Love and Monsters appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. This Dolby Vision image seemed well-presented.
Sharpness excelled. Virtually no softness materialized, so the film offered nice clarity and accuracy. I saw no shimmering or jagged edges, and the movie lacked edge haloes or print flaws.
Like most modern action flicks, teal and amber dominated the image, though not in an oppressive, Michael Bay manner. Within these stylistics choices, the colors felt well-rendered, and occasional instances of other hues – like some purples for self-illuminated creatures – offered variety. The disc’s HDR gave the tones added zest and punch.
Blacks appeared dark and tight, and shadows showed nice clarity. HDR meant stronger impact for contrast and whites. Overall, I thought this became a highly satisfying image.
With the level of bombast expected from a movie with many scenes of mayhem, the DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack used the various speakers well. Obviously, monster battles proved the most involving, as they engulfed the viewer with the sounds of the setting.
That side of things worked best, but other sequences also seemed good, as even quieter sections placed the viewer in the action and consistently satisfied. Surround usage was pleasing throughout the film, as the back speakers bolstered the various settings well.
Audio quality was also good. Speech appeared natural, and the lines never demonstrated intelligibility problems.
Music was dynamic and lively, as the score showed excellent range and delineation. Effects were also bright and bold, with nice low-end to boot. Across the board, this was an excellent track that deserved a solid “A-”.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Audio remained identical, as both discs sported the same DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix.
Picture became a different matter, though, as the 4K UHD’s Dolby Vision presentation offered obvious improvements in terms of sharpness, colors, blacks and contrast. While the Blu-ray looked quite good, it couldn’t match up with the excellent 4K.
No extras appear on the 4K disc, but the included Blu-ray copy comes with a few features. Six Deleted Scenes fill a total of 11 minutes, 50 seconds.
Some of these offer additional exploration of supporting roles, but we find some new action beats as well. Along with an intriguing alternate ending, this turns into an above-average compilation of cut sequences.
Two featurettes follow, and Bottom of the Food Chain runs seven minutes, 43 seconds. It includes comments from director Michael Matthews, executive producer John Starke, lead dog trainer Zelie Bullen and actors Dylan O’Brien, Jessica Henwick, Michael Rooker, Dan Ewing and Ariana Greenblatt.
“Chain” examines story and characters as well as cast and performances. Other than some good notes about the canine actors, we get little substance here – and plenty of spoilers, so don’t watch the featurette before you view the movie.
It’s a Monster’s World spans seven minutes, four seconds and features Matthews, Starke, Henwick, supervising location manager Duncan Jones, director of photography Lachlan Milne, head of creature effects Stephen Boyle, and production designer Dan Hennah.
“World” examines sets and locations as well as other technical production elements. This becomes a short but decent overview of the various topics.
Though sold as a big action flick, Love and Monsters instead relies more on its instincts as a sweet character fable. It does well in that regard and throws in enough creature-related mayhem to become an enjoyable journey. The 4K UHD boasts excellent picture and audio along with a small collection of bonus materials. Expect a well-done tale here.
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