The Marvels UHD Review

4.5 Stars Likable team-up
The Marvels 4K 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, English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 7.1 DD+:Spanish 7.1 DD+, French 5.1 DD, Other
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Other
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 1 Hr. 45 Min.
Package Includes: UHD, Blu-ray, Digital Copy
Case Type: 2-disc UHD keepcase with slipcover
Disc Type: UHD
Region: All
Release Date: 02/13/2024
MSRP: $39.99

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: 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 presented on both UHD and Blu-ray discs in its original 2.39:1 theatrical aspect ratio for its entire running time, and Disney’s 2160p HEVC encode includes HDR10 high dynamic range on a BD66 disc. 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. The transfer did not exhibit any major compression issues like banding or pixilation.

Audio: 5/5

The Marvels defaults on UHD Blu-ray with an excellent Dolby Atmos mix (with a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 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 end to many of the hip hop song selections featured in the film. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout.

Special Features: 2.5/5

As a nice surprise, Disney has included the Audio Commentary track on the UHD disc. Otherwise, the disc is movie-only.

UHD Disc
Audio Commentary: Director Nia DaCosta and VFX Supervisor Tara DeMarco discuss many aspects of the film’s production.


Blu-ray Disc

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: Director Nia DaCosta and VFX Supervisor Tara DeMarco discuss many aspects of the film’s production.

Overall: 4.5/5

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

Purchase The Marvels at Amazon

Todd 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. 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. 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, and is a frequent guest on the Home Theater United podcast.

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MishaLauenstein

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It's somewhat absurd when the biggest complaint about a comic book superhero movie is that the villain was a comic book supervillain and an alien planet was surprisingly alien. I enjoyed the movie, the villain, the musical planet and I particularly liked the involuntary-teleporting fight scene which is a very fresh take on a superhero battle scene.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I enjoyed the movie and didn't think it had earned the vitriol that was directed its way. It was nice to have a breezy, fun film that didn't take itself too seriously and didn't overstay its welcome.

My only nitpicks with it were that I wished the stakes had been lower - the dilemma of the three superheroes having their powers intertwined and needing to figure out how to get back to normal I thought was enough of an engine to drive the story. I don't think the film needed a genocidal villain bent on destroying planets - the stakes were out of proportion to what was most enjoyable about the film, the breezy charisma the three leads shared.

It's amazing how in a movie that's only 90 minutes, it still wound up funneling into a generic CGI battle with no sense of weight that had me checking out completely. Not every comic book issue ended with the last third being violence on top of violence and it would be nice to see that reflected in some of these films.
 
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