Movie Review: ANNIHILATION (4K Ultra HD Combo Pack)

ANNIHILATION is based on Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy. The movie was written and directed by Alex Garland and stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny and Oscar Isaac.

Biologist and former soldier Lena (Natalie Portman) is shocked when her missing husband (Oscar Isaac) comes home near death from a top-secret mission into The Shimmer, a mysterious quarantine zone no one has ever returned from. Now, Lena and her elite team must enter a beautiful, deadly world of mutated landscapes and creatures, to discover how to stop the growing phenomenon that threatens all life on Earth.

Annihilation follows this group of female explorers/scientists who enter this quarantine zone that’s full of mysteries of the unknown. Each woman has her own story to tell but the main focus stays on Lena who is also dealing with some issues with her husband. Their story plays out as the movie jumps back and forth and the viewer gets to see what actually happened between the two. What we learn is that Lena is a flawed character who’s done some things in her past that she regrets and has to deal with the consequences of it all as well as the different personalities that make up this group of women.

This small group witnesses all kinds of mutations and anomilies while they explore inside The Shimmer and with each new discovery, these eerie creations slowly start to take shape. The expedition ends up becoming a deadly fight for survival as they venture deeper into this mysterious area and it’s Lena who ultimately comes face-to-face with this alien visitor that’s behind what’s going on. This meeting between the two is a dark revelation/awakening but Lena’s drive to conquer the unknown ends up allowing her to ultimately see her husband again. The final moments show the husband and wife finally reunite but things aren’t the way they used to be because there’s something different about them now.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. These Ultra HD movies all come in black keep cases which helps them easily standout from the popular blue cases that have been around since day one. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The UHD disc has a black finish and the Blu-ray has a light blue finish and both feature the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this new release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio quality. Fans will be able to experience this movie like never before with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital HD) release. This features four times the resolution of Full HD and High Dynamic Range (HDR) that delivers the brightest, most vivid and realistic color and greatest contrast.

Bottom line is, Annihilation ended up being such an impressive movie that features elements of science fiction, horror and relationships. A few years ago Alex Garland delivered the amazing Ex Machina that instantly became one of my all-time favorite sci-fi movies and I was curious to see what he would follow it up with. Annihilation is such a mysterious hybrid that’s full of beauty and horror that takes place in the world we live in. It offers a new what if scenario of what might happen if aliens came here instead of us going into space. Would they invade, would they come in peace, or maybe they would be curious explorers that would want to know more about our world and how it all works? What happens in this movie is the end of life as we know it and the beginning of something else but it’s not like this mysterious visitor came here to destroy us but rather to study us and see how we tick. Alex Garland has captured everything he needed to make this movie an impressive sci-fi thriller that’s full of stunning visuals and terrifying creatures that dwell within this fascinating world. The female cast delivered some great performances with their characters and it was really neat to see them take the lead. Movie fanatics that have already upgraded their home entertainment centers (screens and players) to watch 4K movies are sure to enjoy the experience. Annihilation will be available on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital HD) on May 29th.

Distributor: Paramount Home Media Distribution

Run Time: 115 Minutes

Rated: R

4K Ultra HD Video: 2160P Ultra High-Definition Widescreen (2.39:1)

4K Ultra HD Audio: English Dolby Atmos / EDA / French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.39:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English Dolby Atmos / EDA / French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Special Features: Good Stuff! There’s over an hour of bonus content. Natalie Portman, director Alex Garland and other cast and crew take viewers behind-the-scenes for a deeper look inside the film’s stunts, intricate set design and breathtaking visual effects.

  1. Refractions – See how director Alex Garland created the tone, textures and color palettes for the various film environments on set. (11:20)
  2. For Those That Follow – Listen to the cast’s perspective on their roles and learn why they found the story so intriguing. (15:04)
  • Part 2 – AREA X
  1. Shimmer – See how filmmakers transformed real set locations to create the world of Annihilation. (12:12)
  2. Vanished into Havoc – Check out all the action as cast and crew walk you through the mind-blowing stunts and special effects. (15:03)
  1. Unfathomable Mind – Learn why the visual effects are integral to achieving director Alex Garland’s overall vision for Annihilation. (11:46)
  2. The Last Phase – Listen to the cast and crew share their fondest memories from filming Annihilation. (08:06)
  • Digital HD Copy


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