Let's Morb all out with the release of Morbius on 4K UHD as Sony's Spider-Man Cinematic Universe brings the fan-favorite vampire to the big screen. The filmmakers may have tried to pull off a serious action film set in superhero lore, but the end result was something much better - a silly, over-the-top, ridiculous instant cult classic that should be adored for years to come at midnight screenings. Jared Leto is unstoppable at this point. The 4K UHD presentation with Dolby Vision along with the Dolby Atmos audio mix is outstanding. The bonus features are fun but quick. Recommended!
The MCU is certainly having fun injecting different styles into their movies these days. With Sam Raimi's horror-comedy Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the MCU stepped into a much larger realm of different genres instead of sticking with the same formulaic product that everyone has come to love and respect from Marvel. This is also the case with Morbius but in different ways. On the one hand, Marvel and Sony have made perhaps one of the worst movies in recent memory about a fan-favorite comic-book character. On the other hand, their creative vision might have been a stroke of genius where Morbius is so bad, it has become an instant cult classic where everyone can enjoy it on a silly level. Nevertheless, Morbius is here to Morb and he's going to keep Morbin' until he can't Morb no more.
Morbius is one of the side off-shoot films of the MCU, similar to the Venom franchise where both Morbius and Venom are indeed part of the MCU now but they are strictly here to serve Spider-Man movies and nothing else. This Marvel character has wanted to jump onto the big-screen since the '90s after the success of Blade but never got off the ground until now. Unfortunately, Sony and Marvel decided on the director of Life (Daniel Espinosa) and more regrettably the writers of Dracula Untold, The Last Witch Hunter, and Gods Of Egypt (Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless) to make Morbius. The result is not a good time on the surface, but deep below their serious take and on-the-nose approach is something so otherworldly funny and absurd that the film Morbs into a ridiculous extravaganza that is perfectly made for midnight showings for years to come.
Here in Morbius land, a young boy named Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) and his brother-from-another-mother Lucien (Matt Smith) have a very rare, fatal blood disease that allows these two to form a special bond. Michael Morbius goes the scientific route to try and find a cure for his disease while Lucien, who is randomly called Milo in the movie, settles for the inherited rich, playboy life as he spends lavishly and parties all the time. With the help of some bats and a few drops of blood, Morbius creates a serum that cures his rare blood disease but also turns him into a vampire with none of the bad folklore side-effects, but all of a vampire's strengths.
Unfortunately, when one vampire goes full Morb, there is a thirst for blood, and humans are killed. After a bloody incident with Morbius, he vows to find a synthetic cure for his itch for human blood so he will never kill again. While his efforts are noble and worthy, his brother Milo wants nothing more than to get his greedy hands on the serum and live the life of a powerful vampire and kill anyone that gets in his way, thus leading to a climactic sibling fight where someone should've yelled, "It's Morbin' Time".
The trouble with Morbius here is that the writers and director took their assignments too seriously. Everything plays off a straight and narrow path with no room for humor or fun. But this is also where the inadvertent humor is so massive that it has become a silly spoof of itself where fans are clamoring for more. It's easy to see where the 300 was a big influence on the filmmakers here with the Greek settings, the Greek names, and even the 300-style action moments where things speed up and go in slow-motion and then back to hi-speed in one stream of consciousness. The dialogue is painfully bad, and the performances are so stoic that not even a vampiric Jared Leto could save it. This is to say nothing of the false-start romantic subplot let alone the go-nowhere D-story of two cops played by Tyrese Gibson and Al Madrigal. And then there's the two bizarre Michael Keaton Vulture post-credits sequences. With all that being said, Morbius becomes a silly, hilarious and energetic success in its own failures for some weird reason.
Due to the success of everyone now enjoying Morbius through internet memes and the countless streaming parties where thousands of fans are clamoring to have fun with the film, the studios and actors have not taken part in joining the band with the promise of bringing a sequel sometime down the road with its silliness and awareness in tow. Morbius is not a good movie, but at the same time, it's genius and perfect in its own self-centered landscape that will be remembered for years to come. Morbius has Morbed the entire planet and that's a good thing.
Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray
Morbius fangs its way to 4K + Blu-ray + Digital Copy via Sony. The discs are housed inside a hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork features Jared Leto where half his face is of the vampire and the other half is his human side. There is an insert for a digital code.
Morbius comes with a fantastic 2160p UHD 4K transfer with Dolby Vision that looks impressive with all its stylized elements. This is certainly an upgrade from the already amazing 1080p HD transfer.
The color palette uses a lot of blues, greys, and silvers which are accentuated by reds and other primary colors here. The Dolby Vision enhances these elements in the many low-light sequences throughout the film to bring a natural and brighter image to the foreground. Other colors of supernatural orange and yellows, along with an orange jumpsuit and red glowing eyes look excellent and contrast nicely with the colder-looking background of the prison and laboratory. There are some flashbacks scenes that are more earthy in their color tones that are always presented well here. Black levels are deep and inky with no murky shadows or bleeding. Skin tones are natural as well.
The detail is sharp and vivid as well with closeups that reveal individual hairs, facial pores, scars, wounds, and drops of sweat and blood. The CGI elements never go soft, but instead are ripe with detail in the smoke and embers that come with being a vampire. Wider shots of the darkened corridors still reveal those metallic and wood details as well. There are no instances of banding, aliasing, or video noise here, making this video presentation one to love.
This release comes with a fantastic Dolby Atmos mix that knocks each sound out of the park. Sound effects are large and in charge when bats swarm, guns blast, vehicles rev up, and when punches fly.
The supernatural sounds of vampirism and facial transformations sound amazing as well with the right amount of treble and bass. Bone crunches, blood-sucking, and teeth going into the skin can all be heard in amazing ways with exquisite directionality. These nuanced sound effects are well-balanced and cause a fully immersive experience, specifically when multiple people surround certain characters. Each sound effect flows smoothly from one speaker to the next with an amazing transition. The low end of bass has a great rumble to it in the bigger action moments and when the music is blaring. It never crosses into rocky territory.
The score and song selections always add to the frenetic sequences and keep the darker tone in each scene. The dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow. The height speakers give way to. some excellent noises of bats flying overhead, debris falling down, rain, and other sky-related sound effects. Ambient noises from the rear speakers also spark up some loud and robust sounds often. This is an amazing Dolby Atmos track.
There are about 36 minutes of extras here that consist mostly of EPK type of material with cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. Each extra is about 4 minutes in length so there's not a whole lot of information doled out, but it's fun to watch the filmmakers and actors have a good time on set.
Morbius did not end up being the movie the filmmakers wanted to make. That being said, what the end result came to be was something even better than anyone could imagine - a premiere epic cult film that will live on in midnight showings for a long time. And now one of two vampires have made their debut in the MCU and that's a good thing. The Dolby Vision 4K video presentation and the Dolby Atmos mix are both incredible and the bonus features are fun enough but short. Recommended!