After escaping an attack by what he claims was a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor returned to find that no one believe him. Five years later, Jonas must confront his fears and risk his own life to return to the ocean depths…bringing him face-to-face once more with the apex predator of all time in The Meg .

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

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

95
Details:

Studio and Year: Warner - 2018
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 113 minutes
Genre: Thriller

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chad, Cliff Curtis
Directed by: Jon Turteltaub
Music by: Harry Gregson-Williams
Written by: Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Region Code: A

Release Date: November 13, 2018
"Everything is Bait"
My Take:

A deep-sea submersible—part of an international undersea observation program—has been attacked by a massive creature and now lies disabled at the bottom of the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean…with its crew trapped inside. With time running out, former deep-sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is drawn out of self-imposed exile by a visionary Chinese oceanographer, Dr. Zhang (Winston Chao), against the wishes of his daughter, Suyin (Li Bingbing), who thinks she can rescue the crew on her own. But it will take their combined efforts to save the crew, and the ocean itself, from this seemingly unstoppable threat—a prehistoric 75-foot-long shark known as the Megalodon. Thought to be extinct, the Meg turns out to be very much alive…and on the hunt.

Five years before, Jonas had encountered this same terrifying creature, but no one had believed him. Now, teamed with Suyin, Jonas must confront his fears and risk his own life to return to the ocean depths…bringing him face-to-face once more with the apex predator of all time.

I have to be honest, the trailer for The Meg painted a grim picture BUT, it’s just the kind of cheesy, over the top, B-movie thriller that sometimes makes for fun popcorn entertainment. So, in that light I sat down to view it, with my wife, hoping for a bit of mindless entertainment. Well, it didn’t reach far enough to strike me as attention grabbing genre fare but, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, standing at the precipice of banality and oddly charming. I like Jason Statham and can’t think if a film I haven’t liked him in, including this one. He and Li Bingbing, along with Shuya Sophia Cai, combined to provide most of the film’s best moments.

The remaining cast members, some of whom are notable, added essentially nothing to the proceedings. The biggest disappointment though was what should have been the star of the show, the shark. I won’t go into details as they could be spoilers for those wanting to see the film. I would have preferred a more formidable foe and a bit more gore, especially given the thematic context of the film. Despite that, I found The Meg to be a mildly entertaining time passer that I would probably watch again.

Replay Value: 3.5 Stars

Parental Guide:

The rating is for action/peril, bloody images, and some 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): 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
  • HDR: Dark Highlights: 
  • HDR: Bright Highlights: 
  • HDR: Expanded Color: 
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  • 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: 
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  • Resolution: 
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Dolby Atmos Rating: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
  • Level of immersion: 
  • Soundstage integration: 
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  • Entertainment factor: 

 

The Meg comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD The Meg was derived from a 2.8K source, rendered from a 2K DI, and up-converted to 4K. The 1080p transfer for The Meg 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. During interior sequences 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, particularly during the underwater scenes involving the submersibles. The specular highlights during the various explosions look terrific. The use of shadows mixed with light looked very natural. The sun splashed exterior sequences had an over exposed aesthetic that white washed them, something that I found distracting.

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 not seen this film’s theatrical presentation, I can’t be certain but, I believe that what we are seeing is a faithful rendering of the film’s elements. The Meg 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 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 The Meg, I found the HDR renderings to be very close. Each presented similarly in terms of color rendering, but I did take a close look at contrast, and delineation, during scenes containing dark and bright elements. When I switched back and forth between the DV and HDR-10 renderings, I felt that the DV presentation revealed slightly better interstitials in the darkest portions of the image, and white detail that wasn’t quite as hot, resulting in better definition. These differences aren’t especially noteworthy, but in the grand scheme, made for a more pleasing image. At the end of the day both looked excellent, leaving me satisfied with what I saw.

Dolby Atmos:

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be an entertaining listening experience that made excellent use of the platform. The immersive mix compliments the already top-notch soundtrack and enhances the experience of watching the film. You get a taste of what is to come with the opening sequence that takes place on the crippled submersible. The use of audio objects placed above, and at ear level is a mix of atmospherics, discrete effects, and music. This is done to excellent effect and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events. The film’s active moments, swallow you up as the revolving, rotating and all-encompassing surround sound comes at you from all sides.

There is also much to enjoy in scenes that aren’t actively intense as smaller elements in the background are articulated and dimensionally full. In general, this Dolby Atmos mix made for an involving surround sound experience. I enjoyed the balance of atmosphere and discrete object placement.

** It should be noted that the DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio soundtrack is the default audio option. Listening to the Dolby Atmos mix requires entering the audio set up menu and manually selecting it.**

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: 96
(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

 

The Meg comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel and DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio 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 are delineated, unless overdriven by design. Fleshtones are lifelike and reflective of the varying complexional types among the cast. The video had a sharp, pristine quality that looked great.

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 Meg Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: The Meg Blu-ray
  • Creating the Beast - Featurette
  • Chomp on This: Making on The Meg - Featurette
  • Digital
Final Thoughts:

The Meg probably isn’t destined for cult-classic status as a B-Movie but, it has enough going for it to make for a mildly entertaining bit of escapism that I didn’t mind spending an evening with. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring excellent overall video and sound mated with a middling supplemental set. If you’re looking for a “check your brain at the door” flick when you feel like ramping up your home theater The Meg is just the ticket.
 
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” 16x9 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
Oppo UDP-203 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