Featured In Issue 195, March 2015

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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Alejandro G. Iñárritu
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In Birdman, a washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he prepares for the opening of his Broadway play, in a bid to reclaim his past glory. Winner of Best Picture Academy Award®.

Special features include a conversation with Actor Michael Keaton and Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Chivo’s on-set photography gallery, and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 1.84:1 1080p picture was photographed digitally with the Arri Alexa M camera system and exhibits beautiful imagery and the Academy Award-winning cinematography of Emmanuel Lubezki, who filmed the movie in long, unedited takes and with an emphasis on handheld cameras. The imagery is very smooth, despite the Stedicam production. The story takes place in a Broadway stage and in the back halls and room, which are dimly lit. Still, shadow delineation is excellent and black levels are deep and solid. The color palette is natural in appearance, with warm, rich hues and natural fleshiness. Resolution is excellent, with fine detail exhibited in facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. This is a wonderfully natural and realistic picture that is engaging throughout.

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack features a limited but creatively dimensional drum score by drummer Antonio Sanchez. The drum kit recording is exceptionally articulated and dimensional, with a wide stereo spread and subtle surround envelopment. At times the drums are positioned to the side and surrounds for effect. There are other segments with orchestral scoring as well. Dialogue is at times directionalized and off screen, but always intelligible, clean, and effectively integrated spatially. Surround envelopment is projected by the atmospherics of the theatre and the goings on during the rehearsals, as well as the Broadway street scenes in New York City. Foley also is well executed. But the drumming is the real highlight of the soundtrack. While minimal in scope, fidelity is excellent, with an engaging presence.