Fresh on 4K: ‘THE MEG’ – mega format for a mega shark

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Connor Bynum // Film Critic

THE MEG

Rated PG-13, 113 minutes.
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Cast: Jason StathamBingbing LiRainn WilsonRobert TaylorShuya Sophia CaiCliff CurtisWinston ChaoPage KennedyÓlafur Darri ÓlafssonRuby RoseJessica McNamee and Masi Oka
Available today on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD.

When we reviewed THE MEG in theaters earlier this year, we called it “a perfect blend of silly and serious” while praising its solid pacing and ability to not take itself too seriously. Now that the film is made its way onto 4K UHD Blu-ray, there’s simply no other way to properly watch this movie.

Movie Grade: B-

From our theatrical review:

“Expert deep sea diver and Naval Captain Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) has previously tussled with a mythical giant prehistoric shark – the Megalodon – on a prematurely aborted rescue mission deep in the Mariana Trench. This tragic incident cost him his job, marriage, and reputation since no one believed him about what he saw. Not only that, it also took a huge bite out of his self-confidence. But five years and Lord knows how many beer bottles later, Jonas gets the call to action again. A private research station has lost track of a vessel carrying Jonas’ ex-wife Lori (Jessica McNamee) and her team (Masi Oka and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson), and they’re the new subjects of the Meg’s terrifying advances. However, during this redemptive rescue, they unknowingly unleash the sea beast long held captive – and she’s hungry and headed towards the densely populated shore.”

Video/Audio Grade: A

THE MEG was captured in 2.8K, mastered in a 2K Digital Intermediate, and ultimately upscaled to 4K for this release. But don’t let that turn you off. This is a fantastic upscale. Throughout the film’s 113-minute runtime, I constantly would pause just to take in the visual brilliance on screen. Skin tones are vividly detailed, sets are slick and polished to perfection, and the computer-generated shark looks spectacular. Wide shots of hundreds of beachgoers in their inner tubes in the final act in particular are overflowing with detail. With hardly a single soft shot on screen, I was simply stunned that this was not captured in native 4K.

The film’s inclusion of HDR10 and Dolby Vision for this disc nearly had me worried. After thinking my Sony 4K display had been long since been calibrated to properly display HDR images, I was concerned by just how overly saturated everything appeared to be. However, after tweaking a few of my settings (specifically Contrast and Gamma) everything looked far less overblown. Hopefully this was simply been a random fluke with my display, because from that moment on, the increased contrast and color depth was perfect.

The 4K version also comes with a Dolby Atmos audio track, and it is brilliantly mixed and balanced for this film. The deep rumblings of the underwater lab and the sounds of crashing waves all make for a very immersive experience.

Also check out our interview with MEG author Steve Alten here.

Screenshot courtesy of blu-ray.com.

Extras Grade: C+

For a film that places such an emphasis on size, the included special features are noticeably underwhelming. It’s especially puzzling that even with only two extras, they still weren’t included on the 4K disc. There are a grand total of two features – one focusing on the making of the film (with numerous cast interviews peppered throughout) and the other detailing the process of designing the titular shark. These features are fine in their own right, but there should be little reason to revisit these for additional viewings.

There is a Movies Anywhere code included inside, and is redeemable for a 4K digital copy.

Included extras:

  • Chomp on This: The Making of THE MEG
  • Creating the Beast

Final Grade: B+

THE MEG is a silly, but entertaining B movie with visuals that were made to be experienced in 4K. Grab some popcorn, make like a shark, and chow down.

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.