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Review: 'John Wick' reaches new heights in 4K UHD

Posted Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 4:20 PM Central

by John Couture

For Blu-ray, the baseline title upon which to compare every other film that was released in this new format was The Fifth Element. This film was included in the first wave of titles released by Sony and with its rich color palette and heavy special effects, the film truly came alive on Blu-ray.

For years, I would throw in that original Blu-ray of The Fifth Element whenever I had friends and family members over to preach to them of the benefits of Blu-ray. When I do that for 4K UHD Blu-ray, my go-to title will forever now be John Wick.

I'll be honest, I was late to the game on John Wick. I did not rush out to watch it in theaters. I ignored the generally positive reviews on the film and did not seek it out when it first came out on home entertainment.

Nope, it took a drunken night of Netflix surfing for me to settle on John Wick, but it was also a night that changed my life - not to mention my opinion of Keanu Reeves. It's not that I had a particularly negative opinion of Keanu, but I never took him serious after he peaked in The Matrix. And to be honest, those films sort of pigeon-holed him into this weird goofy persona of his character Neo.

He might never fully recover, but John Wick is a seriously good film and one of the first films that genuinely surprised me in a long time. It was a solid action film and introduced the world to "gung fu." Beyond that though, it was a rare action film with a story that stands the test of time.

And yes, it does certainly stand the test of time.

What is unique about John Wick is that it mostly takes place at night in dark and seedy locales. The richer blacks and high dynamic range of the new 4K UHD format is really put the test with this film and it passes with flying colors. In particular, I discovered so many little nuances that I had to fore missed altogether in the first big fight scene at John's house and the fight with Ms. Perkins.

The Dolby Atmos sound shines during the climatic final scenes when Keanu uses his car as the ultimate weapon and has his showdown with Viggo. The 4K UHD Blu-ray does exactly what it intends to do, which is to present the film in the way that the filmmaker intended.

Beyond that, this 4K UHD Blu-ray makes an excellent film even more spectacular. In many ways I was watching this film for the first time all over again.

This package is jam-packed with extra goodies that I'm not sure were ever included on home entertainment before. They were new to me at least and they were a great added bonus.

Naturally, the timing of this 4K UHD Blu-ray is to take advantage of the theatrical release John Wick: Chapter Two, which is in theaters this coming weekend. Do yourself a favor and pick this up and re-familiarize yourself with the film before you see the sequel.