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Chloé Zhao
Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani
Writing Credits:
Dave Callaham, Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham

Aliens called Eternals seek to protect Earth from predators known as Deviants.

Box Office:
$200 million.
Opening Weekend:
$71,297,219 on 4090 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Descriptive Audio 2.0
Spanish Dolby+ 7.1
French Dolby 5.1
Japanese Dolby+ 7.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 156 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 2/15/2022

• Audio Commentary with Director Chloé Zhao, Production Visual Effects Supervisor Stephane Ceretti, and Additional Visual Effects Supervisor Mårten Larsson
• “Immortalized” Featurette
• “Walks of Life” Featurette
• Gag Reel
• 11 Deleted Scenes
• Blu-ray Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Eternals [4K UHD] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 7, 2022)

Ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) debuted in 2008, the series has boasted a slew of noteworthy filmmakers. However, not until 2021 did the MCU feature someone who actually won an Oscar as director.

Eternals brought Chloé Zhao behind the camera, fresh off multiple Oscars – including Best Picture - for 2020’s Nomadland. Given the small scale and low-key tone of that flick, Zhao became an intriguing choice.

Millennia ago, immortal superpowered aliens called “Eternals” come to Earth to battle invasive creatues known as Deviants. This fight persists over many years, but the Eternals are forbidden to interfere in human development beyond this domain.

In the 16th century, the Eternals appear to finally extinguish the Deviant presence on Earth, so they split up and settle into their own lives all around the planet. This changes in present day, when the Deviant threat re-emerges and the gang needs to reunite so they can take on this new menace.

As noted a few paragraphs back, Eternals becomes the first MCU movie created by an Oscar-winning director. Does this make it ironic that the film suffered easily the worst overall reviews of any MCU effort to date?

Perhaps, and Eternals also suffers the sad fate that it wound up as the only MCU flick so far to get the dreaded “Rotten” ranking on Rotten Tomatoes. Even the second-worst-reviewed effort – 2013’s Thor: Dark World - managed the “Fresh” rating with 66 percent, whereas Eternals found itself stuck in “Rotten” territory with a meh 47 percent.

Which perplexes me to no end. While I won’t attempt my own formal ranking of the 27 MCU flicks through late 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, I will say that in no way, shape or form does the creative and often impactful Eternals deserve to be in the bottom half, much less dead last.

Zhao remains an odd choice to create a massively expensive tent pole movie like Eternals, and she doesn’t quite feel totally at home with the format. Given the subtle, subdued nature of flicks like Nomadland, Zhao doesn’t come across like a natural fit for the action/adventure format on display here.

Nonetheless, as ill-matched as Zhao may seem, she manages to pull off what Eternals needs most of the time. Again, this doesn’t become the best of the MCU, but it does a lot right, and it certainly boasts more ambition than most of its MCU peers.

Zhao finds herself with more of a challenge than those efforts, partly because she needs to develop a large character universe from scratch. Eternals doesn’t focus equally on its 10 heroes, but it does need to spend a decent amount of time with each, and that creates a clear challenge.

Sure, other MCU movies like the various Avengers movies spread the wealth among multiple characters, but viewers already knew most of the roles. The MCU set up the franchise to slowly bring along various parts and then mix them together.

On the other hand, Eternals tosses a bunch of characters at us that we never met previously. That becomes a massive challenge but Zhao succeeds.

Even with a long 156 minutes at its disposal, the fact Eternals gives us a reasonable depiction of so many characters feels like a minor miracle. Again, some get shorter shrift than others, but the film allows for all to feel acceptably developed.

Zhao also handles a genuinely epic tale, one that spans many eons. Not only does Eternals introduce its characters from scratch, but also it needs to show them across millennia and spread its own narrative along the way.

Zhao pulls this off in a surprisingly tight and engaging manner. With all the movie’s jumps and shifts, it probably should become incomprehensible, but instead, we follow events well and never feel lost or confused.

It helps that Eternals delivers a solid cast, all of whom add personality and spark to their roles. Inevitably, some fare better than others, but I can’t find a weak link here, as all flesh out their parts in satisfying ways.

Perhaps detractors dislike Eternals because it lacks the usual MCU level of action. I can’t argue this, as the movie definitely presents fewer fight scenes than we might expect.

But “fewer” doesn’t mean “few”, as Eternals still provides a bunch of battles. These come to life pretty well and add the expected spark to the proceedings.

Perhaps someday I’ll figure out why so many view Eternals as a Marvel misfire, but not today. After two screenings, I see this as a rich, involving epic that does much more right than wrong.

Footnote: you shouldn’t need me to tell you this, but stick around through the entirety of the end credits to get two bonus scenes.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio A-/ Bonus

Eternals appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a surprisingly inconsistent presentation.

In terms of sharpness, the image seemed solid. It displayed tight, accurate images from start to finish.

I witnessed no signs of jaggies or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. No source flaws marred the image either.

The film’s palette favored Hollywood standard teal and orange at times, but it also boasted broader tones, with a mix of reds and purples as well. The hues seemed full and well-rendered, and the disc’s HDR added strength and dimensionality to the tones.

Blacks seemed deep and dense. HDR gave contrast and whites added punch.

The 4K ran into snarls when it came to low-light shots, as those looked dark – really, really dark. Any scenes of this sort turned so dim that it often became extremely difficult to discern the information.

Was this intentional? Perhaps, but I don’t recall any “thick as mud” shots when I watched Eternals on a theatrical IMAX screen, and the 4K became so dense that I definitely would’ve noticed.

While not packed with low-light shots, Eternals came with more than enough to create a problem. Although the rest of the flick looked terrific, these overly dark scenes made this an inconsistent presentation.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Eternals satisfied. As anticipated, the many action sequences offered the most engaging moments.

These used the various channels to create a good sense of place and action, with battle elements that zipped around the room. We found an engrossing soundscape from start to finish.

Audio quality was positive. Music showed good boldness and clarity, while speech appeared distinctive and concise.

Effects came across as accurate and dynamic, with nice low-end response. The soundtrack fit the material and added zing to the proceedings.

How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? The Atmos audio added some extra oomph compared to the 7.1 track on the Blu-ray.

Visuals became a more complicated domain, entirely due to the issues with low-light shots. Everything else about the 4K improved on the Blu-ray, as it brought superior definition, colors and blacks.

However, the nearly impenetrable darkness of so many scenes created real distractions – and made me prefer the visuals of the Blu-ray. Grudgingly, I must admit, as the 4K’s scenes with “normal lighting” clearly beat those of its BD counterpart.

Unfortunately, the movie came with too many low-light shots for me to ignore these concerns. I simply found too much of the 4K edition too difficult to discern for it to become my pick.

No extras appear on the 4K UHD disc itself, but we get a mix of materials on the included Blu-ray copy, and these begin with an audio commentary from director Chloé Zhao, production visual effects supervisor Stephane Ceretti, and additional visual effects supervisor Mårten Larsson. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, sets and production design, photography, various effects, and connected domains.

Given the participants, one should expect a fairly technical commentary, and that’s what we get. While those involved touch on story/characters/cast occasionally, they mostly stick with nuts and bolts.

While I’d like more about the creative domains, this nonetheless becomes a mostly satisfying discussion. We get a good investigation of various production challenges/choices in this largely engaging chat.

Two featurettes follow, and Immortalized runs 10 minutes, 45 seconds. It includes notes from Zhao, writers Kaz and Ryan Firpo, producers Nate Moore and Kevin Feige, production and development executive Zoie Nagelhout, production designer Eve Stewart, costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ, costume FX supervisor Ivo Coveney, and actors Angelina Jolie, Brian Tyree Henry, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, Lia McHugh, Gemma Chan, Don Lee, Lauren Ridloff and Barry Keoghan.

This piece covers the source comics, story and characters, Zhao’s impact on the production, locations and design choices, costumes, and action. Some decent notes emerge but a lot of this feels like fluff.

Walks of Life goes for five minutes, one second and offers info from Zhao, Nanjiani, McHugh, Henry, Ridloff, Kaz and Ryan Firpo, Moore, Chan, Madden, Lee, Jolie, Hayek and Keoghan.

“Life” discusses the diversity of the cast. Expect more happy talk and not much substance.

A Gag Reel spans two minutes, 29 seconds and brings a standard compilation of silliness and mistakes. It lacks anything memorable but at least it’s brief.

Deleted Scenes occupy a total of five minutes, 49 seconds. We get “Gravity” (1:16), “Nostalgia” (1:06), “Movies” (0:42) and “Small Talk” (2:36).

All four provide fairly minor character embellishments. These seem enjoyable but not significant, so they don’t go missed in the final film.

Based on reviews, Eternals got the worst reception of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies through the end of 2021. This makes no sense to me, as I think it brings a rich, engaging riff on the superhero genre. The 4K UHD boasts audio along with a small mix of bonus materials and surprisingly dark visuals. Ignore the critical consensus and give this ambitious tale a look, even if the Blu-ray seems more satisfying than the 4K.

To rate this film, visit the prior review of ETERNALS