The LEGO Ninjago Movie Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
They know Kung Fu
Carrying the same irreverent humour that defined both the excellent LEGO Movie and the hilarious LEGO Batman Movie, Ninjago is a little thin, but it has a lot of heart, and is both fun and funny enough to make up for any shortcomings.The LEGO Movie was inspired, and whilst The LEGO Batman Movie proved more divisive, it maintained that fantastic streak of irreverent humour, wielding pop culture references with aplomb and somehow interweaving a hint of the same strong familial core that defined its predecessor. The LEGO Ninjago Movie brings the LEGO toy line of ninja-based characters to life with a strong albeit familiar tale of warring parties wreaking havoc in a city, but having more in common than they want to admit. The teen Ninjago characters - LEGO's equivalent to Power Rangers - struggle with their daily routine, but when they're in battle they hit their stride. It all falls apart when their leader, Lloyd, the Green Ninja, comes face to face with the head villain, Lord Garmadon (Justin Theroux, doing his best Will Ferrell/Lord Business impression), who also just so happens to be his father.Boasting all the visual opulence we've come to expect from LEGO movies, Ninjago will certainly maintain the attention of younger audience members, dazzled by the blistering colours and crazy-fast action whilst parents pick up on all the subtle in-jokes. Jackie Chan makes all the difference in this respect, with the legendary martial arts master on hand in the real, whilst also voicing Master Wu and perhaps most importantly choreographing the fight scenes. These elements should be reason enough to investigate it and, even if the LEGO and LEGO Batman brands are inherently less niche than Ninjago, this film is clearly molded in the same style, formed in the same universe, and cut from the same comedy-with-a-heart cloth as its siblings. Ultimately that does leave it feeling a little formulaic, but it's got enough charm to complement the LEGO canon more than dilute it.
Picture QualityThe LEGO Ninjago Movie kicks yellow plastic ass on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presented in 3840 x 2160p with a widescreen 2.40:1 aspect ratio, using 10-bit video depth, a Wider Colour Gamut (WCG) and High Dynamic Range(HDR), encoded using the HEVC (H.265) codec. The UHD Blu-ray was reviewed on a Samsung UE55KS8000 Ultra HD TV and a Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player.
As with the previous LEGO movies, technical information has been scant, suffice to say that even if this is not native 4K (most likely a 2K Digital Intermediate) it still looks fabulous on Ultra HD Blu-ray, with the vibrant colours consummate with a LEGO outing wonderfully enhanced by HDR and WCG.
It's a gorgeous movie that looks eye-meltingly stunning and makes this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray a winner
Detail remains excellent throughout, with the filming style affording the piece a certain cinematic edge that weaves focus points and anamorphic-style softness around the edges, playing with depth impressively and compensating admirably for the lack of an actual third dimension on this 4K presentation with the some tremendous pop and vibrancy, bringing the focal points into sharp focus, and leaving the vivid primaries standing out above the rest. Ultimately any actual technical uptick in detail between this and the 1080p Blu-ray counterpart may be somewhat nominal, but the differences clearly go far beyond what the simple numbers would tell us, driving the two presentations farther apart in terms of colour depth and range, and contrast, with WCG and HDR working overtime to make this one gorgeous rainbow-flavoured world of candy-coloured LEGO pieces. Rich green foliage (which the makers went to great lengths to ensure looked real) dominates the backdrop when we leave the main Ninjago city, whilst flashbacks burn with lava intensity on the battlefront. It's a gorgeous movie that looks eye-meltingly stunning and whilst many will be content with the already reference Blu-ray presentation, this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray is a winner.
Sound QualityThe LEGO Ninjago Movie gets fine treatment on the aural front too, with lossless immersive audio in the shape of a Dolby Atmos track founded upon an already reference Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core. As with the previous LEGO movies, there really is very little that could be improved upon in terms of audio, with stunning delivery on score and effects, clear dialogue presentation and plenty of LFE oomph. The track has a sense of breadth and fine element detailing, picking up on the smaller nuances, whilst thundering across your living room with the bigger, more city-destroying setpieces.
As with the previous LEGO movies, there really is very little that could be improved upon in terms of audio
Dialogue is afforded plenty of room to breathe across the frontal array, remaining clear and coherent throughout, whilst the score maintains a healthy pace, carries some decent LFE weighting and champions the emotional undercurrent of the narrative, perfectly embellishing the piece. Effects takes us from the small, low key bustle of a high school to the Garmadon attacks that break up the city, to the meditative musings of Master Wu and the ferocious battlegrounds that gave birth to Lloyd. It's nowhere near as rock-heavy a track as The LEGO Batman Movie, but it follows suit with both that and The LEGO Movie in providing an aural accompaniment teeming with heady atmospherics, and evident punch and precision.
ExtrasWhilst none of the extras are ported over to the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc itself, the accompanying Blu-ray is pretty packed with good material worth checking out. The multi-participant Audio Commentary has the director accompanied by a dozen of his production crew members, offering a fast-paced but marginally tech-heavy deluge of background info. There's also a short Building Ninjago Featurette which compliments this piece nicely.
The highlight of the extras comes through the input from Jackie Chan
The highlight of the extra material comes through the input from Jackie Chan, however, with Rumble in the Bricks looking at his fight choreography, and a number of Deleted Scenes, Mini-Movies and Short Films all at their height when featuring the martial arts legend's work. The Baby Fight Deleted Scene, for example, will give fans of Chan the closest thing to classic Golden Era Chan combat we'll likely ever see from him again. TV Spots, Music Videos and dozens of Promo pieces round out the disc, as well as some fan-made Shorts.
Ultra HD Blu-ray VerdictEnough charm to complement the LEGO canon more than dilute it
Warner's UK 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of The LEGO Ninjago Movie delivers the third entry in The LEGO Movie franchise with the same tremendous, reference video and audio presentation and impressive selection of extra features, leaving this a must-have for fans of the film and a recommendation for fans of the LEGO cinematic universe.
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