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Black Widow - 4K UHD Review

Black Widow

Marvel does Bourne!  With plenty of globe-hopping and mouth-dropping action sequences, Black Widow finally arrives in theaters after an over yearlong delay due to Covid-19 and reminds us of why we absolutely love the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its many characters.  With heart and humor and plenty of action, Black Widow kicks a ton of ass!

"With heart and humor and plenty of action, Black Widow kicks a ton of ass!"


That’s right, Black Widow doesn’t disappoint. In fact, most fans of the MCU will be reinvigorated by the film’s action-oriented and thriller successes, proving that Marvel’s long list of characters can in fact cover many different genres. This does not feel like a comic book film. While it does deal with heroes and villains, the film feels more like a slow burn of action and suspense as Black Widow comes to terms with the Red Room and helps fill in some of the story gaps when we first caught up with the Avengers all those years ago.

But her duplicitous life as a lone wolf and as a part of a team is explored here and it makes a lot of sense in further establishing the strength of her character. Even though her fate was (probably) sealed during her quest to Vormir with Clint Barton (a.k.a. Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner), the mystery surrounding her still stands, which makes this film quite interesting.

While there is NO EXCUSE for why a solo movie with Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, took so long to come about, she quickly reminds us of why we love her with kick to the head swagger and style. Together with Director Cate Shortland and its own Manchurian Candidate-like themes, Johansson shows that the delay in getting her character’s own solo movie was indeed a chickenshit move by Marvel and destroys every single man in her way to taking down the Red Room.Black Widow

Black Widow doubles down on the spy and Cold War conspiracies and gives us a glimpse into some of the tactics used by Russia to infiltrate America.  Opening with an extended and exciting prologue, we see a young Natasha with her “family” on the run.  Already keyed-in performances from David Harbour, who simply nails it with his performance as her “father” and Rachel Weisz as her “mother” have us near the edge of our seats as they escape through the night along with Natasha’s “sister”, Yelena Belova.  If that opening feels like The Americans to you, then go with it.

As we hop around the world with her, we witness as Natasha is taken from one makeshift family and into another, The Avengers. But other than a nod to Hawkeye and Captain America (to help fill us in as this film takes place in between Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War), this is indeed a solo performance as Black Widow discovers that her estranged sister-figure (a scene-stealing Florence Pugh) has information about Dreykov (Ray Winstone), whom she thought long dead and his assassin program, known as the Red Room.  It is where more Black Widows are being trained.  In fact, these women are scattered throughout the world.

This is an operation that Black Widow thought she had taken care of years ago, first mentioned in The Avengers. Now, she finds herself having to stay ahead of both Dreykov and General Ross (for breaking the Sokovia Accords) as she and Yelena reunite their original family Alexei (Harbour), aka The Red Guardian, and Melina (Weisz) while dodging the calculated attacks from the Taskmaster (an identity I won’t spoil here).  While the change in the Taskmaster character might be a letdown, I say there's more to come in the tech used to bring the character to life.

With action sets all in place and a brisk pace set and matched time and time again, Black Widow feels both sleek and fun. It is in and of itself a no-nonsense killing machine, moving toward its audience like a panther ready to pounce.  We get a fully realized backstory on one of Marvel’s best characters and we get a whole lot of spy-related intrigue thanks to screenwriter Eric Pearson (Infinity War and Endgame), all of which works itself into an action film that is original in its own terms within this shared universe.

Like "the deadliest of spiders, easily escaping notice until it is far too late", Black Widow STRIKES!

4/5 stars

 

Misery (1990)

4k details divider

4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital HD

Home Video Distributor: Disney | Buena Vista
Available on 4K Blu-ray
- September 14, 2021
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Japanese, Spanish
Audio:
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1; Japanese: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Discs: 4K Ultra HD; Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: 4K region-free; blu-ray region-free

Marvel's Black Widow comes to 4K UHD from Disney with a spectacular 4K Ultra HD + blu-ray + Digital Code combo pack Cinematic Universe Edition.

Included inside the black eco case is a 4K UHD disc, a blu-ray disc, and a digital redemption coupon. It is all housed inside a cardboard slipcover that features lightly embossed foil-stamped artwork. It looks spectacular.

Video

Presented in its original 2.39:1 aspect ratio and using wide color gamut and HDR10 encoding, the movie absolutely sparkles in 4K. This is very near reference quality stuff, folks! There's a reason you'll find this playing on TVs in nearly every big box retailer. Pop the disc in and show off your home theater system

Audio

Included on the audio front are an English language Dolby Atmos track as well as an English language Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track. A French Dolby Digital 5.1, a Japanese Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, and a Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 are also included as are English SDH, French, Japanese, and Spanish subtitles.

Every single speaker in your room will get plenty of action as the full auditory spectrum is utilized early and often. Including the heights. Especially the heights!

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There is none

Special Features:

Here's where Disney drops the ball. There simply isn't very much in the way of bonus material and what is here feels very much like fluff. Included on the blu-ray disc are an introduction from director Cate Shortland, a character study, an EPK-type feature that explores many of the film's aspects, a gag reel, and a handful of deleted scenes.

  • Introduction by Director Cate Shortland
  • Sisters Gonna Work It Out
  • Go Big If You're Going Home
  • Gag Reel

4k rating divider

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4/5 stars

 

Film Details

Black Widow

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence/action, some language and thematic material.
Runtime:
133 mins
Director
: Cate Shortland
Writer:
Eric Pearson
Cast:
Scarlett Johansson; Florence Pugh; David Harbour
Genre
: Action
Tagline:

Memorable Movie Quote: "Okay, you got a plan, or shall I just stay, duck, and cover?"
Theatrical Distributor:
Marvel
Official Site: https://movies.disney.com/black-widow
Release Date:
July 9, 2021
DVD/Blu-ray/4k UHD Release Date: 
September 14, 2021
Synopsis: A film about Natasha Romanoff in her quests between the films Civil War and Infinity War.

Art

Black Widow

 

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