Thor: Ragnarok 4K UltraHD

WSR Score3
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Walt Disney Home Entertainment/Marvel
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Intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive material
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Taika Waititi
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, DTS HD Lossless 7.1
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In "Thor: Ragnarok," Thor (Hemsworth) is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his home world and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela (Blanchett). But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial context that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk (Ruffalo)—and grapple with his silver-tongued adopted brother Loki (Hiddleston),the fierce warrior Valkyrie (Thompson), and the eccentric Grandmaster (Goldblum). (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Director Taika Waititi; an introduction by Director Waititi; five deleted/extended scenes (HD 05:43); a gag reel (HD 02:18); the "Team Daryl" short (HD 06:08), seven featurettes: "Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years—The Evolution Of Heroes" (HD 05:23), "Getting In Touch With Your Inner Thor" (HD 06:39), "Unstoppable Women: Hela & Valkyrie" (HD 05:58), "Finding Korg" (HD 07:34), "Sakaar: On The Edge Of The Known And Unknown" (HD 08:24), "Journey Into Mystery" (HD 05:47), and "8-bit Scenes" (HD 03:15); digital exclusives: "Evolution Of Thor And Hulk's Bromance" and addition deleted scenes; upfront previews; and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 UltraHD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa 65 (6.5K) and Phantom Flex4K camera systems and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. A theatrical presentation was presented as a 3D conversion by Stereo D and Legend 3D but not released on 3D Blu-ray. The movie was also exhibited in IMAX. Picture quality is absolutely superb. Impressively detailed throughout, the imagery is mesmerizing with super sharp resolution that displays a vast complexity of nuances. Color fidelity is also superb with an exceptional wide color gamut of saturated hues that pop with intensity, yet exhibit warmth and richness. The production design is fascinating, displaying a varied color palette, rich in shadings. HDR contrast is excellent with deep blacks, varying shades of shadow delineation, and bright highlights. Fleshtones appear perfectly natural throughout, no matter a dark or bright scene. The imagery is a showcase of imagination that is absolutely engaging. Special visual effects are unusually imaginative. Spatial dimensionality is excellent with a convincing three-dimensional effect. WOW! segments are numerous as in virtually every scene. A few examples are from the beginning at 0:42 to 06:18, 35:04 to 36:34, 44:11 to 46:10, 51:24 to 53:24, 01:19:15 to 01:19:55, 01:42:31 to 01:43:10, and 01:54:55 to 01:56:00. This is an exceptional visual experience that is incredibly sharp, detailed, and colorful that is reference quality throughout. This is sure to thrill fans. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is excellent with superb fidelity. The orchestral score is unusually laid back with an overall background presence, though, presented with a wide and deep soundstage that extends to the four surrounds. Atmospherics nicely complement the engaging set designs, and sound effects are often powerful, with a directional and panned effect extending to the surrounds. Deep bass is often powerful, extending to sub-25 Hz frequencies, though, rather laid back. While there is a lot of action segments, still dialogue is prominent, sounding exceptionally clear and spatially integrated. Parts of the soundtrack deliver a wide and open sonic dimension, such as in the huge stadium arena where Thor and The Hulk engage in battle. Foley sound effects throughout are realistic sounding and deliver a wide range of nuanced sonics. The Immersive Sound element is comprised of very low-level music, occasional reverberant dialogue extension, Thor's hammer/umbrella crashing sounds, the backside to front panned spaceship, a female voice en route to Sakaar, falling debris, crowd sounds in the stadium, and other low-level sound effects. Much was not addressed by the sound designers as there are long sequences of silence in the height channels. Much more could have been done to make the Immersive Sound component more exciting and dimensional. Still, this is a superb holosonic® experience with impressive fidelity and dimensionality that at times extends to the height channels and delivers fine nuances, for a reference-quality affair. (Gary Reber)