No Lions, No Tigers, and One Cocaine Bear, Oh My
“Steeped in Nixon/Reagan drug war, Cocaine Bear includes the familiar PSAs from the era: “This is your brain on drugs,” as a skillet fries eggs. Cocaine Bear is akin to a 90-minute version of those, lampooning the attempt to turn kids away from crack, yet the result is loopy enough to fall into Reefer Madness territory. It’s hilarious, asinine, and every bit the bonkers escapade it deserves to be.”
A modestly budgeted production, the 4K source makes small gains in texture and fidelity over the Blu-ray. Improvements to detail and texture show up, especially in close. Wide shots in the forest utilize the resolution available, while the added fidelity makes the digital bear stand out more than on Blu-ray.
Most improvements happen via the HDR pass, especially from the sunlight that drapes over numerous scenes. The intensity ramps up, greatly improving range. On that alone, Cocaine Bear’s visual upgrade is worthwhile, even if the rest is nominally better. One look at the stellar black levels in their prime and that’s enough to see the value in this release, even if it deserved to happen initially, not as a double dip.
Better color density brings out the greenery that fills much of movie. Elevated grading warms flesh tones but doesn’t turn them unnatural. Primaries glow, and there’s no shortage of blood red on display either. Cocaine Bear is a borderline visual upgrade, but on the “maybe” recommendation side.
The Atmos soundstage (upgraded from the Blu-ray’s DTS-HD 7.1) keeps up with the action, giving the forest appropriate ambiance and bear attacks push proper low-end weight. Separation isn’t consistent, but as needed, the channels stretch wide, and the additional surrounds play a key role where possible. Height channels factor in slightly (the opening airplane scene pans overhead). It’s a slight upgrade for that alone, but otherwise the same mix.
Gunshots pack a wallop, and close-up bear attacks create a sizable jolt in the low-end. Cocaine Bear’s overall range satisfies, but this is on the lower budget end all around.
Things begin with a (terrible) alternate ending, then a two-minute gag reel. Deleted scenes follow, and a nine-minute making of after that. An eight-minute look at the kills is a blast. Actors read their lines from the script in a fun bit, then Elizabeth Banks joins producer Max Handelman for a commentary. Note all bonuses reside on both the UHD and Blu-ray.
Cruelly and morbidly hilarious, Cocaine Bear’s commitment to the ludicrous concept is admirable.
User Review( vote)
The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 46 full resolution, uncompressed 4K screen shots ripped directly from the UHD: