Godzilla: King of the Monsters appears in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. This became a largely strong image.
While most of the movie presented nice clarity, some wider shots looked a bit tentative. Still, the majority of the flick appeared solid, and no signs of moiré effects or jaggies occurred. The movie also lacked edge haloes or print flaws.
In terms of palette, King favored a combination of teal and orange. Those choices came as no surprise, and the disc reproduced them in a satisfactory manner, with a little extra kick via the 4K UHD’s HDR capabilities.
Blacks showed strong depth, and shadows were good, with nice opacity and clarity. Whites looked pure, while contrast showed appealing oomph. All of this was enough for a “B+” that lost points solely due to the occasional slightly soft shots.
I felt more consistently pleased with the excellent Dolby Atmos audio of King. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the soundscape offered frequent room for information to emanate from the various speakers.
The mix used those chances well. The soundtrack delivered wall-to-wall auditory material that spread out across the speakers in a satisfying manner and that blended together nicely.
This meant a tremendously active track in which the surrounds worked as nearly equal partners and kept the mix humming. Plenty of action/disaster moments made this a consistently impressive soundfield.
Audio quality also satisfied, as speech was natural and concise, while music sounded peppy and full. Effects turned into the primary factor, and those elements appeared accurate and vivid.
Bass response added real depth and rocked my subwoofer. If you own a fancy-pants home theater, you spent that money for soundtracks like this.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Audio remained identical, as both sported the same Dolby Atmos mix.
As for the visuals, King benefited from the usual 4K UHD upgrades, so it came across as a bit tighter and smoother along with more dynamic colors. The fact King was finished in 2K restricted its room for improvement, but the 4K UHD nonetheless turned into the more satisfying version of the film.
No extras appear on the 4K UHD itself, but the included Blu-ray disc provides a mix of features, and we begin with an audio commentary from director Michael Dougerty, actor O’Shea Jackson Jr. and executive producer Zach Shields. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters and nods to other films, cast and performances, sets and locations, creature design and effects, audio and music, editing and cut scenes, stunts, action and related subjects.
Expect a pretty good chat here. While the commentary can be fluffy at times, it still gives us a nice level of information about the film and it moves in a breezy manner, so it largely works.
Two Deleted Scenes fill a total of five minutes, one second. We find “Mark’s Flashback (Extended Version)” (2:00) and “Boxing Practice, Argument and Radio Room” (3:01).
“Flashback” adds little of note, as we just get a smidgen more material. With extra character development, “Boxing” proves a bit more fruitful, if not crucial.
A slew of featurettes follow, and Monsters 101 splits into four segments with a total running time of five minutes, 43 seconds. These include notes from Dougherty, Jackson, Shields, “Monsterverse Developer” Barnaby Legg, and actors Vera Farmiga, Anthony Ramos, Millie Bobby Brown and Elizabeth Ludlow.
Across these clips, we get basics about the movie’s creatures. Minor insights result.
Next comes Evolution of the Titans, another collection of four parts. It fills a total of 27 minutes, 24 seconds and features Jackson, Farmiga, Dougherty, Shields, Brown, producer Alex Garcia, production designer Scott Chambliss, visual development supervisor Matt Allsopp, and VFX supervisor Guillaume Rocheron.
After the puffy “101”, we get good information from “Evolution”. The segments cover creature design in a pretty satisfying manner.
With Monarch In Action, we find five more featurettes that occupy a total of 32 minutes, 56 seconds. Through these, we hear from Dougherty, Shields, Allsopp, Ramos, Rocheron, Ludlow, Jackson, Chambliss, executive producer Barry Waldman, and actors Kyle Chandler and Bradley Whitford.
“Action” offers more notes about the creatures but it also delves into sets/locations, characters and other topics. “Action” adds more worthwhile notes, especially via shots from the set.
Force of Nature lasts four minutes, seven seconds and brings comments from Dougherty, Brown, Shields, Jackson and Farmiga. “Nature” looks at Brown and comes with the inevitable happy talk.
After this we find Monster Tech, an eight-minute, 34-second reel with Legg, Dougherty, Garcia, Chambliss, Shields, Farmiga, and actor Thomas Middleditch. As implied by the title, this show covers vehicles, weapons and other aspects of the movie’s technology. It becomes a reasonable overview.
Monsters Are Real spans 14 minutes, 18 seconds and features Dougherty, Legg, Garcia, Shields, authors Leo Braudy and Stephen T. Asma, University of London’s Liz Gloyn, zoological director Richard Freeman, and cryptozoologist Loren Coleman. “Real” looks at mythology related to monsters and their connections to the real world. This becomes a satisfying little piece.
Finally, Welcome to the Monsterverse takes up three minutes, 42 seconds and provides notes from Legg, Dougherty, Farmiga, and Garcia. It’s a quick overview of the creatures involved in the connected series of movies. Expect a lot of promotion and little else.
The Blu-ray disc opens with ads for Pokemon Detective Pikachu and Doctor Sleep. We also get four trailers for King.
Every once in a while, Godzilla: King of the Monsters rouses to life. Unfortunately, most of it seems sluggish and without real excitement. The 4K UHD brings very good picture along with awesome audio and an informative collection of bonus materials. Maybe 2020’s Godzilla/King Kong flick will satisfy, but King brings disappointment.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS