Deadpool Steelbook Blu-ray Review
With Great Power Comes Great Irresponsibility.
Wild, witty, brash and bloody, Deadpool is a real labour of love brought to marvellous life by long term fanboy Ryan Reynolds himself.Effortlessly blending fourth-wall flippancy with comic book insanity for grown ups, this sleeper hit is wondrously self-referential, self-aware, subversive and pop culture-tastic, taking down everything from the film that nearly killed this potential franchise before it got started to the film that nearly killed Reynolds' career, whilst somehow managing to squeeze itself into the same X-universe that Singer's excellent Days of Future Past retconned just so the world in which these characters all exist could finally be set right. Reynolds owns this character, and it's a role he was simply born to play. He may not want to play another comic book character ever again, but now he'll never have to. It's bloody - in the extreme - and crude - in the extreme - with f-bombs galore and (often hilarious) sex and nudity.It feels like it might have come from the same wonderful world in which Mark Millar's Kick-Ass and Kingsmen exist, yet at the same time almost makes them feel slightly restrained, with improvisational insanity (the quickfire wit may not always hit the mark, but the jokes keep coming too quick and too thick to fail to generate laughs) and wild wackiness keeping you even more entertained than all the lopped limb kebabs and slo-mo head-shots. Whilst the best comic book superhero movie you've ever seen may still be hyperbole (there's room for improvement on the villain/plot front, but they'll fix that in the sequel), for what's essentially a fan-driven superhero flick made amidst Marvel Mega-busters for a comparatively low $50 Million budget, it's an indisputable gem.
Picture QualityDeadpool might also be available on 4K but the 'standard' Blu-ray still looks outstanding.
Presented in the film's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.39:1 widescreen, the 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video rendition impresses almost throughout the piece, lapping up the details and textures in every locale, from the shady backroom to the signature highway chaos; from the dorm-style bedrooms to the industrial wasteland of the downed helicarrier. The clothing - and in particular the Deadpool costume itself - also look tremendously realised, with the latter getting severely battered across the duration, whilst the specific material lends itself to a finely textured look that pops on screen. Effects shots are well-realised, with only a little softness around the edges threatening to betray the film's limited budget, whilst the movie remains daytime-set for the most part, leading to a very natural-looking palette (but for that heavily stylised key highway sequence). It's an impressive presentation; it may look even better in 4K, but for standard Blu-ray, it doesn't get much better than this.
Sound QualityAside from outstanding video we get tremendous audio too.
Although Fox appear to be saving their immersive audio mixes purely for Ultra HD Blu-ray, this regular Blu-ray release promotes a punchy DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track that excels in every respect, delivering dialogue clearly and coherently across the frontal array, whilst serving up the engaging score across the surrounds. The at times imaginative and inventive effects come thick and fast - from the slo-mo opening sequence through to its bullet-ridden pay-off; from the fiery lab inferno to the chaotic finale - the track adeptly places you into the thick of the maelstrom, crafting an engulfing atmospheric which precisely picks up on background ambiance and seemingly throwaway elements whilst still serving up the more bombastic sequences with power and serious punch. Demo and reference standard too, even without an Atmos mix the Deadpool Blu-ray remains outstanding on the aural front.
Steelbook ExtrasDeadpool's extra features may be overshadowed by a slight disappointment that there was no longer, even more violent, cut on offer (as was once rumoured) but that boat-load of extra features that we do get more than makes up for this. Headlined by not one but two excellent commentaries (the one with Reynolds is obviously the clear winner) we also get a whopping 5-part Documentary, From Comics to Screen... to Screen, that has a feature-length total runtime and provides a wealth of informative and entertaining background into the production. 20 minutes of Deleted Scenes make up somewhat for the lack of an Extended Cut, although you'll probably have more fun with the Gag Reel. There's also a series of Ryan Reynolds Interviews and a whole load of Galleries, detailing concept art and storyboards, as well as effects work and stills. It's a great package.
Beyond the comprehensive set of extras, the Steelbook release only rounds out a near-perfect package.
Zavvi's UK-exclusive Steelbook boasts the iconic Deadpool 'smiley face' design in crimson red on a black base, with the image a fold-over one carrying onto the back cover, and the film's title running down the side of the front cover. To make it even better, it has embossing in all the places it should (unlike, for example, the finished UK Star Wars: The Force Awakens release) with the film's title delivered in chunky, embossed lettering, whilst the Deadpool face itself is also layered with similar embossing. Great work.
VerdictForget what you know about the character from Wolverine; forgive what Reynolds did with his other big superhero outing, the abysmal Green Lantern - Deadpool is a whole lot of excellent.
This outstanding Blu-ray release promotes demo video and audio, and a comprehensive selection of extra features, all packaged up in a Zavvi-exclusive UK Steelbook release which leaves this an even more unmissable release. If you haven't already, pick it up now!
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