UHD Review A few words about...™ 1917 -- in 4k UHD Blu-ray

Robert Harris

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Round about sixty or so years ago, the French decided to hone in on film directors as the main source of inspiration, and credit for filmmaking.

Here in the Colonies the concept was heralded by the great Andrew Sarris, and amplified in his book, The American Cinema.

The reality is that filmmaking is generally, very much a group effort.

Try to imagine Lawrence without the input of Robert Bolt or Freddie Young.

While directors are still generally credited as the author of a film, they bring together the various departments, working initially toward the overall design of a film with their DP, and Production Designer, while location scouting, casting and other niceties begin to come together.

There is no film in recent memory for which this rings more true than for 1917, directed by Sam Mendes, working hand in hand with cinematographer Roger Deakins, and production designer Dennis Gassner.

While you're probably aware of Mr. Mendes and Mr. Deakins, unless you read film credits, you may have missed seeing Mr. Gassner's name.

We'll correct that shortcoming.

Beginning his career at Zoetrope in the late 1970s, as a graphic and title designer, he made a move to production design in 1986 on The Hitcher. It's nice to start small.

But in 1989, he designed Field of Dreams, followed by Miller's Crossing, The Grifters...

And has gone on to create some of the major work over the past three decades:

A sampling...

Barton Fink
Bugsy
The Hudsucker Proxy
Waterworld
The Truman Show
O Brother...
Road to Perdition
Big Fish
The Golden Compass
Quantum of Solace
Skyfall
Into the Woods
Spectre
Blade Runner 2019...

and

1917

He is one of those production members who I reference as "without whoms..."

They get thanked at award ceremonies, but people don't seem to know their names.

Now you will.

1917 is one of the most technically driven films of the past couple of decades. What seems simply isn't. What appears to be a single shot... well, we'll let you figure that out.

But try to imagine the bravura planning that went into even the most simple move.

Auteur Theory?

I don't think so.

Great film, and one of the absolute best of 2019.

As a 4k release, it's perfect, and even plays nicely with projectors, although it will appear a bit more accurate on a top panel that can run Dolby Vision.

Photographed in large format, and finished as such, it's perfect 4k fodder.

I suggest you grab a copy.

Is it one of those films that brings home theater upgrades into perspective?

I believe it is.

Image – 5 (HDR10/HDR10+/Dolby Vision)

Audio – 5 (Dolby Atmos)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
 

andySu

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1917.jpg


1917 (2019) (US import) arrived this morning
Dolby AtmosPlusIIIx 26 channels / 156 JBL speakers / Lucasfilm Ltd THX Sound System, 21kw

Overhead surround is used sparingly chapter 5, 20:12 I have the Dolby AtmosPlusIIIx tuned through rehearsal listening to other channels otherwise most Atmos home cinemas I would bet would have a some audio masking difficulties and certain sounds may go unheard/unnoticed.

Bass and LFE.1 is deep and reverberate to create a tense feeling of walking around the ruins of houses and muddy waters.

Cinematography looks good clear and nicely camera focused with some nice camera crane shots and steadicam.

Update on the Dolby Atmos. Don't expect a lot of usage on the Heights 1 2 and 3 the biplane scene at chapter 5, 20:12 is about as much as you would hear. A few little derbies on Height 1 during the last battle scene that only lasts for few seconds. How did this win best sound?? No use of serious 100% directional dialogue panning. I think academy ampas members must be all hard of hearing when it comes to nomination voting.
 
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