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Saturday, June 22, 2024

The Flash (4K UHD Review)


The Film
The Video (overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements


'The Flash' speeds back in time to save his parents but creates a multiverse and the potential destruction of every parallel universe.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

DC’s latest iteration of The Flash arrives in a solo feature film for the first time, with Ezra Miller reprising the role he first played in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).

Barry Allen/The Flash (Miller) is still growing into his role as a superhero, helping out the likes of Batman (Ben Affleck) in Gotham when disaster strikes. With his father’s sentencing for the murder of his mother quickly approaching, Barry wants to find a way to clear his father. He realized he can run faster than the speed of light and travel back in time to change history and save his mother, thereby also saving his father from a wrongful conviction. His actions spawn a series of disastrous events when he ends up creating multiple universes that begin to break down and crash into each other. Meanwhile, he must deal with a “dark Flash’ who seems determined to stop him from trying to reverse the effects of his time travelling actions. Along the way, in a parallel universe he created, he meets a version of himself (Miller), a different Bruce Wayne/Batman (Michael Keaton), and Supergirl (Sasha Calle) who all help him to correct what is going wrong and to battle General Zod (Michael Shannon) who has now appeared on earth earlier than the original timeline.

Director Andy Muschietti keeps the film moving and full of kinetic energy that save the film from being mundane. The biggest problem overall with The Flash are the extremely poor CGI effects decisions that cause unnatural motion and have characters in the speed force that look like plastic mannequins. With those issues aside, Ezra Miller plays the character perfectly, giving Flash a jittery and anxious persona that fits right in with someone who is a speedster. Michael Keaton slides right back into his role as Batman like putting on a comfortable pair of slippers. The most disappointing of the characters is the rather strange, downbeat Supergirl (Calle) and her angsty portrayal is counter to the usually pleasant and bubbly image of Supergirl on screen. This is not necessarily Calle’s fault but a fault of the role and direction she was given.

Despite its faults, The Flash still manages to be entertaining most of the time even when we reach the third act and things get a bit chaotic. It is not the best of the DC feature films – that distinction goes to Zak Snyder’s Justice League – but its worth a watch for some mindless, popcorn fun.

  • Ezra Miller in The Flash (2023)
  • Ezra Miller in The Flash (2023)
  • Ben Affleck in The Flash (2023)
  • Ben Affleck, Luke Brandon Field, Gal Gadot, and Ezra Miller in The Flash (2023)
  • Ezra Miller in The Flash (2023)
  • Sasha Calle in The Flash (2023)
  • The Flash 4K Ultra HD (2023) (Warner Bros.)
  • The Flash 4K Ultra HD (2023) (Warner Bros.)

The Video

The Flash was shot on the Arri Alexa LF with Arri Signature Prime lenses; the Red Monstro with Leitz M 0.8, Prime, Angenieux EZ and Optimo Ultra lenses; the Red Ranger Monstro VV 8K with Leitz M 0.8, Prime, Angenieux EZ and Optimo Ultra lenses in ARRIRAW (4.5K) and Redcode RAW (8K) and utilizes a 4K digital intermediate.

The film is offered in a HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision encodement with a MaxLL of 316 nits and MaxFALL of 170 nits. The Dolby Vision grading does not bring much more brightness or specular highlight ‘pop’ over the Blu-ray (available separately), but the colors are exceptionally vibrant and shadow detail looks very nuanced. The overall image is clean and crisp, able to pick up all the details in those awful looking CGI effects.

The Audio

The primary audio mix for The Flash is a lossless Dolby Atmos track. This is one of the better sounding mixes for a big feature film from Warner as of late, given the squeezed dynamic range and anemic low frequencies of titles like Black Adam. This film is still mixed somewhat low, but the range is a bit better and low frequencies just a bit bulkier. The overhead channels carry a good number of effects and atmosphere and the score fills the channels. I had no issues understanding and hearing the dialogue in the most action-intensive scenes.

The Supplements

This single disc 4K release of The Flash comes with several bonus features that include looks at some of the pivotal scenes and an exploration of the classic DC characters who appear in the film. There is also the complete season of The Flash: Escape the Midnight Circus podcast drama, a very welcome and entertaining inclusion.

  • Movies Anywhere Digital Code
  • Making The Flash: Worlds Collide (1080p; 00:36:55)
  • Flashpoint: Introducing the DC Multiverse (1080p; 00:06:21)
  • Let’s Get Nuts: Batman Returns, Again! (1080p; 00:08:31)
  • The Bat Chase (1080p; 00:06:50)
  • Saving Supergirl (1080p; 00:06:49)
  • Battling Zod (1080p; 00:05:36)
  • Fighting Dark Flash (1080p; 00:07:14)
  • The Flash: The Saga of the Scarlet Speedster (1080p; 00:38:26)
  • Supergirl: The Last Daughter of Krypton (1080p; 00:16:00)
  • Deleted Scenes (1080p; 00:14:13)
  • The Flash: Escape from the Midnight Circus Trailer (1080p; 00:01:03)
  • The Flash: Escape the Midnight Circus (1080p; 01:33:43):
    • Priorities
    • The Inherent Dangers of Time Travel
    • Fully Torqued
    • The Psychodrome
    • Cyclotron Don
    • Blackout
  • The Flash in Session: Escape the Midnight Circus (1080p; 00:01:58)

The Final Assessment

The Flash offers up some good home theater entertainment despite being an imperfect film. The overall package of bonus features, solid audio and video presentation make this release from Warner Bros. well worth owning.

The Flash is out on 4K Ultra HD + Digital August 29, 2023, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

  • Rating Certificate: PG-13 (for sequences of violence and action, some strong language and partial nudity)
  • Studios & Distributors: DC Comics | DC Entertainment | New Zealand Film Commission | Québec Production Services Tax Credit | The South Australian Film Corporation | Warner Bros. | Max | Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
  • Director: Andy Muschietti
  • Written By: Christina Hodson (screenplay by) | John Francis Daley (screen story by) | Jonathan Goldstein (screen story by) | Joby Harold (screen story by) | Harry Lampert (The Flash created by) | Gardner Fox (The Flash created by) | Robert Kanigher (Barry Allen version by) | Carmine Infantino (Barry Allen version by) | Jerry Siegel (Superman created by) | Joe Shuster (Superman created by) | Bob Kane (Batman created by) | Bill Finger (Batman created by) | William Moulton Marston (Wonder Woman created by)
  • Run Time: 144 Mins.
  • Street Date: 29 August 2023
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.90:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
  • HDR10 Metadata:
    • MaxLL: 316 nits
    • MaxFALL: 170 nits
  • Primary Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible)
  • Secondary Audio: English DD 5.1 | English Descriptive Audio (US) | English Descriptive Audio (UK) | French DD 5.1 | Italian Dolby Atmos | Italian DD 5.1 | Spanish DD 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH | French | Italian SDH | Spanish | Danish | Finnish | Norwegian | Swedish

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'The Flash' speeds back in time to save his parents but creates a multiverse and the potential destruction of every parallel universe. The Flash (4K UHD Review)