Hugh Jackman’s final gig as Wolverine offers a violent, sure-handed saga of a late-life superhero. No capes, no color, and all of the action spills blood. It’s mature, not for the violence, rather the the emotional vulnerability uncommon for the genre. Logan, what’s left of him, begins to realize his own erroneous, selfish ways. Logan is a movie of many consequences, twisted around a well realized road western with a glaze of contemporary immigration politics.
It’s remarkable how different Logan looks between the two formats. The treatment on UHD gives it the appearance of an entirely different film. Compare the dinner scene. On UHD, contrast recedes, black levels deepen, and color slips away. On Blu-ray, this scene happens under brighter circumstances and with saturated color. Mind you, this is no Underworld: Blood Wars though. There’s intent with Logan.
The HDR pass on Logan certainly gives it zest. Neon signs and LED billboards have considerable visual pop. Colors carry pleasant warmth, natural even when leaning toward dominating earth tones. In considering shadows, their depth and fidelity carries details into the deepest parts of the image, down into crush as dictated by the cinematography.
With a 4K master, longtime cinematographer John Mathieson shoots Logan a touch soft. Revel in the visible details, from gnarly wounds to facial definition. Exteriors in the early going (especially rust dripping from the metal walls of Logan’s makeshift home) dazzle with their clarity. Yet this is not a sharp, well groomed blockbuster. Many images of Patrick Stewart veer softened, less concerned with detail than a kind of old school touch. In the finale, charging through forest vistas, the expected resolution feels reduced. Gorgeous, but not extensive.
As said above, the two discs are worlds apart in terms of look. To less concerned eyes, the Blu-ray has potential to be the preference. It’s an image with visible brightness, less dreary and with striking color. The slightly pinkish-slant to the flesh tones barely registers as a problem.
The tone definitely changes. Logan is less dramatically intimidating on Blu-ray. Black crush, with which this disc deals in often, doesn’t take away from the intensity, just some of the depth. Fox’s encode manages small instances of noise well, leaving images digitally clean.
Logan’s R-rating extends into this Dolby Atmos mix, with claws slicing through flesh and the resulting blood dropping to the ground throughout the soundfield. It’s awesomely gruesome and quite frequent.
Action scenes rely extensively on cutting, ripping through bodies. Directionality tracks the location of each swipe. Some off-screen activity pans around as needed, creating space where the visuals do not. Major setpieces include a sizable chase sequence, whipping bullets through the stage, even piercing car windows. Placement of these effects is sublime. More subtle touches include rain/thunder and a quick drive through a cornfield. Stalks whip against the vehicle in each speaker.
For LFE seekers, Xavier’s seizures create substantial and sustained rumble. That happens twice. Both instances shake the home theater. A truck explosion and truck lifting certainly pull their weight too.
Director James Mangold hops in for a commentary track, and he’s still going when it comes to six deleted scenes too. The key bonus is Making Logan, a six-part documentary running a little over an hour. It varies between EPK and genuine exploration of the film. Worth a watch.
Logan realizes the finality of a superhero and does so with grace – plus a plethora of violence.
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