The DC Extended Universe may have had a mixed history in regards to the critical reception to its numerous films, but James Wan's underwater epic Aquaman has been widely considered to be a home run for the DCEU as the franchise turns to a new direction focusing on the standalone outings for their beloved roster of heroes. Now, Aquaman will finally be available to own on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday March 26.
This review will focus on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of the film, tackling its picture quality, surround sound and bonus features to see if this is worth adding to your collection.
The visual presentation for Aquaman on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray is showcased through 2160p Ultra High Definition Variable 2.4:1 & 1.78:1. Given that the film is one of the most visually pleasing and colorful comic book films in recent memory, the stunning cinematography both on land and sea is something to behold.
The colors particularly stand out through each action sequence that takes place underwater as well as the incredible chase sequence in Sicily where Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) and Mera (Amber Heard) are on the run from Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and his team.
But what makes this visual presentation of Aquaman stand out from the pack is that the IMAX aspect ratio was preserved for this release. This is similar to previous Warner Bros. Blu-ray releases such as Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises so viewers can have a semblance of what the big screen IMAX experience was like at the comfort of their own home.
Overall, the visual presentation of Aquaman is truly demo-worthy for those wanting to show their friends the visual capabilities of their 4K TV or to even have some exciting visuals to play in the background. In particular, the Trench Sequence is one that demands to be replayed again and again.
On top of being a visual splendor both on the big and small screens, Aquaman is filled with incredible sound design that rocked audiences when it dominated the box office during the holiday season and will continue to rock viewers at home. Presented through Dolby Atmos-TrueHD, the sound is particularly prominent whenever the numerous transitionary explosions are showcased.
Every splash of water, every clanging of swords and of course, every explosion immerses home viewers into Wan's Atlantis. The underrated score by Rupert Gregson-Williams is also showcased powerfully through the surround sound presentation that helps compliment the stunning visuals on display.
Both the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and regular Blu-ray release of Aquaman is equipped with over an hour of bonus features that will give fans an epic behind-the-scenes look at how Wan and company brought this epic Atlantean story to life. Although the lack of a director commentary is disappointing, it is still exciting to see how Wan brings his unique directorial vision and craft to the DCEU. These bonus features give fans a look at how Wan collaborates with his cast and crew and even gives viewers an opportunity to look into the history of the King of Atlantis as well as his archnemesis Black Manta among others.
The bonus features include the following:
- Becoming Aquaman: Jason Momoa provides rare insight at what it means to be number one on the call sheet. Watch him become the King of the Seven Seas through rollicking behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive interviews shot before, during and after filming the movie.
- Going Deep Into the World of Aquaman: Get a unique, revealing look at the creation of all facets of the movie leading up to the unveiling of Aquaman to the world. Experience the hard work required to create a world that has never been seen before through exclusive access to the cast and crew.
- James Wan: World Builder: James Wan has created one of DC's most ambitious films. With his help, we'll take a deeper look at the inherent challenges and solutions James faced in order to bring a new world to life.
- The Dark Depths of Black Manta: Aquaman star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II hosts an insightful look into the comic book history and film debut of Arthur Curry's deadliest foe.
- Heroines of Atlantis: Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (Atlanna) and rising star Amber Heard (Mera) discuss making their way in an action-packed, epic film that hinges on the impact of the two most important women in Arthur Curry's life.
- Villainous Training: Patrick Wilson (Orm) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Black Manta) unveil a first-hand look at what it's like to face off against Jason Momoa and the training that goes into it.
- A Match Made in Atlantis: Jason Momoa and Amber Heard's on- and off-screen chemistry is captured in this fun conversation about how their underwater romance developed and their surface friendship blossomed, illustrated with behind-the-scenes footage and bloopers.
- Atlantis Warefare: Aquaman redefines underwater excitement! The visual effects and stunt department provide a breakdown of the epic finale.
- Creating Undersea Creatures: The undersea world of Aquaman has a galaxy of creatures that populates the Kingdoms of the Seven Seas and regions beyond. Teams of creative artists uncover the creation and inspiration for the memorable, and often terrifying, denizens of the deep!
- Aqua-Tech: Filmmaking has always had a close relationship with innovation and technology and how it aids in the storytelling. Follow director James Wan as he uses both original and classic filmmaking tools to help push the boundaries and tell his story!
- Scene Study Breakdown: Detailed examinations of the most exciting sequences from Aquaman!
- Kingdom of the Seven Seas: King Nereus himself, Dolph Lundgren, hosts this tour of Atlantis following the earthquake that sank the kingdom and broke it into pieces, resulting in seven distinct and dangerous undersea regions.
- Shazam! Sneak Peek
Of all the DCEU 4K Blu-rays to be released thus far, Aquaman is certainly the most stunning release yet. When it made a splash in cinemas worldwide, the film proved to be the most visually stunning DCEU movie thus far, and the fact that it missed consideration for Best Visual Effects at the Academy Awards is an utter shame.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment did not disappoint with this release. In fact, the IMAX aspect ratio being preserved with this 4K Blu-ray is reason enough to add Aquaman to your collection. As far as the full home video package goes, this is as good as it gets.
Aquaman is now available to own on Digital HD. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, regular Blu-ray and DVD will hit stores on Tuesday, March 26.