Monday, September 19, 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
The Heroes in a half-shell are back as their latest adventure releases on September 20, 2016. The film is available in Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack or Blu-ray 3D combo pack. Two weeks earlier, the film debuted on Digital HD. Raphael, Donatello, Leonardo and Michelangelo are back and can be seen in 4K Ultra with a high dynamic range, meaning brighter, deeper and more lifelike colors.

Film (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The turtles venture out to watch the Knick’s game. Even though they saved the city, they must stay in hiding, watching the game from inside the jumbotron. All the credit for defeating Shredder (Brian Tee) went to cameraman Vern “The Falcon” (Will Arnett) and he’s loving it. Friend of the turtles, Reporter April O’Neil (Megan Fox), suspects Dr. Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) of working with Shredder. Shredder has been captured and shouldn’t be a problem but an upcoming prisoner transfer gives him the opportunity for freedom.

Officer Casey Jones (Stephen Amell) is overseeing Shredder’s transfer and the turtles hit the tricked out van to ensure that the madman is not released. In his transport are two other criminals named Bebop and Rocksteady. The ambush is well planned but the turtles are well equipped. Their problems seem big as Shredder slips through their turtle fingers but an even bigger threat named Krang will soon be introduced. Krang is a gooey tentacle creature with a teleportation device. When it hit Earth’s atmosphere, Krang’s arc capacitor broke up into three pieces. Krang directs Shredder to retrieve the pieces so that he can send his army to conquer the planet. All Shredder asks in return is assistance defeating the turtles. At the same time, Baxter Stockman has been perfecting an ooze that could transform people. Shredder’s fellow convicts Bebop and Rocksteady find themselves converted into a warthog and rhinoceros. The same ooze has the potential to transform the turtles into humans – but is that what they want?

The first film had some harsh reviews but I enjoyed it much more than this one. I was able to accept the idea of turtles hiding in the sewers, ready to save the city when danger called. Megan Fox’s overly sexy April O’Neil was part of that package I’d come to accept and Will Arnett provided much needed levity. In this film, there is far too much happening. The plot is pretty ridiculous and the character Krang took the action to a ludicrous level. The filmmakers put too many unbelievable effects into play as they tried to make this a living comic book. Everything about this film is over the top. Tyler Perry’s performance more so than the human-animal transformations or even the alien in the stomach of a robot. I realize that I’m not the target audience, but this film missed the mark for me. It’s rated PG-13 (for sci-fi action violence) but I had no issues letting my 8 year old watch the film. There is so much going on visually that he is the right age to be impressed by what he sees regardless of the story. Young fans of the first film probably won’t be disappointed in Out of the Shadows.
Video (5 out of 5 stars)
Regardless of how I felt about the story, I must admit the film is absolutely flawless in 4K Ultra HD. Clarity and fine detail are on point. Digital and real life effects blend well and the dark city streets of New York come to life. You won’t just notice accurate skin tones, but scars, facial hair, blemishes and more. The wear and tear on the turtle headbands is only one instance where fabric realism is worth taking note.
Audio (5 out of 5 stars)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is presented in 4K Ultra HD with an English Dolby Atmos soundtrack. The film is well mixed and evenly balanced with full saturation throughout. The Knicks game announcer sounds appropriately hollow making your living room sound like you’ve got floor seats. There are an abundance of explosions, fighting and car chases to make you feel the base in your sound system.
Extras (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The Blu-ray included with the 4K Ultra HD version of the film contains the following supplemental features:
  • We Are Family – Get to know the motion capture actors that play the turtle and have become a family after working together for so long. A discussion of the heavier themes and choices to be made in this film follows.
  • Whoa! Expanding the Turtleverse – A look at the newcomers like Bebop and Rocksteady as well as Casey Jones and many other new faces.
  • House Party – The immense, redesigned turtle lair is explored. The photo real environment has many small details the audience will probably never even notice but that makes for better performance from the actors.
  • It’s Tricky Inside the Van – A close up look at the buttons, dials, and soda machine that can be found inside the van. The van even has its own nunchuks.
  • ILM – The Effects Beneath the Shell – This featurette focuses on the way the turtles and the biggest action sequences are brought to life with a look at the animation in all forms.
  • Did You Catch That? Turtle Eggs – A look at easter eggs which originated from comics, previous shows/movies and even cast and crew.
  • Deleted Scenes – Available with play all function are “Promotion”, “Career Opportunities” and “Kiss Me”
Summary (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out of the Shadows is the high intensity sequel to the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. I don’t count myself as a huge turtle fan, and a woman in her late thirties is certainly not the prime demographic. The story was too cluttered and the details too unbelievable for me. However, it may be on point for a younger crowd. The 4K Ultra HD version of the film is visually stunning with near perfect audio to complement. The bonus features were more interesting than the film, and I enjoyed seeing all the details and small touches added to the sewer that the turtles call home. While I’m not necessarily recommending the film, I won’t wave anyone off from giving it a chance. There’s a chance I could grow to appreciate it more with repeat viewings and tapered expectations.

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