Aircraft Carrier: Guardian of the Seas - 4K Blu-ray Review

Michael Scott

Moderator / Reviewer
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
2,649
Location
Arizona
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Yamaha TRS-5830 Atmos Receiver
Other Amp
Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
Front Speakers
Cheap Thrills Mains
Center Channel Speaker
Cheap Thrills Center
Surround Speakers
Volt 10 Surrounds
Surround Back Speakers
Volt 10 Reach Surrounds
Rear Height Speakers
Volt 6 Overheads
Subwoofers
2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
Video Display Device
JVC RS-46 Projector
Screen
Draper Cineperm M1300 119 inch Static Screen
Aircraft Carrier: Guardian of the Seas


full?lightbox=1&last_edit_date=1549277180.jpg

Movie: :4stars:
4K Video: :5stars:
Video: :5stars:
Audio: :4.5stars:
Extras: :2.5stars:
Final Score: :4stars:



full?lightbox=1&last_edit_date=1549282750.jpg
Movie

I always love these IMAX documentaries that Shout Factory puts out, as they not only are fantastic demo discs, but they usually have chosen some very interesting topics for the 40 (ish) minute subjects. They never are anything TOO in depth, or have the audience think a great deal, but they’re great little introductory forays into the world of whatever subject they’re about, and are more than entertaining to myself and everyone else who has watched them in my experience. This time we have a collaborative work between K2 Communications and Giant Screen films, and the creator of the IMAX documentary Rocky Mountain Express to bring us a look the U.S. military aircraft carriers and their history and inclusion in modern warfare. The end result is a fun 43 minute jaunt that actually has a great amount of information on the camel of the seas, and how integral they are in our modern day military fights.

If you’ve ever been close to an aircraft carrier you know how awe inspiring they are, even after literally DECADES of use going back to as early as Pearl Harbor. Gigantic structures, they just out into the ocean leaving a visual footprint that is literally unmistakable to anyone in the world. They have always been known as the air force’s and Navy’s gigantic beasts of the seas, and for good reason. They can literally chug along forever with their massive fuel resources, carry dozens of fighters and other various planes, and take an enormous amount of fire power to take down. According to Stephen Low and producer Bob Kesser have stated that Aircraft Carriers is a passion project that took them over 10 years to create. The aerial shots and up close imagery of the different carriers presented throughout the documentary seem to back this up, as there are literally HUNDREDS of different images of differing carriers. Huge sweep aerial shots abound, with up close and personal images of individual bits of the hulking ships abound, and the pinpoint precision and attention to detail on the IMAX pictures is truly jaw dropping.
full?lightbox=1&update=1549282750.jpg
The heart of the film is based upon the every other year Pacific Rim exercises (no, there are no Jaegers there), where columns of Navy ships proceed for some of the intricate war games ever created. We get to see at least 4 different carriers up close, and Low delves pretty deep into how the technology for the various ships has stayed the same, and how it has adapted and been updated to serve a more modern war machine (he mentioned the inclusion of the deadly F-35 fighters as an example of newer and nastier additions to a carrier’s arsenal).

While the movie is a glorification of some of our most powerful sea going vessels, it is also a plea for peace in a day when the world is terrified of another great war. There is a scene of the now decommissioned U.S.S. Enterprise with one of our narrators offers a somber message of “If there is another great war, nothing will rise from the ashes: neither righteous nor evil”. It’s a solid mixture of both patriotic joy at seeing the accomplishment of man, but also a reminder that we are always on the brink of destruction, and temperance is the wisest action in many cases.




Rating:

Not Rated by the MPAA




4K Video: :5stars: Video: :5stars:
full?lightbox=1&update=1549282750.jpg
Now the single best feature of these documentaries are the video encodes. True IMAX shot films look AMAZING on Blu-ray and 4K, and this exactly what we get. An absolutely pristine picture (both on the Blu-ray and this 4K UHD disc) that just dazzles the viewer. There is some older footage thrown in that looks a bit wonky, but that is naturally source related. However, the 1.78:1 framed IMAX shots are breathtaking in nature. Intimately detailed and neutrally graded, the razor sharp image shows off every crook and cranny of the giant aircraft carriers, and the beautiful oceans surrounding them. Shout Factory gives us the obligatory (for them at least) option to choose the HDR presentation (which really gives those colors some serious pop) or the SDR presentation (for those who have older 4K TVs), and naturally the HDR presentation is leagues better. Comparing directly against the HDR and SDR presentations really goes to show just how much SDR really contributes to the 4K experience. The colors are warmer and more vibrant, and the black levels deeper and more intense. It’s an overall amazing looking 4K disc, and another IMAX demo disc for my library.






Audio: :4.5stars:
full?lightbox=1&update=1549282750.jpg
The Dolby Atmos track (that is pretty much a standard for these IMAX documentaries) is a modest venture that sounds REALLY nice, but is not overly aggressive or intense. The Atmos features of the track are mostly discrete noises based upon the ships ambient sounds, as well as the humming of aircraft in the background. There’s an appropriate rumble from the subs with the engines throbbing, as well as accentuating the score just a bit. Surrounds and overheads are pleasantly used, but they’re not used so heavily as to become one of the top tier Atmos tracks. Dialog for the narration is clean and clear, and even some of the older footage used shows great audio clarity. Once again Shout Factory has cranked out another great Atmos mix, and while this one isn’t the best of the best, does everything asked of it from the documentary without question or problem.





Extras: :2.5stars:
full?lightbox=1&update=1549282750.jpg
Audience Testimonials
• F-35 vs. Bugatti vs. Human Cannonball
• Usain Bolt vs. Giraffe vs. Nuclear Carrier
• F-35 Navy Selects Reel
• Aircraft Carrier Trailer & TV Spot







Final Score: :4stars:

Aircraft Carriers: Guardian of the Seas is another fun IMAX documentary from Shout Factory, and one of the better done ones in recent history. Maybe it’s because I’m a military buff, but watching the sweeping shots of the different carriers (whether from far away aerial shots, or the close up intimate ones) had me completely mesmerized to the point where I completely thought 10 minutes had gone by, only to see the credits start rolling. Stephen Low does a great job with the direction of the film, balanced the more technical bits with a common plea for peace, despite the nature of these war machines in the military of today. The audio and video are nothing short of amazing (as usual with these documentaries), and while the extras are certainly intriguing, they are a bit short in quantity and length. A fun watch for sure.



Technical Specifications:

Starring: Various
Directed by: Stephen Low
Written by: Stephen Low
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 HEVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Studio: Shout Factory
Rated: NR
Runtime: 43 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: February 5th, 2019






Recommendation: Good Watch

 
Last edited:

tripplej

AV Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 13, 2017
Messages
4,030
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
NAD T-777
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Oppo 103 Blu Ray Player
Front Speakers
7 Paradigm Reference series 8" in ceiling speakers
Subwoofers
2 Paradigm SE Subs
Other Speakers or Equipment
Nintendo Wii U Gaming Console
Video Display Device
Samsung UN75F8000 LED TV
Remote Control
Universal Remote MX-450
Other Equipment
Sony PS4 Gaming Console, Panamax MR-5100 Surge
Thanks for the review. I will have to check this one out that is for sure. :)
 

Jack

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 17, 2017
Messages
325
Location
Southern Indiana
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Integra 9.8 pre/pro, Denon 4520ci
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA5
Additional Amp
Darid I30
Other Amp
Hafler 220
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Oppo
Front Speakers
Klipsch KLF10
Center Channel Speaker
Klipsch C7
Surround Speakers
Various
Subwoofers
HSU VTF-3 MK5 HP
Other Speakers or Equipment
Lita Audio Tube Dac, MyDac, Home made Music server
Video Display Device
Panasonic Viera Plasma, 65"
Remote Control
Lots
As a sailor, I think this is a must have. Thank You Michael
 

Todd Anderson

News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
5,244
Location
Balt/Wash Metro
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon X8500H
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
VSX21-THX
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-205, UDP-203, Panasonic UB820
Front Speakers
SVS Ultra Towers
Center Channel Speaker
SVS Ultra Center
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC RS520
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Other Equipment
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
Excellent review, here... great read!! I look forward to checking this out!
 

Michael Scott

Moderator / Reviewer
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
2,649
Location
Arizona
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Yamaha TRS-5830 Atmos Receiver
Other Amp
Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
Front Speakers
Cheap Thrills Mains
Center Channel Speaker
Cheap Thrills Center
Surround Speakers
Volt 10 Surrounds
Surround Back Speakers
Volt 10 Reach Surrounds
Rear Height Speakers
Volt 6 Overheads
Subwoofers
2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
Video Display Device
JVC RS-46 Projector
Screen
Draper Cineperm M1300 119 inch Static Screen
As a sailor, I think this is a must have. Thank You Michael
I didn't know you were a Sailor Jack. my hats off to you for serving
 

Jack

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 17, 2017
Messages
325
Location
Southern Indiana
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Integra 9.8 pre/pro, Denon 4520ci
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA5
Additional Amp
Darid I30
Other Amp
Hafler 220
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Oppo
Front Speakers
Klipsch KLF10
Center Channel Speaker
Klipsch C7
Surround Speakers
Various
Subwoofers
HSU VTF-3 MK5 HP
Other Speakers or Equipment
Lita Audio Tube Dac, MyDac, Home made Music server
Video Display Device
Panasonic Viera Plasma, 65"
Remote Control
Lots
Thank You Michael. This brings me to the real reason for my wanting to watch this disc is that I was part of the Air Navy, we flew over these guys at 30,000' but I had not seen a ship up close until long after I have left the service. I was on a mothballed carrier in Charleston, if I remember correctly but these new craft are another level indeed.
 
Top Bottom