'Atomic Blonde' [4K Ultra HD]
(Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Bill Skarsgard, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital / R / 2017 / Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
4K Ultra Blu-ray Overview: Oscar winner Charlize Theron explodes into summer in 'Atomic Blonde', a breakneck action-thriller that follows MI6ís most lethal assassin through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors.
DVD Verdict: Before we begin the review, let's start by acknowledging the INCREDIBLE, brighter, deeper, more lifelike color that these 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays bring forth, each and every time. For they are, well, INCREDIBLE and truly allow you to see things that the generic Blu-ray vision simply cannot. I mean, the color alone on this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc (1 BD-50, 1 BD-66) is just so crisp, so clear, so crystal.
For those that wish to be in the know, let's break down some of the geeky stats, shall we. This is a Codec: HEVC / H.265, with a Resolution: 4K (2160p), HDR10, Layers @ BD-66, and an overall Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1. The Audio is English: Dolby Atmos + English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 + Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 + French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1, and the Subtitles are: English SDH, Brazilian Portuguese, French Canadian, French European and Latin American Spanish.
Finally, and leaving the best for last, this 4K Ultra HD movie experience means that we have a 4X sharper picture image than regular HD, HDR (High Dynamic Range) means we get brilliant brights and deepest darks within the film, and with Immersive Audio, we get that multi-dimensional sound experience throughout.
OK, on to the actual movie review and, wow, what an INCREDIBLE movie this truly is! And as we quickly discover, even a Cold War can have rising temperatures. When fighting is no longer televised, it usually runs amuck in the undergrounds. Soldiers trade in uniforms for wires, and ammunition for information. When terrorism hides, spies dance. Loraine waltzes cautiously through a town split by an iron divide. She was sent to extract hard data, but then again maybe she wanted to come here all along.
Loraine has a kiss of death and many suitors. Being a maiden of her own will, she protests aggressively and has the skills to resist. High heels become lethal in her palms, and lipstick doubles as urban camouflage. She is a student of her environment and commissions the most unlikely weapons.
Her partner, David, passes from being reluctant to being obstructive. She acknowledges his handsome operations, but barks at his careful composure. A tedious game of cat and cat ensues, and claw marks rip into each other's confident facades.
Espionage unfolds like a cracking ice sheet on a pond. Very slow all the way until the critical moment, then all the weak points sojourn to the barrier's demise. Loraine watches this deterioration, sunk at the bottom of the pond. She is in the information business, and her competitors have caught all the gossip. Her battered bones attest to brutality of discovering intel a moment too late.
In this foreign pool of entropy, she entwines herself with Delphine, a poet turned informant. Delphine speaks in prose, but observes in stanzas. Rarely enthused, Loraine is tackled by this woman's fearless ignorance. They find themselves wrapped in a mortal coil, a professional love with ulterior motives. Even the purest connection must be scrutinized when your head contains lethal secrets.
Privileged knowledge breeds death. "Top secret" folders are the plagues of elitism. Chairmen look for red flags, but their agents have painted their entire existence red. Uncertainty is a government's biggest fear, and their employees carry out terrorism in the name of obscurity.
Besides how the movie is made and how good the actors are, there is another main character that gains the audience attention: the music. Pure '80s music that will take you to your childhood or to a previous life, or if you weren't alive then, you wish you had been. You won't be able to replay the songs one after another in your head or in your Spotify list.
In closing, 'Atomic Blonde' is a really enjoyable movie, that now is getting some copycats. A movie that will let you forget about everything else and will make you want to travel back in time into Cold War Berlin to have some adventures of your own. Best of all, we can smell a sequel on its way, so let's hope is as good as the original one. Which, by the way, is based in a comic, so there is a background for it, ready and waiting.
And, once again, watching it all on this 4K Ultra HD it truly is amazing to see everything unfold in front of you. Even watching all the crystal clear special features is rather delightful in this manner, with one of the stand outs being "Welcome to Berlin" (HD, 4:33) which takes us behind the scenes of how they built the sets and made the feel of the movie locked into the perfect spy era of the Cold War time.
Another greatly informative on is "Blondes Have More Gun" (HD, 7:01) where we watch Theron being put through her paces by her stunt co-coordinator and so much more. Chock full of action and fight choreography, all lovingly brought to us by the 87eleven fight team, what Theron goes through to get this character right is unbelievable. Three months of training with these guys showcases that come the end, just before filming began, Theron's use of choreographed brutality and athleticism is beyond a joke impressive.
Another one is that then follows on from that last featurette is "Anatomy of a Fight Scene" (HD, 7:52), where Director David Leitch talks about the one long action fight sequence take that he has wanted to do on film for most all his directing life. And, trust me, once you have seen it, uncut and in all its glory, you'll appreciate how much time and effort went into the set up of it, let alone the three days it took to get that one shoot perfect! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, and with both this 4K Ultra HD and the standard Blu-ray edition featuring the same Special Features of:
Deleted/Extended Scenes (HD, 7:23)
Welcome to Berlin (HD, 4:33)
Blondes Have More Gun (HD, 7:01)
Spymaster (HD, 4:18)
Anatomy of a Fight Scene (HD, 7:52)
Story in Motion (HD) - "Agent Broughton" (2:16) and "The Chase" (1:38)
Feature Commentary (HD) - A feature length audio commentary with Director David Leitch and Editor Elisabet Ronaldsdottir.
'Atomic Blonde' Official Trailer
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