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Ultra HD : Highly Recommended
Ranking:
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Release Date: December 13th, 2022 Movie Release Year: 2022

The Woman King - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Overview -

The Woman King is an empowering film full of inspiration, heart, love, and killer action sequences. Based on a true story of a tribe in Africa where its all-women army helped protect everyone from slavery is expertly told by the legendary Gina Prince-Blythewood and its performances by all the actors are exquisite. The Dolby Vision 4K picture looks wonderful and. the Dolby Atmos track sounds great. The extras are worth the time for fans of the movie. Highly Recommended!

 

Inspired by true events, this is the remarkable, action-packed story about the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey with skills and a fierceness, unlike anything the world has ever seen. Follow the epic and intense journey of General Nanisca (Oscar® winner VIOLA DAVIS; 2016, Best Supporting Actress, Fences) as she trains the next generation of recruits and readies them for battle against an enemy determined to destroy their way of life.

 

4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAY and DIGITAL

  • A Caterpillar’s Destruction: Viola Davis On Set
  • Representation Matters (Featurette)
  • WOMAN/WARRIOR (Featurette)
  • Storytellers (Featurette)
  • Thuso Mbedu Auditions
  • Filmmakers' Commentary

OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray + Blu-ray + Digital
Video Resolution/Codec:
HDR10
Length:
135
Aspect Ratio(s):
2.40:1
Audio Formats:
English Descriptive: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Spanish
Release Date:
December 13th, 2022

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

Based on the true events of the Agojie, an African legion of female warriors who protected their families and land from the ruthless slavers of the surrounding areas, The Woman King brings to life these powerful women to the big screen with some wonderful action sequences and an exquisite narrative on empowerment, family, and standing up to oppression no matter what the cost is. With a stellar cast and crew, The Woman King is a sweet and ferocious film that should not be overlooked.

This film allows director Gina Prince-Blythewood (Love and Basketball) to showcase both sides of her creative endeavors. Her extraordinary ability to tell a soft and tender side of human nature and love while also revealing the true horrors of humanity with some gritty and well-executed action sequences that are all built around amazing performances from her cast including Viola Davis, John Boyega, Lashana Lynch, and Thuso Mbedu. The screenplay from Dana Stevens and her writing partner and actress Maria Bello gives ample time across its two-hour run time to explore each character with their struggles to survive and empower their families.

The Agojie were a real faction of strong, powerful women that protected their land and families, similar to the Dora Milaje from Black Panther or even the Amazons in Wonder Woman. Inside the African Kingdom of Dahomey, the leader named Ghezo (Boyega) has taken over where he must face two groups of people who have allied with European slavers in the 1800s. His army is the Agojie who is led by General Nanisca (Davis) who will do anything to protect their people and home. As a giant battle is brewing, Nanisca is training the new generation of warriors, one of which holds a secret about her past that might form a connection between the two of them.

Blythewood perfectly balances the action and chaos with scenes of tenderness and love between Nanisca's tribe. The hierarchy of her world with their traditions are given areas to breathe that educate on what life was like back then in this part of the world. Attention to detail in the costumes and what happened in history make the moving parts of this story really shine since Maria Bello came up with the story when she traveled to this part of the world and toured the actual place where the Agojie set up shop.

The Woman King truly breaks the mold though with its incredible performances from Davis, Boyega, and everyone else involved. Not only do their physical performances turn into greatness, but their quieter moments of dialogue and true determination in empowering the new generation of fighters come across on screen flawlessly. It's a great underdog story full of heart and emotion along with some exquisite action beats, all of which have that emotional heft with stakes that make the characters worth caring for. The Woman King is one hell of a great time that is full of inspiring moments and wonderful performances.

 

Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
The Woman King protects its way to 4K + Blu-ray + Digital Code via Tristar Pictures. The discs are housed inside a hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork features a wonderful illustrated scene of Viola Davis starring out with a ton of weapons circling her. Basically, it looks like John Wick's artwork but with Viola Davis, which is very cool.

Video Review

Ranking:

The Woman King comes with a fantastic 2160 UHD 4K image with Dolby Vision which is an excellent upgrade from the 1080p Blu-ray. The film itself is not steeped in wild, colorful paints that boast all colors on the spectrum. Instead, it has a more natural and Earth-like tone to it that is set in Africa.

Those sandy reds and oranges cover the screen for a great amount of run time that contrasts nicely with blue skies and some shades of green with plant life. The costumes can be a little muted with the primary colors of blues, yellows reds, and whites, but that's part of the style here. The Dolby Vision upgrades these reds and rusty-like colors of the surrounding regions nicely, especially during the darker sequences at night time, revealing more colors in the firelight and even crisper detail. Black levels are inky and rich with no murky shadows or bleeding and the skin tones are natural.

The detail is sharp throughout, highlighting facial pores, makeup applications, gory wounds, practical effects, individual hairs, and textures in the costumes. Weapons show all their necessary shine and the background sets and land all have those necessary detailed elements. This 4K image is the definitive way to watch the film and is a wonderful uptick from the Blu-ray. There are no issues with banding or aliasing here.

 

Audio Review

Ranking:

This release comes with a solid Dolby Atmos track that has some immersive battle scenes. Those sound effects come with a robust and loud ferocity when the action ramps up. Weapons and rocks all make those intense thuds when banging them against either bone or metal which provides a low end of bass that always has a great rumble to it. Quieter scenes around a fire make use of the crackling embers and other surrounding wildlife and nature sounds. But during the action sequences, all those effects are turned up high and sound great through all the surround speakers. These moments also have a smooth transition from speaker to speaker when the camera is panning around, usually during the more volatile scenes. The score always adds to the suspense and inspiring themes while the dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow along with. There are no major problems with audio issues.

 

Special Features

Ranking:

There are about 50 minutes of bonus features included here, along with an audio commentary from the director and editor of the film. The other extras consist of better than usual EPK type of featurettes.

  • Audio Commentary - Gina Prince-Blythewood and editor Terilyn A. Shropshire talk about bringing the film to life, working on location, editing the action sequences, and the performances, and seeing the final product. It's a dry, yet informative commentary track.
  • A Caterpillar's Destruction (HD, 10 Mins.) - This showcases Viola Davis on set, her performance, the rehearsals and training, stuntwork, and themes she used to perfect her character. This also talks about what made her accept this role.
  • Woman/Warrior (HD, 12 Mins.) - Here are more interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of the stuntwork, training, casting, and more.
  • Storytellers (HD, 11 Mins.) - Most of the cast and crew praise Gina Prince-Blythewood.
  • Representation Matters (HD, 10 Mins.) - A great yet brief look at the real history and tribe that is shown in the film, which is pretty fun to watch.
  • Thuso Mbedu Auditions (HD, 7 mins.) - Audition footage of the actress of the film.

 

Final Thoughts

The Woman King is a wonderful action film with a ton of heart that is based on a real-life tribe and event. The performances are stellar and the direction from Gina Prince-Blythewood is phenomenal. This is truly an inspiring story and one of an excellent action film. The 4K with Dolby Vision image looks amazing and is a good upgrade from the Blu-ray, where the Dolby Atmos track sounds wonderful. The bonus features are worth watching for fans of the film. Highly Recommended!