Black Panther – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Black Panther - SDCC 2017 Poster

Not only did Black Panther become the highest grossing Marvel film ever but it became the highest grossing superhero film ever. It’s thanks in large part to the incredible story, visionaries, and cast that Marvel has put together. It’s basically a perfect blend of marvelous creative forces.

With Black Panther, Ryan Coogler put together the deepest Marvel film to date. The storyline may be simple but there is an important message that’s told here. In today’s turbulent political climate, Black Panther poses a very interesting question. If you have the technology to help others, would you help them or let them suffer? It’s a thought-provoking question that puts this above any other superhero film.

Not only does it executes its message but it executes it in such a cool and stylistic way. The James Bond aspect of the film adds to the T’Challa’s “cool” factor. Basically, he’s a king, a superhero, and James Bond. There’s nothing cooler than that.

But what makes Black Panther so great is its awesome cast. Essentially, every cast member has the gravitas to command the screen and this gravitas lends itself to the regality of the film. But the most surprising performance comes from Michael B. Jordan. It’s clear that the lackluster response to his last superhero film has not deterred him from giving a terrific performance in Black Panther. He gives Killmonger a swagger and anguish that audiences can relate to. He’s a sympathetic villain; which is the best kind of villain in films.

Equally impressive is both Winston Duke and Letitia Wright. It’s clear that both actors are the biggest standouts in the film. Their comedic timing and delivery are superb and spot on. But for Wright, she isn’t just the comic relief because she shows a lot of emotions as well. It also helps that she has great brother and sister relationship with Chadwick Boseman. It really feels as if they’re real-life siblings.

Speaking of Boseman, he did an impeccable job as T’Challa. Marvel Studios has a great track record for casting their primary heroes and Boseman continues that trend. As previously said, Boseman has the gravitas and regality to play this character. Not to mention, he’s charming enough for audiences to relate themselves to.

Danai Gurira is a complete bad ass as Okoye. We’ve seen this before on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” but she’s on a whole new level here. Much like Jordan, she brings a swagger to the role as well. She knows she’s a bad ass and is not afraid to show it. As for Lupita Nyong’o, she brings an exquisite performance as Nakia. Nyong’o brings a wide array of emotions to her role.

Unfortunately, some of the other actors don’t feature much in the film. Despite their short screen time, Andy Serkis, Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman, and Forest Whitaker have done well in their roles.

Overall, Black Panther is one of the best superhero solo films ever. It has a great mix of humor, action, coolness, and drama. Essentially, it pretty much ranks up there with Richard Donner’s Superman, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, and the Russos’ Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Those are some classics and Black Panther definitely deserves to be put that high on the list.

Movie Rating: 5/5 atoms

Video
Black Panther - Michael B. Jordan and Chadwick Boseman
Black Panther hits 4K Ultra HD with a Dolby Vision/HDR10 4K transfer and a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Because the source material is native 4K, the entire film looks amazing on Ultra HD. The film looks extraordinarily clean and void of noticeable grain. The details and edges are nice and crisp as well. With the HDR, the vivid colors seem to pop more in 4K than the regular 1080p Blu-ray. For such a colorful film, this is an important facet. However, the black levels are darker than one might expect with HDR. Really dark scenes, such as the Nigeria scene, loses a lot of shadow detail. Be that as it may, the contrast and brightness is spot on. It’s bright and complements the dark shadows well. Overall, this is a great video presentation.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Audio
Black Panther - Winston Duke
Black Panther hits 4K Ultra HD with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD track. The review will reflect Black Panther‘s core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD track. As much as the video pops off the screen, the audio doesn’t pop as much. The audio is quieter than other Ultra HD releases. Not to mention, the audio presentation isn’t as playful or immersive either. Primarily, the atmospheric effects and music are relegated to the front three channels. Nevertheless, there are atmospheric effects to be found in the film. They’re not as frequent as one might expect.

Despite this disappointment, the subwoofer gets a ton of action here. Moreso than other Ultra HD releases. Also, the audio clarity is stupendous as well. The voices, music, and sound effects can clearly be heard without one overpowering the other. Although there isn’t much immersion, this is still a nice audio presentation.

Audio Rating: 4/5 atoms

Special Features
Black Panther - Danai Gurira
Black Panther‘s 4K Ultra HD disc doesn’t have any special features on it. However, you can find the following special features on the Blu-ray:

  • From Page to Screen: A Roundtable Discussion
  • Crowning of a New King
  • The Warriors Within
  • The Hidden Kingdom Revealed
  • Wakanda Revealed: Exploring the Technology
  • Deleted Scenes
    • U.N. Meet and Greet
    • Okoye And W’Kabi Discuss the Future of Wakanda
    • T’Challa Remembers His Father
    • Voices from the Past
  • Gag Reel
  • Exclusive Sneak Peek at Ant-Man and The Wasp
  • Marvel Studios the First Ten Years: Connecting the Universe

As much as this will disappoint fans, the special features for Black Panther are a little lackluster. Easily, the best feature on the disc is “From Page to Screen.” The roundtable discussion covers a wide array of topics told by those who had a major influence on the character. Of course, fans will love to see a sneak peek at Marvel Studios’ next film, Ant-Man and the Wasp. The sneak peek has lots of new footage and interviews from the cast. Unfortunately, if you’ve seen a sneak preview of the gag reel that was released then you’ve seen 80% of the gag reel. The best bits were released there.

If you’ve been following the MCU religiously then “Connecting the Universe” is a waste of time for you. The feature shows you the various connections throughout the MCU. Thus, if you’ve been watching all of the films then you already know the connections. However, if you need a refresher then this is for you. As for the deleted scenes, only half of the scenes were good. You can understand why they cut it but the “Okoye and W’Kabi” and “Remembers His Father” scenes are a nice watch. Finally, the featurettes are just your standard behind-the-scenes featurettes. So choose a topic you want to watch and enjoy.

Special Features Rating: 3.5/5 atoms


Overall, Black Panther is an extraordinary superhero film that transcends the genre. It has everything that you would want in a film. The video presentation is magnificent despite the issues with the black levels. Sadly, the audio presentation isn’t as immersive as one would hope. Yet the audio presentation is still pretty good. The special features are a bit underwhelming but they’ll still satisfy your need for special features.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment.

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1309 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.