Based on the novel by Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls is a visually spectacular and stunningly emotional tale of a boy who meets a monster who helps hem face the future. Conor OíMalley (MacDougall) is a 12-year-old who yearns for guidance after his beloved mother (Jones) becomes ill, and he moves in with his less-than-sympathetic grandmother (Weaver). He unexpectedly summons a 40-foot high colossus of a creature, the Monster (voiced and performed by Neeson), who becomes a most unlikely ally by guiding him on a journey of courage, faith, and truth that powerfully fuses imagination and reality. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary with Writer Patrick Ness, five deleted scenes (HD 06:22), the featurettes Making Of A Monster Calls (HD 20:30) and Making Of The Tales (HD 08:14), upfront previews, and an UltraViolet digital copy.
The 2.38:1 1080p AVC picture is gorgeous, with a combination of spectacular animation and real life imagery. The Monsterís stories are animated, with a strong saturated color palette with vivid primaries and rich and warm hues. Contrast is excellent throughout, with deep, solid blacks and shadow delineation. The real-life production design is wonderfully intricate in terms of cityscapes, houses, and interiors.of Conorís home and his grandmotherís home. Object textures are richly detailed. Resolution is excellent in terms of facial features, hair, clothing, and surround objects. While much of the picture takes place in lower-light conditions and at night, detail remains discernible. The Monster is essentially a large walking tree with bare branches and exhibits incredible detail. This is a wonderful cinematic experience that exhibits impressive naturalness and beauty throughout. This is a reference-quality visual experience. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audioô 5.1-channel soundtrack is impressively dynamic, with fully energized channels and powerful sub-25 Hz bass and .1 LFE. The Monsterís footsteps are poundingly deep and powerful. Thunder and rain are perfectly realistic. The surrounds are aggressively active and directionalized, with a totally enveloping holosonicģ soundfield. Atmospherics effectively enhance the realism of the production design with excellent dimension. The orchestral score is immersive, with excellent fidelity and a wide and deep soundstage that extends aggressively to the surrounds. Dialogue is nicely integrated spatially, and The Monsterís voicing is deep and powerful, with a forward presence that projects power. This is a beautiful sonic experience that is reference quality. (Gary Reber)