The best 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays to show off your home theater - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

The best 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays to show off your home theater

By Ryan Waniata


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Star Wars The Last Jedi Review

When 4K initially burst on the home theater scene, there existed very little4K-capable content for early adopters to enjoy. Fast-forward a couple of years and not only are 4K-ready TV sets the new normal, but High Dynamic Range (HDR) has entered the picture to provide stunning contrast and color shading and showcase a rushing river of new content. Now, instead of picking and choosing which films aremust-sees in theaters, 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays offer movie fanatics the ability to experience incredible picture and sound quality from the comfort of their own home.

To help anyone looking to build a respectable 4K Ultra HD library, we’ve sifted through the Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog to find thebest of the bunch. Keep in mind, available content continues to grow every month and we’ll be updating this list with the highest-quality Blu-rays as they arrive.

So sit back, pop some corn, slap a disc in the Blu-ray player, and prepare to be blown away by an ultra-sharp picture, brilliant colors, and surround sound so real you’ll swear you’re inside the movie.

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

With The Last Jedi, director Rian Johnson could have sat back and coasted on the success of its predecessor. Instead, he made a few bold decisions while also paying homage to Star Wars fan favorite The Empire Strikes Back. Thanks to the impressive cinematography of Steve Yedlin, this film is even more visually interesting than The Force Awakens, and this makes the film’s spectacular action sequences even more impressive to watch.

The sheer amount of eye candy in this movie is reason enough to bring it home to show off your TV and surround sound system. The UHD Blu-ray packs Dolby Vision HDR in addition to the 4K resolution, with impressive contrast and brightness that may have you starting to turn away, depending on how bright your TV gets. The audio is a treat as well, with Dolby Atmos adding a dimension of height to the sounds, making the movie’s grander moments stand out even more.

CodecResolutionHDR formatsAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
HEVC/H.2654KDolby Vision2.39:12.39:1Dolby Atmos; Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); Dolby Digital Plus 7.1

Available from:

Amazon

‘Black Panther’

Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has been a media juggernaut for some time now, but the sheer amount of movies to keep up with has left even some hardcore fans feeling fatigued. Despite or perhaps because of that, Black Panther was both a breath of fresh air and a reminder of why fans fell in love with this universe in the first place. Helmed by Creed director Ryan Coogler, Black Panther combines fast-paced action with striking effects, making it a visual treat.

With Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10, the UHD Blu-ray brings the same stunning picture from movie theaters to your home theater with very little lost in translation. The same goes for the audio side, with Dolby Atmos object-based surround providing spatial cues that make you feel like you might just really be in the film’s fictional nation of Wakanda.

CodecResolutionHDR formatsAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
HEVC/H.2654KDolby Vision; HDR102.39:12.39:1Dolby Atmos; Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); Dolby Digital Plus 7.1

Available from:

Amazon

‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’

This sequel had a tough act to follow in the original Pacific Rim, and while it may not have had the same heart as the original, it ramped up the spectacle to 11. Directed by Steven S. DeKnight, who was previously best known for his stint as showrunner on Netflix’s Daredevil, the film throws nearly nonstop action at you, ensuring that your sound system is going to get as much of a workout as your shiny new TV while giant robots slug it out with the film’s invading kaiju.

The Ultra HD Blu-ray offers both Dolby Vision and HDR10, so no matter what type of HDR TV you have, you will be able to watch the film as it’s meant to be seen, with tremendous contrast and gorgeous color, which benefits the overall lighter tone of the sequel. Dolby Atmos promises that the film’s audio will have you as immersed in the film as its Jaeger pilots are in their enormous, monster-mashing robots.

CodecResolutionHDR formatsAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
HEVC/H.2654KDolby Vision; HDR102.40:12.39:1Dolby Atmos; Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Available from:

Amazon

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’

guardians vol 2 4k 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays

After the highly successful debut of Marvel’s cosmic hero team, hopes for the sequel were equally high. Thankfully, director James Gunn delivered an excellent follow-up withGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.The sequel expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into new realms, introducing audiences to Ego, The Living Planet — one of the strangest entities within the greater Marvel canon — who just so happens to also be the father of one Peter Quill (aka, Star-Lord).

Like the first film,Vol.2is full of bright, colorful imagery. Whether it’s the meticulously detailed practical effects like Drax’s scarred skin and the numerous ornate costumes of the film’s many alien creatures, or the verdant CGI vistas of the planet Ego, there will be something to show off your TV’s 4K and HDR capabilities in every scene. In fact, Blu-ray.com’s reviewer regards the Atmos track as a perfect reference choice.

CodecResolutionHDR formatsAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
HEVC/H.2654KHDR102.39:12.39:1Dolby Atmos; Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); Dolby Digital Plus 7.1

Available from:

Amazon

‘The Revenant’

Alejandro Irritu’s engrossing film is loosely based on the true story of Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), a frontiersman who in 1822 was left for dead by his fur-trapping company in the wilderness of the American Midwest. The film follows Glass inhis struggle for survival and his quest for vengeance against his betrayers. For his role as Glass, DiCaprio won his first Oscar for Best Actor after decades of nominations, but the film also earned awards for Best Direction and Best Cinematography.Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki’s iconic natural lighting and long, single-take shots add tension to each scene, while also giving an uninterrupted view ofbreathtaking landscapes. The Revenantis a great pick for those looking for a film that will satisfy anitch for a gripping story, good acting, and of course, a way to show off just the sort of brilliance a 4K HDR TV can offer.

CodecResolutionHDR formatsAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
HEVC/H.2654KHDR102.39:12.39:1DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1

Available from:

Amazon

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

MadMax4K1

Roughly 30 years after George Miller-directed Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,the veteran director returned to his dystopian roots with 2015’sMad Max: Fury Road. Taking fans on a thrill ride that can only be described as chaos incarnate, it’s hard to believe Miller’s time away from Max Rockatansky includes directorial efforts likeBabe 2: Pig in the City and the Happy Feet franchise. Despite his foray into the family sector, Fury Road proves he’s still got the chops to direct a wire-to-wire action flick that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. Concerning its 4K release, Fury Road is an absolute tour-de-force, with an excellent transfer that lets you remember why the filmnabbed Oscars for sound mixing, film editing, and costume design at the Academy Awards. Though the plot takes place in a drab, dystopianfuture, the movie’s visuals are anything but, featuring a number of striking scenes that need to be seen to be believed— over and over again.Mad Max: Fury Road on 4K isn’t just beautiful to look at, it also happens to be one damn good flick.

CodecResolutionHDR formatsAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
HEVC/H.2654KHDR102.40:12.39:1Dolby Atmos

Available from:

Amazon

‘Thor: Ragnarok’

best 4k ultra hd movies to show off your home theater thor ragnarok

When Disney/Marvel Studios handed relatively unknown director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows,Hunt for the Wilderpeople)$200 million and the keys to the Thor franchise, some scoffed. Yet, Waititi not only breathed new life into the franchise by tapping into Thor’s — and more directly, Chris Hemsworth’s — lighter side, he created a ’70s fusion spectacle of light, sound, and color not to be missed. Your eyes will burn in all the right ways as you gaze upon Waititi’s Flash Gordon-esque masterpiece of sights and sounds, while your belly shakes with unbridled laughter. And pay no attention to the “upscaled” portion in the resolution section — even though it was reportedly upscaled from a “2K digital intermediate,” it looks fantastic, and Dolby Atmos brings out all those warbling synths and sword-crossing battle scenes in all the right ways. If there’s any way to have more fun on movie night, we haven’t found it.

CodecResolutionHDR formatsAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
HEVC/H.265Upscaled 4KHDR102.39:12.39:1Dolby Atmos; Dolby TrueHD 7.1 ; Dolby Digital Plus 7.1

Available from:

Amazon

‘Blade Runner 2049’

best 4k ultra hd movies to show off your home theater blade runner 2049

In taking on the job of directing a sequel to one of the most prized, loved, and perhapsromanticized sci-fi films of all time, esteemed director Denis Villeneuve knew he’d be spending the better part of a year standing on the edge of a knife blade. Yet, somehow, what Villeneuve and his team created both shares the blood and bones of its predecessor and treads its own, new path. Like the original film, the story is slow, dark, and brooding, while the special effects are groundbreaking on a number of levels. From advanced techniques in CGIto good old-fashioned modeling, Villeneuve and his effects crew spared no expense (or labor) to create a breathtaking masterpiece of sci-fi that not only stacks up well against the originalbut also stands on its own. When flashed across the screen of a great home theater, with the addition of breathtakingly immersive Dolby Atmos, you won’t be able to turn away.

CodecResolutionHDR formatsAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
HEVC/H.2654KHDR102.40:12.39:1Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit)

Available from:

Amazon

‘John Wick: Chapter 2’

John Wick: Chapter 2 buildsupon the impeccably executedJohn Wick,taking us deeper into the underground world of hitmen. The movie wastes no time in getting right into the action — even quicker than the original. From there, it’s a near nonstop roller coaster of stylishly choreographed gun-fu, with enough heart to make for an emotionally satisfying plot.If you were a fan of the original, you’ll undoubtedly enjoyJohn Wick: Chapter 2,but it also provides the perfect way to show off your 4K UHD TV’s crisp display. The colors are especially brilliant, with bright neon lights burning against the dark blacks of the numerous night scenes.

The action also gets an appreciable upgrade when listening in Dolby Atmos. The positioning in the soundstage of gunshots, bullet ricochets, and the impact of punches create a believable and immersive sense of space, makingJohn Wick: Chapter 2 just about the best possible movie to get the most out of your Atmos speakers.

CodecResolutionHDR formatsAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
HEVC/H.2654KHDR102.40:12.39:1Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Dolby Digital 2.0

Available from:

Amazon

‘Kong: Skull Island’

There have been many King Kong adaptations, but Kong: Skull Islandincreases thefantastical aspects of the King Kong mythos. Not only is this action-packed journey into the world of Kong and his prehistoric kingdom visually stunning, it also is full of fun characters and moments of levity that set it apart from otherKing Kong films — and monster movies in general. The varied and accomplished cast includes Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, and John C. Reilly. It’s also one of the first films in Warner Bro’s new “MonsterVerse” cinematic universe alongside 2014’sGodzilla.

The film has a striking color palette that will benefit from your TV’s HDR support. There are also several memorable action scenes that will look excellent in 4K. Skull Islandalso makes excellent use of Atmos channels if you happen to also have an Atmos speaker setup.

CodecResolutionHDR formatsAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
HEVC/H.2654KHDR102.40:12.39:1Dolby Atmos, Dolby TueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1

Available from:

Amazon


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