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Dream Big: Engineering Our World (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Shout! Factory has returned with a couple more acclaimed short documentary films of the sort of IMAX-type variety to show off their 4K display skills. Get ready to explore our world in Ultra-high-definition when two critically acclaimed films National Parks Adventure (narrated by Robert Redford), and Dream Big: Engineering Our World (narrated by Jeff Bridges), are each released in a 4K Blu-ray + 3D Blu-ray + Blu-ray + Digital copy set by Shout! Factory. Originally filmed for and seen in IMAX and Giant Screen theaters, these stunning films will now be available in living rooms across the country. You’ll be able to wow your friends with your sweet new 4K Ultra-HD home theater set up when these come to the format on July 24th. This review will focus on the Jeff Bridges narrated Dream Big. Pre-order yourself a copy below using the Amazon link.

Film 

Narrated by Academy Award® winner* Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), Dream Big: Engineering Our World is a spectacular look at man-made marvels that will forever transform the way you think about engineering. It celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small and shows how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. It is more than a movie — it’s part of a movement aimed at bringing engineering into the forefront of our culture. Dream Big is the first giant-screen film to answer the call of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) initiative, which aims to inspire kids of diverse backgrounds to become the innovators who will improve the lives of people across our entire planet as we head into the twenty-first century and beyond. That’s why the film will be accompanied by ongoing educational, museum and community efforts to expose young people from all backgrounds to what engineering is … and what it can conjure in the world.

Dream Big features a wonderful look into some of the world’s great innovations and ideas into revolutionizing our world to not only advance society, but to also conserve our world while doing it. It not only looks at their challenges into today’s world, but also the planning and preparing for very distance futures, like the end of the century. The engineers in the film keep in mind the constant population growth and how to meet the potential demands of the future peoples.

The film also takes a look at exactly who these people are that will not only help our futures out, but change the world while doing it. There are the people active in doing such great work today, but also those who are about to step into the nexus of cultivating our cities very soon. But it also shows how we are readying today’s children who may possibly take on this avenue of engineering as a career path.

Video 

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Its a little odd, but you are given the option to watch with HDR or SDR. I feel like if you wanted to watch with SDR, you’d just pop in the standard Blu-ray disc, but, oh well. This is a gorgeous, vivid picture that full utilizes the crisp, sharp look of a 4K video with HDR enhancement. Details are rambunctious on this thing to a slick touch. Much of the footage in this film is full of power and awing to see.

Depth:  This image is very spacious and free floating. Movements are smooth and natural with no distortions on rapidity holding it back. The depth of field is fantastic between the foreground and background.

Black Levels: Blacks are natural and very well saturated. They bring a nice compliments to shaping of objects and texture while never hiding away any details.

Color Reproduction: Colors features a vast palette vividly displayed here. Everything is so well rounded and bursting off the screen. HDR look tremendous whether it is an orange construction vest, glowing city lights or some computer graphics displaying the details of some architecture.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from the start to finish of the film. Facial features are apparent from any reasonably given distance.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: Be careful, this disc defaults to 5.1 instead of Atmos. The Atmos track is a hair low. Not Disney-level mind you. But you’ll want to bump the volume up a couple notches. Its a full sounding immersive experience that will full compliment the video onscreen. It has a loud, impactful and lifelike feel to it that gives it that sort of “ride” experience an IMAX film can have.

Height: From above you can hear trams, flights, construction and all sorts of natural sounds that pass overhead on screen. Some add to giving you quite a rush.

Low Frequency Extension: Music, engines, construction and more give a nice bump through the subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation: This one moves and grooves all over the room. Speakers work together to rush audio across the room front and back side to side. Every speaker also individually to bring little nicks and nacks to life to give the full experience of transcribing the action onscreen.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals, both narration and interview, are clear and crisp with plenty of vocal diction and inflection really well rounded.

Extras 

Dream Big: Engineering Our World comes with the 3-D Blu-ray/Standard Blu-ray combo disc and a digital copy of the film.

Hot Topics in the World of Engineering (HD , 21:18) – These featurettes focus on innovative new technologies used to conserve energy and resources, while also improving communications and efficiency.

  • Who’s in the Driver’s Seat: Autonomous Vehicles
  • Virtual Modeling: Engineering the Future
  • Lean and Green: Alternative Energy
  • High-Tech Engineering
  • Engineering for Those in Need

Behind-The-Scenes (HD, 13:48) – “It’s not only a good educational film, it has a great sense of adventure”. This series of featurettes focus on the goals and aspirations of the film and the individual parts that helped it all come together.

  • Dream Big Featurette
  • Meet the Women Engineers of Dream Big
  • Filming the Great Wall of China
  • Behind the Scenes of the Hyperloop

Short Fun Packed Videos (4K, 4:21) –

  • How Kids Engineer a Bridge
  • Behind the Great Wall of China
  • A Hand Built Bridge in Haiti
  • Engineering Roller Coasters
  • Filming with the IMAX 3D Camera

Dream Big Trailer (HD, 1:59) 

4K Trailers (HD, 10:53) 

Summary 

Dreaming Big: Engineering Our World is a sweet look at the history and innovations of our world to better the structure of the planet we live on. Shout! Factory’s disc is moreso a hopeful demo one for home theaters and it succeeds in both a lovely looking picture and terrific audio presentation. It actually contains some worthwhile extras. This is a nice disc for home theater enthusiasts.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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