Push Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Ralph Potts reviews the Ultra HD debut on this sci-fi action film that follows two young Americans with special abilities, that must race to find a girl in Hong Kong, before a shadowy government organization called Division does.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

87

Details:

Studio and Year: Lionsgate – 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 111 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Camilla Belle, Djimon Hounsou, Maggie Siff, Cliff Curtis
Directed by: Paul McGuigan
Music by: Neil Davidge
Written by: David Bourla
Region Code: A

Release Date: April 10, 2018

“One Push Can Change Everything”

My Take:

Hang on tight as a gang of super-powered paranormal operatives takes you on a white-knuckle thrill ride. The excitement starts when a future-seeing Watcher (Dakota Fanning) convinces a telekinetic Mover (Chris Evans) to help steal a briefcase that holds a billion-dollar secret. But to outrun government agents, they must enlist a mind-controlling Pusher (Camilla Belle) who could be their salvation – or their doom.

I recall purchasing Push as a blind buy, when it was first released on Blu-ray back in 2009. I don’t have any definitive impressions of it, and didn’t keep it so, I took that for whatever it was worth going into this review of the Ultra HD release. By today’s standards the plot is pretty conventional, although, nine years ago, it was probably a bit less so. Taking place in an undisclosed futuristic timeframe the primary p;ot revolves around a group of meta-humans, with various abilities, who band together in an attempt to take down The Division, a clandestine government agency that’s genetically transforming normal citizens into powerful psychic warriors, with the goal of making humankind the ultimate weapon.

Feeling more like a made for television movie than a feature film, Push suffers from a thin framed plot, shallow characters, and a storyline that comes across as an incomplete thought. The action isn’t nearly engaging enough to carry it, and the stitched together thematic subtext just fails to hit the mark. I liked the cast just fine, but, frankly never really cared about their characters. When all is said, and done, Push pales in comparison to the better films about its subject matter. The result is a forgettable film that ultimately feels like a waster of two hours.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for intense sequences of violence and action, brief strong language, smoking, and a scene of teen drinking.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation(HDR-10): 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

UHD Presentation (Dolby Vision): 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

Dolby Atmos Rating: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Level of immersion: 
  • Soundstage integration: 
  • Audio object placement: 
  • Effectiveness: 
  • Entertainment factor: 

Push comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD, Push was rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K. Color reproduction is consistent, with primaries like blue, red, and green appearing richer, even a bit more delineated. Secondary hues look great as well. The increase in resolution is apparent, allowing the detection of minutia, even in wide angle shots, to be appreciable. Close-ups tend to offer better refinement and deeper resolvable textures on surfaces, clothing, and physical features, compared to the Blu-ray.

The same is true when comparing the video’s dynamic range. Exterior sequences offer the slightest hint of added punch, especially those that take place in the light of day. The darkened highlights in the low-lighting sequences, like the nighttime shots overlooking the city have appreciable dimension and resolvable detail. Fleshtones are a bit on the bronzy side, but don’t appear unnatural. Viewing Push in Ultra HD was an entertaining experience. I think its improvements over the 1080p rendering make it worth considering for its fans.

Dolby Vision vs HDR-10:

I utilize the TCL 55P607 UHD Dolby Vision HDR flat panel in my review system to enable me to compare the visual quality of titles that contained the Dolby Vision metadata versus its HDR-10 counterpart on the same disc. All titles are first watched via my JVC front projector. I then select specific scenes which are watched on the TCL, first via HDR-10 then via Dolby Vision. The TCL isn’t among the top tier flat panels with DV, however it came recommended by AVS Forum Senior Editor Mark Henninger, and calibrates/performs extremely well for a set at its price point.

* The cumulative A/V score will still be based upon the HDR-10 rating, with the DV rating serving as informational only for now.*

Comparing the DV and HDR-10 presentations for Push, I found the HDR to be close, but, felt that the DV rendering edged out the HDR-10. Much of this came when comparing the same scenes and finding that the rendering of color was not only slightly deeper, but seemingly more delineated. I also thought that gradations in the white detail a bit were easier to see. While I wouldn’t categorize these differences as stark, I definitely felt that the DV rendering was my preference.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the moderately active variety, which was a bit of a surprise. Its use of audio objects placed above is comprised of a mix of atmospherics, panning fills and occasional discrete effects. This is done to good effect when implemented and creates an enriching level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. During the various sequences that take place in the large expanse of the city streets and market place, the track brims with environmental cues and discrete sound effects that adds an enriching layer to the soundtrack.

The music is subtly mixed over the platform so as to add natural depth to its orchestrated elements, without drawing attention away from the thematic details of what is transpiring onscreen. While I thought that the mix did a capable job handling this soundtrack, I would have preferred a bit more emphasis placed on the overhead channels, especially during the action-based moments.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Bonus Features:

  • Push Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Push Blu-ray
  • Audio Commentary with Director Paul McGuigan and Actors Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning
  • Deleted Scenes (with optional Audio Commentary with Director Paul McGuigan)
  • “The Science Behind The Fiction” Featurette
  • “Breaking Down the 9 Types of Psychics” Featurette

Final Thoughts:

Push had potential, but, suffers from a convoluted script that fails to focus and render its thematic elements. It is making its Ultra HD Blu-ray debut in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Lionsgate Home Entertainment, featuring an excellent Ultra HD presentation (which includes Dolby Vision HDR), a fair Dolby Atmos immersive sound mix, and legacy supplemental material. If you’re a fan of Push and are set up for Ultra HD Blu-ray/Dolby Atmos sound, there is enough of an upgrade here to warrant purchase consideration.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems 

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