If you saw Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse in theaters you already know every frame is like a work of art. That also holds true for the home media presentations of the movie, especially in 4k UHD and Dolby Vision. Sound is also a great home theater experience, provided in Dolby Atmos that will downsample to smaller speaker systems yet still offer immersive qualities. The 4k Blu-ray edition released on September 5th, following an earlier digital release on August 8, 2023. Let’s talk about how great this movie is at home in 4k on Ultra HD Blu-ray and Digital 4k UHD.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is the sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), where Miles Morales/Spider-Man along with other Marvel Comics characters explore the Spider-Verse. Shameik Moore reprises his role as Morales/Spider-Man, along with Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy and other returning voice actors. The movie was distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing and earned $790M at the box office on a $100M budget. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse had a lot of expectations given the high bar set by 2019’s “Into the Spider-Verse,” but the film does not disappoint.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse on 4k Blu-ray and in Digital 4k UHD is presented at 2160p resolution with Dolby Vision HDR. On 4k Blu-ray the sharpness and color depth is excellent. The playback on both 4K Blu-ray and Digital 4K render deep color depth, sharpness, and luminosity in the drawn images that radiate in this unique animated work.
You might think that because it’s an animated film the bitrates don’t need to be that high. Not so. Bitrates on the 4k Blu-ray averaged in the 60s and 70s with peaks seen in the mid-90s. Streaming. Streaming bitrates are about a third of the disc, but common for output from services like Apple TV.
“Across the Spider-Verse” might be one of the closest film representations of a comic book or graphic novel. Hit the pause button at almost any point and you’ll find a comic panel that comes alive on screen.
The Dolby Vision HDR expands the color depth to 10-bits on supporting screens enabling accurate representation of some of the more extreme color values like hot pink, aqua, and yellows that are almost offensive.
What else can we say? We love the screen split screen effect at 1 hour and 13 minutes that look like comic book panels. The treatment of the Hobie Brown character (1st appearance Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 3) #10) was really different and unique for a feature film. The introduction and ending credits are really creative and almost mini-films that can be enjoyed independently.
The audio experience in the first film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was one of the best we’ve heard in recent years, so like the movie itself we we expected high quality in ‘Across the Spider-Verse” both in the theaters and at home. The 48kHz Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel audio played between 4Mbps and 5Mbps for the most part.
In the first opening battle scene when Gwen battles the Vulture there are some subtle surround effects that build up and eventually hit some of the Atmos height channels.
The low frequencies get really active in the second battle scene with the Spot, the strange Marvel villain that is covered in portals (rendered as black ink spots) to different dimensions. At 2:09 there is heart stopping moment when Miles Morales is punched, then followed by some creepy surround audio when he faces The Prowler.
The soundtrack to “Across the Spider-Verse” was created by Daniel Penderton who is also known for the “Into the Spider-Verse” as well as The Bad Guys. The percussion-driven underscore rises and falls with the dialogue and action filling the sound space. The compositions fill the surround space more than most films that only use Atmos and surround for ambient noises. By the way, the soundtrack is also offered with Dolby Atmos where available.
Of course, the soundtrack is also highlighted by the use of popular artists such as Coi Leray, Nas, Swae Lee, Future, 21 Savage, and ASAP Rocky, to name a few.
Over 90 minutes of bonus material are included with the Blu-ray and digital purchases of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse including filmmaker commentary, deleted scene (Miguel Calling), several featurettes, lyric videos, and more to dig into.
- Filmmaker Commentary
- Obscure Spiders and Easter Eggs
- Deleted Scene: Miguel Calling
- “I’mma Do My Own Thing” Interdimensional Destiny
- Across the Worlds: Designing New Dimensions
- Designing Spiders and Spots
- Scratches, Score, and The Music of the Multiverse
- Escape from Spider-Society
- Across the Comics-Verse
- Lyric Videos
- Creating the Ultimate Spider-Man Movie
- Raising a Hero
- Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Cast
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is an absolute masterpiece of animated filmmaking. It’s hard not to think about where it will sit in history along with films such as Akira, Spirited Away, and The Iron Giant. The film certainly expanded on Into the Spider-Verse by introducing a new visual vocabulary. In terms of home theater experience, the bigger this film is viewed the better, and the more audio channels the more you can hear what the audio engineers had in mind. We highly recommend adding Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse on 4K Blu-ray to your library alongside “Into the Spider-Verse.”