BlacKkKlansman 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 234, December 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.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Language throughout, including racial epithets, and for disturbing/violent material and some sexual references
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-100)
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Color With B/W Sequences
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Spike Lee
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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Based on the book "Black Klansman" by Ron Stallworth, "BlacKkKllansman" is the incredible true story of an American hero. In the early 1970s, Ron Stalllworth (Washington) becomes the first African-American detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Determined to make a difference, he bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. He recruits a seasoned colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Driver), into the undercover investigation. Together, they team up to take down the extremist organization aiming to garner mainstream appeal. The unflinching, real-life examination of race relations in 1970s America is just as relevant in today's tumultuous world. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the featurette "A Spike Lee Joint" (HD 05:09), an extended trailer featuring Prince's "Mary Don't You Weep" (HD 04:29), and a Movies Anywhere digital copy code.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on Kodak Vision3 film stock in Panavision® using the Aaton Penelope 35 mm, Aaton XTR Prod 16 mm, Arricam LT 35 mm and Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2 35 mm camera systems and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format.The picture is wonderfully filmic with a refined light grain structure. The color palette is perfectly natural throughout with good saturation. No hue is exaggerated. Daylight scenes are mostly overcast with a diffused light, and interior lighting is effectively contrasty with at times bright highlights. Fleshtones are naturally rendered throughout. Contrast is excellent with natural blacks, revealing shadow delineation, and natural lighting. Resolution is softy focused, with the occasional scene exhibiting sharpness and close-ups revealing finer detail such as in facial pores, hair, beards, clothing, uniforms and objects. No segments particularly stand out as this is a very even-looking film with no particularly striking scenes. But there is one WOW! segment, which is dramatic, from 01:33:26 to 01:42:33. This s a powerfully cinematic expression of the subject matter. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack features an orchestral score that really lights the soundfield with a very wide and deep soundstage that is dynamic sounding. The music aggressively extends to four surrounds. Atmospherics are effectively realistic. Sound effects are never exaggerated with gunfire, for example. The dialogue is effectively articulated with good spatial integration.

The Immersive Sound element consists of the orchestral music extended mostly subtly to the height layer, voices and a scream, audience applause, a telephone ringing, chatter, church bells, a crowd yelling "Black Power" and a yell from Ron Stallworth. As is the norm, many scenes could have benefited from a height layer element.

Overall, the soundtrack delivers authentic sonics with conversations and interior atmospherics effectively real. (Gary Reber)