2012 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 254, March/April 2021

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Intense disaster sequences and some language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Roland Emmerich
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(Disc Soundtrack):
Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"2012" is founded in the Mayan prophecy, which has been so significant to so many cultures, so many religions, scientists, and governments. This is an adventure about a global cataclysm that brings an end to the world and tells of the struggle of the survivors.(Gary Reber)

Special features on Disc One include commentary with Writer/Director Roland Emmerich and Co-Writer Harald Kloser; Picture-In-Picture: Roland's Vision, which includes pre-visualization, storyboards, and behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with filmmakers and cast and crew; an alternate ending (HD 03:39); up-front previews; movieIQ; and BD-Live functionality. Disc Two includes the interactive Mayan Calendar; five featurettes: "Mysteries Of The Mayan Calendar" (HD 03:53), "Designing The End Of The World" (HD 26:03), "Roland Emmerich: Master Of the Modern Epic" (HD 09:31), "Science Behind The Destruction" (HD 13:19), and "The End Of The World: The Actor's Perspective" (HD 07:34); five deleted scenes (HD 04:55); "Countdown To The Future" (HD 22:03); the "Time For Miracles" music video by Adam Lambert (HD 04:19); Making "Time For Miracles" (HD 02:43); and previews. Disc Three is a digital copy of the film.

The 2.40:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally in Super 35 using the Panavision Genesis HD Camera system and sourced from the 2K (4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. Grain is never pronounced or objectionable. Picture quality is superb. HDR contrast effectively enhances the dimensional quality, with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation rendered. Numerous scenes are dark and should be viewed in a darkened room, preferably a black room, to optimize contrast ratio. Such dark films really challenge display technologies, but when executed well, the visual depth and image quality can be stunning. The picture is very cinematic. The color palette comprises natural hues that are rich and warm with nuanced hues and excellent color depth and saturation. High-intensity explosions burst with luminance. Fleshtones appear natural as well. The overall feel is weighty, with both full saturation and black levels interplaying throughout. The resolution is excellent, both in above and below ground scenes. The disaster scenes depicting widespread devastation are intricately rendered and exhibit, in detail, collapsing earth and structures and the associated debris. The imagery is quite dramatic and frightening in that the sense of realism is impressive. Depicted are magnetic reversals, tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanoes. The picture perfectly resolves fine textures, especially during close-ups of facial features and object textures. But even distant backgrounds are nicely resolved, to reveal crumbling structures, roadways, and bridges, and people and vehicles caught up in the upheaval. Most impressive is the sense of realism conveyed in the cinematography. This is an exciting, adrenaline-intense picture that is sweeping in its portrayal of a seemingly real perspective of a global cataclysm that brings the end of the world. This is a picture that is sure to impress. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is breathtaking! The additional channels provide an impactful immersive experience.The dynamic impact is tremendous, with deep, powerful bass in all channels, especially evident in the .1 LFE channel, with extension to below 25 Hz. SPL is often at full throttle, maximizing our Dorough professional meter bridge. The levels can be system-threatening. Low-frequency response is particularly aggressive. Holosonic® surround envelopment is wonderful, putting you into the midst of catastrophic disaster unfolding all around you. This would be a tremendous 3D experience when coupled to this soundtrack that sonically defines so well the image space portrayed on-screen. The entire soundfield is excited aggressively and directionally. Foley, atmospheric, and sound effects are recorded well at both extremes, from loud to soft, with subtle low-level sounds clearly heard and perceived, which enhances the sense of space and realism. Sound effects, such as helicopters, airplanes, and flying debris are panned throughout the soundfield, providing a powerful sense of realism. You are put into every scene, from massive-scale distress and turmoil to the most subtle and intimate settings, which is what surround sound should be all about. The music score drives the action with a sweeping wide and deep soundstage that wraps aggressively into the surrounds. Dialogue is the only weak element, with obvious ADR at times not fully connecting spatially with the on-screen perspectives. Still, generally, spatial integration, when not sounding forward, is pretty good. When taken as a whole, all the sound elements effectively contribute to a sense that the world is dying with the collapse of the built environment.

The Immersive Sound element provides an extension of the music score powerfully along with powerful sound effects. A rain and thunder/lightening storm in the opening segment is really effective at creating a height dimension, as well as the descent of an underground elevator. Various environmental sound effects enhance the realism such as birds and other creatures. A cruise ship horn is loud and enveloping along with the collapse of the gangplank and the ship rolling to its side. Car crashes, explosions, earth cave-ins, the crowd sounds at a boxing match, and scattering debris benefit from the height factor as well. Airplanes and helicopters and a small plane whiz overhead in various directions. Some overhead announcements are heard. There is a virtual constant commotion and chaos of sounds heard throughout. This is one of the most exciting and spatially dimensional Immersive Sound presentations thus far encountered.

This is truly a reference soundtrack that delivers spectacular sonics. This is one soundtrack that delivers a holosonic® spherical surround sound experience that is exceptionally immersive and captivating. Be prepared to be stunned by the sonic impact and realism. Gary Reber)