Warner Bros. seems to be leaving the door to room 237 ajar, as the legend below the title, Doctor Sleep on packaging reads “The next chapter in The Shining story.”
I’d been getting negative feedback on this film, but as a fan of the original, I had to try it on for size, that size being long and extra long, dependent upon whether one selects the theatrical cut at 152 minutes, or the director’s cut, at 180.
My experience has been that when a home video release offers an “extended,” or “director’s” cut of the film, things normally come to down to marketing sizzle, adding deletions and trims, that in most cases, were better left on the cutting room floor, or hard drive.
Doctor Sleep is an entirely different creature, as the extra 28 minutes actually fills out the storyline, adding to our knowledge and understanding of the characters, and creating a far better overall experience.
But here comes the conundrum, or more appropriately, the murdnunoc.
Doctor Sleep is one of those rare avis, actually shot in high resolution and finished in 4k, which means that Warner’s 4k release is the real thing – and yes, especially in projection, one can see a difference.
The murdnunoc is that the director’s cut is an extra, albeit on an extra disc, and is presented, not in true 4k, but in HD. Further, for those which projectors, and I’m considering upgrading because of it, most projectors do not possess the ability to properly handle HDR, and afaik, none project in Dolby Vision.
What all of this means, is that currently, projecting the film in 4k HDR, which is the theatrical can not allow the full and proper HDR experience, while a quality flat panel will shine in this regard.
My preference was to view the Director’s Cut, which I highly recommend, via projection, and do a contrast and compare, running the Theatrical 4k via OLED.
One Very nice attribute of Warner’s release is that regardless of which version one selects (and yes, they’re on separate discs) you get Dolby Atmos, and are not downgraded, or crippled as some used to say in terms of cell phone usage, as Disney/Fox has chosen to do with Ford v Ferrari.
Why should home theaters fans, who have not upgraded to 4k, but have added Dolby Atmos, be treated as second class citizens?
As to the film itself, regardless of which cut one selects, I loved it. Mike Flanagan, who wrote and directed, has done a dutiful job of connecting the dots between novels and the earlier film version, which serves as a prologue to this film. The cinema mythos, which fans should love is all there.
Ewan McGregor does a great job bringing the grown Danny to life, while the magnificent Rebecca Fergusson (you’ll hopefully remember her from Mission Impossible and Greatest Showman) serves as a chilling antagonist, and a new talent, young Kyliegh Curran rounds out the main cast.
Image – 5
Audio – 5 – 4k – Dolby Atmos
Pass / Fail – Pass