Sherlock Holmes 4K Ultra HD

WSR Score4
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Warner Home Video
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Intense sequences of violence and actin, some startling images and a scene of suggestive material
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-100)
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Guy Ritchie
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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"Sherlock Holmes" (Downey, Jr.), with the aid of his trusted ally, Dr. John Watson (Law), is unequaled in his pursuit of criminals. He employs his own quirky and unique (albeit at times, unconventional), methods to get to the heart of a case, traveling where no one else would think to go to find what others cannot see. But now a storm is gathering, a threat unlike anything that Holmes has ever confronted. After a string of ritualistic murders, Holmes and Watson arrive just in time to save the latest victim and uncover the killer: Lord Blackwood (Strong). As he approaches his scheduled hanging, Blackwood warns Holmes that death has no power over him, and when that prediction comes true, London and Scotland Yard are left confounded. But to Holmes, the game is afoot. Racing to stop Blackwood's deadly plot, Holmes and Watson plunge into a world of the dark arts and new technologies, where logic is sometimes the best crime-fighting weapon. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were created by the late Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and appear in stories and novels by him. (Gary Reber)

Special features include Maximum Movie Mode, an interactive viewer experience in which the entire film is examined, including walk-ons with Director Guy Ritchie, focus points, and PIP (01:00:00); storyboard comparisons; still galleries and more; eight focus points (HD 31:17); the featurette "Sherlock Holmes: Reinvented" (HD 14:06); the SD DVD feature film; and a digital copy of the film.

The 1.78:1 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 Vision2 film stock in Super 35 using the Arriflex 435, Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL and Phanton HD camera systems and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. The picture is cinematically stylized, exhibiting color filtering that emphasizes browns, grays, and blues and otherwise earthy dark tones. The imagery appears a bit more gritty, desaturated and darker, with a prevalence of sepia tones and other browns, than previous releases on Blu-ray Disc. The appearance at times approaches almost monochromatic tones. As before, no bright colors are evident, with even reds deep and subdued. Rather than the expected pale flesh of the English, the fleshtones are skewed in brownish hues with a desaturated appearance. Philippe Rousselot's cinematography creates dismal, drab, overcast visuals that project the sense of late 19th Century Victorian England. HDR contrast is nicely rendered, though, the brighter spectrum of the range appears capped yet nuanced. Blacks are deep and solid, and shadow delineation is impressively revealing. The imagery is dimensional. Resolution is superb, with fine nuances in detail textures and facial features perfectly depicted. The complex textural fabric of the production design is outstanding and visually engaging. This is the exceptional element, plus the costume design. Due to the darker nature of the cinematography, viewing is optimized in a darkened environment, preferably a black room with a display capable of good black-level reproduction. This is an incredibly visual picture with impressive resolution and dramatic production design. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is the same wonderful soundtrack as on the previous Blu-ray Disc, delivering a strong, aggressively enveloping directionalized holosonic® surround presence. The orchestral music score is nicely recorded with a wide and deep soundstage and revealing instrument timbres. Instrumental bass sounds perfectly natural and provides an impressive foundation to the music score. Dialogue is well produced and presented with excellent spatial integration, which perfectly complements the other soundtrack elements without forward distraction. Sound effects and atmospheric effects are effectively directionalized and panned, which enhances the sense of dimension and appropriately expansive space when the scene suggests. The slaughterhouse scenes are fantastic as a soundscape that effectively engages Foley and sound effects, along with directionalized surround dialogue. At times, during the action sequences, the SPL is at full reference engagement in all channels, for dramatic effect. Bass extension is deep and powerful, especially in the .1 LFE channel, which extends to below 25 Hz. While the soundtrack was not released in Immersive Sound, this is a soundtrack that immensely benefits from the application of AuroMatic or DTS Neural:X processing, extending the sound elements to the height layer. When the height layer is excited, there is a strong presence that dramatically enlarges the soundfield. This is an exciting and creative soundtrack that is fully engaging and reference quality, especially when Immersive Sound processing is applied. (Gary Reber)