Ant-Man & The Wasp - Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray / Media Reviews' started by Michael Scott, Nov 8, 2018 at 2:09 AM.

  1. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    Ant-Man & the Wasp

    [​IMG]
    Movie: :4stars:
    Video: :4.5stars:
    Audio: :4.5stars:
    Extras: :2.5stars:
    Final Score: :4stars:



    [​IMG] Movie

    Yes, we did the 4K UHD release of Ant-Man & The Wasp back when it first was released a few weeks ago, but due to the kindness of Disney we were able to get the Blu-ray to review as well, thus prompting me to update this review with the 1080p comparison as well. If you want to compare the video and audio scores against the 4K UHD you can do so HERE

    2015’s Ant-Man was a welcome relief from the beginnings of superhero fatigue that was setting into the Marvel cinematic universe. It was right about this time that I started noting the cookie cutter nature of the films being released, and the quality was gradually dipping downhill (although, I will fully admit that Infinity War was a HUGE step up for them and became one of the best in the series). However, Ant-Man was the film that fans were most excited for, and for good reason. The famed Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Hot Fuzz, Baby Driver, Shaun of the Dead) was helming it, and Ant-Man was one of those unique super heroes that was integral to the forming of the original Avengers. However things started to get a bit nerve wracking when Edgar was fired from the film when it was mostly finished, and Peyton Reed took over. Not only that we learned that Hank Pym wasn’t going to be “THE” Ant-man, but was going to focus on Scott Lang, who was a much later iteration of the characters. However, color me surprised and willing to eat a plate full of crow when the film just WORKED on so many levels. It didn’t take itself too seriously, the action was fun, and Paul Rudd gave Scott just the right amount of awkwardly quirky humor and enough enough seriousness to make his character work. As such it was a deviation from the typical storytelling arc in Marvel films, and really worked on it’s own merits as a film rather than being JUST an origins story (although it was necessary buildup for Captain America: Civil War).

    Ant-Man & The Wasp (AM&W for short), while being released AFTER Infinity War is actually set a year or so before the events that happen in said apocalyptic super hero film. We see off the bat that Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is back in trouble with the law after his involvement in helping Captain America back in Civil War, and has just about finished serving a 2 year house arrest sentence for breaking the Accords. With days left on his house arrest, Scott suddenly is pulled back into things when he starts seeing visions of Hank Pym’s (Michael Douglas) wife who is trapped in the quantum realm. However, he’s kind of at odds with the Pym and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly), as they blame HIM for taking the Ant-Man suit and breaking the accords, which put them on the lam from the law for providing the tech that allowed Scott to help the “criminal” Captain America. Unbeknownst to Scott though, Hope and Hank have been working on a way back to the Quantum Realm, and Scott’s vision is the clue that they are getting closer.

    Teaming up once more, Scott and Hope have to get one last piece of technology to finish the machine needed to go into the quantum realm, only it is stolen from them by a mysterious phase shifting super soldier named Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen). Now to get the tech back and save Mrs. Pym (Michelle Pfeiffer), The two have to work together, with Scott donning his old suit once more, and Hope donning the Wasp suit that her mother wore back in the day. Dodging gangsters (played by Walton Goggins), FBI agents, the Ghost, and their own bitter feelings for each other, the trio once again has to save at least SOME of the world.
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    Ant-Man & The Wasp is a larger scope than the first film, but still feels just as closed off from the rest of the Marvel universe as the first one is. The events that lead up to Infinity War is almost ignored completely (except for an after credits scene that earns the title of darkest after credits scene to date), and even the events of Captain America: Civil War are only mentioned for a few moments, and are used to set up WHY Scott is back to being under the thumb of the law once more. The rest of the time it’s a simply dual pronged story with our heroes desperately trying to get the original Wasp back from the Quantum Realm, and dealing with the powerful Ghost. A character which seems like it is going to be the main villain from the trailers, but ends up being a sympathetic anti-hero (or redeemable villain) who plays a key role in slowing them down, but is not so much your traditional villain for obvious reasons (that are made known in some of the twists, so I won’t spoil it).

    There are slow portions of the 2 hour film, and some of the quirkiness of the first movie are gone thanks to Edgar Reed having NO part in this one (it’s pretty obvious that some of the really cheeky humor from the first movie was probably a result of Edgar Wrights direction vs. what Peyton Reed did with it after Edgar was booted from the director’s chair). Michael Pena is fun, but not AS fun as he was in the previous film, and once again the Marvel villain syndrome comes into effect (Marvel films have had a history of weak villains except for maybe Vulture and Thanos), but the overall strength of the movie lies on the fun nature of the film, as well as Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly and Michael Douglass owning their roles.




    Rating:

    Rated PG-13 for some sci-fi action violence




    Video: :4.5stars:
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    AM&W was reportedly captured with a variety of digital cameras with differing resolutions (3.4K, 6K, 6.5K and 8K), but was strangely given a 2K master instead of a native 4K master (which is a bit odd), but the results speak for themselves. The 1080p Blu-ray is nothing short of stunning, with a near picture perfect encode that is a delight to behold. The film is bright and colorful, with sharp blasts of colors that really pop off the screen (especially when Hank goes into the micro universe to rescue his wife). The fine lines on Evangeline Lily's face is jaw dropping, and the little drops of water falling off of Scott's giant form are stunning (CGI water is one of the hardest things to replicate). There's still the softness where the CGI meets real world environments, but the 1080p disc seems to hide those seams better than the 4K (probably due to the reduced sharpness and resolution of 1080p vs. 4K uhd). It's a great lookign disc, and NEAR perfect if not for the softness, as everything else is near spot on perfect. Whether you choose the 4K UHD or the Blu-ray, you will not leave disappointed.








    Audio: :4.5stars:
    [​IMG]We all know that Marvel has a tendency of gimping their audio mixes. Ever since Disney took over Marvel has had a tough time with critical responses to their mixes, and with few exceptions, they are usually just "good".
    Ant-Man & The Wasp is the first film that actually breaks that trend in quite some time. The usual muted volume wasn't present, so when I initially went to boost the volume on the 4K UHD disc I was blown out of my chair. Going to review this Blu-ray disc right afterwards I new what to expect so I din't actually pre-adjust it and was saved a trip to the ear doctor. This is a bit, bold, action oriented track that really holds it's own against the Dolby Atmos track found on it's 4K UHD brother. I'm not saying that it's 100% even, but this is a REALLY close track to call, as 7.1 and Atmos isn't overly different unless the overheads are really used a lot. While the overheads were used impressively throughout the Atmos track I found that the 7.1 mix was really really engrossing. The directional shifts when Steve goes into the water to grab the tower is incredible, and the sonic blasts that the LFE channel provide are no less devastating. The vocals are still a teensy bit thin, but overall this is an amazing 7.1 mix and really does boost the bar from the usual fare we get from Disney.






    Extras: :2.5stars:
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    Director's Intro by Peyton Reed – The talented creator behind some of Marvel Studios' funniest and most charming films will invite home audiences deeper into the world of "Ant-Man and The Wasp."
    • Making-of Featurettes:
    - Back in the Ant Suit: Scott Lang – Hero and all-star dad Scott Lang keeps the laughs coming for the audience, cast and crew.
    - A Suit of Her Own: The Wasp – Highly trained Hope Van Dyne is now the Wasp. See how some of her craziest stunts and action-packed scenes were brought to life.
    - Subatomic Super Heroes: Hank & Janet – Hank Pym's wife Janet was lost in the quantum realm. Trace the legacy of these characters and the iconic actors who portray them.
    - Quantum Perspective: The VFX and Production Design of "Ant-Man and The Wasp" – Explore the movie's visual effects and production design from a whole new viewpoint, in which every micro and macro detail counts.
    • Gag Reel and Outtakes – Audiences are treated to the hilarious quips that did not make the film as well as exclusive outtakes from Stan Lee and Tim Heidecker.
    - Gag Reel – Join in the fun with these outtakes from the set.
    - Stan Lee Outtakes – Stan Lee tries out a series of hilarious one-liners for the scene in which his car shrinks.
    - Tim Heidecker Outtakes – Check out Whale Boat Captain Daniel Goobler and his improvised whale-watching riffs.
    • Deleted Scenes (with commentary by Director Peyton Reed)
    - Worlds Upon Worlds – As Janet leads Hank through the surreal landscape of the quantum realm, they encounter an intelligent life form.
    - Sonny's on the Trail – On the hunt for Hank Pym and his lab, Sonny Burch and his henchmen check the security camera of a neighborhood bookstore.







    Final Score: :4stars:


    Ant-Man & the Wasp is a solid entry into the Marvel cinematic universe, and a welcome respite from the heavily serialized way that the franchise has been going. There’s no origins story needed, it doesn’t really deal with the issues that happen with the series except in comments, and the movie travels to the beat of it’s own drum. Peyton Reed ‘s second superhero outing doesn’t have the quirky tone of Edgar Wright’s remnant touches, but it is a fun super hero movie that is every bit as enjoyable as 2015’s Ant-Man. Disney/Marvel has given the film a stellar looking and sounding video/audio, but while there is a copious number of extras, they are surprisingly short it length. It’s not your typical Marvel movie in tone, but Ant-Man & the Wasp is a great break from the regular Marvel cinematic universe, and a worthy followup to the first film. Recommended as a good watch.



    Technical Specifications:

    Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lily, Michael Pena, Walton Goggins, Michelle Pfeiffer, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer
    Directed by: Peyton Reed
    Written by: Erik Sommers, Andrew Barrer, Chris McKenna, Paul Rudd, Gariel Ferrari
    Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
    Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish, French, Portuguese DD 5.1
    Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
    Studio: Disney/Marvel
    Rated: PG-13
    Runtime: 118 Minutes
    Blu-ray Release Date: October 16th, 2018






    Recommendation: Good Watch

     
    tripplej likes this.
  2. tripplej

    tripplej AV Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the review again. Will take a look at this one.
     

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