In "Across The Universe," Jude (Sturgess) is a young dock worker in mid-1960's Liverpool who sets off to America to meet a father he has never known. When he arrives in the U.S., Jude meets a new friend's little sister, Lucy (Wood), and the two fall in love. Caught up in the anti-war psychedelia of the era, the two are torn apart and go their separate ways. Will the star-crossed lovers be able to find their way Across The Universe and find one another, again? The story is set to The Beatles' music. (Stacey Pendry)
Special features include commentary from Director Julie Taymor and Composer Elliott Goldenthal; one deleted scene (HD 00:52); two versions of the same alternate scene "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite" (HD 05:42); four featurettes: Creating The Universe (HD 29:09), Stars Of Tomorrow (HD 27:07), All About The Music (HD 15:24), Moving Across The Universe (HD 09:03), and FX On The Universe (06:35); eight Extended Musical Performances (HD 34:54; Don Nance Art Gallery slideshow: Eddie Izzzard Live alaternate take #1 & #2 (HD 04;40).
The 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on film using Arricam and Panavision cameras in Super 35 with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio and sourced from a digitally restored 4K master Digital Intermediate format. Film grain is very light and non-obtrusive. The imagery is wonderful with a nicely saturated color palette enriched with a wider color gamut which reveals incredibly diverse and nuanced hues. Colors pop throughout and are expressive of the psychedelia era of the 1960s, as well as exhibiting a golden hue throughout. Resolution is eye-catching with expressive exhibited throughout, such as in brick buildings, metals, payments, ship yards, urban environments, campus architecture and incredible psychedelic sets. The visual textures are mesmerizing. Fine detail is especially revealing in close-ups of facial features, skin pores, hair and clothing. HDR contrast is well balanced with a range of dark density and brilliant highlights, effectively enhancing the imaginative production design. Black levels are deep and shadows are nicely delineated. This is an engaging picture with a rather appealing hot color palette, dominated by hues of red, orange, and brown. WOW! segments are numerous as for example from 00:37:33 to 00:41:38, 00:53:02 to 00:55:49, 01:04:19 to 01:07:40, 01:09:23 to 01:12:57 and 01:47:40 to 01:49:35. This 4K Ultra HD edition is a remarkably imaginative and engaging visual experience with numerous reference quality segments. (Gary Reber)
The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is fantastic, with a great mix and presence, especially with regard to the instruments during the many singing portions of the film. It can be quite obvious when singing was recorded on a looping stage and when it was recorded on-set, but it is not much of a distraction. The new mix is impressively enveloping, holosonic® and spherically sounding. The Beatles music delivers the story's narrative with abundant detail. The instrumentation is dynamic and spatially saturated throughout the soundfield with impressive separation and clarity. Dimensional presence is well balanced with perfect vocal positioning. Dialogue sets the stage for the music segments and well integrated spatially. The LFE channel is incorporated nicely when needed, both for effects and music, providing an extended bass foundation. The surround channels create a good sense of envelopment and direction, often supported with panning. The war scenes are powerful sonically with raging helicopters, bombs, and gunfire.
The Immersive Sound element is very effective in creating a holosonic spherical surround presence. The soundtrack starts out with strong breaking ocean waves that move directionally through the height channels shifting to instrumentals fragments. The Liverpool shipyard is sonically supported with all manner of sounds related to building a ship, including a whistle signaling a days work. Ambient sounds and sound effects are frequent such as chirping birds, chatter, wind, basketball dribbling and hoop dumps, city traffic, airplanes and helicopters flyovers, voices scrambling, explosions, church choir, thunder, voice through megaphone, laughing voices, powerful helicopter movement, garbage can drumming and more. The music extends at times strongly in the height channels providing a lively and dimensionaliy immersive soundfield.
This is a very well crafted soundtrack with great, foot-tapping music, excellent fidelity, and sonics that completely immerse, as well as delivering frequent reference quality sonics. (Gary Reber)