4k Movie, Streaming, Blu-Ray Disc, and Home Theater Product Reviews & News | High Def Digest
Film & TV All News Blu-Ray Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders 4K Ultra HD Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders Gear Reviews News Home Theater 101 Best Gear Film & TV
Ultra HD : Recommended
Ranking:
Sale Price: $28.99 Last Price: $39.98 Buy now! 3rd Party 23.38 In Stock
Release Date: June 11th, 2024 Movie Release Year: 2024

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Overview -

4K UHD Review by M. Enois Duarte
Pushing one's suspension of disbelief farther than its predecessors, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is essentially one absurdly bonkers action sequence after another, yet director Adam Wingard manages to make the outrageously wild visual extravaganza into satisfying popcorn escapism. The sequel demolishes home theaters on 4K Ultra HD with a reference-quality Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos presentation, joined by a healthy if also small collection of bonus features, making this UHD edition Recommended.
 

OVERALL:
Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Single-Disc UHD Edition, UHD-100 Triple-Layer Disc, Digital Copy
Video Resolution/Codec:
2160p HEVC/H.265, Dolby Vision HDR, HDR10
Length:
114
Aspect Ratio(s):
2.39:1
Audio Formats:
English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Engish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Spanish
Special Features:
Audio Commentary, Featurettes, Digital Copy
Release Date:
June 11th, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

When the itch for some purely mindless popcorn fun crawls up that hard to reach part of the back, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is the perfect back-scratcher to satisfy it. The latest gargantuan blockbuster is the sort of escapist spectacle that really tests one's suspension of disbelief, even when compared to the previous four entries of the Monsterverse franchise. But sadly, nothing can suddenly ruin that suspension and plummet us back to reality quicker than a flagrantly shameless product placement for Volkswagen. The bright cherry red vehicle just so happens to be sitting on the grass of a schoolyard near the playground — not even at the parking area — like the end of a commercial where the family is wrapping up their picnic. The plot even seems to take a brief break for a few frames so that the camera can linger on the car as Rebecca Hall and her adopted deaf daughter Jia (Kaylee Hottle) jump in.

Because it happens early into the movie, it would be a safe guess that director Adam Wingard satisfied some contractual obligation just to get it out of the way and focus the remainder of the time on the titanic pandemonium. Except, that illusion is broken a few more times, some of which are clearly for comedic effect, such as Brian Tyree Henry returning from the previous movie. And Tyree Henry is great as conspiracy podcaster Bernie, who is finally given the opportunity to visit King Kong's subterranean home known as Hollow Earth. But then there is Dan Stevens as Trapper, a thrill-seeking but laid-back veterinarian who dresses like a less-obnoxious version of Ace Ventura, which is a fact that a red-shirt character also had to comment on for another momentary beat. His eccentric near-fetishism for lesser-known '70s music has its charm, an amusing gag set up for laughter during the climactic battle. But his knight-in-shining-armor moment with an obligatory needle drop also feels rather contrived and toneless.

It's eye-rolling moments like these that will have some continue suspending disbelief, simply caught up in the rousing excitement and spectacle of it all. But others will be momentarily pulled out of the illusion, chuckling at the bonkers absurdity because the possibility is crassly convenient only in service for the moment rather than arising organically from the story. Although the previous movie established that Kong can communicate non-verbally, specifically by signing with Hottle's Jia, the filmmakers have taken it a step further with him communicating through body language and facial expressions that the audience can evidently understand. Granted, this helps when the King of the Beasts is comically asking Godzilla for his help to confront Skar King — only to have Mothra's high-pitch cry prove more effective, which was not the first time his skills had failed him. Earlier, Kong bravely but unsuccessfully faced the ruthless tyrannical ape monster that clearly modeled himself after King Louie of The Jungle Book and has enslaved a tribe of other ape-like creatures pushing . . . Boulders into rivers of lava without explanation?

There is a good amount of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire that doesn't make a lick of sense or is never fully explained, but the audience is nonetheless expected to just accept the almost cartoonish ridiculousness in favor of the movie’s diegesis. Disregard any suspicions that the filmmakers designed action sequences on the spot during the production because you know, explosions look cool. And shrug off those thoughts that it often seems as though they were writing the script as they were also shooting the entire movie. Glowing pyramid crystals from a hallucinogenic trip crashing into each other momentarily suspends gravity? But in spite of it all, the director of You're Next and The Guest does surprisingly well at making the Looney Tunes silliness tolerably entertaining. It's quite the talent being able to polish what otherwise would be a mecha-gigantic turd. 

Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment brings Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire to Ultra HD Blu-ray as a single-disc package with a Digital Copy code, unlocking the 4K UHD version in Dolby Vision HDR with Dolby Atmos audio. The triple-layered UHD100 disc sits comfortably inside a black eco-elite keepcase with a glossy slipcover. At startup, the UHD goes straight to a static menu screen with the usual options along the bottom and music playing in the background.

Video Review

Ranking:

The latest entry to the Monsterverse franchise debuts on Ultra HD with an exceptional, reference-quality HEVC H.265 encode, freshly struck from a 4K digital intermediate. Right from the start, a spot-on contrast balance delivers clean, brilliant whites, giving the action, monstrous explosions and Mothra's glow an intense luminosity. Likewise, specular highlights are crisp and radiant with a tight, narrow brilliance that allows for better detailing in the computer monitors, the picturesques scenes of clouds and sunsets, Godzilla's radioactive glow and the illuminated splendor of the Iwi tribe's crystal temples. 

Overall, the native 4K transfer shows razor-sharp definition and clarity throughout, including the many CG battle sequences, exposing every bead of sweat and water rolling down the casts' faces along with every scale, muscle tissue and battle scar of the monsters. Fine lines and stitching are amazingly distinct and striking while facial complexions have a natural peach-rosiness, revealing individual wrinkles, pores and the tiniest blemish with lifelike texturing. The heavily-stylized, orange-and-teal cinematography of Ben Seresin benefits most as this Dolby Vision HDR presentation continuously bathes the spectacle with a captivating parade of vividly sumptuous primaries and intensely animated secondary hues. All the while, black levels are incredibly rich and inky with outstanding gradational differences between the various shades, allowing for excellent visibility within the darkest, velvety shadows, providing the 2.39:1 image with a beautiful cinematic quality. (Dolby Vision HDR Video Rating: 96/100 or 5/5)

Audio Review

Ranking:

The colossal monsters demolish home theaters with a stellar, reference-quality Dolby Atmos soundtrack that immediately submerges viewers with scenes of Kong roaming Hollow Earth and remains consistent until the very end. 

Giant boulders zoom through the air and come crashing down at the other end of the room, flying creatures flawlessly pan above the listening area, and bits of debris from the carnage rains from above and all around. Other quieter sequences come with various subtle atmospherics to maintain an effective, highly-satisfying hemispheric soundfield. Meanwhile, the many dialogue-driven moments are never drowned out by the chaos, and the character interactions are always precise and crystal clear. Imaging continuously feels broad and sweeping with lots of background activity fluidly moving between the fronts and top heights, generating a splendidly broad and spacious half-dome soundstage. The mid-range exhibits distinct clarity and superb definition during the loudest, ear-deafening moments, making every screeching roar, radioactive breadth and tiny piece of rubble reverb through the room with extraordinary detail. The amazing object-based mix is finally topped off by an incredibly commanding and tremendously palpable low-end that sends couch-rattling shock waves throughout the room, supplying the visual mayhem with room-energizing weight that plummets into the lower depths at high decibels. (Dolby Atmos Audio Rating: 100/100 or 5/5)

Special Features

Ranking:

The UHD version comes with the same set of supplements as its Blu-ray counterpart.

  • Audio Commentary features director Adam Wingard chatting with visual effects supervisor Alessandro Ongaro, production designer Tom Hammock and editor Josh Schaeffer
  • The Battles Royale (HD, 17 min) is a trio of discussions on the VFX work but the focus is on the finale
    • A Fight Among the Pyramids 
    • The Zero Gravity Battle 
    • The Titans Trash Rio 
  • Evolution of the Titans (HD, 12 min) houses two brief discussions on the two monstrous titans
    • Godzilla Evolved 
    • Kong’s Journey: From Lonely God to King 
  • Into the Hollow Earth (HD, 12 min) takes a closer look at the VFX design of Kong's home and the creatures residing within
    • Visualizing Hollow Earth 
    • Monsters of Hollow Earth 
  • The Intrepid Director (HD, 8 min) looks at the director, his creative decisions and overall production
    • Big Kid 
    • Set Tour 
  • GxK: Day of Reckoning (HD, 6 min) is an EPK-like featurette on the production
  • The Monarch Island Base: Portal to Another World (HD, 6 min) takes viewers through a tour of designing and creating the set piece
  • The Evolution of Jia: From Orphan to Warrior (HD, 6 min) details the character's role in the sequel
  • The Imagination Department (HD, 4 min) focuses on the concept design work of the monsters
  • Bernie’s World: Behind the Triple Locked Door (HD, 3 min) is a tour of the character's apartment

Compared the previous entries in the series, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire pushes a viewer's suspension of disbelief farther than the others with one absurdly bonkers action sequence after another with little to almost no explanation of the complet lunacy. Yet, director Adam Wingard manages to make the outrageously wild plot about the legendary titan monsters joining forces against an even greater monstrous foe surprisingly entertaining, one that will satisfy that insatiable itch for purely popcorn escapism. The sequel demolishes home theaters on 4K Ultra HD with a stunning, reference-quality Dolby Vision HDR presentation and a stellar, demo-quality Dolby Atmos soundtrack, and they're joined by a healthy if also small collection of decently interesting bonus features. Overall, the UHD package comes Recommended
All disc reviews at High-Def Digest are completed using the best consumer HD home theater products currently on the market. More about the gear used for this review.

Order Your Copy of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 

  

Also Available...