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Rampage (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Rampage 4KDo any of you suffer from the same infliction I do in life?  The infliction I’m talking about is if you don’t see a film within a couple weeks of its theatrical release, are you less prone to spend money to see it in the theater and just wait for its eventual home media release?  I know I am and the mentality was the case with Rampage.  I wanted to see this one badly, but the stars didn’t align for me and before I knew weeks had gone by.  So needless to say I did not see it theatrically.  Therefore, I made the executive decision that my first viewing of Rampage would be on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format.  Therefore, that’s the reason we are all gathered here today to discuss and rejoice in everything Rampage, Dwayne Johnson’s latest action vehicle of the hour, has to offer you.  Follow me down below and we’ll get thing started.

Rampage 4K Review

Film 

Let’s kick things off here with a little history lesson.  How many of you remember the smash hit video game, Rampage, back in the 80s?  I do because I grew up on that game feeding endless quarters into every Saturday evening at the bowling alley while my parents participated in their league.  Rampage is a 1986 arcade game brought to us by Bally Midway.  In it players take control of one of three gigantic monsters, Ralph, George or Lizzy, trying to survive against endless attacks from military forces while at the same time you’re goal is to level cities.  And now you know what our film Rampage here is all about.  Well sort of, there’s just a tad more than that.  The 1986 game didn’t have a Rock in it.  We do here!

I know I seem like I kid about it up above, but it really is that simple.  This movie is probably the simplest of all video game adaptations out there and surprisingly the all-time best reviewed one too (based on a video game).  Rampage is directed by Brad Peyton and stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.  If by any chance you’re keeping score, this is the third collaboration between Peyton and Johnson, following Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012) and San Andreas (2015), which I adore a lot.  Thus far it has grossed over $418 million worldwide, making it the seventh highest-grossing film of 2018.   That’s not too shabby against a budget of $260 million, which includes advertising costs.

Rampage follows primatologist Davis Okoye, portrayed by The Rock, and his albino gorilla, George, who he rescued from poachers years ago.  Following a rogue, genetic editing experiment gone awry George is accidentally exposed to a serum that turns him into an enormous size with other special powers too.  However, he’s not the only one.  A wolf (later named Ralph) is infected by this accident as well as an amphibious creature we affectingly call Lizzy.  Just like usual too the government sticks their nose in everyone’s business over the matter and the military think they know how to solve it by dropping a few bombs and shooting a few missiles.  Even though George has some serious “rampage” issues Davis needs him to save Midway from ultimate destruction (as seen in the video game) by the mayhem caused by Ralph and Lizzy.

For me I found Rampage to be mostly passable.  If you’re a fan of The Rock and his huge charisma, then you’re in luck.  He’s as lovable as ever here.  George is the real meat and potatoes of the production pulling on your heartstrings in all the same ways as the Apes did in Matt Reeves Planet of the Apes series of films.  In addition to all of this the larger-than-life action sequences and battles through Midway are what made me a fan.  The PG-13 rating flexes its muscles here with a lot of blood shed, destruction and chaos, swearing and most importantly F-U-N whenever possible with great VFX from Weta Digital.  Fans of The Walking Dead television series pay attention as Jeffrey Dean Morgan pretty much nails Negan as a government agent, but one with a much bigger heart.  Other than seeing Joe Manganiello here there are not many surprises found within at all.  It’s basically just a dumb, big action/disaster popcorn flick to spend a Saturday afternoon with, which is of course based on a simplistic video game of the same name.

Rampage 4K Review

Video 

The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Warner Bros’ Rampage.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Dolby Vision: Yes
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Clarity/Detail: So although Rampage was captured in 4K it was only finished in a 2K DI, but still looks great.  Close-ups reveal the usual subject matter such as stubble, pores, wrinkles and if you’re The Rock, fine beads of sweat on the cranium.  What I loved the most was the textures in things like the leather grain on the jacked The Rock is adorning or crevices in bricks, etc.  Even the textures on the digitally produced George looked outstanding (they call it fur modeling).  Actually al the VFX minus some fire and explosions looked really good.
  • Depth: The first thing you’ll notice about the opening sequence here, which takes place in space is how outstanding this movie would look on Blu-ray 3D disc.  The depth inside the space station was insane as well as the little debris, drops of blood, etc. floating around.  Don’t get me wrong though the depth of field through the jungle, city streets, etc. all look fine as well.  I think what I am getting at though is this looked like a movie where depth of field is so much in abundance that it just has to excel in its 3D presentation.
  • Black Levels: The black levels were dark and natural throughout.  There was one sequence, however, that took place at nighttime at the army base and was very inky in appearance…that black levels that is.
  • Color Reproduction: The color palette of the overall 4K presentation was that of a very natural looking one with nothing besides the many fiery explosions being over exaggerated.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones were for the most part natural.  There were some moments of hotness regarding Dwayne and Jeffrey, but mostly due in part to the harsh lighting environments.
  • Noise/Artifacts: There was zero to complain about here.  There was a light veneer of source noise throughout, but nothing that would keep you from enjoying this one.

Rampage 4K Review

Audio 

Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Warner Bros’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Rampage.  I do want you to know that both the 4K UHD Disc and the 1080p Blu-ray one comes armed with a Dolby Atmos surround track.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD, English DTS-HD MA 5.1, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, French (Quebec) Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Dynamics: Fidelity is spread around quite nicely here.  Because of it’s monstrous proportions and bombastic action sequences it’s a very lively surround track.  During the monster battles it’s unapologetic just like its three subjects in question here: George, Ralph and Lizzy.  There are some tender moments between Rock and Georgie, but you didn’t come here for that.  You came here for balls-to the-wall monster action and mayhem.  That’s exactly what you’re getting here.
  • Height: The Atmos experience here is where its at with many fine examples of its use like genetic editing canisters falling from the sky and detonating on innocent animals, helicopters, planes, explosions, a radio transmitter and more.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel make you feel the heftiness and gravity of this monstrous mayhem.  Examples include explosions, monstrous roars and screams, the drums in the score, smashing, stomping, gunfire, destruction and so much more.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: The rears are alive throughout with score and ambiance constantly filling them, environmental changes, gunfire spraying, explosions rocking your soundstage, debris, destruction and monster sized battle sequences.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue levels throughout are all clear and intelligible.

Rampage 4K Review

Extras 

Warner Bros’ Rampage 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray set contains the following extras as I painstakingly cover and detail down below.  In addition the film can be found on both the 4K UHD disc as well as the 1080p Blu-ray one with a redemption code for the feature via Movies Anywhere.  This would have been a fun one to experience all over again with a commentary track.  I’m just saying.

  • Not A Game Anymore (HD, 6:15) – From an arcade sensation to movie monster epic, here we get to explore how the Midway video game inspired the filmmakers to create the ultimate disaster film.  Little did I know Dwayne really had a passion for this game stemming all the way back to his early days in Hawaii.  I really loved learning all the backstories of the original video game.  These tiny tidbits of facts were very rewarding.  Ryan Engle came up with the idea of this one as a monster movie.  Obviously all the actors were onboard because of their love for the original game.  They even go over all the Easter eggs in the film too.  Hell yeah!
  • Gag Reel (HD, 2:43) – This one as usual offers you outtakes and mishaps captured during production.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 10:12) – There are a total of 7 deleted scenes here that barely missed the final theatrical cut.
  • Rampage: Actors in Action (HD, 10:45) – Here we go behind the scenes as actors Dwayne Johnson, Joe Manganiello and the cast prepare for the film’s demanding stunts and explosive set pieces.  Brad pretty much did all this in previz so everyone could see his creative vision.  The actors recall how physical the sequences were as well as the endless takes.  Brad said he needed a vacation after filming the space stuff for three days.  LOL.  They also discuss the training the actors did to get into their physically demanding roles.
  • Trio of Destruction (HD, 10:08) – In this extra you get to follow the innovative design team and the artists at Weta Digital as they bring to life the biggest and baddest monsters for the film’s climactic battle royal as well as conveying emotion through them.  It was interesting to learn about how they attempted to ground the movie in reality with real life genetic editing out there.
  • Attack on Chicago (HD, 10:23) – This one is obviously about the…drum roll please…attack on Chicago!  Director Brad Peyton shows you around and reveals the challenges of filming on-location in Chicago and turning digital destruction into a cinematic reality.  Lots of prep work went into filming here in Chicago and it shows in this extra.
  • Bringing George to Life (HD, 11:53) – Here you can discover the wonder of what it’s like to be a gorilla, as movement coordinator Terry Notary teaches motion capture actor Jason Liles how to move, behave and become “George.”  Gives you a whole new appreciation of the art.

Rampage 4K Review

Summary 

So let’s recap with Warner Bros. tagline first.  Watch an unshakeable bond form between an extraordinarily intelligent gorilla and noteworthy primatologist when Rampage arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray July 17th.  Now let me try.  Rampage is BIG bada booms, huge monsters based off a legendary video game and The Rock all in 4K!  Did I see you on it?  Is it Earth shattering or a MUST-HAVE?  No!  Is it fun and a nice to have in your home media collection?  Hell yes!  It’s The Rock after all!  Pre-order your copy today!

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DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.

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Rampage

Stomps and Punches

on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

July 17th

PRE-ORDER NOW!

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Rampage

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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).

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