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Ant-Man And The Wasp (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

We are going to get a big push early next year on Marvel’s first headlining female super hero, but The Wasp gets to jump in first being a lead and having her name in the title. That Marvel downplayed this big step for them to save it for a later one is kind of annoying, but it is what it is. And what it is was a film that was a nice, quirky follow up to the big wallop that was Infinity War. Ant-Man and The Wasp improved upon its predecessor at the box office as well crossing the 200 million mark in the US alone. Its still going worldwide but its grossed over 100 million more than Ant-Man and counting (Top 5 grosser for the summer). Disney and Marvel are bringing it to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray on October 16th, so get in there and get your pre-order on to the enjoy this tiny caper!

Film 

Scott Lang is grappling with the consequences of his choices, as both the Super Hero Ant-Man and a father, in the aftermath of “Captain America: Civil War.” As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission to rescue Janet van Dyne from the Quantum Realm. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp, all while attempting to serve house arrest, assist fast talking-Luis and the X-con Security crew, and thwart the efforts of a new adversary called Ghost and her ally Bill Foster.

Like the original Ant-Man film, the sequel is used in similar fashion with the Marvel release schedule. After a rather large Avengers team up film (The biggest one ever), a low-key, low-stakes fun family oriented film follows as a sort of “come down” from the huge world wracking events prior. Thanks to some terrific continuity in front of and behind the camera, the movie works in spades and is perfectly in tune with the tone, visuals and action of the first film, just able to naturally expand upon and go bigger than they had previously.

Our main attraction lies in the title with the addition of The Wasp. Like The Hobbit films before, Evangeline Lilly is one of the best things about this movie. And here (Unlike The Hobbit films), there are many “best things”. Lilly is a radiant presence that always fills her roles quite well and looks like she’s having a lot of fun in doing so. Her physicality on display is very impressive and she’s an absolute natural fit in the super hero world. Even as in the last film, you just get the feeling that Hope Van Dyne is hungry for some action in this world and won’t stop at trying to take every next level step she can. Last time, she wanted a suit and to be part of the “big” fight, now that she has that, she wants to lead the team. Now, you just know she’s itching for some Avengers action. Hell, after that, I’m sure she’ll be vying to want to lead the Avengers. She’s a great character and its really great that they have probably inadvertently taken their time to build her up naturally and have found an excellent actress to breathe life into one of the original Avengers.

As we already know, Paul Rudd is just the most loveable damn guy (And surely a vampire) and makes Scott Lang one of the most fun super heroes to take up a frame. With this second film, he’s clearly being left to write and improv more to his strength. There are many sketch-worthy bits and they really excel. New additions like Randall Park keep adding new dimensions to keep the humor fresh. Of course the returning supporting cast are great as they were before. Hannah John-Kamen gives quite an all-in performance as Ghost that really amps up some intensity and makes for a good foil to our heroes. The only slight downside is that Walton Goggins feels like a wasted opportunity here in the part he was given, though still terrific.

Peyton Reed is the perfect director for these Marvel films. He’s innovative and good with the creative action you can do with the super hero and villain powers in this movie. Reed is void of a sort of “flare” to his work, but he’s a pretty damn good straight up, classic action craftsman. And I mean this in the best way. His chances he takes are strong but not ones to distract. The balancing act he does between the humor, action and visual effects seamlessly makes this for a film of its own volition. This is a guy who just gets strong blockbuster filmmaking results. If an upcoming Star Wars movie is looking for a director, he should be at the top of their wishlist (As probably is with any studio). He’s probably more the type of craftsman that could be a good link between film buffs and fanboys.

Ant-Man and The Wasp is a terrific little caper and full of wonderful, playful action scenes that could only pop up here in this series. What’s great about the Ant-Man movies is how much of a family affair they are both in their story and how they can play to a general audience. There’s something here for every one. This sequel not only matches the first film, but takes a nice stride past it and leaves you wanting a third outing for our tiny heroes. We’ll see how the conclusion of Infinity War shapes up, but I’d really like another outing with Wasp or a third Ant-Man film. Would be super cool if we got one of each too. But, we’ll see.

Video 

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Ant-Man and the Wasp is a 4K upconvert having been mastered with a 2K Digital Intermediate despite being reportedly shot at 3.4K, 6K, 6.5K and 8K. Bummer, right? Well, no. This movie looks terrific and is a noticeable jump from its Blu-ray counterpart. Its much more crisp and sharp with enhanced details coming through as well. You’ll instantly note that the color is much better, stands out more and is better saturated. You’ll note improved blacks, tool. This is a top notch upconvert, easily.

Depth:  This features some solid depth of field. Even just stagnant in a room you get a real sense of distance between characters and a nice pushback on the background. Movements and camera pans are much more confident, smooth and feature no distortion issues with so-called blur or jittering.

Black Levels: Blacks are natural and very well saturated. Dark scenes carry many different shades and retain loads of detail. No crushing witnessed during this viewing.

Color Reproduction: Colors are quite strong here and a big improvement from the standard Blu-ray. Just look to the red on the Ant-Man suit. Its a bit more rich. They are also better saturated here. You’ll note stronger glow from the filtered scenes, especially at the beginning when Scott and his daughter are playing in the cardboard box maze jumping the “lasers”. Filtered scenes are more crisp and detailed as well. HDR comes in good with some solid pop on flashlights, tail lights and of course the quantum realm is visual eye candy.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from scene to scene, start to finish. Facial features and textures like freckles, lip texture, make-up, wrinkles, stubble and more come through clear as day in any reason given camera distance.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital, French (Canada) 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, Spanish (Latin American) 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, German 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, Italian 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus

Subtitles: English SDH, French (Canada), French, Latin Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Cantonese, Korean, Thai, Swedish, Norwegian

Dynamics: Folks, you’re likely not going to believe me until you experience it for yourself, but Ant-Man and The Wasp is a major corner turned for Disney’s Atmos reputation. Right from the moment it starts, Michael Douglas’ voice blasts through your speakers. This one immediately pronounces how loud it is. Vocals and score are at perfectly ideal defaults for this mix. Sound effects could have been turned up juuuuust a hair, but I turned it up 2 notches (Not like haven’t done this before for non-Disney titles on Atmos tracks I like) and the experience was pretty much perfect. I was quite impressed with what Disney has done here. This is CLEARLY the best Atmos not just for Marvel but for Disney as a whole. It rocks, it make impact, it fills the room and it has power. The mix here is also super well thought out, intricate and uniquely details. People should be surprised and impressed by how good Disney has done here. I sure was!

Height: There are some absolutely fun as hell moments in this mix with the ceiling speakers. When in small cars, big ones roaring overheard back to front move quite well. The building shrinking down starts atop coming downward. Being inside the box maze hears things from up top. There are so many individual unique moments I could mention, but just know that this is some of the most active height in the mix for a Disney title we’ve seen so far.

Low Frequency Extension: Energy or power related things rumble the sub and gunshots, explosions, engines and more just give it a good thwomp.

Surround Sound Presentation: Like the ceiling speakers, the others are pretty active and given their own unique part to play. Everything also works together to create some terrific motion. Every environment is full realized and every action sequence takes note, aware of where every piece of effects is at all times.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are louder in the mix, you’ll pick that up right from the jump when Michael Douglas booms into your ears. All words and diction are well capture and full here.

Extras 

Ant-Man and the Wasp 4K Ultra-HD comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a digital copy of the film. The bonus features appear on the standard Blu-ray disc.

Audio Commentary

  • By Director Peyton Reed 

Director’s Intro by Peyton Reed (HD, 1:08) – Reed discusses wanting to continue to open up the world and to not hold Hope back and let her shine as the hero as Scott is the “every man of the MCU”.

Making Of Featurettes (HD, 22:30) 

  • Back in the Ant-Suit: Scott Lang – Focuses on Paul Rudd, his humor,  and the fun it is to work with him and how great the laughs are on set. They talk about how Rudd has brought Lang to life with humanity, heart and humor.
  • A Suit of Her Own: The Wasp – They talk of how Hope was clearly presented as more capable than Scott in the first movie and unleashing hero in this film. It also goes over some of the intricacies of her costume design. There is a part that goes over the restaurant scene and the importance of showcasing what Wasp can offer.
  • Subatomic Super Heroes: Hank & Janet – And now we are to the featurette than fluffs and praises screen legends Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Douglas. Michael Douglas loved that he got to act with Michelle as she looked 30 years ago. Evangeline Lilly said she told Marvel 4 years ago that she wanted Michelle Pfeiffer to play her mom.
  • Quantum Perspective: The VFX and Production Design of “Ant-Man and The Wasp” – This goes over the locations and stage shooting and Peyton Reed’s desire to produce their own version of a haunted house.

Gag Reel and Outtakes

  • Gag Reel (HD, 1:31)
  • Stan Lee Outtakes (HD, :46)
  • Tim Heidecker Outtakes (HD, 1:29)

Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Petyon Reed (HD, 1:38) – World Upon Worlds, Sonny’s on the Trail

Digital Exclusives – Movies Anywhere only had “It Takes Two”. Vudu had “10 Years of Marvel Studios…” and one called “Leader of the Colony”. I have not seen the “…Magic University” one pop up yet.

It Takes Two (HD, :59) – A super brief promo.

10 Years of Marvel Studios: The Art of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (HD, 10:19) – The featurette isn’t this long, but the deleted scene “World Upon Worlds” (Which is not listed on the film’s page) played before it. This goes over the people who come up with iconic imagery for the films and selling promos. It mainly focuses on the guy who Favreau brought on for the first Iron Man who has stayed on since. Feige calls him the best EVER. Many of the artist share some of the things they’ve created and how cool it has been to see what they’ve become.

Leader of the Colony (HD, 2:36) – A little brief featurette that focuses on director Peyton Reed.

Online Close-Up Magic University (HD, ) – TBD, when it appears on a digital service.

Summary 

Ant-Man and the Wasp is another big win for Marvel in another year of big wins. Its a fun caper with some of the most playful super hero action ever seen. Plus it finally gives us Wasp and she does not disappoint. Not disappointing for once is the Atmos track here which is quite lively and powerful. Many are going to be surprised. It also looks fantastic. The extras here are okay, though a bit hard on the fluffy side, making the Commentary track with Peyton Reed the most valuable one of the bunch. I found myself really fond of this movie and well, we’re mostly all Marvel fans here, 4K is the best format…so uhh…its the one to pick up of course!

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

1 Response to “Ant-Man And The Wasp (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Kanyon

    Thank you for this review! After your ratings on the audio and video i cant wait till this disc will released in europe.
    Can you confirm the german audio by yourself?