Captain Marvel Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Check out Ralph Potts’ Ultra HD Blu-ray review of Captain Marvel, which follows Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. Set in the 1990s, Captain Marvel is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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

Film:

Extras:

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

94

Details:

Studio and Year: Marvel/Disney – 2019
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 124 minutes
Genre: Fantasy

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, English/Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, 1080p Blu-ray: DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Brie Larson, Annette Bening, Jude Law, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Gemma Chan, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Clark Gregg
Directed by: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Music by: Pinar Toprak
Written by: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: June 11, 2019

“Witness the Rise of a Hero”

Synopsis:

“Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her people and the Skrulls. Living on Earth in 1995, she keeps having recurring memories of another life as U.S. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers. With help from Nick Fury, Captain Marvel tries to uncover the secrets of her past while harnessing her special superpowers to end the war with the evil Skrulls.” – Disney Home Entertainment

My Take:

Set in the 1990s, “Captain Marvel” is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that introduces the MCU’s first stand-alone, female-franchise title character—Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel. When we first meet Danvers, she already possesses her superhero powers, having left her earthly life behind and become a member of an intergalactic elite Kree military team called Starforce, led by their enigmatic commander, Yon-Rogg. But after Danvers has trained and worked with the Starforce team, and become a valued member¬, she finds herself back on Earth with new questions about her past. While on Earth she quickly lands on the radar of Nick Fury, and they must work together against a formidable enemy in the form of the Skrulls—the notorious Marvel bad guys made even more dangerous by their shape-shifting abilities—and their leader, Talos, who is spearheading a Skrull invasion of Earth.

Growing up, I read some of Captain Marvel’s exploits in Marvel Comics. That iteration was Mar-Vell who could appear when trouble struck by exchanging atoms with Rick Jones via use of the Nega-Bans. I didn’t follow the character with any constancy, knew little about his background but, enjoyed reading the comics that I had. I do recall the Carol Danvers Captain Marvel character and caught glimpse of her in other Marvel publications but, never followed her. So, here we are with the lasts character to emerge from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I immediately knew at the end of Avengers Infinity War who Nick Fury was attempting to contact based upon the insignia on the communication device. At that point I wasn’t certain how Captain Marvel would fit into the current/continuing storyline but, I knoew that the characters presence was designed to have a big impact on the proceedings. Captain Marvel’s appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe made a big splash, bringing the character to life in apropos fashion. Giving the character her own film was definitely the next step and co-writers/directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck handled the project with aplomb.

I saw Captain Marvel opening weekend with high expectations and found that it primarily lived up to the hype. It’s not the best film to come from the Marvel Cinematic Universe but, it brings with it the studio’s penchant for thematic context, humor, action and light gravitas. I found some of the references to the historical and upcoming events to be on the gratuitous side and didn’t much care for the relationship between Fury and Danvers, finding it to be oversimplified and hurried. I liked the overall narrative surrounding Danvers and the evolution of events that transforms her into Captain Marvel.

I have heard mixed feelings on star Brie Larson’s handling of the role. Personally, I have no problem with her performance of the depiction of the character as written. I enjoyed the production elements, direction, stunt work and supporting members of the cast that helped bring Captain Marvel to the big screen.

As I stated, I saw Captain Marvel soon after it opened and enjoyed it. This second viewing was no different. I appreciated the handling of her backstory which set up her role in Avengers: End Game. I am not certain where she goes from there but, I look forward to seeing more of Captain Marvel in the MCU.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive material.

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: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

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

Dolby Atmos Rating: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Level of immersion: 
  • Soundstage integration: 
  • Audio object placement: 
  • Effectiveness of Atmos platform: 
  • Entertainment factor: 

Captain Marvel comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Disney Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Captain Marvel was rendered from a 6.5K/8K sources and finished on a 2K DI.

Captain Marvel is a fantasy/action-based film that is boldly colorful, relying on stylized visuals that employ stark contrast, vivid chromatic elements and lots of CGI. With an appreciable increase in detail and richness of color, the image appears refined and vivid when compared to the 1080p version, which is excellent in its own right. Primary and secondary colors emboldened, while whites appear gradational and vibrant. When brought together, the combination of color, sepia, and gradational gray tones literally pop off of the screen. Carol’s first visit to the Supreme being is a great example, as is the second but, it’s when the gloves come off in the finale that you get to see the total package.

I also enjoyed the implementation of HDR. This isn’t a consistently bright film and relies on its ability to render shadow detail and depth of filed in low lighting. The added dimension in blacks, and shadows during the low-level scenes, such as those that take during the Skrull ambush in the first act, in the records warehouse, on the farm, or aboard Mar-Vell’s laboratory ship, is immediately noticeable. The cinematography makes use of streaming light and a mix of light/dark elements. It’s application here is used very well, drawing upon HDR’s ability to create stark contrast between the two. In the aforementioned sequences, the blend of shadow detail/depth of field offset by the presence of light at varying levels, looked very natural.

The film has a variety of sequences that make use of close up camera angles that show off the superb rendering of detail. At times, the level of minutia is excellent, as even the finest nuance in the physical features, costumes and interior sets is resolvable. The exterior shots, and CGI featured in the film have superb depth which adds an enriching, and eye-catching aesthetic to them.

The difference between viewing Captain Marvel in high definition and Ultra HD isn’t night and day but, there is no question that it benefitted from the increase in resolution, emboldened color and high dynamic range treatment. I thought that this presentation faithfully mimicked the theatrical experience.

Dolby Atmos:

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety, which was welcomed. Its use of audio objects placed above is comprised of a mix of atmospherics, panning fills and discrete sounds. This is done to good effect when implemented and creates an enriching level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. Nearfield sound placement is noteworthy, providing an involving listening experience that emboldens the “being there” effect when applied. Audio object placement, from both above, and in the ear level listening plane are put to effective use. The various sounds and atmospherics, in small and large spaces, feel more realistic in terms of their acoustics and size.

The sound mix creates an engaging level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events when there’s butt kicking afoot. During the film’s hand to hand or larger scale encounters the use of discretely placed objects is ramped up, placing you inside the action. The music is 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 presentation may not make constant use of attention-grabbing audio object placement, I found myself completely involved when it mattered. Overall, I found this to be an enjoyable audio presentation that absolutely complimented the source material.

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

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 

Audio: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Captain Marvel comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound.

This is an excellent high definition rendering that sports plenty of fine detail and crisp definition that provides discerning dimensional perspective. Colors range from warm and vivid to cool, reserved and almost tonally neutral. This is obviously a creative decision that draws definitive visual boundaries and works quite well. Contrast is strong and blacks are deep without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages. I didn’t see any signs of video degrading artifacts or extraneous compression related noise. Captain Marvel looks great on Blu-ray.

I had high expectations for this soundtrack on Blu-ray and this 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio/Dolby TrueHD (Atmos core) presentation didn’t disappoint, and bested what I heard in the theater. This lossless soundtrack is reference quality and is dynamically supported which accents the active nature of the sound design. Dialog has excellent presence with clear, defining vocal character and noteworthy room penetration. The mix makes involving use of the surround channels as multi-layered sound effects are appropriately placed within the soundfield so that they coincide with the events transpiring onscreen.

The surround mix utilizes the subwoofer to accentuate the action-based sequences which feature a solid low end. Throughout the presentation the quality of the bass is excellent, as it is fills the room with clean, resonating, low frequency detail. * Note: As with other recent Disney releases on Blu-ray I found that I needed to set playback at volumes above where I normally listen. In this case I found it to be less of an increase, only requiring a 2db boost. Once there, it played back as expected with no signs of unwanted dynamic compression.

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute with this terrific soundtrack. Captain Marvel on Blu-ray is demonstrative worthy and makes for a great home theater experience.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: Captain Marvel Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Captain Marvel Blu-ray
    • Alternate Movie Versions
    • Movie with Intro – An introduction by directors/screenwriters Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck.
    • Movie with Commentary – Commentary by directors/screenwriters Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck.
    • Featurettes:
    • Becoming a Super Hero – Follow Brie Larson’s journey as she joins the MCU, and see what it takes to be a Marvel Super Hero in every sense of the word.
    • Big Hero Moment – Explore how impactful Captain Marvel’s entrance into the MCU is, and how she inspires audiences around the world.
    • The Origin of Nick Fury – Witness some of the MCU’s most significant events through Nick Fury’s eyes, and see how his influence helped shape the MCU.
    • The Dream Team – Discover why Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck are the perfect pair to direct Marvel Studios’ most powerful hero.
    • The Skrulls and the Kree – Take a deeper look into the Skrulls and the Kree, their ongoing conflict, and the importance of shifting perspectives in the film.
    • Hiss-sterical Cat-titude – The cast and crew dish on working with Goose and the raw talent it takes to portray such a complex character on-screen.
    • Deleted Scenes
    • “Who Do You Admire Above All Others?” – Kree Commander Yon-Rogg must answer to the Supreme Intelligence, who questions his leadership ability.
    • Starforce Recruits – Yon-Rogg lectures a roomful of students on the Kree’s mission to defend all nations from the scourge of the Skrulls.
    • Heading to Torfa – Vers (Danvers) and her fellow Starforce members banter as they prepare for their rescue mission to Torfa.
    • “What, No Smile?” – In this alternate version of a scene from the movie, Vers is consulting a map when she receives a dubious offer of assistance.
    • Black Box – Keller attempts to track Vers and Fury after their escape in a quadjet from the Joint USAFA Facility.
    • Rookie Mistake – Novice S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson helps Director Keller out of an embarrassing situation.
    • Gag Reel – The fate of the universe hangs in the balance as the cast battles props, flubs and Flerkens in these outtakes from the set.

    Digital Exclusives:
    o Journey into Visual Effects with Victoria Alonso – Experience how filmmakers’ visions of the MCU come to life on-screen through the skill of the Visual Effects team.
    • What Makes a Memory: Inside the “Mind Frack” – What does it take to craft an action-packed sequence for a Marvel Studios film? Nothing short of an epic team effort!
    • Concept Art – Explore artwork from “Captain Marvel” and trace the visual development of characters.
    • On-Set Images – Uncover a trove of behind-the-scenes and production photography.

  • Digital Copy

Final Thoughts:

Captain Marvel is the latest character to leap from the pages of Marvel Comics to the big screen. I found it to be an entertaining action/adventure that hit more than missed thanks to the efforts of the creative team and cast. It comes to Blu-ray in this Cinematic Universe Edition from Disney Home Entertainment featuring top notch Ultra HD video, excellent lossless surround sound, including a complimentary Dolby Atmos immersive listening experience and a fan friendly supplemental package that is worth exploring. Captain Marvel sparkles on Blu-ray and comes highly recommended for fans.

 

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 AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray 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)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems 

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