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Aquaman (UHD Blu-ray) review

Aquaman (UHD Blu-ray) review
« on: March 28, 2019, 11:35:40 AM »


Studio: Warner Brothers
Release Date: March 26, 2019
Rating: PG-13
Film: 2.5/5

Plot
The Atlantean child Orin, son to the Queen of Atlantis (Nicole Kidman), was abandoned as an infant and left to die; however, he was rescued and raised by a kindly lighthouse keeper. The keeper (Temuera Morrison) adopted the boy as his own son, renaming him Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa). Able to survive the harshest depths of the ocean and on the surface world above, the child of two worlds grew to be a hero to both eventually returning to Atlantis to become their King in addition to being a founding member of the Justice League as Aquaman!

My Thoughts
Warner has attempted to find the same success with the DC Franchise as Disney has had with Marvel, but thus far has not even come close. Other than Wonder Woman and Nolan’s Batman trilogy, the 21st century has not been kind to DC. Two new Superman reboots have been busts, Affleck was cast to play Batman— seriously? —and the first Justice League film was completely forgettable. And come to think of it, so was Suicide Squad.

Aquaman had been sitting on my desk for nearly two weeks before I finally got around to giving it is spin and I didn’t expect much. Unfortunately, it didn’t even meet my already low expectations. There were certain aspects of the film I liked, such as the backstory of where he comes from and how he and Mera meet, but the team of writers throw way too much at the audience at one time and end up with mess of a screenplay.

Literally, there are too many things going on—two love stories, two villains, two quests (becoming King as well as finding the Trident), and then ultimately a war. The result is a nearly two-and-a-half-hour movie that should have been edited down to no more than 105 minutes to keep the pacing in line. Furthermore, the action sequences are too long and ultimately boring and the editing is suspect as well.

Yes, I didn’t care for the movie very much but at least it looks great and sounds even better on UHD Blu-ray. The 4K video encode is excellent with my only gripe being the CGI scenes look cartoonish compared to the live action shots. Colors certainly pop, especially Mera’s red hair as well as other primary colors. The Atmos track is reference-quality from beginning to end. The entire soundstage is engaged and the LFE response is to die-for.

Video 9.5/10

Audio 10/10 (Dolby Atmos)

Special Features:

  • Going Deep Into the World of Aquaman
  • Becoming Aquaman
  • James Wan: World Builder
  • Aqua Tech
  • Atlantis Warfare
  • The Dark Depths of Black Manta
  • Heroines of Atlantis
  • Villainous Training
  • Kingdoms of the Seven Seas
  • Creating Undersea Creatures
  • A Match Made in Atlantis
  • Scene Study Breakdowns
  • Exclusive Sneak Peek of Shazam!
  • Blu-ray + Digital Copy



Conclusion
Like most of the other DC films of late, this one didn’t really connect with me. Yes, I liked the two main stars of the film, but the secondary characters and villains didn’t do anything for me and are ultimately forgettable afterthoughts. If you’re a fan of the DC universe, you’ll probably enjoy it better than I did and worst case, you’ll witness some demo material for over two hours.


Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

TRainH2O

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Re: Aquaman (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2019, 12:52:04 PM »
David, you are crushing my hopes and dream that this could finally be a great movie for DC. Well, I say finally but I really like the Bale Batman films, as you know.

Your description makes this sound a bit like Justice League. We're going to throw a ton of fragmented stories at you, add in a lot of meaningless dialog, and oh.....wow.....that looks pretty cool.....man, great sound.

I will end up renting it at least but I was really hoping for a keeper with a lot of replay value.

Thanks for shattering my dreams. :)

tripplej

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Re: Aquaman (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2019, 01:29:00 PM »
Thanks for the review. I heard mixed reviews when it was in the theater and decided I would wait for the dvd version. Now, that I hear your review, I may skip this entirely but since I am curious, I will just check it out once it is available on amazon prime/netflix. Too bad D.C. can't make it work like MARVEL did..
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Re: Aquaman (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2019, 01:47:56 PM »
What's sad is how good Wonder Woman was. I've watched that three times and enjoyed it on every viewing. Other than the Nolan Batman trilogy, the only other recent DC movie I've watched more than once is Man of Steel, which isn't a great film, but I actually think Cavill did a great job as Superman, even though he's from the wrong side of the pond ;)
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

Re: Aquaman (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2019, 01:49:44 PM »
Here's a very funny cut from TBBT regarding Aquaman:  


Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

TRainH2O

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Re: Aquaman (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2019, 02:01:51 PM »
Yes, Wonder Woman is one of the better DC titles. I think I've watched it twice and could easily watch it again.

I had high expectations for Aquaman as I liked the character as a kid and have liked Momoa's characters in both Stargate Atlantis and Game of Thrones. I think that both the character and the man deserve a good story. 

Re: Aquaman (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2019, 02:37:12 PM »
Greetings,

Thanks for the review Dave. As we discussed earlier today, I didn't find it to be nearly as awful and enjoyed aspects of it. No, it's not on the same level of the best efforts from Marvel but, I found it entertaining. I saw the quest for the Trident and becoming king as one in the same. One needed to happen in order for the other to take place. Yeah, the movie was overlong and needed a tuck here and there, beginning with the extended sequence in Italy. For those considering it, start with a rental and go from there. ;)

Re: Aquaman (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2019, 02:45:13 PM »
Greetings,

Thanks for the review Dave. As we discussed earlier today, I didn't find it to be nearly as awful and enjoyed aspects of it. No, it's not on the same level of the best efforts from Marvel but, I found it entertaining. I saw the quest for the Trident and becoming king as one in the same. One needed to happen in order for the other to take place. Yeah, the movie was overlong and needed a tuck here and there, beginning with the extended sequence in Italy. For those considering it, start with a rental and go from there. ;)
Maybe I was in a bad mood, but for context, my wife hated it and actually fell asleep!
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

Barry

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Re: Aquaman (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2019, 02:01:25 PM »
I think there is one interesting fact about this movie not discussed.  Take a look at who did the CGI effects: Industrial Light and Magic, the Disney company that also does the special effects for all their own Marvel Movies.  Disney is getting a monopoly on super-hero special effects.
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TRainH2O

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Re: Aquaman (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2019, 02:18:21 PM »
I think there is one interesting fact about this movie not discussed.  Take a look at who did the CGI effects: Industrial Light and Magic, the Disney company that also does the special effects for all their own Marvel Movies.  Disney is getting a monopoly on super-hero special effects.
"The Mouse" has been at the forefront of visual technology for a very long time. I am not surprised that they are gobbling up the special effects work.

Re: Aquaman (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2019, 02:35:55 PM »
I think there is one interesting fact about this movie not discussed.  Take a look at who did the CGI effects: Industrial Light and Magic, the Disney company that also does the special effects for all their own Marvel Movies.  Disney is getting a monopoly on super-hero special effects.
What's surprising about that is that I didn't think the CGI was that good in this movie. Maybe Disney put the "B" team on the DC movies and the "A" team on Marvel :)
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

Barry

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Re: Aquaman (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2019, 08:29:58 PM »


I first saw Aquaman in Imax and in some ways this is a difficult movie for me to review.
1.   The Photography is just beautiful at times.  The Special effects were done by Disney’s ILM so Disney has a hand in all Super-Heroes now!
2.   Lots of Action sequences
3.   The surround sound was great
If you like super-hero type movies, you will probably like this one. If you don’t, well, you won’t. There is nothing terribly original here and I did not feel any suspense or curiosity. 
Small spoiler Alert section:
The movie opens with a demonstration of Aquaman’s powers. Then his origin is told, he is the son of an undersea Queen and an regular guy, which, of course, gives him the power to live underwater and to deflect bullets! Aquaman’s half-brother, a royal prince, is trying to consolidate the seven realms of Atlantis and have them attack the surface world. Guess who is in his way?
 
The actors seemed appropriate for their roles but I was often too busy looking at the scenery.  The movie was not a waste of time, I do give it a thumbs up and parts were fun.  If you don’t have a big screen at home, see this in the theater.  If you do, the 4K will look spectacular.  If you know what I mean, I have seen this movie before.
 
Barry’s Notes:
If is always common for comic book companies to copy the success of a competitor. Captain Marvel was a copy of Superman, Hawkeye a copy of Green Arrow, Quicksilver a copy of the Flash. Marvel’s first comic was published in 1939. In it was a tale by Bill Everett about the Sub-Mariner. It was very popular. So a couple of years later DC introduced Aquaman with a similar origin. (But Aquaman could talk to fish.)  This movie lifts from the Sub-Mariner’s first revival story in Tales to Astonish #70 (1965); The Thor/Loki relationship and the trident here is a copy of Thor’s hammer.
 


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TRainH2O

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Re: Aquaman (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2019, 06:18:43 AM »
Barry, although I do not have your knowledge of comics, I see a rehashing of storylines everywhere. There are seemingly very few original stories these days.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 06:21:19 AM by TRainH2O »

tripplej

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Re: Aquaman (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2019, 08:22:31 AM »
Thanks Barry for your insight. :)
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Re: Aquaman (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2019, 06:17:21 PM »
Hopefully this weekend I will be able to rent this, but I haven't liked the more recent DC movies (outside of Wonder Woman and Nolan Batmans).  At least I can count on some good A/V if I don't like the movie.

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