Can the sequel keep up the quality? Dude!
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...