Pride And Prejudice And Zombies 4K UltraHD

Featured In Issue 213, January 2017

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Zombie violence and action, and brief suggestive material.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Burr Steers
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Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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The late 1700s to early 1800s Olde England world of Jane Austin’s Pride And Prejudice is spiced up with a local, if not global, crisis—And Zombies. As in the original novel, the central characters are the five unmarried Bennett sisters who pursue the recently arrived and eligible Mr. Bingley and his status-seeking friend, Mr. Darcy. Here the Bennett sisters are highly trained and very well-armed zombie fighters. The wealthy and lucky few live in protected areas, thinking they are (mostly) safe from zombies that change slowly and talk, think, and move like nothing is wrong except for their rotting flesh that spreads slowly after their initial infection. Once a zombie is committed to their new existence, they can accelerate the change by eating some good old human brains, causing them to become very dangerous, very quickly. The movie tries to play the zombie crisis straight, but it’s not quite successful. Something went missing when the movie makers tried to combine 19th century England with a slightly modified zombie apocalypse. Cowboys And Aliens managed to blend two things that don’t normally go together in movies much better than what is achieved here. (Doug Blackburn)

The 2K digital intermediate was created from 3.4K ARRIRAW digital video from the Arri Alexa XT Plus camera. Images are fairly typical for 4K UltraHD discs created from 2K digital intermediates. Resolution is slightly better than HD Blu-ray, and HDR enhancement and expanded color space further distance the presentation from the HD/SDR version, but most people won’t find the content here compelling enough visually to consider this demo-quality video. Everything looks good, but that’s not enough to fulfill the promise of this new disc format. You’ve encountered this many times with HD/SDR content that is perfectly good quality for telling a story, but there’s no visual wow factor. When you view the HD/SDR version side by side with the UHD/HDR version, it is easy to see the differences, but as soon as you turn off the HD/SDR version, within minutes, it feels like you are seeing UHD/HDR images that are just okay and nothing more than that. (Doug Blackburn)

The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack was apparently remixed for disc releases since theatrical releases appear to have been lossy Dolby Digital only. This is another example of a soundtrack that has no glaring faults, but it lacks the clarity and detail you get from the best soundtracks. I found myself forgetting the soundtrack easily, just falling into watching the movie. So the sound quality is natural with good dialogue clarity, but there’s nothing about the sound that causes you to be transported to the time and place of the movie.

The immersive qualities of the Atmos soundtrack are minimal with, music, as usual, accounting for 50 percent to 70 percent of what’s present in the height channels. There are long periods of silence in the height channels also. During those periods of silence, there were all kinds of missed opportunities to put ambient sounds in the height channels. This again points to no human actually being at a mixing console to create the Atmos soundtrack, relying on what is likely a soulless automated process to create the Atmos soundtrack with very little cost to the studio. Unfortunately, this makes for a very uninspired use of the height channels. (Doug Blackburn)