DEADPOOL TWO

Can the se­quel keep up the qual­ity? Dude!

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Irarely go to movies at the cinema. A movie on Blu-ray, and bet­ter still UHD Blu-ray, looks bet­ter and sounds bet­ter on my home theatre sys­tem. Yes, the screen is big­ger at the cinema, but it isn’t size that counts. It’s an­gle of view. The 65-inch LG OLED on which I watched this movie oc­cu­pies a much big­ger chunk of my field of view than the cinema screen does in most vi­able view­ing po­si­tions. (Yes, you can move closer to the screen to in­crease its size, but then you’re lower and the screen starts to as­sume a trape­zoid shape.)

Con­trast ra­tio? It’s a rare cinema that can man­age more than about 2000:1 (my es­ti­ma­tion, us­ing home pro­jec­tor-style fig­ures). Sound? Pretty good in the cinema still, but don’t ex­pect to get much bass be­low 30 hertz. Cinema sub­woofers are de­signed to bot­tom out there. There’s al­ready too much leak­age of bass from one cinema to the next. And in the cinema there are other peo­ple. Most of them are well be­haved, but some­times...

If I may adopt a cur­rent id­iom and break the fourth wall, you’ll see that I’m merely em­pha­sis­ing how un­usual it was for me to drag my weary bones off to see Deadpool 2 at the pic­tures. It was one of the very few movies I just had to see as soon as pos­si­ble. And it was as fun as the first, which is quite the feat.

My only re­gret is that I just don’t know enough about the comic book su­per­hero uni­verses to get all the jokes.

Although I did get plenty. Deadpool is the fa­mously in­sou­ciant, light­hearted, foul-mouthed hero/anti-hero/hero of the X-Men sec­tion of the Marvel uni­verse. This movie was made when X-Men was with 20th Cen­tury Fox and the rest of Marvel was with Dis­ney. With Dis­ney ac­quir­ing Fox, that’s about to change. We may yet see the two redspan­dexed su­per-heroes meet.

The movie starts with a truly shock­ing move. You’ll re­call the amus­ing open­ing cred­its from the first movie. When the open­ing cred­its to this one fi­nally be­gin to roll, around fif­teen min­utes in, they start with ‘A Film By: Wait A Minute!’, fol­lowed by ‘Pro­duced by: Did You Just [Spoiler, so I won’t com­plete it]?’ I won’t try to de­scribe the rest, other than men­tion that it’s gen­er­ally in glo­ri­ously poor taste, and that in­cludes play­ing on the Sharon Stone Ba­sic In­stinct call­back with a twisted trowel.

And of course there’s the fourth wall. As Deadpool him­self ex­plains to the young Ju­lian Den­ni­son (Hunt for the Wilder­peo­ple), “They keep a mon­ster in the base­ment, right next to a huge steam­ing pile of fore­shad­ow­ing.” Fi­nally, look out for un­ex­pected ap­pear­ances, in­clud­ing Brad Pitt and Matt Da­mon. Se­ri­ously.

Ini­tially I thought the main menu screen might be prob­lem­atic for any­one with a TV li­able to burn-in. That’s be­cause the un­der­ly­ing loop video is pre­sented in a rough, near-VHS-qual­ity 4:3 as­pect ra­tio. Just the kind of cute thing you ex­pect

on a Deadpool disc. But it turns out that that’s only for the first loop. For sub­se­quent ones it opens out to the full screen. The movie it­self is pre­sented let­ter­boxed to 2.39:1. The video for­mat is HEVC with BT.2020 colour and HDR10.

The pic­ture is pretty much per­fect, as you’d ex­pect from a 2018 movie. Rather to my sur­prise, it’s shot on a mix­ture of 35mm film and 3.4K dig­i­tal. Which bits are which? How can you tell? The dig­i­tal in­ter­me­di­ate was 2K, so I guess that the fight be­tween Jug­ger­naut and Colos­sus (“Big CGI fight com­ing up!” says Deadpool) was also ren­dered at 2K. That would im­ply that the UHD isn’t go­ing to de­liver much more res­o­lu­tion-type de­tail than the reg­u­lar Blu-ray. But it looked both smooth and sharp to my eye, and Morena Bac­carin’s hair in a scene to­wards the end was beau­ti­fully de­tailed and realistic.

Ac­cord­ing to the bi­trate dis­play on my UHD Blu-ray player, the disc seemed to av­er­age around 55Mbps, although it dipped down to the low 30s on scenes with lit­tle move­ment, and peaked up in the high 90s on some.

The sound is de­liv­ered in Dolby At­mos, based on Dolby TrueHD. The bass is lim­it­less it seems. There’s plenty go­ing all around. It does what it’s sup­posed to. I sus­pect there are sev­eral ver­sions of the Ul­traHD disc since it is de­liv­ered with only English, Span­ish and French (Dolby Dig­i­tal for the lat­ter two) lan­guages. That would seem to be the North Amer­i­can ver­sion.

There’s only one real prob­lem — the ver­sion sent to me was the stand­alone UHD disc, with no Blu-ray disc. And the stan­dard Blu-ray disc has the Su­per Dooper Cut, which adds 15 min­utes, not to men­tion a bunch of ex­tras. The only ex­tra on the Ul­traHD disc is a very in­for­ma­tive and rather amus­ing com­men­tary, fea­tur­ing Ryan Reynolds, David Leitch and the two writ­ers. Looks like I’m go­ing to have to buy the Blu-ray...

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