The Flash - 4K Ultra HD Blu-rayOverview -
The Flash travels the multiverse with some amazing Batman cameos and one knock-out performance from Ezra Miller. Unfortunately, that's about all it's got going for it. The 4K picture is stunning and demo-worthy from WB and the Dolby Atmos track sounds incredible. The bonus features are all worth watching too, but the lack of a blooper reel or a commentary track is sad. While the movie is pretty good, the disc is fantastic on every technical level - Highly Recommended!
Worlds collide in “The Flash” when Barry uses his superpowers to travel back in time in order to change the events of the past. But when his attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, Barry becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation, and there are no Super Heroes to turn to. That is, unless Barry can coax a very different Batman out of retirement and rescue an imprisoned Kryptonian… albeit not the one he’s looking for. Ultimately, to save the world that he is in and return to the future that he knows, Barry’s only hope is to race for his life. But will making the ultimate sacrifice be enough to reset the universe?
"The Flash” 4K UHD contain the following special features:
- “The Flash: Escape the Midnight Circus” podcast – Six-part original scripted audio series featuring Max Greenfield as The Flash
- The Flash: Escape the Midnight Circus Behind the Scenes
- Deleted Scenes of 1/4
- Saving Supergirl - featurette
- The Bat Chase - featurette
- Battling Zod - featurette
- Fighting Dark Flash - featurette
- The Flash: The Saga of the Scarlett Speedster - featurette
- Making the Flash: Worlds Collide - featurette
- Let’s Get Nuts: Batman Returns, Again - featurette
- Supergirl: Last Daughter of Krypton - featurette
- Flashpoint: Introducing the Multiverse - featurette
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
The DC Universe of films has met its share of praise and jeers over the past decade. When the MCU set up The Avengers, DC attempted their own version with Zack Snyder. His vision didn't offer colorful comedy but focused on a brooding and darker universe. Since his departure, James Gunn entered the chat and brought that iconic comedy and character development to the DCU, which has translated a little over to the most recent outing The Flash. Everyone and everything is knee-deep into the multiverse now, where TV shows and movies of all franchises can enter the realm to create buzz and nostalgia. DC is no exception. Despite some slow moments, ultra-silly sequences, and some shoddy dialogue, there are some extremely great moments that fans of DC will never forget.
Ezra Miller kicked off his tenure as the Scarlet Speedster with a brief shot in Batman v Superman and fully came to be in Justice League (both versions), but none of these stories really focused on him as the main character. But just like Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy 3, The Flash finally allows Barry Allen to breathe as a character and reveal his inner demons and what he holds close more than anything. Director Andy Muschetti (IT Chapters 1 and 2), along with screenwriter Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey) with a story by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (Spider-Man, Vacation), The Flash is set up for greatness in its ambitious story arc and action-packed set pieces. It's unfortunate that along the way in the production process, it seemed someone wanted to add in kooky and silly sequences to capture all audiences. The result lands in a mixed bag of genres, where the start of the movie sees Flash save a ton of newborn babies from falling to their deaths in a collapsing building. While this might have looked suspenseful on paper, the completion is other-worldly silly with some janky visual effects that do nothing other than showcase the speed of Barry Allen.
But after this sequence, the story is set in motion which keeps the movie on a grounded level where Barry confronts his tragic past with the death of his mother and the incarceration of his father. So how do the multiverse and alternate worlds and timelines come to fruition in this particular comic book universe? The creators hinted at it in Zach Snyder's Justice League where The Flash could run so fast, that he could literally reverse time. Add a couple of lines of dialogue relating to realms and science, and boom, the multiverse is created. And the film begs the question, would anyone go back in time and change the past even if it meant destroying the universe and creating alternate versions? And that's exactly what happens when Barry tries to correct the past with his parents which lands him in an alternate reality where Ben Affleck isn't Batman or his buddy anymore, but someone else who has played Batman in another film and time.
Of course, if anyone has seen the trailers, it's Michael Keaton playing Batman once again. And this is not just a small cameo for a couple of minutes. Keaton as the caped crusader is back in full force for the duration of the film serving the most engaging and best moments. In fact, these moments with Keaton and Miller are so great, that it's worth the price of admission solely to see how Muschetti utilizes Keaton again as the Dark Knight. It finally allows the great fight sequences of modern times and his Bruce Wayne character to vent and come into a hero once again in a way that will have fans applauding multiple times. It's a clear and crispy way to organically introduce the multiverse. Sadly, this is the only multiverse element that works naturally, where every other cameo or version of reality is force-fed to only strike up a second or two of nostalgia. It just doesn't hit the right notes tonally or visually really due to the heavy filters of color and mass amounts of CGI work. It was reaching too far.
Although, those excerpts from The Flash don't work, Ezra Miller as Barry is excellent. His attention to detailed emotion for doing the right thing, being a young adult in two different realities with different personalities, along with the severe struggle of the tragedy with his parents is unparalleled. Miller just owns the screen and it's a joy to watch him perfect his craft, especially towards the climax of the movie where the emotions are at their heaviest. He sells it well. Alongside Miller, Ben Affleck shows up and turns in the best performance yet as his version of the caped crusader, which might be short and sweet, but it begs for a sole Affleck Batman movie, please and thank you. Then of course, there's Keaton in the cowl again, which is downright perfection and showcases why he is the best to ever play it, even some thirty years later.
The Flash is not the movie to reboot the DCU for James Gunn nor is it a step in the correct direction by any means, but it allows for some sequel setups that would be more fun than anyone gives it credit for, especially with the two end credit stingers that will no doubt blow people away. Stay for the Michael Keaton and Ezra Miller team up, because those great scenes knock this movie out of the park, but other than a few emotional beats toward the end, The Flash tries too hard to wink and nod at so many things in a short time frame to feel organic, even though the sequel it sets up would be a blast.
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
The Flash runs to 4K + Digital Code via WB and DC. The sole disc is housed inside a hard black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork features the titular character himself running full speed with Supergirl, Batman, and the Bat-Wing behind him. It's the better artwork when compared to the Blu-ray version. There is an insert for a digital code. The disc itself has The Flash symbol.
The Flash comes with an impeccable and demo-worthy 2160- UHD 4K transfer from Warner Bros. This movie was made for IMAX screens and has kept its 1.90.1 aspect ratio on this here home release.
The color palette is simply incredible with a wide gamut of colors in every scene. The HDR/Dolby Vision allows for those more nuanced colors to really shine. The red Flash suit looks fantastic in all lighting conditions and mixes well with the flashes of white and orange in the lightning bolts. The time sphere brings a ton of bold primary colors with many different shades of each color revealing themselves as Barry travels through timelines and universes. Background shots in suburban neighborhoods or at the supermarket bring forth those natural colors as well. Black levels are amazingly inky and rich and the skin tones are natural as well.
The detail is ultra sharp and vivid with closeups that reveal facial pores, individual hairs, makeup applications, beads of sweat and blood, debris, dirt, and fiery explosions super well. Batman's leather cape and mask have a wonderful leather texture and Flash's suit reveals those intricate textures in both CGI and natural formats. Wider shots never go soft either. There are no issues with this fantastic-looking video presentation and perhaps one of DC's best-looking pictures in recent memory.
This release comes with an equally exquisite Dolby Atmos mix that will satisfy everyone. Sound effects are robust and loud right from the start. Even in its silly opening sequence, the surround sound speakers and height speakers get an early workout with babies falling to their deaths and debris from a building that all comes to a halt with music as Barry saves them all. After this sequence, another action-packed BAt-Mobile chase sequence ensues which is where the low end of bass comes roaring in with vehicle engines and explosions galore, all of which sound amazing.
The lightning bolt runs that Flash makes all sound pitch-perfect and the fight sequences pack a great punch. The bass has a phenomenal rumble to it that never crosses into rocky territory. The height speakers rain down inclement weather, bullets, and other flying heroes and villains, along with debris from explosions on a consistent basis. There is never a dull moment with this Dolby Atmos track. It's one to show off with a new sound system for sure.
There are a whopping 232 minutes of extras on this release. Great cast and crew interviews, along with deleted scenes, and a podcast. But no bloopers or audio commentary? That's strange.
- Making The Flash When Worlds Collide (HD, 37 Mins.) - This is a wonderful behind-the-scenes documentary with cast and crew interviews, on-set footage, and more that discuss how they all made the film during the pandemic and more.
- Flashpoint Introducing the DC Multiverse (HD, 7 Mins.) - A rundown of the multiverse and how it all ties together.
- Let's Get Nuts Batman Returns Again (HD, 9 Mins.) - Michael Keaton as Batman is the focus and really, this should have been an hour long.
- The Bat Chase (HD, 7 Mins.) - A breakdown of that opening Batmobile chase sequence which is quite cool.
- Saving Supergirl (HD, 7 Mins.) - Another in-depth look at a particular scene, particularly the one where Supergirl breaks out of prison.
- Battling Zod (HD, 6 Mins.) - The big Zod battle is explored behind the scenes.
- Fighting Dark Flash (HD, 8 Mins.) - The cast and crew talk about that narrative that brings the movie to a close.
- The Saga of the Scarlet Speedster (HD, 39 Mins.) - A bigger exploration of The Flash in comic books, TV shows, and movies.
- Deleted Scenes (HD, 15 Mins.) - There are 10 deleted scenes in total, none of which make for a compelling addition to the final cut. (Tell that to Snyder.)
- Escape The Midnight Circus (HD, 97 Mins.) - The original scripted podcast series is presented here. Also a trailer and a short behind-the-scenes look at how the podcast was made.
The Flash has some good moments, especially when any of the Batmans are involved. But the whole narrative despite Ezra's amazing performance is a bit lackluster and feels too rushed. The 2160p UHD image with Dolby Vision is demo-worthy and the Dolby Atmos track is right on par with it. The bonus features are worth watching as well. Not the greatest movie of all time but not nearly as bad as it's been made out to be and this disc is a technical knockout in A/V quality - Highly Recommended!
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