Action Adventure

Ready to Rumble: A Review of ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ on 4K Blu-ray

August 26, 2019Ben MK

Long before the MCU, Toho's Godzilla franchise built a cinematic universe centered on the battles between a gargantuan, radioactive lizard and his equally oversized opponents. Now, 65 years after the debut of the original Gojira, Godzilla: King of the Monsters proudly continues that tradition — pitting the Big G against monstrous new incarnations of some of his most famous foes.

A sequel to 2014's Godzilla and a followup to 2017's Kong: Skull Island, King of the Monsters follows Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler), his wife Emma (Vera Farmiga) and their daughter Maddie (Stranger Things' Millie Bobby Brown), an American family who find themselves caught in the middle of a titanic showdown. Formerly both scientists at Monarch, the organization charged with keeping tabs on Godzilla, Kong and the other "Titans" that have been discovered around the globe, Mark quit the company while Emma stayed on to work on a bio sonar device capable of communicating with the creatures. Now that the device is fully operational, however, it could spell certain doom for our planet and everyone on it.

Story-wise, King of the Monsters only gets more convoluted as the film progresses, but suffice to say, it's hard to imagine anything being more satisfying than what we get here. From Mothra to Rodan to the three-headed Monster Zero (better known as King Ghidorah), this Godzilla doesn't hold back whatsoever when it comes to the sheer spectacle of their epic brawls. If anything, it's pure escapist, popcorn entertainment at its best.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters arrives on 4K ready to rumble, thanks to a larger-than-life technical presentation. The picture quality offers up no glaring deficiencies to complain about, replicating the film's theatrical presentation with an accurate 2160p transfer that makes the destructive battles between the Titans even more glorious to behold. However, it's sound design that really shines here, with every monstrous roar, every ground-shaking stomp, and every earth-shattering blow making their presence felt through the disc's bombastic Dolby Atmos sound mix.

Warner's two-disc 4K release includes a digital copy and a Blu-ray copy of the film. There are no special features on the 4K disc, but the following extras can be found on the Blu-ray disc:

  • Monsters 101 (5:44) - A four-part look at the film's four main Titans ("Godzilla: Nature's Fearsome Guardian," "Mothra: Queen of the Monsters," "Ghidorah: The Living Extinction Machine" and "Rodan: Airborne God of Fire").
  • Evolution of the Titans (27:24) - Four featurettes spotlighting how these well-known Titans have evolved from their previous incarnations, both visually and sonically ("Godzilla 2.0," "Making Mothra," "Creating Ghidorah" and "Reimagining Rodan").
  • Monarch in Action (32:56) - Five behind-the-scenes looks at some of the film's key scenes where humans encounter the Titans ("The Yunnan Temple," "Castle Bravo," "The Antarctic Base," "The Isla de Mara Volcano" and "The Undersea Lair").
  • Millie Bobby Brown: Force of Nature (4:07) - The cast and crew sing the praises of working with the Stranger Things star.
  • Monster Tech: Monarch Joins the Fight (8:35) - A look at some of the bleeding edge technology Monarch uses against the Titans.
  • Monsters are Real (14:19) - Various experts weight in on humankind's longtime fascination with monsters.
  • Welcome to the Monsterverse (3:42) - A brief look at Legendary Pictures' "Monsterverse," which links together Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
  • Deleted Scenes (5:01) - Two scenes ("Mark's Flashback [Extended Version]" and "Boxing Practice, Argument and Radio Room").
  • Theatrical Trailers (12:09) - Four trailers for the film ("Life," "Supremacy," "Over the Rainbow" and "Wonder Rumble").
  • Commentary by Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields and O’Shea Jackson Jr. - The co-writer/director, co-writer and star talk all things Godzilla: King of the Monsters, from the film's Easter eggs and cameos, the actors' performances and anecdotal stories about shooting various scenes, to the visual effects, the production and sound design, and more.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment as of August 27th, 2019. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray features English Dolby Atmos, English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. The total runtime is 2 hrs. 12 min.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on May 30th, 2019.

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