Fresh on 4K: ‘OCEAN’S 8’ is a steal, shines in high-def picture quality

0

Connor Bynum // Film Critic

OCEAN’S 8

Rated PG-13, 110 minutes
Director: Gary Ross
Starring: Sandra BullockCate BlanchettAnne HathawayHelena Bonham CarterMindy KalingRihannaAwkwafinaSarah PaulsonRichard Armitage

When we reviewed OCEAN’S EIGHT in theaters earlier this year, we gave it a favorable score and praised the film for its star-studded female cast, even if it didn’t offer as many laughs as its predecessors. It’s now safe to say that the film holds up exceptionally well as it makes its 4K home video debut.

Movie Grade: B-

From Courtney Howard’s theatrical review:

“Debbie ‘sister of Danny’ Ocean (Sandra Bullock) has had a lot of time to plan her latest scheme. Five years, eight months, and twelve days, to be exact. In that time, she’s plotted a way to lift Cartier’s famed Toussaint diamond necklace during fashion’s answer to the Super Bowl – the Met Gala. It will be the biggest jewelry heist in history, as it’s worth $150 million. Only she can’t do it alone, so she ropes in best pal Lou (Cate Blanchett) to help assemble a highly-skilled crew. The dynamic duo enlists tech wizard 9-ball (Rihanna), fast-hand Constance (Awkwafina), jeweler Amita (Mindy Kaling), fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter) and former fencer-turned-suburban-mom Tammy (Sarah Paulson) to go after the necklace worn by actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway, doing a spectacular, seductive send-up of herself) on the big night. Hijinks and hilarity ensue.

Overall, while this spin-off does quite a few things better than others in the franchise, it feels noticeably lacking when it comes to humor. It’s drier than the vermouth in one of Danny Ocean’s martinis. The picture’s pacing is aching for a jigger-sized shot of vim, verve and vigor. How did Ms. Ocean learn the themes for the next five consecutive Met Galas to know what to boost whilst stuck in prison? We’ll never know. Let’s just assume ‘informants.’ It also doesn’t matter a whole bunch. We can buy it in terms of her proven, quick-thinking. We’re not here for the logistics. We’re only here for the cunning wits, the glam and the sparkle.”

L-R: Sandra Bullock, Helena Bonham Carter, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna and Awkwafina in ‘OCEAN’S EIGHT.’ Courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures.

Video/Audio Grade: A

OCEAN’S EIGHT was captured in 3.4K; however, the resolution of its digital intermediate seems to be unlisted. I can only assume that the film had to undergo at least some upscaling from 3.4K, but the disc is, nevertheless, a remarkable achievement. Having virtually no computer-generated elements on screen certainly works in the film’s favor. Skin tones are downright gorgeous on this disc. Details on costumes and hair are beautifully vivid as well.

The inclusion of Dolby Vision and HDR10 is a fantastic improvement over the standard Blu-ray. Contrast levels are spot on with only a few night scenes appearing slightly crushed. The final act in particular greatly benefits from the increased color pallet as it features elaborate costumes and outstanding lighting. The trademark graininess from Steven Soderbergh’s trilogy is noticeably absent in this film, but this is a welcome omission in my opinion. Yes, film grain can be seen as an artistic choice but I just personally have never been a fan of the look.

The disc also comes with a Dolby Atmos audio track, and while this is undoubtedly a welcome inclusion, the film in question doesn’t consistently offer audio effects that will shake the rafters as would a more effects driven blockbuster. Regardless, dialogue is crystal clear and Daniel Pemberton’s score never intrudes on the rest of the mix.

Extras Grade: C+

There are no extras included on the 4K disc. All special features can be found on the packaged standard Blu-ray. These extras are certainly worth a look, but are limited to three features and two deleted scenes. The three features offer a fascinating look into the work behind the film; but after seeing the restrained amount of content in this department, I couldn’t help but wonder how hard it would have been to include it on the 4K disc as well.

Extras include:

  • A Heist in Heels
  • Ocean’s Team 3.0
  • Reimagining the Met Gala
  • Deleted Scenes

Final Grade: A-

OCEAN’S EIGHT is a wonderful entry into the series of heist films and now a fantastic entry for any 4K collection. Crime rarely looks this good.

About author

Preston Barta

Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.