Quantcast

The Woman King (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

One of the films I was bummed I wasn’t able to catch in theaters when I had Covid back in September was The Woman King. And when I went around to play catch up, times just weren’t lining up for me. So I’m very excited to check out the well reviewed and successful film when it arrives on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray. It come equipped with an Atmos track and a handful of interviews/featurettes to take in as well as a commentary track. The Woman King will be available on December 13th and you can order yourself a copy of it by clicking on the paid Amazon Associates link that follows this review at the bottom of the page. As always, thanks to those who do!

.

Film

Inspired by true events, this is the remarkable, action-packed story about the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey with skills and a fierceness, unlike anything the world has ever seen. Follow the epic and intense journey of General Nanisca (Oscar® winner VIOLA DAVIS; 2016, Best Supporting Actress, Fences) as she trains the next generation of recruits and readies them for battle against an enemy determined to destroy their way of life.

The Woman King is a historical action epic, complete with a high energy and high emotional connection to have you up and cheering and clapping in one of the year’s most crowd pleasing films. The film features a cast bringing their A-game and top notch action choreography that really has this film gelling at a high degree. Its the kind of original film that one could hope more blockbusters could strive to be like and this one starts a trend of more high quality originals.

Viola Davis leads the charge here and pushes forth a commanding performance. Both through here vocal performance, but also her physical one, she is not to be f***ed with in this movie. She’s a cold, brute force that you’ll absolutely buy into. Its not surprise she’s getting talk of a possible awards nomination for this role. Lashana Lynch is another standout performer here in the film. There sort of seems to a be a “its only a matter of time” factor for her in terms of when she’ll be headlining her won flicks.

The action featured in the film is a bit of a nice little symphony of its own. Gina Prince-Bythewood’s film features many training sequences in addition to combat. Everything almost goes together like its a dance or a group crafting their own more primitive type of music. She captures it using more tradition camera and editing tactics. Refreshing it is, as the camera isn’t shaking frantically or quickly cutting to make you “feel” it. Instead the film relies on great choreography, camera work and the ability to let you see and follow what’s going on to deliver the impact.

If there was a ever a full quadrant wide release picture this year that works on a multiple levels for any given audience, The Woman King is a very strong candidate (Crazy we have this and RRR in the same year here in the United States). Viola Davis leads an excellent cast giving excellent performances surrounding by some terrific historical, primitive action. This is one of the years’ best action films and blockbuster with relative ease, and should certainly be sought out if you missed it this year.

Video

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

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Layers: BD-100

Clarity/Detail: The Woman King debuts on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with a crystal clear, nice and sharp picture. Its a vibrant image that showcases the finest details and textures in the frame. The colors and black levels are well saturated and the image has some terrific depth to it.

Depth: Depth of field is pretty strong here, showcasing quite the scale of the open area outside. Movements are smooth and natural and not of the quick cutting, actor action or fierce camera  pans cause any sort of distortion in the form of a blurring or a jittering effect.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and provide a lot of great shadow and accenting on nighttime sequences. Even the darkest of areas contain plenty of different tones and holds onto texture, pattern and fine detail information. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are of a more desert look, tho some flashier purples, reds and the like give a nice pop when in proper display. HDR adds a nice glow to such things as well as fire and the like.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish. The vivid image allows for all sorts of facial detail and texture like sweat beads, dried blood/dirt, blemishes, lip texture, freckles, mores and plenty more.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English Audio Descriptive Service, Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Portuguese, Spanish

Dynamics: The Woman King features a rather rocking Dolby Atmos track that adds a whole other layer of enjoyment to the film. Its well balanced with plenty of depth and layering to really give a lively feel to it all. The film is loud and gives a nice thundering impact in the battle sequences.

Height: From above you get an accurate read on the screen activity, with debris falling and action happening overhead from lower camera angles.

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer hits with force on punches, kicks, stomps impalement, gunshots, crashing and more.

Surround Sound Presentation: Speakers are plenty active all around the room. From the lively ambiance to battle activity swinging around the room, rolling with power on and off screen, its forceful and puts you in the middle of it all.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp, always feeling as a part of their environment whether it be a quieter moment or a louder one.

Extras

The Woman King comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a redeemable digital code.

Audio Commentary

  • with Director Gina Prince-Bythewood and Editor Terilyn A. Shropshire

A Caterpillar’s Destruction: Viola Davis On Set (HD, 9:48) – This starts with Viola Davis discussing the origins of the film with Maria Bello planting the seed with an audience 6 and a half years before it were to come to fruition. It focuses on Davis and what she brings to  film, her career, her demeaner and what she injects into The Woman King.

Woman/Warrior (HD, 11:40) – This one goes over the other characters and actors  in the film and then shifts its focus to choreographing and shooting the action sequences.

Storytellers (HD, 10:19) – For this featurette, we take a look at the behind the camera folk and have at it with the locations, props, costuming and more.

Representation Matters (HD, 9:59) – Subject says it all, but this one talks about the importance of getting a movie like this right and what it can mean to so many viewers as they watch it unfold on screen.

Thuso Mbedu Auditions (HD, 6:34)

Summary

The Woman King is a quite a blast of a historical action epic. You’ll find yourself bouncing along to this terrific video transfer and rocking Atmos mix. There’s a nice slate of featurettes and commentary to go along with the film on this disc. For a modern film, this is  pretty proper and complete package on the 4K format.

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