Sony struck gold a second time with the sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage, bringing theatres out of the pandemic doldrums, if only briefly, and has arrived on 4K UHD Blu-ray in a stunning transfer.
The Production: 4/5
I was not much of a fan of 2018’s Venom, a film I felt tried too hard to be like the more successful Deadpool and went off the rails as a CGI extravaganza. I enjoyed the sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage much more, a film that embraces its odd couple of loser reporter Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and the alien symbiote living inside him known as Venom with such utter goofiness that its over-the-top plot of escaped serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) merging with an offspring (?) of Venom who then reunites with his long-lost love with powers Florence Barrison (Naomie Harris) to exact revenge on those who wronged them actually works, thanks to a bonkers screenplay by returning writer Kelly Marcel and even more bonkers directing by Andy Serkis. Michelle Williams and Reid Scott return briefly as Eddie’s former girlfriend Anne and her fiancé Dr. Dan, and actually have something to do in the story rather than just making fan-friendly cameos. Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a brisk yet rather forgettable piece of escapist entertainment.
3D Rating: NA
Venom: Let There Be Carnage was captured in 4.5K and 6.5K resolutions using Arri Alexa 65 and Alexa Mini LF cameras, then completed as a 2K digital intermediate in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio with Dolby Vision high dynamic range for its premium theatrical engagements. Sony’s UHD release features an HEVC-encoded 2160p upscale with both Dolby Vision and HDR10 high dynamic range options. This is a highly-detailed transfer, incredibly sharp throughout with noticeable beard stubble on Eddie, skin textures on Venom and Carnage, etc. The image also has a great deal of perceived depth and excellent shadow detail thanks to its use of HDR. Although not an overly colorful film, colors are bold and vivid where needed, such as blood or fiery explosions.
The UHD disc’s default Dolby Atmos track is very immersive and demo-worthy, almost as bonkers as the film itself. Surrounds and heights are extremely active almost throughout the film, with a wide front soundstage that has excellent separation, yet sounds move seamlessly around the room. LFE is very strong, adding additional emphasis during explosions and several of the hip-hop songs on the soundtrack. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout.
Special Features: 3/5
Other than a handful of trailers for upcoming Sony Pictures releases (both theatrical and home video), there are no special features on the UHD disc. What is included on the Blu-ray disc are your rather basic EPK-style special features, and too often the music is mixed at such a high level that it often drowns out the dialogue.
Let There Be… Action (1080p; 7:20): Fairly standard behind the scenes look at the making of the film.
Outtakes & Bloopers (1080p; 3:22)
Deleted Scenes (1080p; 9:33): Six scenes are included – Alternate Mugging, Break Up Extended, St. Estes Flashback, Unholy Trinity Extended, Burning St. Estes Alternate, and Beach Extended Ending.
Eddie & Venom: The Odd Couple (1080p; 10:18): A look at the relationship between Eddie and Venom.
Tangled Web: Easter Eggs (1080p; 4:31): A look at several of the Easter Eggs featured in the film.
Sick & Twisted: Cletus Kasady (1080p; 5:36): A look at Woody Harrelson’s character in the film.
A Fine Romance: Cletus and Shriek (1080p; 5:02): A look at the relationship between Cletus and Shriek.
Concept to Carnage (1080p; 4:23): Developing Carnage as a CG character.
Select Scene Previs (1080p; 8:38): Three scenes are included – Ravencroft Breakout, San Quentin Carnage, and Show & Tell.
Extras Trailer (1080p; 1:09): A trailer for the special features listed above.
Digital Copy: An insert contains a code to redeem a digital copy in UHD on Movies Anywhere.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a brisk yet rather forgettable piece of escapist entertainment.
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