The Darkest Minds 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 234, December 2018

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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Violence including disturbing images and thematic elements
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Jennifer Yuh Nelson
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"The Darkest Minds" is a tale of teenagers who mysteriously develop new abilities and are declared a threat by the government. Ruby, one of the most powerful young people anyone has encountered, joins a group of runaway teens seeking safe haven. Soon, this newfound family realizes that collective power is needed to take back control of their fate and save future generations. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Dan Levine, and Dan Cohen; "Remember––A Look Beyond Ruby And Liam's Last Kiss" (Original Animatic by Jennifer Yuh Nelson) with optional commentary by Nelson, Levine and Cohen (HD 3:56); a deleted scene with optional commentary (HD 01:28); a gag reel (HD 03:44); six featurettes "Jennifer Yuh Nelson: Heroine At The Helm" (HD 17:24), "Ruby: Harnessing Hope" (HD 04:54), "Liam: A Complicated Relationship" (HD 05:07), "Curbs: Fund Family" (HD 04:13), "Zu: Awakened Abilities" (HD 05:54) and "Clancy: Crafting A Possible Future" (HD 05:59); a storyboard to screen comparison; "The Power Of Georgia" (HD 05:00); behind the scenes in Georgia (HD 02:06); a photo gallery; the theatrical trailer; upfront previews; and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa camera system and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. The picture is pristine throughout, with excellent clarity and sharpness. Fine detail is exhibited throughout, with wonderful close-up resolution, as in environmental settings, whether in interiors or in the forestry settings, clothing fabrics, uniforms, object textures, facial features, and hair. Color fidelity is excellent, with a wide color gamut that exhibits natural realism throughout. Hues are rich and warm with segments of intensity, such as the scene at the camp with the thrust of fire bolts. Fleshtones are also perfectly natural. HDR contrast is excellent with revealing shadow delineation, deep blacks, and highlights, courtesy of the lighting design and production. Resolution is superb as well especially during close-ups of facial features, skin pores, hair, uniforms, clothing fabrics and all manner of object texture. WOW! segments are from 10:35 to 11:34, 15:20 to 16:35, 01:15:05 to 01:17:57, and 01:18:27 to 01:19:30. This is a good-looking picture that, at times, offers engaging visuals. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is dynamic sounding with plenty of exciting sound effects, not only in the action scenes but to delineate soundscapes during the movie. Sound effects and atmospherics extend aggressively to the four surrounds with, at times, directionalization and panning. Deep bass enhances the impact, especially when .1 LFE energy is extended. Foley sound effects are realistic, and atmospherics add to the realism. The orchestral music occupies a wide and deep soundstage that also extends to surrounds and provides good envelopment. Dialogue is consistently intelligible and generally well integrated spatially.

The Immersive Sound element consists of subtle music extension and various sound effects, such as a shore factory floor ambience, piercing debilitating control frequency, pounding rain on a car, a loud glass fixture breaking and electrical firings, intense wind, a car crash, screeching tires, a speeding van engine rev, a siren, a chain fence toppled, swooping sounds, electrical sprays, a tent fluttering in the wind, wind through trees, helicopters, panned flame throws, a helicopter crash, and other sound effects. The height layer sonics are object based and poorly delineate the soundscapes depicted by the imagery. As is the general norm, the height layer is never really developed to its potential as a spherical surround experience.

This is nicely crafted ear-level holosonic® soundtrack with elements of spherical surround extension to the height layer. (Gary Reber)