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Lucy (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Lucy 4K Blu-ray ReviewLucy was one of those in-home viewing experiences you can’t take back.  It was a religious experience, one of the best of my life.  After being slightly disappointed by the quality of my sci-fi fave Oblivion on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray (review here) and the story in The Huntsman: Winter’s War (4K review forthcoming) I thought Universal was a lost cause with their first-ever 4K Blu-ray offerings.  They were 0 for 2 in my book going into tonight.  I was almost ready to give up hope until Lucy came along.  I wasn’t instantly a huge fan of the 2014 feature, but over the past couple years I have fondly come to enjoy it.  However, that all changed tonight.  I now L-O-V-E it!  Lucy was the much-needed 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray viewing experience I have been waiting for.  It W-O-W-ed me like none other, but I digress.  I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Lucy 4K

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I’m not sure what happened, but sometime circa the Black Widow’s entrance into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Iron Man 2 and later on in movies such as Don Jon and most recently Under the Skin (my full Blu-ray reviews of those two titles can be found here and here) I have become a H-U-G-E fan of the sexy starlet Scarlett Johansson.  Who isn’t, right?  She also gave me a very fine looking performance that I’ll never forget in my favorite Michael Bay movie of all-time, The Island, which came out in 2005 before both of those aforementioned movies above.  So I suppose for the time being I will cast my Scar-Jo history aside and let it slip from the farthest region of my brain (since I’m using less than 10% of it).  I’m doing so because I want to completely concentrate on the task at hand.   It absolutely gives me great pleasure to chat about Scarlett and the somewhat action vehicle here…Lucy!

Truth be told, even before this film’s initial theatrical release date it had been under quite the amount of scrutiny simply because of the film’s “ridiculous” tagline that reads: THE AVERAGE PERSON USES 10% OF THEIR BRAIN CAPACITY.  IMAGINE WHAT SHE CAN DO WITH 100%.  Alright, that may not be 100% medically accurate.  Honestly, we use more than 10% of our brain, but who cares?!  Do you?!  For a film whose trailer literally equates to the word FUN, who are you to put this movie down because of its tagline?  In essence, the trailer promises something almost Transporter-like crazy, but that tagline really does sell it well, doesn’t it?  Sure it does!  Let’s think about it, pull back the layers and examine it some more.  If you watch the film’s trailer, you immediately get the tagline.  It’s practically spelled out for you.  Do we really need to make things more complex here?  NO!  NOT AT ALL!  Guys, we have Scarlett Johansson kicking a$$ throughout here in the trailer.

Speaking for most guys, I can assure you we’re not paying attention to that tagline in this feature any more than we are to Morgan Freeman’s many freckles.  You see, women and men alike are going into this movie for two main reasons: to have a fun time and to see Scarlett kick a lot of a$$ and look sexy as hell doing it.  So I guess you can say for those two reasons alone, the trailer for Lucy accomplishes much more than the whole feature film of Sex Tape even did (it premiered the week before Lucy did back in 2014) for those who were brave enough to check it out, huh?  But what does the movie itself deliver on besides one of the finest 4K Blu-ray viewing experiences ever?  That is the question of the hour, isn’t it?  Read on…

How do I say this politely without turning anybody off right away?  The trailer for Lucy, the film you think you are going into and seeing is not the movie you’re getting.  Does that make sense?  The trailer, as we discussed up above, is fun.  The movie, although fun at times, is anything but that most of the time.  It’s smarter!  It may start off like the promise of the trailer, but it takes a sharp right turn into the world of sic-fi almost as hard knocking as The Matrix trilogy.  If you’re a newbie to Lucy, you are probably going into this one expecting a wild romping time like in the first two Transporter films or even Crank for that matter, but if you are not a fan of the sic-fi genre, you’re going to be left feeling a bit pissed off.

I remember when I first saw Lucy in the theater.  As the credits rolled and I sat there baffled at what I just saw trying to come up with subjective and critical words for my response sheet for the studio.  I just thought to myself, a lot of paying customers are going to walk out of this one very mad.  It’s not that Scarlett Johansson did anything wrong.  It’s actually quite the contrary.  It’s just that Hollywood did it again and gave you what you want to see in a trailer and lured you in under false pretenses almost like Scarlett’s character did to her Scottish men in Under The Skin, probably my favorite Johansson flick.  Cha ching!

Now luckily for me, being a fan of science fiction, I am able to hang in here.  The film starts off really quirky and fun, complete with cute animal copulation and hilarious photo bombs, but once Act 2 hit things started spiraling out of control.  The ground starts feeling shaky and no longer stable.  It turns into something else compeltely.  In other words, it evolves, in a very smart way!  However, that’s probably enough to scare most viewers off who just want a dumb action flick.  Lucy is definitely NOT that!  In the premise for Lucy, Scarlett Johansson’s character is forced to deliver a package implanted inside of her, only to gain unique abilities after the package is ruptured.  That’s all the food for thought I’ll give you.  The best part about Lucy is discovering it all for yourself!

Is Scarlett enough to save this feature?  Yes…and…no.  She does a great job with what she is given here.  She even reminds me a bit of her gullible and innocent performance in The Island.  So that much is very cute and lovable about her.  Do I want more a$$ kicking?  Of course I do!  I crave violence in my movies and music.  Sadly, it kind of makes me tick.  However, it is what it is.  I told you Lucy is not what it seems on the surface.  It’s much more!  And finally, I yearned for more action!  If you’re not willing to put up with some very high-concept, strong sic-fi ingredients in your movies, you’re never ever going to want to make the return trip here.  This is a one-way flight, not a round-trip.  If you’ve seen Lucy before, you’ll get that reference.  Ha ha.

So let’s talk about the direction here before we move onto why we’re really all here…the 4K disc vitals.  Lucy is directed and written by Luc Besson, the same guy who brought you The Fifth Element, so I guess you can’t scream you were blind-sided by this ultimate, Matrix-like sci-fi ride.  This film is full of themes like self-discovery of one’s potential and even coming of age I guess you can say.  And I know I did not mention him here yet either, but I need to make reference to the fact that everyone’s favorite, Morgan Freeman, shows up here.  Like the character of Morpheus to Neo in The Matrix, Freeman does a fantastic job as Professor Norman to Lucy in this one.   You don’t know how bad I want to keep dropping Matrix hints here and there in this review.  Like Neo in The Matrix, Lucy is all about the self-discovery of one’s power and ultimately finding out what they can be.  In The Matrix you have the Oracle, but in Lucy all you have are hypotheses.  Do they come true?  That’s what you’ll find out if you choose to view.  Lucy is both simple and complex, but nevertheless you’ll always have Scar-Jo to stare at.  Moving on…

Lucy 4K

Video

The below video score and relative comments are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Lucy with HDR-10.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Layers: BD-66
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Clarity/Detail: You can say what you want about Lucy as a film, but there’s no denying this is one of the finest looking 4K experiences to ever grace the new Ultra HD format yet.  This one is eye-popping and razor sharp throughout and there’s really not one example to give, but ALL.  The whole film is splendid to watch.  It honestly does not get any better than this my 4K friends.  If you’re a disciple to 4K video, then this Lucy Ultra HD Blu-ray disc is your gospel!  Edges are sharp, clarity and fine detail is both consistent and prominent throughout, textures are so real you swear you can reach out and touch them, etc.  This one’s flawless folks.  Trust me!  There’s nothing blurry to be found here.
  • Depth: Depth of field is insane here.  Pick any sequence.  I dare you!  The onscreen characters magically pop in three-dimensional fashion against their rich, detailed set environments.  However, that’s just it.  Look at those background sets!  They are sharp as can be.  This one has winner, winner chicken dinner written all over it!
  • Black Levels: Black levels and contrast is exceptional throughout here.  Like Scar-Jo herself, this one is reference from head-to-toes.
  • Color Reproduction: Colors are bold, vibrant and vivacious throughout.  You know when you go into Best Buy and you see that 4K image they are pumping through all their 4K sets in hopes that you’ll take one home with you that very same day?  Well, that’s Lucy times 10 here.  Colors look like a million bucks.  You can take that to the bank!
  • Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural throughout.  Even though the colors are vivacious and jacked throughout, the flesh tones never lose any of their authenticity.  You gotta love that!  You can see every freckle and mole on Scar-Jo faithfully reproduced just like you were staring at her pasty white skin in real life.
  • Noise/Artifacts: The image as a whole is immaculate from beginning to end.  There’s nothing at all to write home about that will distract (other than Scar-Jo) or take away from your enjoyable viewing experience of Lucy on 4K Ultra HD.

Lucy 4K

Audio

Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and judging comments are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Lucy.    Thankfully, this time out on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format Lucy gets a serious upgrade.  The 4K Ultra HD disc comes with a bombastic Dolby Atmos surround track to boot compared to the regular Blu-ray’s DTS-HD Master Audio surround track.  Hell yeah!

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Dynamics: Lucy‘s audio presentation on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray will pummel you in a very good way.  Ha ha.  Everything is in perfect harmonious balance here from this quietest nuance to the loudest blow.  This 4K presentation is what puts the “dyno” in dynamics!  I won’t overlook Eric Serra’s hypnotizing score here either.  Let’s just say it puts your brain in a trance and in the right mood to enjoy the Lucy ride!
  • Height: When we’re talking height due to the employment of the Atmos equipped track, noticeable moments include just about everything from bullets being deflected to the ceiling to the drugs exploding in Lucy’s body and traveling upwards from within.  There are many more examples of how Dolby Atmos is properly used here, but I think you get the big picture.  The additional height of the surround mix here simply makes Lucy one of the finest 4K Blu-ray tracks I ever heard.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel is both engaging and pummeling throughout Lucy‘s run time here.  It will knock you down if you don’t hang on, but it also never lets you go either.  You’re never going to have to worry about whether your subwoofer is on during this presentation.  The LFE channel never lets you forget its sheer dominance here.  Many the times I thought my subwoofer was going to blow.  I’m exaggerating of course, but holy hell does this one pack a punch.  Every gunshot, blow and car crash carries enough weight to knock you over and plow you down.  This track takes no prisoners.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: The surround sound is the final piece of the perfect puzzle here that will completely razzle and dazzle you from filling your viewing room with atmosphere and thumping score to fully engaging you in the most immersive experience of the year on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format thus far.  I never once felt detached during my whole viewing experience.  I always felt part of the picture, almost like a fourth dimension so to speak.  Embrace the chaos here as every pan, cross channel fade, door opening, gunshot, etc. is masterfully directional in its approach and flawless in its execution.  More often than naught I found myself just lost, utterly amazed and completely caught up in the world of Lucy here.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue is clear, intelligible, loud and prioritized throughout.  I never not once heard any spoken word throughout, even the foreign ones.  Ha ha.

Lucy 4K Blu-ray Menu

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Up above, you’ll find an image of what Lucy‘s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray menu.  Now if Universal’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray set of Lucy falls short in one area, it’s the Extras!  Besides the feature film in 1080p on a separate Blu-ray disc, there’s only two supplements to be found here.  However, for anyone that cares, the Digital HD copy of the movie can be redeemed in UHD in both Vudu or Flixster.  So there’s always that!  Now let’s chat about the two lone extras found on the 1080p Blu-ray disc.

  • The Evolution of Lucy (HD, 16:14) – Here we follow Lucy’s transformation through the eyes of writer and director Luc Besson, Scar-Jo and Morgan Freeman as they discuss the vision of the film, script and the development of it all.  I really like how they deep dive and analyze the movie in here.  We also take a look around and behind the shoot itself and some of the visual effects (including the impressive stunt work employed in the car chase I love so much here) Besson employs to bring his ideas to life.
  • Cerebral Capacity: The True Science of Lucy (HD, 10:04) – Besson, Morgan Freeman and professors discuss the science of Lucy,  Yes!  There is mention of the 10% of your brain being used thing here.  Why else do you think this extra exists?  Ha ha.  The real answer is no one knows how much capacity of brain we use.  We all see some behind-the-scenes footage in here too.

Lucy 4K

Summary

So as you can see from the overall score of 4.5 I have given Lucy on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray here, yes I’m very biased!  I rounded up because I have yet to experience a HDR presentation like Lucy ever before.  I can’t unsee what I have just seen.  With R-E-F-E-R-E-N-C-E audio and video presentations, Universal’s Lucy is one you MUST-OWN in your 4K Ultra HD collection.  In fact, you MUST drop everything you are doing now and click on the link here or down below to bring this 4K Blu-ray title home ASAP.  Trust me!  Have I ever led you stray these past two months of covering these new HDR releases?  Of course I haven’t!  Lucy on 4K Blu-ray is a bargain at any price.  Now I’m thinking I have to pick up The Lone Survivor just to see how it compares in contrast to my 4K viewings of Oblivion and the ever superior Lucy.  Enjoy this one my 4K friends!

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DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified A/V gear found here.  Make sure to check out all out 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.

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Lucy 4K Blu-ray Cover

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

18 Responses to “Lucy (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Channing Pennington

    I really enjoyed this one theatres. Thanks to your review I’ll have to go pick this one up tomorrow. ScarJo in 4k is a selling point in itself.

  2. Brian White

    Awesome! I really hope you’re as happy with Lucy as I am. It’s my new reference disc. Watched it twice last night! I did hear this disc is having issues in the XBox One S though. Just an FYI. I’ll be putting up a 4K Blu review of The Angry Birds Movie later tonight probably. That looked and sounded great too!

  3. Channing Pennington

    So after 1 exchange, i’m 0 for 2 getting Lucy to play on Xbox One S. Not sure what it is with these Universal UHD discs, but man it’s annoying. I exchanged it one more time and will be trying a 3rd disc tonight. Fingers crossed it will work like Oblivion did for me, but i’m not very hopeful.

  4. Brian White

    If it wasn’t for your luck with Oblivion, I’d be blaming it solely on the disc. It has to be some way they edited the menu or something stupid. Just curious, what kind of error does XB1S give? Does it say it can’t read or there is no data on the disc?

  5. Channing Pennington

    The xbox blu ray app opens then hangs on the blue blu ray app loading screen with circle loading spinner stuck. Never goes further than that. When I eject it’ll give me a message saying it can’t read the disc but that probably has more to do with the auction while the app futilely attempts to load. Haven’t had a chance to try the third disc yet tonight.

  6. Channing Pennington

    Auction = ejection

  7. Brian White

    The SIcario discs I had trouble with gas errors like cannot read disc or no data on disc. Universal had bad batches back in the days when they first got into Blu-ray business. I’d be curious if you can take that same disc though and play it on the Samsung player int he store where you bought from. Then you can prove it’s an X-Box thing!

  8. Channing Pennington

    Brian,
    If you have time, let anyone that will listen on forums know to post about hte Xbox One S problems with Oblivion and Lucy here:
    https://forums.xbox.com/xbox_support/xbox_one_support/f/4269/t/2199719.aspx

    I created this thread (official xbox xupport thread) in hopes to consolidate all the info i could find. Now i just need more people to reply with a “+1”.

  9. Brian White

    Certainly. Will do! I talked to a guy with Philips 4K player, which I didn’t know was even out yet, and he said zero problems with Lucy. We need to get you on a Ps4.5 ASAP when it comes out so I can beat you in COD and you can play Lucy 4K. Hell we should write an article on it for the website! Can you write? If you describe it in great detail thematically then you can link to an official article to have clout.

  10. Channing Pennington

    Thanks again! I picked up Lone Survivor this afternoon. Partially because i heard it looks nice, and also because I wanted to see if it would play. I’m about 1/4 of the way through it. I’m pretty impressed by the image quality on this one. I don’t own enough UHD Boy Rays to offer any more though comparison though.

    The best part is that it worked perfectly as soon as I popped in the disc. These 3 Universal movies have been a bizarre experience to say the least. Tomorrow I’m bringing my Lucy into a best buy that has a Samsung UHD player hooked up. They said they have no issue helping me test it.

  11. Brian White

    That is BIZARRE!!!! Lone Survivor works, but these other two don’t. Curious to hear if Huntsman would work. I am GLAD that Best Buy has agreed to help you out. Let me know what happens there and good luck!

  12. Channing

    So the disc worked fine on BestBuy’s standalone Samsung UHD Blu Ray player. Others have confirmed the same thing. Now we get to wait for MS to put out a patch that hopefully solves the issue.

    Until then, i’ll just keep watching Oblivion over and over, since i’m one of the lucky few X1S owners that can.

  13. Brian White

    Ugh! Well that’s good news it works at least and you’re not crazy it proves, but just sucks outright! You forgot about Lone Survivor. You can watch that over and over too! How was it by the way?

  14. Channing Pennington

    The movie itself was exciting but I didn’t love it. The story it’s based on and the facts surrounding it are more interesting.

    From a purely 4k visual perspective I thought it looked and sounded great. I think I’m going to play it synced up side by side tonight (blu ray vs uhd blu ray). I did that with The Martian and it was fun picking out differences.

  15. Brian White

    Man that’s awesome! I would love to read your side by side analysis. How did the Martian work out for you? Did it look good? I see the Microsoft put out a statement today that they are aware of the playback issues for Lucy and Oblivion and working on fix.

  16. Channing Pennington

    Was it the posts in the chat or did they acknowledge it somewhere else? I finally got support to admit that there is nothing wrong with the console itself and that they are working on it (software).

    I didn’t get to run it side by side last night. I ended up playing No Man’s Sky on my PS4 all night. When I compared The Martian last weekend side by side, the HDR difference was noticeable. Colors were much more natural looking and still popped more than The standard blu ray. The difference in sharpness was also very apparent in many scenes. The HDR 4k version looked a lot better overall, which is what youd expect. I’ll send you a more detailed comparison for Lone Survivor this weekend.

  17. Brian White

    Bottom of this page: http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?p=12563809&posted=1#post12563809

    Reads: UPDATE from Xbox Support regarding Lucy and Oblivion 4k UHD discs:
    Hey there, as an update, we wanted to confirm that our teams are aware of the specific issues with Lucy and Oblivion. So that’s being worked on! Just wanted to let you know. ^BB

  18. Channing Pennington

    I dont think my previous comment attempts went through, one more time:

    I got that exact same message from xbox support on twitter this morning. I also got the following two notes from support at the xbox forums.

    “Chanogram,

    Lucy and Oblivion are currently known issues by the teams and they are working with the appropriate teams to get that issue resolved.”
    https://forums.xbox.com/xbox_support/xbox_one_support/f/4269/t/2198462.aspx?pi7962=2

    Hey all,

    We are aware of isolated reports of a small number of Ultra-HD Blu-Ray titles that may not play on Xbox One S consoles. Rest assured, our engineering teams are aware and are investigating. Your console does not need to be replaced or repaired.
    https://forums.xbox.com/xbox_support/xbox_one_support/f/4269/t/2199719.aspx