Godzilla (2014) 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 255, May/June 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.
Warner Bros Home Entertainment
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(MPAA Rating):
(Rating Reason):
Intense sequences of disturbing mathem and creature violence
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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(Full Screen Edition):
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(Chaptered/Scene Access):
(Closed Captioned):
(Regional Coding):
Region Free
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(Theatrical Release):
(Direct-To-Video Release):
(Disc Release Date):
(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Gareth Edwards
(Screenplay/Written By):
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(Costume Designer):
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(Academy Awards):
(Principal Photography):
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(Measured Disc Aspect Ratio):
(Disc Soundtrack):
Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
(Theatrical Sound):
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
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(Dolby Digital Bit Rate):
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In this gritty, realistic sci-fi action epic, "Godzilla" returns to its roots as one of the world's most recognized monsters. This spectacular adventure pits Godzilla against malevolent creatures that, bolstered by humanity's scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the featurettes "MONARCH: Declassified" [Operation: Lucky Dragon" (HD 02:44), "MONARCH: The M.U.T.O. File" (HD 07:25), "The Godzilla Revelation" (HD 07:25), "The Legendary Godzilla" ("Godzilla: Force Of Nature") (HD 19:18), "A Whole New Level Of Destruction" (HD 08:24), "Into The Void: The H.A.L.O. Jump" (HD 5.00), and "Ancient Enemy: The M.U.T.O.s" (HD 06:49); 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 in anamorphic Panavision® using the Arri Alexa Plus 4:3 camera system 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. While theatrically exhibited in 3D with conversion by Stereo D, no 3D Blu-ray Disc was provided. Picture quality is superb with excellent color fidelity throughout. Of course, TV footage is degraded but realistically appropriate in the storytelling. Colors are naturally hued in both exterior and interior scenes with excellent depth. The wide color gamut reveals stunning subtitles in color shadings. The orange in explosions and the monster female egg sack are incredibly realistic in appearance, as are the color renderings. HDR contrast is perfectly balanced with natural black levels, superb shadow delineation, and bright white levels, for a beautifully contrasted picture. Resolution is perfectly revealing of fine detail in facial features such as lines, pore, and beard stubble. Clothing and object textures are detailed exhibiting natural imagery that is realistically textured. There is so much intricate pieces that are impressively resolved for a totally realistic picture. Visual effects, designed by John Dykstra, ASC, are incredibly rendered whether the monsters or the urban area destruction. This is a spectacular visual experience with so many moving pieces in a real world environment in Japan, Hawaii, Las Vegas and San Francisco locations that it would take many paragraphs if not pages to detail. This is reference quality throughout that will not disappoint. Amazing! (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack has been remixed specifically for the home theatre environment. The sound is exceptionally impressive with intense dynamics bolstered by deep, powerful sub-25 Hz bass that rumbles to the core. Atmospherics are realistic throughout. Sound effects are tremendous and bombastic with distinct bass hits for every monster footstep, roar, and toppled building. The soundtrack features Alexandre Desplat's wonderfully effective orchestral/choral score, which sounds dynamic and expansive, The music occupies a very wide and deep soundstage and extension is aggressive throughout all channels. Atmospherics and sound effects deliver an aggressive surround field. Dialogue is perfectly intelligible and remarkably integrated spatially.

The Immersive Sound element unfortunately has no extension of the orchestral/choral score to the height layer. Occasional sound effects extend such as the explosion in the lab, a siren warning of danger in a monster's "prison" and the sound of escape movement with sporatic bursts of sounds, a crane crashing, a two-second helicopter lift off an aircraft carrier, an announcement in a subway, brief powerful wave smacks, a two-second helicopter flyover, a cargo plane flyover, news announcers above in a helicopter, a monster's egg sack rocking sound, a longer segment of a helicopter overhead, the sound of rain, water spray, a rocket whizzing by, choral sounds, a flying monster sound over water, egg sack movement, and other minor effects. This is a disappointment as the sound effects identified are short-lived and essentially afterthoughts. There is so much potential unrealized.

This is a powerhouse holosonic® soundtrack but lacking in height layer effectiveness. Still, this is a stunningly dynamic and spatially dynamic ear-level presentation that is reference quality. (Gary Reber)