Aquaman Blu Ray Review (Warner Bros)
Aquaman is a 2018 superhero film directed by James Wan (Saw, Insidious 1/2, The Conjuring 1/2, & Furious 7). It’s based of the DC Comics character created by writer Mort Weisinger & artist Paul Norris. It’s inspired by the Geoff Johns 2011 comic. It’s the sixth installment in the DC Extended Universe. It’s the third live action film following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice & Justice League that features Arthur Curry. The development of this project started in 2004. It was produced by Zack Snyder (Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, Tales of the Black Freighter, 300: Rise of an Empire, & Sucker Punch). The budget was at estimated 160 to 200 million & it grossed $1.147 billion at the box office worldwide!!!!
In 1985 Maine, lighthouse keeper Thomas Curry (played by: Temuera Morrison from Green Lantern, Barb Wire, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, & From Dusk Till Dawn 3) rescues Atlanna (played by: Nicole Kidman from Batman Forever, Dead Calm, Days of Thunder, Dogville, & The Killing of a Sacred Deer) who is the queen of the underwater nation of Atlantis during a storm. They end up falling in love & have a son named Arthur who is born with the power to communicate with marine lifeforms. Atlanna is forced to abandon her family & return to Atlantis when they finally track her down after her escape all those years ago. She has her advisor Nuidis Vulko (played by: Willem Dafoe from Wild At Heart, Platoon, American Psycho, The Boondock Saints, & Streets of Fire) train her son in her absence. Arthur finds out that she was killed because she had a half breed son. Present day, Arthur (played by: Jason Momoa from Justice League, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Game of Thrones, & Conan the Barbarian) confronts a group of pirates attempting to hijack a Russian Naval nuclear submarine. Their leader Jesse Kane (played by: Michael Beach from Justice League Unlimited, E.R., Third Watch, Sons of Anarchy, & Deep Blue Sea 2) dies during it & his son David (played by: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II from Candyman, US, Watchmen TV Series, & Baywatch) vows revenge.
Another Russian submarine discovers Atlantis & attacks it. Arthur’s half brother King Orm (played by: Patrick Wilson from Watchmen, The Conjuring franchise, Insidious franchise, Hard Candy, & Fargo TV Series), the Ocean Master uses it as a reason to start war, King Nereus of Xebel (played by: Dolph Lundgren from Rocky IV, Creed II, Universal Soldier franchise, Arrow, & The Expendables franchise) swears allegiance to Orm’s plan but his daughter Mera (played by: Amber Heard from Justice League, Machete Kills, Drive Angry, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, & Pineapple Express) disagrees with it & goes to Arthur for help. Arthur must find the Trident of Atlan, a magic artifact that once belonged to Atlantis’ first ruler to reclaim his rightful place as king. Orm & Arthur fight for leadership, Orm embarrasses Arthur without hesitation. Mera risks everything & saves the outsider. Orm provides David with a prototype Atlantean battle suit to kill Arthur & he becomes the Black Manta. Vulko is locked away for helping Arthur & betraying Orm. Arthur battles the Black Manta & puts him out of commission. Arthur & Mera go on a journey to get the Trident of Atlan to prove Curry’s worth of being king to his community. They discover a huge surprise when they find it. Arthur goes back & defeats his brother to take control over everything. The people finally realize that he is the true king!!!!
Aquaman visually is one of the best DC Comics adaptations so far. The cinematography & effects are top notch here. Director James Wan gave the standard superhero film a different look & it pays off. It stands out from all the other recent features. It has a really good supporting cast that includes Temuera Morrison, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, Michael Beach, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Patrick Wilson, & Dolph Lundgren. Amber Heard is great eye candy & she is decent in this. Sometimes a supporting cast is more important than you think. Especially with this production considering Jason Momoa is a horrible actor. When he had to deliver a speech or more than a few lines, it was cringe worthy! I will say Momoa does fine when it comes to being an action star & working with less dialogue but this role required more acting than he used to doing so it definitely shows. All the action & the fight scenes were very entertaining. I thought both villains were very strong roles especially Black Manta. I hope to see more of him in the sequel. His backstory & motivation made you get more invested into the character. It was a nice origin story for Aquaman & it honestly made a boring superhero interesting by updating everything. No one was asking for an Aquaman movie back in the day but now he is one of the most popular members of the Justice League. This was one of the most entertaining films from 2018 & a very fun experience, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Warner Bros! This 1080p (2.40:1 & 1.78:1) transfer looks stunning on blu ray! I wish I got the 4K for review for this because I know that to be on a whole another level. Like I said above, Aquaman visually is one of the best superhero features ever made. When it comes to reference quality, this would be the perfect release for your TV. It has 4 different audio options which include English: Dolby Atmos, English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 French: Dolby Digital 5.1, & Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 on the release. This feature sounds amazing in my home system! The dialogue is crystal clear, the action scenes are elevated here, & the music has a killer boost to it. It’s almost like seeing it in theaters again. It also has English SDH, French, & Spanish subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Warner Bros on this blu ray release! “Becoming Aquaman” is 13 minutes. It has interviews with director James Wan, actors Jason Momoa, Temuera Morrison, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Patrick Wilson, & various others. It shows a few clips from Comic Con. Jason Momoa says he had to keep secret about him getting the role for years before it actually happened. He said he was shocked that he was offered the character considering how the comic book version looks. He talks about his experience as Aquaman. It shows him training for the film. Jason talks about it being the first time being away so long from his family during this production. He personally picked Temuera Morrison to play his father in this. They all give praise to Jason & the role. “Going Deep Into the World of Aquaman” is a little over 19 minutes. It has interviews with director James Wan, actors Jason Momoa, Temuera Morrison, Dolph Lundgren, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, & various others. Director James Wan talks about his experience on the production. He brings up that Aquaman was considered more as a joke before this movie. It shows various locations from the feature. They talk about the filming tricks they did for the underwater scenes. It goes over the various visuals for the film. They chat about it being a long shoot. It shows them at the premier for Aquaman.
“James Wan: World Builder” is almost 8 minutes. It has interviews with director James Wan & various crew members. James Wan talks about creating his own version of Atlantis. He chats about how much of a big character it was in the comics. He says he was very hands on when it came to building that unique world including the concept art. They mention all the visual effects used to make it look as realistic as possible. They bring up the small stuff that really sells them being underwater like particles & the hair. “The Dark Depths of Black Manta” is almost 7 minutes. It’s hosted by actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. It tells the comic book history of the super villain. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II goes into detail about the role. He brings up his suit & the different options it has. He shows his weapons & explains exactly what they do. “Heroines of Atlantis” is a little over 5 minutes. It has interviews with director James Wan, actors Jason Momoa, Temuera Morrison, Amber Heard, & Nicole Kidman. They chat about how important these women are to the Atlantis universe. Amber Heard wanted to live up to the character from the comic books. They mention how powerful she is. James Wan brings up that he always wanted to work with Nicole Kidman. They chat about her role being what started everything in this world. “Villainous Training” is a little over 6 minutes. It has interviews with director James Wan, actors Jason Momoa, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, & Patrick Wilson.
This focuses on the two villains King Orm & Black Manta from the film. They talk about their training for the feature & how they both transformed themselves into their roles before the production started. They chat about their different fighting styles compared to each other. They joke about their characters & their experience on the set. “A Match made in Atlantis” is a little over 3 minutes. It has interviews with director James Wan, actors Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, & Patrick Wilson. They chat about their great chemistry. They mention that they have a lot in common in real life. They talk about their characters connecting & changing after spending time together. Jason plays guitar during breaks & Amber likes to read. “Atlantis Warfare” is 5 minutes. It has interviews with various members of the crew. They chat about re-creating technology for this. They go all over all the different weapons. They talk about the different vehicles & surroundings used during the battles. “Creating Undersea Creatures” is a little over 7 minutes. It has interviews with various members of the crew. It shows the various animals they use as rides in the feature. It goes into detail about different people underwater in the different Kingdoms. It tells you about the monsters that lurk around in this world. “Aqua Tech” is almost 6 minutes. It has interviews with various members of the crew including Willem Dafoe. They chat about the technology & visual effects used in the movie. It shows behind the scenes. They talk about & showcase some of the sets from Aquaman. “Scene Study Breakdown” is a little over 10 minutes & it’s broken down into 3 different segments. It has interviews with various members of the crew. It goes behind the scenes on 3 major action sequences from the production. It’s a cool inside look into the film & shows you how they put together some of the most entertaining material from this. “Kingdoms of the Seven Seas” is almost 7 minutes & it’s hosted by actor Dolph Lundgren. He tells the history & goes into detail about all the different Kingdoms in this universe. He describes & shows what each location represents on it’s own from undersea. It definitely makes me curious about the other territories barely covered in this first feature & it makes you want to explore them more in the future sequels. Last but not least, it has an exclusive sneak peek for the upcoming “Shazam!” which is a little over 3 minutes. It also includes a slipcover, a digital code, & a DVD copy of the release. It was released in several different formats including 4K & DVD. It also had a variety of store exclusives. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!