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Ocean’s 8 (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

As the summer box office comes to a close, the Sandra Bullock-led heist film Ocean’s 8 will finish as one of the top ten highest grossing. If you’re not counting Avengers: Infinity War because it opened in April, then it will very cutely land as the #8 film in the top 10. And, crazy enough, without bumping up dollars for inflation, its the second highest grossing of all the Ocean’s movies right after the first one. Warner Bros is bringing it home in style by launching it on the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray format. It’ll come with the standard Blu-ray edition as well as some bonus features and a nice Dolby Atmos surround track. Ocean’s 8 is available now. Be sure grab yourself a copy (Legally, unlike how the team in this film gets things) by ordering using the Amazon link following the review.

Film 

Five years, eight months, 12 days…and counting. That’s how long Debbie Ocean—just released from prison—has been concocting the greatest heist of her storied career. She knows what it’s going to take—a team of the best in their field, starting with her former partner-in-crime Lou. Together, they recruit a crew of specialists: jeweler Amita, street con Constance, expert fence Tammy, hacker Nine Ball and fashion designer Rose Weil. The target is $150 million in diamonds—diamonds that will adorn the neck of world-famous actress Daphne Kluger , who will be center stage at the event of the year, the Met Gala. Their plan appears rock solid, but it will need to be flawless if the team is to get in and get away—all in plain sight.

Everything was on the table for Ocean’s 8 to just fly out the gates and rock. The female buddy-heist film was cast spectacularly. Top tier performers from film, television and music all came together to get this ball rolling. But, what could have been something in the upper echelon only managed to be, well, “okay”. Ocean’s 8 isn’t a bad film, its still some solid entertainment, but it can’t get over a hump, and sits playing safely and wallowing a bit too much in mediocrity. Its a movie that sounds great on paper, but winds up being average entertainment when it comes down to the execution.

There is an important element when it comes to a heist film, or even just the heist sequence of a film; suspense. Whether you are dead serious or a comedy, the biggest thing you need to get right is putting the audience on the edge of your seat while you are trying to swipe something or pull off some sort of thievery. Ocean’s 8 has quite possibly the most smooth sailing heist in cinema history. Kudos to this team for being super competent, but there are zero real obstacles that they come across during the actual big theft. There is one major thing, but they take care of it right away and before the whole thing really gets started. As you’re watching, everything feels calm, casual and never distresses. And then its over and you kinda realize you were a little bored that whole time.

Now, helping things through all this is the cast. Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett are pretty awesome here as is to be expected. Anne Hathaway is probably the best thing about the movie and proves to be a bit of an incidental scene stealer. Sarah Paulson gives us an interesting character that is incredibly underutilized and we could have used more of her in the movie. Helena Bonham Carter & Mindy Kaling are also great in their support in the film. Its the cast that really makes this movie and elevates it from being subpar to being fine and average.

A factor of this film that really gives it a terrific push is its style. And I’m not talking costuming or the stuff surrounding the Met Gala. No. I’m talking the filmmaking here. The camera work here is very evoking of some elegant psychadelic UK 60s cinema mixed in with some street level 1970s work. There are some really cool zooms, pans and dissolves that really harken back to a more classic feel. It also has a nice color palette and crisp look that gives it some personality and character. Its set apart from the slick, polished approach of the original trilogy and does something all of its own.

Overall, its not a bad movie at all. Its a nice afternoon watching a something that never goes above being solid. And maybe that’s on me, but they were selling this as something pretty big. Hell, the first Nu-Ocean’s movie is terrific, but it could easily be topped and it could’ve been this. Instead, its merely fine. One of those movies you watch, move on, and forget about. I do hope this group gets another go at it, and maybe they can find a different director and take some bigger chances. Gary Ross did, I’ll use it again, “okay” but perhaps for a female led and loaded cast they could get…you know…a female to do it.

Video 

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail:  Shot in 3.4K and mastered as such, so a slight upscale for Ocean’s 8 in its 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray debut. Whatever that extra 0.6 is doesn’t matter because it looks fantastic. The image is crisp and sharp, full of terrific detail, great lighting and really pulling off the filmmakers intention. I actually think I was more taken with the framing and camera work here on the 4K UHD than I was in the theater.

Depth: Movements are nice, confident and smooth. The camera movements just coast along naturally as do the characters. Depth of field is good as there’s a nice pushback feel and looseness between people and environments. The image does good to make the Met Gala interiors feel pretty grand in scale as well.

Black Levels: Blacks are very natural and well saturated. They retain an impressive amount of detail and there are many tints and shades that really come through. Textures, patterns and hair follicles are all plenty discernible to the littlest detail. No crushing witnessed during this review.

Color Reproduction: Color is definitely a strong suit in this transfer. They have come across plenty crisp and plenty solid with a very natural and elegant feel. Filtered scenes are sharp and look terrific. HDR boasts some glow on lasers, monitors, exit signs and more. Hell, brown and green beer bottles in a refrigerator during a quick moment look gorgeous. Yellow hard hats are quite bold in another scene. Sarah Paulson wears a very “Mom sweater” early on and between the strong details and the color, you just can see it right in front of you instead of on your monitor. This has a nice late 1960s feel to it thanks to the way the colors are presented here.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent (Aside from some intentionally filtered moments) from start to finish of the film. Facial details are strong from any reasonable distance showing us stubble, lip texture, makeup lines, wrinkles, dimples, brush textures and more.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio (US), English Descriptive Audio (UK), French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Italian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Castilian) 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Latin American) 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital, Russian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Italian SDH, Spanish (Castilian), Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Mandarin, Korean, Spanish (Latin American), Portuguese, Arabic, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Russian, Swedish, Thai

Dynamics: Ocean’s 8 comes at you with a terrific Dolby Atmos experience. The movie never calls for big action or anything, but it makes for a wonderful lived in experience. Many of the environments are fully realized down to some minute details you may not have even thought of. Its lifelike, fun and makes this a more fun movie to watch. The score and music in the film also bolsters some fine Atmos usage. This is a film that could have easily snuck away with a 5.1 track and been fine, but they went the extra mile and they did that extra mile with an even extra effort. One hint is you may want to turn it up just a few ticks past your norm. This isn’t Disney, but its just a hair lower than normal.

Height: The ceiling speaker is put to use for good, logical and complimentary ways. One of my favorite moments is in a deli scene where you can hear the establishments music coming from the ceiling. A lot of it is used to help fill out environments, but there are some unique moments, like in a warehouse or in a lot of the Gala (Kitchen and big halls).

Low Frequency Extension: Most of the boom here comes from the music as well as car engines, doors shutting and any kinda slam sound that could come forth.

Surround Sound Presentation: To go along with what I’ve said before, this thing is wonderfully realized. Your remaining channels past the speaker really do their own thing a lot of the time and also excellent supporting work. Motion throughout the room is terrific.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp with good attention to diction. Another good detail is how a part of the environment and in the room they feel. I don’t mean in your living room, but in the room the scene is taking place.

Extras 

Ocean’s 8 comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a digital copy of the film. All bonus materials are found on the regular Blu-ray disc.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 1:53) – Scene 96, Scene 250A

Reimagining The Met Gala (HD, 12:47) – “Moviemaking is pretty amazing sometimes and that’s a piece of moviemaking I’ve never experienced before” Sandra Bullock proclaims to intro this featurette. People involved with the Met Gala, the film’s costume designer, Gary Ross and Olivia Milch and the cast and crew all talk about making the Met like the Bellagio of the first film. This goes over using the actual Met Gala and not building it on a stage and how it was to work with the people, the institution and pulling off the sequence.

A Heist In Heels (HD, 11:35) – “If you can imagine the love child of Ocean’s 11 and The Devil Wear’s Prada, I think that’s what Ocean’s 8 is” Anne Hathaway opens the segment with. Bullock and crew discuss trying to bring back elements of the 30s and 40s missing from cinema and how to get this rolling and giving the film its own identity. This is pretty much a nice, tight interview session on making the film and figuring out “What does being an Ocean’s film mean?”

Ocean’s Team 3.0 (HD, 13:20) – “You’re going to make wrong decisions along the way, but if you don’t pick the right 8 women to bring this thing alive, its not going to fly” Gary Ross says as we have this piece that focuses on cast and character in this ensemble film.

Summary 

Ocean’s 8 is all right, with a fun cast and good characters but the plot/execution really leaves some more to be desired. This 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray release from Warner Bros’ presentation doesn’t have that issue as it looks and sounds plenty terrific and adds to the experience of the film. It includes some surprisingly nice and really informative bonus features and a free digital copy is always nice. A solid pick up for fans of the series or just the film itself.

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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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