The MCU enters Phase Five with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, now available on 4K UHD Blu-ray from Walt Disney Home Entertainment.
The Production: 3/5
Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is enjoying success being recognized as one of the Avengers who brought the world back from Thanos’ snap (although not always as Ant-Man), and has become a best-selling author with his memoir Look Out For the Little Guy. Life seems to be going well for him, and for girlfriend Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) who has taken control of her father’s company and started the PYMvanDYNE Foundation, using the Pym Particle to solve many of the world’s problems. His daughter Cassie (now played by Kathryn Newton), though, has grown up to be an activist, often getting arrested for protesting in support for the homeless who were displaced when they were brought back after the “blip.” Hope’s father, Hank Pym, has taken Cassie under his wing, allowing her to use his basement lab to construct a device to map the Quantum Realm. When the device goes haywire, it sucks Scott, Hope, Cassie, Hank and Janet (Michelle Pfieffer) into the Quantum Realm, where they are quickly separated, scattering Scott and Cassie with a group of rebels, Hope, Hank, and Janet on the outskirts of a major city. As MCU fans know, Janet had been trapped in the Quantum Realm for thirty years before being released in Ant-Man and the Wasp, and she there are things she has never shared with anyone, in particular, an exiled leader known as Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), whom we first met near the end of the first season of Loki. Kang is bent on not only escaping the Quantum Realm, but destroying all timelines, and the only way he can escape is to locate the power core to his ship that Janet shrunk and hid within the realm.
The only real task for Quantumania is to set up Kang’s backstory and intentions, and while it does that fairly well, it sure takes its time doing so. Director Peyton Reed (who helmed the two prior Ant-Man entries as well as directed the Saturday morning CBS series The Weird Al Show) can’t seem to keep the story moving forward with enough steam, making this seem like the longest 124 minutes a viewer will spend watching an MCU movie (it’s also one of the shortest in the franchise). There is some nice offbeat humor with many of the oddball characters inhabiting the realm that help to propel the slow pacing, such as the globular Veb (voiced by David Dastmalchian), but then there is the over-hyped cameo of Bill Murray as Lord Krylar that just doesn’t work. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quatumania is entertaining in the moment, but unfortunately is rather forgettable.
3D Rating: NA
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was captured at 4.5K resolution using Arri Alexa Mini LF IMAX and Panavision Millemium DXL2 cameras, completed as a 4K digital intermediate in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio with some scenes in 1.90:1 for its IMAX engagements and Dolby Vision HDR for some of its premium format engagements. Disney’s 2160p HEVC-encoded transfer used for this release presents the film entirely in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio with HDR10 high dynamic range. This is, overall, a much darker image than what is seen on the included 1080p Blu-ray edition, especially once the film enters the Quantum Realm. The movie really popped on my LG C1 OLED display, with vivid colors and strong highlights as well as deep blacks and strong shadow detail. Fine detail is quite strong, revealing fabric textures and facial features, but also reveals some of the questionable visual effects shots.
The default Atmos track is a slightly above average mix than what many have become accustomed to with Disney’s releases. LFE is adequate, barely providing enough bass from sounding anemic, but could be a bit stronger. Front soundstage is wide and surrounds are active, but heights are used more for added support to assist the more seamless movement of sounds rather than for discrete effects or even atmospheric ambience. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout.
Special Features: 2.5/5
As usual, Disney’s UHD presentation is movie-only. To access any of the special features, you will need to insert the included Blu-ray disc or fire up Movies Anywhere on your streaming device after redeeming the included digital code.
All in the Family (1080p; 7:28): Typical EPK piece that touches more on the characters than behind the scenes.
Formidable Foes (1080p; 11:36): A look at the character of Kang the Conqueror.
Gag Reel (1080p; 1:52)
Deleted Scenes (1080p; 2:59): Two scenes are included, Drink the Ooze and I Have Holes.
Audio Commentary with Peyton Reed and Jeff Loveness: The director (Reed) and writer (Loveness) discuss various aspects of making the movie.
Digital Copy: A Movies Anywhere redemption code is included.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quatumania is an entertaining but mostly forgettable entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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