The Fabelmans (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention or taking note, but Steven Spielberg is on somewhat of a creative hot streak recently. I’ll even count Ready Player One in that mix to go with The Post and West Side Story. He’s delivered some top notch material and that continues with his second consecutive Best Picture & Best Director nominations in that of The Fabelmans. Unfortunately, it didn’t take off in theaters, but those who saw it rather loved it, and for us film people, its a giant love letter to the craft and one of the greatest to ever go behind the lens. It arrived on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray on February 14th (A Valentine’s Day treat?). The disc will carry a set of 3 featurettes and a 7.1 surround. You can order yourself a copy by clicking on the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review at the bottom of the page.



Inspired by Steven Spielberg’s own childhood, rediscover the magic of movies in THE FABELMANS, a coming-of-age story about a young man uncovering a shattering family secret and the power of film and imagination to help us see the truth about ourselves and each other. With a star-studded cast featuring Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea, My Week with Marilyn), Paul Dano (The Batman, There Will Be Blood), Seth Rogen (Steve Jobs, An American Pickle), Gabriel LaBelle (The Predator, “American Gigolo”) and Academy Award® nominee Judd Hirsch (Uncut Gems, Ordinary People), THE FABELMANS tells a timeless tale of heartbreak, healing, and hope for the dreamer inside all of us.

I’ve both written and recorded about The Fabelmans a bit in the past couple of months. It made my Top 10 of 2022 (Read the full piece HERE), in which I said:

Spielberg nabbed my top spot last year and came quite close to doing so 2 years in row. His life story is an earnest one and endears quite well. This guy is spilling some brutally honest guts out about himself and his family. There’s a commentary on the struggle to follow your passion and put all you have in it while still wanting to put that into your family as well. Perhaps some people are turned off by a successful filmmaker sharing early struggles on his way to greatness, but any of us who made movies and tried to be a filmmaker in a time when it was culturally accepted or deemed “cool” by our peers or family can find themselves in it. The film contains 2 of the absolute best cameos/1 scene wonders in that of Judd Hirsch and David Lynch. The film has one of the absolute best endings the year. I also loved the recreation of him making his low fi movies as a scout and filming the filming of them in a such a way he could have only dreamed to do when he was actually in that time of his life. As a fan of Spielberg, the passion of film and a coming of age family story.

And if you want more from me, but in an audible form, skip on ahead to 37:32 in my video companion version of my Top 10 piece.


Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are provided courtesy of Universal Home Entertainment and are  not from the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-100

Clarity/Detail The Fabelmans debuts on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray looking gorgeous as you can image. It has a nice crisp, refined image with some wonderfully fine details and fantastic texture. There’s a warm, welcoming feeling to the cinematography that feels like a big hug that comes out in this transfer as it did in the theater. This plays big and is about as good an image as one could’ve hoped for in its coming to home video.

Depth: Depth of field is terrific, with great spacing, pushback and smooth dimensional work coming in this image. The scale is excellently display and character/camera motion is smooth and natural

Black Levels: Black levels are deep and natural and perhaps one of the best aspects of the transfer. They are deep and still carry plenty of information, texture and pattern in even some of the darkest corners. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors have a nice, natural look to them and the film tends to lean a little colder. Many of the lights, displays and such provide a nice HDR glow where applicable.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are slightly colder and are consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features and textures like moles, make-up, freckles, stubble, wrinkles, bruises and more come through natural and clear as day.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.


Audio Format(s): English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English 2.0 Descriptive Video Service, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: The Fabelmans opts not for an Atmos track but a 7.1 experience. This holds true to the theatrical mix of the film, so you’re not losing anything at all. Its film that feels natural and teases at going a bit bigger. There’s great balance between the vocals, score and effects on display throughout. Terrific depth has many of the space feeling lived in.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer rumbles and hums perfectly with the score but also heightens some more natural occurrences like doors slamming, a locker being punched, fireworks going off and more.

Surround Sound Presentation: This mix certainly knows every room or exterior front to back and side to side. The ambiance and keeping track of stuff off screen is outstanding. Sound travel has some good force to it as well.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.


The Fabelmans comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a redeemable digital code.

The Fabelmans: A Personal Journey (4K, 11:00) – Spielberg & Kushner give us the lowdown on how his personal life and family inspired the story for the film. It talks the genesis of the movie, Spielberg having downtime during Covid for it to really come to fruition and the incorporation of Judaism upon the film in a way that doesn’t have to define the people but it s a part of their lives. “Its a story about the act of forgiveness” Spielberg says.

Family Dynamics (4K, 15:28) – This is a piece on the cast and the casting for it and what each performer brought to the characters.

Crafting the World of The Fabelmans (4K, 22:04) – Here’s a more full making of with more of the technical aspects from shooting it, to costuming, production/set design, John Williams crafting the score, specific sequences and so forth.


The Fabelmans was one of  2022’s very best films and well deserved of all the Oscar nominations and awards praise it has received. Universal brings it to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with a gorgeous looking picture and great audio presentation. Extras aren’t super loaded but rather do the trick without taking up a whole lot of your time. Its an excellent movie with a terrific presentation from perhaps the greatest living filmmaker and that’s all you need on a recommend for the disc.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link


Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com). He is also the Moderator/MC of the Live Podcast Stage and on the Podcast Awards Committee for PopCon (popcon.us). In the past 10 years at Why So Blu, Brandon has amassed over 1,500 reviews of 4K, Blu-ray and DVD titles.

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