The Marvels Digital UHD Review

4.5 Stars Likable team-up
The Marvels Review

Although largely ignored by moviegoers, The Marvels is an entertaining popcorn flick.

The Marvels (2023)
Released: 10 Nov 2023
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 105 min
Director: Nia DaCosta
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Cast: Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani
Writer(s): Nia DaCosta, Megan McDonnell, Elissa Karasik
Plot: Carol Danvers gets her powers entangled with those of Kamala Khan and Monica Rambeau, forcing them to work together to save the universe.
IMDB rating: 5.7
MetaScore: N/A

Disc Information
Studio: Disney
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Audio: Dolby Atmos
Subtitles: English SDH
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 1 Hr. 45 Min.
Package Includes: Digital Copy
Case Type: N/A
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Region: A
Release Date: 01/16/2023
MSRP: $19.99

The Production: 3.5/5

Picking up where the Disney+ TV series Ms. Marvel left off and barely mentioning the events of Secret Invasion, three superheroes – Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), and Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani) – suddenly find their powers intertwined when Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton) finds the second Quantum Band that she begins to use to destroy other planets in hope of saving hers. The three women have to team together and learn to work in synch if they hope to save the universe from collapsing from Dar-Benn’s destruction.

That is probably the best way to sum up The Marvels, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and one largely ignored by movie-goers. That is a bit of a shame because this is a rather entertaining film despite its rather confusing plot and occasional tonal shifts that seem to come out of nowhere (the Bollywood-style musical number easily comes to mind). Carols’s pet cat/flerken Goose gets a bigger role in this entry that culminates in a bizarre but rather amusing solution to a problem. The three leads have good chemistry that helps the movie immensely, with Iman Vellani’s naïve fangirl giddiness as Ms. Marvel a delight. One of the film’s faults, though, is yet another weak villain, Dar-Benn, played by Zawe Ashton. There is really nothing wrong with her performance, it’s that her character is unfortunately one-dimensional and not well fleshed out. While The Marvels is not quite as fun as its predecessor Captain Marvel, it’s still a much better film than many movie-goers made it out to be.

Video: 4.5/5

3D Rating: NA

The Marvels was captured in 4.5K resolution on Arri Alexa 65, Arri Alexa LF IMAX, and Arri Alexa Mini LF IMAX cameras and completed (according to IMDB) as a 2K digital intermediate in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio with some IMAX sequences in 1.90:1, with Dolby Vision HDR in some of its premium format exhibitions. The film is currently available from digital retailers in 2160p and HDR (format will vary by retailer), presenting the film in its original 2.39:1 theatrical aspect ratio for its entire running time.

I screened the film in its entirety on the Movies Anywhere app on a Roku Ultra in Dolby Vision HDR on an LG C1 OLED display. Fine detail was excellent, from well-defined fabric textures and Goose’s fur to facial features. Colors were bold and vibrant without appearing overly saturated. Contrast was excellent, with deep blacks and strong shadow detail as well as bright highlights that never appeared clipped. I then sampled the film across multiple retailers and devices. Viewing The Marvels on the Apple TV app in Dolby Vision on both an Apple TV 4K device and Roku Ultra was nearly identical to the experience I had on Movies Anywhere, as was Vudu (also in Dolby Vision) on the Roku Ultra. Prime Video, on the other hand, appeared slightly darker with their encode in HDR10, that started in 720p HDR, transitioning to 1080p HDR after 40 seconds, and didn’t achieve full 2160p HDR until just after the one-minute mark, and this was on the 2023 version of the FireStick 4K Max. Other than the darker overall image and the slow ramping up to full UHD, the selected sequences I sampled on Prime Video also did not exhibit any major compression issues like banding or pixilation.

Audio: 4.5/5

Movies Anywhere, Apple TV and Vudu offer The Marvels in 4K with an excellent Dolby Atmos mix (with a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 core), once you bump the master volume up a few notches on your receiver. Surrounds and heights are very active, particularly in the action sequences, allowing sounds to travel seamlessly around the room. LFE is surprisingly good for a Disney release, adding emphasis to hits, explosions, and adds a nice low wend to many of the hip hop song selections featured in the film. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout. Prime Video, unfortunately, still only offers a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix for their purchased content.

Special Features: 2.5/5

Movies Anywhere, Apple TV (on Apple devices only), and Vudu offer the same special features as listed below. Prime Video and Apple TV (on non-Apple devices) are movie only.

Entangled (1080p; 10:57): The three leads (Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani), co-writers Megan McDonnell and Elissa Karasik, and director Nia DaCosta, along with other cast members, quickly discuss the making of the film in this very EPK-friendly featurette.

The Production Diaries (1080p; 5:31): More behind the scenes footage from the making of the film.

Gag Reel (1080p; 2:00)

Deleted Scenes (1080p; 5:52): Four brief scenes are included – Captain-in-Residence, It’s Under Control, Space Yoga and The Chase.

Audio Commentary (2160p SDR/1080p; 104:39): Director Nia DaCosta and VFX Supervisor Tara DeMarco discuss many aspects of the film’s production. Apple TV offers the commentary in 2160p SDR while Vudu and Movies Anywhere offer it in 1080p.

Overall: 4/5

I found The Marvels to be a very entertaining picture, even with the sometimes-confusing storyline and tonal shifts.

Todd Erwin has been a reviewer at Home Theater Forum since 2008. His love of movies began as a young child, first showing Super 8 movies in his backyard during the summer to friends and neighbors at age 10. He also received his first movie camera that year, a hand-crank Wollensak 8mm with three fixed lenses. In 1980, he graduated to "talkies" with his award-winning short The Ape-Man, followed by the cult favorite The Adventures of Terrific Man two years later. Other films include Myth or Fact: The Talbert Terror and Warren's Revenge (which is currently being restored). In addition to movie reviews, Todd has written many articles for Home Theater Forum centering mostly on streaming as well as an occasional hardware review, is the host of his own video podcast Streaming News & Views on YouTube and is a frequent guest on the Home Theater United podcast.

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