Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

awman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity. Check out Ralph Potts’ Ultra HD Blu-ray Review of Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

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

Film:

Extras:

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

96

Details:

Studio and Year: Universal – 2019
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 137 minutes
Genre: Action/Comedy

Disc Format: BD-100
Encoding: HEVC: Dolby Vision/HDR10 +
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, Spanish/French Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Eiza Gonzalez, Cliff Curtis, Helen Mirren
Directed by: David Leitch
Music by: Tyler Bates
Written by: Chris Morgan, Drew Pearce
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: November 5, 2019

“Brute Force meets Blunt Force”

Synopsis:

“Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity.” – Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

My Take:

For years, hulking lawman Luke Hobbs and lawless outcast Deckard Shaw have traded smack talk and body blows. But when cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton Lorr seeks to gain control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever, Hobbs and Shaw must partner up to bring down the only guy who might be badder than themselves.

I haven’t been a devout fan when it comes to the Fast & Furious films. I haven’t seen them all but, have definitely enjoyed those that I have. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is a spin off that is essentially no different, pulling together two series characters, set to an action/comedy theme featuring boatloads of adrenaline. The script, co-written by Chris Morgan, revolves around two plot points, one involving an enhanced villain that seeks to obtain a world threatening bio-weapon and the other involving the sister of Deckard Shaw, an MI-6 agent, that has come into possession of the bio-weapon, who is now on the run from the authorities as well as the bad guy. The last piece of the puzzle is forced pairing of Hobbs and Shaw, whose people have enlisted them to track down the weapon before it winds up in the wrong hands.

Let me start of by saying that my son saw this in the theater and had nothing good to say about it. I am most definitely a fan of the two leads so, I figured when it arrived for review, I would keep expectations well in check and, I did that. Okay, to begin with, there is little here that we haven’t seen from a conceptual standpoint but, I didn’t have a problem with it. The truth is that we really don’t watch franchise films such as this seeking well rounded narratives with deep meaning. We are in it for the high-octane action, and brother, there is plenty to go around.

I must admit that I probably enjoyed Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw more than I should have. I found myself chuckling aloud at the banter and needling between Johnson and Statham, who seem to have excellent chemistry and, marveling at the terrific stunts/visual effects. The plot and its attempts to provide connective tissue to past events were most decidedly contrived but, I went with it just the same. I liked the cameos by Rob Delaney, Ryan Reynolds, Helen Mirren, Eddie Marsan and Eiza Gonzalez too. There are several big-ticket set pieces fueled by superb driving, frenetic pacing, high flying stunt work and top-notch production elements. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs was lots of fun for me. Yes, it’s insanely over the top and a little campy, but who cares!?

Replay Value: 4 Stars

Parental Guide:

The rating is for prolonged sequences of action and violence, suggestive material and some strong 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): 96
(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: 

 

UHD Presentation (Dolby Vision): 96
(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: 96
(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: 

 

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw garnered a solid report from me on its video quality in 1080p. Its presentation in Ultra HD, which is comprised of a mix of 2.8K/3.4K sources, was rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K.

This is an excellent Ultra HD presentation that looks great on my large screen. What struck me from the onset is the lifelike reproduction of the textures captured by the camera’s lens. Whether it be the finest minutia in physical features or rough textures on the surfaces of buildings, streets, interiors of offices/warehouses/chop shops, or the vistas of the shooting locations, the imagery is gorgeous. The benefits of high dynamic range and wide color gamut are on display as earth toned colors have an added dimension that enlivens shots where they would normally have blended in, being seen as a less provocative background element that would generally go unnoticed. The first overhead pan of the Samoan Island is breathtaking.

Whites are emboldened, detailed and bright, especially during low level transitions viewed in a darkened environment. Contrast abounds, lending an authenticity that underscores the subject matter, bringing it to a visually rewarding level. There is a great moment later in the film when Hobbs and Hattie are standing outside of the shop on Samoa. It’s in the evening and, the light from shop illuminates them from behind, casting a sepia/golden hue against the dark surroundings. It’s a brief shot but, it looks fantastic.

The specular highlights during the encounter at the Ukraine facility followed later by the various explosions and billowing fire in the large-scale battle on Samoa in the finale, look terrific. Shot digitally, this rendering reproduces its elements with aplomb. Looking at the 1080p version, which is solid as well, the difference is noticeable, but not what I would describe as night and day. That being said, there is no question about which of the two makes for the more gratifying viewing experience.

Dolby Vision vs HDR-10:

I utilize the TCL 55P607 UHD Dolby Vision HDR flat panel in my review system 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.*

In comparing the DV and HDR10 renderings I ran the same scenes using my reference Panasonic UHD player (in DV) and Oppo UHD player (HDR10 mode). The title looked terrific on both formats with respect to the reproduction of HDR. While I found that the DV presentation offered slightly better delineation of color it wasn’t enough to warrant a rating difference. Inevitably you can’t go wrong with either but, if pushed, my preference was the Dolby Vision presentation.

Dolby Atmos:

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety that made steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects is a mix atmospherics, discrete effects and music. This is done to very good effect and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. During the first act, there are several instances where the mix generates a noticeable improvement in dimension and depth of field. There are a host of sounds that utilize the overhead channels, creating an involving listening experience. This continues with the film’s action-based sequences, most notably the extended chase at the Ukraine facility and battle/chase on Samoa, that convey the breadth/expanse of the soundstage as the track bristles with enveloping ambience and discretely placed effects. While these sequences sound very good in the standard mix, they are taken to the next level in the Amos mix.

Overall, I would say that viewing Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw in Ultra HD with the Dolby Atmos mix definitely heightened the experience of watching the film.

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: 100
(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

 

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

Video quality is solid and delivers images that are highly detailed and artifact free. Detail reproduction is excellent as both people and objects are rendered with crystal clear definition that is at times, meticulously resolved. Long distant camera pans are smooth and three dimensional in perspective with well-articulated minutia. Blacks are stable and deep with appreciable dynamic range. Contrast is emboldened and stable so that colors and whites pop while not appearing overdriven. Fleshtones are lifelike and reflective of the varying complexional types among the cast. The video had a sharp, pristine quality that looked great.

This lossless soundtrack is excellent and features wide dynamic range, superlative clarity and high-level detail. Dialog is definitive and appreciably lucid through the center channel as it is located just slightly in front of the left/right speakers within the acoustic space it occupies in the soundstage. Front and rear channel imaging is excellent. This draws out both large and small sound elements and allows their directional correlation based upon the onscreen events to be definable.

The music score, coupled with the integration of discrete and atmospheric surround sound effects, plays an intricate role in this active surround mix. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is notable. The atmospheric effects associated with the various environments featured in the story sound engagingly real. Low frequency effects are applied authoritatively and underscore the audio presentation with aplomb. Its palpable presence is never in question as it renders refined bass quality that kicks nicely and extends deep enough to engage the room.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: F&F Presents: Hobbs & Shaw Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: F&F Presents: Hobbs and Shaw Blu-ray
    • ALTERNATE OPENING*
    • DELETED/EXTENDED/ALTERNATE SCENES
    • JOHNSON & STATHAM: HOBBS & SHAW – Why this film duo works so well together on and off the set.
    • PROGRESS OF A FIGHT SCENE WITH DIRECTOR DAVID LEITCH – From script, to storyboard, to finally arriving on set and working with cast and crew, this piece will illustrate the progression of fight scenes from concept to execution.
    • PRACTICAL ACTION – Any film featuring Jason Statham or Dwayne Johnson is sure to be action packed and feature some over-the-top fight scenes. For the film, each fight sequence was carefully choreographed and shot ahead of time for the actors to use in training and ultimately in shooting the scene.
    • THE BAD GUY* – Fans can explore what makes the ultimate baddie, as well as Brixton’s backstory, casting Idris Elba, special effects for his cyber features and what makes him tick.
    • THE SISTER* – This piece will highlight Vanessa Kirby as Hattie Shaw – she may be Deckard Shaw’s little sister, but don’t be fooled, she’s equally capable of kicking just as much ass as he does.
    • HOBBS’ FAMILY TREE* – This character piece will highlight the extended family of the Hobbs heroes. From Hobbs’ daughter, mother and brothers, take a high-energy, behind-the-scenes look at their time on set.
    • THE MATRIARCH* – With her brief appearance in HOBBS & SHAW, audiences are reminded of the matriarchal might of Helen Mirren as mother Shaw. This piece will feature Mirren in her return to the role.
    • NEW FRIENDS – Featuring hilarious moments with the cameos featured in the film, this piece will showcase some of the best moments from their days on set.
    • ELEVATOR ACTION* – The elevator scene in the trailer – yes, you know the one. This is just one of the crazy stunts in the film – now fans can see how it was done.
    • STUNT SHOW AND TELL* – Along with film clips and stunt vis, this firsthand look at some of the key sequences in the film will peel back the layers of the stunt process.
    • KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY: A CONVERSATION WITH ROMAN AND DWAYNE* – In this intimate conversation, Roman Reigns and Dwayne Johnson discuss their personal relationship, coming from a long lineage of wrestlers, and what it’s like to be working side by side on a project so close to Johnson’s heart.
    • BLIND FURY* – Dwayne reveals the inspiration behind one of the film’s key scenes – his grandfather!
    • DWAYNE AND HOBBS: LOVE AT FIRST BITE* – We know how important family is to Dwayne Johnson, and his French Bulldog Hobbs is no exception. In this fun piece, fans can learn more about Dwayne and man’s best friend.
    • FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR DAVID LEITCH
  • Digital Code

Final Thoughts:

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw successfully adds another entertaining layer to the popular franchise that continues to prove that in some cases more is better. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Combo Pack from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring sparkling Ultra HD video (in Dolby Vision and HDR10+ flavors), reference quality high definition picture and sound, including a rewarding Dolby Atmos immersive mix, and a fan friendly supplemental package. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw doesn’t break the mold but, continues to provide the type of adrenaline fueled fun that series fans have come to expect. If it’s your cup of tea, it looks and sounds great on Ultra HD Blu-ray/Blu-ray.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra 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