Black Panther appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This turned into a strong presentation.
Sharpness consistently seemed tight and distinctive. Not a sliver of softness crept into the presentation, as it seemed accurate and precise at all times.
I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. As expected, the movie lacked print flaws.
Colors tended toward a fairly standard orange and teal, though some of the scenes brightened up the palette to a decent degree, so a reasonable array of hues appeared.
Blacks were dark and dense, and low-light shots offered appropriate depth and delineation. From start to finish, this was a stellar image.
As for the film’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack, it mustered a pretty immersive soundscape, one that came to life best during the film’s action sequences. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, these used the various channels in an active manner and created a smooth, engaging soundfield that complemented the material.
Quieter scenes lacked as much impact, but they suited the tale. The score broadened to the different speakers well and the whole package provided a nice impression.
Audio quality was fine, with speech that came across as fairly natural – though some of the looping could feel a bit dodgy. Still, the lines remained easily intelligible and lacked any edginess or other issues.
Music appeared bright and bold, while effects showed good range and boasted deep low-end as appropriate. Though I didn’t think the audio quite made it to “A”-level qualifications, it still fared nicely.
How did the 4K compare to the Blu-ray version? Audio showed more range and involvement, while visuals offered stronger quality.
Most significantly, low-light scenes fared much better for the 4K, as these tended to be too dense on the BD. The HDR colors also offered superior oomph and definition looked tighter. The 4K became a clear upgrade.
No extras appear on the 4K itself, but the included Blu-ray copy delivers all the bonus features, and these start with an audio commentary from director Ryan Coogler and production designer Hannah Beachler. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific look at sets/locations, story and characters, cast and performances, influences, effects and stunts, music, visual design, and related topics.
This turns into a good but not great commentary. While Coogler and Beachler touch on an appropriate array of subjects, the track never quite goes into a higher gear. Still, it becomes a reasonably involving look at the film.
We can watch the movie with or without a Director’s Introduction. In this one-minute, 23-second reel, Coogler gives us thoughts about his personal connection to the film. It’s a good lead-in to the project.
Under Featurettes, we find four clips: “Crowning of a New King” (5:34), “The Hidden Kingdom Revealed” (6:57), “The Warriors Within” (6:08) and “Wakanda Revealed: Exploring the Technology” (6:16).
Across these, we hear from Coogler, Beachler, producer Kevin Feige, executive producer Nate Moore, costume designer Ruth Carter, dialect coach Beth McGuire, stunt coordinators Andy Gill and Jonathan Eusebio, property master Drew Petrotta, and actors Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Martin Freeman and Angela Bassett.
The shows look at story/characters, the depiction of Wakanda, cast and performances. The various featurettes provide a decent array of details, but they tend toward the fluffy side of the street, so don’t expect great depth.
A Gag Reel fills one minute, 38 seconds and shows the usual silliness and mistakes. It’s nothing special nut at least it’s brief.
Four Deleted Scenes take up a total of six minutes, 53 seconds. We find “UN Meet and Greet” (1:33), “Okoye and W’Kabi Discuss the Future of Wakanda” (1:45), “T’Challa Remembers His Father” (1:27) and “Voices from the Past” (2:08).
Most of these offer minor character expansions. “UN” offers a short preface to the film’s final sequence, while the others broaden supporting roles. All seem interesting but none feel important.
Next comes From Page to Screen, a 20-minute, 27-second “roundtable discussion”. It features Coogler, Moore, comics writers Christopher Priest, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Don McGregor, and screenwriter Joe Robert Cole.
“Page” examines the comic book Panther and his shift to the movies. Like the prior featurettes, this one delivers a reasonable collection of thoughts, but it lacks a strong level of information. I would’ve liked more comparisons between the movie and the comics.
Marvel Studios – The First Ten Years – Connecting the Universe goes for eight minutes, 39 seconds and provides info from Feige, Moore, Boseman,
Marvel Studios EVP Victoria Alonso, Marvel Studios Production and Development Executive Stephen Broussard, Marvel Studios Co-President Louis D’Esposito, Ant-Man director Peyton Reed, Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo, Infinity War writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus, and actors Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, William Hurt and Mark Ruffalo.
“Universe” gets into the interconnecting tissue among all the MCU movies and their push toward Infinity War. Nothing fresh emerges here, but we find a semi-interesting take on the links among the films.
The Blu-ray disc opens with an ad for Ant-Man and the Wasp, and it also brings a two-minute, 26-second “Exclusive Sneak Peek” at the film that presents comments from director Peyton Reed and actors Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly and Michael Douglas.
Sneak Peeks throws in a promo for the Marvel Strike Force, Marvel Contest of Champions and Marvel Future Fight games. No trailer for Panther appears here.
A massive hit, Black Panther took hold of audiences and wouldn’t let go. As for me, I like the film but don’t think it betters its superhero peers. The 4K UHD delivers excellent picture and very good audio along with a reasonable array of supplements. An entertaining effort, Black Panther seems like a middle-of-the-pack comic book tale to me.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of BLACK PANTHER