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Ranking:
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Release Date: September 26th, 2023 Movie Release Year: 2021

Loki: The Complete First Season - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray SteelBook

Overview -

Loki Season One is burdened with the glorious purpose of being the first Disney+ series to overthrow 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. The first MCU series sees Tom Hiddleston’s infamous trickster god at the mercy of time-defining bureaucracy in Michael Waldron’s thrilling mystery box. All six episodes score terrific HDR10 transfers and exciting Atmos tracks to match. Conjur up some interesting bonus features and stylish SteelBook packaging and this is a series essential for MCU fans and collectors. Highly Recommended.

Loki: The Complete First Season - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray (SteelBook) 

Marvel Studios' Loki features the God of Mischief as he steps out of his brother's shadow. Set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, this action-packed, time-defying thriller stars Tom Hiddleston as the title characters with Owen Wilson as agent Mobius.

Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • Designing the TVA – Step into the incredible set of Loki Season 1 with Production Designer, Kasra Farahani, and Tom Hiddleston while getting a sneak peek into Season 2.
  • The Official TVA Orientation Video – Miss Minutes explains the inner workings of the TVA timeline in her orientation video.
  • Gag Reel – Take a look at some of the fun outtakes on set with the cast and crew of Loki Season 1.
  • Deleted Scene: Loki's Coronation – Mobius reviews some moments from Loki's timeline, in which Frog Thor makes an appearance during Loki's coronation.
  • Deleted Scene: The Standoff – Loki holds Sylvie hostage against the TVA in a standoff.
  • Assembled: The Making of Loki – Loki explores the series centering on the MCU's chief mischief maker.
  • Optional English SDH, Spanish, and French subtitles for the main feature

OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray + Blu-ray
Video Resolution/Codec:
2160p/HEVC
Aspect Ratio(s):
1:78:1
Audio Formats:
English Dolby Atmos and 2.0 Dolby Digital Descriptive Audio, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Spanish
Release Date:
September 26th, 2023

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

Remember when the MCU was simple and relatively easy to follow? There was a time when all you had to do to catch up to the next big event film was watch a couple of movies. Now there’s a tangled web of movies and long multi-episode television series on Disney+ to parse through. What started out as a tantalizing extension of the MCU and a groundwork-setting installment for the next big story arc quickly spiraled out of control with too many films and series to follow without a clear idea where any of it all was going. Michael Waldron’s Loki was the third series to help get that big ball rolling and it was a hell of a continuation of key events. A mystery box show, the series is mercifully short at just six episodes leaving little room for bloat, stays focused on characters, and sets up one of Marvel's biggest and badest villains. 

In the middle of their grand Time Heist - the Avengers managed to lose sight of that wily miscreant Loki (Tom Hiddleston) when he picked up the Tesseract. But one escape leads to another prison. When the Time Variance Authority arrives to reset the branch in the timeline, Loki is caught in the clutches of a bureaucratic system, unlike anything anyone in the universe is aware of. But he has glorious purpose. Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson) is on the hunt for a deadly Variant that leaves TVA agents dead in its wake and Loki is the key. Why would the God of Mischief help this agent’s cause? Well, it just so happens the Variant in question is another Loki, and what God wouldn’t want to meet another version of himself? Perhaps they can team up?

Six episodes oftentimes is enough. More shows need to take a look at a series like Loki and see that less is in fact a whole lot more. This arbitrary need to hit ten or twelve episodes in any given season is more than frustrating when a show starts to lose focus and bloat. Loki on the other hand is breezy and swift but never shortchanges character development or plot. It’s a mystery box show where there’s a bigger riddle at the end of the run but the show doesn’t fumble it. The ultimate reveal is a big “holy hell!” moment ushered in by the first appearance of the MCU's next major villain.

This series was fantastic. It was a heartfelt dive into what made Loki and all of the other Lokis tick. Tom Hiddleston once again defines the trickster with Sophia Di Martino turning in an equally magnetic performance as the variant Sylvie. Owen Wilson got to drop the “Oh Wow!” persona and dig into his bureaucratic paper-pushing agent Mobius and explore why the character does what he does. Gugu Mbatha-Raw shines as Renslayer and I hope we get more of her in Season Two. With even less time than anyone but no less important is Jonathan Major’s imposing first appearance as Kang. Whatever his legal troubles are and however they’re resolved, he’s set to be one hell of an opposing force for our various MCU heroes and was the genuine true highlight of Quantumania

It’d been a couple of years since the series first premiered that I sat back down with Loki. I was glad to see that it’s still a damn good show. Thoughtful and introspective but not slow or boring. Entertaining and funny, but not trite. It’s a celebration of the titular character while also laying out the groundwork for events to come. After WandaVision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it was one of Disney+’s big gambles that an MCU series could work (not counting the seven seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) beyond the Theatrical runs and keep people.coming back for more. Now I just wish they’d gone with the “Less is More” approach to the following series and films because that “Superhero Fatigue” became a real problem really fast as every random character got their own film or show that didn't seem to connect to anything or advance the MCU as a whole. Hopefully, Loki Season Two will be a welcome return and course correction for the MCU going forward. 



Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

A day we were all excited to see has come and Loki Season One marks the first official Disney+ series to come to disc - and on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray no less! All six episodes are pressed on two BD-100 discs. The discs are housed in a stylish SteelBook with individual trays and are not stacked. Also included are three art cards. Each disc loads to Disney’s typical language option menu before allowing you to skip right on to the episodes or go to an animated main menu. Note, each episode does not have individual chapter stops. If you stop the disc mid-playthrough, the disc will automatically pick back up where you left off. However, if you accidentally hit the chapter advance button like I did - it scoots you right off to the next episode.

Video Review

Ranking:

While it would have been awesome to see each Loki episode get the full Dolby Vision treatment, I can’t be upset with the excellent HDR10 transfer each episode enjoys. From the tans and oranges of the TVA to Richard E. Grant’s bright yellow jumpsuit, each episode exploits a full range of dynamic colors. Each world and time period featured is brought to vivid life. Shot digitally, I didn’t feel like video noise was an issue. Details are sharp and clean with tight lines for excellent facial features and costume textures. The animated TVA intro video in the first episode is a lovely throwback to old Hanna-Barbera cartoons complete with cel animation dust and speckling (but that’s by design). Various worlds or times look terrific. Black levels are nice and inky with plenty of shadow gradience for the various lighting sources for any given location. My lone complaint - and this is one I had with the Disney+ Dolby Vision presentation - is the use of the Volume backgrounds or any heavy CGI usage can look rather flat. All of a sudden there isn’t any background depth. It’s not a serious issue, in all honesty, it’s a mild quibble, but as it’s become more commonly used in shows and films I can’t unsee it so I do get distracted. Most of the series looks magnificent on disc with a nice healthy bitrate to show for the effort of pressing it on a disc. 

Audio Review

Ranking:

Each episode of Loki rolls in with a respectfully strong Atmos audio track. I did feel the need to pop up the volume a notch or two, but nothing like the worst Atmouse offenders of past 4K releases. Really I only felt the need to compensate during the quieter conversational moments. When the action picked up, I thought the dialog came in just fine. Surround channels are active and engaged with plenty of immersion. If the setting is the dull TVA offices, Natalie Holt’s series score filled the soundscape nicely. The 60s vibe Loki theme for the D.B. Cooper sequence was a particular delight. On that end, there’s plenty of imaging throughout the episodes to keep those surround channels active. Height channels are often used to enhance that spacious open government office feel, but when big action hits like a meteor shower, rain, or other big surround setpiece comes in, the heights get to enjoy plenty of pin-point activity. Explosions and low-tone music cues kick in some nice LFE. Perhaps not the greatest Atmos tracks, but far from the worst Disney Atmous offenders.

Special Features

Ranking:

While not the largest selection ever assembled, the bonus features on Loki are at least worth checking out. The real meat is found in the Assembled: The Making of Loki documentary. Clocking in at just over an hour, it gives a nice big look at the production of the series. The other materials are interesting but a bit more fluffy and frivolous. 

Disc One

  • Designing the TVA (HD 5:43)
  • The Official TVA Orientation Video (HD 1:46)
  • Gag Reel (HD 1:21)
  • Deleted Scenes (HD 4:59 Total)
    • Loki’s Coronation
    • The Standoff

Disc Two

  • Assembled: The Making of Loki (HD 1:03:01)

As I eagerly await the arrival of Loki Season Two, I’m glad I get to revisit Season One on disc. I’d just about given up on Disney ever getting around to or feeling the need to release their shows on disc. And here we are, Loki gets to meddle with the 4K UHD timeline with a pretty damn terrific two-disc 4K UHD SteelBook release. Impressive HDR10 video. Impressive Atmos Audio. A fine selection of bonus features. Really my only complaint is the fact each episode doesn’t have chapter stops, but that’s a relatively little thing to fret over. Hopefully, this is the start of more great things to come to disc from Disney+. Highly Recommended