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Love, Simon (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Love, Simon came out during week five of the Black Panther box office phenomenon that rocketed off our cinematic year. It managed to be a pretty solid hit, but some might wonder if it couldn’t have maybe done some bigger business and been a little more of an event had Wakanda fever not seemed like the only option. Love, Simon was seen by many as a possible LGTBQ cinematic breakthrough hit. Which, in all honesty, at $40 million on a small budget during the spring season (If $48 million for Lady Bird is hailed a triumph, then so is this), it kinda was. With that kind of business in almost tripling the opening weekend budget, maybe we can look at Love, Simon as a launching point if others seem to increase the demand, interest and revenue at the box office. Anyhow, it’ll now reach probably more with its home video life. Its even coming to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray on June 12th. You can pre-order the film by clicking Amazon link below.

Film 

Everyone deserves a great love story, but for 17-year-old Simon Spier, it’s a little more complicated. He hasn’t told his family or friends that he’s gay, and he doesn’t know the identity of the anonymous classmate that he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing.

From the perspective of this reviewer, I can’t tell you if this reviewer accurately captures the experience of “coming out” or being in the closet. As a heterosexual male, I don’t know if I’m falling for some dumbed down, inaccurate or soft version of telling this kind of story (I want to say that I don’t think so). No matter, there are also universal messages about a person’s self in the youthful search for identity, discovering that you’re perfectly normal and not at all alone in the world despite what a community you grew up in may deem as “regular” and a fear of rejection if people truly knew you.

The young cast here is full of spark and all of them add wonderful layers to their performances that truly drive the film. Nick Robinson is a wonderful lead here, trying to build some room on being “Not Tye Sheridan” or maybe Tye Sheridan will be “Not Nick Robinson”. The film ask a lot for him to carry and he does so with such a natural zest that you can’t help but be hooked on the movie. Offhand, I think the only thing I’ve seen Alexandra Shipp in was X-Men: Apocalypse and just like that movie seemed forgettable, but here she’s absolutely radiant and outstanding and you can see why should be at the top of the list for fresh faced young leads. Likewise for The Flash’s Keiynan Lonsdale who has a smaller part. Charisma sparks off him like it didn’t on the show. The adult roles are filled out pretty fun and seemingly would be there to ground this and keep it real if the teens were merely okay, but its truly the teens that bear the everything and make the movie rock.

Love, Simon is a fantastic coming of age dramedy for the modern era. Its impossible to resist its charm and endear almost every one of its characters.  And you’ll also find it hard not to laugh out loud as the film finds an amazing balance between its dramatics and humor. This easily lovable film is one of my favorite films of 2018 as we near the halfway point of the year.

Video 

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: A teen coming of age comedy isn’t one that I’m sure people feel they just got to jump on for the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray format, but Love, Simon does its best to let everyone know it belongs here. There are some pretty impressive details, like the texture of the track around a football field, locker details, surface texture, clothing patterns and more. You can see faded, erased things on the chalkboard in Simon’s room. Its a pretty crisp image and one that really is an improvement of the standard Blu-ray counterpart.

Depth: Some good spacing between foreground and background here with good free movements in all environments that look natural and smooth.

Black Levels: Blacks are pretty natural here and the image does have a little bit of darker look than the standard Blu-ray. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors see a nice jump here with much better saturation and pop where necessary. There’s a fantasy sequence with everyone wearing different colored shirts that really rocks your image. There are also some filters that make their presence much more apparent in this 4K image than the standard Blu-ray as well.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish o the film. Stubble, make-up, lip texture, freckles, wrinkles and lines all look pretty clear from any reasonably given distance.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 DTS, Spanish 5.1 DTS, German 5.1 DTS, Italian 5.1 DTS, Czech 5.1 Dolby Digital, Polish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish

Dynamics: Well, we’ll be left to wonder what Love, Simon could have been in Atmos. But this 5.1 track is more than sufficient for this film. The film is dialogue heavy and so the track is more focused on the vocals, with all of them always feeling natural within any environment. Effects come off mostly natural with decent depth as part of a nice balanced mix.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Most of the bumping in the subwoofer comes from songs or the score, car engines and such.

Surround Sound Presentation: There’s not a whole lot of intricate play going on here, but it does capture a natural feeling. Sound travel is accurate, and when there are big things like the football game or Cabaret theater practice going on.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp. There are some nice deeper tones in the voices that are  good compliment.

Extras 

Love, Simon comes with the Blu-ray edition and a digital copy of the film. Aside from the commentary, all bonus materials are found on the standard Blu-ray disc.

4K UHD

Audio Commentary

  • By Greg Berlanti, Isaac Klausner and Isaac Aptaker

Blu-ray Disc

Deleted Scenes (HD, 7:48)

The Adaptation (HD, 10:41) – Greg Berlanti and along with interviews from the cast discuss the book and bringing it to life for the big screen.

The Squad (HD, 9:40) – This featurette takes a look at Simon and his friends in the film.

#FirstLoveStory Contest Winner (HD, 1:34) – A short film that won a contest in promotion for the film.

Dear Georgia (HD, 5:07) – Focusing on filming in the state of Georgia.

Dear Atlanta (HD, 2:06) – Focuses on filming specifically in the city of Atlanta within the state of Georgia.

Gallery (HD, 2:05)

Theatrical Trailers (HD, 4:11)

Summary 

Love, Simon is a terrific coming of age comedy that offers something for all ages and one of the very best films of the year. You wouldn’t think this film would have a big leap from Blu-ray to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray, but it really sees a nice noticeable uptick. The sound is all the same, as are the extras. If you’re going in on the film, you might as well have it in the best possible quality.

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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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