Arizona (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Arizona comes to us from the producers of East Bound and Down and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It features an attractive cast and slaps Danny McBride on the cover. I’d not heard anything about the film prior to its home video announcement. And of all things, its getting to make its debut on the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray format which is more than you can say for big studio films that were actually notable box office hits. This hostage dark comedy will come with a “Making of” bonus feature and photo gallery that are actually featured on the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray disc. The movie will be available on all 3 disc formats when it arrives on October 16th. I don’t know whether it’ll be available in stores or not, but it can be purchased via online from Amazon and the like. 


Cassie is a real estate agent and single mom struggling to keep it all together during the housing crisis of 2009. Her problems go from bad to worse when disgruntled client Sonny violently confronts Cassie’s boss and then kidnaps Cassie – making one outrageously bad, and bloody, decision after another.  Things completely spiral out of control in this explosive action comedy.

Danny McBride is the crux of Arizona, playing his typical type under a bit more vicious and vile light. He’s able to deliver some decent funny moments, but even though a dark comedy, the character just pushes things too brutally far too quick to keep on the same page as the movie with him. The script loves the idea of some shock, complete with some impressive gore. But, overall its hard to come down from those moments and go back to laughing at the guy committing heinous acts even if on accidents.

On the other end of things, Rosemarie DeWitt absolutely crushes it here. She’s able to keep it all together and plays the film straight the whole time and her contributions work. Its more natural in her perspective. Other notable performers show up in cameo like roles (Seth Rogen, Kaitlin Olson, Luke Wilson) for some fun moments, but none of them hang around long enough to keep some of the comedic elements stewing.

Director Jonathan Watson has a challenging idea to try to display here, he just can’t match tones to craft one of his own. He does excel at some good jumps and is able to portray violence in both shocking and painful, unglorifying fashion. Its his feature film debut, but I can see him improving and giving us some good stuff in the future should he continue on in feature films.

Arizona has a big cast, but has a tough time balancing out its thriller aspects with the dark comedy. It almost feels off balance, honestly. This sort of thing can work when done right, but both elements feel left field from one another. The cast is dynamite and deliver whatever is asked of him. If only it could work like the script is hoping for it too, then we could’ve had something.


Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Arizona comes with a pretty nice looking 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray presentation. Its got a bit of a dark tinge to it (As 4K’s can tend to do), but still carries a nice vivid look with colors that jump out pretty well. The image is sharp and crisp and features real good attention to texture and detail. Some may find the Blu-ray to be brighter and clearer looking, but this is definitely more detailed with better color saturation and natural blacks.

Depth:  Depth is pretty solid and above average with solid spacing. Nothing incredible, but in still, static moments there is good separation.

Black Levels: Blacks are pretty well saturated and make things pretty discernible in shadowy areas or on dark objects/hair/surfaces too.

Color Reproduction: Colors are pretty vivid with bright blues like the roof of some homes and Danny McBride’s polo jump right off the screen. There are some other colors that pop when given the opportunity, but every one of them all look quite solid and bold. There are some decent HDR moments here with the glow of lights and a flame, most of that showing in the nighttime scenes.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial textures and features like stubble, dried blood, lip texture, bruises, some pores, make-up and more all come through pretty clear as day in any given scene from reasonable distances.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean


Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: Arizona features a solid 5.1 track that has some good impact and utilizes the room. Its a little low on its default setting and needs turned up just a hair, but once there it more than gets the job done. Its a nicely balanced mix with the effects, score and vocals all given space to shine and take the spotlight when necessary without stepping on one another’s toes.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer does its job with good impact when things slam, shots are fire or the music hits big.

Surround Sound Presentation: This isn’t some wild mix with all the channels delivering unique parts. The action is more front heavy. But I will say they did mix the music quite interestingly with it pumping individual contributions from the rear speakers that really help fill out the room.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.


Arizona 4K Ultra-HD comes with the standard Blu-ray edition of the film.

The Making of Arizona (HD, 8:39) – A collection of on-set interviews (McBride, DeWitt, Wilson) interspersed with clips from the film, where the cast members just give the basics set ups of their characters and the film’s plot.

Photo Gallery (HD, :13)


Arizona attempts something tough to pull or and can’t quite do it. Its an admirably try though and is never not entertaining. This 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray release is pretty solid with its picture quality and sound. It never really skyrockets the highs of the format, but it works just fine. There’s a nice little bonus feature here for good measure. You may want to rent or stream this one first before making the purchase though.


Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a 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. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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