Spider-Man: Far from Home Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Peter Parker’s relaxing European vacation takes an unexpected turn when Nick Fury shows up in his hotel room to recruit him for a mission. The world is in danger as four massive elemental creatures — each representing earth, air, water and fire — emerge from a hole torn in the universe. Check out Ralph Potts’ Ultra HD Blu-ray review of Spider-Man: Far from Home from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

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

Film:

Extras:

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

90

Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures – 2019
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 129 minutes
Genre: Action/Fantasy

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

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), English, French DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio (Blu-ray), Spanish, Thai Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Tom Holland, Jon Favreau, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marisa Tomei, Zendaya, Martin Starr, Jacob Batalon, JB Smoove, Cobie Smulders
Directed by: Jon Watts
Music by: Michael Giacchino
Written by: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: October 1, 2019

“Welcome to a New World”

Synopsis:

“Peter Parker’s relaxing European vacation takes an unexpected turn when Nick Fury shows up in his hotel room to recruit him for a mission. The world is in danger as four massive elemental creatures — each representing earth, air, water and fire — emerge from a hole torn in the universe.” – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

My Take:

Tom Holland returns as everyone’s favorite web-slinger in Spider-Man: Far from Home, the next chapter after Spider-Man: Homecoming. Our friendly neighborhood wall-crawler decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plans to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks! Spider-Man and Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) join forces to fight the havoc unleashed across the continent but all is not as it seems.

When Spider-Man: Homecoming was released, we really enjoyed it. The differing narrative spin regarding young Peter opened the door for further exploration, tweaking the Spider-man mythos a bit. Drawing Peter as less self-confident hero struggling to prove himself was a nice touch as was the introduction of his relationship with Iron Man/The Avengers and how it pertained to the storyline both then and within the Avengers/Infinity War narratives. The decision to incorporate the re-design of the Spidey suit was and, still is spot on.

I was at the theater opening weekend to see Spider-Man: Far from Home. With the events of the Infinity War behind him Peter is struggling to get his feet beneath him and pick up the pieces of his young life, beginning with his feelings for MJ. The school trip to Europe seemed like the opportune time to get away from protecting the city and get some much-needed rest while implementing his plan for connecting with MJ.

My only familiarity with Mysterio was from the animated Spider-Man TV series and, frankly, I never found him to be all that powerful. When I saw that his character was to be in the film, I wondered how the implementation would be handled. I have to say that I really like how it was handled. The air of mystery surrounding him and how the events unfolded worked very well. Jake Gyllenhaal never disappoints and compliments the film. I also liked the depiction of Peter’s personal struggles, the presence of his friends and the whole bit involving MJ. I didn’t much care for Nick Fury’s incessant barbs and annoying angst when it came to Peter, who after all, is still just a teenager.

Anyway, the script is well crafted and the pacing is excellent. At over two hours it moves along nicely. In addition to Peter, the integration of the secondary characters as well as the main and subplot is well done. The cast selection is complimentary all around and effectively enhances the film’s allure. The conclusion sets the stage for the continuing storyline regarding the character.

As with its predecessor I think that Spider-Man: Far from Home is a winner. I look forward to what lies in store in the next installment.

Replay Value: 4 Stars

Parental Guide:

The rating is for sci-fi action violence, some language, and brief suggestive content.

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: 84
(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: 

Spider-Man: Far from Home comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Spider-Men: Far from Home was derived from a 2.8K/3.4K/8K sources and finished at a 2K Digital Intermediate.

Spider-Man: Far from Home is an action fantasy-based film that is boldly colorful throughout, and this Ultra HD rendering makes the most of its elements. The 1080p transfer for Spider-Man: Far from Home looks great and this Ultra HD rendering takes it up a notch with a discernible increase in detail, emboldened contrast, and a noticeably sharper image. The film has a multitude of sequences containing streaming/cascading light, and mixed light dark elements, that simply look terrific. At times this can be a somewhat darkish film, and its low-level sequences had excellent depth and dimension.

Color reproduction is consistent, with primaries like blue, red, and green appearing richer, even a bit more delineated. Secondary hues look great as well, especially in the sequences that take place in Italy. There is intermittent use of visual elements that utilize high dynamic range. There were instances where bright elements looked appreciably vibrant, such as the battle with the fire monster on the dark streets in Prague where bursts of light, explosions and gleaming lights illuminate the screen. Spider-Man: Far from Home contains a host of sun splashed, daytime segments, which appeared more vibrant and tonally gradational compared to the Blu-ray.

On occasion there was use of interstitial black levels offset by vivid bright elements, such as during the nighttime street fair in Italy where the students reluctantly head to the Opera. The use of shadows mixed with light looked very natural. The sun splashed battle sequence in London benefitted from the HDR application, appearing vibrant and visually engaging.

Resolution received a boost although the differences between the UHD and 1080p renderings aren’t quite night and day. Close-ups tend to look amazing, with resolvable texture visible in the various interior/exterior sets, physical features, and CGI backgrounds being quite obvious. Having seen this film’s theatrical presentation I believe that what we are seeing is a faithful rendering of the film’s elements. Spider-Man: Far from Home in Ultra HD presents extremely well and is the best way to experience the film on home video.

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.*

Comparing the DV and HDR-10 presentations for Spider-Man: Far from Home, I found the HDR renderings to essentially be identical. This film’s elements are lent to bright color, rich contrast and vibrant highlights. When I switched back and forth between the DV and HDR10 renderings, any minute differences were negligible and not enough to warrant a rating difference. Both looked terrific, leaving me similarly satisfied with what I saw.

Dolby Atmos:

In listening to the Dolby Atmos mix I found it to be of the active variety that made steady use of the platform. Its use of sounds placed above is a mix of music, atmospherics and discrete effects. This is done well and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. Over the course of the film there are various sequences (such as the water monster and fire monster elemental battles in Italy and Prague and the extended sequence between Spider-Man and Mysterio in the office building in Germany) where environmental sounds, music cues and discrete objects are mixed to differing locations in the sound field, adding a head turning element to the viewing experience.

The large set piece in the finale finishes things off with a bang as flying debris, atmospherics, and near field objects rotate, and revolve around the soundstage from both above and at ear level.

Having said the above there are a few things regarding this sound mix that should be pointed out. The overall volume of the mix is lower than expected. This results in it lacking presence, pretty much across the board. Increasing the volume 7bd to 8db above where I normally listen improved things, bringing the sounds, effects, dialog and general dynamics in line.

The other issue is an unevenness to sounds mixed to the LFE channel. I say unevenness because there are instances where the type of bass response you’d expect, given the onscreen events is present but, conversely, there are times where you’d expect room shaking impact under the same circumstances and its noticeably lacking.

I can’t say with certainty that wasn’t the case during the film’s theatrical presentation. Regardless, it detracts from an otherwise solid overall surround mix. Listening to the 7.1 channel mix on the Blu-ray made for a more even listening experience. YMMV.

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: 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: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Spider-Man: Far from Home comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound.

This film looks great on Blu-ray and features excellent video quality that exhibits high level detail, stable sharpness and revealing definition. Close ups are noticeably refined and revealing of the subtlest details within facial features and objects within the frame. Mid-level camera pans are equally enriching and offer excellent depth and dimension. When called for, colors are appreciably delineated with natural rendering and punchy primaries that stand out among the spectrum of secondary hues. Contrast is boldly applied without overstatement as it enlivens colors and drives brightly lit scenes without whitewashing detail. Blacks are gradational and deep which emboldens sequences containing a mix of light and dark elements. Detail in uneven light and darkened environments reveal visible shapes and structure that enhances depth perception. This is a solid presentation that looked terrific on my big screen.

The 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio surround mix does a good job presenting the track’s recorded elements. This soundtrack runs the gamut between passages of spoken dialog and music to engaging sequences that deliver enriching surround sound. Dialog rendering is excellent as it holds sway over the front soundstage. Dynamic range is solid as the active elements within the surround mix resound with superior clarity and palpable bass transients. The music score is carefully integrated into the sound design and is wonderfully transparent and three dimensional. Clarity is first rate which brings out the finely articulated nuance of background elements within the mix. Surround use is prevalent and achieves a high level of envelopment that is appreciably involving as effects are seamlessly blended to create a stable and detail rich sound field.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: Spider-Man: Far from Home Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Spider-Man: Far from home Blu-ray
    • New Original Short, Peter’s To – Do – List: Peter has a few errands to run before he can leave on his class trip.
    • Teachers’ Travel Tips: Mr. Harrington & Mr. Dell present a few tips on how to traverse the European continent.
    • Stepping Up: Explore how Spider-Man was introduced in the MCU, the ways Tom Holland transformed the character of Peter Parker, and what the future holds for Spider-Man.
    • Suit Up: The suit doesn’t make the hero – but it does play a big role in who they are and who they can become. This piece examines all of Peter’s different suits in the movie, and with behind the scenes footage, we see why some suits are better than others.
    • Far, FAR, Far from Home: The film’s illustrious locations serve story points and establish tone, but they’re also amazing to travel to! Hear from the cast on their experiences filming on-location.
    • It Takes Two: A special look at the chemistry between Jon Watts and Tom Holland.
    • Fury & Hill: MCU stalwarts Cobie Smulders and Samuel L. Jackson are back as Agent Maria Hill & Nick Fury!
    • The Ginter-Riva Effect: A look at the villain sub-plot and how William Ginter-Riva ties Spider-Man: Far From Home all the way back to the beginning of the MCU.
    • Thank You, Mrs. Parker: A look at Marisa Tomei’s reimagining of Aunt May, from Homecoming to Far From Home.
    • The Brother’s Trust: A quick look into some of the amazing work Tom Holland and his brothers have done through their charity, The Brothers Trust.
    • The Jump Off: Interviews with the cast & crew take us through all of the amazing stunts of Far From Home.
    • Now You See Me: We examine the evolution of Mysterio and why Jake Gyllenhaal was the perfect fit for the role.
    • Stealthy Easter Eggs: Allow E.D.I.T.H. to reveal some of the hidden Easter Eggs you may have missed!
    • Select Scene Pre – Vis: A side by side comparison of the Pre-Vis with the film
    • Gag Reel & Outakes
    • Never-Before-Seen Alternate & Extended Scenes
  • Digital Copy

Final Thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed Spider-Man: Far from Home. Its blend of schmaltz, humor and action make it feel very much like something we needed after the events of the last Avengers film. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring terrific overall video quality, a fair assortment of extras and, generally engaging lossless sound that includes a head scratching Dolby Atmos mix. Spider-Man: Far from Home is entertaining and well worth consideration for inclusion in the collections of fans. I would say that a rental may be a good place to start for those wanting to check out its presentation prior to purchase.

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