Quantcast

Eternals (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

The MCU has spent 2021 back in full swing, releasing four films…well…considering end credits scenes, do we count Venom: Let There Be Carnage as five? One of the more anticipated and mysterious films of the bunch was Eternals. The film promised a more complete filmmaker vision from that of Academy Award winner Chloe Zhao to go along with a bunch of character that, lets be honest, nobody really knew who they are. The film didn’t grab your typical Marvel fare by garnering mixed reviews and underwhelming box office. Nonetheless, being different will certainly do that to some films and it appears Marvel is no exception. Its already been on Disney+, but you’ll be able to add it to your home video collection when it arrives on February 15th (Sorry Valentine’s Day gifts). You can order the film by using the paid Amazon Associates link below.

.

Film

Marvel Studios’ Eternals follows a group of ancient heroes from beyond the stars who had protected Earth since the dawn of man. When monstrous creatures called Deviants, long thought lost to history, mysteriously return, the Eternals are forced to reunite in order to defend humanity once again. 

While I am a fan and enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one of my areas of complaint has been how flat and formulaic all their film appear visually. A studio that boasts all of these artistic voices behind the camera, the films all still feel like there’s one voice speaker over all of them. Eternals had me hesitant on selling itself as am immersive experience in that of its director Chloe Zhao, selling it as her vision. And indeed, for better and for worse, this film doesn’t feel much of any compromise until after the credits have begun rolling and they are running glorified advertisements for future films.

Zhao’s film features some of the best camera, costuming and digital design work of all of the MCU. Following after Shang-Chi, it really shows a hope for a bigger, more challenging and creative future for the world’s biggest ongoing series. Zhao’s film feels that of its characters in the frame and on the page. There’s a narrative style that feels much more risky that than of the other films and the tone, actions and plot mine from more of the mythological heroes caverns that DC makes their bread and butter as opposed to Marvel. And honestly, it feels something of a breath of fresh air to have on that confidently takes its somewhat at its face value and seriously without having to have a character speak to the audience and hold their hand saying “this is stupid, right?”.

Said characters are pretty meaty and resemble many classic superheroes from the Watchmen/Justice League pool. There are plenty of them, and only a tentpole blockbuster’s length film to introduce, familiarize and put them through adventure. Some characters do well, some not so much, but overall the film does decent enough. Gemma Chan does a great job as a lead and I’d love to see her lead any given picture they want to through at her. Kumail Nanjiani unsurprisingly rocks and injects energy into the film. Where it lacks punch is a lot of the casting that many feel a bit too dour. It doesn’t need to be a gee whiz adventure, but not all of these actors really bring much memorability to the film. Salma Hayek is great and a good use of big casting. Though, Angelina Jolie isn’t bad, but why is she even here? She feels more like a flex for Marvel to get her than being integral to casting and being this character in the film.

While Eternals doesn’t work at a gangbusters level, its the kind of effort from Marvel I applaud and want more of going forward. Its a film that feels it is coming from a more singular voice with a unique and not uniform to the status quo vision on display to tell their tale. Eternals is even more standalone than the other fare, which for all the shared universe/everything is connected universe hub bub usually are a complete adventure. Zhao’s film is a bit ambitious for a large cast like this to introduce be fleshed out and tell a big adventure, but next time around we certainly already know everyone and have a smaller pool to play from. But, regardless, this is a nice little riff on the Zack Snyder’s Justice League or Watchmen formula in the Marvel sandbox.

Video

Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the standard Blu-ray disc, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Eternals arrives on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray being a native 4K title having been finished with a 4K digital intermediate. And it looks rather dashing. The film’s unique cinematography really soaks up the frame with great darks and lovely colors that contrast and glow throughout the runtime. It has rather terrific fine detailed information that is easy to discern in every crisp frame. From a visual standpoint, Eternals is a standout among its rather flat and same/same Marvel colleagues.

Depth: Depth of field is quite in impressive as Zhao’s film really showcases a pretty genuinely epic scale with a three dimensional feel with nice pushback both outside and in. Movements are natural and smooth with no issues coming from motion distortion during rapid action scenes.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and dipping into natural levels with gorgeous shadow and good contrast to really bring out some nifty color schemes. No information swallowed up in the darkness and no crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are quite lovely and feel rather unique in the Marvel world compared to the other films. Emerald looks amazing and plenty of great yellows, purples and more really push through and get a nice pop with contrast to darker colors as well as some good HDR glow where apt in the magical beam and galactical contexts.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features and texture like stubble, make-up strokes, lip texture, wrinkles, moles, freckles and more are clear and easy to make out in any reasonable distance in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, Japanese 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Japanese

Dynamics: Eternals arrives with a pretty decent Atmos track in comparison to your typical Marvel fair. Its in the good, not great category as its easy to find where improvements can be made and missed opportunities in the mix. Its an odd duck, because there are good segments where the Atmos mix is excelling that get follow up by some action moments where you’re clinching in anticipation of some power and it doesn’t come. Yet, it in a lighter scene, that power unexpectedly shows up in some astral set dialogue sequence with a giant being. This is a good view overall, its just you want these Marvel movies to be the best of the bunch and they really just sort of come out “ok” when they are at their best.

Height: From above you get a lot of fun stuff. Whether it be creatures flying, celestial voices booming, magic beams zapping around or just some good ol debris from an explosions, its plenty present.

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer overall does a pretty fine job. It has some good power, it could use more, but the force it has is quite good. It does miss on some moments that you would think come with impact but don’t and purely get handled by the front 3 channels. At the end of the day though, this is better than many of the Marvel movies in this field, but you want better than above average for these, you want to shake.

Surround Sound Presentation: Surround sound captures the room pretty well with terrific attention to travel and well enough power to force things around the room. There are some nice splashes of good ambiance and room building from the rear and side channels that feel unique and thought out.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.

Extras

Eternals comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a redeemable digital code. All extras are found on the standard Blu-ray disc.

Audio Commentary

  • By Chloe Zhao, Stephane Ceretti and Marten Larsson

Immortalized (HD, 10:45) – Chloe Zhao, cast and other paint a picture of what the Eternals is and how they brought this group together to tell it. It focuses on changing the look and feel of telling a Marvel film.

Walks of Life (HD, 5:01) – The cast gushes over the opportunity to play a superhero, and how they are a diverse group.

Gag Reel (HD, 2:29)

Deleted Scenes (HD, 5:49)

Summary

Eternals works enough for me even though it may be stuck in the middle of the pack for Marvel stuff this year for me despite my admiration for it. It comes to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with a rather beautiful looking transfer that showcases the visuals swimmingly. Where it lacks, as always with Disney, is in the audio department. The Atmos isn’t a dealbreaker (not even close), but it could be better. Your typical Marvel extras round out a solid package for a new release.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link

Share

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).

  1. No Comments