The Shallows Ultra HD Blu-ray Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 26 Old 09-21-2016, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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The Shallows Ultra HD Blu-ray Review



Ralph Potts reviews this primal thriller about a young woman that while surfing, finds herself on the feeding ground of a great white shark.




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

Film:

Extras:

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

95



Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2016
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 86 minutes
Genre: Thriller

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

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), English/French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Japanese, Russian, Thai, Czech, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, German Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, English, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Japanese, Russian, Thai, Czech, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, German
Starring: Blake Lively
Directed by: Jaume Collett-Serra
Music by: Marco Beltrami
Written by: Anthony Jaswinski
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 27, 2016


"Not Just Another Day at the Beach"


My Take:

In the taut thriller, when Nancy (Blake Lively) is surfing on a secluded beach, she finds herself on the feeding ground of a great white shark. Though she is stranded only 200 yards from shore, survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills, requiring all of Nancy’s ingenuity, resourcefulness, and fortitude.

We have all seen thrillers that have pitted unknowing participants in a game of cat and mouse with a shark. Some have been better than others, with the universal theme being, can they survive against one of Mother Nature's most dangerous predators? I didn’t get out to see The Shallows during its theatrical run although I know of folks that did. I essentially got the same response from them all, that it was just okay. The teaser trailer that I have seen didn't provide much (rightfully so) but it wasn't tough to get a feel for what to expect in terms of story.

The synopsis pretty much tells it all. At 86 minutes there isn't much in terms of set up and character development although it's really not necessary as we know all we need to by the time the crap hits the fan. Interestingly the narrative here, like most other films of its ilk, doesn't take our victim miles off shore, but sets the stage only a few hundred yards from the beach. I rather liked the brief introduction and no nonsense dive into the suspenseful, visceral and primal elements that comprised the survival plot.

I watched it with my wife and we were both drawn in by the point to point thrills and melodrama. The pacing it spot on, building toward the climax via a series of encounters that, while not conceptually original, manage to keep you engaged. That is until the last ten minutes. For the life of me I can't imagine why the screenwriter would take a fairly well drawn victim, that you are anxiously rooting for, and make her something so painfully contrived and corny. The same goes for the shark which to that point, had no real agenda, other than seemingly doing what came natural to it. I won't go into detail obviously, but the ending disrupted the flow of what had been a very solid thriller. That isn't to say that it ruined the film. I liked it to that point, and enjoyed Blake Lively's performance. I think that the ending turned a four star film into something less. Regardless The Shallows proved entertaining and a very decent entry in the popcorn flick genre.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for bloody images, intense sequences of peril, and brief 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: 100
(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: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


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



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

For those not willing to refer to the article linked above, I have included some comments here. The implementation of high dynamic range as it stands currently, doesn't appear to have exacting standards and no calibration tools to allow for a foundational threshold for setting up a visual system. This leaves us to do the best we can to determine what appears to be accurate, at least for the time being. With that in mind, my approach to reviewing Ultra HD Blu-ray will be to assess the elements observed which I find to generate the most significant visual impact when compared to standard high definition Blu-ray.

For me, high dynamic range, with its broader spectrum of colors and emboldened highlights in the areas of contrast and brightness, is where the potential lies in the format. The increase in resolution, while an important component, isn't going to be definitive in every case, especially given that currently many of the Ultra HD Blu-ray releases are derived from 2K Digital Intermediates that are up-converted to 4K. This shouldn't be strictly construed to mean that such up-converted images won't look noticeably better than their 1080p counterparts. Conversely, a release finished on a 4K Digital Intermediate isn't a guarantee that it will be heads and shoulders above the rest. So, what can you expect to hear from me when discussing what I observed from Ultra HD Blu-ray? I will hit upon the things that struck me, the impact, or lack of impact, of HDR and the improvement, if any, in resolution when compared to 1080p Blu-ray. The outcome will be a rating as seen above.

Front projection for home theater is just stepping through the door with respect to the reproduction of HDR. My goal is to present readers with a reasonable expectation of what they can expect when viewing the same content that I have. There may be variables that differ slightly however I believe that in general the outcome will be close. As we are exposed to more and more content and calibration tools come onboard we will have better perspectives from which to gauge. Thanks for reading!


The Shallows comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160p HEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) sound.


For its presentation in Ultra HD The Shallows (derived from a 3.4 K source) was rendered from a 2K DI. With the limited exposure to Ultra HD either sourced from 2K or 4K Digital Intermediates we are left to judge based upon what we have seen thus far. In this case the results are marvelous.

Shot in high definition The Shallows 1080p transfer looks superb and this Ultra HD rendering takes it to the next level with a discernible increase in detail, emboldened highlights, both light and dark, and a noticeably sharper and vibrant image. This is readily apparent in the opening sequence as Sarah arrives at the beach. The shimmering/flowing sea water, the breaking/falling waves and contrast of the blue sky against the aqua waters look stunning. Close ups reveal oodles of fine detail and abounding textures, even during the shots that take place underwater. Wide angle and overhead shots of the gorgeous shooting locations and breath taking cinematography are pure eye candy. Later in the film as the waning sunlight illuminates the area around Sarah the reflected light off of the water's surface, her skin and the small rock formation keeping her safe looks incredibly lifelike.

The scenes shot at night or in the low light of dawn or dusk, set to moonlight or natural light are equally rewarding, offering defining contrast and a near infinite sense of depth. I could go on and on. At times the level of minutia is amazing as even the finest nuance in the physical features, clothing and the textures in the landscapes is visually resolvable. This is one of the best, if not the best, combination of high dynamic range (in each of its variants) and enhanced resolution that I have seen from the format. This film looks spectacular in Ultra HD.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the moderately active variety that makes steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects placed above is a mix of atmospherics, music and discrete sound effects. This is done very well and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. The surfing sequence is where you get the first taste of what it to come as the sounds of the open air, crashing waves and underwater captures places you inside the scene (literally) as sounds rotate and revolve around the soundstage from both above and at ear level. While this isn’t what I would regard as an aggressive Atmos mix I enjoyed the balance of atmosphere combined with discrete object placement. I think that it complimented the source material and made for an entertaining listening experience.


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: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:


The Shallows comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 Mbps and lossless sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.

This is a superb looking high quality Blu-ray offering from Sony. The video is razor sharp with a pristine quality that is visually engaging. Detail perception is nearly flawless with lucid visual acuity and fine rendering throughout. Colors are lavish and eye popping with oversaturated primaries and warm tonality that make them pleasing. Flesh tones are on the warm side with fair delineation. Boldly applied contrast and consistent black levels provide excellent balance during bright scenes containing mixed content. Shadow detail is excellent allowing for clearly defined textures in low lighting and dark backgrounds. All in all this is a top notch high definition presentation that looked terrific.

Incorporating elements of suspense and action, a film like this relies heavily on its soundtrack to elicit the intended effect upon the audience, and the 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD (core) and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio does just that. This is an active sound design that features an array of well-placed sound effects that engage the listening position. When called upon the room is illuminated with an array of sounds that are both directional and ambient in nature. I appreciated the attention to detail that went into creating the surround mix as it effectively replicates the environments featured in the film. Bass reproduction is clean and hard hitting as it accentuates the audio’s excellent dynamic range with palpable impact. Dialog intelligibility is never a problem even during the film’s active moments. This is a great surround sound experience that made this film a bit more enjoyable.

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: The Shallows Ultra HD Blu-ray
    Disc 2: The Shallows Blu-ray (plus bonus features)
  • (HD) 3 Deleted Scenes
  • (HD) Shooting The Shallows – 6 minute featurette
  • (HD) How to Build a Shark – 7 minute featurette
  • (HD) Finding The Perfect Beach: Lord Howe Island – 6 minute featurette
  • (HD) When Sharks Attack – 7 minute featurette
  • Digital HD Copy



Final Thoughts:

The Shallows doesn't reinvent the genre wheel but manages to make the most of its primal elements, save for a rather shaky ending that luckily doesn't derail the proceedings to unrecoverable levels. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring sparkling Ultra High Definition video, engaging lossless surround sound, and a minimal but worthwhile features set that offers an inside look at the making of the film. The Shallows is a solid popcorn thriller that easily deserves a spot at the top of your Blu-ray rental queue.











Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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post #2 of 26 Old 09-21-2016, 03:50 PM
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So happy to see the video rating. I actually was waiting to see this until it came to UHD blu-ray
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post #3 of 26 Old 09-21-2016, 05:58 PM
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Wow, only Humpback Whales and Journey to Space have scored a perfect 100% UHD video before the Shallows. I will pick this one up just for the PQ. And if the movie is entertaining enough; bonus!
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post #4 of 26 Old 09-21-2016, 07:03 PM
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I might pick this one up now. I like hearing how hdr10 stuff looks on projectors. Still hoping you review Lucy as well
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLevy1978 View Post
I might pick this one up now. I like hearing how hdr10 stuff looks on projectors. Still hoping you review Lucy as well
I think Ralph had revieed LUCY. Check it out from the Review data base.
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post #6 of 26 Old 09-21-2016, 08:10 PM
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I meant Lucy UHD as it has gotten killer reviews but none on a projector setup
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post #7 of 26 Old 09-22-2016, 11:05 AM
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No review from Ralph on UDH .........wonder the UDH version is in the market. Sorry I mis-understood your question earlier.
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post #8 of 26 Old 09-23-2016, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLevy1978 View Post
I might pick this one up now. I like hearing how hdr10 stuff looks on projectors. Still hoping you review Lucy as well
Just picked up Lucy UHD today and will give it a spin tonight! Very excited!
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post #9 of 26 Old 09-24-2016, 11:51 AM
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Can the 4K UHD ......can play by 1080K blue ray player? Or must be 4K player? Wonder the UHD package include 1080p version in same 4k disc or separate? Can any one advise.

Kwok
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post #10 of 26 Old 09-24-2016, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwok lau View Post
Can the 4K UHD ......can play by 1080K blue ray player? Or must be 4K player? Wonder the UHD package include 1080p version in same 4k disc or separate? Can any one advise.

Kwok
Greetings,

The UHD version will only play in an Ultra HD Blu-ray player. The 1080p version comes with the Ultra HD version also.


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post #11 of 26 Old 09-24-2016, 04:12 PM
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Ralph, thank you. So every HDH disc package always come with a separate 1080p additional disc, selling in the market nowadays. Right? I do not have 4K player nor projector, so it is still a waste of money I buy a HDH RB disc package because no 3D 1080p of same movie not available separately. Europe is different.......movie makers provide single 3D 1080p movies, no need to buy HDH package. e.g. The American Captain - civil war. They treat USA customers differently for more money. Too bad.
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post #12 of 26 Old 09-25-2016, 07:09 AM
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Hi Ralph - I watched the 4K UHD version last night - it had arrived early from Best Buy. Excellent review - totally agree with your findings.
Overall, the video and audio are spectacular. The studios are starting to release a lot more very good 4K UHD discs.
My biggest problems with this film was (1) that I didn't care for Blake Lively's character; and (2) those cell phone scenes.
Way too gimmicky - brought me right out of the movie! My favorite character was the sea gull - he stole the show!
I was happy the film was only 86 minutes long! Excellent images during the closing credits!
I enjoyed the extras - interesting info on how the movie was filmed.
I also checked out some of the 1080P version and it also looked great.


Ray
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post #13 of 26 Old 09-25-2016, 02:08 PM
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But the 4K UHD does not come with 3D. Not much people own 4K player and projector or TV set at present. To bad the buyers do not have much choice to get single 3D BR movies that they want most of the time. 3D with 2d x UHD set not always and too expensive on a movie. 3d x 1080p of same movie is hard to get in USA, also expensive comparing with 2D BR single disc.
This is the problem to USA buyers, like me.
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post #14 of 26 Old 09-28-2016, 02:11 PM
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Meant to be a great movie, need to pick it up
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It was... okay. At least it was a decent attempt at a new shark movie without a sharknado in sight. Maybe, if the price comes down, I'll pick up the UHD, since it did look nice.
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Couple nights ago I watched the lo-res 1080p version. Awesome picture quality. And the less immersive sound was also a delight...under water.
That was the 2D version, because it doesn't have a 3D version.

As for the film itself; don't go surfing when there's a whale's carcass nearby. Any smart surfer should know that.
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Great review Ralph!
I watched it with my girls, one being a swimmer, and we watched in anticipation. Good sound and some decent bass as well.
My swimmer indicated after the movie that she does not want to learn to surf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizrussspike View Post
Great review Ralph!
I watched it with my girls, one being a swimmer, and we watched in anticipation. Good sound and some decent bass as well.
My swimmer indicated after the movie that she does not want to learn to surf
Greetings,

Awesome!


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post #19 of 26 Old 10-18-2016, 04:49 AM
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The movie was okay ' then the ending just ruin the movie. The colors of the water and sound were great and the movie was decent but they could have had a better way to kill the shark.
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The movie was okay ' then the ending just ruin the movie. The colors of the water and sound were great and the movie was decent but they could have had a better way to kill the shark.
Lol, exactly. As if any shark would go for that! I agree with you; the shark's ending destroyed the entire movie...might as well called it Sharknado 5.

It's a very good thing that it's just a "fictive" movie.
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I live in Australia & it's not coming to our shores until early December.
I read this review when Ralph first reviewed it & the score of 100 made me go to eBay & buy it from the States, tracking says it should be here today in fact. Looking forward to watching it just for the PQ as I'm not expecting it to be a great movie. Just need my UHD Player back from repair now
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post #22 of 26 Old 10-21-2016, 12:00 AM
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I thought the ending was good if somewhat formulaic,certainly didn't ruin anything IMO. Of course the shark behaved rather like an Orca would till the last minute, I guess this is what might be the sticking point for some.

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post #23 of 26 Old 10-21-2016, 08:03 AM
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this movie is like jaws but with a girl just like cast away but hot. It looks wonderful.

Here's my transfer:

Color Preset 1



Color Preset 2


Last edited by ajedrezz; 10-23-2016 at 11:42 AM.
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post #24 of 26 Old 02-01-2017, 06:55 PM
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I saw this movie over the weekend via Netflix Blu-Ray disc rental. I watched it on my 100" screen in 1080P and in DTS-HD Master 5.1. I believe the disc I rented did not have the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core. The movie looked fantastic it looked like I was watching 4K. I can only imagine how great the UHD presentation looks. The image was very sharp and clear and water was so very blue/green and clear. The movie also sounded good and had moments of good bass. I thought the pacing was excellent for this movie even though the last 10 minutes practically ruined a good movie but I understand they may of had to rush things along to end the movie.
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post #25 of 26 Old 02-03-2017, 04:11 AM
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We loved this film. This definitely has replay value at our house
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post #26 of 26 Old 02-09-2017, 02:17 AM
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I just had to pop the film into my player to see what all the fuss was about and I was blown away the attention to detail is staggering and I can't wait to watch the rest of the film.
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