Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Space Opera > Comedy > Superhero > Counterculture > Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017/Marvel Studios/Disney 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017/Marvel Studios/Disney 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B Sound: B+/B Extras: B Film: B

Sequels are always a dilemma, especially if the first film is a surprise and so many people love it, made more complicated yet if it was a surprise hit. Thus is the situation with James Gunn's Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017), a hugely-budgeted sequel that could have made so many mistakes so many ways, but Gunn was the director of the original and even owned by Disney now, Marvel Studios is still the original studio. They got the original cast back including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and the voice acting of Bradley Cooper and (now for Baby Groot, which the makers do not overplay) Vin Diesel.

This time, they're in more trouble by creatures trying to kill them, people who hate them and might want them dead and then they have their own emotional and psychological issues, angst and Star-Lord (Pratt) might just find out who his father is! But not before they battle a giant creature in the opening that sets the tone that the film will be much like the first one: outrageous, wild, crazy, funny, bold, daring, highly genre-adept and still have a good story to tell. Adding to old friends and enemies turning up, along with more great choices of classic hit songs, a deadly new opponent in Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki in a near star-making role) leads her planet of people to try to catch the gang as Rocket (Cooper) has stolen a valuable fuel substance that EVERYBODY wants.

What I really like is how well thought out this all is, the wit is top rate and the 1970s sense of sass that made the first film here is totally in tact, even as they veer (hopefully not for the worst in the long run) into early 1980s pop culture, which is a different culture. The cast continues to keep its chemistry, new characters work (Howard The Duck gets another cameo in) and to say much more would ruin the film. However, this is on par with the original and one of the best films of the year. With a third film on the way, I hope they can at least keep the momentum going.

This is the first film shot almost totally with the new 8K RED Weapon Ultra HD camera and the stability and color shows it to be worthy of the better 35mm prints, though it also remains HD. We get two versions of the transfer starting with a Disney first, a 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10-Bit color; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced 2.35 X 1 Ultra High Definition image in their debut in for the great Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray format. A solid choice, this does look better than how it looked on the olderD projector I screened the film in. With the usual flaws of old HD hardly here, you can really enjoy the film that much more and this instantly will become one of the most demand 4K Blu-rays on the market. Dolby Vision was expected over HDR here, but I guess they'll save that for a future edition down the line.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer second version on regular Blu-ray is a bit more pale in parts than expected, in comparison to my theatrical digital screening and just in general, so I have to say I was a little disappointed by this, yet to go from 8K to standard Blu-ray means maybe some quality had to be compromised. We'll see how later 8K and even 6K shoots look in the standard 1080p Blu-ray format in future releases from all the studios, but Director of Photography Henry Braham (Legend Of Tarzan, The Golden Compass) manages to recreate the look of the first film on a new format and that was not easy. Cheers to him definitely.

The two formats offer different best soundtracks for their presentations with the 2160p 4K Blu-ray giving us a lossless Dolby Atmos 11.1 mix (the film was also issued in IMAX 11.1 where available theatrically) and the improvement is nice, while the regular 1080p Blu-ray has a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 or 5.1 lossless mix. While both have more than their share of state-of-the-art sonic moments that will impress, the Atmos 11.1 mix is better. Unfortunately for both, with better clarity and fidelity (the original film still sounds great too), the one gripe is that some of the hit records do not sound as good as they should and it is a worse situation here.

While some albums and even songs have been lucky enough to get new sonic transfer from their original audio master tapes for high-def audio streaming, high end expensive 12-inch vinyl record repressing and even the still-alive, the highly underrated Super Audio CD format we still review and even audio-only Blu-rays (primarily from Universal Music), not enough of our music heritage is getting this treatment. This can even include the music being not just in 2.0 Stereo, but in 5.1 sound itself, lending itself well to films such as these. Instead, the sonics of the great songs chosen can sound a bit off. The other debate is should they sound their age (the cliche of worn out copies being the only ones) or sound as clean, clear and great as possible. I lean towards the latter strongly. Aside from that, you're certain to be impressed.

Extras include a comical poster and Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other cyber iTunes capable devices, while the Blu-ray adds The Making of ''Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'' in four-parts, Guardians Inferno Music Video with David Hasselhoff and special guests, a Gag Reel, Four Deleted Scenes, Feature Length Audio Commentary by director James Gunn and additional digital-only features you need to get the discs to access on-line.

For more on the first film, try this link...


- Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com