King Arthur: Legend of the Sword UltraHD Blu-ray Review

Summary: When the child Arthur’s father is murdered, Vortigern (Jude Law), Arthur’s uncle, seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy…whether he likes it or not.

UltraHD Specs
Studio: Warner Brothers
Title: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Audio: Dolby Atmos
Negative Formats: ARRIRAW (3.4K)
Digital Intermediate: 2K
Peak Brightness: 4000 nits
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Length: 126 Minutes
Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou
Review Date: August 14, 2017
Price: $29.96

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Movie Review: From the opening scene until the end of the film, King Arthur is a brash, aggressively bad mess of a film. The opening sequence is a huge battle as you’d expect near the end of a film, only you’re tossed into it with no idea what is going on, no explanation, and it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

It only gets worse from there as Guy Ritchie tries to bring his usual dialogue and banter to medieval England, where it feels completely out of place. The story jumps around rapid fire, sometimes telling things in progression, and sometimes flashing back. The camera play gets far too clever for its own good during a few scenes of our heroes trying to escape from trouble. Even knowing the story of King Arthur, it’s easy to find yourself confused in what is going on.

In the end, we wind up with a movie that concludes with almost no characters being developed at all, the main female character not even getting a name, and just an overall mess. They’re obviously setting it up to have another film with the knights of the round table going forward, but after this, I imagine they will either reconsider or at least have someone else direct the next one.

Technical Review: Shot with an Arri Alexa but only given a 2K DI, King Arthur does a wonderful job of using HDR and expanded color gamut in the presentation. There is a continual good use of HDR, from a sunrise or sunset to fires and magical sword effects. Golds and silvers glitter with the expanded color gamut that the disc offers, and often times it looks phenomenal. Sometimes darker scenes can have some mild noise in the background, and the film is not as sharp as it could be with a better DI. You can see that loss of resolution with the CGI in Londinium, as the buildings stand out in their fakeness.

The Dolby Atmos soundtrack is a letdown in that the height channels are not utilized nearly as much as they could be. There are a couple of instances where you get very good directionality in the soundtrack, but overall the surround channels are mostly used to blast the incessant soundtrack from the film.

Special Features: A number of featurettes are included on the Blu-ray disc.

Review System: 65” Sony A1E OLED, 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.

Review Summary
Title: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword UltraHD Blu-ray
Pros: Good use of HDR and WCG
Cons: Confusing and random plot, 2K DI, only so-so use of Atmos.
Summary: King Arthur is one of the more confusing and disjointed films in recent memory. While the image quality is good, there are much better films to watch to get a high-quality image.
Video: 4/5
Audio: 3.5/5
Movie: 1/5

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