analeigh Tipton, Cory Hardrict, John Malkovich
Directed by: Jonathan Levine
Music by: Marco Beltrami
Written by: Jonathan Levine based on the novel by Isaac Marion
Region Code: A

Release Date: October 3, 2017

“Cold Body Warm Heart “



My Take:

I reviewed Warm Bodies’ 2013 Blu-ray release, and have included my comments from that review here. Ratings for film, and bonus content will be the same, as they are identical to that release. New comments and ratings for the Ultra HD video and Dolby Atmos sound mix are below.

In a post-apocalyptic future after some sort of epidemic turn large portions of the human population into flesh eating zombies. “R” (a highly unusual zombie) living among others of his kind in an abandoned airport encounters Julie (a human survivor), and rescues her from a zombie attack secreting her in an abandoned jetliner. Julie sees that “R” is different from the other zombies, and as the two form a special relationship in their struggle for survival, “R” becomes increasingly more human – setting off an exciting, romantic and often comical chain of events that begins to transform the other zombies and maybe even the whole lifeless world.

Based on the novel by Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies is an offbeat comedy/romance hybrid about the power of human connection. Spun with a more a less teen themed demographic it is surprisingly entertaining with a light narrative that doesn’t try too hard and successfully derives the most from its shallow elements. I found the concept of integrating zombies into a teen/romance rather refreshing and appreciated the lightly interwoven levity and development of the central characters. There is not nearly enough horror here to satisfy true fans however the idea that zombies, (both good and bad) are present coupled along with a mashing of genres makes for good fun and the possibility broader audience appeal.

Leads Teresa Palmer and Nicholas Hoult are spot on as is the always funny Rob Corddry in the role of “M”, “R”’s zombie sidekick. The remaining members of the cast, including John Malkovich, are much less effective but don’t detract from the proceedings. Warm Bodies is a bit of a mishmash that effectively combines comedy, romance and flesh-eating zombies. Yes, it’s a little warmer, and fuzzier than need be, but its flair for romanticism mated with a topical theme is irresistibly charming, and ultimately entertaining.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for zombie violence and some language.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation(HDR-10): 80
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

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  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color & WCG:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

 

UHD Presentation (Dolby Vision): 80
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color & WCG:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

 

Dolby Atmos Rating: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Level of immersion: 
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Ultra HD Blu-ray has finally been released and eager enthusiasts are ready and willing to see what it has to offer. For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Warm Bodies comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 77 Mbps and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 3.3 Mbps.

Warm Bodies garnered a solid report from me on its video quality in 1080p. Its presentation in Ultra HD was rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K.

From a cinematic perspective, this film was shot with a specific visual aesthetic in mind and that comes through in this presentation. The Ultra HD presentation bests the 1080p versions in most respects, but the margin isn’t a wide one. Warm Bodies isn’t an overtly colorful film. With the exception of moments, such as the flashback sequences, the film doesn’t make for especially eye-catching levels of color, but the palate of cooler chromatic hues, sepia tones and variants of blue/red/green benefited from UHD’s wider color gamut, appearing a bit more delineated and pleasing to the eye.

Resolution gets a minor boost as well. Close-ups tend to offer improved refinement and deeper resolvable texture on surfaces and physical features when compared to the Blu-ray. There is intermittent use of visual elements that utilize high dynamic range. I wasn’t blown away by its application although some of that may be owed to the nature of the photography.

There are instances where bright elements looked appreciably vibrant. The first flashback where Perry is watching the fireworks is a good example. Alternatively, low level sequences, such as the one that takes place in the parking garage after “R” leaves Julie in the plane, had excellent depth of field, with discernible layers of detail in the background. All in all, I think that Warm Bodies benefitted from the Ultra HD treatment. The improvement isn’t a glaring one, however there are moments where it shines. This is something that those contemplating the upgrade will have to consider.

Dolby Vision vs HDR-10:

I recently added the TCL 55P607 UHD Dolby Vision HDR flat panel to my review system. This was to enable me to compare the visual quality of titles that contained the Dolby Vision metadata versus its HDR-10 counterpart on the same disc. All titles are first watched via my JVC front projector. I then select specific scenes which are watched on the TCL, first via HDR-10 then via Dolby Vision. The TCL isn’t among the top tier flat panels with DV, however it came recommended by AVS Forum Senior Editor Mark Henninger, and calibrates/performs extremely well for a set at its price point.

* The cumulative A/V score will still be based upon the HDR-10 rating, with the DV rating serving as informational only for now.*

Comparing the DV and HDR-10 presentations for Warm Bodies, I found the HDR rendering to essentially be the same. As I alluded to earlier, this film’s elements aren’t lent to bright color or vibrant highlights, however the subtleties that are present lie in the warm accents and reproduction of earth tones. Switching back and forth between the DV and HDR-10 renderings yielded minute differences that are probably more subjective and not enough to warrant a rating difference. If pushed to make a decision on which presentation I preferred I would give the nod to DV.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the moderately active variety, which was a pleasant surprise. Its use of audio objects placed above is comprised of a mix of atmospherics, panning fills and occasional discrete effects. This is done to good effect when implemented and creates an enriching level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. “R”’s running narration is mixed to the front overhead channels which draws his voice out into the room, which works very well. During the various sequences that take place in the large expanse of the airport, or outside, the track brims with environmental cues and discrete sound effects that when applied, using the freedom of object based placement, adds an enriching layer to the soundtrack.

The music is subtly mixed over the platform so as to add natural depth to its orchestrated elements, without drawing attention away from the thematic details of what is transpiring onscreen. While this mix doesn’t make constant use of attention grabbing audio object placement, I found myself completely involved when it mattered and found this to be an enjoyable audio presentation that absolutely complimented the source material.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: Warm Bodies Ultra HD Blu-ray
    Disc 2: Warm Bodies Blu-ray
  • Boy Meets, ER, Doesn’t Eat Girl – 9 minute featurette
  • R&J – 16 minute featurette
  • A Little Less Dead – 16 minute featurette
  • Extreme Zombie Make-Over – 10 minute featurette
  • A Wreck in Progress – 15 minute featurette
  • Bustin’ Caps – 10 minute featurette
  • Beware of the Boneys – 7 minute featurette
  • Whimsical Sweetness: Teresa Palmer’s Warm Bodies Home Movies – 12 minutes
  • Zombie Active Tips with Rob Corddry – 4 minutes
  • Audio commentary with Director Jonathon Levine, Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer
  • 9 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Writer/Director Jonathon Levine
  • Shrug and groan – 5 minute Gag Reel
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

Based on the novel by Isaac Marion, <i>Warm Bodies</i> is an offbeat comedy/romance hybrid that combines an age old theme with a little zombie blood letting. The result is a surprisingly charming film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is making its Ultra HD Blu-ray debut in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Lionsgate Home Entertainment, featuring a faithful video rendering (which includes Dolby Vision HDR) that makes the most of the source material, a complimentary Dolby Atmos immersive sound mixe, and legacy supplemental material. I can’t say that Warm bodies is a movie for everyone, but I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend that you consider renting it on Ultra HD Blu-ray.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems