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Blu-Ray : Highly Recommended
Ranking:
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Release Date: May 28th, 2024 Movie Release Year: 2024

Arthur The King

Overview -

4K UHD Review By: Bryan Kluger
Mark Wahlberg and a sweet dog make for a wonderfully fun and thrilling film that pulls on all the heartstrings in Arthur the King. The 1080p HD transfer looks gorgeous and the Dolby Atmos track sounds fantastic. The bonus features are packed with information and sweet puppy dogs. Highly Recommended! 
 

 

OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p AVC/MPEG-4
Length:
107
Aspect Ratio(s):
2.40:1
Audio Formats:
English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles/Captions:
French, Spanish
Release Date:
May 28th, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

Spoiler Alert: The dog does NOT die in this movie. Arthur The King is based on a true story about a stray dog who Mikael Lindnord adopted during his adventure race overseas that became an international sensation. Packed with an all-star cast including Mark Wahlberg and Simu Lui, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Juliet Rylance, the heartstrings are pulled with puppy dog eyes with a thrilling adventure backdrop set across the Dominican Republic. Even though the soul of the narrative has been seen many times before, the cast and canine actors turn in fantastic performances that will undoubtedly have dog lovers and thrill-seeking enthusiasts clamoring with joy for this movie.

Director Simon Cellan Jones has worked with Wahlberg before in The Family Plan. He knows how to play to Wahlberg's strengths of mixing comedy and inner struggles. This time out, Wahlberg's Michael (spelling changed for American audiences) is a scruffy-looking adventurer whose family encourages him to one last race for the gold before he ages out and suffers more injuries. His racing team picks all of the different personas that don't always mesh with Mike's serious attitude, including one who puts social media influence first and foremost. The first hour of the film doesn't heavily feature the titular canine except for a few shots of the cute dog observing Michael and his crew.

Through some scary terrain, cliff climbing, and mishaps on a zip line, it's easy to see where writer Micahel Brandt added some of his previous action beats to conjure up suspense from movies like 2 Fast 2 Furious, 3:10 To Yuma and Wanted. The use of GoPro cameras mixed with studio big rigs brings a fully immersive, tense reality to the movie and its characters. After the hour mark passes and the human characters have figured each other out, the sweet canine fully enters the picture as their unofficial teammate after it saves the team from certain death. Montage after montage of sweet, funny moments with the newly named Arthur and his pack race towards the finish when a Fellowship of the Ring moment appears beneath the water that brings forth the sad moments in the film.

Luckily again, the dog does NOT die. But the emotions still run heavy as Wahlberg lets his acting chops breathe while getting his new friend back home and to safety. It's a story that's been told many times on the big screen, however, the true story here of a dog that found its family is very endearing and has a complete real-life image set projected during the end credit sequences. Dog movies are wonderful, especially ones like Arthur The King where characters transform into something better and a cute dog gives the puppy eyes for delicious meatball treats from Marky Mark. What more could anyone want?

 

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Arthur The King barks its way to Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Code via Lionsgate. The two discs are housed inside a hard blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork features side views of Wahlberg and the pup looking right. There is an insert for a digital code. 

Video Review

Ranking:

Arthur The King comes with a beautiful 1080p HD transfer that highlights all of the stunning locales used in the adventure race. The color palette has an Earthy tone since most of the movie is set in the wilderness. There is a fantastic mix of greens, blues, and browns that contacts nicely with the bolder neon colors of clothes the hikers wear. A particularly beautiful sequence takes place high above on a zipline where the ground is covered in bright green trees and the sky is a wonderful light blue. Brown and grey rocks cover the mountains on both ends which look pitch-perfect. The water has a natural light green tint as well. The overall aesthetic has a cooler look rather than the warmer fiery oranges and red, which is pleasant to the eye. The black levels are inky and rich during the nighttime sequences and the skin tones are natural. The detail is vivid and sharp revealing every gross, stringy hair on Mark Wahlberg's face. Other injuries, facial pores, textures in the hiking gear, and dog fur are easily found. This is a beautiful-looking HD video presentation without any major issues. 

 

Audio Review

Ranking:

This release comes with a Dolby Atmos track that is lively from the get-go. Sound effects are loud and brutish when it counts. Rocks falling off cliffs, ziplining, bike wheels spinning, paddles rowing in water, and vehicles zooming by all sound excellent. Crowds cheering at the finish lines provide excellent ambient noises in the surrounding speakers. The score always adds to the suspense and heartfelt moments of the movie while the dialogue is presented cleanly and clearly. The low end of the bass kicks in during the bigger action beats with a good rumble. The height speakers bring rain, thunder, and other elements from nature from the sky. There are no major audio issues.

 

Special Features

Ranking:

There are about 32 minutes of extras that are worth watching for the most part. However, Mark Wahlberg barely shows up here. There are three commentary tracks, none of which have the actors in it.

  • Audio Commentary #1 - Director Simon Cellan Jones and the real-life guy the movie is based on Mikael Lindnord deliver a fun commentary track and talk about the real-life situations, the casting, the dog, and other tidbits from the set. 
  • Audio Commentary #2 - The producers Tucker and Tessa Tooley talk more about the real-life story, working with the cast and crew, setting up locations, and the canine actors.
  • Audio Commentary #3 - More producers enter the chat with Mark and Dorothy Canton who talk more about the inspiring story, the races, and working on the film.
  • Finding Arthur (HD, 10 Mins.) - This is a sweet featurette that centers around casting beautiful puppy dogs.
  • A Love Letter to Arthur (HD, 6 Mins.) - Here is a quick segment that tells the true-life story the movie is based on.
  • Making Arthur The King (HD, 12 Mins.) - An EPK piece with on-set footage and cast and crew interviews. Wahlberg is barely here.
  • Best Friends PSA (HD, 1 Min.) - The dog and Wahlberg into the movie.
  • Trailer (HD, 3 Mins.) - Trailer for the film. 

Final Thoughts

Arthur The King is a loveable, inspiring, real-life story about a man who finds a dog and loves it forever. The performances and thrills are spectacular to watch unfold on screen. the 1080p HD video image looks amazing and the Dolby Atmos track sounds wonderful. The few bonus features are worth the time as well for dog-lovers. Highly Recommended! 

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