Kick-Ass 4K Blu-ray
By Chris Heinonen on
Dave Lizewski (Taylor-Johnson) is an ordinary teenager who goes unnoticed in high school until he takes a chance to “do something” and dons a mask and becomes “Kick-Ass” to fight real-life crime. Bruised and beaten and without any real super powers, he is saved by a father-daughter duo (Cage as “Big Daddy,” Moretz as “Hit-Girl”) who know all the right moves and have a vendetta against a vicious crime lord, D’Amico (Mark Strong). After a fiery internet storm of publicity for Kick-Ass, D’Amico wants to meet the masked man, and his son (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) dons a costume of his own and becomes “Red Mist” to befriend him and get in his father’s good graces. The story comes to a head when D’Amico succeeds in luring the crime fighters to his home and ass-kicking destruction ensues.
Kick-Ass is a bit of an odd action film and one that I didn’t completely get into. It alternates between trying to be a sort-of Spider-Man but without any powers, and then having a little kid fill in as an action hero. Sometimes it comes together and works well, and sometimes it just doesn’t feel like it works. Many of my friends enjoy the film and are more excited for the disc, while I feel it’s OK but I’m not in a rush to ever watch it again.
Kick-Ass comes from a 35mm source and was originally given a 2K DI, though that might not be the source for this. It seems that Lionsgate has been scanning film prints of their titles at 4K, even though they are originally sourced from a 2K DI, which accounts for the presence of a hair on a frame around 51 minutes in. The box has the HDR sticker on the front, but if it is used it is done so sparingly. Fires, explosions, and headlights are not made brighter, and shots of the city skyline at night are also dull and flat. There isn’t the noise associated with film grain and HDR here, but there also seems to be almost no HDR.
Detail is OK at times, but often it looks as though it’s been scrubbed out and left missing both detail and grain. Faces are plain and boring, and the overall image does not impress. Maybe going back to the 2K DI would allow for some actual HDR to be used, but as it is Kick-Ass looks very flat and boring for much of the film. It certainly doesn’t show off what your TV can do. There is a Dolby Vision layer and we will look at that once Sony adds Dolby Vision support to their A1E OLEDs.
The soundtrack is much better, using Dolby Atmos to a decent degree. It isn’t as dynamic or exciting as some recent titles but it is well done.
- “A New Kind of Superhero: The Making of Kick-Ass” 4-Part Documentary
- “It’s On! The Comic Book Origin of Kick-Ass” Featurette
- Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Matthew Vaughn
- Marketing Archive
Sony A1E OLED, Sony UBP-X800 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, Oppo UDP-203 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver, Power Sound Audio XS30se Subwoofer.
OK film, improved Dolby Atmos soundtrack, Dolby Vision layer.
4K disc apparently from a film scan and not the 2K DI so HDR is mostly absent and the film looks fairly flat.
For a recent film with a DI available they could go to for improved HDR and color, it seems Lionsgate did not and the look of Kick-Ass suffers because of it. The image is flat but the soundtrack is great.