Push - 4K Ultra HD Blu-rayOverview -
Lionsgate is definitely releasing some very strange catalog titles these days. Now they have released Push, which I imagine is to coincide with the release of Infinity War, since Chris Evans is in both films. Other than that, I guess it was just time to release it in the new format. Push had a good setup and premise; it's a darker and more realistic take on a group of people with superpowers, much like the X-Men. While there is much to like, and despite the great cast, the story is convoluted and jumbled. The new Dolby Atmos track is demo-worthy for sure and the Dolby Vision 4K UHD image is slightly better than the Blu-ray. The original extras are transferred over along with one new extra that is too short to be enjoyable or informative. For Fans Only.
The Division, a shadowy government agency, is genetically transforming citizens into an army of psychic warriors--and brutally disposing of those unwilling to participate. Nick Gant, a second-generation telekinetic or "mover," has been in hiding since the Division murdered his father more than a decade earlier. He has found sanctuary in densely populated Hong Kong--the last safe place on earth for fugitive psychics like him--but only if he can keep his gift a secret. Nick is forced out of hiding when Cassie Holmes, a 13-year-old clairvoyant or "watcher," seeks his help in finding Kira, an escaped "pusher" who may hold the key to ending the Division's program. Pushers possess the most dangerous of all psychic powers: the ability to influence others' actions by implanting thoughts in their minds. But Cassie's presence soon attracts the attention of the Division's human bloodhounds, forcing Nick and Cassie to flee for their lives. But they find themselves square in the crosshairs of Division Agent Henry Carver, a pusher who will stop at nothing to keep them from achieving their goal.
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
Shortly after the two Fantastic Four films, but before Captain America, Chris Evans found himself smack dab in the middle of a mid-level superhero film called Push. It's a much more realistic approach to the superhero film, in an X-Files sort of way, and includes a supernatural element. I applaud the filmmakers for this, however, the film never really finds its own footing and goes off on too many tangents.
Taking its cues from X-Men, this story follows a group of humans with genetic mutations. They can move things with their minds, hide people in plain sight, read and erase minds, and so much more. Of course, there is a government agency out to destroy these mutants, led by a guy named Agent Carver. This is where one of our mutants, played by Chris Evans, tries to track down other mutants to save their lives, all set under the Hong Kong skyline. It's a fascinating setup, but it wasn't executed with any sort of originality. Everything is rote and vague, with a ton of love triangles and cat-n-mouse chases. This sort of thing can only go so far.
The cast though is quite good, including Evans, Dakota Fanning, Corey Stoll, and Djimon Hounsou, three of whom are now in the MCU. Evans brings a certain charm and wit to his role that makes this trip down memory lane worth watching again, although I'd be lying if I said I didn't roll my eyes once or twice throughout. Push still has some good thoughts and moments, but it fails to capitalize on something layered or original, which was its ultimate downfall.
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Push comes with a dual-layered UHD66 Disc and a Blu-ray Disc. There is an insert for a Digital copy too. The discs are housed in a hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve.
Push comes to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with Dolby Vision and HDR10 HDR grading. Shot on 35mm and 16mm, this new HEVC encoded 2160p transfer, framed in a 2.39:1 aspect ratio, comes from a 2K DI.
There is a decent upgrade in terms of detail. Actors' facial features are clearer, revealing hairs, pores, and practical makeup effects. Even wider shots on tile floors, or outside in the city, look incredibly detailed with zero softness. However, it's not a giant upgrade over the Blu-ray. A ton of filters, grain, and visual details were added, giving the film a grindhouse-like quality at times. Certain scenes look more grainy than others, and other sequences seem to have scratches and warps to keep with the tone of the movie. I believe all of this was intentional and not a product of the actual transfer.
Dolby Vision adds a ton to the image. Bright neon lights are bold and striking in every scene, along with some of the earthier colors that show up outside. There are varying shades of primary colors that accentuate every tone perfectly with the Dolby Vision adding some more dynamic contrasts in filtered lighting. Black levels are mostly deep and inky and the skin tones are natural. There was some video noise in several scenes, but I think this was intentional to give the image that weathered look. After almost ten years, this movie still looks very good.
Push boasts new, dare I say, demo-worthy Dolby Atmos mix, which utilizes a ton of sound effects on every speaker. It's loud, well-balanced, and has great directionality. When the mutants use their powers, the different sound effects are all top notch and robust, flowing smoothly from speaker to speaker and fully immersing the audience in this strange world. Other audio elements, like gunshots and explosions, pack a punch too.
The height speakers add to the soundscape, with the debris and mutant power sound enveloping the audience. The busy, Hong Kong city life also adds to the excellent ambient noise in the background with vehicles passing by and tons of people talking and shouting. The score always adds to the intense situations and thrilling action sequences without drowning out any dialogue. Speaking of the dialogue, every line is clear and easy to follow, and free of any pops, cracks, and hiss. Lastly, the bass is powerful and full at all times, and never hits rocky patches. This audio mix that should be on your radar.
The previous bonus features were transported over, along with one new, very short extra, which isn't all that informative or fun.
Push: Breaking Down the 9 Types of Psychics (HD, 2 Mins.) - A new quick synopsis of the different types of powers in the movie.
Audio Commentary - This is the old commentary track from the 2009 release with director Paul McGuigan and actors Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning. The three talk about making the film, while Paul tends to stick with technical aspects and tone, while Chris and Dakota have a jolly good time with anecdotes and laughter.
Behind the Fiction (HD, 10 Mins.) - McGuigan talks about all of the powers in the film, while a retired US military Colonel talks about real life situations where this might be used.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 4 Mins.) - There are four deleted scenes that offer no real value to the final product with optional director commentary.
Push is an odd film, one that came after Fantastic Four, but before Captain America. Chris Evans surely shines, with his wit and charm, and there's a lot to like about Push, with its different visual style and realistic take on an X-Men-like world. The problem is that it just gets lost in the side plots and tangents to be fully effective.
This new 4K UHD release has a slight improvement on visuals, but the new Dolby Atmos track is definitely demo-worthy. There is even a new bonus feature, although it's not a good one. For Fans of the film for sure.
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