Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle. Little does he know that the invitation is part of a murderous and diabolical plot that is part of a bigger end game.

The Review at a Glance:

(max score: 5 )



Audio/UHD Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )



Studio and Year: Warner – 2016
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 110 minutes
Genre: Drama/Action/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Margo Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Djimon Hounsou, Jim Broadbent
Directed by: David Yates
Music by: Rupert Gregson-Williams
Written by:Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 11, 2016

“A New Threat Awaits”

My Take:

It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Robbie) at his side. Now, he has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Belgian, Leon Rom (Waltz). But those behind the murderous plot have no idea what they are about to unleash.

Tarzan films have been around since American Cinema was in its infancy. Edgar Rice Burroughs’ creation has continued to evolve while essentially maintaining the overall essence of the character. The trailers for The Legend of Tarzan didn’t inspire me to want to see it theatrically, although my wife did mention wanting to check it out, if for no other reason than to see Alexander Skarsgard’s beefed up frame. We never did get there and wound up waiting for it to arrive on home video. As it turned out it arrived the week we were away on vacation to California. Fortunately, we were visiting my good friend David Vaughn, Contributing Technical Editor for Home Theater Magazine, and active AVS Forum member, who also covers Blu-ray/Ultra HD Blu-ray, so we viewed this with Dave and his wife in his theater room.

I knew that the film wasn’t well received by critics however I found myself enjoying it over the course of the first two acts. I mean there were some pacing problems, and I felt that the character portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson didn’t fit but otherwise I liked the overall story arc. Unfortunately, that all ended during the final act. It almost seemed as though the writers didn’t know how to finish it. There was a shift in thematic tone that went from drama/thriller to action/fantasy. The level of campiness rose beyond reasonable levels and it all broke down becoming silly. It’s too bad as I think that there was ample potential in both the character design and narrative context. The ending derailed that, leaving it feeling like a throwaway, rather than something tangible. I will say that our wives enjoyed seeing Alexander Skarsgard running around without his shirt on. Dave and I didn’t mind Margo Robbie’s presence either. Neither was enough to revive our interest once the credits rolled.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for sequences of action and violence, some sensuality and brief rude dialog.

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: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

HDR: Dark Highlights:

HDR: Bright Highlights:

HDR: Expanded Color:


Visual Impact:

Dolby Atmos Rating: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Level of immersion:

Soundstage integration:

Audio object placement:


Entertainment factor:

Ultra HD Blu-ray has finally been released and eager enthusiasts are ready and willing to see what it has to offer. 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

For those not willing to refer to the article linked above, I have included some comments here. The implementation of high dynamic range as it stands currently, doesn’t appear to have exacting standards and no calibration tools to allow for a foundational threshold for setting up a visual system. This leaves us to do the best we can to determine what appears to be accurate, at least for the time being. With that in mind, my approach to reviewing Ultra HD Blu-ray will be to assess the elements observed which I find to generate the most significant visual impact when compared to standard high definition Blu-ray.

For me, Ultra HD’s high dynamic range/wide color gamut, with its broader spectrum of colors and emboldened highlights in the areas of contrast and brightness, is where the potential lies in the format. The increase in resolution, while an important component, isn’t going to be definitive in every case, especially given that currently many of the Ultra HD Blu-ray releases are derived from 2K Digital Intermediates that are up-converted to 4K. This shouldn’t be strictly construed to mean that such up-converted images won’t look noticeably better than their 1080p counterparts. Conversely, a release finished on a 4K Digital Intermediate isn’t a guarantee that it will be heads and shoulders above the rest. So, what can you expect to hear from me when discussing what I observed from Ultra HD Blu-ray? I will hit upon the things that struck me, the impact, or lack of impact, of HDR and the improvement, if any, in resolution when compared to 1080p Blu-ray. The outcome will be a rating as seen above.

Front projection for home theater is just stepping through the door with respect to the reproduction of HDR. My goal is to present readers with a reasonable expectation of what they can expect when viewing the same content that I have. There may be variables that differ slightly however I believe that in general the outcome will be close. As we are exposed to more and more content and calibration tools come onboard we will have better perspectives from which to gauge. Thanks for reading!

The Legend of Tarzan comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.

The Legend of Tarzan was shot digitally, with its presentation in Ultra HD rendered from a 2K DI, and up-converted to 4K. With the limited exposure to Ultra HD material sourced from a 4K Digital Intermediates we are left to judge based upon what we have seen thus far.

The 1080p transfer for The Legend of Tarzan looks terrific and this Ultra HD rendering takes it up a notch with a discernible increase in detail, emboldened contrast, both light and dark, and a noticeably sharper image. This is readily apparent in the opening sequence with the African flyover followed by the Leon Rom and the military encounter with the natives. Close ups of the rock formations and head to toe makeup on the tribesman reveal oodles of fine detail and abounding textures. Wide angle shots of the landscapes, CG sets/backgrounds and interiors of the train, London buildings and rustic dwellings looked excellent.

One of the best examples of the presentation’s combination of HDR and detail comes during the nighttime campfire sequence where Tarzan, Jane and Dr. Williams sit around the fire with the local tribe. The firelight’s illumination shines brilliantly, casting their shadows against the background which remains delineated while appearing richly dark. The variety of scenes shot in the low light of the jungle with its cascading sunlight, such as the battle between Akut and Tarzan are equally rewarding. The film utilizes sepia, autumn schemed color and an overall cooler chromatic aesthetic that appears faithfully reproduced in Ultra HD.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the moderately active variety that made steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects placed above is a mix atmospherics and discrete effects. This is done to very good effect and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. Over the course of the film there are various environmental sounds and music cues that are mixed to differing locations in the sound field. Some are more pronounced than others but the overall effect is excellent.

Everything really comes together for the first time when Tarzan, Dr. Williams and the tribesman are swinging through the jungle trying the intercept the train. The sound field comes alive as atmospherics and near field objects hit their mark, swirl overhead, and pass through the room placing you inside the action. The Boma stampede in the finale is the track’s highlight. While this isn’t what I would regard as an aggressive Atmos mix I enjoyed the balance of atmosphere and well placed discrete sounds, which enhanced the viewing of the film.

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


Black Level/Shadow Detail:

Color Reproduction:



Audio: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


Low frequency effects:

Surround Sound presentation:


Dialog Reproduction:

Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): [img] [/img]

The Legend of Tarzan comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 Mbps.

This film utilizes a stylized visual design that has a limited color scheme that works aesthetically well for the subject matter. The color range is limited to shades of dark blue, gray and black with splashes of crimson red and forest green hues. Warm golden accents are used throughout to break up the film’s monochromatic essence. This comes in the form of glowing firelight or alternating flesh tones that have lifelike complexional color as opposed to the ashen/blue that is predominant the majority of the time. What enhances the effect is its presence amidst the other dark blue/gray/black elements within the same shot. Contrast is strong and blacks are deep without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages. Resolution is excellent as images are crisp, delineated and dimensionally strong.

The lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (Atmos Core) soundtrack has excellent dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the entire surround platform to drive the film’s thematic elements. Rupert Gregson-Williams’ music score, coupled along with well-integrated discrete and atmospheric sound effects, plays an intricate role in this sometimes active surround mix. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is excellent. The low frequency effects channel is active as the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the palpably rich bass and dynamic impact associated with the “sounds” of the world it depicts. Dialog is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. I thoroughly enjoyed this audio presentation and found that it accentuated the feeling of “being there” while complimenting the film’s recorded elements.

Bonus Features:

Disc1: The Legend of Tarzan Ultra HD Blu-ray
Disc 2: The Legend of Tarzan Blu-ray

(HD) Tarzan Reborn – 15 minute featurette

(HD) Battles and Bare Knuckled Brawls (3 segments totaling 15 minutes)

(HD) Tarzan and Jane’s Unfailing Love – 6 minute featurette

(HD) Creating the Virtual Jungle – 15 minute featurette

(HD) Gabon to the Big Screen – 2 minute feature

(HD) Stop Ivory Public Service Announcement

Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

The Legend of Tarzan starts off well enough but fizzles in the final act, resulting in a film that failed to live up to its subject. It comes to Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack that features solid technical merits across each platform and a fair supplemental package that takes a peek behind the curtain. The Legend of Tarzanisn’t perfect but has enough merit to warrant a rental on Blu-ray so feel free to toss it on your rental queue and give it a spin.

You Tube

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 Horizontal Masking System

Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player

Samsung UBD-K8500 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 In-Ceiling series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)

Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components – CP-CP102 cooling package

The post The Legend of Tarzan Ultra HD Blu-ray Review appeared first on AVSForum.com.

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