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Deadpool (Blu-ray Review)

deadpoolThis year features a variety of superhero films and it turns out one of the wildest, offbeat ones will remain one of the year’s biggest hits. Yes, while the world deals with the various universes being created by Marvel Studios and Warner Bros., Fox has been plenty confident in this break from their X-Men films to deliver a fourth wall-breaking smart ass who supposedly changes what superheroes are all about. That is not quite the case, as Deadpool is about as straightforward as it gets (with added blood and swearing), but there is fun to be had. Now the film arrives on Blu-ray for you to get closer than ever to him.

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Film:

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Ryan Reynolds is Wade Wilson, a former Special Forces operative-turned low-life mercenary. He has a twisted sense of humor that masks a heart of gold, which he shares with his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). A series of events change all of this, leading to Wade having disfigured skin along with super powers. Now he’s after revenge.

Following a mishandling of the character in the first Wolverine movie, there was promise of a true representation of Deadpool to eventually be seen. After test footage was ‘leaked’ online a couple years ago audiences couldn’t wait to see more. Sadly, it’s a bit of a shame that we have all basically already seen the best action sequence in the film.

The film is a traditional superhero origin story and puts a lot of pressure on Reynolds to be consistently entertaining, as that is really all it has to offer. Rather than go wild as a superhero film that could gleefully parody the various tropes that have become staples of the various franchises out there, it simply mocks a lot of easy targets and allows the actors the chance verbally spar with a level of wit that is occasionally pretty humorous.

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From a money-making standpoint, there is a logic I can understand as to why this movie does not quite go all the way. Deadpool is a cult-favorite superhero whose antics easily take comics to darkly humorous places. This movie, cheap as it was compared to others, still needs to appeal to those unfamiliar. It is just unfortunate Fox has done an amazing job at marketing a film with no real surprises.

Was there really a need for a story that could have been largely told in the opening credits? One would hope writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese (Zombieland) and director Tim Miller could have found a better narrative for the Merc with a Mouth. Instead, they hide how perfunctory a story this is by breaking up the big highway fight scene from all the trailers to allow for backstory flashbacks. This would be fine if that backstory was more interesting, but it follows all the familiar beats of a supposed anti-hero and his purpose.

The real joy should be the R-rating given to this film. Mostly true to form, Deapool’s rating means the film can get away with all sorts of explicit content and its sense of humor negates how gratuitous it all is. However, this is really nothing new. Between the KickAss films, the Blade trilogy, the Sin City films and Fox’s superior Kingsman: The Secret Service, it is not as if we’ve been starved for this sort of content in comic book cinema. Really, more than the rating, the film’s saving grace is in its attitude and a surprising level of heart.

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While I do wish the film went further, there is a level of entertainment to be found in a major studio allowing themselves and others to be made fun of for their choices in this day and age revolving around these sorts of films. Reynolds is certainly up to the challenge. He may be coasting on the charm that established him to begin with (I like him more in dramatic mode), but he knows how to make it work. Adding T.J. Miller as his best friend doesn’t hurt either.

Even the way in which the X-Men films are incorporated makes for some good fun. Stefan Kapicic and Brianna Hildebrand appear as mutants Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead and add some good comedic value as foils to Deadpool. Boring Transporter Ed Skrein also gets to ham it up as the evil Ajax, with Gina Carano in her best performance yet as the mostly silent evil sidekick Angel Dust.

All of this adds up to a movie with one great action sequence, a lot of humor flung at the wall with hopes that most of it sticks and the requisite explosive and overlong finale. Fox’s superb marketing helped push this movie into being a big hit, so will hopefully lead to a sequel more willing to go way out there with Deadpool’s personality. For now, enjoy this break from the other superhero movies coming, which promise to really get down to business.

Video:

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: Being a modern film in an age of digital filmmaking, it is of little surprise that Deadpool, being shot cheap and quick (but effectively), was filmed digitally. That said, it looks great. The film may not be as expansive as the super high budgeted films arriving this summer, but they nail a look that is presented in spectacular fashion on Blu-ray. You get a great amount of detail in the various sets that are best represented by the lead character himself. Deadpool’s red costume and the Wade Wilson face underneath are full of detail and the rest of the film has plenty of clarity to follow suit.

Depth: The final action sequence is probably the best representation of the strong dimensionality that can be found on this Blu-ray.

Black Levels: Black levels are deep and inky. There are lots of underworld-type sets, which work well thanks to the look of the dark spaces and shadows.

Color Reproduction: Given the darkly comedic nature of the film, which is also an intense action picture, the color palette is fairly murky. That comes with the territory, given what we see in the film, but that doesn’t mean color doesn’t stick out. There is a lot of red in this film and it always looks great, especially in contrast to other aspects. There are also some colorful sets that make good use of presenting what was captured. The only issue with this comes down to the weaker visual effects that stick out a bit.

Flesh Tones: Having a character in heavy makeup means it better look good and it does. Thankfully the Blu-ray does great service to facial textures throughout.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

 

Audio:

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Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Dynamics: The film sounds terrific. It certainly should, given the lossless 7.1 audio track. With a movie that opens with both a pop song and a slam-bang action sequence, you get a great lead into a film that really makes the most out of effective sound design to maximize intensity, while preserving its fun tone.

Low Frequency Extension: Plenty of force is put into the LFE channel, which really allows you to feel the force of the big action scenes that take place and also feel some extra push during scenes that rely on music, such as the film’s de-facto anthem, “X Gon’ Give It To Ya”.

Surround Sound Presentation: Oh yes, the various channels are put to great use. When Deadpool isn’t wise-cracking in the front-heavy areas, you have plenty of other things going on as far as sound effects, music, explosions and everything else that can be handled. It is all balanced perfectly.

Dialogue Reproduction: Deadpool does not shut up and you will hear all of it loud and clear.

 

Extras:

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You basically get everything you want on this Blu-ray. Multiple commentary tracks, an extensive behind the scenes look at the making of the film, deleted scenes and more.

Features Include:

 

  • Deleted/Extended Scenes (HD, 19:14) – Features optional commentary by director Tim Miller.
  • Gag Reel (HD, 6:12)
  • From Comics to Screen…to Screen (HD, 1:20:00) – Divided into five featurettes, this making-of looks at almost every aspect that went into developing and filming Deadpool.
  • Audio Commentary by Ryan Reynolds and Screenwriters Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick – This is a pretty light track that is happy to have the guys giving credit to who came up with which one-liner and some other behind-the-scenes tidbits.
  • Audio Commentary by Director Tim Miller and Deadpool co-creator/comics artist Rob Liefeld – A more technically-focused track, but still a good one for fans that want to know more about what went into making the film.
  • Gallery (HD)
    • Concept Art
    • Costumes
    • Storyboards
    • Pre-Vis
    • Stunt-Vis Shipyard
  • Deadpool’s Fun Sack
    • Videos (HD, 23:54) – Lots of videos that popped up online and more.
    • Stills (HD, 0:40)
  • Sneak Peaks (HD)
  • DVD Copy of the Film
  • Digital HD Copy of the Film – iTunes and UltraViolet

 

Summary:

Many fans were immensely satisfied and others were just pleased to get something a little different. I had fun with Deadpool, despite my issues, and was happy to embrace the wise-cracking Reynolds more than usual. Fox certainly knows what their fans like, as this Blu-ray is fantastic. Great video and audio, along with a plethora of extra features that really delve into what made this movie happen, certainly provides plenty for people to enjoy. It also provides the audience some more fun stuff to dig into. Basically, this is an action-comedy you can’t go wrong with if you’re into the character or feel like going with something more irreverent when it comes to superheroes.

Order Your Copy Here:

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Video Game Player, Comic Book Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

1 Response to “Deadpool (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Brian White

    Just devoured this release today. All I got to say is this extra…From Comics to Screen…to Screen…is worth the price of admission alone. Fantastic release! Can’t wait to watch it in 4K in a few weeks!