“Before Marvel exploded, comic nerds were the lessers in social circles. Bullied outcasts, who knew more about Spider-Man than partying. Mallrats is then a hyper-fantasy, a surreal response to the real world where the comic collector living in his mom’s basement gets laid in an elevator, and the ex-girlfriend wants him back. It’s a male-driven, relentlessly horny delusion, and for women, a callous nightmare.”
An immediately noticeable jump in color happens as the credits roll, the featured comic book covers sensationally vivid. Spectacular views of the mall, their signage, and everything else explode in vibrancy. Dolby Vision makes a dramatic difference in this case.
Equally rich in image dimension and contrast, brightness doesn’t make a substantial leap, but it’s enough to notice when played back-to-back. Black levels match the previous disc, and that’s fine; they’re full and thick.
The Blu-ray showed the slightest hint of ringing. That’s not as evident on UHD, if at all. Mallrats appears wholly natural, and the encode handles every nuance in the grain structure. Detail and texture show awesome precision, and aside from the color, resolution makes for the second most notable boost over Arrow’s Blu-ray.
There’s not much here for this mix to handle other than the soundtrack, and for that, the included stereo track is more precise. Otherwise, the DTS-HD 5.1 (same as the Blu-ray) offering brings better spacing, nicely spreading out crowd sounds, and elevating ambiance while around the mall. When someone falls during the stage construction, those screams happen in the rear right; that’s accurate.
Fair range lets the music breathe a bit, the score included. A least a little density in the low-end slips through.
Jammed onto two discs, Arrow offers three different cuts – theatrical, extended, and the TV edit. Note the 4K version is theatrical only. The original and TV versions offer new intros from Kevin Smith, and he’s fantastic, even inspiring in his message. Usually director intros amount to fluff, but Smith spends 12-minutes on one. He’s then on a commentary track too, an older one that includes Ben Affleck and others. Again Smith appears for an interview, taking 30-minutes to look back on the production, then spending another 13-minutes remembering producer Jim Jacks.
Jason Mewes spends 10-minutes with his new interview. In a clever way to present things in the COVID era, Arrow loosely animates a compilation of crew interviews to keep them visually lively. David Klein, cinematographer, steps in for six minutes in another piece. Arrow then brings in the 10th anniversary DVD extras, beginning with deleted scenes running an hour. Raw set footage and outtakes make it to eight minutes. EPK cast interviews, an anniversary Q&A, and 22-minute retrospective featurette precede trailers and music videos.
The second disc holds the extended and TV editions. Two hours (!) of dailies follow, preserved only on a heavily degraded VHS unfortunately. Still, comics, and soundtrack promo finish off a perfect bonus section.
Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.
There was a time when Mallrats made sense, but now only serves to expose toxic thinking that doesn’t help the culture it supports.
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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 47 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD: