Deadpool (Blu-ray) (2016)

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Released 25-May-2016

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Comedy Deleted Scenes
Outtakes
Featurette-Making Of-From Comics to Screen... To Screen
Audio Commentary-“Wade”/”Deadpool”/Producer Ryan Reynolds and Screenwriters
Audio Commentary-Director Tim Miller and Deadpool Co-Creator/Comics Artist
Additional Footage-Deadpool’s Fun Sack
Gallery
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2016
Running Time 108:06
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Tim Miller
Studio
Distributor
20th CENTURY FOX
Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Ryan Reynolds
Morena Baccarin
Ed Skrein
Stefan Kapicic
Brianna Hildebrand
T.J. Miller
Karan Soni
Jed Rees
Gina Carano
Leslie Uggams
Michael Benyaer
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $24.95 Music Junkie XL


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 7.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish
French
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Cult Marvel antihero Wade Wilson/Deadpool has never been properly represented on film, with his first big-screen appearance in 2009’s indefensible X-Men Origins: Wolverine failing to do justice to the legendary Merc with a Mouth by turning him into a goofy, throwaway science project. Seven years on, and that wrong has finally been righted with 2016’s Deadpool, which gives actor Ryan Reynolds another opportunity to play the character as he was meant to be played in the first place. Written by Deadpool fans Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Zombieland), this long-gestating X-Men spinoff stays true to its comic book heritage, resulting in an action-comedy soaked in ultraviolence, pop culture references and wisecracks. And even though it’s essentially a goofy parody, the story is told with enough sincerity and gravity to allow for it to be appreciated as more than just a surface-level ride. Deadpool might in fact be the greatest romantic comedy of all time, because it is romantic, and it’s certainly hilarious.

    A rebellious, ex-special ops mercenary, Wade Wilson (Reynolds) earns a living by doing unsavoury jobs, reporting to confidant bartender Weasel (T.J. Miller) who oversees the racket. Wilson finds love in a hooker named Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), but their relationship is suddenly threatened by a late-stage cancer diagnosis. With no feasible treatment options, Wilson reluctantly leaves Vanessa and agrees to be a guinea pig for a shadowy underground organisation promising a cure for his cancer. Butting heads with scientists Ajax (Ed Skrein) - known more affectionately as Francis - and Angel Dust (Gina Carano), Wilson undergoes a series of sadistic experiments which unlock his mutant superpowers of regeneration, but leave him horrendously disfigured. Wilson manages to escape, but cannot find the confidence to go back to Vanessa, instead choosing to hunt down Francis in the hope of getting his former good looks restored. And of course, Wilson wants revenge, donning a red suit and rechristening himself as Deadpool as he kills his way up the criminal ladder. Meanwhile, X-Men members Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) pursue Deadpool, hoping to convince the vigilante crime-fighter to join their team.

    Even though he’s a cult favourite with a devoted fanbase, the character of Deadpool does work best in small doses. After all, Deadpool may be witty, funny and sarcastic, but there is always the risk of the shtick getting old. To counter this, the gonzo scenes involving Deadpool in action are intercut with the origin story, tracing Wilson as he undergoes his transformation. It also provides a refreshing change from the usual origin story format, with the fun action scenes breaking up the more sombre narrative beats. In the comics, Deadpool has always been about undercutting the seriousness of being a superhero by emphasising his vehemently antiheroic nature, on top of allowing him to break the fourth wall, and these qualities are carried over to this adaptation. The opening of Deadpool is pure perfection, starting off with a title sequence that embodies the movie’s spirit, billing the director as “An Overpaid Tool” and Reynolds as “God’s Perfect Idiot.” It’s not long before Deadpool delivers an uproarious monologue directly to the audience, while the subsequent displays of ultraviolence further underscore that this is not just another generic PG-13 offering.

    Due to its restricted rating, Deadpool was not blessed with a blank cheque from Fox, who were wary of producing the movie in the first place, unsure of its box office potential (how ironic, looking back). First-time director Tim Miller (a long-time video game and CGI veteran) had a meagre $58 million to work with, with the budget necessitating rewrites to cut costs as much as possible. As a result, Deadpool is not a truly epic deconstruction of the superhero genre, but it does work exceptionally well on its own merits, finding Miller and co. making the most of their limited resources. The set-pieces are lively and fierce, peppered with suitable moments of humour to ensure the mayhem is pitched at the right tone. And despite the excessive violence, the production does exhibit a certain degree of restraint - Miller never tries to shock beyond what is actually necessary, and the chaos never feels uncomfortable or mean-spirited. It really is a testament to the filmmakers, who also manage to find moments of genuine emotion to bolster the movie above the level of empty calories. In fact, there is sensitivity here to complement all the bloodletting, and the love story really hits its mark rather than coming off as a perfunctory distraction.

    Big explosive climaxes have become the order of the day in superhero movies, which can harm otherwise taut movies by feeling incredibly forced. Deadpool eventually culminates with such a climax, but Miller never lets the picture out of his control, maintaining the humour and furious pacing. Furthermore, the stakes are more personal than usual: the world is not in danger here, as Wilson is simply out to save his girl. It’s a nice twist on the ordinary, and it makes for a more involving climactic showdown. Deadpool is not perfect, of course - digital effects are spotty, with bits and pieces that look too artificial, which is probably a reflection on the budget. Added to this, a couple of additional sequences featuring the titular anti-hero being his usual self might have been beneficial. Still, these are minor nit-picks.

    Reynolds might have struck out with a lifeless performance in 2011’s Green Lantern, but he was simply born to play the role of Deadpool. The actor is firmly in his element here, given the freedom to deliver uproarious wisecracks, one-liners and self-referential jokes (one particular punchline about the limitations of the budget is gold). Just as Robert Downey Jr. owns the role of Tony Stark, it’s legitimately hard to imagine any other actor nailing the role of Deadpool as perfectly as Reynolds, who even takes a dig at his own acting ability at one point. But more than just a comedic firecracker, Reynolds is also a solid anchor, ably carrying out leading man duties with confidence. He’s well-matched with Baccarin, who stands above the usual standard for generic love interests.

    Although the story’s X-Men connection does seem contrived, putting Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead in the movie turns out to be a masterstroke. Colossus spends his time trying to convince Deadpool to give up his violent ways and become a more conventional superhero, and his resistance does indeed mirror the stance of the movie itself. Meanwhile, Negasonic is a jaded character who “gets” Deadpool but doesn’t find him very appealing. It’s doubtful that anybody expected this movie to take the p*** out of its own comedy routine, making Negasonic’s attitude all the more refreshing. Performances are strong, too; T.J. Miller deserves a special mention, as his interactions with Reynolds are a constant source of amusement. Skrein is a perfectly serviceable bad guy, and Karan Soni is appealing as a gracious Indian cab driver.

    It’s not revelatory and it doesn’t quite reach greatness, but Deadpool is the right movie at the right time, an astute side project in the X-Men universe which only aspires to provide easy-going entertainment with its adult rating and mischievous, devil-may-care audacity. With its crude sense of humour, enjoyable action scenes and shrewd deconstruction of the superhero genre, it’s a shot to the arm that was absolutely necessary in today’s cinematic climate. It’s just about everything that fans could have wanted from a Deadpool movie.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Deadpool was reportedly completed at 4K, and is presented here on Blu-ray in 1080p framed at the movie’s original aspect ratio of 2.39:1. For the most part, this AVC-encoded transfer looks terrific, a strong replication of what I recall seeing when I viewed this riotous superhero romp at the cinema.

    First things first: Detail is consistently impressive, with the presentation effortlessly bringing out Reynolds’ stubble and faultlessly rendering Deadpool’s meticulous red outfit. Close-ups fare excellently, and clarity is retained even during the picture’s darkest scenes. Since this is a digitally-shot motion picture, there is no grain structure, and the video does look a tad soft from time to time as a consequence, particularly during many of the slightly squiffy special effects shots, with murky-looking CGI. Green-screen backgrounds are also frequently soft, though this ostensibly traces back to the source, as it did not look razor-sharp in the cinema.

    Colours pop. The Deadpool suit looks bold and vibrant, skin-tones are natural, and blacks are consistently deep and dark. I did not detect any banding, aliasing or crush. Video noise does occasionally crop up, but it’s never distracting - it looks nicely refined, and traces back to the source, rather than occurring as a result of compression.

    All in all, Deadpool stands up confidently on disc. An Ultra-HD Blu-ray is also available, though I am not equipped with the right equipment to give it a spin, so I cannot comment on the whether or not there’s a noticeable improvement in terms of video quality.

    A handful of subtitle options are available.


Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    In keeping with most high-profile new releases, Deadpool arrives with a lossless DTS-HD MA 7.1 track, and it’s incredibly impressive. The movie might not feature flawless CGI, but the restricted budget clearly did not affect the audio, which is both aggressive and professionally-mixed, using surround channels and subwoofer to terrific effect. The Ultra-HD Blu-ray does come with a Dolby Atmos track, but I am not Atmos-compatible, so this superlative 7.1 track is more than sufficient.

    First things first: Dialogue is never an issue, given proper prioritisation to keep all the chatter comprehensible despite how loud the music or sound effects may get. The track even brings out Deadpool’s amusingly wimpy screams during the bombastic climax. Music is crisp and involving, while sound effects pack plenty of impact. The subwoofer is constantly put to great use whenever Deadpool fires a bullet or causes an explosion. It’s hugely aggressive.

    Surround channels are used wisely, even exhibiting panning, making for an immersive track that replicates the cinema experience with ease. No complaints from me.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Luckily, Fox have assembled an excellent supplemental package for this surprise hit.

Deleted/Extended Scenes (HD; 19:14)

    Ten deleted and extended scenes are available here, totalling a hefty twenty minutes of excised material. As always, there are incomplete visual effects shots, most notably in scenes involving Colossus, and it’s clear why the majority of these moments were trimmed. Nevertheless, fans of the movie owe it to themselves to watch this stuff - there’s more uproarious dialogue and side-splitting one-liners from the titular Merc with a Mouth. The scenes can be viewed individually, or via a “Play All” function. Director Tim Miller provides an optional commentary track that’s worth listening to, as he explains the scenes and why they were cut.

Gag Reel (HD; 6:12)

    Happily, this particular gag reel is every bit as funny as I had hoped. Actors stuff up, Reynolds and T.J. Miller continually ad-lib, and there are many laughs to be had as a result.

From Comics to Screen... To Screen (HD; 80:00)

    Deadpool fans rejoice, for this Blu-ray contains an excellent, feature-length documentary which traces the making of the movie from its origins all the way through to post-production. Broken up into five segments, this is not a puff piece, but rather a genuinely insightful extra, full of cast and crew interviews, revealing B-roll footage, animatics, snippets of the test footage, and more. The filming of several key scenes is covered, as well as the use of digital effects throughout the movie, and even the creation of the all-important suit. The documentary even ends with a segment devoted to Junkie XL’s original compositions for the movie. Meaty special features are becoming scarcer these days, so it’s relieving that Fox commissioned this terrific supplement that comes highly recommended.

Audio Commentaries

    Two audio commentaries are available here.

Gallery (HD)

    Five galleries are available to view here, with both an auto and a manual advance option.

Deadpool’s Fun Sack (HD; 23:54)

    Deadpool enjoyed one of the most creative marketing campaigns in recent memory, and thankfully all of the social media videos are transferred to this Blu-ray for posterity. Most of these are very funny, including an uproarious video of Reynolds in costume interacting with kids on Halloween. There’s nearly twenty-four minutes’ worth of videos, and a handful of promotional stills as well. Here are the videos that are included:

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    All editions worldwide seem to be identical.

Summary

    It's amazing enough that Deadpool finally got made after years of wanting, but who knew it would turn out to be a very good movie and a wild commercial success? This is one of 2016's cinema high points so far.

    Fox's Blu-ray is excellent. Video and audio are extremely strong, and there are plenty of extras which provide a substantial look into the production process. Highly recommended.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Callum Knox (I studied biology)
Thursday, June 09, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDPlayStation 4, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42LW6500. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationLG BH7520TW
SpeakersLG Tall Boy speakers, 5.1 set-up, 180W

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