Queen Of The Desert

Featured In Issue 223, January 2018

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Shout Factory
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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128 Minutes
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Werner Herzog
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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"Queen Of The Desert" is the incredible true adventure of a trailblazing woman who defied an empire and found freedom in the faraway world of the Middle East. In turn-of-the-century England, Gertrude Bell (Kidman) rebels against the stifling rigidity of life, leaving it behind for a chance to travel to Tehran. There, she begins a lifelong adventure across the Arab world, a journey marked by danger, a passionate affair with a British officer (Franco), and an encounter with the legendary T.E. Lawrence (Pattinson). Photographed on location in Morocco and Jordan, the movie reveals how an ahead-of-her-time woman shaped the course of history. Based on a true story. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the trailer and upfront previews.

The 2.19:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed digitally using the Red Epic , Red Epic Dragon and Red Scarlet camera systems and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. From the opening scene, the picture quality is mesmerically beautiful. The cinematography is fabulous with excellent contrast with bright highlights contrasted with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Color fidelity is superb with warm and rich hues contrasted against beautiful interior settings and desert terrain. The complex nuances of beige hues of the desert are wonderfully captured. Various saturated colors enhance the beauty of the production design. Fleshtones are perfectly natural. Blacks are deep, as seen in various clothes, such as black tuxedos and robes worn by Arabs and Arabian horses. Everything is extraordinarily realistic. Resolution is excellent with very fine detail exhibited throughout, in facial features skin pores, beards, hair, clothing and object texture as well as grains of sand blowing in the wind. This is an incredibly beautiful and reference-quality picture that would easily pass as a 4K Ultra HD presentation. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is just as wonderful as the picture. Atmospherics nicely enhance many scenes, such as in gardens with birds chirping in all corners of the soundfield and the sound of horse hoofs galloping. Foley sound effects also are quite realistic. Surround envelopment is very effective in enhancing the scope of the soundfield and at times directionalized, such as galloping horses. Deep bass serves as a foundation to the score and in support of segments of galloping horses and camels. The orchestral score is beautifully recorded, especially the fidelity of the featured piano and background sounds of people interacting in bazaars and the sound of horses and camels or the sound of wind-driven sand. There is an enormous amount of nuanced sounds throughout that also enhance the realism. Arabic songs have a compelling presence and are rich in fidelity. Dialogue is delivered with good spatial integration. Kidman's narration is perfectly balanced with a forward presence. This is an extraordinarily beautiful soundtrack that envelops the soundfield with strong surrounds, for a wonderful holosonic® reference-quality experience. (Gary Reber)