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The Kid Who Would Be King (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

King Arthur has a had a rough go of it at the box office in recent years time. Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword came out two years ago and bombed pretty hard (Having seen it, I’d say rightfully so). The Kid Who Would Be King takes a newer approach on the overdone source material and spins it around for a kid/family friendly adventure with some meat to it. Unfortunately, we failed this little gem at the box office. But now its coming to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray (Well, its ALREADY out on all home video formats now), where we can see that we maybe should have done batter by this one.

Film 

Old-school magic meets the modern world when young Alex stumbles upon the mythical sword Excalibur. He soon unites his friends and enemies, and they become knights who join forces with the legendary wizard Merlin. Together, they must save mankind from the wicked enchantress Morgana and her army of supernatural warriors.

There are many complaints that the kids movies of the 80s used to be so much better and folks have such a fond nostaglia for them, wishing for things of that ilk. They get fooled by silly callbacks, flashy winks and such. But, when one that truly captures that spirit, fun and adventure comes along…seemingly because it doesn’t have brand IP, references or forces itself to be set in the 1980s…they don’t even know it exists or give it a chance. Thus is the tale of The Kid Who Would Be King.

Trailers maybe didn’t do well by it either as I was quite surprised when seeing it, at how much of genuine small cast quest movie this turned out to be. The film is really personal for our lead and it focuses on the inter-relations of this new start-up Knights of the Round Table and their workings to become a team from the toughest of origins is one of the most enjoyable things to see unfold in the film. Another triumph is how the film’s known adult actors (Patrick Stewart, Rebecca Ferguson) feel just like little bonuses as these teen actors really are able to carry this thing and you almost forget that it had those stars to begin with.

Not to be outdone is the effects and fantasy aspect could have fallen flat on its face, but this movie gets it very right in both its design and shooting/editing of the whole thing. There are well choreographed action numbers to mix in with some pretty haunting and spooky looking villainry to behold. It does this all the while never feeling super crazy or over the top, feeling always at one with the world it takes place in.

I actually had the pleasure of watching this twice for the review as my children fell asleep the firs time through (We started it pretty late for them). That I finished it that same viewing and was game to watch again with them the following day is pretty telling. This is a fun movie that hopefully can be a cult sensation or one that the adults whiffed on but the kids will discover through the years as it streams, airs on TV or they rent it/buy it randomly.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: The Kid Who Would Be King makes a pretty impressive debut on the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray format. It does come as an upscale, shot at 3.4K/2.8K and likely finished with a 2K Digital intermediate, it still showcases a great sharpness, full of a good color palette and natural blacks. The special computer generated effects hold up quite well and always feel a part of the natural image. This is a fun picture that has many dark moments that allows much of the HDR to pop out in both directions. This is the way to go with this film, easily.

Depth:  Depth of field is quite excellent here and many of the far off camera angles give a nice look at the distance and free moving characters and backgrounds on display in the film.

Black Levels: Blacks soar through this transfer as there are many different shades to the darkened depths of caverns explore. Impressive too are the details that shine through in the shadows and on the blackened creatures. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are pretty strong here and blues and reds pop out over different regular colors like the silver armor and leather on characters. Fire is especially a highlight and the ambers and burns under the bad guys really stands out with the HDR.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are a hair on the colder side and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features like freckles, make-up, dirt, wrinkles and more are clear as day from any reasonable distance.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD compatible), English Descriptive Audio Service, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: The Kid Who Would Be King is knighted with a truly royal Atmos track to bring for the adventure. This is a well mixed track, covering the necessary grounds, keeping busing and still having time to be playful. It is wonderfully layered, showcasing plenty of depth in both the loudest and quietest moments of the film

Height: The ceiling speaker is always though of and especially when stuff gets crazy and starts flying overhead. Utilized more with precision, it still assists in building a full room when necessary.

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer gets some good business here with explosions, ground rumblings, musical beats and roaring.

Surround Sound Presentation: This mix is very playful and always knows where the action is. The scenes while Rebecca Ferguson’s villain remains underground prove a lot of fun as voices and stuff come from any given corner of the room. Sound travel rolls very natural and becomes quite effective during battle or car chases.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp, easily audible in the biggest battle moments while also feeling like part of the action.

Extras 

The Kid Who Would Be King comes with the Blu-ray edition and a digital copy of the film.

All extras are found on the Blu-ray edition, which you can read in detail about HERE!

Summary 

The Kid Who Would Be King is probably one our the most disappointing box office failings so far in 2019. Its a fun, thrilling family fantasy movie that really captures that adventure spirit and thematics of those 1980s films that we claim to want more of, but then miss out on this. This 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray release comes with a great presentation and all the extras seen on the standard Blu-ray release. A nice pick up for some fun, original family entertainment!

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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).

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