Disney's UHD release of Black Widow delivers a tangible upgrade from the standard and concurrently released 1080p Blu-ray. This 2160p/HDR UHD presentation delivers a more robust color spectrum, with tones notably more bold and brilliant, presenting everything from Romanoff's red hair to natural greens with a brilliant intensity that serves the film well and speaks highly of HDR's ability to bring out the punchiest colors possible without betraying natural appearances. The colors are not gargantuanly more brilliant than the SDR Blu-ray counterpart, but the differences are obvious and do not stop in the middle. Whites are clearly brighter, healthier, and more intense, obvious during a snowy battle halfway through the film, a battle in which the heroes are also clad in white. The feel for white brilliance and faithfulness is off the charts. At the other end, black level depth is first-rate. There's no mistaking the deep, penetrating depth that holds steady and refuses to crush out details within and around. The color spectrum is healthy through the entire range and a worthy upgrade over a well defined Blu-ray counterpart.
The native 4K resolution further allows for a brilliant bit of textural gain as well. The picture is obviously crisper and cleaner. There's something of a glossier sheen to it at this resolution but the increase in overall clarity is obvious even without a direct comparison; simply watching the movie a second time reveals the jump. Still, A-B comparisons do demonstrate the exceedingly good uptick in textural gain, particularly obvious in close-ups where skin details, for example, leap off the screen with newfound depth and precision. Look at a Romanoff close-up at the 1:34:22 mark for a terrific example of the UHD bringing out a fairly substantial increase in clarity and fine detail. This extends to practical and digital elements, clothes, and various environments as well. Add in the absence of distracting noise and the picture's freedom from compression and encode issues and there's nothing to dislike here. This is a first-rate UHD presentation from Disney.
The UHD receives an audio upgrade with a Dolby Atmos soundtrack (as opposed to the Blu-ray's DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless soundtrack) and the presentation depth and detail are upgraded, too. Rather than just add some overhead channels, Disney has assuaged, though not at all eliminated, the low volume and troubling absentee bass from the Blu-ray to offer a bit more of a kick with this one. The opening action escape scene enjoys more obvious intensity and depth, still struggling to kick the low end into overdrive but certainly presenting with a healthier punch and depth. Gunfire here and elsewhere still lacks full body punch but, again, there's a little more substance at work with this Atmos presentation. Explosions further into the movie hit with some level of authoritative bass, even heard at distance, such as during an action scene at the 59-minute mark. The Atmos layer integrates some overhead sound elements, like a chopper hovering above a prison in the 57-minute mark. While none are so discrete as to turn the listener's full attention upwards, there's enough complimentary height to create a more full-bodied and spatially aware sound experience. Surround elements in general are well positioned, whether naturally discrete or more broadly enveloping. Music is clear and detailed but could stand some more depth. Dialogue is clear and center positioned for the duration.
4K Bluray detailsVideo
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1
Japanese: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
4K Ultra HD
Two-disc set (1 BD-66, 1 BD-50)
Movies Anywhere, Vudu, Google Play
Slipcover in original pressing
4K Blu-ray: Region free
2K Blu-ray: Region free