Monster Hunter 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 254, March/April 2021

WSR Score4
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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Sequences of creature action and violence throughout
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Paul W.S. Anderson
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"Monster Hunter" is set behind our world, where there is another: a world of dangerous and powerful monsters that rule their domain with deadly ferocity. When an unexpected sandstorm transports Captain Artemis (Jovovich) and her unit (Harris, Good, Boneta) to a new world, the soldiers are shocked to discover that this hostile and unknown environment is home to enormous and terrifying monsters immune to their firepower. In their desperate battle for survival, the unit encounters the mysterious Hunter (Jaa), whose unique skills allow him to stay one step ahead of the powerful creatures. As Artemis and Hunter slowly build trust, she discovers that he is part of a team led by the Admiral (Perlman). Facing danger so great it could threaten to destroy their world, the brave warriors combine their unique abilities to band together for the ultimate showdown. (Gary Reber)

Special features include two deleted scenes (HD 03:19); the featurettes "The Monster Hunters: Cast And Characters" (HD 07:51), "Monstrous Arseal: Weaponry In The Film" (HD 05:02) and "For The Players: From Game To Screen" (HD06:40); upfront previews and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa Mini camera system and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. This was produced as a 3D conversion by Stereo D but no 3D Blu-ray was provided for review. The picture exhibits superb production design. The extraordinary imaginative imagery is a visual wonderland of special visual effects. Color fidelity is excellent and vivid with superb color depth and density as well as perfectly accurate fleshtones, Much of the environment is the vastness of a beige/creamy white sandscape contrasted with intensely deep blue skies during the bright daylight scenes. The military uniforms exhibit fine nuances in beige, brown, and green hues. The bright-red monster eyes are fascinating. Earthy colors appear natural, including fiery explosions. HDR contrast is superb with night scenes exhibiting excellent shadow delineation and black levels, especially exhibited in dark cloudy sand storms. The daylight scenes exhibit impressive vibrancy and brightness with sun-drenched vistas. Resolution is excellent, exhibiting fine textural detail throughout. The imagery is clear and sharp with crisp edging. Facial textures appear accurate and well resolved. Clothing, such as military uniforms, are finely detailed. Landscapes such as rock formations, monsters, and object textures are sharply rendered. In aggregate, this is one of the best native 4K Ultra presentation thus far and in many respects is reference quality. Stunning in all respects. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack delivers an extremely dynamic and fully Immersive Sound experience. The holosonic® presentation is very powerful both in terms of frequency extensions and spatial dimensionality. The .1 LFE bass associated with the dark cloudy sand storms and in the low-frequency extensions of Paul Haslinger's orchestral/synthesizer score. Of course, sonic expression of the monsters and their movements as well as military gunfire and combat deliver deep bass transients and foundations. Atmospherics and sound effects are in every frame and deliver both loud and nuanced energy, creating an impressive sonic environment of the "new world." Additionally, there are lightening flashes from "the tower," rain fall, and explosions, which create a dangerous reality of mayhem and the unknown. The music extends wide and deep across the soundstage with an aggressive extension to the four surrounds and the height layer. Surround energy is often thunderous and aggressive.

The Immersive Sound element is a wild one that often delivers intense and terrifying sonics panned and positioned directionally overhead. Spatial dimensionality is superb with all manner of sound effects supported overhead. The orchestral/synthesizer score is extended, and sound effects are numerous and varied such as thunderous lightening, blowing sand, wind, jittery and crashing military vehicles, debris scatter, monster sounds, synthesizer effects, crackling fire, water sound, birds, bells chiming, a rain storm, powerful blasts, military helicopter engine and blade sounds, explosions and much, much more. This is a tremendous Immersive Sound enhancement.

This is an intensely holosonic spherical surround listening experience that will be immensely appreciated on a good home theatre system. The soundtrack more than complements the imaginative imagery with exciting sound effects and music. The presentation is definitely reference quality. (Gary Reber)