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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Comedy > Drama > Fantasy > Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom 4K (2023/DC Comics/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom 4K (2023/DC Comics/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

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

Years ago, the Aquaman character was being treated as a joke, some of which is too odd to go into here, but DC Comics overcame the joke in the series Entourage where a fictitious feature film (directed by James Cameron?) was a hit, delivering a hit film that was decent with Jason Momoa (who was already decent as Conan The Barbarian) becoming the title character and they had a hit. Directed by a so-so horror moviemaker, it worked pretty well and everyone liked it and fans were happy. James Wan's Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom 4K (2023) is much of everything bad we thought the first film would be, and more unnecessarily so. Guess that means Wan is bored too.

It is now apparent what Wan did was a fluke, though the supporting cast (most returning from the last film) that includes Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Kidman Randall Park, Temuera Morrison, Dolph Lundgren and Martin Short is still winning, but they look a little bored and the energy they had in the last film is almost as gone and the energy in the film itself, which has very little. Here, Black Manta is going to kill the baby of Aquaman and Mera, but someone killed the script first, though did not kill the film itself.

There is also some lost ancient power (which has already been done to death in both the superhero and fantasy genres) is part of all this, but in the end, we've seen all of this before. I try to avoid most promo on any film before I see it if I can so I can be surprised later, but in this case, I saw a few things and some of those did not make it into the final cut here and I should have made a list of them. Instead of taking better inspiration from the history of the character, its just a flat, dull mess and there is sadly little the actors could so about it, while the studio just wanted to put this out there and get it out of the way before relaunching the entire DC gallery of heroes and stories. In all this, they forgot the basics and the audience, so be sure to have patience and not operate any heavy machinery or do anything else important while you try to watch. Once will be more than enough for most.

The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.78 X 1, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image has some money in it and has some good shots in 4K, but the generic digital work makes the ''lost kingdom'' of the title look like every other kingdom in DC Comics and is such a disappointment, you will wish they would lose that kingdom for good. No wonder it was lost!

Because Disney owns Industrial Light & Magic (via LucasFilm) they have better CGI visual tech than just about anyone and even their digital work is lacking, but Warner/DC is at least a generation behind (and both at least another versus the best upscale videogames) with the only saving grace sometimes being a better use of full color range. Here, it is just forgettable and the digital waterways look too fake for their own good, even fakers than the digital in the actual James Cameron film The Abyss (1988) and when you add the generic and dull, overly talky scenes (too many to want to think about) it just makes this visually inferior to the first film, which was not without its issues.

The Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) also has some good sonic moments, but they are few and far between and in between the dull, talky ones, so expect very few sonic highlights despite the fact that surrounds are consistent and constant enough. The combination somehow feels like a step backwards form the first film, though reshoots might have hurt too. Sad.

Extras include Digital Movie Code, while the discs (per the press release) add...

Finding the Lost Kingdom

  • Go behind the scenes as director James Wan reveals how he and the cast and crew pulled off their biggest endeavor yet, an epic sequel to the largest grossing film in the history of DC.

Aquaman: Worlds Above and Below

  • When the filmmakers set out to create a sequel that eclipsed the original in scale and scope, they knew they would have to send Arthur and the rest of the cast to all kinds of new wild and wonderful worlds both above and below the sea.

It's a Manta World

  • Black Manta is more powerful than ever now that he has discovered the Lost Kingdom of Necrus and taken possession of the Black Trident. From inspiration to execution, filmmakers reveal how they leveled Black Manta up to the realm of supervillains.

Necrus, The Lost Black City

  • Ages ago the great battle for the earth took place here, in this legendary lost Atlantean city. Discover how the filmmakers created the Black City from its ''surface city'' concept and its inhabitants: Undead Necrusians (Zombies), to its execution.

Escape from the Deserter World

  • From idea to execution, explore how the filmmakers created this barren desert landscape and the Deserter Prison, how its creatures and inhabitants were brought to life, and how they planned and executed the daring Orm ''breakout'' sequence.

Brawling at Kingfish's Lair

  • The Citadel is the last frontier of the ocean, a deep trench filled with sunken old ships, stacked high like a rusty city. From concept to completion, discover Kingfish's Lair, a bar within, where the worst of the worst hang out.

And Oh TOPO!

  • The Tactical Observation and Pursuit Operative Octopus is a living legend and all-time fan favorite. Director James Wan and the filmmakers discuss the decision behind bringing TOPO back to the sequel and its promotion to Arthur's on-screen sidekick.

In the meantime, I'll wait for the old Filmation 1967 animated series to get restored and reissued on Blu-ray the way their Batman series was. In the meantime, it is sad that Mamoa is ending his time as the hero because he was a great match for it. It is bad for him and the audience, but these last few DC Comics movies have been bad to hideous, so hopefully, this elongated and unnecessary nightmare for fans (especially child fans who have been hurt and confused the most by this nonsense) is finally coming to an end. Now, if they bring back Aquaman, how can they recast better than Momoa? They cannot, so that is why this is all the more a awful film.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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