Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

In this DC Universe original film, the Suicide Squad is sent on a mission to retrieve a mystical object so powerful, they’re willing to risk their own lives to steal it for themselves.

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

Film:

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

83

Details:

Studio and Year: Warner – 2018
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 86 minutes
Genre: Fantasy/Action

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Vanessa Williams, Christian Slater, Billy Brown, Liam McIntyre, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Tara Strong, C. Thomas Howell, Dania Ramirez
Directed by: Sam Liu
Music by: Robert J. Kral
Written by: Alan Burnett
Region Code: A

Release Date: April 10, 2018

“Fight Evil with Evil”

My Take:

Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay finds Amanda Waller’s top secret “Task Force X” – Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Killer Frost, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn and Copperhead – on a mission to retrieve a mystical object so powerful that they’re willing to risk their own lives to steal it. But the Suicide Squad isn’t the only group of villains seeking to possess the object. The race is on for the golden prize … and, to stay alive, second place isn’t an option.

As a kid I was more of a Marvel Comic reader however my first foray into comics was DC and I enjoyed reading them. I never read any of the Suicide Squad comics, but, didn’t mind the live action film, so when I read the press release for Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay I had to see what it was all about. It takes a little getting used to seeing bad guys as the heroes as well as the differing take on the team’s operation and interaction/perspective with the authorities and public.

I didn’t mind it, and found myself engaged, not only by that aspect of the film, but the plot and action as well. I have now seen a number of DC Universe animated features and each has proven to be well done and entertaining to watch. At 86 minutes the pacing is brisk, keeping things moving, but not feeling rushed. Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay features quite a bit of violence along with some thematic content, neither of which would be appropriate for younger viewers so bear that in mind.

As with previous DC Universe animated titles the production work adds an enriching element and is excellent. Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I had a good time with it, and look forward to the next installment.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The R rating is for strong bloody violence throughout, sexual content, brief graphic nudity, and some drug 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.**

Audio: 86
(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): 

UHD Presentation: 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: 

Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 2160p HEVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay in Ultra HD is rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K. Digital animation tends to look quite good in high definition, however the style of these films from DC aren’t generally lent to bright, glossy, razor sharp images, so I kept expectations in check.

In terms of resolution, the differences are noticeable, as there is a finer texture in the minutia, especially in the characteristics/physical makeup of the characters, although this isn’t what I would define as eye catching. To a lesser degree this also applied to backgrounds which emphasized depth of field. The image doesn’t employ the use of vibrant color, lending it to a reserved visual aesthetic that stayed within the visual boundaries of the subject matter, in a complimentary way. Whites are gradational, and the monochromatic grays, blues and black, that predominate the film are multi-staged and dimensional in appearance. High dynamic range didn’t really play an integral role in the presentation, save for a few instances, and those didn’t prove emphatic.

I felt that Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay looked solid in 1080p, but the Ultra HD rendering, while not significantly better, enhances its attributes, making for a pleasing and complimentary video presentation.

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio presentation renders the source elements with excellent clarity and punchy dynamics. Dialog is delivered with appreciable tonal variation and refinement. The surrounds are active at times and used to good effect for front/rear channel pans and reproduction of music related ambience. The mix isn’t very aggressive but does create a moderately enjoyable listening experience that matches the tone of 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: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

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

Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video.

Animation can sometimes be difficult to thoroughly judge when evaluating its video quality. This video presentation looks quite good and features colors that are reserved in saturation and consisted of tones that were not especially bright but mated well with source material. Resolution is very good with refining clarity as the video had tack like sharpness with crisp edges and no obvious signs of edge enhancement. Contrast is stable which provides plenty of pop to the image during scene transitions that blend light and dark onscreen elements. Blacks don’t have an infinite sense of depth but they are solid black and stand out well when onscreen with mixed content. Dark scenes have excellent contrast with discernible gradational stages and delineated color within backgrounds.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay Blu-ray
  • A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Movie, The Death of Superman: “The Death of Superman” – The Death of Superman is widely considered one of the most popular stories in the Superman canon and the DCU. This sneak peek at the exciting new film discusses the story and its place in pop culture.
  • Outback Rogue: Captain Boomerang (Featurette) – Audiences get a deeper look at this unconventional, yet entertaining villain from Down Under and how he’s evolved from The Flash universe to the Suicide Squad.
  • Nice Shot, Floyd! The Greatest Marksman in the DCU (Featurette) – Floyd Lawton, AKA Deadshot, is one of the most popular antiheroes in the DC pantheon. An excellent marksman and assassin, he often brags that he never misses his shot. Take a closer look at this fascinating character.
  • The Power of Plot Devices, MacGuffins and Red Herrings (Featurette) – An insightful examination of the power of a good plot device and the important influence it has over story.
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

Having seen a number of DCU animated titles I think it is safe to say that I am now a fan of the series. Featuring a solid array of anti-heroes and their accompanying storyline, Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay is a fairly engaging and action packed entry that I enjoyed spending time with. It comes to Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment in this Ultra HD Combo Pack that features gratifying audio/video quality, and a fair supplemental package that is worth exploring if you’re a fan.

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
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)
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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